Flowers of History

VOLUME 1

ROGER OF WENDOVER'S

FLOWERS OF HISTORY.

COMPRISING

THE HISTORY OF ENGLAND

FROM THE DESCENT OF THE SAXONS TO A.D. 1235.

FORMERLY ASCRIBED TO

MATTHEW PARIS.

TRANSLATED FROM THE LATIN, BY J.A. GILES, D.C.L.

LATE FELLOW OF CORPUS CHRISTI COLLEGE, OXFORD.

IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOL. I.

LONDON: HENRY G. BOHN, YORK STREET, COVENT GARDEN.

M.DCCC.XLIX.

J. HADDON, PRINTER, CASTLE STREET, FINSBURY.

PREFACE.

Of the writer of this work, entitled "Flowers of History", we know little more for certain than that his name was Roger de Wendover, from which we may infer that he was a native of the town of Wendover, in Buckinghamshire. Nothing is known of his birth or education, or of the time when he first embraced the monastic life in the abbey of St. Alban's. He rose to the rank of precentor in the fraternity to which he belonged; and was afterwards promoted to the rank of prior of Belvoir, a cell attached to St. Alban's abbey. It is probable that his promotion to this office took place in the reign of John, since we are informed that he was deposed from it soon after the accession of Henry III. The cause of his degradation was alleged, by Walter de Trumpington, twenty-second abbat of St. Alban's, who deposed him, to be, that he had wasted the property of the house by his extravagance. The historian, Matthew Paris, from whom we learn this fact, adds no farther particulars than that he was recalled to St. Alban's abbey, where he died on the 6th of May, in the year 1237.

vi ROGER OF WENDOVER.

The work for which Roger de Wendover is at present known, "Flowers of History", contains an abridged history of the world from the creation to the year 1235, which was the nineteenth year of king Henry the Third. We may consider it as divided into three parts. In the first place comes all that portion of the work which precedes A.D. 447, the year when Hengist and Horsa, with their Saxon followers, first begin to be mentioned in the affairs of England. To all this portion of his work, copied from the Roman and Greek writers, and from the romance of Geoffrey of Monmouth, not the slightest value is to be attached: and by the wise judgment of the editor of the original Latin text, it has been entirely excluded from the work. The second portion of Roger de Wendover's work, being that which necessarily must have been compiled from other monastic chroniclers, extends from A.D. 447 to about the year 1200. This portion is of great value, not as a work of original authority, for the writer was not contemporary with the events which happened during that interval, but because he has gathered his materials from other original sources, many of which have since perished. Independently, also, of this accidental circumstance, which gives value to this part of his work, it has another claim to be appreciated on account of the numbers of authors from whom Wendover has gleaned his information. Sigebert of Gemblours, Hermannus Contractus, Marianus Scotus, and the Byzantine historians, Theophanes, and Cedrenus, Bede, William of Malmesbury, Florence of Worcester, and Henry of Huntingdon, have all supplied materials for the "Flowers of History", which thus may be considered as an abstract of all preceding events. But notwithstanding these reasons for attaching value to the second division of

PREFACE. vii

Wendover's work, we shall not be wrong in asserting that by far the most important part of his history is that which treats of his own times. In relating the events which happened in his own day, i.e. during about fifty years preceding A.D. 1235, he rises into the character of an original writer.

But the most curious point connected with Wendover and his writings remains still to be told. It is well known that the monastic historians were in the habit of copying largely from one another; and no discredit has ever been thrown on them for having done so. Every monastery had its chronicler, whose duty it was to record the events of the day. When a history or chronicle of past events was copied for the use of the brethren, or to be sent out into the world, it was an obvious proceeding to bring down the narrative to the time of the writer. The form, also, into which nearly all the old chronicles were thrown, appearing more like a chronological table than a history, well favoured this practice. A new writer, moreover, did not hesitate to copy or abridge, ad libitum, the work of his predecessor: and in some cases, in consequence of this practice, the original disappeared altogether from existence. This would have been the case with Roger de Wendover, were it not for the curious fact, that the very copy of his work, which Matthew Paris, his continuator, used as a basis for his own more extended labours, is still in existence. From an inspection of this MS., and a comparison of it with other copies of Matthew Paris's own history, it appears that the latter writer embodied Roger de Wendover verbatim into his own work, altering occasionally a single sentence, or adding a few paragraphs of his own.

viii ROGER OF WENDOVER.

The original work of Roger de Wendover has been lately edited by the Rev. H.O. Coxe, of the Bodleian library, for the English Historical Society, and from the text of that edition the present translation has been made. I have done my best to give the English reader, for the first time, a faithful idea of the Latin original; and I leave it to his judgment to determine both the value of the Chronicle itself, and with what success I have discharged my task of translating it.

The notes at the foot of the pages are mostly abridged from Mr. Coxe's edition of the original text.

J.A. Giles. Bampton, Dec. 1, 1848.

ROGER OF WENDOVER'S

FLOWERS OF HISTORY.

PREFACE.

Here begins the Preface to the Book intituled Flowers of History.

We have thought good briefly to note the chief events of past times, and to give the lineage of our Saviour from the beginning, with the successions of certain kingdoms of the world and of their rulers, for the instruction of posterity, and to aid the diligence of the studious hearer. But, first, we will address a word to certain dull cavillers, who ask what need there is of recording men's lives and deaths, or the various chances which befall them; or of committing to writing the different prodigies of heaven, earth, and the elements? Now, we would have such persons know that the lives of good men in times past are set forth for the imitation of succeeding times; and that the examples of evil men, when such occur, are not to be followed, but to be shunned. Moreover, the prodigies and portentous occurrences of past days, whether in the way of pestilence, or in other chastisements of God's wrath, are not without admonition to the faithful. Therefore is the memory of them committed to writing, that if ever the like shall again occur, men may presently betake themselves to repentance, and by this remedy appease the divine vengeance. For this cause, therefore, among many others, Moses, the law-giver, sets forth in the sacred history, the innocence of Abel, the envy of Cain, the sincerity of Job, the dissimulation of Esau, the malice of eleven of the sons of Israel, the goodness of Joseph the twelfth, the punishment of the five cities in their destruction by fire and brimstone, to the end that we may imitate the good, and carefully turn from the ways of the wicked; and this not only does Moses, but also all the writers of the sacred page, who, by commending virtue, and holding up vice to

2 ROGER OF WENDOVER.

detestation, invite us to the love and fear of God. They are, therefore, not to be heeded, who say that books of chronicles, especially those by catholic authors, are unworthy of regard; for through them, whatever is necessary for human wisdom and salvation, the studious inquirer may be able to acquire by his memory, apprehend by his learning, and set forth by his eloquence.

The following work, then, is divided into two books, the first of which treats briefly of the Old Testament of the law of God, through five ages of the world, unto the coming of the Saviour, as the same are marked by Moses the law-giver, with the successions of the kings of the Gentiles and of their kingdoms, without which the law of God could not conveniently be set forth. For Luke, the evangelist, in writing the Gospel of Christ, made mention of Tiberius Caesar, and the kings of the Jewish nation, whose days and years were well known to all, to the end that the advent of the Saviour among men, and His works, which were of lowly origin, might come to the knowledge of all, by means of that which had more of splendour and notoriety; and this indeed was the way of almost all the writers of the sacred page, for the reasons above mentioned. The second book of this work treats of the New Testament, commencing with the incarnation of Christ and his nativity, and notices every year, without omitting one, down to our times, on whom the ends of the world are come, which we will treat of more at large in its proper place. Nevertheless, for the sake of fastidious readers, who are easily wearied, we think it good to aim at brevity in this our history, to the end that while they experience delight in a short and pleasing narration, we may kindle in their minds a love of reading that which does not weary, and, from listless hearers and fastidious readers, convert them into diligent students. Finally, that which follows has been taken from the books of catholic writers worthy of credit, just as flowers of various colours are gathered from various fields, to the end that the very variety, noted in the diversity of the colours, may be grateful to the various minds of the readers, and by presenting some which each may relish, may suffice for the profit and entertainment of all.

THUS ENDS THE PREFACE.

A.D. 447.] THE SAXONS INVITED INTO ENGLAND. 3

PREFACE TO THE SECOND BOOK.

The second book of this work, commencing with the time of grace, treats of the nativity of our Saviour, and of his works in the flesh, of the calling of the apostles, and of the saints of God now glorified in heaven, arranged according to the years of incarnation, without omitting one, down to our times, on whom the ends of the world are come; in the course of which it treats of all the Roman pontiffs and emperors. It treats, moreover, of archbishops, bishops, and other dignities of the church, of kings, and princes, and other great men, who in their times lived in different regions, and of their acts, whether good or evil. It treats, moreover, of the various chances that have befallen mankind, the prodigious and portentous manifestations of God's wrath, to the end that, being admonished by past evils, men may betake themselves to humiliation and repentance, taking an example for imitation from the good, and shunning the ways of the perverse.

HERE ENDS THE SECOND PREFACE.

ROGER OF WENDOYER'S FLOWERS OF HISTORY.

The cause of inviting the Angles.

In the year of grace 447, when the nations around had become acquainted with the wickedness of king Vortigern and the levity of his mind, there rose up against him the Scots from the north-west, and the Picts from the north, because Vortigern had put to death a hundred of their countrymen; and terribly did they infest and ravage the kingdom of Britain. For consuming every thing by fire and sword, and by spoil and rapine, they inflicted on the guilty nation the vengeance of Heaven for the sins of their king, in which they had participated; and those of the wretched people that escaped the hostile invasion, fell the victims of a terrible famine, insomuch that the living were not sufficient for the burial of the dead. Whereupon the king and his people, desolated and worn out by the ravages of war, and not knowing what to do against the incursions of their enemies, at length came to the unanimous resolution of inviting

4 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 448.

over from beyond the sea the Saxon nation to their help; [1] the effect, as it would seem, of the divine appointment, that evil might come upon them for their wickedness, as indeed was made but too manifest by the event. Meanwhile, messengers are despatched into Germany to effect their purpose.

Note, that not might, but virtue, is the stay in war.

In the year of grace 448, the Picts and Scots, with united forces, attacked the Britons, who, deeming themselves unequal to the contest, implored the aid of the holy bishops, Germanus and Lupus. At length, when the greater part of their forces was preparing to arm for the war, Germanus declares that he will be their leader. He selects the most active, reconnoitres the country round about, and finding a valley encompassed with hills in the way by which it was expected that the enemy would approach, he there draws up his inexperienced troops, himself acting as their general. And now intelligence is brought by their scouts that a vast multitude of their fierce enemies is approaching. Whereupon Germanus commanded his men to respond with one shout to his voice; and then the priests three times cried, Hallelujah. On which, one voice bursts forth from the whole multitude, and a deafening shout ascends to heaven, the air reverberating the sound. The hostile army, smitten with terror, in their fear believe that not only the surrounding rocks, but also the very skies, were coming down upon them, and their feet were not swift enough to deliver them from their terror. The flight becomes general; they cast away their arms, well satisfied if, with their naked bodies, they can escape the danger; numbers, in their precipitate flight, were swallowed up in repassing a river. The Britons, without having slain a man, behold the vengeance inflicted on their foes, and are passive spectators of the victory. The spoils of the field are collected, and the devout soldier rejoices in the victory which Heaven had given. The bishops triumph in the overthrow of the enemy without bloodshed, and the victory is the more glorious for having been obtained not by might but by faith.

The island being reduced to peace and security by the overthrow


[1] The Saxons did not arrive in England all at one time, as is generally supposed, but in different and unconnected bodies, and at different periods, extending over the space of more than a hundred years.

A.D. 449.] ARRIVAL OF THE SAXONS. 5

of its foes, both invisible and carnal, the prelates prepare to return home. Their own merits, and the intercession of the blessed martyr Alban, obtained for them a tranquil passage, and the happy vessel restored them in peace to their rejoicing people. This was in the tenth year of Meroveus, king of the Franks. [1]

Of the arrival of the Angles into Britain, and of their country and leaders.

In the year of grace 449, the nation of the Angles or Saxons, being invited over by king Vortigern, arrive in Britain in three ships of war, [2] and had a place assigned them by the king, in the eastern part of the island, to dwell in, on the terms that they should fight for the peace and safety of the kingdom against the enemy, and that the Britons should furnish them with sufficient pay. Now, those who came over belonged to three of the more powerful nations of Germany, the Saxons, Angles, and Jutes. From the Jutes are descended the people of Kent, and of the Isle of Wight, as also the people in the province of the West-Saxons over against the Isle of Wight, who to this day are called Jutes. From the Saxons, whose original country is now called Old Saxony, came the East-Saxons, South-Saxons, and West-Saxons. From the Angles, whose country is called Anglia, and is said to have remained desert from that time to this day, are descended the East-Angles, the Midland-Angles, the Mercians, the whole race of the Northumbrians, who live to the north of the river Humber, and the rest of the nations of the Angles. Their leaders are said to have been two brothers, Hengist and Horsa, sons of Wicthgisius, the son of Wicta, the son of Wecta, the son of Woden; from whose stock the royal families of many provinces deduce their origin. When at length they stood before the king, he asked them respecting the faith and religion of their ancestors, on which Hengist replied, "We worship the gods of our fathers - Saturn, Jupiter, and the other deities who govern the world, and especially Mercury, whom in our tongue we call Woden, and to whom our fathers dedicated the fourth day of the week, which to this day is called 'Wodensday'. Next to


[1] Meroveus is supposed to have been present at the battle in which Attila was defeated by AEtius. He died, according to Sigebert, in 458.

[2] The Saxons landed at Ebsfleet in the Isle of Thanet.

6 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 450.

him we worship the most powerful goddess Frea, to whom they dedicated the sixth day, which, after her, we call 'Friday'". "I grieve much", said Vortigern, "for your belief, or rather, for your unbelief; but I am exceedingly rejoiced at your coming, which, whether brought about by God or otherwise, is most opportune for my urgent necessities. For I am pressed by my enemies on every side; and if ye will share with me the toil of fighting, ye shall remain in my kingdom, where ye shall be had in honour, and enriched with lands and possessions". The barbarians straightway assented, and having made a league with him, remained at his court.

The same year it became known that, by means of a few individuals, the Pelagian heresy was again spreading in Britain; whereupon the Britons again send their entreaties unto the most blessed Germanus, that he would vouchsafe to undertake the cause of God and the conduct of the spiritual contest. Joyfully yielding to their request, and taking with him Severus, a man of perfect sanctity, who had been a disciple of the most blessed father Lupus, and was then ordained bishop of Treves, he put to sea, and by the favour of the elements, made a safe passage to Britain. There, by his preaching he admonished the people to correct their errors; and, by the judgment of all, the authors of the heresy were condemned; whereby it followed that for a long season after the faith was kept pure and uncorrupted in these parts. Having well settled every thing, the blessed priests returned home as prosperously as they came. [1]

How king Vortigern, being provoked to war, conquered the enemy with the assistance of the Saxons.

In the year of grace 450, after the departure of the most blessed bishops from Britain, the Scots and Picts emerging from the northern parts, after their custom, with an immense force, began to ravage the north of the island. On receiving intelligence thereof, Vortigern collected his troops and crossed the Humber to meet them. But there was not much need of the natives fighting; for the Saxons, who were with


[1] The story of Saint Germanus is attended with such difficulties that I have no hesitation in rejecting altogether the importance which is generally attached to it by ecclesiastical historians. He is said to have been accompanied, in his first mission, by Lupus, bishop of Troyes, and in his second by Severus, archbishop of Treves.

A.D. 450.] DEATH OF ST. GERMANUS. 7

him, fought so manfully, that in an instant they routed the enemy, who before their arrival had become habituated to conquest. Having gained the victory by their aid, Vortigern was more lavish of his gifts, and bestowed on Hengist, their leader, extensive lands in the division of Lindsey, wherewith to sustain himself and his comrades. [1] But Hengist, being a cunning man, and having gained the king's friendship, addressed him in these terms: "My lord, thy enemies vex thee on all sides, and say they will depose thee, and bring Aurelius Ambrosius from Armorica, and make him king in thy room. If it please thee, therefore, let us send into our country and invite over more soldiers, that our number may be increased". The king accordingly agreed to the proposal, and bade him send into Germany for speedy aid. Straightway messengers were despatched into Germany, who brought back with them eighteen vessels full of chosen soldiers. They also brought over Hengist's daughter named Rowena, by whose beauty Vortigern was so captivated that he demanded her of her father in marriage. Hengist, thus fully satisfied of the levity of the king's mind, readily gave him his daughter. Whereupon Satan entered into his heart, inasmuch as, being a Christian, he sought a union with a pagan. The king married her the same night, and delighted in her beyond measure; but by this step he incurred the enmity of his nobles and his sons. For he had three sons by another wife, Vortimer, Catigern, and Pascentius. He had also a daughter by the same wife, whom he took to his bed, and had by her a son, for which he was excommunicated by St. Germanus and the whole synod of bishops.

Death of St. Germanus.

The same year, as Sigisbert writes in his Chronicles, St. Germanus went to Ravenna for the good of the Armorican people, and after being received with the utmost respect by Valentinian and his mother Placidia, he departed to Christ. His body was buried at Auxerre with every


[1] Geoffrey of Monmouth tells us that Vortigern gave Hengist as much land as could be surrounded with a bull's hide. Hence is thought to have been derived the name of Thongcaster, situated, according to Camden, about six miles from Grimsby. So remarkable a similarity between this story and that of Dido, leads the reader to infer that the one story is as probable as the other.

8 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 451.

circumstance of honour, attended by an immense assemblage of people, and not without many miracles. At which time Severus, the presbyter, a man remarkable for miraculous powers, having destroyed an idol-temple, where the senseless people worshipped a hundred gods, was preparing a church to the proto-martyr Saint Stephen, to be consecrated before the gates of Vienne. But while he was waiting for the return of the most blessed Germanus from Ravenna, who had promised to come to its dedication, it fell out that on the very day of the dedication, and before the service had commenced, the most blessed body of that confessor of Christ, as it was borne through Vienne, was taken into that new church while they rested; and thus the promise of the man of God was made good. An account of the miracles and wonders which God wrought by this blessed man in Britain may be seen by those who will consult it, in the book which has been written concerning his life. Bede, however, in his English History, states that he departed this life in the 6th year of the reign of Marcian, [1] which is eight years later.

Death of Philip the presbyter.

In the year of grace 451, died Philip the presbyter, a disciple of the blessed Jerome, and author of plain discourses on the book of Job. [2]

Of the Council of Chalcedon.

The emperor Theodosius dying in the year of grace 452, Marcian and Valentinian reigned six years. In the beginning of their reign, by the zeal of the blessed pope Leo, a council was held at Chalcedon, [3] at which Eutyches with Dioscorus, bishop of Alexandria, were publicly confuted and condemned. This Eutyches was abbat of Constantinople, and denied that Christ, after taking the flesh, existed in two natures, but asserted that the divine nature alone existed in him.


[1] This is a mistake; Bede states that Germanus died at Ravenna in the reign of Valentinian and Placidia.

[2] Philip wrote a commentary on Job, which was printed at Basel, in 1527.

[3] The Council of Chalcedon was the fourth general council, and was convened in the previous year.

A..D. 454.] KING VORTIGERN DEPOSED.

How Vortigern sent for the Saxons.

In the year of grace 453, Hengist having married his daughter to Vortigern, took occasion to speak to him after this sort, "Listen to my counsel. Let us invite over my son Octa with his brother Abissa, both warlike men; and give them the country in the north parts of Britain in the neighbourhood of the wall, between Deira and Scotland, They will there sustain the attack of the barbarians, and thou wilt remain in peace on this side of the Humber". Vortigern assented, and straightway on his invitation, there came over Octa and Abissa and Cerdicius, with three hundred vessels full of armed men; all of whom were graciously received by Vortigern and presented with rich gifts. The Britons, seeing this, and fearing their treachery, advised the king to expel them from his dominions; for pagans ought not to have intercourse with Christians, as being contrary to Christianity. Besides, so great a multitude had come over, that they were a terror to the natives, whom they ought to protect. But Vortigern declined their counsel, because he loved the Saxons above all people for his wife's sake. [1]

How king Vortigern was deposed, and was succeeded by his son.

In the year of grace 454, the nobles of Britain entirely forsook king Vortigern, and with one consent placed his son Vortimer on the throne. Acquiescing in all their counsels, he began the work of driving out the barbarians; and attacking them at the river Darent, [2] gained a victory over them. Among the fugitives was Vortigern, who, for the sake of his wife, afforded them all the help he could. After gaining this victory, Vortimer began to restore to his subjects their lost possessions, and by every means to do them good; moreover he commanded that the churches which had been destroyed should be rebuilt, and that due honour should be paid to the clergy.


[1] This paragraph, as well as many others in the early part of this history, is taken from Geoffrey of Monmouth, and consequently must not be entirely relied on as authentic history.

[2] The river Darent (Derwent) has given name to the modern town of Dartford, i.e. Darentford.

10 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 456.

Valour of king Vortimer.

In the year of grace 455, the 7th year from their arrival in Britain, the Angles, with Vortigern, having recovered their strength, began again to provoke king Vortimer to battle. Both armies having met at Ailesford, [1] they fought long and fiercely; till at length the weight of the battle was turned against the Saxons, and they fled from the field. The Britons pursued them fiercely, and slew an immense number; and having dispersed the remainder, Vortimer returned home in triumph. Not long after this, Vortimer, with his brothers, Catigern and Pascentius, and the whole population of the island, made war on the Saxons; and both sides being assembled, their forces were drawn up for battle. Horsa, Hengist's brother, on whom Vortigern had bestowed the province of Kent, and who had been made king by his countrymen, attacked with such fury the troops of Catigern, that they were routed and scattered like dust. Moreover he struck Catigern from his horse and slew him. At the sight of which, king Vortimer, his brother, rushed on Horsa and slew him; and then routing the rest, the whole weight of the battle turned against Hengist; who, not being able to withstand the valour of Vortimer, at length, but not without having inflicted severe loss on the Britons, fled from the battle, a thing he had never done before.

How, on the death of Horsa, the Saxons made Hengist king of Kent.

In the year of grace 456, the Saxons, on the death of Horsa, raised his brother Hengist to the throne of Kent. In the same year he is said to have fought three battles with the Britons; but not being able to resist the strength of Vortimer, he fled to the isle of Thanet, where the enemy daily harassed him by sea. At length, having with difficulty reached their vessels, the Saxons returned to Germany, leaving their wives and children behind. [2]


[1] Ailesthorp in the original is evidently Eaglesford or Ailesford, on the banks of the Medway. It is called Elstree by Henry of Huntingdon, and Episford by Nennius.

[2] Henry of Huntingdon, whose words are here copied by Wendover, Gildas, and Nennius, all agreo that the Saxons were at this time obliged to leave England.

A.D. 460.] DEATH OF VORTIMER. 11

A remarkable miracle.

In the year of grace 457, while St. Mamertus, bishop of Vienne, was keeping the vigil of our Lord's resurrection, a terrible conflagration was seen raging in the midst of the city. The people in consternation fled out of the church, each fearing the like calamity to his own house. The undaunted bishop kept his post at the festive altar, and kindling with the warmth of faith, with a flood of tears restrained the violence of the fire. Joy takes the place of despair; the people return to the church, all ascribing the miracle to the holy man.

Discovery of the head of St. John.

In the year of grace 458, two eastern monks having gone up to Jerusalem to worship, John the Baptist revealed to them the place of his head, near the house where Herod formerly lived. It was straightway brought to Edessa, a city of Phoenicia, and was there buried with due honour.

Spread of the heresy of Dioscorus.

In the year of grace 459, the emperor Marcian being dead, [1] Leo the elder and Leo the younger reigned sixteen years. Alexandria and Egypt, infected with the heresy of Dioscorus, are filled with spiritual uncleanness and raging madness. Hilderic, king of the Franks, reigned twenty-six years. [2]

Death of Vortimer, king of Britain.

In the year of grace 460, died Vortimer, king of Britain, and the flower of its youth, and with him were ended the triumphs and hopes of the Britons. For Satan having entered into the heart of his stepmother Rowena, she caused poison to be given him by one of his servants, of which he died suddenly, and was buried at London. [3] Whereupon Vortigern, at the instigation of his wife, sent into Germany for Hengist to come over secretly with a few attendants, lest if he came in any other manner he might excite the Britons to rebel.


[1] The emperor Marcian died January 31, 457.

[2] Hilderic died in 481.

[3] Vortimer was buried at Lincoln, contrary to his wishes expressed before his death. See Nennius, #46, and Geoffrey of Monmouth, Hist, vi. 14.

12 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 461.

Hengist returns into Britain.

In the year of grace 461, Hengist, hearing of the death of Vortimer, returned into Britain with three hundred thousand warriors. But when the arrival of so vast a multitude was told to Vortigern and the nobles of his kingdom, they were highly incensed, and prepared for war. Which being communicated to Hengist by his daughter, he resolved under the mask of peace to employ treachery. Sending therefore messengers to the king, he represented to him that he had not brought over so great a multitude with any hostile intention to him or his realm, but that he thought Vortimer was yet living, and that he wished above all things to conquer him. But seeing that he was dead, he did not hesitate to commit himself and his people entirely to the king's disposal; that he would keep with him only such as the king should choose, and that the rest should turn their sails immediately towards Germany. At the same time, he requested that if it seemed good to Vortigern, he would fix a time and place for them to meet. The king was highly pleased with all this, and appointed the 1st of May for his countrymen and the Saxons to meet together at the village of Ambrius, for the purpose of carrying into effect what Hengist had proposed. This being mutually agreed upon, Hengist ordered his comrades to have each a long knife concealed in his hose, and when the Britons should be engaged in the conference and off their guard, that each should draw his knife, and stab the Briton who should be next to him; which was done accordingly. Hengist, however, seized Vortigern by the cloak and made him a prisoner. The chiefs who were about his person, to the number of four hundred and sixty, and among them many barons and consuls, were slain. There was present a man named Eldol, consul of Gloucester, who, perceiving the treachery, seized a stake which by chance lay near him, and with it dealt fatal blows around. Wherever it lighted, death followed the stroke; heads, arms, shoulder blades, and legs were shivered in abundance; nor did he quit the spot till he had slain seventy men and broken the stake. Then at last, not being able to stand before so great a multitude, he turned from them and escaped to his own city. Many fell on both sides; but the Saxons had the victory,

A.D. 404.] BRITONS SEND FOR AMBROSIUS. 13

forasmuch as the Britons had come without their arms, and so could not withstand them.

The Saxons lay waste the churches of Britain.

In the year of grace 462, the Saxons bound king Vortigern and threatened him with death, unless he gave up his towns and places of defences, to save his life. He granted them whatever they demanded, in order to obtain his life and freedom. After exacting an oath from him, they let him go. They first took possession of London, and then successively of York, Lincoln, and Winchester, committing in the meanwhile great devastations. They fell on the natives in every quarter, like wolves on sheep forsaken by their shepherds; the churches and all the ecclesiastical buildings they levelled with the ground; the priests they slew at the altars; the holy scriptures they burned with fire; the tombs of the holy martyrs they covered with mounds of earth; the clergy who escaped the slaughter, fled with the relics of the saints to the caves and recesses of the earth, to the woods and deserts, and the crags of the mountains. At the sight of such devastation, Vortigern, not knowing how to check the impious race, retired into Wales, and shut himself up in the town of Genorium. [1]

Heresy of the Acephali.

In the year of grace 463 sprung up the heresy of the Acephali, who resisted the council of Chalcedon. They are called Acephali, which means, without a head, because it is not known who was the author of the heresy. They deny the property of two substances in Christ, and contend that there is but one nature in his person.

The Britons implore military succour.

In the year of grace 464, the Britons sent messengers into Brittany to Aurelius Ambrosius and his brother Uterpendragon, who had been sent there for fear of Vortigern, beseeching them to come over from the Armorican country without delay, to drive out the Saxons and king Vortigern, and take the crown themselves. As they had now arrived at man's estate, they began to make preparations of men and


[1] The town of Genorium is called Genoren by Higden.

14 ROGER OF AVENDOVER. [A.D. 464.

ships for the expedition; which, when king Vortigern heard, he called together his magicians, and asked them what he ought to do under the circumstances. They counselled him to build a very strong tower which might serve for the defence of himself and his friends. After passing through several provinces in search of a suitable spot, he came at last to mount Erir, which he conceived was adapted to his purpose. Collecting masons from all parts, he gave directions for the building of the tower. But as soon as they had begun, the earth swallowed up every night what they had done during the day.

On his inquiring of the magicians the cause of the failure, they counselled him to seek out a youth without a father, and to sprinkle the mortar and stones with his blood, which would give solidity to the work. Straightway messengers are despatched into the different provinces in quest of a youth answering to this description. Coming at length to a town which was afterwards called Carmarthen, they saw two youths quarrelling, one of whom, in the heat of his passion, said to the other, "Why art thou such a fool as to contend with me? Wilt thou, who wast born without any father, put thyself on a level with me, who, both on my father's and mother's side, am descended from a line of kings"? On hearing this, the messengers took the youth and his mother, and brought them straightway unto the king. When they stood before the king, he began diligently to inquire of the mother who was the father of the lad; on which she answered, "As my soul lives, my lord the king, once when I was in the chamber of the king of Demecia, my father, there appeared to me a person in the likeness of a most beautiful youth, who closely embraced me with many kisses; and when he had done to me what it pleased him, he suddenly disappeared; this he repeated for a long time, until at length he left me pregnant. No other than he is the father of this boy". Astonished beyond measure at this recital, the king called the youth, and asked him his name. After replying that his name was Merlin Ambrosius, he inquired of the king the cause why himself and his mother had been brought into the royal presence, to which king Vortigern answered, "My magicians have counselled me to seek for a youth without a father, and to sprinkle my building with his blood,

A.D. 465.] VISION OF VORTIGERN. 15

assuring me that it would then stand". "Command", said Merlin, "thy magicians to come before me, and I will convict them of inventing lies; for, not knowing what is under the foundation of thy work, they thought to satisfy thee by falsehood. But call thy workmen, my lord O king, and command them to dig into the earth, and thou shalt discover a pool underneath, which is the cause that thy work does not stand"; which being done, it was found exactly as Merlin had said. Whereupon Merlin turned to the magicians and said, "Tell me, now, ye base sycophants, what is there lying at the bottom of the pool"? To this they made no reply, on which he turned to the king and said, "Give orders that the pool be drained, and thou wilt find at the bottom two hollow stones with two dragons asleep in them". On the faith of his words, the king commanded the pool to be drained, when, to the astonishment of all, what Merlin had asserted was found to be the truth.

How Victorinus framed a cycle of Easter.

In the year of grace 465, Hilary sat in the Roman chair six years, three months, and ten days; after which it remained vacant for ten days. At his request, Victorinus drew up a cycle of Easter extending through five hundred and thirty-two years.

The prophecy of Merlin.

At that time, while king Vortigern was sitting by the bank of the pool that had been drained, the two dragons came forth; one of them was white, the other red. As soon as they approached each other, they commenced a dreadful combat, breathing forth flames. The white dragon had the better of the contest, and pursued the red one unto the margin of the pool, when the latter, indignant at the repulse, turned on the white dragon and forced him to retire. While they were thus fighting, the king commanded Merlin Ambrosius to say what the battle between the dragons meant. Whereupon, bursting into tears, and full of the spirit of prophecy, he thus began:- "Woe to the red dragon, for his banishment approaches! The white dragon, which signifies the Saxons, whom thou hast invited over, shall possess his caverns;

16 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 466.

whereas the red dragon signifies the British people, which shall be oppressed by the white dragon. His mountains shall be brought low as the valleys, and the rivers of the valleys shall flow with blood; his religious worship shall be destroyed, and his churches lie in ruins; when at length the oppressed shall prevail, and shall resist the cruelty of the strangers; for the boar of Cornwall shall afford succour, and shall tread their necks under his feet; the isles of the ocean shall be subdued by his might, and he shall possess the forests of the Gauls; the house of Romulus shall tremble at his rage, and his end shall be doubtful; his praise shall be sounded among the nations, and many shall obtain their bread by narrating his exploits", [1] etc., etc.

Return of Aurelius into Britain.

Having uttered this prophecy to the admiration of all present, the king requested him to tell him what he knew respecting his own fate, to which Merlin replied, "Flee, if thou canst, the fire of the sons of Constantine; for they will conquer the Saxon people, and shut thee up in the town of Genorium, and burn thee. The faces of the Saxons shall be red with blood, and having slain Hengist, Aurelius Ambrosius shall be crowned king". The very next day Aurelius Ambrosius landed with his brother Uterpendragon, and a vast multitude of warriors. The dispersed Britons flocked together unto him, and, in a convocation of the clergy, made him their king. He first devoted himself with all his ability to the restoration of the churches from their ruins. He was munificent in his gifts, exact in the observance of his religious duties, singularly modest, a lie he detested beyond everything, he was formidable on foot, and more so on horseback, and endued with all the qualities of a commander. With such virtues his fame had spread among the nations.

How king Vortigern perished by fire.

In the year of grace 466, the Britons exhorted king Aurelius to lead them against the Saxons; but he held them back, wishing first to attack Vortigern. Accordingly he led


[1] For the remainder of this long prophecy see Geoffrey of Monmouth (Bohn's Ant. Lib.) pp. 196-206.

A.D. 470.] SALVIAN. 17

his army into Wales, and assaulted the town of Genorium. As he stood before it, calling to mind the treachery by which his father and brother had perished, he thus addressed his followers, "Think ye, my noble chiefs, that these walls can protect Vortigern, who has wasted the fertile land of his fathers, expelled the nobles, destroyed the churches, and almost blotted out the Christian religion from sea to sea; and, which is my especial grief, has slain my father and brother by treachery. Now, my noble countrymen, quit yourselves like men, and inflict vengeance on the author of these evils; after which we will turn our arms against the enemy". Immediately, having brought forward their war-like machines, they tried to throw down the walls. At last, when other means failed, they had recourse to fire, which, once kindled, burnt without intermission until both Vortigern and his tower were consumed.

In the year of grace 467, Theodorus, [1] bishop of the city which received the name of Cyria from Cyrus, king of the Persians, who built it, a man excellently versed in the holy scriptures, flourished as an eminent pillar of the church.

In the year of grace 468, Clovis, [2] king of the Franks, slew Alaric, king of the Goths, ten miles from the city of Poictiers; Almaric, the son of the latter, making his escape, took refuge in Spain.

Clovis subjugates Aquitania.

In the year of grace 469, king Clovis subjugated Toulouse, Saintonge, and the whole of Aquitaine, and expelling thence the Arian Goths, established the catholic Franks in their room.

Salvian flourishes.

In the year of grace 470, Salvian [3] the presbyter, wrote at Marseilles, a book addressed to Claudian, a presbyter of Vienne, containing an exposition of the last part of Ecclesiastes.


[1] Theodoret is probably meant here; he is generally supposed to have died about the year 457.

[2] Clovis I. did not begin to reign until 481; there is, therefore, an anachronism in the text. See the Chronicles of Sigebert, Gregory of Tours, etc.; also the Recueil des Hist. des Gaules, iii., 18, note.

[3] Salvian died about 496.

18 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 476.

Simplicius pope.

In the year of grace 471, Simplicius filled the Roman see fifteen years, one month, and seven days; after which the see was vacant for six days.

Hilary, an illustrious bishop, flourishes.

In the year of grace 472, Hilary, bishop of Arles, a man abounding in alms-giving, a lover of poverty, was eminently learned in the holy scriptures.

Aurelius fought with Hengist.

In the year of grace 473, Aurelius Ambrosius, defying Hengist and his son Osric, surnamed AEsk, to battle in Kent, drew up his forces in twelve battalions at a place, afterwards called Wipedes-Flete, where, after a long and severe battle, with great effusion of blood, the victory remained doubtful, and such was the loss on both sides, that for a long time they mutually forbore to invade each other's territories. Amongst the rest, the Saxons lost there a certain great chief named Wipped; whence the field of battle was called Wipedes-Flete, after him.

In the year of grace 474, Claudian, a presbyter of Vienne, a man of great acuteness in ecclesiastical disputations, flourished.

Prosper wrote a letter against Eutyches.

In the year of grace 475, Prosper of Aquitaine composed a letter against Eutyches, who held erroneous notions respecting the incarnation of Christ and free will.

A miracle.

In the year of grace 476, Hilary, [1] bishop of Rome, prohibited the clergy from wearing the habit of laymen, and forbade presbyters their concubines. At that time, while Clovis, king of the Franks, was fighting against the Alemanni and was hard pressed by them, he raised his eyes towards heaven, and cried, "O Lord Jesus Christ, whom my mother, Clotildis, worships, I earnestly beseech thine aid. And if, in this contest, thou shalt give me the victory, of a surety I will believe in thee, and will be baptized in thy name". On which the Alemanni were put to flight, and the king, returning home


[1] Hilary died in 468, so that we have here another anachronism.

A.D. 482.] HONORIC. 19

in triumph, sent for the holy bishop Remigius, and was baptized with all his nation.

Zeno emperor; Ella, the first king of the South Saxons, comes from Anglia into Britain.

In the year of grace 477, Zeno succeeded to the Roman empire, and reigned seventeen years. In the same year, Ella, the chief, and his three sons, Cymen, Plenting, and Cissa, landed in Britain at a place which was afterwards called, from Cymen, Cymenshore, which means Cymen's Port. [1] On their landing, the Britons assembled in great numbers and attacked them, but were driven from the field, and obliged to take shelter in a neighbouring wood, called Andredeswode. The Saxons occupied the coasts of Sussex, and by degrees subjugated the neighbouring parts.

An instance of motherly affection.

In the year of grace 478, the emperor Zeno seeking to put his son Leo to death, the mother of the latter substituted for him another lad whom he resembled, and her son became an ecclesiastic, and lived till the time of Justinian.

The body of the apostle Barnabas is discovered.

In the year of grace 479, the apostle Barnabas and the Gospel of St. Matthew, written by his hand, were found, through a revelation by himself.

Subjugation of Rome by Odoacer.

In the year of grace 480, Odoacer, king of the Goths, made himself master of Rome, which for a long season was held by the kings of that people.

Occupation of Italy by Theodoric.

In the year of grace 481, Theodoric, king of the Goths, ravaged both Macedonias and Thessaly, and made himself master of Italy.

In the year of grace 482, Honoric, the Arian king of the Vandals, after ejecting three hundred and three catholic bishops in Africa, shut up their churches, and with a variety of torments, put to death an immense multitude of people for their adherence to the faith. Many thousands suffered


[1] Ella landed at Cimenshore, between Arundel and Shoreham.

20 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 487.

martyrdom after having had their hands cut off and their tongues cut out, that they might not be able to make confession of the faith.

Cruelty of Clovis to his kindred.

In the year of grace 483, Clovis, king of the Franks threw into prison his kinsman Regnacarius and his brother, and put them to death.

Covetousness of Timothy.

In the year of grace 484, on the murder of Protherius by the Alexandrians, Timothy caused or suffered himself to be ordained by one bishop, in the place of the murdered prelate.

In the year of grace 485, the Britons, under Aurelius Ambrosius, assembled at Mercredesburne to fight against Ella and his sons, who, after a long and bloody engagement, were compelled to quit the field, not without great loss, however, to the Britons. Wherefore Ella sent over into his country for more troops.

Felix pope.

In the year of grace 486, Felix filled the Roman chair eight years, eleven months, and seventeen days; after which it remained vacant five days.

Aurelius defies the Saxons to battle and gains the victory.

In the year of grace 487, Aurelius Ambrosius collected a great multitude of Britons, and defied the Saxons to battle. Directing his army northward, he came up with Hengist and his Saxons beyond the Humber. [1] Hengist, when he heard of his approach, marched boldly to meet him, thinking to take the Britons by surprise, and to make a sudden and furtive attack on them while crossing a plain called Maisbely. Aurelius received intelligence, but did not hesitate to enter the plain. When the forces on each side were drawn up, the armies engaged, and not a little blood was shed on both sides. At last, when Hengist saw his companions giving way, and the


[1] The account of this northern expedition is taken from Geoffrey of Monmouth. The Saxon Chronicle says nothing of it. Marianus Scotus and William Malmesbury seem to imply that Hengist died a natural death; according to the latter, in 488, thirty-nine years after his first arrival in Britain. See Speed. Chron. 1611. p. 291.

A.D. 489.] HENGIST TAKEN PRISONER. 21

Britons prevailing, he fled straightway, and gained the town of Kaerkonan, now called Conisborough. But, knowing that his whole defence lay in sword and spear, he would not enter the town, because he did not think it strong enough to resist Aurelius. Aurelius followed hard after him, and all he overtook in his way he beheaded. Having, therefore, gained the victory, Aurelius did not cease to praise God from the bottom of his heart, for having given him to triumph over his enemies.

Aurelius raises the churches from their ruins.

In the year of grace 488, while Aurelius Ambrosius was traversing Britain in quest of his enemies, he beheld to his great sorrow the churches levelled with the ground. Sending therefore for masons and carpenters, he diligently repaired the sacred edifices. Then placing ecclesiastics in them, he restored divine worship to its proper state. But where he found heathen temples and idols, he utterly exterminated them. He exhorted the churches and ecclesiastics to observe justice and maintain peace, and loaded them with many gifts, commanding all to pray for the welfare of the kingdom and the church.

Aurelius takes Hengist prisoner, and orders him to be beheaded.

In the year of grace 489, Aurelius Ambrosius sent letters through all the coasts of Britain, and commanded all, as many as could bear arms, to assemble together, and labour with him for the utter extermination of the pagans from Britain. No sooner were they assembled, than Ambrosius moved northward, and found Hengist with his Saxons, by the river Don, prepared for battle. The engagement was fierce and bloody, but at last, Eldol, duke of Gloucester, ardently longing to engage with Hengist, penetrated with his troops the squadrons of the enemy, seized Hengist by the helmet, and putting forth all his strength, dragged him into the midst of the Britons, shouting, "God has to-day fulfilled my desire; for the victory is in our own hands". Thereupon the Saxons fled in all directions, pursued by Aurelius, who slew them without mercy. Octa, the son of Hengist, with the greater multitude of the fugitives, reached York, and Eosa took refuge in the city of Alclud. After this triumph.

22 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 490.

Aurelius took the city of Conan, where he rested three days; then, calling together the chiefs he bade them give counsel what should be done with Hengist. Whereupon Eldad, bishop of Gloucester, and brother of duke Eldol, rose, and, commanding all to keep silence, he said, "Though every one of you should wish to let him go, I would myself cut him in pieces. For, as Samuel the prophet hewed in pieces Agag, king of Amalek, whom he had taken in war, saying to him, 'As thou hast made mothers childless, so will I this day make thy mother childless among women'; so do ye in like manner to this man, who is another Agag". Drawing his sword, therefore, Eldol led him out of the city, and cut off his head. He waa succeeded by his son Osric, surnamed AEsk, in the Saxon kingdom of Kent, from whom the kings of Kent are called AEskings to this day. For Vortigern had given that province to Hengist for his daughter, as has been said before; and he possessed it for twenty-four years, as though by lawful inheritance.

How Octa obtained mercy.

In the year of grace 490, Aurelius Ambrosius led his army to York to reduce Octa, the son of Hengist. Distrusting his ability to hold the city against such a host, Octa adopted a prudent course, and going forth with the nobles that were with him, he gave up himself and them to the king with these words, "My gods are conquered, and I am satisfied that thy God alone rules, since he has compelled so many nobles to come to thee. Receive us, therefore, and if you will not show us mercy, we are prepared to suffer whatever punishment you shall see good to inflict on us". Moved with the pity which was natural to him, Aurelius had mercy on them. Whereupon, Eosa, and the rest who had been dispersed, came and obtained the like mercy; and the king gave them a district on the confines of Scotland, and made peace with them. Thence he proceeded to the monastery of Ambrus, near Kaercaradauc, now called Salisbury, where lay the nobles who had fallen victims to Hengist's treachery. He was moved to tears at the sight, and considering within himself how he could make the spot memorable, he gave orders that the prophet Merlin should be diligently sought, that with the aid of his counsel he might

A.D. 490.] EXPEDITION OF UTHER AND MERLIN. 23

effect his purpose. When Merlin was brought before the king, he declared to him the death of the nobles, the treachery of the Saxons, and his own desire to do honour to the spot. After remaining a little while in mental abstraction. Merlin at length replied, "If thou wishest, O my lord king, to grace this burial-spot with a lasting monument, send for the Giant's Dance: which is on mount Killaraus in Ireland, where there is such a structure of stones as no one of this age has ever yet set his eyes on. The stones are of vast size, and so admirably set, that if they were fixed here precisely in the same manner, they would stand for ever and constitute a wonderful monument". At this the king laughed, and asked Merlin whether the stones of Ireland were better than those of Britain, that they must needs be fetched from such a distance. Whereupon Merlin replied, "Thy laughter, O king, is ill-timed; for there is a mystery in these stones, which are endued with healing qualities. Giants in times past brought them thither from the remotest parts of Africa, that they might bathe beneath them when afflicted with any malady. They washed the stones with various confections of herbs, which they then cast into the bath, and the sick were thereupon cured; nor is there a single stone of them without its virtue". On hearing this, the Britons determined to send for the stones; and for this purpose they choose Uther, the king's brother, to go with fifteen thousand warriors, and if any resistance were offered, to bring off the stones by force. Moreover, Merlin was appointed to go with them, that every thing might be done by his counsel and direction. Having prepared ships, they put to sea, and had a prosperous voyage to Ireland. On learning the object they had in coming, Gillomannius, king of Ireland, called his people to arms, declaring that, while he lived, he would not suffer the smallest stone of the Dance to be taken away from them. Straightway both parties engaged, but the victory remained with the Britons. Whereupon they went to mount Killaraus, and laboured in vain to remove the structure of stones; at which Merlin laughed, and then applying expedients of his own, he took down the stones with incredible ease, and placing them on shipboard, brought them with joy to Britain. On hearing which, Aurelius came to mount Ambrius, attended with bishops, and abbats, and other nobles, and there wore his

24 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 491.

crown on the day of Pentecost. He at the same time appointed bishops to two metropolitan churches, giving the see of York to Saint Sampson, an illustrious man, and that of the city of Legions to Dubricius. [1] After completing these and other matters, he commanded Merlin to set up the stones around the burial place of the nobles; which he did accordingly, in a marvellous manner, exactly as they were placed on mount Killaraus.

In the same year, Idatius, bishop of Libitana a city of Spain, completed his Chronicles down to this period, commencing with the first consulship of Theodosius. Gennadius also finished his book of illustrious men.

St. Patrick, teacher of the Irish.

In the year of grace 491, St. Patrick, the second archbishop of Ireland, rested in the Lord, in the hundred and twenty-second year of his age. Of his sanctity and miracles many wonderful things are recorded; for, during forty years he was a pattern of apostolical virtue, whilst he gave sight to the blind, made the deaf hear, cast out devils, ransomed captives, and raised nine dead men to life. He wrote three hundred and forty-five elementary tables, ordained as many bishops, and three thousand presbyters; moreover he converted twelve thousand men in the country of Connaught to the Christian faith; he baptized in one day seven kings, the sons of Amolgith; he fasted forty days and as many nights on the top of a hill called Hely, where he offered three prayers for those Irish who had embraced the Christian faith; first, that all should have the grace of repentance even at the point of death; secondly, that unbelievers might never overcome him; and thirdly, that not one of the Irish might be alive at the coming of the Judge, by virtue of which prayer of St. Patrick, they will all die seven years before the judgment. On that hill he blessed the Irish people, having gone up thither to pray for them, and to see the fruit of his labour. Moreover, there came to him there innumerable birds of many colours, that he might bless them; signifying, according to the interpretation of the holy man, that all the saints of both sexes of the Irish would come to him in the day of judgment,


[1] The whole history of Dubricius is an entire fabrication, and unworthy of acceptation in the pages of authentic history.

A.D. 491.] DEATH OF ST. PATRICK. 25

as to their father and master, and follow him into the presence of God. Patrick may be compared to Moses in four respects; first, that an angel conversed with him in a burning bush; secondly, that he fasted forty days and nights on a mount; thirdly, that the age of each was a hundred and twenty-two years; fourthly, that his sepulchre is not found, for no man knows where he was buried. He was born in Ireland, and in his childhood was sold by his father with his two sisters into Scotland, where he served a man named Cuulcu, as a swineherd. At length, in the seventeenth year of his age, he returned from captivity to his own country, and was there, by the will of God, instructed in sacred lore, and at last, going to Rome, he protracted his stay there for the sake of improving himself; he read through the holy scriptures, and made himself master of their divine mysteries. During his stay there, bishop Palladius was sent by pope Celestine to convert the Scots [Irish] to Christ. Preaching the word of God first in Scotland [Ireland], he afterwards went into Britain, and died in the land of the Picts. On the death of Palladius, at the command of Theodosius and Valentinian, Patrick was sent by pope Celestine into the western parts, to lift up the standard of the cross to the people. Arriving in Britain, he preached the word of God there, and was joyfully welcomed by the people of that country. Then, making for Scotland, he preached there that the word of God could not be bound. At length, being raised to the episcopal dignity by Matthaeus, [1] he received at his ordination the name of "Patricius", for before that his name was Mannus. Ausilius and Iserninus were ordained with him, and some others to inferior grades, that they might minister to the Lord under him. After which, being blessed in the name of the blessed Trinity, he set sail, and reached Britain, where he preached many days. Then passing over into Ireland with spiritual treasures, he baptized them, and preached there eighty years, and at length, having attained the perfection of sanctity, as has been already said, he rested in the Lord, at a good old age, and full of good works. [2]


[1] This reading is found in the MS. of Wendover, but in all other works which mention this individual, the greatest discrepancy is found.

[2] St. Patrick, according to William of Malmesburv, died in 472, at the age of 111.

26 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 494.

How king Ella took Andred-ceaster.

In the year of grace 492, Ella, who had taken possession of the country of the South-Saxons, as has been said before, came over from Germany with reinforcements, which emboldened him to lay siege to the strong city of Andred-ceaster; on hearing which, the Britons assembled like swarms of bees, and while the Saxons were pressing on the siege, they attacked them in the rear, and dreadfully annoyed them with their arrows. Quitting, therefore, the city, the pagans directed their efforts against the assailants; but the Britons sought refuge in the woods, and as often as the pagans renewed the siege, they returned again to the same harassing warfare; insomuch that the Saxons were greatly distressed, and suffered no small loss. At length, dividing their army into two parts, they left one to carry on the siege, and directed the other against the Britons. The citizens, distressed by famine, could no longer endure the weight of the assault. They were all put to the sword, and their town totally destroyed by the enemy. Its desolate site is still pointed out to the traveller. Ella and his three sons remained in that district, which they proceeded to cultivate. It is called to this day, in English, "Sussex", or the country of the South-Saxons.

In the year of grace 493, Anastasius succeeded to the Roman empire, and reigned twenty-five years. He began to reign in the year in which Zeno died, five thousand nine hundred and eighty-nine from the creation, according to the Romans; but, by the Alexandrian computation, five thousand nine hundred and eighty-three.

Cerdic, the first king of the West-Saxons, arrives in Britain.

In the year of grace 494, Gelasius filled the Roman see four years, eight months, and nineteen days. At this time Cerdic and his son Kineric arrived in Britain with five ships, and landed at a spot which was afterwards called "Cerdicshore", or the port of Cerdic. They were attacked the same day by a great multitude of the people of the country, and an obstinate engagement ensued. The Saxons manfully maintained their position before their ships, until night put an end to the conflict. Finding the Saxons so resolute, the Britons retired, and the Saxons began by degrees to extend their

A.D. 497.] DEATH OF AURELIUS. 27

dominion over the sea-coast of that neighbourhood, not however without many conflicts with the natives.

A heretic.

In the year of grace 495, the emperor Anastasius was desirous of recalling Acatius, condemned as a heretic, but the Romans would not allow it. He was bishop of Constantinople, but a man odious to God and to the holy church.

Death of the heretic Acatius by lightning.

In the year of grace 496, the heretic Acatius died by lightning. At this time, Pascentius, son of Vortigern, who had fled into Germany, as has been related before, landed in the northern parts of Britain with a strong band, with the purpose of avenging on Aurelius his own and his father's wrongs. On hearing of this, Aurelius collected an army and went to meet him. The enemy did not decline the contest, in which Pascentius was defeated and put to flight.

Death of Aurelius, king of Britain.

In the year of grace 497, the said Pascentius applied to Gillomannius, king of Ireland, for succour against Aurelius, which Gillomannius readily promised, because Aurelius had violently taken away the Giant's Dance from Ireland. Setting sail, therefore, they landed, after a prosperous voyage, at the town of Menevia. Which, when it was known, Aurelius being confined by illness, his brother Uther marched into Wales against Gillomannius and Pascentius. But Pascentius, before the battle, hearing that Aurelius was sick, bribed a certain Saxon, named Eopa, to procure his death by poison. The traitor set out for Winchester in the habit of a monk, and on reaching the city, he pretended to be a physician, and tendered his services to the king's attendants, which they gladly accepted. On being brought into the king's presence, he administered to him the poison, and when he had taken it, the base traitor bade him go to sleep, assuring him that he would presently be well. Quickly the poison began to work in the pores and veins of the patient's body, and death speedily followed. Then the traitor, gliding out, made his escape from the court. While this was taking place at Winchester, Gillomannius and Pascentius fought a well-contested

28 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 498.

battle with Uther, the king's brother, in Wales. At length Uther prevailed, and Gillomannius and Pascentius were slain. After this there appeared a star of wonderful size and brightness, with a single ray, on which was a ball of fire extended like a dragon, out of whose mouth proceeded two rays, one of which seemed to extend its length beyond the regions of Gaul, and the other, verging towards the Irish Sea, terminated in seven smaller rays. Struck with terror at this sight, Uther anxiously inquired of his wise men what this star portended. They made answer, "The star and the fiery dragon under the star, are thyself; the ray which stretches towards the region of Gaul, portends that thou wilt have a very powerful son, who will possess the extensive territories which the star covered; the other ray signifies thy daughter, whose sons and grandsons shall successively possess the kingdom of Britain. Hasten, therefore, most noble prince; thy brother Aurelius Ambrosius, the renowned king of Britain, is dead; and with him has perished the military glory of the Britons". Immediately thereupon came a messenger with the tidings of the king's death, and that he had been buried in royal state by the bishops and abbats of the kingdom, beneath the Giant's Dance, according to his own directions.

The coronation of Uther-pendragon.

In the year of grace 498, Anastasius filled the Roman see one year, eleven months, and twenty-four days. At this time, Uther, brother of Aurelius, the deceased king of the Britons, hearing of his brother's death, hastened to Winchester, where he assembled the people and clergy, and assumed the crown. In remembrance of the before-mentioned star, he caused two dragons to be made of gold, like the one he had seen in the ray of the star; and he presented the one to the episcopal church of Winchester, and kept the other to be borne on his standard in battle. From that time he was called, in the British tongue, "Uther-pendragon", in English, (Saxon) "Uthred-drake-hefed", or "Uther the Dragon's Head". Hence, to this day, the kings of this country have caused a dragon to be borne before them for a standard in their military expeditions.

In these days, Octa, the son of Hengist, and his brother Eosa, being released from the league which they had made

A.D. 499.] TWO POPES. 29

with Aurelius, began to stir up war against king Uther, in order to enlarge their territories. Assembling, therefore, a multitude of Saxons, they invaded the northern provinces of Britain, and destroyed all the strongholds from Albania to York. At last, while they were commencing the siege of Alclud, Uther-pendragon came upon them with all the power of his kingdom, and gave battle to them. The Saxons made a manful resistance, and put the Britons to flight, and pursued them as far as Mount Danet. Whilst it was day the Britons defended themselves on the mountain; and, when night came, they adopted the wise resolution of attacking the enemy while asleep and unarmed. Accordingly they make a vigorous attack on them; the unexpectedness of the onset rendered the enemy powerless, while it gave confidence to the assailants; at length Octa and Eosa were taken prisoners, and the Saxons totally routed. After restoring peace to those parts, the king proceeded to London, where he ordered Octa and Eosa to be confined. As the festival of Easter was nigh, he commanded the nobles of the kingdom to assemble there, that the solemnity might be graced by his coronation. All obeyed, and the king kept the festival with joy. There was present among the nobles, Gorlois, duke of Cornwall, and his wife Igerna, the most beautiful woman in Britain. No sooner did the king see her, than he suddenly fell in love with her, and was unremitting in his attentions to her at table; which when her husband perceived, he was very angry, and withdrew from the court without asking leave. The king, greatly enraged, hastened into Cornwall to attack him, and burnt his cities and towns with fire; at last he shut him up in the town of Dimilioth, and defied him to battle. The duke unadvisedly came forth from the town, and fell among the foremost, mortally wounded, and his followers were dispersed. After his death, the king married his wife, and had by her a son and a daughter; the former was named Arthur, and the latter Anna. Arthur, by his surpassing goodness, merited the fame he afterwards acquired. [1]

Two popes.

In the year of grace 499, on the death of pope Anastasius, two were consecrated to the apostolic see, Symmachus and


[1] The whole of this paragraph is copied from Geoffery of Monmouth.

30 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 504.

Laurentius. And when no small dissension arose at Rome from that cause, the Roman senate decreed that both should go to Theodoric, king of Italy, which they according did; and the king adjudged that he who was first ordained, and whom the majority of the people favoured, should hold the apostolic see. On which, Symmachus, being confirmed in the see, ordained Laurentius bishop in the church of Micena; but at the end of three years, Symmachus was accused, and Laurentius recalled. Whereupon Symmachus, having called a synod of a hundred and fifteen bishops, cleared himself before all of the charge that was brought against him, on which Laurentius was again removed and Symmachus recalled.

A new bishopric.

In the year of grace 500, Clovis, king of the Franks, made a grant of many manors to the church of Rheims. Remigius bestowed great part of them on the church of Laon, and made it a bishop's see.

Origin of Portsmouth.

In the year of grace 501, Port and his sons, Bleda and Magla, landed in Britain with two ships, at a place which from him has been called "Portsmouth". And driving out the governor of that district, they took possession of the sea-coast, and settled in the place which the natives had forsaken.

In the year of grace 502, Symmachus the Patrician, and his son-in-law, Boethius, translated out of Greek into Latin books on all the liberal arts.

Vengeance of the Trinity.

In the year of grace 503, a mad man in Africa, named Olympus, was smitten with a fiery dart from heaven and consumed, whilst blaspheming the holy Trinity in the baths.

Baptism by a heretic.

In the year of grace 504, at Constantinople, while Deuterus, an Arian bishop, was baptizing a certain man, name Barba, and was making an improper distinction in the persons of the Trinity, saying, "I baptize thee, Barba, in the name of the Father, by the Son, in the Holy Ghost", the water disappeared.

A..D. 509.] ESCAPE OF OCTA AND EOSA. 31

A sophism.

In the year of grace 505, Alamundus, king of the Saracens, who had received baptism from the orthodox, when the Eutychians were trying to seduce him, confuted them by the following fictitious argument. Alleging that he had received a letter informing him of the death of the archangel Michael, they replied that that was impossible, inasmuch as the nature of angels cannot suffer. "How, then", he rejoined, "do you say that Christ was stripped and crucified, if he had not two natures, when not even an angel is subject to death"?

"Gloria in excelsis".

In the year of grace 506, pope Symmachus ordered, that on every Lord's day and on the nativity of the martyrs, the hymn "Gloria in excelsis", should be sung at mass, whereas pope Telesphorus directed it to be sung only on the night of our Lord's nativity, and he added the words of the angels which follow.

In the year of grace 507, St. Sampson, archbishop of York, and Dubricius, archbishop of the City of Legions, flourished in Britain.

Hormisda, pope of Rome.

In the year of grace 508, Hormisda sat in the Roman chair nine years and seventeen days, after which the see was vacant for six days. At this time Cerdic and his son Kineric defied the Britons to battle; for king Uther was infirm, and could not turn himself to any side; wherefore he made Nathanlioth his general. A severe battle was fought; but the Saxons, penetrating the squadrons of the Britons, slew Nathanlioth, their leader. [1] There fell with him five thousand men of the Britons, and the Saxons departed in triumph.

Escape of Octa and Eosa from prison.

In the year of grace 509, the keepers of the prison in which Octa and Eosa were passing their days in miserable confinement, were corrupted by them and joined them in their flight into Germany, whence, to the misfortune of Britain, they returned with a very great fleet. His ill health


[1] Natanleod ia called the greatest king of the Britons by Henry of Huntingdon.

32 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 512.

not suffering him to take the field, king Uther entrusted the army of Britain to a very brave man, named Loth, consul of Leil. Loth advanced against the enemy, and was many times repulsed by them, because the Britons would not obey his commands.

In the year of grace 510, the emperor Anastasius sent Ludovic, [1] king of the Franks, a letter conferring on him the consulship, and a crown of gold set with precious stones, and from that day he was styled consul.

The Saxons destroy the churches of the Britons.

In the year of grace 511, the Saxons who inhabited Britain, seeing that Uther-pendragon, the king, was bowed down with infirmity, assembled together with united forces for the purpose of expelling the islanders from their territories, and for ever subjugating their fertile country. Traversing, therefore, many provinces, and finding no one to resist them, they ravaged nearly the whole island from sea to sea; and sparing neither prelates nor churches, they well nigh totally extirpated Christianity from the island. The islanders therefore, abandoning their infirm king, fled for refuge to the steep mountains and the recesses of the woods; thereby verifying the old proverb, "When the head is weak, all the members suffer".

Uther, borne in a litter, defeats the Saxons.

In the year of grace 512, Uther-pendragon, king of the Britons, taking to heart the ruin of his kingdom and the affliction of the church, called together the nobles of his kingdom, and upbraiding them sharply with their pride and sloth, swore that he would himself lead them against the enemy, and thereby restore confidence to the minds of the people. Ordering, therefore, a litter to be made for him, because his infirmity did not allow him to travel in any other manner, he proceeded with all the force of the kingdom to Verolamium, where the cruel Saxons were now committing their ravages. On hearing of the approach of the Britons with their king borne in a litter, Octa and Eosa, disdaining to fight with such an opponent, retired contemptuously into the city, leaving the gates open behind them. On which Uther commanded the city to be besieged and the walls to


[1] This is but another form of Clovis.

A.D. 5l6.] DEATH OF UTHER-PENDRAGON. 33

be levelled; which, when they had proceeded to do with great alacrity, the Saxons, seeing themselves threatened with slaughter, at length determined to make resistance. Coming forth, therefore, in the morning, they drew up their troops, and defied the Britons to battle. The latter declined not the engagement, and a severe contest ensued, in which numbers fell on both sides, till at length the victory inclined to the Britons; Octa and Eosa were slain, and the rest of the enemies turned their backs in flight. So great was the king's joy, that whereas before he could not raise himself without assistance, he now sat up with ease as though entirely restored to health.

John pope.

In the year of grace 513, John filled the Roman chair two years and nine months. [1] In the same year, the virgin, St. Genevieve, departed to the Lord, in her eightieth year.

Death of Ella, king of the South-Saxons.

In the year of grace 514, Cerdic's grandsons, Stupha and Withgar, landed in the west of Britain with two ships. Whereupon the chiefs of the Britons came against them to battle; but their might was presently broken: whereas the might of Cerdic became exceedingly terrible, for he traversed the whole island without meeting with any resistance, so that the pride of the pagans increased daily. In the same year died Ella, whom all the Saxons acknowledged as their king. He was succeeded by his son Cissa, from whom Chichester, which he founded, received its name.

Felix pope.

In the year of grace 515, Felix sat in the Roman chair four years, two months, and thirteen days. He separated the clergy from the laity in the church, whereas they had before sat together.

Death of Uther-pendragon, and the story of the poisoned fountain.

In the year of grace 516, Uther-pendragon, king of the Britons, lying at Verulam bowed down with infirmity, the Saxons, with one consent, procured some wretches of the


[1] There is great incorrectness in the reigns of John and the following popes.

34 ROGER OF WENDOVBR. [A.D. 516.

baser sort, to undertake to destroy the king by poison. Coming, therefore, to Verolamium, they sought diligently for the means of effecting their design. At last, they hit on this expedient. There was, outside of the city, a fountain of the clearest water, of which the king was accustomed to drink, and he would take no other liquor. The vile traitors, therefore, went to this fountain and poisoned it all around, insomuch that all the water which flowed from it was infected. The king drank of it and speedily died, as did a hundred more after him, until at last the mischief was detected, and the fountain was covered with a heap of earth. There are some who say that this was the very fountain which was brought out of the dry ground to satisfy the people's thirst, in answer to the prayers of the undaunted martyr St. Alban, as he was proceeding to martyrdom.

Coronation of king Arthur.

On the king's death the bishops, with the clergy and laity of the kingdom, assembled together, and buried him in a royal manner beneath the Giant's Dance. After which, Dubricius, archbishop of the city of Legions, with the bishops and nobles, raised to the throne his son Arthur, a youth of fifteen. Such were his goodness and liberality, that he was beloved by all the people; and the multitude of soldiers that flocked to him was so great that he had not sufficient pay for them. The Saxons, about that time, had invited over more of their countrymen from Germany, and, under Colgrin their leader, had subjugated the whole of the island from the Humber to the sea. On which, Arthur, with his people, went against York, which the Saxons had now subdued; whereupon Colgrin, hearing of his approach, went to meet him with a great force near the river Duglas. In this battle Arthur put Colgrin to flight, and pursuing him as far as York, laid siege to the city. Baldulph, Colgrin's brother, who was waiting on the coast the arrival of the Saxon auxiliaries, meditated an attack on Arthur by night. But Arthur, receiving intelligence by his spies, despatched Cador, duke of Cornwall, with six hundred knights and three thousand foot, to meet the enemy, who, falling on them suddenly, after slaying some and wounding others, put the rest to flight.

A.D. 518.] VICTORY OF COLIDON HILL. 35

Arthur sends into Brittany for military aid.

In the year of grace 517, duke Cheldric came over from Germany with seven hundred ships, and landed in Albania. Fearing to engage in a doubtful contest with so vast a multitude, Arthur relinquished the siege of York, and retired to London with his forces; and then, after holding a council, he despatched messengers into Brittany to king Hoel, to tell him of the distressed state of Britain. Now Hoel was the son of Arthur's sister, by Dubricius, king of the Armorican Britons; wherefore, on learning the distress of his uncle, he prepared shipping, and taking advantage of the first fair wind, landed with fifteen thousand armed men at Southampton, where he was joyfully received by Arthur, with the honour due to so illustrious a guest. The same year, the holy virgin St. Bridget departed to the Lord.

Victory of Arthur at Colidon Hill.

In the year of grace 518, Boniface sat in the Roman chair two years and seven days. At this time, Arthur, king of the Britons, with a large army, proceeded to Kaerlindcoit, which is now called Lincoln, where, falling in with the Saxons, he made an incredible slaughter of them; for there fell of them in one day six thousand men, who, partly by drowning, partly in the battle, and partly in the flight, miserably perished. Arthur pursued the fugitives as far as Colidon Wood, [1] where they turned and made a manful stand. On which, Arthur ordered the trees around that part of the wood to be felled, and their trunks to be placed around, so as to preclude their escape, purposing to besiege them there until they died of famine. But the Saxons having nothing to eat, sought permission to come out on condition of their returning into Germany, leaving every thing behind them. After taking counsel, Arthur granted their request, and then retaining their wealth, and the spoils, and a certain number of hostages, and stipulating for the payment of tribute, he allowed them to depart.


[1] Colidon, or Catcoit Celidon, is placed by Usher near Lincoln, by Carte in Northumberland.

36 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 520.

Justin emperor.

In the year of grace 519, the emperor Justin reigned eight years. In this year, Boetius, during his imprisonment at Pavia, wrote his book on the Consolation of Philosophy.

A remarkable battle of king Arthur with the Saxons.

In the year of grace 520, the Saxon leaders, Colgrin, Baldulph, and Cheldric, repenting of the convention they had made with Arthur, returned to Britain, and landing at Totness, at last laid siege to Bath. On hearing of which, Arthur in the first place ordered their hostages to be hanged, and then summoned all his people to arms to succour the besieged. He was himself clad in a coat of mail; a dragon's head surmounted his helmet; on his shoulders hung his shield called "Pridwen", which bore the image of the holy mother of God, whose name he continually invoked; he was girded with an excellent sword named "Caliburn", and a lance named Ron graced his right hand. Disposing his troops, he boldly assaulted the pagans, who made a manful stand for a whole day, and laid low many of the Britons. On the approach of night the Saxons encamped on a neighbouring hill, where on the following morning Arthur resolved to attack them; but in the ascent he lost many of his men, for the Saxons, having the advantage of the ground, used their weapons with better effect. The Britons, however, with undaunted resolution gained the summit, and made great havoc of the foe, who nevertheless presented a determined front, and resolutely maintained their ground. When the contest had lasted an entire day, Arthur, drawing his sword Caliburn, and invoking the name of the blessed virgin Mary, rushed into the thickest of the enemy, and slaying a foe at every stroke, did not stay his hand till he had killed eight hundred and forty men. There fell in that battle Colgrin, and his brother Baldulph, and many thousands of the barbarians; but Cheldric, seeing his danger, fled with the remains of the army; and being hotly pursued by Cador, duke of Cornwall, by the command of the king, and finding no other place of security, he at length sought refuge with his broken forces in the isle of Thanet. The duke followed the fugitives into their retreat, and ceased not until he had slain

A.D. 523.] MARRIAGE OF ARTHUR. 37

Cheldric, and reduced the rest to surrender. John had now filled the papal chair two years.

Fourth victory of king Arthur.

In the year of grace 521, Boetius, after a long exile, was put to death by Theodoric, king of the Goths. The same year word was brought to Arthur that the Scots and Picts were besieging king Hoel in the city of Alclud, where he lay ill; on which he hastened to his succour, to prevent his being taken by the barbarians. Hearing of his approach, the enemy fled to Mureif, followed by Arthur, and were there besieged by him; but making their escape by night, they sought refuge in a marshy island of Loch Lomond. Whereupon Arthur, collecting ships, invested the island, and so straitened them for fifteen days, that they died of hunger by thousands. After which, the bishops of that country came to the king barefooted, and besought him with tears to have mercy on the miserable people, and to permit them to occupy a small portion of their country under the yoke of perpetual servitude. The king was moved by their tears, and granted their request.

Arthur rebuilds the ruined churches.

In the year of grace 522, Agapetus filled the Roman chair eleven months, and was succeeded by Sylverius for one year. At this time, Arthur, visiting the city of York, just before the day of our Lord's nativity, was exceedingly grieved at beholding the desolation of the sacred churches, and assembling the clergy and the people, he conferred the archbishopric on Pirannus, his chaplain. Throughout the whole of Britain he restored the churches from their ruins, and recalling the nobles of the kingdom who had been driven out by the Saxons, he restored to them the lands and possessions of their fathers.

Arthur's marriage.

In the year of grace 523, king Arthur, having restored the island of Britain to its former state, married a wife named Guenhumara, descended from a noble Roman family. She was educated in the family of the duke of Cornwall, and surpassed in beauty all the women of the island. Men

38 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 527.

of the highest rank were invited from foreign kingdoms on the occasion, and his house was the scene of so great courtliness, that both in dress and in arms it became the model for foreigners to imitate; and such was the fame of his liberality and goodness in all lands, that the kings beyond the seas held him in no small fear.

In the year of grace 524, pope Vigilius sat in the Roman chair sixteen years and twenty-six days, after which it remained vacant for three months and five days.

Arthur subjugates the neighbouring countries.

In the year of grace 525, Arthur prepared a fleet to invade Ireland. On his landing he was opposed by king Gillamuir and his people; but Guillamuir was taken prisoner, and the other chiefs were forced to surrender. Next he laid waste with fire and sword Iceland, Gothland, and the Orkneys, and brought all these countries under tribute; after which he returned to Britain.

Heresy of the Acephali.

In the year of grace 526, the heresy of the Acephali was confuted and condemned. They were called Acephali, which means "without a head", because no author of the heresy was ever discovered. They opposed three of the determinations of the Council of Chalcedon, denying the property of two substances in Christ, and asserting that there is only one nature in his person. They contend that the apostle Paul in his epistles taught that women should be made deaconesses, because he mentions them after deacons.

Justinian emperor.

In the year of grace 527, Justinian governed the Roman empire thirty-eight years. In this year the pagans came over from Germany, and occupied East Anglia, that is, the country of the East-Angles, and some of them invading Mercia, fought many battles with the Britons; but, from the multitude of the chiefs under whom they fought, their names have been lost. In this year was founded the kingdom of the East-Saxons, which is now called Essex. It was first held, it is said, by Erkenwine, [1] who was the son of


[1] Erkenwine is called Exwine by Florence of Worcester.

A.D. 532.] DIONYSIAN CYCLE. 39

Offa, who was the son of Diedcan, who was the son of Sigewulf, who was the son of Susanna, who was the son of Gesac, who was the son of Andessc, who was the son of Nascad.

In the year of grace 528, Cerdic and his son Kineric, with a large body of armed men, made a great slaughter of the natives at Withgaresbi [1] in the isle of Wight, and subdued that island.

The body of St. Antony is revealed.

In the year of grace 529, the body of Antony the monk, was found by divine revelation, and brought to Alexandria.

A miracle.

In the year of grace 530, certain orthodox bishops in Africa, who had had their tongues entirely cut out by the Vandals, were afterwards by a wonderful miracle enabled to speak distinctly. And, what added to the miracle, one of them, for giving way to pride, was immediately deprived of the divine gift, and continued dumb.

In the year of grace 531, St. Vedastus was ordained first bishop of Arras, by St. Remigius.

The table of Dionysius.

In the year of grace 532, the abbat Dionysius compiled his cycle of five cycles of nineteen years each. Now because the second year of this work ought to agree in computation with the first year of the nativity of Christ, the three hundred and fifth year of the cycle of Dionysius ought to agree in computation with the three hundred and third year of the nativity of Christ; so that the fourteenth day of the moon in April should fall on Thursday the twenty-first; Christ's passion on Friday the twenty-second; and the resurrection on Sunday the twenty-fourth. But as this is not the case, but the fourteenth day of the April moon in that year falls on Sunday the eighteenth, and Easter Sunday on the twenty-fifth, it is thereby shown to be incorrect and contrary to the truth of the gospel. In this year, the emperor Justinian contracted the books of the Roman law into one volume, which was called Justinian's Digest.


[1] Withgaresbi, from Withgar, brother of Stupha, now Carisbrook castle.

40 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 536.

Death of Cerdic, first king of the West Saxons.

In the year of grace 533 died Cerdic, the first king of the West-Saxons; he was succeeded by his son Kineric, who reigned twenty-six years. At this time king Arthur, who now aimed at nothing less than the conquest of all Europe, prepared shipping, and proceeded to Norway. He found on his arrival that Sichelin, king of that country, was lately dead, and had left the kingdom to Loth, the son of Arthur's sister. Now Loth was Sichelin's nephew, and had been adopted by him as his successor for the extreme nobility and liberality of his disposition. Walwain, the son of Loth, who was at this period about twelve years of age, had been committed to the care of pope Vigilius to be educated, and received from him the belt of knighthood. Having subdued the Norwegians and placed Loth on the throne, Arthur returned in triumph to Britain, intending to visit the parts of Gaul, which he ardently longed to subdue.

In the year of grace 534, the abbat Theodoric, a disciple of St. Remigius, and the abbat Theodulph, a disciple of the same Theodoric, flourished in Gaul.

In the year of grace 535, Medard and Gildard flourished in Gaul, twin brothers, born on the same day, on the same day made bishops, the former of Noyon, the latter of Rouen, in one day absolved from the world, and taken to Christ.

Death of St. Benedict.

In the year of grace 536, according to some, St. Benedict departed out of this world.

Arthur crossed the sea to subdue Gaul.

King Arthur, desirous of subduing Gaul, prepared shipping, and committing all Britain and his wife to the care of his nephew Modred, crossed the sea with a fair wind, and landing in Neustria, which is now called Normandy, subdued it without difficulty. Thence he pushed forward, ravaging all the provinces of Gaul, and after slaying the tribune Frollo in single combat, made himself master of the city of Paris. After which, advancing westward, he reduced Anjou, Poitou, Gascony, and the whole of Aquitaine.

A.D. 540.] PURIFICATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN. 41

Arthur slays Lucius, consul of the city of Rome.

In the year of grace 537, took place the well known miracle, touching Theophilus the apostate and the mother of our Saviour. At this time, Arthur, king of the Britons, having reduced the territories of Gaul, advanced to Autun, where he slew Lucius, the Roman consul, who had come to the assistance of the Gauls with all the power of Rome, in a valley now called Seises, near Langres.

A miracle.

In the year of grace 538, Totila persecuted the younger Benedict for Christ's sake in Campania in Italy, and after having in vain sought to burn him and his cell together, he threw him into a burning furnace, whence he came forth the next day without even his garments having sustained the least injury.

Arthur undertakes an expedition to Rome.

In the year of grace 539, the sun was eclipsed from the morning until the third hour (nine o'clock). At this time, king Arthur, having reduced certain provinces in the neighbourhood of the Alps, made preparations for subduing the Roman people. His renown filled the whole earth, insomuch that princes and nobles resorted to him from remote parts for the sake of being with him, and participating in his courtesy. Merlin, the British prophet, prophesied of his greatness and manliness, when he said, "At length oppressed Britain shall prevail and shall resist the cruelty of the strangers; for a boar of Cornwall shall afford succour, and shall tread upon the necks of his enemies: the isles of the ocean shall be subdued by him, and he shall possess the forests of Gaul: the house of Romulus shall fear his rage, and his end shall be doubtful: the mouths of the nations shall extol him, and his acts shall be food for the narrators".

Justinian orders the purification of the blessed Virgin to be celebrated.

In the year of grace 540, there was a great mortality at Constantinople; for which cause, by the command of the emperor Justinian, the festival of the holy mother of God, which is called the Purification, began to be celebrated on the 2nd

42 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 541.

of February; and thereupon the mortality ceased. At this time, Modred, Arthur's nephew, to whom he had committed the kingdom of Britain, assumed his crown, and in violation of her former nuptials, married the queen Guenhumara. The traitor made a confederacy with the Saxons, who came over from Germany under Cheldric their leader, with two hundred ships full of armed men, and all served Modred as their lord. When intelligence of this treason reached Arthur's ears, as he was crossing the Alps on his way towards Rome, he returned to Britain with the island kings alone, in great anger against Modred.

Arthur slays Modred, and is himself mortally wounded.

In the year of grace 541, there appeared a comet in Gaul, so vast that the whole sky seemed on fire. In the same year there dropped real blood from the clouds, and about the same time the house of a certain man appeared sprinkled with blood, and a dreadful mortality ensued. At the same time, king Arthur, having returned to Britain with all expedition, made dispositions for landing at the port of Rutupae, which is now called Sandwich. Modred, with an immense force, opposed his landing, and slew not a few; for there fell that day Angusel, king of Albania; and Walwain the king's nephew, with many others. At length with the utmost difficulty Arthur made good his landing; and then, falling fiercely on the enemy, he put Modred and his forces to flight in a very shattered condition: the latter collected his men as he best could, and the following night entered Winchester. When the news was brought to the queen Guenhumara, she fled immediately to the city of Legions, and assumed the religious habit among the nuns in the monastery of Julius the martyr. Meanwhile Arthur hotly pursued Modred to Winchester and besieged him in the city; but in the morning, Modred having disposed his forces, came forth from the city and fiercely assaulted the king. After not a little loss to his opponents, Modred at length fled the field and took the road for Cornwall. Thither he was followed by Arthur, who came up with him by the river Camblan; whereupon Modred, who was in truth the most dauntless of men, set his forces in order and rushed boldly upon the king and his army, determined to die rather than any longer to turn his

A.D. 544.] Arthur's death. 43

back to his enemies. The engagement was fierce, not a little blood was shed on both sides, and the groans of the dying inspired terror into the living. When the day was well nigh spent, Arthur rushed into the throng where Modred was, and making a passage with his sword, committed fearful havoc; for there fell the profligate Modred, and with him the Saxons, Cheldric, Elafius, Egbricht, and Bruning, and many thousands with them; and thus, by the favour of God, Arthur obtained the victory. But the glorious king was himself mortally wounded, and was borne thence to the isle of Avalon, which is now called Glastonbury, to have his wounds healed.

Doubtful death of king Arthur.

In the year of grace 542, king Arthur, despairing of recovery, having slain his enemies, yielded up the crown of Britain to his kinsman Constantine, the son of Cador, duke of Cornwall. Wherefore, since history makes no mention of the death or burial of Arthur, the Britons fondly assert that he is still living. In this year, Lothaire king of the Franks laid siege to Saragossa, a city of Spain; [1] on which the citizens prayed to the Lord, and bore in procession the stole of the blessed martyr St. Vincent, and presenting it to the king he accepted the present and returned home.

Of the church of St. Amphibalus the martyr, in Winchester.

In the year of grace 543, the two sons of Modred, wishing to avenge their father's death, formed a confederacy with the Saxons, and making an insurrection against Constantine the British king, fought many battles with him. At length they were routed by Constantine, who slew the one at Winchester before the altar in the church of St. Amphibalus, and put the other to a cruel death in London, where he was found concealed in the house of certain friars.

A divine miracle.

In the year of grace 544, Herculian, bishop of Perugia, suffered martyrdom, being beheaded by Totila, king of the Ostrogoths; and after his death his head was found united to


[1] Lothaire and Childebert laid siege to Saragossa with their united forces.

44 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 550.

the body. The same year died Withgar, king of the isle of Wight, and was buried in the place which is called from him Withgaresburgh.

Aurelius king of the Britons.

In the year of grace 545, St. Reraigius, archbishop of Rheims, rested in the Lord. At this time died Constantine, king of the Britons, and was buried beneath the Giant's Dance. He was succeeded by his nephew Aurelius Conan, a youth of exceeding valour, and in every respect worthy of the crown, if he had not been fond of civil war. For he imprisoned his uncle, whose right it was to succeed Constantine, and having slain his two sons, took possession of the kingdom, and reigned thirty years.

Pope Vigilius is driven into exile.

In the year of grace 546 pope Vigilius was banished by the emperor Justinian, because he refused to reinstate the heretic Anthymus in his see.

In the year of grace 547, Albuin, king of the Lombards, slew in battle Cunimund, king of the Gepidee. He made a drinking vessel of his skull, and married his daughter whom he had taken captive.

Commencement of the kingdom of the Northumbrians.

In the year of grace 548, began the kingdom of the Northumbrians. For the chiefs of the Angles having, after great and long continued toil, subdued that country, they unanimously chose Ida, a noble youth, as their king. He had by his queen six sons, Adda, AEtheric, Theodoric, AEthelric, Osmer, and Theodfred. He had also six other sons by his concubines, Oga, Alric, Eccha, Osbald, Segor, and Sogother. Those all came into Britain with sixty ships, and landed at Flamborough. Ida reigned twelve years and built Bambrough castle, surrounding it at first with stakes and afterwards with a wall. The sequel will show his genealogy.

In the year of grace 549, Ageric, bishop of Verdun, was eminent for his sanctity.

In the year of grace 550, an elder tree in Italy bore the berries and fruit of the vine.

A.D. 553.] ST. MAUR. 45

Fifth general council.

In the year of grace 551, the fifth general council was held at Constantinople; in which an epistle, called Iba, was condemned as abounding in error; and Theodore, who divided the person of the Mediator between God and man into two substances, was convicted of gross impiety and condemned. The same year bishop Jornandes [1] ended his history. At the same time Justinian the emperor, through the seductions of the heretic Anthymus, began to decline from the catholic faith; for his wife Theodora sent to pope Vigilius, commanding him to recall Anthymus. Now Anthymus had been bishop of Constantinople, and had been degraded by pope Agapetus because he favoured the heretics; and because pope Vigilius was unwilling to recall him, the emperor compelled him to come to him. After enduring the grossest ill-treatment, pope Vigilius is reported to have said to him, "It is plain that I have been brought, not to Justinian and Theodora, but to Diocletian and Eleutheria".

In the year of grace 552, Vigilius was succeeded by Pelagius, who filled the Roman chair four years, ten months, and eighteen days; after which the see was vacant for six months. The same year, a certain boy in the east, of Jewish parents, induced by the persuasion of his companions, who were of Christian parents, received the body and blood of Christ in the church of the mother of our Lord, for which having been cast by his father into a burning furnace, he was taken out by the Christians unhurt, asserting that the woman who was painted in that church with a child in her arms, had fanned the flames away from him with her cloak.

St. Maur.

In the year of grace 553, St. Maur, a disciple of the blessed Benedict, was eminent for his virtues and miracles. On his arrival in France, a nobleman named Florus came to him, and in his zeal pointed out to him a suitable place for erecting a monastery. No sooner had the man of God assented, than workmen were collected, and the work was


[1] Jornandes is the well-known author of the works De Regnorum Successione, and De Rebus Geticis. He is called by corruption in the Latin text of Wendover, Jordanus.

46 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 560.

begun and completed. Florus committed his son Bartolf to the blessed man to be educated; and many other nobles following his example brought the place into repute.

A severe winter, in which the birds became tame.

In the year of grace 554, the winter was so severe with frost and snow, that the birds and the wild animals became so tame as to allow themselves to be taken by the hand.

In the year of grace 555, there was seen the appearance of lances in the north-west quarter of the heavens.

Medard suffers martyrdom.

In the year of grace 556, St. Medard, bishop of Noyon, a man distinguished for his virtues, departed to the Lord, and was buried at Soissons.

In the year of grace 557, queen Radegundis, formerly the wife of Clothaire, king of the Franks, assumed the religious garb, and became eminent for her sanctity. In these days there were frequent conflicts between the Britons and the Angles, and many fell on both sides, at one time the natives and at another the enemy prevailing.

St. Gregory became eminent at Rome.

In the year of grace 558, Gregory, son of Gordian the senator, grew in public estimation at Rome. Out of his own patrimony he founded six monasteries in Sicily and one in his own house at Rome. From being a praetor of the city he became a monk, and was equally remarkable for his learning, wisdom, doctrine, and sanctity.

Kineric dies and is succeeded by Ceaulin.

In the year of grace 559, died Kineric, king of the West-Saxons, and was succeeded by his son Ceaulin who reigned thirty years.

Kingdom of Northumberland divided.

In the year of grace 560, on the death of Ida, king of the Northumbrians, that kingdom was divided into two. For Ella, son of a powerful chief named Yffa, began to reign in Deira, which was the name he gave his kingdom, and reigned thirty years. But Adda, son of Ida, succeeded Ids father in the kingdom of the Bernicii, and reigned seven years. This is that

A.D. 563.] BELLOWING OF A MOUNTAIN. 47

Ella, king of the Deiri, of whom mention is made in the life of the blessed pope Gregory, as will appear in the sequel. The same year a certain Jew stole from a church an image of our Saviour, which he secretly took home and pierced with a weapon; and when he would have burnt it, he saw himself covered with blood from the image, which in his consternation he then sought to conceal; but the Christians discovered it by the blood, and stoned the Jew to death. The same year Ethelbert, the powerful king of Kent, began to reign, according to some, with whom Bede agrees; but the more probable opinion is otherwise.

St. Brandan.

In the year of grace 561, St. Brandan [1] flourished in Scotland [Ireland]. He accomplished a voyage of seven years in quest of the Fortunate Islands, in which he saw many things worthy of narration. Machutus, who had been his pupil and was the companion of his voyage, was famous in Britain for his miracles and sanctity. Being exasperated by the Britons, he cursed them, and passed over to Gaul, where, under Leontius bishop of Saintonge, he was eminent for his many virtues. Various plagues befell the Britons in consequence of his curse, but at length he absolved and healed them, by bestowing on them his blessing. At this time Sampson, archbishop of Dole, and successor of St. Sampson who passed over from Britain into Brittany, was eminent for his sanctity and doctrine.

Bellowing of a mountain.

In the year of grace 562, a mountain in Gaul on the banks of the Rhone, uttered a bellowing sound for many days, and at last being violently severed from a neighbouring mountain, was precipitated into the Rhone, together with churches, houses, men, and beasts.

In the year of grace 563, Priscian, the grammarian and orator, flourished at Rome, a subdeacon, who turned the Acts of the Apostles into hexameter verse. At the same time flourished Fortunatus, who was an excellent man, of a clear understanding, quick observation, and pleasing discourse.


[1] His life, which was very popular from the twelfth to the fourteenth century, will be found in Capgrave, Nova Legenda, fol. xliii, b. ccix. The reader must bear in mind that the Irish were called Scots by the ancient writers, and their country Scotia or Scotland.

48 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 570.

He came from Italy to Tours, and wrote the acts of the blessed Martin in heroic verse in four books: from thence he was removed and ordained bishop of Poictiers.

In the year of grace 564, on the death of Clothaire, king of the Franks, his four sons divided his kingdom among themselves: Chilperic the eldest, reigned twenty-three years.

Justin emperor.

In the year of grace 565, the younger Justin succeeded to the Roman empire, and reigned twelve years. In this year there were many signs both of the sun and moon.

John pope.

In the year of grace 566, John sat in the Roman chair twelve years, eleven months, and twenty-seven days; after which the see remained void for ten months and three days. In this year, St. Columbanus came from Scotland [Ireland] into Britain, and was greatly renowned. The same year, Ethelbert, son of Ermeric, succeeded to the kingdom of Kent, which he governed with great glory for fifty-six years. He was the most powerful of the kings of England, and extended his kingdom as far as the confines of the Humber, which is the boundary between the northern and southern nations, exercising a vigorous sway over the people of all those provinces.

Glappa king.

In the year of grace 567, on the death of Adda king of the Bernicii, Glappa succeeded him, and reigned five years. The same year were seen in the air fiery spears, portending the irruption of the Lombards into Italy.

A battle.

In the year of grace 568, Ceaulin, king of the West-Saxons, and his brother Cutha, fought a battle with Ethelbert king of Kent, [1] in which the latter was put to flight, and two of his nobles slain.

In the year of grace 569, on the death of Glappa king of the Bernicii, Theodwald succeeded him, and reigned one year.

In the year of grace 570, Frethwulf reigned in Bernicia seven years. In this year the people of Armenia embraced the faith of Christ, and the abbat Wandregisil was born.


[1] Ethelbert is said by the Saxon Chronicle and Henry of Huntingdon to have fought this battle at Wipanduna, now Wimbledon.

A.D. 577.] A FAMINE. 49

Cycle.

In the year of grace 571, was completed one cycle of the holy period of Easter, consisting of five hundred and twenty-four years, from the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ, in the seventh indiction, in the five thousand and seventy-fifth year from the creation of the world, according to the Greeks. Uffa reigns in East-Anglia.

In the year of grace 572, Gregory, ordained bishop of Tours, flourished, a man eminent tor his sanctity.

A miracle.

In the year of grace 573, the Spaniards and the Gauls disagreed about the observance of Easter, the Spaniards keeping it on the 21st of March, and the Franks on the 18th of April. But it was miraculously proved that the Franks celebrated it on the right day, inasmuch as the baptismal fonts in Spain, which are wont to be miraculously filled on Easter Sunday, were filled on the day agreeing with the computation, not of the Spaniards, but of the Franks.

A cup formed of a skull.

In the year of grace 574, Alboin, king of the Lombards, having formerly slain in war Cunimund, king of the Gepidae, and father of his wife, had made a drinking cup of his skull. This he one day offered to his wife, saying, "Drink with thy father". Kindling with a woman's rage, she caused one of his officers to cut his throat as he lay in bed.

Pope Benedict.

In the year of grace 575, Benedict filled the Roman chair four years, six months, and fourteen days. He gave permission to pope Gregory to go and preach to the Angles, but the people tumultuously detained him, and he was ordained the seventh Levite.

A famine.

In the year of Rome 576, Rome was visited with a famine, insomuch that many of the citizens fled to the Lombards. But Tiberius, who was afterwards emperor, sent a supply of corn from Egypt, and thereby delivered the city from want.

In the year of grace 577, Tiberius succeeded to the Roman empire, and reigned seven years. As he had been liberal to

50 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 582.

the poor, God gave him to discover numerous treasures. This year died Frethwulf, king of Bernicia, and was succeeded by Theodoric, who reigned seven years.

In the year of grace 578, St. Germanus, bishop of Paris, by his death augmented the glories of heaven. The same year died Aurelius Conanus, king of the Britons, and was succeeded by Vortipore, who reigned three years. Vortipore harassed the Saxons, and gained many triumphs over them.

Uffa, king of the East-Saxons, succeeded by Titilus.

At this period, Uffa, king of the East-Saxons, from whom the kings of that province are called "Uffings", was succeeded by Titilus his son, who was the father of Redwald, the tenth from Woden.

In the year of grace 579, Pelagius filled the Roman chair ten years, eight months, and ten days, after which the see remained void for six months and twenty-five days.

Ceaulin, king of the West-Saxons, takes many towns.

In the year of grace 580, fiery meteors were seen traversing the heavens. In these days the Britons and Saxons made continual invasions of each other's territories; in which Ceaulin took the castle of Bedeanforde, which is now called Bedford, together with Lienberi (Leighton), Aylesbury, Bensington, Ensham, Gloucester, Cirencester, and Bath, insomuch that his name became greatly renowned.

Decree at Rome that only nine prefaces should be said at mass.

In the year of grace 581, pope Pelagius ordered that nine prefaces only should be chanted at mass, abolishing the daily prefaces which were wont to be said. The same year, Vortipore, king of the Britons, dying, was succeeded by Malgo, a man of a handsome person, of singular valour, sturdy in arms, and munificent beyond measure; but being tainted with the sin of Sodom, he became odious both to God and man. He reduced under his dominion six of the isles of the ocean.

Gregory composed his Moralia.

In the year of grace 582, Gregory was sent to Constantinople by pope Pelagius, and while engaged in that mission

A.D. 586.] CARETIUS KING OF BRITAIN. 51

composed his books of morals on Job, and, in the presence of the emperor, confuted Eutychius the bishop of Constantinople, who taught erroneously respecting the resurrection, asserting that in the glory of the resurrection the human body will be impalpable, and more subtile than the winds and air. Eutychius dying shortly after, the heresy became extinct.

In the year of grace 583, at Tours, real blood flowed from the bread of the altar when broken.

Maurice emperor.

In the year of grace 584, Tiberius lost his reason and died, and was succeeded by Maurice, who reigned twenty-two years. The same year, Ceaulin, king of the West-Saxons, and his brother Cuthwin engaged in battle with the Britons at Frithenleia (Frethern), in which Cuthwin was overpowered and slain. The Angles were thereupon beaten and put to the rout.

Beginning of the kingdom of the Mercians, whose first king was Credda.

In the year of grace 585, began the kingdom of the Mercians, whose first king was Credda. At this time then, all the kingdoms of the Angles or Saxons were completed, to the number of eight; that is to say, the kingdom of Kent, whose capital city is Canterbury; the kingdom of the South-Saxons, or Sussex, whose capital is Chichester; the kingdom of the East-Saxons, or Essex, whose capital city is London; the kingdom of the East-Angles, or East-Anglia, whose capital city is Norwich; the kingdom of the West-Saxons, whose capital city is Winchester; the kingdom of Mercia, or Middle-Anglia, whose capital city was Dorchester, but now Lincoln; the kingdom of the Northumbrians, whose capital city is York. The last kingdom was divided into two, as has been said above.

The Britons abandon their country, and take refuge in Wales.

In the year of grace 586, Malgo, king of the Britons, was succeeded by Caretius, who loved civil wars, and was odious to God and to his subjects. The kings of the Angles and of the Saxons, remarking his unsteadiness, attacked him with one consent, and after many battles drove him from city to city, till at last they chased him beyond the Severn into Wales. The clergy and the priests, alarmed by the gleam of weapons and the crackling of the flames in the churches, fled from their

52 ROGER OF WENDOVER [A.D. 586.

homes. The remains of the Britons, abandoning the greatest part of the island, took refuge in the western parts, Cornwall and Wales, whence they made fierce and incessant attacks on their enemies. At this time the archbishops, Theon of London, and Thadioceus of York, with others of their order who survived the general confusion, seeing all their dependent churches levelled with the ground, fled with the relics of the saints into Wales; fearing lest by the violence of the barbarians the sacred bones of the ancients might be destroyed from the memory of men, if they did not withdraw them from the danger. Many also went over into Brittany, leaving the entire church of two provinces, Loegria and Northumberland, wholly destitute of its clergy. They raised mounds of earth on certain bodies of the saints which had been reverently entombed, that they might not be exposed to the profanations of the infidels. For the kings of the Angles or Saxons were most undaunted warriors and fierce pagans, who thirsted for nothing so much as for the subversion of Christ and Christian worship; and if, on subjugating the land, they preserved any churches from injury, they did it to the confusion of Christ's name, and not to his glory; for converting them into heathen temples, they polluted God's holy altars with their sacrifices. The Britons were for a long season without the royal diadem, until the days of Cadwallon, whom Bede calls Cedwalla; and in the meanwhile, that part of their country which remained to them, was torn with civil wars, and was subject to three tyrants instead of one king. The miserable remnant of the Britons therefore settled in three provinces, namely, Cornubia, or, as it is called by some, Cornwall, because it stretches into the sea like a horn; Demecia, or South-Wales; and Venedocia, or North-Wales. Shut up within these limits, though much against their will, they never forsook the faith of Christ; but in this alone are they to be blamed, that they ever, even to this very day, cherish a deadly hatred towards the English, whom they esteem no better than dogs, with whom they would as willingly hold intercourse. These provinces of theirs are impregnable, being set with dense forests, environed with deep marshes, and broken with high mountains; and from thence they break forth like mice from their holes, and cruelly harass the English, for whose redemption, when taken in war,

A.D. 586.] SAXON KINGS. 53

they will accept of nothing but their heads. At this time the church of the blessed martyr St. Alban, which was built after his martyrdom, of wonderful masonry, and in a style worthy of such a martyr, is believed to have been utterly thrown down and destroyed like the others, until the body of the glorious confessor and martyr was found by king Offa, to whom it was revealed by an angel, when his monastery was built.

Divisions of the kingdoms and kings of England.

Britain being now subdued and the natives driven out, the kings of the Angles or Saxons occupied the whole of the country, enlarged their dominions, and fixed the limits of their kingdoms according to the power of each. At this time there reigned in the island eight kings, whose names are as follows:- Athelbert in Kent, Cissa in Sussex, Ceaulin in Wessex, Credda in Mercia, Erkenwine in Essex, Titilus in East-Anglia, Ella in Deira, and Affrid in Bernicia. These kingdoms, in process of time, were thus distinguished. The kings of Kent and of Sussex governed respectively in those provinces alone; the kings of Essex reigned in that province and in Middlesex; the kings of East-Anglia in Norfolk and Suffolk, as well as in Cambridgeshire, until they were deprived of the last province by Offa, king of the Mercians; the kings of the Mercians reigned in the provinces of Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Shropshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Oxfordshire, Herefordshire, Staffordshire, Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Cambridgeshire, and Hertfordshire; the kings of the West-Saxons reigned in the provinces of Berks, Dorset, Devon, Southampton, Surrey, Wilts, Salisbury, and Bath. These provinces being distributed among six kings, they very soon were in turn involved in civil, and more than civil, wars. Two kings reigned in Northumberland from the great river Humber unto the sea of Scotland; but of them sufficient has been said above. When these kingdoms were thus settled, it pleased these kings wholly to obliterate Britain, and the memory of the Britons; wherefore, with one consent, they determined that the island should no longer be called Britain from Brutus, but Anglia, or England.

54 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 591.

In this year, Gunthran, king of the Franks, wearied with the chase, went to sleep in the lap of his esquire near a running stream. While he was in this posture, the esquire beheld a little animal come forth from the king's mouth, and make an essay to cross the stream; but not being able so to do, the esquire laid his sword across, thus affording it the means of crossing and returning. Soon as the little creature had again entered the king's mouth, the latter awoke in amazement, declaring that he had dreamed that he had passed over an iron bridge, and had seen many treasures under a certain mountain. Having faith in the vision, he proceeded to the spot, where he found great treasures, which he took and devoted to the use of the church.

Sledda, king of the East-Saxons.

In the year of grace 587, Clothaire reigned in France forty-four years. This year died Erkenwine, king of the East-Saxons, and was succeeded by his son Sledda, the tenth from Woden, who reigned ten years.

In the year of grace 588, Ethelfrid, king of the Bernicians, married Acca, daughter of Ella, king of Deira, and in process of time had by her seven sons, Eanfrid, Oswald, Oswin, Oslac, Oswid, Osa, and Offa. This year died Credda, king of the Mercians, and was succeeded by his son Wibba, who reigned three years.

Of Sledda, king of the East-Saxons.

In the year of grace 589, Sledda, king of the East-Saxons, begat by his wife, the daughter of Ermenric, king of Kent, Sebert, who reigned after his father.

Chichester named from Cissa.

In the year of grace 590, on the death of Cissa, king of the South-Saxons, that kingdom devolved on Ceaulin, king of the West-Saxons.

Of the sevenfold litany made by St, Gregory.

In the year of grace 591, a deluge of almost incredible extent took place in Italy, and after the destruction attendant thereon, came a pestilence which attacked the privy parts, and after carrying off pope Gregory first, made terrible havoc of the people afterwards. The blessed Gregory at

A.D. 594.] THE SEAMLESS COAT. 55

that time discharged the office of archdeacon at Rome, and commanded a sevenfold litany to be made on account of the pestilence. It is called the sevenfold litany, inasmuch as in the first place were all the clergy, in the second all the abbats with their monks, in the third all the abbesses with their nuns, in the fourth all the children, in the fifth all the laity, in the sixth all the widows, in the seventh all the married. Having thus arranged all in classes, the man of God pacified the divine anger, and the city was entirely freed from the pestilence.

Pope Gregory.

In the year of grace 592, the blessed Gregory, by the acclamation of the people and the clergy, was elected pope, but withal so much against his will that he absented himself; but he was at length found and enthroned. Among his other works of piety, he by his merits delivered from the pains of hell the soul of the emperor Trajan, although a pagan. He composed an Antiphonary; he ordered the Kyrie Eleeson, with the Hallelujah, to be sung at mass; and in the canon of the mass he profitably added these three sentences, "Order our days in thy peace; save us from eternal damnation; and number us with thine elect".

Ceolric, king of the West-Saxons.

In the year of grace 593, Ceaulin and his brother Guichelm died, and Ceolric succeeded Ceaulin in the kingdom of the West-Saxons, over whom he reigned five years. At this time pope Gregory directed the Lord's Prayer to be said over the host. In the same year, on the death of Ella, [1] king of the Deiri, Ethelfrid, king of the Bernicii, expelled his son Edwin from the kingdom of Deira, and reigned with great vigour over both kingdoms. The exiled Edwin took refuge with Redwald, king of the East-Angles, by whose means he was eventually restored to his kingdom.

Finding of the seamless coat of our Lord.

In the year of grace 594, the coat of our Lord and Saviour was found, by the confession of Simeon, a Jew, in the city of


[1] This should be Ethelric, who continued the persecution against Edwin begun by his father Ella. He succeeded to Bernicia in 586, and to Deira in 588.

56 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 590.

Zaphat, not far from Jerusalem, whence it was conveyed by bishops Gregory of Antioch, Thomas of Jerusalem, and John of Constantinople, and placed at Jerusalem, in the place where the cross of Christ is venerated. The same year died Wibba, king of Mercia, who was succeeded by Cherl, not his son, but a kinsman, who reigned ten years.

Conversion of the king of the Visigoths from the Arian heresy.

In the year of grace 595, Ricard, king of the Visigoths, having assembled a synod of sixty-two bishops at Toledo abjured and anathematized the Arian heresy, insomuch that the whole of that people were confirmed in the catholic faith.

Saint Augustine, being sent by the blessed pope Gregory into Britain, converts king Athelbert and his people to the faith of Christ.

In the year of grace 596, which is the hundred and forty-seventh from the arrival in Britain of the brothers Horsa and Hengist, who subjugated it, Augustine, the servant of God, was sent into Britain by the blessed pope Gregory, to preach the word of God to the barbarous English people; who, in the blindness of their pagan superstition, had wholly extirpated Christianity out of that portion of the island which they occupied. In that part, however, which was possessed by the Britons, the Christian faith yet flourished; nor had it ever perished among them from the time when it was first received by them in the hundred and fifty-seventh year of our Lord's incarnation. Now there is, on the eastern coast of Kent, an island called Thanet, where the man of God, Augustine, and his companions landed, to the number, it is said, of nearly forty men. Sending interpreters to king Athelbert, he signified that he was come from Rome on a joyful message, which promised everlasting joys in heaven to all who should receive it. On hearing this the king, after a few days, came to the island, and, seating himself in the open air, ordered Augustine and his companions to come into his presence. Whereupon they came, endued with divine virtue, bearing the cross as a standard, and the image of our Lord and Saviour painted on a board, and chanting litanies for the salvation both of themselves, and of those for whose sakes they were come. At the king's command they seated themselves, and after they had preached to him and to all

A.D. 598.] DESTRUCTION OF A MONASTERY. 57

who were present, the word of life, the king replied, "You promise fairly; but because these things are new and uncertain, I cannot immediately yield them my assent and forsake the customs which I and all my people have so long observed. But because you have come hither from distant and foreign parts from a desire to communicate unto us what ye yourselves believe to be true and good, we will be far from molesting you; but, on the contrary, will afford you hospitable entertainment, and supply you with necessary sustenance. Nor will we hinder you from converting to your faith all you can by your preaching". He therefore gave them a dwelling in the city of Canterbury, which was the capital of his kingdom, where they began to practise the apostolic mode of living of the primitive church, devoting themselves to prayer and fasting, preaching the word of life, and washing such as they could in the laver of salvation. Straightway many believed and were baptized, following the simplicity of their innocent mode of life, and the sweetness of their heavenly doctrine. Now there was, in the eastern quarter of the city, a church built of old in honour of St. Martin, in which the queen, named Berta, a daughter of the king of France, used to pray. Here at first they began to meet and to preach, to celebrate mass and to baptize. But when at length, delighted with the unspotted lives of these holy men, the king himself, among the rest, believed and was baptized, multitudes flocked daily to hear the word of life, and forsaking the errors of the heathen, by believing became members of the one church. The king, moreover, gave these his teachers a residence suitable to their degree in the city of Canterbury, his own metropolis, together with such possessions of various kinds as were necessary. Meanwhile, the man of God, Augustine, went to Arles, where he was ordained archbishop by the archbishop of that city; after which he returned to Britain.

Destruction of the monastery of the blessed Benedict.

In the year of grace 597, the monastery of the blessed Benedict, which that father had founded on mount Cassino, was destroyed by the perfidious Lombards. The monks fled to Rome, carrying with them the rule, which the same holy man had framed.

In the year of grace 598, Gregory, bishop of Tours,

58 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 603.

flourished in Gaul: he brought the relics of St. Julian out of the territory of Auvergne. In the same year died St. Columbanus, teacher of the Scots and Picts, leaving to posterity many proofs of his sanctity.

In the year of grace 599, on the death of Redwald, [1] king of the East-Angles, Eorpenwald succeeded him in the government of that kingdom.

Theodoric reigns in France.

In the year of grace 600, on the death of Childebert, king of the Franks, his sons, Theodebert and Theodoric, were set in his room.

How pope Gregory sent a pall to Augustine.

In the year of grace 601, the blessed pope Gregory sent a pall to Augustine, to the church of London, which, in the time of the Britons, was the metropolis, as Bede testified in his History of the Angles.

Contention in the Roman church.

In the year of grace 602, the arrogance of John, bishop of Constantinople, who claimed to himself the title of universal patriarch, raised a contention in the Roman church; which, originating in the time of pope Pelagius, and being carried on vigorously by Gregory, was stayed only by the sudden death of John.

How St. Augustine called the bishops of the Britons to a conference.

In the year of grace 603, Ethelfrid, king of the Northumbrians, in a battle with the Biitons at Kaerlegion, slew an immense number of clergy of the abbey of Bangor. [2] For the Lord's servant, Augustine, with the help of king Athelbert, had brought together the bishops and teachers of the neighbouring province of the Britons, to a conference, at a place which is now called, in the English tongue, "Augustinesac", that is, "Augustine's Oak", [3] on the confines of the West-Saxons and the Wiccii. There he sought to persuade


[1] The death of Redwald is again recorded in the year 624. This is, therefore, a blunder of the copyist.

[2] Bangor, in this passage, is not to be confounded with the Bangor in Carnarvonshire. It was situated near Chester.

[3] Augustine's oak is placed by Carte at Aust, or Aust-Clive, on the Severn.

A.D. 603.] CONFERENCE OF BISHOPS. 59

them, by brotherly admonitions, to preserve catholic unity with himself, and for the Lord's sake to join in the common labour of converting the heathen people; for they observed the holy festival of Easter contrary to the unity of the church, besides many other of their customs. After a long disputation, when neither his prayers nor his exhortations could induce them to comply, Augustine addressed them as follows:- "Let us, my brethren, beseech Almighty God, that he will vouchsafe, by his heavenly tokens, to declare to us, which tradition is to be followed, and which is the true way to his heavenly kingdom. Let some infirm person be brought, and let the faith and practice of him, by whose prayers he shall be healed, be adopted and followed by all". His opponents reluctantly assented; whereupon there was brought an infirm blind man, who was presented to the bishops of the Britons, but received no healing by their offices. Augustine then bowed his knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, beseeching him to restore sight to the blind man, that by the bodily illumination of one, the grace of spiritual light might be kindled in the hearts of many believers. Immediately the blind man received his sight, and Augustine was acknowledged by all as the undoubted preacher of divine truth. The Britons then confessed their acknowledgment, that that was the true way which Augustine preached, but that they could not abandon their former customs without the consent of their people. Wherefore they requested that another synod might be held, at which a greater number would be present. Another synod was held accordingly, to which there came, as is asserted, seven bishops, and other learned men of the Britons, principally from a famous monastery of theirs, called, in the English tongue, "Bangorneburg", over which the abbat Dincot is said to have presided at that time. These, before going to the conference, repaired first to a holy and discreet man, who led the life of a hermit among them, and consulted him whether they ought to relinquish their traditions at the preaching of Augustine. On which he replied, "If he be a man of God, follow him". "But how", said they, "shall this be proved"? "It is", said he, "the saying of our Lord, 'Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart'; if, therefore, Augustine be meek and lowly of heart, it is to be

60 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 603.

believed that he both bears Christ's yoke himself, and offers the same to you to take upon you. But if he be stern and haughty, it is plain that he is not of God, nor are you to regard his words". On their again asking, "And how are we to discern this"? "Contrive", said he, "that he shall come before you to the place of meeting, and if, on your approach, he shall rise up to you, you may be assured that he is a servant of Christ, and should hear him submissively; but if he shall slight you, and rise not up to you, since you are the more numerous, let him also be slighted by you". It happened that when they came to the meeting, Augustine was sitting in a chair, which, when they observed, they presently fell into a passion, and taxing him with haughtiness, set themselves to contradict every thing he said. Augustine said to them, "If you will only comply with me in these three points at least,- if you will keep Easter at the proper time; if you will administer baptism, whereby we are born again unto God, according to the rite of the holy Roman church; and will, together with us, preach the word of God to the English nation; we will patiently tolerate your other customs, though contrary to ours". They, however, declared that they would do neither of them, nor have him for their archbishop; alleging among themselves, "If he would not rise up to us, how much more will he slight us, if we once become subject to him"! The servant of the Lord then threatened them, as it is said, that if they would not be at peace with them as brethren, they should have war from them as enemies; and if they would not preach the word of life to the English nation, they should, at their hands, undergo the vengeance of death. All this came to pass in every respect as he had foretold, through the working of God's vengeance.

How Ethelfrid, king of the Northumbrians, massacred twelve hundred monks.

Not long after this, Ethelfrid, a most powerful king of the Northumbrians, and a fierce pagan, having assembled a large army at the city of Legions, which is called by the Britons Kaerlegion, because the Roman legions were in time past stationed there, made a terrible slaughter of the Britons. For, as he was about to commence an engagement with them, observing their priests, who had assembled to offer

A.D. 604.] MELLITUS BISHOP OF LONDON. 61

up prayers to God for the army, standing apart in a place of more safety, he inquired who they were, or what they came together to do in that place? Most of them were of the monastery of Bangor, in which, it is said, there was so great a number of monks, that, being divided into seven parts, with a ruler over each, no part contained less than three hundred. Many of them, after fasting three days, had come together with sundry others to offer up their prayers, under the protection of Brochmail, whose duty it was to defend them from the swords of the barbarians while they were engaged in prayer. On learning the object of their coming, the tyrant Ethelfrid exclaimed, "If, then, they cry unto their God against us, in truth they fight against us, though they do not bear arms, for they assail us with their prayers". He therefore directed the attack to be made on them first, and then destroyed the rest of that impious army, yet not without considerable loss of his own forces. Of those who had come to pray, twelve hundred are said to have been slain in that battle, and only fifty to have escaped by flight. Brochmail, turning his back with his men at the first approach of the enemy, left those whom he ought to have defended unarmed and exposed to the swords of the assailants. And thus was completed the prediction of the blessed bishop Augustine.

How St. Augustine ordained Justus first bishop of Rochester.

In the year of grace 604, the blessed Augustine, by the liberality of king Athelbert, built in the city which, from a certain chief named Rof, was called Rofecestria, or the city of Rof, the church of St. Andrew the apostle, and endowed it with ample possessions, and there ordained Justus to be bishop.

How St. Augustine ordained Mellitus first bishop of London.

The same year, Augustine consecrated Mellitus to be bishop in the city of London; and thus the dignity of that city, which in the times of the Britons had always had its archbishop, was now transferred to Canterbury, that the prophecy of Merlin might be fulfilled, who said, "Religion shall be destroyed in the island, and there shall be a change

62 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 605

of the principal sees: the dignity of London shall adorn Canterbury", etc.

The same year, Mellitus, being sent by the blessed Augustine into the province of the East-Saxons to preach the gospel, converted king Sebert, with the whole of his nation, to the faith of Christ. Now this Sebert was nephew to Athelbert, the great king of Kent, by his sister Ricula, and was under subjection to him, for Athelbert governed all the nations of the English as far as the river Humber.

The same year, the emperor Maurice, a man who feared God, prayed that God would of his mercy grant that he might bear the punishment of his sins in this life. While he was one night resting on his bed, a voice was addressed to him from heaven, saying, "Maurice, give up thyself, and thy wife Constantia, and thy children, to the soldier Phocas". On awaking from sleep, he inquired of his attendants if they knew among his troops any soldier named Phocas. They replied that they did. On his further asking what sort of man he was, they answered that he was a proud and rash young man. Augustus thereupon, recurring to his dream, glorified God exceedingly for the vision. After this, in an expedition in an enemy's land, on his endeavouring to restrain the soldiers from slaying and ravaging, and not supplying them with their usual pay, they asked Phocas to take on himself the command over them; who readily assented, and assumed the imperial purple. On hearing of which, Maurice, distracted in mind, yielded to his adverse circumstances, and fled to a grove by the sea-side, where he was slain with his wife and five sons, by the command of Phocas Caesar; who, having thus usurped the Roman dominion, reigned eight years.

How the blessed Gregory delivered the soul of the emperor Trajan from the pains of hell.

In the year of grace 605, in the second year of the reign of Phocas, the blessed pope Gregory departed out of this world unto the Lord. This blessed man, in his lifetime, while one day walking through the forum of the emperor Trajan, [1] which had in times past been adorned by that


[1] Paulus and Johannes Diacones coincide in this account, but Baronius and the Benedictine editors reject it.

A.D. 605.] DELIVERANCE OF TRAJAN'S SOUL. 68

prince with very fair edifices, he recalled to mind that remarkable judgment of his, by which he had comforted a widow. Moved by the emperor's exceeding grace, he straightway hastened to the church of St. Peter the apostle, where he is said to have wept so long over the unbelief and error of that benignant prince, that in the following night he received an answer, assuring him that he had been heard on Trajan's behalf, but only on the condition that he should never again offer prayers for any pagan. Believe, therefore, that the soul of Trajan is delivered from the pains of hell in such sort that, though placed in hell, yet, by the mercy of God, it does not feel the torment thereof; for one and the same fire of hell, although it can equally hold many sinners, yet, by the justice of God, cannot torment all with the like degree of punishment; for the souls in hell feel the suffering according to the degree of their guilt. The work of piety by which Trajan moved God and the blessed father Gregory to compassion, was as follows:- "Once, while Trajan was with vehement haste preparing himself for war, a widow, the poorest of her sex, approached him, dissolved in tears, and said, "My son has, whilst thou art emperor, been put to death though innocent; I beseech thee, since thou canst not restore him to me, that thou wilt deign to avenge his death according to law". On his promising to do so in case he returned alive from the war, she said, "But if thou shalt die in battle, who shall then do me justice"? Trajan replied, "He who shall reign after me"; whereupon she asked, "What will it profit thee if another shall do me justice"? To which Trajan answered, "Nothing at all". "Is it not, then, better for thee", said the widow, "that thou do me justice, and receive thy reward for it, than that thou suffer a stranger to have it"? Feeling the force of her remark, and moved with compassion for her, Trajan dismounted from his horse and delayed his departure until he had pronounced judgment for the widow, and commanded the sentence to be executed. By his humility in thus doing justice, he obtained, through the tears of the blessed father Gregory, deliverance from the pains of hell five hundred years and more after his decease. The same father Gregory was the first who, in the commencement of his epistles, before health, grace, and blessing, styled himself servant of the servants of God; thus giving a form of

64 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 608.

humility to all his successors. And next to humility he added utility, saying, "health"! which respects both soul and body; "grace" from God and men; and "blessing", which is in the seed of Abraham, which is Christ, in whom all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.

Victuals changed into stones.

In the year of grace 606, Sabinian sat in the Roman chair one year, five months, and nine days. At this time, a certain poor man, asking alms of some sailors, and they refusing, the master of the vessel alleging, "We have nothing here but stones", the poor man replied, "Let, then, all you have be changed into stones". This was no sooner said, than whatever there was in the ship that was eatable was turned into stones, retaining still its former colour and shape.

Ceolwulf, king of the West-Saxons.

In the year of grace 607, on the death of Ceolric, [1] king of the West-Saxons, Ceolwulf succeeded him, and reigned twenty-four years. At this time, pope Sabinian, falling short of the liberality of the blessed Gregory, his predecessor, and withdrawing his hand from the needy, he was thrice rebuked by Gregory in a vision for his parsimony and narrow-mindedness, in not regarding the poor. The fourth time, scolding him severely with many threats, he struck him on the head, from the pain of which he shortly after died.

Death of St. Augustine.

In the year of grace 608, Boniface sat in the Roman chair eight months and twenty-nine days. In the same year the blessed Augustine, first archbishop of Canterbury, ended his days on the 26th of May. [2] He was succeeded by Laurentius, a Roman by birth, whom he had himself ordained in his lifetime, that the church, in her very infantine condition, might not be without a shepherd. He was buried close by the church of the apostles Peter and Paul, in which, though neither finished nor dedicated, were nevertheless buried the corpses of many archbishops.


[1] Ceolric died in 598, and Ceolwulf reigned only fourteen years.

[2] Thorne places Augustine's death in 605.

A.D. 611.] COUNCIL OF ITALY. 65

The Roman church is made the head of all churches.

In the year of grace 609, Boniface the fourth [1] sat in the Roman chair six years, eight months, and twelve days; after which the see remained vacant for seven months and twenty-five days. At his request, the emperor Phocas decreed that the Roman church should be the head and mistress of all churches; for, in times past, the church of Constantinople styled herself the chief of all churches. The same pope obtained also from the aforesaid prince a grant of the temple at Rome, which, in times past, was called the Pantheon, because in it were formerly worshipped, not all the gods, but all the devils. Casting out thence a multitude of idols of various kinds, he converted it into a church of God Almighty, and of the blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints, that like as, in times past, the worship of all the devils was there maintained, so from that time forth the memory of all the saints might be therein preserved.

Of the kings of the English.

In the year of grace 610, on the death of Ceolwolf, king of the West-Saxons, he was succeeded by Cinegils, son of Ceola, who reigned thirty-one years. At this time, Penda reigned in Mercia; Reodwald in the kingdom of the East-Angles; Athelbert in Kent; Sebert in Essex; in Northumberland the proud and vain-glorious Ethelfrid.

A council in Italy.

In the year of grace 611, pope Boniface held a council in Italy, on the 3rd of March, [2] and made many decrees for the good of the church. There was present Mellitus, bishop of London, who had been sent there by Laurence, archbishop of Canterbury, that on his return to Britain he might deliver the decrees of the council to the English churches, and with the authority of the supreme pontiff enjoin the observance of them. At this time flourished John, bishop of Alexandria, who, for his singular liberality to Christ's poor, obtained the name of the "Alms-giver", [Eleemosynarius]. Now it happened that


[1] The text reads erroneously, Boniface V.

[2] This council was held, not on the 3rd of March, but on the 3rd before the calends of March, i.e. on the 27th of February, 610.

66 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 614.

a certain stranger, observing his extreme compassion towards the poor, with a view to try him, drew near to him as he was visiting the sick in his usual manner, and cried, "Have compassion on me, for I am a wretched captive". "Give him six aurei" said the patriarch to his almoner. On receiving them the poor man retired and changed his dress, and returning by another way, fell to the earth and cried, "Have compassion on me, for I am perishing with hunger". "Give him six aurei", said the patriarch again; after doing which, his attendant whispered in his ear, "Sir, he has now received alms twice". On the beggar coming a third time and asking alms, the servant gave information to his master; on which that truly compassionate man bade him give the man twelve aurei, "lest mayhap", said he, "it be Christ himself who is come to try me".

Death of the emperor Phocas.

In the year of grace 612, the emperor Phocas, in the midst of his cruel rage against his servants, was slain by the command of Heraclius, the patrician of Africa, who thereupon assumed the government of the state.

The reign of Heraclius [1]

In the year of grace 613, Heraclius, having obtained the Roman empire, reigned thirty-one years. [1] In this year there was, in the town of Maurienne in France, a certain woman exceedingly devoted to St. John the Baptist. Continuing instant in prayer, she for three years besought the Lord to give her one of his limbs; and, putting her hope in God, she vowed that she would eat nothing until she obtained her petition; and so, continuing fasting for seven days, she on the seventh day beheld a thumb appear on the altar, of wonderful whiteness, and received the gift of God with joy. Three bishops, coming to adore the thumb, and wishing to take away a portion of it with them, they were amazed at beholding three drops of blood fall from it on the cloth on which it was laid, and rejoiced that they were worthy each to possess one.

Deusdedit is made pope.

In the year of grace 614, Deusdedit sat in the Roman chair three years and twenty days, after which the see was


[1] Heraclius began to reign, not in 613, but in 610, and died Feb. 11, 641.

A.D. 616.] DEATH OF ATHELBERT. 6?

void for one month and six days. He ordered that if any men or women should be godfather or godmother to their own children, or if any woman should marry her gossip (i.e. the man who had been godfather with her), they should be separated; but the woman should recover her dowry, and after a year be at liberty to marry another, if she pleased. The same year Cinegils, king of the West-Saxons, admitted his son Quichelm to a share of the kingdom.

In the year of grace 615, as Clodesuida of Metz was fleeing from her affianced husband, a veil was sent to her from heaven by an angel, on which she dedicated herself and her substance unto God.

Death of Athelbert, king of Kent.

In the year of grace 616, Athelbert, king of Kent, after a glorious temporal reign of fifty-six years, entered on the everlasting joys of the kingdom of heaven. He died twenty-one years after he had received the faith, and was buried in the portico of St. Martin, within the church of the apostles Peter and Paul, which he had founded. His son Eadbald's accession to the throne proved very prejudicial to the infant state of the church; for he not only refused to embrace the faith of Christ, but was stained with fornication, inasmuch as he unwisely kept his father's wife. The confusion was increased by the death of Sebert, king of the East-Saxons, who, in departing to an everlasting kingdom, left his three sons, who continued pagans, heirs of his temporal kingdom. They presently began openly to devote themselves to idolatry, which, during their father's life, they seemed in a measure to have forsaken, and gave their people perfect liberty to serve idols. On seeing the bishop, while celebrating solemn mass in the church, give the eucharist to the people, they, filled with brutish folly, said to him, "Why do you not give us the white bread, which you used to give to our father Sebert, and still give to the people in the church"? Mellitus answered, "If you will be washed in that fountain of salvation in which your father was washed, you may partake of that holy bread; otherwise you may not receive the bread of life". On which they said, "If you will not comply with us in so small a matter, you shall not stay in our kingdom". Being, therefore, banished from thence, Mellitus came into

68 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 616.

Kent to advise with his fellow bishops, Laurence and Justus, what was to be done in these circumstances: and it was unanimously determined that it was better for them all to return to their own country and there serve God in freedom, than continue without any advantage among a people who were rebels against the faith. Mellitus and Justus accordingly first withdrew into the parts of France, there to await the issue of things. Not long after this, the kings who had driven from them the preacher of truth, went forth to battle against the nation of the Gewissae, and, by the judgment of heaven, they all perished, with the whole of their forces.

How Laurence, archbishop of Canterbury, was whipped by the prince of the apostles.

Archbishop Laurence, being about to follow Mellitus and Justus, and to leave Britain, on the eve of his departure, ordered a couch to be prepared for him for the night in the church of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul; on which, after pouring forth many prayers and tears unto God for the welfare of the church, he lay down to rest, and in his sleep there appeared to him the most blessed prince of the apostles, who, in the deep silence of the night, inflicted on him a long and severe flagellation, demanding of him, with apostolic severity, wherefore he left the flock which he had committed to him, or to what shepherd he left in charge Christ's sheep whom he was about to leave in the midst of wolves? "Hast thou forgotten", said he, "my example, who, for the sake of Christ's little ones, committed to me as a proof of his love, endured bonds, stripes, imprisonments, afflictions, and at last the very death of the cross, at the hands of unbelievers, that I might receive the crown of Christ"? Animated alike by the flagellation and exhortations of the blessed apostle, Laurence, the servant of Christ, went to the king as soon as it was morning, and, lifting up his garments, showed him how his body had been torn with stripes. Greatly astonished thereat, the king demanded who there was in his kingdom that had dared to inflict stripes on so high a personage? On hearing that it was for the sake of his salvation that the bishop had endured such wounds and sufferings at the hands of Christ's apostle, he feared exceedingly, and straightway anathematizing all idolatrous worship, and renouncing his

A.D. 617.] BATTLE OF THE IDLE. 69

unlawful marriage, he embraced the faith of Christ, and made it his business in all ways to consult the welfare of the church to the utmost of his ability. Moreover, from the time of his conversion to the Lord he was solicitous, together with all his people, to yield obedience to the divine precepts. Sending also into Gaul, he recalled the bishops Mellitus and Justus, and bade them return with freedom to their churches. And thus, through the manifestation of such a miracle, he returned to the unity of the church.

Battle between the king of the Northumbrians and the king of the East-Angles.

In the year of grace 617, the bishops Mellitus and Justus returned into Britain, and were received with honour by king Eadbald and all his people. The same year, Reodwald, king of the East-Angles, provoked Ethelfrid, king of the Northumbrians, to battle. Both armies, therefore, met in the country of the Jutes, on the east bank of a river called the Idle; whence came the proverb which exists at this day "The river Idle was polluted with the blood of the Angles". Ethelfrid, fierce and full of rage, and greatly wondering that any one should be so bold as to fight with him, made a desperate but disorderly attack on the enemy, although Reodwald's army, skilfully drawn up, inspired the beholders with no small terror. The king of the Northumbrians, however, as if he had found a booty, rushing suddenly into the thickest of the enemy's troops, slew Reiner, the chief of king Reodwald's army, together with all his forces, fiercely consigning them to the infernal regions. Nothing daunted by so great a slaughter, but rather kindled to take revenge, Reodwald bravely pierced Ethelfrid's battalions, and after a terrible slaughter of the foe, slew the proud king; then pursuing the enemy without mercy, he routed and destroyed their entire army. In this battle the valour of Eadwin was very praiseworthy, who had been driven from that kingdom, and had found refuge with Reodwald for seventeen years. Eadwin, the son of Ella, had reigned over the two kingdoms of Deira and Bernicia, and after his conversion to Christianity, had all the kings, as well of the Angles as of the Welsh, subject to him.

70 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 620.

Cosdroa destroyed Jerusalem.

In the year of grace 618, Cosdroa, king of the Persians, took Damascus and devastated Jerusalem, burning the holy places therein; he carried an immense multitude of people into captivity, and slew ninety thousand; he expelled Zachariah, the patriarch of that city, and carried away with him the precious wood of the cross into Persia; but the sepulchre of our Lord, which was defended by divine power, he was not suffered to violate. At the same time, he made himself master of the whole of Egypt, and Alexandria, Libya, and Carthage, that so he might provoke Heraclius to war. The latter sent to him, entreating him to desist from his enterprises; but he paid no regard, and, moreover, treated the emperor's messengers with contumely.

In the year of grace 619, the emperor Heraclius adorned his son Constantine with the royal diadem, and caused him to be styled Augustus.

The emperor Heraclius conquered Cosdroa in war, and brought back the wood of our Lord's cross to Jerusalem.

In the year of grace 620, the emperor Heraclius, in the tenth year of his reign, assembling a large armament, made an expedition against Cosdroa, carrying with him the image of the holy mother of God, which is at Byzantium, painted not by the hand of man but by divine miracle. When he had advanced to the confines of the city of Gozor, Cosdroa fled, burning all the crops as he passed. He then set numerous chiefs over his army to fight with Heraclius, while he himself fled from place to place from the face of the emperor. But Heraclius, by the aid of the image of the mother of our Lord, slew all his enemies in battle, or put them to a disgraceful flight. Cosdroa was at length taken in his flight and thrust into prison, where he died the death of the wicked. Having gained the victory, the emperor distributed rewards among his soldiers in recompence of their toils; and after refreshing himself awhile, he carried back the wood of our Lord's cross to Jerusalem, where he offered abundant thanks to God for so great a triumph, shedding tears of devotion.

A.D. 620.] ORDER OF ST. JOHN. 71

Origin of the military order of the temple.

In the times of Heraclius, the Roman emperor, the princes of Arabia prevailing against him, the kingdom of Jerusalem, with Syria and Egypt, fell into the hands of the Saracens. At which time, numbers resorted to the holy places, notwithstanding they were possessed by the enemies of the Christian faith, some for devotion, and others for traffic. Among them, certain men from Italy, who inhabited the town of Amalfi, not far from the famous city of Salerno, were wont, for the sake of gain, to bring in their vessels certain foreign wares, which before were not to be had in the East, to Alexandria, which is the chief city of Egypt. By which, having gained the entire favour, as well of the king as of his princes, they were at liberty, as dealers in useful commodities, to go round that whole region with their goods. It happened, therefore, that being Christians, as often as an opportunity presented itself, they visited the venerable places of the holy city for the sake of prayer and devotion. But not having in that city a certain dwelling, wherein they might make the necessary stay, they made application to the caliph of Egypt, and, by their petitions, obtained his full favour. The caliph, therefore, wrote to the governor of Jerusalem letters patent, to the effect that the men of Amalfi, who brought useful commodities into his dominions, might, in accordance with their desire, have a place allotted in Jerusalem, in that part where the Christians resided, sufficiently large for the erection of such a dwelling as they might chose. A fit spot was accordingly allotted them in front of the doors of the church of our Lord's resurrection, about a stone's throw from it, where they built a monastery in honour of Mary the blessed mother of God, with other offices suitable to monks, and serviceable for the entertainment of strangers of their own nation. Which being done, they bring thither monks and an abbat from their own country, and establish the place in due form, rendering it pleasing to the Lord by their holy conversation; and as the men who had founded the place were Latins, so to this day it is called the Latin monastery. There were, moreover, added to the same place, holy and chaste widows, on whose arrival, an oratory in honour of the pious sinner, Mary Magdalen, was established, apart from the men

72 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 621

aforesaid, and a certain number of sisters were appointed to wait on the new comers. It was also provided by the holy men, that for the poor and afflicted strangers who resorted thither, a building within the precincts should be allotted, in which both the sound and the sick should be collected, and the fragments that remained of either monastery, that is, both of the men and of the women, being brought together in that place, a distribution should be made for their daily sustenance. They also erected, in the same place, an altar in honour of the blessed John Eleemosynarius, which is, by interpretation, "the Almsgiver", which man, dear to God, was a Cyprian by nation, and was at length, by due suffrages, made patriarch of Alexandria, and was singularly eminent for works of mercy; his practice of piety, and his liberal almsgiving, are recounted in all the churches of the saints. Now, this holy place had neither revenues nor possessions; but the aforesaid people of Amalfi, as well those who were at home as those who were engaged in traffic, collected money among themselves every year, and presented it, by those who went to Jerusalem, to the abbat for the time being, that food and sustenance might be therewith provided for the brethren and sisters, and a charitable distribution be made of the residue among the strangers who resorted thither. At length, when it pleased Christ that the place which he had consecrated with his own blood, should be cleansed from heathen errors and diabolical filthiness, and that a Christian people should be brought thither; that place, by the bounty of kings, and patriarchs, and believing nations, was endowed with immense possessions. From which time, the brethren of the aforesaid house first withdrew themselves from the jurisdiction of the abbat in the Roman church, and from subjection to the patriarch, and wholly refused to pay to the churches the tithes of their estates, by whatever right they had come to them; whereby the church might justly utter the complaint, "I have brought up and nourished sons, but they have despised me".

In the year of grace 621, it was the fourth year from the promotion of Boniface the sixth, [1] apostolical of the Roman church, who filled the chair five years and fourteen days, after which it remained vacant six months. At this


[1] This should be Boniface the fifth.

A.D. 622.] HISTORY OF MAHOMET. 73

time died Laurence, second archbishop of Cantrebury, and was succeeded by Mellitus, bishop of London, who continued five years; Mellitus was succeeded by Justus for the like number of years. After Mellitus, the church of London was vacant many years; but Justus was succeeded in the church of Rochester by Romanus.

Of the false prophet Mahomet.

In the year of grace 622, Cyrus, bishop of Alexandria, and Sergius, patriarch of Constantinople, preached the heresy of the Monothelites. At this period the Saracens, who are also called Turks, under Mahomet, their false prophet, went forth from their homes, and began excessively to harass the empire of Heraclius. Now this Mahomet, the prince of the Saracens and the Arabians, was of the stock of Ishmael, the son of Abraham, who, being in his early life a merchant, used to go with his camels into Egypt and Palestine, where he had intercourse both with Jews and Christians, through whom he became acquainted both with the Old and the New Testament; and, moreover, became a most cunning magician. In the course of his journeyings it happened that he entered the province of Corozon, the queen of which was called Cadisan. From admiring the various merchandize which Mahomet had brought with him, the aforesaid woman began to converse familiarly with him, until he had fascinated her by his incantations, and by degrees led her into error, asserting that he was the Messiah, whom the Jews still expect. And not only was this influential woman deceived with this opinion, but all the Jews who were within reach of his folly, struck with the novelty of the thing, flocked to him in crowds with the Saracens. He began to frame new laws, which he delivered to them, making it appear that they were sanctioned by both the Testaments. These laws the Ishmaelites claim as their own, and acknowledge him for their legislator. The aforesaid woman, seeing the man strengthened by the fellowship both of Jews and Saracens, believed that there was a latent divinity in him; and as she was a widow, she took him to be her husband, and thus Mahomet obtained the sovereignty of the whole of that province. At length, with his Arab associates, he began to harass the kingdom of the Persians, and invaded the

74 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 622.

territories of the eastern empire, which he wrested from Heraclius as far as Alexandria. After this Mahomet became subject to epileptic fits, on perceiving which, his wife, Cadisan, was exceedingly sad at having married a most unclean and epileptic man. Desiring to pacify her, he told her that the angel Gabriel was in the habit of speaking to him, and that, being a carnal man, he could not endure his glory, and so fainted and fell. The woman thereupon, and all the Arabs and Ishmaelites, believed that he received the laws which he gave them from the mouth of an archangel, inasmuch as the archangel Gabriel is often sent unto men. Moreover, he declared that pleasures and carnal delights are the chief good; wherefore I believe that, were he living at this day, he would find many disciples.

At length, having involved the aforesaid multitude of people in his heresy, at a certain hour in the evening, when he was sitting in his palace, intoxicated with wine, perceiving that his accustomed sickness was coming on him, he hastened forth, asserting that he was summoned to converse with an angel, forbidding any one to follow him, lest he should perish at the sight of the angel. That he might not be hurt in falling, he got on a dung heap, where he fell down, and rolled about, gnashing with his teeth and foaming; on seeing which, a number of swine which were there ran and tore him in pieces, and so put an end to him. His wife and family, on hearing the outcry of the swine, went out and found the body of their lord, for the most part, eaten by them. Collecting his remains, they deposited them with all honour in a coffer wrought with gold and silver, declaring that the angels of God, scarcely leaving his body on the earth, had carried off his soul with joy to the delights of heaven. [1] It was a part of his doctrine, that those who slay their enemies, or are slain by them, enter Paradise, and that there they have the carnal enjoyment of eating and drinking, a river of wine, milk, and honey, carnal enjoyment of women, not as they are now, but a different sort of beings, and every kind of pleasure. He


[1] This account of the death of Mahomet is found in no historians of credit, and may therefore be considered as altogether fabulous. Dr. Prideaux concludes that he died in 632, aged sixty-three years. Life of Mahomet, 1708, p. 134.

A.D. 625.] A MARRIAGE. 75

appointed four rulers in the kingdom of the Saracens, whom he called Admirals, styling himself the Protosymbolus. In this year, Honorius, the sixty-eighth pope, sat in the Roman chair, which he occupied for twelve years, eleven months, and seventeen days, after which the see was vacant for seven months and eighteen days.

In the year of grace 623, St. Romanus, archbishop of Rouen, was remarkable for his sanctity and virtues. At this time, after the brothers Sexred and Siward, there reigned over the East-Saxons Sigebert, surnamed the Little, son of Siward, who, with his brother Sebert [Sexred] was, by the righteous judgment of God, slain by Kinegils, king of the West-Saxons, and Quichelm his son; for, on the death of their father, they returned to the worship of idols, and expelled Mellitus, bishop of London, and not one of their army escaped to tell the tale.

In the year of grace 624, on the death of Reodwald, king of the East-Angles, Eorpenwald took the helm of government, who began well and ended worthily.

A marriage.

In the year of grace 625, Paulinus was ordained archbishop of York by archbishop Justus. Now it happened that Eadwin, king of the Northumbrians, sent suitors to demand in marriage Athelburga, daughter of Athelbert, king of Kent, who was now dead; to whom the brother of the damsel, who was then king, made answer, that it was not lawful to unite a Christian virgin unto a pagan, lest the worship of the true God might be profaned by intercourse with an unbeliever. On the messengers bringing back this answer, Eadwin replied, that if, on examination by prudent men, the damsel's religion were found to be holier and more worthy of God, he would not in that case refuse to adopt it. The damsel was accordingly sent, and that she might not be polluted by associating with pagans, she was accompanied by Paulinus, to strengthen her by daily exhortation and the celebration of the heavenly sacraments. On her arrival, the king gave permission to all who came with her, men, and women, and priests, to observe their religious worship after the manner of Christians. Thus Paulinus came to king Edwin with the aforesaid virgin, accompanying her unto a carnal union; but his whole heart

76 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 627.

was bent on bringing the people to whom he came to receive the truth.

In the year of grace 626, Quichelm, who reigned jointly with his father Kinegils over the West-Saxons, sent an assassin named Eumer, to slay king Eadwin. This man, pretending an embassy from his lord, went to the king, near the river Derwent, with a two-edged weapon dipped in poison, to the end that if the weapon failed to despatch him, he might at least die of the poison. On seeing which, Lilla, a servant of the king, rushing between them, was run through by the stroke, and the king himself was slightly wounded by the same. The assassin, immediately after, slew a certain knight, but was at length himself killed and cut in pieces by the swords of the rest. The king was exceedingly disturbed by this event, but was somewhat comforted on his queen giving birth to a daughter the following night, for which he returned thanks to his gods; whereupon Paulinus rebuked him, assuring him that through his prayers the queen had brought forth without pain. On hearing this, the king was delighted, and promised that he would himself believe in the God of Paulinus, if he would give him the victory over Quichelm; and, as a pledge of his fulfilling his promise, he gave orders that his daughter should be baptized. She was accordingly baptized, with thirty more of his household, and was named Eanfled. After which, collecting an army, the king marched against Quichelm, and slew, or compelled to submission, all those that he had been informed had conspired against his life. Moreover, he slew Quichelm at a place which is to this day called, in the English tongue, "Quichelmeshlaune", which was the name he gave it in token of his victory. [1] And so he returned to his own country in triumph.

Of a revelation made to archbishop Paulinus, which induced king Eadwin to embrace the faith of Christ.

In the year of grace 627, a revelation was made to archbishop Paulinus by divine inspiration, which induced king Eadwin to believe. The manner of it was as follows. At the time of his persecution by Ethelfrid, his predecessor, and


[1] No other historian agrees with Wendover in this account of Quichelm's death.

A.D. 627.] VISION OF EDWIN. 77

while he was harboured by Reodwald, king of the East-Angles, he was informed by a friend that Reodwald had been corrupted by the gifts of Ethelfrid, either to put him to death, or to deliver him up to his enemy to be slain. To whom Eadwin made answer, "Whither shall I flee now, who for so many years have roamed through all the territories of Britain, to escape the snares of my enemies? If I must die, I had rather that this man should kill me than any meaner person". The night following, as he lay in bed tortured with mental anguish, he saw a man, quite unknown to him, standing by him, who thus addressed him, "What wouldest thou give the man who should deliver thee out of this distress, and persuade king Reodwald to protect thee"? On his replying, "Every thing in my power", the other proceeded, "And what, if any one should promise that thou shalt destroy thine enemies, and be a more powerful king than those who have gone before thee"? On Eadwin making the like reply as before, the other went on to say, "And what, if any one should show thee a better way of life than was known to any of thy ancestors, wouldest thou act accordingly"? On his promising this most firmly, the other added, laying his hands on his head, "When, therefore, this sign shall be given thee, remember this time and this discourse"; after saying which, he suddenly disappeared, that the other might understand that it was not a man, but a spirit. In the morning, while the royal youth was sitting alone, his friend before-mentioned came to him, and said, "Rise and be of good cheer; the king's heart is changed; for, by the queen's advice, he has determined to keep faith with thee". In short, as has been said before, Reodwald made war with king Ethelfrid, and restored Eadwin to his kingdom. And when Paulinus, being admonished by the Holy Ghost, recalled to the king's mind this prediction, and laid his hands upon his head, the king would have cast himself at his feet; but Paulinus raised him up, and exhorted him to believe. Accordingly, on the holy day of Easter, the king, with many others, was baptized by Paulinus in the church of St. Peter, which he had himself constructed of wood, and the idols and their altars he utterly destroyed. After which, he established an episcopal see for Paulinus in the city of York, where he built a church of stone, in which were baptized his children

78 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 632.

and an immense multitude of people, insomuch that, in a short time, there was not an unbeliever to be found in the whole of his kingdom.

Honorius is ordained first bishop of Lindsey.

In the year of grace 628, archbishop Paulinus converted to the faith of Christ the province of Lindsey, to the south of the river Humber, and first baptized Blecca, the governor of the city [of Lincoln], with all his house. In this city he built a church, in which he ordained Honorius as bishop.

Penda fought against Kinegils.

In the year of grace 629, a battle was fought between Penda, king of the Mercians, and Kinegils, king of the West-Saxons, at Cirencester; but, after great slaughter on either side, they made a truce and retired.

Tranquillity in the time of king Eadwin.

In the year of grace 630, king Eadwin, among his other useful works for the good of his people, conveyed clear water in brazen conduits along the highway, for the refreshment of travellers: he had standards borne before him, and he established such tranquillity in Britain in his times, that a woman laden with gold might, with a little boy, go where she pleased, without molestation. Archbishop Justus dying at this time was succeeded by Honorius.

Of the heresy of the Monothelites.

In the year of grace 631, Sergius, patriarch of Constantinople, and Cyrus, bishop of Alexandria, drew Heraclius into the heresy of the Monothelites, asserting that there is but one operation in Christ, and disturbing the church of believers. Wherefore the emperor, from countenancing them, incurred the odium of his subjects, was harassed by the neighbouring powers on all sides, and by permission of the divine justice, he who was wont to conquer all was now conquered by all.

King Eorpenwald embraces the faith of Christ.

In the year of grace 632, Eorpenwald, king of the East-Angles, by the persuasion of king Eadwin, embraced the faith of Christ. But after he had been converted, together with all

A.D. 633.] WAR BETWEEN EADWIN AND CADWALLO. 79

his people, by the instrumentality of bishop Felix, he did not live long, but was slain by a heathen man named Regbert; and from that time, that province remained for three years in error. Now the said bishop Felix was a Burgundian by nation, whom Honorius, archbishop of Canterbury, had at length sent into that province to preach, and he received the see of a bishopric in the city of Dommoc [Dunwich], where, having fulfilled the pontifical office for seventeen years, he ended his life in peace.

Of the battle between Eadwin, king of the Northumbrians, and Cadwallo, king of the Britons.

In the year of grace 633, a dissension having arisen between king Eadwin and Cadwallo, king of the Britons, they came together to battle, and in the engagement Cadwallo lost thousands of his men and was put to flight. Having therefore gained the victory, Eadwin led his army through the provinces of the Britons, and reduced to subjection three of their kingdoms, Demecia, Venedocia, and Menevia, having burnt their cities and destroyed their husbandmen. Now Cadwallo, who had fled into Ireland, having collected his scattered forces, was continually attempting to return to his country, but could not; for as often as he endeavoured to effect a landing in any port, he was opposed by Eadwin, who would not let him enter; for Eadwin had an astrologer named Pellitus, who made known to him every thing that was happening. Cadwallo therefore, in despair, went over into Brittany to king Salomon, who received him with honour, and on learning the cause of his coming, promised him assistance and counsel. Cadwallo then told Salomon all about Eadwin's astrologer, on which the latter advised that a prudent and bold man in the guise of a pilgrim should be sent over to try and kill the astrologer. The counsel pleased Cadwallo, who straightway laid this burden on his own nephew named Brien; who in obedience to his lord's instructions hastened to fulfil his commands. Assuming the garb of a pilgrim, he made a staff pointed with iron, and hung a scrip to his left side, and arriving in Britain, he proceeded to York, where he knew Eadwin to be. As soon as he entered the city, he mingled with the beggars who were waiting for alms before the king's door. As he went to and fro, his sister

80 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 634.

came forth from the hall with a vessel in her hand to fetch water for the queen's use; (for Eadwin had taken her in the city of Worcester, as he was pursuing Cadwallo through the provinces of the Britons); who seeing her brother among the beggars, was afraid lest any one should know him and he should be taken by his enemies. She therefore briefly described to him the state of the court, and the magician he was in quest of, who chanced at that moment to be walking among the beggars. Having recognized his sister, Brien bade her come forth by stealth the following night unto him, to a certain old temple without the city, where he would wait for her; then, returning to the beggars, he came to the place where Pellitus was arranging them. Straightway, raising his staff, he pierced the magician under his breast and killed him; then throwing the staff on the ground, he concealed himself among the rest, and without having been suspected by any one, he reached the before-mentioned retreat. His sister could not go forth in the night, for the whole court was in confusion at the death of Pellitus, and the king had ordered guards to be stationed round it. But Brien, penetrating the thickets of the woods, reached Exeter, where he assembled the Britons and told them what he had done; whereupon they fortified the town, and awaited with joy the arrival of Cadwallo. The rumour of these things having spread through all Britain, Penda, king of the Mercians, came to Exeter with an immense multitude of Saxons, and besieged Brien.

Death of king Eadwin, and desolation of the province of the Northumbrians.

In the year of grace 634, Cadwallo king of the Britons, having heard of what had happened to Pellitus, landed in the island with ten thousand troops, and hastened to Exeter. A battle took place, and Penda, not prepared for such an attack, was immediately taken prisoner and his army routed. Whereupon, having no other way of escape, Penda swore fidelity to Cadwallo, and found hostages for his submission; on which Cadwallo, assembling the Britons, with the king of the Mercians, proceeded to Northumbria, and began to ravage the country of king Eadwin. Which when it was told to Eadwin, he went to meet the Britons, and

A.D. 634.] PAULINUS BISHOP OF ROCHESTER. 81

fought a battle with them in a plain called "Heethfeld", in which Eadwin was slain, and his army cruelly cut to pieces. Thus Eadwin, and his son Offrid, and Godbald, king of the Orkneys, fell on the 12th of October. The head of Eadwin was brought to York, and was buried in the church of the blessed Peter, which he had founded. The greatest havoc was committed in the church and nation of the Northumbrians; for Penda, king of the Mercians, devoted to idols and wholly ignorant of the Christian name, spared none, considering all believers in Christ as public enemies. And Cadwallo, although he bore the name and profession of a Christian, was such a barbarian, that he did not even spare the female sex nor the innocent age of children, but with savage cruelty put all to death by torture; long time did he furiously ravage their provinces, labouring to exterminate the English people from the territories of Britain. The churches of Northumberland being in this state of confusion, archbishop Paulinus, taking with him queen Athelburga, returned by sea to Kent, where he was received with due respect by archbishop Honorius and king Eadbald. He also took with him Uffrea the son and Eanfled the daughter of Eadwin, and Yffi the son of Eadwin's son Osred, also many precious vessels belonging to the king, a large cross of gold and a golden chalice, the whole of which was preserved in the church of Canterbury, where it was to be seen long after.

The church of Rochester being at this time without a shepherd, Paulinus, at the request of the prelate Honorius and king Eadbald, undertook the charge of it, which he held until he ascended to the heavenly kingdom; and at his death he left them the pall which he had received of the Roman pontiff. [1] On the death of Eadwin, his kinsman Osric succeeded him in the kingdom of the Deiri; but Eanfrid, son of Athelfrid, assumed the government of the Bernicii. Now in the time of king Eadwin these youths were living in exile among the Scots and Picts, where they were baptized, but no sooner did they become kings than they returned to idolatry. Cadwallo, king of the Britons, straightway slew them both. Osric had rashly besieged him in a town to which


[1] Bede states that Paulinus died October 10, 644.

82 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 635.

he had retired, on which Cadwallo made a sudden sally and slew him. After which, for a whole year he most terribly ravaged the provinces of the Northumbrians, till at length Eanfrid, coming to him unadvisedly with twelve soldiers to sue for peace, met with the like fate.

Oswald is consecrated king of the two kingdoms.

In the year of grace 635, Oswald assumed the entire dominion of the Northumbrians, which he held for nine years. For the advancement of the faith in his kingdom, he sent into Scotland where he had been an exile, and brought thence bishop Aidan, a man of singular piety; to whom, on his arrival, king Oswald granted an episcopal see in the island of Lindisfarne. As the faith began to extend, Aidan not having full knowledge of the English tongue, as he preached, the king himself would interpret to his officers and attendants; for in the long period of his exile he had learned the language of the Scotch perfectly; the result of which was, that the faith grew so rapidly, that not a single unbeliever was to be met with in that region. Now Oswald was the son of king Athelfrid and brother of Eanfrid, and so he succeeded to two kingdoms, in which he spent a praiseworthy life. In this year also, Penda, king of the Mercians, was sent by Cadwallo, king of the Britons, with an immense force into the region of the Northumbrians, to slay king Oswald. Being attacked by Penda in a place called "Hefenfeld", or Heavenly Field, Oswald with his own hands erected the standard of the life-giving cross, and setting it in a hole he made it firm with sods. He then commanded his fellow soldiers that they should all cry to God with a loud voice, in these words, "Let us all bend our knees to God, and beseech him together, that he will defend us from the array of the haughty British king, and Penda his wicked general; for he knows that we undertake a just war for the safety of our nation". They accordingly all did as he had commanded, and so advancing against the enemy they obtained the victory as the reward of their faith; and the spot in which the king erected the Lord's cross, abounds in miracles and is held in great veneration to this day. The same year, Birinus, by the command of pope Honorius, coming into the country of the West-Saxons, was ordained bishop by Asterius pontiff of

A.D. 640.] DEATH OF EADBALD. 83

Genoa, that he might preach the grace of faith to that people. And while he was preaching there, Kinegils the king of that province believed with all his people, and was baptized. It happened that king Oswald was there at that time, and received him from the baptismal font, and then took his daughter in marriage. The two kings gave Birinus the city of Dorchester for a bishop's see, where he built and dedicated churches, and laboured that the young shoots of the divine planting might in them bear fruit.

In the year of grace 636, Sigebert, a most Christian and learned man, succeeded to the kingdom of the East-Angles. In the lifetime of his brother Eorpenwald, while he was an exile in France, he was admitted to the sacraments of faith; in which, as soon as he began to reign, he took care that the whole of his province should participate. He moreover instituted schools in various places, that the rustic people might taste the sweetness of literature. At last, he renounced the world and became a monk, leaving the throne of his king dom to his kinsman Egric.

In the year of grace 637, Severinus sat in the Roman chair two years, four months, and twenty-nine days. At the same time flourished in France, Audoenus, referendary of king Dagobert, so called because all the public writings were brought to him to be confirmed with the king's ring or signet.

In the year of grace 638, flourished St. Laudo, by whom Lambert, who was afterwards a bishop and a martyr, was trained from his childhood and led in the way of truth.

John pope.

In the year of grace 639, John sat in the Roman chair one year, eight months, and nineteen days, after which the see was vacant for a month and thirteen days.

Death of Eadbald king of Kent.

In the year of grace 640, Theodore sat in the Roman chair six years, five months, and eight days, after which the see remained vacant fifty days. In this year, Eadbald king of Kent departed this life, leaving his two sons, Ermenred and Erkenbert, heire of his temporal kingdom; but Erkenbert the younger by craft deprived his brother of the kingdom.

84 ROGER OF WENDOVER, [A.D. 642.

He governed worthily for twenty-four years and some months, for he was the first of the kings of England who commanded that idols should be destroyed, and the forty days' fast observed, throughout the whole of his kingdom, and that no one might venture to slight his commands, he ordered condign punishment to be inflicted on transgressors. He had a queen named Sexburga, the daughter of Anna king of the East-Angles, by whom he had a son Egbert, and a daughter Erkengota. There were also in process of time born to Ermenred two sons, Athelbert and Athelred, who will be mentioned in their place. The said Erkengota took the religious habit in the monastery of Brie in France, and there served God, for she was a virgin of eminent virtues; and at that time there were not yet many monasteries built in England, wherefore many went from Britain to the monasteries of France for the sake of a monastic life. The inhabitants of that place are wont to relate many notable works and signal miracles of this virgin dedicated to God; but it may suffice us briefly to tell somewhat of her departure to the heavenly kingdom. The day of her summons drawing near, she saw a number of men in white come into the monastery, who, being asked what they wanted, or what they did there, made answer that they had been sent to take away with them the gold coin that had been brought thither from Kent. That same night in the early dawn, she left the darkness of this world and departed to the light above. Many of the brethren of that monastery, who were in other houses; declared that they at that time distinctly heard concerts of angels singing, and the sound as it were of a great multitude entering the monastery; and that on their going forth to learn what it was, they saw an extraordinary light coming down from heaven, which conducted that holy soul, loosed from the bonds of the flesh, to the eternal joys of the heavenly country.

In the year of grace 641, died Heraclius Augustus; after whose death Heraclius Constantine his son reigned four months, when his stepmother Martina mingled poison in his drink.

In the year of grace 642, Heraclonas, son of Heraclius, reigned with his mother Martina four months, when they were driven out by the senate for having administered poison

A.D. 644.] ST. OSWALD. 85

to Heraclius; and, after the tongue of Martina and the nose of Heraclonas had been cut off, they were sent to Constans son of the younger Heraclius.

Death of Kinegils, king of the West-Saxons, and succession of Kinewale.

In the year of grace 643, Kinegils king of the West-Saxons, after a reign of thirty-two years, left this world, and was succeeded by his son Kinewale, who reigned thirty-one years. [1]

Of the sanctity of king Oswald.

In the year of grace 644, St. Oswald, having reduced under his sway all the nations of Britain, to wit, the English, Scots, Picts, and Britons, nevertheless always continued humble, showing himself gracious to strangers, a father to the poor, a terror to the rich, and an observer of justice in all his actions. On the holy day of Easter, as he was sitting at dinner with bishop Aidan, with a silver dish of royal dainties set before him, just as they were about to bless the bread, there suddenly entered the servant who had the charge of relieving the needy, and signified to the king that a multitude of poor persons from all parts were sitting in the streets, begging some alms of the king. He immediately ordered the food which was set before him to be carried to them, and the dish to be broken in pieces and distributed among them. Delighted at this act of piety on the king's part, Aidan laid hold of his right hand and said, "May this hand never rot"; which came to pass accordingly, for his hand and arm being cut off in the battle in which he was slain, remain uncorrupted to this day, and both are preserved in a coffer of gold and silver in the church of the blessed Peter, in the royal city called Burgum [Bamborough], where they are venerated by the devout. He was nephew of king Eadwin by Accha his sister, a worthy heir both of the religion and kingdom of so great a predecessor. But the enemy, envying his goodness, stirred up the heart of Cadwallo to slay him. For in the thirty-eighth year of his age, on the fifth day of the month of August, in the ninth year ot his reign, he was slain in a severe engagement with Penda, king of the


[1] Wendover and the Saxon Chronicle state that he died in 672: but that, as Florence of Worcester gives it, was the 30th not the 31st year of his reign.

86 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 645.

Mercians, in a disadvantageous place, called in the English tongue "Marelfeld". The spot where he was crowned with martyrdom in fighting for his country, is still famed for cures wrought on the sick. At the same time Kinewale founded an episcopal see at Winchester, of which Hedda was the first English bishop; for after Birinus bishop of Dorchester, had departed unto Christ, and was buried in his own church, in process of time the latter city was subjected by the kings of the Mercians, whereupon the see was transferred to Winchester; and the body of the blessed Birinus was translated thither by the aforesaid bishop, and honourably deposited in the church of the first see. The same year, Constans, son of Heraclius Constantine, obtained the Roman empire, which he governed for twenty-six years. He too fell into the heresy of the Monothelites, as his grandfather Heraclius Augustus had done. This sect asserts that there is only one nature in Christ, which is contrary to the orthodox faith; for, speaking of his divine essence, the Son of God says, "I and the Father are one", and in another place he says of his human substance, "The Father is greater than I". We will speak of them more at length by and by.

Oswald succeeded in the kingdom of the Bernicians by his brother Oswi, and in the kingdom of the Deiri by Oswin, son of king Osric.

In the year of grace 645, Oswald was succeeded in the kingdom of the Bernicians by his brother Oswi, who reigned in the midst of trouble twenty-eight years. At the same time Oswin, son of king Osric, succeeded to the kingdom of the Deiri, and reigned seven years. When he was established on the throne, he showed himself amiable to all; he had the countenance of an angel, a lofty stature, a cheerful disposition, courteous and elegant manners, a bountiful hand, was temperate at table, chaste in bed, and though raised to the highest pinnacle of power, he was careful to maintain humility, the guard of the other virtues; and so the great had him in reverence as their lord, while from his condescension the poor regarded him as a brother; and all thought themselves happy to live under him. The same year, Honorius, archbishop of Canterbury, was succeeded by Deusdedit. The same year, Penda, king of the Mercians, attacked Kinewale, king of the West-Saxons, and deprived him of his

A.D. 649.] CONVERSION OF KING SIGEBERT. 87

kingdom, because he had repudiated his sister. The same year Clovis reigned in France, and held the kingdom seventeen years, while his brother Sigebert reigned in Austria.

In the year of grace 646, Kinewale, king of the West-Saxons, having recovered his kingdom, bestowed many manors on his kinsman Cuthred, the son of Quichelm. The same year, Paulinus, bishop of Rochester, exchanged a temporal life for the life eternal: his sanctity is highly commended by Bede.

Of St. Fursey.

In the year of grace 647, St. Fursey flourished in Ireland. Giving himself to travel for Christ's sake, he arrived in France, where he was entertained by king Clovis, and founded the monastery of Lagny. Not long after he was followed by his brothers Foillan and Ultan, who became eminent in France. By the bounty of Gertrude the virgin, Foillan afterwards founded the monastery of Fosse, where he rests with the crown of martyrdom. At the same time, Ithamar succeeded Paulinus in the government of the church of Rochester.

In the year of grace 648, Martin sat in the Roman chair six years, one month, and twenty-six days, after which the see remained vacant twenty-eight days.

Sigebert, king of the East-Saxons, receives the faith of Christ.

In the year of grace 649, king Oswi was in the habit of exhorting Sigebert, king of the East-Saxons, to receive the faith of Christ; for he frequently came into the province of the Northumbrians. At length, with the consent of his friends, he was baptized by bishop Finan. As he was now become a citizen of the eternal kingdom, on his return to his own country, he begged king Oswi to give him some teachers who might convert his nation to the faith. Oswi thereupon sent into the province of the Middle-Angles, and brought thence a man of God named Cedda, and giving him a presbyter as a companion, he sent them to the East-Saxons to preach to them the word of faith. Having gone through the whole country and collected a great church unto God, Cedda returned home to confer with bishop Finan, who, on learning that the work of the gospel had prospered, made him bishop

88 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 648.

over the aforesaid nation. Accepting the episcopal office, he returned to the province of the East-Saxons, where he built churches in various places, and ordained presbyters and deacons, who commenced and finished the work of baptizing in the towns of Ithancester and Tileburgh [Tilbury], the former of which is on the banks of the river Penta, and the latter on the banks of the river Thames. The same king was not long afterwards put to death by his kindred because he spared his enemies, and granted ready forgiveness of injuries. He was succeeded in the kingdom of the East-Saxons by Swithelm, son of Sexbald, who was baptized by bishop Cedda in the province of the East-Angles, in the royal village called Rendlesham. He was received from the font by Ethelwald, king of that nation, and brother of Anna, king of the same people.

Agelbert consecrated bishop of Dorchester.

In the year of grace 650, Birinus, first bishop of Dorchester, was succeeded by Agelbert. In these days too, Felix, bishop of the East-Angles, dying after holding the bishopric sixteen years, Honorius ordained in his room his deacon Thomas of the province of the Girvii; who, being taken from this life five years afterwards, was succeeded by Boniface. At the same time, Peada, being made king of the Mercians by his father Penda, and in every way worthy the name of king, came to Oswi, king of the Northumbrians, and demanded his daughter Elfleda in marriage; but could only obtain his request on condition that he, and the people over whom he reigned, should embrace the faith of Christ. On hearing the preaching of the truth and the promise of a heavenly kingdom, by the persuasion of his friend Alfrid, son of Oswi, whose sister Kineburga he had married, he was baptized by bishop Finan, with all his family, in a village of the king's called "At-the-Wall" [ad Murum], and, taking with him four presbyters to convert his nation to the faith, he returned home with joy. The aforesaid priests came into the province and preached the word of God, insomuch that a multitude of people became obedient to the faith, and, renouncing the pollutions of idols, were born again in the font. Nor did Penda, though a most cruel pagan, forbid their preaching the word of God among his subjects, the Mercians; though he said that they were

A.D. 651.] PASSION OF ST. OSWIN. 89

contemptible wretches who refused to obey their God in whom they believed.

Of the passion of St. Ostein.

In the year of grace 651, causes of dissension having sprung up between Oswi and Oswin, kings of the Deiri and Bernicians, they each collected an army for battle. But as they were on the point of engaging at a place called Wilfaresdune, Oswin, finding himself unequal to his antagonist, dismissed his army, commanding them all to return to their homes, while himself, with a single soldier named Tonhere, betook himself to the house of count Hunwald, whom he believed to be a most assured friend. But it was far otherwise; for the count betrayed him, and Oswi despatched his general Aethelwin to slay the king. On hearing of his approach, Oswin straightway went forth to meet the swords of the wicked; and the executioners, rushing on him, in a detestable manner put to death both himself and his soldier, at a place called Ingetlingum.

Thus Oswin followed the example of the Saviour, who, when the Jews were seeking him in order to crucify him, made haste to suffer, and himself demanded of them whom they sought, and on their replying that they sought Jesus of Nazareth, "If", said he, "ye seek me, let these go away"; meaning thereby his disciples, since himself alone was sufficient for the redemption of the world. Animated by such an example, the glorious martyr of God, betrayed by his friend, as was the Saviour by his disciple, gave himself up to death for his country and his people; calling to mind the saying of the Saviour, "Greater love hath no man, than that a man should lay down his life for his friends". It cannot, therefore, be doubted that such an end was preceded by a good life; for no one becomes perfect of a sudden. From his early years he was, as has been said already, a most sincere lover of the Christian religion, of lofty stature, undaunted courage, of an angelical countenance, courteous in manners, full of resources of a cheerful disposition, affable to all, abounding in works of piety, maintaining such a course between the poor and the rich that the former looked on him as an equal, while the latter reverenced him as their lord. By which it came to pass that all men flocked unto the king,

90 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 651.

seeking his society for the sake of his rare mental qualities, to the end that, being instructed after the royal fashion, they might appear wise in the eyes of others. I must not omit to speak of his humility, a virtue which has been called the guardian of the others, and of which he left a singular example to all his posterity. He had given to bishop Aidan a very valuable and excellent horse, which he might use either in crossing rivers, or for expedition's sake, when travelling on any urgent business, though he ordinarily went on foot. Not long after, a poor man meeting him, and asking for alms, he dismounted, and ordered the horse, with his royal trappings, to be given to the beggar; for he was a friend to the poor, and, as it were, the father of the wretched. This being told to the king, he said to the bishop, "Why, my lord, should you give to a poor man the royal horse which you ought to have kept for yourself? Had we not other horses, of less value, and of a different sort, which would have been good enough for poor persons, but you must needs give them the one which I had particularly selected for yourself"? On which the bishop replied, "What is it you say, O king? Is that foal of a mare more dear to you than this child of God"? The king instantly repented of what he had said, and straightway rising up, he threw himself at the bishop's feet, beseeching him to pardon his offence, and freely to give whatever he would of the rest of his substance to the children of God. At this sight, the bishop immediately arose, and lifting him up, assured him that he would be entirely pacified if he would only sit down and lay aside his sorrow. The king beginning to be merry, as the bishop bade him, the pontiff began to be sad, and shedding tears in abundance, he said to his servants, in the tongue of his own country, "I never till now saw a humble king: this country is not worthy of such a ruler". Lastly, he was perfect in his love to God and to his neighbour; for in loving God he so loved his neighbours that, to spare his own people, and what is more, aliens also, he did not scruple to shed his own blood. Being, therefore, endued with so many and such excellent virtues, and rendered thereby a worthy sacrifice unto God, he hastened unto martyrdom.

The most blessed king and martyr, Oswin, suffered on the 20th day of August, in the ninth year of his reign, at a place

A.D. 653.] COUNCIL OF THE LATERAN. 91

called "Ingetlingum", and his body was taken to the church of the mother of God, at the mouth of the Tyne, a river in the north, and was there buried in the open air. For the people in those parts were rude, and the body of the martyr was buried in an obscure nook of land in a stone coffin, to be brought to light in after times by the grace of God. He was succeeded in the kingdom of the Deiri by Oidwald, son of king Oswald by his queen Eanfleda, daughter of king Eadwin. Twelve days after the death of Oswin, bishop Aidan was removed from this world, and received from God the everlasting reward of his labours. He was succeeded in the bishopric of Lindisfarne by Finan, a Scot by nation, who however did not long hold it.

Of a monk who was taken to battle against his will.

In the year of grace 652, Egric, king of the East-Angles, being provoked to battle by Penda, king of the Mercians, and thinking himself inferior to the enemy, requested his predecessor, Sigebert the monk, to go with him to the battle for the sake of encouraging the army. On his refusal they brought him forth from the monastery and led him to the field against his will, hoping that the soldiers would be less inclined to flee in the presence of one who was formerly a most brave king, and well skilled in military affairs. But mindful of his profession, which did not permit him to fight, he was slain, together with king Egric, and the whole of their army was cut in pieces or dispersed. He was succeeded by Anna, son of Eni, of royal race, a most excellent man, of whom we shall speak in the sequel.

Pope Martin condemns the heresy of the Monothelites.

In the year of grace 653, pope Martin held at Rome a council of a hundred and five bishops, in which he condemned the heresy of the Monothelites, and its adherent Paul, the patriarch of Constantinople, falsely so called. On hearing of which, Constans Augustus summoned pope Martin to Constantinople, and banished him thence to the Chersonese; moreover, he condemned many of the orthodox to stripes and exile, because they would not acquiesce in his heresy. At the same time Deusdedit succeeded Honorius, as archbishop of Canterbury.

92 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 654.

In the year of grace 654, Penda, king of the Mercians, madly bent on war, and rejoicing only in bloodshed, made an attack on Anna, king of the East-Angles, a very religious man, whom he destroyed in a moment, with all his army. Anna was succeeded in the kingdom by his brother Athelhere. The same year died Erconbert, king of Kent, and was succeeded in the kingdom by his son Egbert, who reigned nine years. Egbert had brought up in his palace Athelbert and Ethelred, the two sons of his uncle Ermenred, who, after their regeneration in holy baptism, continued in innocence and voluntary chastity, and threw the shield of humility over their eminent virtues. Now there was, in the house of the aforesaid king, a certain servant, a limb of the devil, named Thuner, which is the same with "Tonitrum " in Latin, and means "Thunder", who, through envy at the improvement of the noble boys, made it his daily business with the king to blacken their innocence. "I see", said he, "that thou, O king, art with much care bringing up these youths, who will one day aspire to take thy kingdom from thee; wherefore I would give thee good counsel, either to banish them to a distance, or to deliver them to me to put them to death". As he daily urged him on, and the king dissembled or gave a cold denial, the audacious wretch was encouraged to destroy the guiltless. Not to make a long story, Thuner, with devilish rage, armed a multitude, and, in the king's absence, ignominiously cut the throats of the aforesaid innocents, and buried the bodies of the holy youths without ceremony in the king's hall under the royal chair. On the king's return, in the dead of the night, a column of light was shed down from heaven, and filled the royal house with a wonderful resplendence, at the sight of which the servants of the king's household fell to the ground in consternation, and almost lost their wits. The king being awaked by the uproar among his servants, and being quite ignorant of the cause of the tumult, rose as usual to hear matins; and, on going out of the house, he saw an orb of unusual splendour with bright rays issuing therefrom. The king thereon called to mind his conversation with that wicked servant about destroying the youths, and became very sad. Calling to him the minister of iniquity, he demands of him where his kinsmen were, who were wont to be with him daily, but whom

A.D. 654.] EGBERT, KING OF KENT. 93

he had not seen about him on the past day? To which the other replied, as Cain did, "I know not; am I the keeper of the youths"? The king thereon said to him, "Thou base servant; didst thou not always speak evil to me of them? Thou canst not, therefore, but know where they are". On which the wicked wretch, with the utmost effrontery, told the king what he had done. The latter was greatly enraged; but when his anger had passed off, he charged himself with the whole guilt of the crime, and being troubled beyond measure, he spent the remainder of the night in tears. When at length the day began to dawn on the earth, he commanded archbishop Deusdedit to be summoned, and as many of the nobles as possible, to whom he related in order how a column of light had been shed down from heaven upon the corpses of the holy youths. The archbishop gave counsel that the bodies of the innocents should be conveyed to the metropolitan church, and there be committed to burial after a royal manner. At the same time they went together to the spot, and found the sacred relics lying ignominiously beneath the king's chair. These things took place in the royal village of Eastreia [East Rye]. When the relics of the saints were duly placed on a bier, the archbishop gave orders that they should be carried to Christ's Church in Canterbury, but in vain; for with all their efforts, they could not move them from the spot. They then changed their purpose, and attempted to convey them to the church of the blessed Augustine, but with no better success. They at length determined to carry them to the famous monastery of Waering, and on this change of purpose, they lifted the bier with the slightest effort, as if it were of no weight at all; and having arrived there, after the funeral rites were performed by the archbishop, they committed the bodies of the saints to burial near the larger altar; at which spot many signal miracles are wrought, by divine mercy, to God's praise and their glory. It happened at that time that Ermenburga, the king's sister, left her husband, the son of Penda, king of the Mercians, and with his consent chose to lead a life of chastity. On her coming to her brother, with her family, and signifying to him her resolution, he gave her the spot where he had seen the vision aforesaid; and there Ermenburga, the beloved of God, built a monastery in honour of the martyrs, and took seventy nuns as her associates, and at length rested in the

94 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 655.

Lord, after offering unto God the worthy fruit of a good conversation. At this time, also, Botulph built a church at Icanhoe.

Death of Penda, king of the Mercians.

In the year of grace 655, at the command of Cadwallo, king of the Britons, Penda, king of the Mercians, assembled an innumerable army and invaded Northumberland. Driven by necessity, king Oswi promised him abundance of gifts and royal ornaments if he would lay aside hostilities and return home peaceably. But when neither gifts nor entreaties could prevail, the king had recourse to divine help for deliverance from the impious barbarian, and binding himself by a vow, he said, "If the pagan will not receive our gifts, let us offer them to Him who will, even to the Lord our God". He then vowed, that if he should come off victorious, he would dedicate his daughter unto the Lord in holy virginity, and would give, together with her, twelve manors for founding monasteries; and thus, with a little band, he prepared himself for the contest. The pagan is said to have had an army thrice as large, equipped in all points for war under thirty leaders. Oswi and his son Alfrid, having Christ for their leader, met and routed them, and cut them in pieces in the pursuit. Among the rest fell the most wicked king Penda, who had deprived so many noble persons of their temporal life. There fell also king Athelhere, brother of king Anna, of whom we have spoken above: he was the author of the war, and did not perish alone. The battle was fought near a river named "Winwed", which at that time had overflowed its banks from excessive rain; so that more were drowned by the water in the flight than were slain by the sword in the battle; whence it became a proverb, "In the river Winwed was avenged the death of Anna, the death of the kings Sigebert and Egric, and the death of Oswald and Eadwin". King Oswi thereupon, in accordance with his vow unto the Lord, returned thanks to God for the victory which had been granted to him, and gave his daughter, who was scarcely a year old, to be consecrated to him in perpetual virginity in the monastery of Hartsey, or Stag Island, of which Hilda was at that time abbess. Having acquired a possession of ten families in a

A.D. 658.] DEATH OF PEADA. 95

place called "Streneshal", she built there a monastery. King Oswi concluded this war to the great benefit of either nation, for whilst he delivered his own nation from the hostile ravages of the pagans, he converted the nation of the Mercians to the grace of the Christian faith, having cut off their perfidious head who had inflicted universal slaughter. Athelhere was succeeded in the kingdom of the East-Angles by his brother Ethelwald, and, by continued successions, the kingdom at last came to Eadwolf and Eadwald, sons of the same Athelhere.

Of the first bishops of Lichfield.

In the year of grace 656, king Oswi granted to Peada, the son of Penda, the kingdom of the South-Mercians, to hold of himself, because he was his kinsman. The South-Mercians are separated from the North-Mercians by the river Trent. Diuma was the first bishop in the province of the Mercians, as also of Lindisfarne, and of the Middle-Angles. He died and was buried among the Middle-Angles. The second bishop of the same province was Coellac, who, quitting the episcopal office, returned to Scotland. The third was Tunhere, of the English nation, but taught and ordained by the Scots: he was abbat in the monastery of Ingetlingum, the spot where Oswin, the king and martyr, was slain.

Death of Peada king of the Mercians, who was succeeded by Wulfhere his brother.

In the year of grace 657, Peada the son of Penda, was most wickedly slain, by the treachery, as it is said, of his wife, at the season of the Easter festival. He was succeeded by his brother Wulfhere, who inherited his father's valour, and reigned seventeen years. No sooner was he raised to be king, than, with the aid of his generals Immin, Eabbi, and Edbert, he rebelled against king Oswi, and driving out his officers from the kingdom of the Mercians, they recovered at once their territories and their independence. He had for his bishops, after Tunhere, Jaruman, Ceadda, and Winfrid, who successively discharged the episcopal office in Mercia.

In the year of grace 658, Kinewale, king of the West-Saxons, rebelled against the Britons at Penn, but the latter

96 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 661

at first somewhat repulsed the English. At length becoming fatigued, the courage of the Britons melted like snow; they were routed from Penn as far as Pendred, and the descendants of Brute never recovered from the blow inflicted on them on that day.

Eugenius pope.

In the year of grace 659, Eugenius sat in the Roman chair two years, nine months, and twenty-two days; after which the see remained void for two months.

Miracle of St. Dionysius.

In the year of grace 660, king Clovis uncovered the body of the blessed Dionysius, and covetously and irreligiously broke off the bone of his arm, which he took away, and presently after he fell into a lasting madness.

In the year of grace 661, Kinewale, king of the West-Saxons, rebelled against Wulfhere, king of the Mercians; but the latter, partaking of his father's valour and good fortune, prevailed, and routed the king of the West-Saxons, and ravaged his territory, till at last he made himself master of the Isle of Wight. At this time also, Athelwald, king of the South-Saxons, being subdued by the aforesaid Wulfhere in the fourth year of his reign, embraced the faith of Christ, and was received by the same king from the font. After which he sent Eopa, the presbyter, to the Isle of Wight, to preach to that people and convert them to the true faith. There was at that time in the province of the Northumbrians a certain clergyman, named Wilfrid, a great friend of Alfrid, the son of Oswi, whom he had instructed in the doctrines of Christianity. On his return from Rome, he had spent a considerable time with Dalfin, archbishop of Lyons, and had received from him the ecclesiastical tonsure. Alfrid therefore gave him a monastery of forty families at Ripon, which he had given a little before to the bishops who kept Easter according to the custom of the Scots; but forasmuch as they afterwards, being left to their option, chose rather to leave the place than change their custom, he gave it to him whose life and doctrine were more worthy. There came at that time into the province of the Northumbrians, Agelbert, bishop of the West-Saxons, whom we have

A.D. 663.] CLOTAIRE III. 97

mentioned above, a friend of Alfrid, and at his request ordained the aforesaid Wilfrid priest in his monastery; where, spending his life in holy conversation, he sedulously fulfilled himself the precepts which he delivered to his disciples. Bishop Agelbert left king Kinewale and the kingdom of England, and received a bishopric in France: he was succeeded by Wina.

In the year of grace 662, Vitalian sat in the Roman chair twelve years and six months; after which the see was void for two months and thirteen days.

Clotaire reigns in France.

In the year of grace 663, Clotaire reigned in France four years. At the same time there was a great disputation in England between the English and the Scots respecting the observance of Easter; for there assembled at Streneshal, king Oswy and his son Alfrid, Colman a Scot, bishop of Lindisfarne, with his clergy from Scotland, Cedda another bishop, with the abbess Hilda, who favoured the Scottish party. On the other side was Wilfrid the presbyter with his monks and clergy, who kept Easter differently from the Scots. When they were all assembled, king Oswy showed that it is the duty of those who serve one God, to observe the same rule of life; and as they all expected the same kingdom in heaven, so they ought not to differ in the celebration of the heavenly sacraments; but rather to inquire which was the truer tradition, that the same might be faithfully followed by all. Colman then said, "The Easter which I keep I received from my elders, who sent me hither as bishop; all our fathers, men beloved of God, are known to have kept it after the same manner; and that no one may despise it, it is the same which the blessed evangelist John is recorded to have observed in all the churches over which he presided". Having said thus much, and more to the like effect, the king commanded Wilfrid the presbyter to speak, who accordingly thus began;- "The Easter which we keep is observed in common by Romans, Italians, French, Greeks, and the universal church wherever scattered throughout the world, except the Picts, the Scots, and the Britons, who with foolish zeal oppose the whole world; for whereas the Lord said to Peter the prince of the apostles,

98 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 665.

'Thou art Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it, and I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven'; canst thou, Colman, prefer our fathers, the Picts and Scots, to the prince of the apostles, to whom the Lord granted the dominion over the whole church"? On hearing this, the king said, "Are these things true, Colman, which Wilfrid saith"? To which he replied, "They are true, my lord king". "If then", continued the king, "you both agree in this, that these words were addressed principally to Peter, I tell you that since he is the door-keeper, I will not contradict him; but will, as far as I am able, obey his commands; lest perchance, when I come to the doors of the heavenly kingdom, there should be no one to open them; he being my adversary who is proved to have the keys". The king having thus said, all present gave their assent, raising their hands towards heaven, and, renouncing the more imperfect institution, embraced that which they knew to be better.

Tuda ordained bishop of Lindisfarne.

In the year of grace 664, king Erconbert died, and was succeeded in the kingdom of Kent by his son Egbert. The same year, Colman, bishop of Lindisfarne, returned to Scotland with his clergy, and Tuda was ordained bishop in his room. In the month of May of the same year there happened an eclipse of the sun, which was followed by an unheard of mortality. Deusdedit, archbishop of Canterbury, died, and the see remained vacant for four years. The same year, Alfrid, son of king Oswy, sent Wilfrid the presbyter into France, to be there ordained archbishop of York. He was accordingly consecrated by bishop Agelbert, who, after quitting Britain, was made bishop of Paris. Wilfrid making some stay, king Oswy sent the presbyter Cedda to the prelate of the West-Saxons, named Wina, who consecrated him bishop, though against the decrees of the canons; for while Wilfrid was yet living, no one else could be put in his room; but that error was afterwards corrected, as shall be shown below.

Mortality in Britain.

In the year of grace 665, there was such an excessive

A.D. 668.] THEODORE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY. 99

mortality in England, that the people crowded to the seaside, and threw themselves from the cliffs into the sea, choosing rather to be cut off by a speedy death, than to die by the lingering torments of the pestilence.

A bishopric purchased with money.

In the year of grace 666, Wina, bishop of Winchester, having been expelled from the prelacy by king Kinewale, purchased the bishopric of London of Wulfhere, king of the Mercians, at a great price; for which cause, he was not worthy to be reckoned after his death among the bishops of London.

Contention between the Romans and Constans.

In the year of grace 667, the emperor Constans, wishing to make Rome the capital of the empire, was opposed by the inhabitants of Constantinople, and so his design was frustrated. He afterwards went to Rome, and presented to St. Peter a mantle wrought with gold, which pope Vitalian received with due honour, and conveyed to the doors of St. Peter's in the midst of a vast concourse of people. After a sojourn of twelve days in the city, he was moved by his excessive cupidity to have conveyed down the Tiber, in order to take them with him to Constantinople, all sorts of decorations of brass and of marble with which the city was embellished; among the rest, he stripped of its brazen roof the church of the blessed Mary, the mother of God, and of the martyrs, which was formerly called the Pantheon, and carried it away with him to Constantinople.

Theodore is consecrated archbishop of Canterbury, and having expelled Cedda, archbishop of York, he recalls Wilfrid.

In the year of grace 668, pope Vitalian ordained Theodore bishop of the church of Canterbury. After two years he came into Britain, and degraded Cedda, a holy and modest man, who, he was informed, had been improperly promoted to the archbishopric of York, and recalled Wilfrid who had been unjustly expelled. Cedda humbly acquiesced and accepted the bishopric of Lichfield.

100 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 672.

An act of treachery.

In the year of grace 669, the emperor Constans was most wickedly slain by his servants in a bath. After his death, the soldiers took Mizentius, a certain Armenian, and made him emperor; but after a few days, Constantine, son of the deceased Constans, overcame Mizentius and the murderers of his father, and condemned them to a disgraceful death.

In these days days died Mahomet the false prophet, of whom we have spoken before, and he was buried in hell.

Constantine, after attaining the Roman empire, destroyed the heresy of the Monothelites.

In the year of grace 670, Adeodatus sat in the Roman chair four years, two months, and five days; after which the see remained vacant for four months and fifteen days. The same year, Constantine, son of Constans, attained the Roman empire, and reigned seventeen years. He restored the churches which had been overthrown from the times of Heraclius his great-grandfather; and laboured for the subversion of the heresy of the Monothelites and those who adhered to it. The same year died Oswy, the august king of the Northumbrians, worn out with disease and old age, and was buried in the church at Streneshale, where king Eadwin was buried before him. His son Egfrid reigned in his stead fifteen years. Now Oswy was the son of Athelferth, who was the son of Athelric, who was the son of Ida, the first king of the Northumbrians of the race of the Angles.

A battle of birds.

In the year of grace 671, there was an extraordinary battle in England among the birds, insomuch that many thousands were found killed, and it seemed that the foreign birds were put to flight.

On the death of Kinewale, king of the West-Saxons, his wife Sexburga succeeded him.

In the year of grace 672, died Kinewale king of the West-Saxons, after a reign of thirty-one years, and his wife Sexburga reigned in his stead for one year, but was expelled the kingdom by the indignant nobles, who would not go to war under the conduct of a woman.

A.D. 674.] COUNCIL OF HERTFORD. 101

Theodore, archbishop of Kent, assembles a council.

In the year of grace 673, Lothaire being king of Kent, and Eascwin king of Wessex, Theodore, archbishop of Kent, assembled a council at Hertford, at which all the bishops, and kings, and nobles of England were present. There were present, Wilfrid archbishop of York, Bisi bishop of the East-Angles, Leutherius bishop of the West-Saxons, Putta bishop of Rochester, and Winfrid bishop of the Mercians. When all were seated, Theodore set before them ten capitula; the first of which was, that they should all in common keep the holy day of Easter on the Lord's day next after the fourteenth moon of the first month; the second, that no bishop should intrude into the diocese of another; the third, that it be lawful for no bishop to trouble the monasteries consecrated by God, nor to take any thing belonging to them; the fourth, that monks do not wander from place to place, but continue in the obedience which they promised at the time of their conversion; the fifth, that no clerk leave his bishop, or be admitted elsewhere without letters from his prelate; the sixth, that foreign bishops and clergy exercise no function without the permission of the bishop in whose diocese they are sojourning; the seventh, that a synod be held twice a year, or at least once, forasmuch as many are hindered by various causes and occupations; the eighth, that no bishop should ambitiously set himself before another, but that all should observe the time and order of their consecration; the ninth, that more bishops should be made, as the number of believers increased; the tenth was, that no one be allowed any but lawful wedlock; that none commit incest, nor put away his wife except for fornication. All the bishops thereupon assented, and each of them confirmed the particulars so laid down by subscribing his hand.

Bisi, bishop of the East-Angles, having been removed, Acca and Bedewin are set in his room.

In the year of grace 674, bishop Bisi, being hindered by much infirmity from administering the episcopal functions, was removed, and Acca and Bedewin were ordained in his room; from which time that province has continued to have two bishops. They had their sees, the one at Dommoc, the other

102 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 676.

at Helmham. Not long after, archbishop Theodore, taking offence at the disobedience of Winfrid, bishop of the Mercians, deposed him, and ordained bishop in his room Sexwulf, the founder and abbat of the monastery of Medmeshamstede, in the country of the Girvii. Winfrid, thus deposed, retired to his monastery Ad Baruue [Barrow in Lincolnshire], and there ended his life in holy conversation.

St. Erkenwald, bishop of London.

In the year of grace 675, at which period Sebba son of Seward, and Sigehere son of Sigebert the Little, reigned in the country of the East-Saxons, Theodore, archbishop of Kent, ordained Erkenwald bishop in the city of London. This man, before he became bishop, had founded two famous monasteries, one for himself, and the other for Athelburga his sister; his own at Certeseie, and his sister's at Berkingum. At one time, when Erkenwald was infirm in his feet, and was carried about his diocese on a litter, it chanced that he came to the bank of a very rapid river; at which, when his companions paused, because an infirm person could by no means pass over that river, either on horseback or on foot, all at once the stream disappeared; and no sooner had the bishop and his attendants passed over, than it resumed its natural course. The touch of that litter cured many weak and aguish persons. At length Erkenwald, the man of God, after passing through the present life, died, and was buried in the church of the blessed Paul at London, where even to this day he bestows on such as call on him a speedy cure of their divers infirmities. His successors were Waldere, Jugwald, Egulf, Wigere, Eadbrith, [Eadgar], Kinewale, Eadbald, Edbert, Osmund, Ethelnoth, Celbert, Revulf, Suithulf, Eadstan, Wulsi, Ethelward, and Estan. All of these sat in the chair of London until the times of Edward the Elder, king of the English; but the memory of them all has perished to that degree, that neither their acts, nor even their tombs, are known.

Death of Cadwallo king of the Britons, who was succeeded by his son, the young Cedwalla.

In the year of grace 676, died Cadwallo, king of the Britons, under the pressure of old age and infirmity, after a reign of forty-eight years. The Britons embalmed his body,

A.D. 676.] DEATH OF CADWALLO. 103

and placed it with wonderful art in a brazen statue cast after the measure of his stature. This they set on a brazen horse over the west gate of London, in token of the sway he had exercised over the English nation. [1] They also built under the same gate a church in honour of the blessed Martin, wherein divine ceremonies might be for ever performed for him, and all who had departed in the faith. He was succeeded in the kingdom by his son Cadwallader, whom Bede calls the young Cedwalla, whose mother was sister to Penda king of the Mercians, whom Cadwallo took to wife, after making peace with her brother, and of her begat Cadwallader. At the same time died Wulpher, king of the Mercians, whose queen Ermenhilda was daughter of Erconbert king of Kent; and of the holy Sexburga his queen, who was the daughter of Anna king of the East-Angles and sister of St. Etheldrida; she bore him St Wereburga, a virgin of excellent virtues, who, on the death of her father, renounced the world, and entered the monastery of Etheldrida, her mother's aunt. Her uncle Athelred, who succeeded her father in the kingdom, on hearing of her sanctity, set her, in the capacity of abbess, over several monasteries of virgins devoted unto God, with whom she lived in regular discipline, serving Christ her king unto the end of her life, and at last departed out of this world in one of her own monasteries called Trikingeham [Trentham]. Her body was carried, in accordance with the directions she had given in her lifetime, to the monastery of Heanbirig [Hanbury], where it was honourably entombed. Now, this province remained entire until the time when the impious Danes ravaged with cruel slaughter the English provinces. King Wulfhere had, besides, three brothers, Athelred, Peada, of whom we have spoken before, and Merwald, who reigned in the western quarter of the Mercians. His queen, St. Ermenburga, daughter of Ermenred, brother of Erconbert, king of Kent, bore him three daughters, St. Milburga, St. Mildrida, and St. Milgytha; she also bore him a son, named Merefin, a youth of exceeding sanctity. Wulfhere was succeeded by his brother Athelred, who, taking to wife Astritha, sister of Egfrid king of the Northumbrians, had by her a son named Ceolred. The same year died Eascwin, king of the


[1] The account of Cadwallo's death is found nowhere but in Geoffrey of Monmouth.

104 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 678.

West-Saxons, who was the son of Kenferth, the son of Cuthgils, the son of Ceolwulf, the son of Kenric. Eascwin was succeeded by Kentwin, who reigned ten years, being the son of Kinegils, who was the son of Ceolwulf, etc.

Donus, pope of Rome.

In the year of grace 677, Donus sat in the Roman chair one year, five months, and ten days, after which the see remained vacant ten months and fifteen days. At this time flourished St. Etheldrida, in the isle of Ely. In these days also appeared a comet for three months, and each day it shone in the morning with a splendour equal to the sun.

Wilfrid is expelled his bishopric.

In the year of grace 678, there arose a dissension between Egfrid, king of the Northumbrians, and the venerable archbishop Wilfrid. The holy man was expelled, and three bishops sat in his room, namely, Bosa, who presided over the province of the Deiri, and Eatta over that of the Bernicians, the latter having his seat in the city of York, and the former in the church of Hagustald [Hexham]: both of them were of the fraternity of the monks. With them, Eadhed was ordained bishop over the province of Lindisfarne, which king Egfrid had lately acquired, he having overcome Wulfhere, king of the Mercians. That province received Eadhed as its first bishop, Ethelwin as its second, Eadgar as its third, Kinebert as its fourth, who now fills that office. For, before Eadhed, it had for its prelate Sexwulf, who was bishop both of the Mercians and Middle-Angles; for when he was expelled from Lindesey, he continued in the government of the former provinces. Now, the aforesaid bishops were ordained by archbishop Theodore, who, three years after the retirement of Wilfrid, added two more bishops, Tunbert to the church of Hagustald, on the removal of Eatta to that of Lindisfarne, and Trunwin to the province of the Picts, who at that time were brought under the dominion of the English. In the same year Agatho sat in the Roman chair, which he occupied two years, six months, and five days.

Wilfrid goes to Rome.

On being expelled his bishopric, Wilfrid proceeded to Rome, to lay the case of his expulsion before pope Agatho;

A.D. 678.] MIRACLE BY WILFRID. 105

but as soon as he had embarked, he was driven by the west wind to Frisia, where he preached the word to the people of that region, and washed in the laver of salvation king Aldegils and his people. After passing the winter with God's new people, he at length reached Rome, and after his cause had been examined before Agatho in the presence of a great number of bishops, he was pronounced by their unanimous judgment to have been accused falsely, and to be most worthy of the episcopal office. The pope having at this time assembled at Rome a synod of a hundred and twenty-five bishops, in opposition to those who held the heresy of the Monothelites, he commanded Wilfrid also to be summoned, who thereupon took his seat among the bishops, and, at the pope's bidding, declared his own faith and that of the province whence he had come. On being found catholic in faith, together with his people, he was acquitted of the matters laid to his charge; and, on his return to Britain, he converted the province of the South-Saxons from the darkness of idolatry to the faith of Christ. He also sent ministers of God's word to the Isle of Wight, and in the second year of Aldfrid, who reigned in Northumberland after Egfrid, he recovered his see by the king's grant.

Wilfrid once, while visiting his parishes, and entering a certain village named Tundanefre, was met by a great multitude of women, offering to him their children to be confirmed. A poor woman mingled with the crowd, bearing her lifeless child, whom she presented to the bishop to be confirmed, believing that by this artifice she could have her son restored to her. The prelate, on uncovering the child to perform the ceremony, perceived that it was lifeless. On being detected in the fraud, the woman had recourse to prayers, and beseeching him by God and his mother to have compassion on her, and raise up her son from the dead, she cast herself down, and grasping his feet, declared that she would not let them go until her son was restored to her alive. The holy man fluctuated in mind, dubious whether rashly to try an unusual miracle, or harshly despise the prayers of the destitute woman. Pity overcame his virtuous breast: after betaking himself to prayer, he laid his right hand on the corpse, and recalled the soul to the body. The woman shouted for joy, but was enjoined by the bishop not to divulge it.

106 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 679.

St. Etheldrida, abbess of Ely.

In the year of grace 679, Egfrid, king of the Northumbrians, and Athelred, king of the Mercians, fought a severe battle near the river Trent, in which Ascwin, brother of king Egfrid, was slain: he was a youth very dear to either province, for his sister Osrica was married to Athelred, king of the Mercians. A very fierce war having been kindled between the kings, the prelate Theodore, depending on divine aid, entirely extinguished the flame of the contest by giving a large sum of money to king Egfrid for the death of his brother. At the same time, the holy virgin Etheldrida departed out of this world, exchanging a temporal life for an eternal: she was daughter of Anna, king of the East-Angles, a worthy offspring of such an illustrious father: she was first married to Tonbert, prince of the South-Girvii; but on his death, she continued an undefiled virgin: she was next married, by constraint of her parents, to Egfrid, king of the Northumbrians; but, though twice married, she kept her virginity most entire. Wilfrid, the man of God, was a witness of her virginity; for when the venerable Bede questioned him on this head, he assured him that king Egfrid had promised him lands and money in abundance, if he could persuade Etheldrida, his queen, to consent to have intercourse with him. But the miraculous circumstance that her flesh when buried, and the garment which was wrapt round her most chaste flesh, could not suffer corruption, was a token that she died undefiled by intercourse with man. After having lived with the aforesaid king twelve years, during which she could by no means be softened to compliance, this most devoted virgin obtained his permission to become a nun at Coludesburch, [1] where Ebba, the aunt of her husband Egfrid, was abbess; on which occasion St. Wilfrid gave her his benediction. After the lapse of a year, the virgin became abbess in the isle of Ely, where, by precept and example, she became the mother of virgins. After living there seven years in the praiseworthy service of God, she exchanged a perishable life for an eternal. Frequent miracles are still wrought in that place to the glory of God and the praise of the virgin.


[1] Supposed by Gibson to be Coldingham in Berwickshire.

A.D. 680.] COUNCIL OF HEATHFIELD. 107

The abbess St. Hilda.

In the year of grace 680, the abbess Hilda, after spending thirty-three years of her life in the habit of holy religion, departed out of this world unto the Lord. This most blessed virgin, who was of the noble stock of king Eadwin, was converted to the faith by the preaching of Paulinus, after which she quitted the secular habit, and proposed to cross over to the monastery of Cale, where her sister Hereswitha, mother of Aldulph, king of the East-Angles, was happily serving God. But she was retained by bishop Aidan, and made abbess of Hertesey, and afterwards in the monastery of Streneshale, which she had herself founded, where she so instructed her clergy in the institutions of the church, that five of them attained to the episcopal dignity; to wit, Bosa and Wilfrid in York, Hedda in the church of Dorchester, John in the church of Hagustald, Ostford in the province of the Wiccii, which was then governed by king Osric; Tadfrid too was elected from her monastery, but was prevented by an early death. Her mother had had a dream, in which she was seeking her husband and could not find him, but discovered under her garment a precious necklace, which illuminated all the coasts of Britain. At length the most holy Hilda had an illness which lasted six years, that her soul might be tried by the long affliction of her flesh, and that her virtue might be perfected in weakness: in the seventh year of her fever she passed from death unto life. At the hour of her departure, a certain man saw her soul carried to heaven by angels, where with Christ she is solaced with eternal joys.

The same year, Theodore, archbishop of Canterbury, held a council in a place called Heathfield, in the sixth year of the reign of Athelred, king of the Mercians, in the reign of Eadwulf, king of the East-Angles, who reigned after Athelwold, and in the reign of Egfrid in Northumberland, and of Kentwin, in the kingdom of the West-Saxons, Theodore, archbishop of Canterbury presiding, with his suffragan bishops, and many others. The gospels being laid before them, Theodore delivered to all the holy fathers present a creed in writing to this effect, "We acknowledge the holy

108 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 681.

and universal five synods of the holy orthodox fathers; to wit, that of Nice against Arius and his tenets; that of Constantinople against the madness of Macedonius and Eudoxius, and their tenets; that of Ephesus against Nestorius and his tenets; that of Chalcedon against Eutyches and Nestorius and their tenets; the second synod of Constantinople against Theodore and Ibe and Cyril and their tenets; to these we add a sixth synod, held at Rome in the time of pope Martin, against the heresy of the Monothelites, in the reign of the most Christian emperor Constantine. We acknowledge and glorify almighty God, as they also glorify him, nothing adding, nothing diminishing. We condemn those whom they condemned, and acknowledge those whom they acknowledged. To all which tenets we subscribe, as the holy apostles and prophets believed and wrote. Amen".

The bodies of St. Benedict and of the blessed Scholastica are transferred from Mount Cassino to the monastery of Fleury.

In the year of grace 681, a monastery was founded at Jarrow. At the same time, the abbat of the monastery of Fleury, named Mummolus, admonished by divine revelation, sent his monk Aigulf to Mount Cassino, to fetch thence the body of the most holy Benedict. For the monastery which Benedict had formerly built there had been sacked and desolated by the Lombards; but the body of St. Benedict, and that of his sister Scholastica, remained there, buried in one coffin. It happened that certain persons set out at the same time from the city of Mans to the place aforesaid, to fetch away the body of St. Scholastica; but after they were come to the monastery of Fleury, they adhered to the company of the blessed Aigulf until they reached the doors of St. Peter; whither as soon as they were come, the blessed Aigulf presently forsook their company, and went alone to Mount Cassino, where he also determined to pass the night. And, lo! in the deep silence of the night, he saw the sepulchre of the holy father Benedict illuminated with a light from heaven, as if it were encompassed by innumerable lamps; but, as the day dawned, the splendour disappeared. The aforesaid Aigulf thereupon reverently approached the spot, and breaking open the side of the sepulchre, emptied it of its contents, which he put into a basket he had provided

A.D. 681.] A MIRACLE. 109

for the purpose; having done which, as he was returning he made it known to his companions, and they went back together to the monastery of Fleury. But before reaching it, they came to a place called Neufvi, distant about a mile from the aforesaid monastery, where the aforesaid abbat, Mummolus, with a great multitude, reverently met them, and receiving the sacred pledges with due honour, he took the aforesaid basket, and placed it in the church of Peter, the prince of the apostles, and took out of it the most holy bones, which were lying confusedly in it. As he took them out he separated them from each other, carefully distinguishing the larger from the smaller; which being done, it chanced that two dead corpses were brought forth for burial, the one of a male, the other of a female; when, wonderful to relate, on the larger bones being placed on the corpse of the male, straightway, by the merits of the blessed Benedict, the dead man was restored to life; and on the smaller bones being in like manner applied to the corpse of the deceased female, she immediately returned to life. There were present at this spectacle not a few, besides the citizens of Mans, who had shared in the toil of the journey. The latter, with many prayers, urgently besought that the bones of the blessed Scholastica might be given to them, insisting that two such great luminaries ought not to be shut up in one coffin, since either of them would suffice for each. The people of Mans, therefore, returned to their city with joy, bearing with them the aforesaid corpse, which they reverently placed in a new church, built in her honour, near their city walls, where women were assembled under the regular discipline of holy religion. After this, as the venerable father Mummolus was one night praying in the open air, that the Lord would show him in what place he should bury the body of the most blessed Benedict, on a sudden, a light was shed down from heaven like lightning, denoting most clearly to him where the corpse ought to be laid. Right glad at the revelation, he buried the corpse in the place which God had indicated to him. Now the place was an oratory of the blessed mother of God, not far distant from the aforesaid church of St. Peter. This most holy corpse was translated in the hundred and thirty-eighth year from the saint's decease; and whosoever shall there, with

110 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 683.

pious devotion, invoke the name of the most pious father, shall receive the wished-for reward.

Theodoric reigned in France fourteen years.

In the year of grace 682, Kentwine, king of the West-Saxons, made war on the Britons, and as they made but a weak resistance, he overcame them, and vigorously pursued them with fire and sword even unto the sea.

St. Cuthbert ordained bishop.

In the year of grace 683, St. Cuthbert was consecrated bishop of Lindisfarne. At the same time, Sigehere. king of the East-Saxons, dying, Sebba, his partner in the kingdom, began to reign alone.

Egfrid, king of the Northumbrians, afflicts the people of Ireland.

In the year of grace 684, Leo sat in the Roman chair ten months and seventeen days. The same year pope Benedict succeeded for two mouths and three days. The same year, Egfrid, king of the Northumbrians, sending an army into Ireland with Bert as their leader, committed ravages on that innocent people, who had always been most friendly to the English nation, sparing not even churches and monasteries. They did their best to repel force by force, invoking the aid of divine pity, and putting up continual prayers for the vengeance of Heaven to light on their invaders. It accordingly came to pass, that those who were justly cursed for their impiety, quickly suffered the punishment of their guilt by the vengeance of the Lord, as the following year will show.

Egfrid, king of the Northumbrians, being slain, is succeeded by Alfrid his brother.

In the year of grace 685, John sat in the Roman chair one year. The same year, Egfrid, king of the Northumbrians, having rashly led an army to ravage the provinces of the Picts, in spite of the remonstrances of his friends, and especially of Cuthbert of blessed memory, who had lately been ordained bishop, he was led by a stratagem of his enemies, who pretended to flee, into the narrow fastnesses of their inaccessible mountains, where he perished with the greatest part of the forces he had brought with him. He was succeeded by his brother Alfrid, who, although not

A.D. 685.] LEGEND OF THE CAPTIVE SOLDIER. 111

begotten in lawful wedlock, was nevertheless most learned in the Scriptures, and who commendably repaired the tottering state of the kingdom. Now Egfrid was the son of Oswy and Eanfleda, daughter of king Eadwin; and Oswy was the son of Athelfrid, who was the son of Athelric, who was the son of Ida, the first English king of the Northumbrians. It happened in the course of a certain war between Egfrid and Athelred, king of the Mercians, as has been said above, that a wonderful miracle was wrought, the relation of which may, I think, conduce to the profit of many. There fell in that battle, among others of Egfrid's soldiers, a certain young man named Imma, who lay to all appearance dead, among the corpses of the slain, all that day and the following night. At length his spirit returning, he revived, and sitting upright he bound up his wounds in the best manner he could; then after resting awhile, he rose up to go away; but while so doing, he was taken by one of Athelred's officers and thrown into fetters. Now the soldier that was bound had a very religious brother named Tunna, who on hearing that his brother was slain in the aforesaid battle, came to seek his dead body, and finding one very like it, believing it to be his brother, he took it to his monastery, where he interred it with all honour, and had frequent masses celebrated for the absolution of his soul. Now at the time when he had masses celebrated for his brother, the fetters of the latter were loosed and could not be kept on him. The officer thereupon, on seeing that he could not be held with fetters, brought him to London and sold him to a certain Frisian. The latter too, finding the same thing, received of the soldier the sum he had given for him, and suffered him to depart; and on his coming home and relating to his brother and his countrymen what had happened, numbers were stirred up to offer the host oftener unto God, and to almsgiving and prayers for the delivery of those who were departed out of the world. I have thought good to insert this miracle in my history, because I have found it to be unquestionably true.

112 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 686.

On the death of bishop Eatta, John succeeded to the government of the church of Hagustald.

In the year of grace 686, Conon sat in the Roman chair eleven months. At the same time, bishop Eatta being dead, John, a holy man, succeeded to the government of the church of Hagustald [Hexham].

In the same year, Lothaire, king of Kent, died on the 6th of February. He had been wounded in a battle with Eadric, king of the South-Saxons, and son of his brother Egbert, and died under the physician's hands.

The same Eadric succeeded him, and reigned a year and half.

At the same time, the Lord's servant Cuthbert, after governing the church of Lindisfarne two years, knowing by the Spirit of God which was in him, that the day of his departure was at hand, renounced the burden of the pastoral care, and returned with eagerness to the beloved exercise of a hermit's life, to the end that the flame of compunction might more freely consume the thorns of worldly care which had sprung up in him.

After spending nearly two months in great exultation at the recovery of the tranquillity he had so longed for, and in the exercise of both his mind and body with his usual rigorous discipline, he was seized with a sudden sickness, and began by the fire of temporal suffering to be prepared for the joys of never-ending bliss, and reached his end after three weeks of continual suffering. After strengthening himself for his departure by partaking of the body and blood of the Lord, he raised his eyes and hands towards heaven, and resigned his spirit, commending his soul to God. Being conveyed in a vessel to the isle of Lindisfarne, his incorruptible body was deposited in a sepulchre of stone at the right hand of the altar in the church of the blessed Peter, where he rested like one asleep. The miracles which he had wrought in his life-time did not cease, even when he was dead and buried. For a certain boy, in the territory of Lindisfarne, was vexed by a most grievous demon, and could gain no relief by all the grace of exorcisims: he was placed on a cart and brought to the monastery, to be cured by the merits of the

A.D. 686.] CEDWALLA KING OF WESSEX. 113

blessed man. A certain priest there, admonished by the Spirit of God, took up a small quantity of earth, in a spot where he knew the water, which had been used for washing the deceased body of the blessed father had been poured; and after dipping it in water, put it into the mouth of the patient. As soon as he touched the water, he ceased his raving, and after a night of tranquil sleep, in the morning he confessed himself to have been delivered by virtue of the blessed father Cuthbert. Eleven years after his burial, when his body was, as they imagined, reduced to dust, God put into the hearts of the brethren to lay up his dry bones in a light coffer. On communicating their design to Eadbert, he expressed his approbation, and gave orders that it should be done on the anniversary of his burial. On opening the sepulchre, they found the body perfectly sound and the joints supple, as though he were alive, much more like a sleeping than a dead person, insomuch that all his garments, in which he had been buried, as became a bishop, were found quite entire. At this season there was an eclipse of the moon in the eighth indiction; the sun was also eclipsed on the 4th of May about ten o'clock; and the same year there followed a terrible pestilence, through the months of July, August, and September; there was also a great mortality at Rome. This pestilence so depopulated Ticinum, that herbs and shrubs grew within the city, the inhabitants having fled to the mountains: two angels were seen going through the city, the one a good, the other an evil one; the latter carried a hunting spear in his hand, and as many times as he struck with it the door of any house by the command of the good angel, so many corpses were carried forth from that house on the following day. It was then revealed to certain men of that city, that the plague would not cease, until an altar of St. Sebastian the martyr should be built in the church of the blessed apostle Peter called "Ad Vincula". The relics of the aforesaid martyr were therefore fetched from Rome, and as soon as his altar was erected in the said church, the pestilence presently ceased: at the same time, on the death of Kentwin, king of the West-Saxons, Cedwalla, king of the Britons, took possession of that kingdom, where he reigned two years. There is found a discrepancy between the history of the Britons and the English Chronicles 114 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 687.

respecting this Cedwalla; for the English assert that Cedwalla was the son of Kinebert, of the race of Ceaulin; whereas the Britons, on the contrary, say that he was the son of Cadwallo the British king, who slew the English kings, Eadwin and St. Oswald. [1]

Justinian emperor.

In the year of grace 687, Sergius sat in the chair at Rome thirteen years, eight months, and twenty-four days, after which it remained vacant one month and twenty days. The catholic emperor Constantine dying the same year, his son Justinian reigned ten years. In these days also died Eadric king of Canterbury, and after his decease, strangers invaded that kingdom; for king Cedwalla and his brother Mul entered that province, and, meeting with no resistance, pillaged and wasted it with the utmost cruelty for three years, until the aforesaid Mul, in his pursuit of vain glory, was cut off by an untimely death. In the same year, the aforesaid king Cedwalla subdued the Isle of Wight, and put to a cruel death Athelwold king of the South-Saxons, who then governed the people of that island, and committed the most grievous ravages in that province. Not long after he was driven out by Bertun and Audun, Athelwold's generals, to whom he relinquished that kingdom, and they held it for a long season. Now Cedwalla was according to the English chronicle, as has been said before, the son of Kinebert, who was the son of Ceadda, who was the son of Cutha, who was the son of Ceaulin. But I must not omit to speak of the two sons of Arwald, prince of the Isle of Wight, who by the grace of God were crowned with martyrdom. When the island was threatened by the enemy, they made their escape to the neighbouring province of the Jutes, but were brought back again and slain by command of Cedwalla. The abbat of Redford, whose monastery was not far off, hearing of their sentence, came to the king, and besought him, that if he were resolved on the death of the youths, it might be allowed them to be first imbued with the sacraments of religion. The king assenting, they were washed in the fountain of salvation in the presence of the executioner; after which they joyfully


[1] Cedwalla was the name of two kings, who reigned at the same time, the one over Wessex, the other over the Britons.

A.D. 689.] INE SUCCEEDS CEDWALLA. 115

underwent temporal death, by which they assuredly knew they would pass to life everlasting.

Cedwalla, relinquishing his kingdom for God, came to Rome to be baptized.

In the year of grace 688, Cedwalla, touched with heavenly compunction, resigned his temporal kingdom for God's sake, and came to Rome, desiring to have the singular honour of being baptized at the gates of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul; for he had learned that in baptism the entrance to the heavenly life is opened unto men; he moreover hoped that he would be loosed from the flesh immediately after his baptism, and so pass in purity to everlasting joys; both which things, by the blessing of the Lord, came to pass according as he had conceived in his mind.

King Cedwalla being dead, Ina succeeded.

In the year of grace 689, king Cedwalla came to Rome in the pontificate of Sergius, and was baptized on the holy festival of Easter, and while he was yet in his white garments, he was seized with sickness on the 20th of April, and being delivered from the flesh, he joined the society of the blessed in the kingdom of heaven. The aforesaid pope gave him the name of Peter at his baptism, that as his pious love had brought him from the ends of the earth to the gates of St. Peter, so he might by name also be joined in fellowship with him. He was also, by the command of the pontiff, buried in his church, and the following epitaph was placed on his monument:-

"Culmen, opes, sobolem, pollentia regna, triumphos,
Eximios proceres, moenia, castra, lares,
Quaeque patrum virtus et quae congesserat ipse,
Cedwalla armipotens liquit amore Dei".

Cedwalla was succeeded in the kingdom of the West-Saxons by Ine, who reigned thirty-seven years, and was of royal race, being the son of Kenred, who was the son of Ceolwald, who was the brother of Kinewald, who was the son of Cuthwin, who was the son of Ceaulin, and so up to Woden. The same year, Geoffery of Monmouth, who was afterwards bishop of St. Asaph, ended in the following manner his History of the Britons, which he had commenced with the fall of Troy:- "The Britons, being expelled the

116 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 692.

island by the Saxons, sought refuge in Wales; where, forgetful of British nobility, they were called, not Britons, but Welsh, a name derived from Wallo, their leader, or from Galaes, their queen, or from their barbarism. As for their kings that have succeeded among them in Wales since that time, I leave the history of them to Caradoc of Lancarvan, my contemporary; as I do also the kings of the Saxons to William of Malmesbury and Henry of Huntingdon. But I advise the latter to be silent respecting the kings of the Britons, since they have not that book written in the British tongue, which Walter, archdeacon of Oxford, brought out of Britanny, and which, being a true history in honour of those princes, I have thus taken care to translate into the Latin tongue".

Death of Theodore, archbishop of Canterbury.

In the year of grace 690, Theodore, of blessed memory, archbishop of Canterbury, died full of days, after continuing in the bishopric twenty-two years, and was buried in the church of the blessed Peter, as are the bodies of all the archbishops of Canterbury. The following epitaph was placed on his monument:-

"Hic sacer in tumba pausat cum corpore praesul,
Quem tunc Theodorum lingua Pelasga vocat.
Alma novae scandens felix consortia vitae,
Civibus angelicis junctus in arce poli".

At the same time, Beuna succeeded Alwold in the kingdom of the East-Angles.

In the year of grace 691, Pepin, king of the Franks, subdued Neustria, and made St. Lambert bishop of the church of Utrecht. At the same time, Willebrord came out of England into France with twelve companions, and was in great reputation for his sanctity.

Brithwald consecrated archbishop of Canterbury.

In the year of grace 692, Theodore, archbishop of Canterbury, was succeeded by Brithwald, who was abbat of the monastery of Raculfe [Reculver]. lie was elected on the 1st of July, in the reign of the brothers Withred and Sifred in Kent, who, by their piety and diligence, delivered their nation from foreign invasion. They afterwards built a church in

A.D. 692.] WILFRID VISITS ROME. 117

honour of St. Martin, in the town of Dover, on a site pointed out to them by the aforesaid saint, wherein they placed monks under regular discipline, and enriched them with lands and other possessions; they reigned thirty-four years and a half.

The same year, Wilfrid of York was accused to king Alfrid, and was by that king and a number of bishops expelled his bishopric. That he might have an opportunity of defending himself, he came to Rome with his accusers, and, in a numerous conclave of bishops, it was proved in the judgment of all, before the lord pope, that his enemies had fabricated many groundless calumnies against him, and letters were written to Alfrid, king of the Northumbrians, that he should cause him to be restored to his bishopric, inasmuch as he had been unjustly condemned. On arriving in the parts of Gaul as he was returning to Britain, he was taken with a sudden illness, insomuch that he could not ride on horseback, but was borne on a litter by the hands of his attendants, and in this manner he was brought to Meaux, a town of France, where he lay four days and nights like a dead person. After remaining four days in this distressing condition, without eating or drinking, speaking or hearing, on the dawn of the fifth day he arose as from a deep sleep, and sat up, and then, after a gentle sigh, inquired for Acca the presbyter, who, coming in immediately that he was called, the former thus addressed him:- "I have just had an awful vision, which I wish you to hear and not divulge, until I know what is the will of God respecting me. There stood by me a certain person in white apparel and of noble aspect, who said that he was Michael the archangel, and added, 'I have been sent to recall thee from death to life; for through the intercession and tears of thy disciples, and at the entreaty of his mother, God hath granted thee to live; but hold thyself in readiness, for, at the end of four years, I shall return and visit thee; but now thou shalt return to thy country and recover the greater part of thy possessions, of which thou wast stripped, and shalt end thy days in peace'". The bishop recovered accordingly, to the joy of all, and setting out on his journey, arrived in Britain. After reading the letters he had brought from the apostolical pope, Brithwold, archbishop of Canterbury, and Ethelred, who was formerly king, but

118 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 695.

then abbat, most cordially took his part; but Alfrid, king of the Northumbrians, contumaciously refused to receive him. But on the death of Alfrid, shortly after, Osred, who succeeded him in the kingdom, assembled a synod near the river Nid, and, after a little altercation, the bishop was, with the concurrence of all, restored to the government of his church; and so, after spending his days in peace, he rested in the Lord four years after, according as it had been foretold him by the angel. He died on the 12th of October, in his monastery, in the province of Indalum [Oundle], which was under the government of abbat Cuthbald; but, by the care of the brethren, he was conveyed to his first monastery at Ripon, where he was buried in the church of the blessed Peter, to the south of the altar.

In the year of grace 693, Ine, king of the West-Saxons, made a terrible array of his forces, with a view to avenge the burning of his kinsman Mul; but Withred, king of Kent, went humbly to meet him, and gave him a large sum of money for the young man's death; and so the strife was ended, and peace restored. The same year, Brithwald was consecrated archbishop of Canterbury by Godwin, an archbishop of Gaul. After Godmund, bishop of the church of Rochester, he consecrated Tobias to be bishop, a man excellently skilled in the Latin and Greek tongue.

In the year of grace 694, Clovis reigned in France four years. At this time also, the sanctity and innocence of Leodegar, bishop of Autun, began, through the grace of God Almighty, to be conspicuous. He was put to death by a servant of iniquity named Ebroin, who had laid aside the monastic habit, and was advanced under Theodoric, a former king ot the Franks, and now with the worst cruelty, inasmuch as he was a domestic of the said king's predecessor, he caused him to be beheaded after inflicting on him divers kinds of torments. But while Ebroin was yet living, the merciful Lord honoured the holy man with the grace of numberless miracles.

Part of the Lord's cross found at Rome.

In the year of grace 695, pope Sergius found in the sacristy of the blessed Peter at Rome a large piece of the Lord's cross, which every year, on the day of the exaltation

A.D. 699.] MURDER OF QUEEN OSTRITHA. 119

of the same life-giving cross, is wont to be kissed and revered by all the people at Rome. The same year, Hewald the white, and Hewald the black, two presbyters, went out of Britain into the country of the Frisons to preach, and were there crowned with martyrdom, and by command of Pepin, were buried at Cologne. There was also an eclipse of the sun at tierce [nine o'clock].

In the year of grace 696, the Mercians, who are called the Southumbrians, that is, who inhabit that part of Mercia to the north of the river Trent, committed a most atrocious act of wickedness; for they cruelly put to death queen Ostritha, wife of their king Athelred, and daughter of Egfrid, king of the Northumbrians. The same year, when the body of St. Cuthbert was removed by Eadbert, his successor, after the lapse of eleven years, and placed above the pavement, both the body and the clothes were found perfectly sound. At the same time, Leo the patrician deprived Justinian of his empire, and sent him into exile with his nose and his tongue cut off.

In the year of grace 697, Leo obtained the Roman empire, and reigned two years. At the same time, Wilbrord, a Briton by nation, was sent by pope Sergius to preach to the Frisons, and king Pepin granted him an episcopal seat at Utrecht.

St. Lambert crowned with martyrdom.

In the year of grace 698, Hildebert [1] was made king of the Franks, and reigned eighteen years. In the same year, St. Lambert was crowned with martyrdom and buried at Utrecht; for he had dared to rebuke king Pepin for keeping an adulteress besides his lawful wife; for which he suffered martyrdom at the hands of Dodo, the king's brother, and was buried at Utrecht, as has been said. At the same time, Absimar, who is also named Tiberius, Leo being dethroned and his nose cut off, was thrown into prison.

In the year of grace 699, Absimar, also called Tiberius, obtained the Roman empire, and reigned seven years. The same year, Dodo, who slew St. Lambert, was tormented with a terrible malady, being eaten up by worms,


[1] Hildebert, or Childebert III. succeeded Clovis in 695.

120 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 699.

and on account of the intolerable stench, he was thrown into the river Meuse; and all the accomplices of his guilt fell victims to the divine vengence in the course of this year; for the man who struck the holy martyr engaged in a contest with his brother, in which they both fell.

Of a dead man who was restored to life from the pains of purgatory. [1]

In these days, a certain head of a family in the country of the Northumbrians, was seized with severe bodily illness, and died in the early part of the night; but in the early dawn he revived, and of a sudden sat up, at which all who were weeping around his body fled in consternation. His wife, however, who loved him best, remained, though greatly terrified. Consoling her, he said, "Be not afraid, for in very deed I am risen from the dead, and permitted to live again among men". Then rising immediately, he repaired to the oratory of the little town, where he remained in prayer until day, and then, dividing all his substance into three portions, he gave one to his wife, another to his children, and, reserving the third to himself, he distributed it forthwith among the poor; and not long after, he freed himself entirely from worldly cares, and received the tonsure in the monastery of Mailros. After entering the monastery, he made the following narration to the abbat and brethren of the fearful sights he had seen. "I was led by a person of a shining countenance and in bright apparel, and we walked on in silence, as it seemed to me, towards the rising of the sun in summer, until we came to a valley of immense breadth and depth, and of infinite length; on the left side were scorching flames, while the other was no less intolerable by reason of a chilling storm of hail and snow; each was full of human souls, which seemed to be tossed from one side to the other, as if by a violent storm; for when the wretches could not endure the force of the heat, they leaped into the midst of the cutting cold; and finding no rest there, they leaped back again into the midst of the unquenchable flames,- a miserable alternation of suffering without any interval of rest; and there was an innumerable multitude of ill-looking spirits. I began to think within myself that this was the infernal place of whose intolerable torments I had so often heard tell; on which my


[1] See Bede's Eccles. Hist, book v. ch. 12.

A.D. 699.] VISION OF DRICHTHELM. 121

guide, who was going before me, replied to my inward thought, and said, 'Do not think so'. When he had conducted me, much frightened at so horrid a sight, to the other end, on a sudden I saw the whole region before us begin to grow dusk and filled with darkness, which, as we entered, became so dense that besides it I could see nothing but the shape and dress of him who went before me. And as we went on through the gloom, on a sudden there appeared before us frequent globes of murky flames, rising, as it were, out of a great pit, and falling back into the same. When I was conducted thus far, my guide suddenly disappeared, leaving me alone in the midst of the darkness and of this horrid vision. As those globes of fire continued, without any intermission, now to rise on high and then to sink to the bottom of the abyss, I observed that the wreaths of flame, as they ascended, were full of human spirits, which, like embers flying up with smoke, were now thrown on high, and then dropped down into the depth below with the retiring vapours of the fire. An intolerable stench, too, came forth with those vapours, poisoning all those regions of darkness. When I had stood there a long time in much dread, and not knowing what to do, all at once I heard behind me the sound of wretched lamentation, and the laughter of insulting demons, which became plainer as it approached me; when I observed a gang of malignant spirits with much exultation dragging the howling and lamenting souls of men into the midst of that darkness; after which, I could not clearly distinguish the lamentation of the men from the laughter of the devils, but had a confused sound of both in my ears. Meanwhile, certain of those dark spirits, ascending from the fiery abyss, ran and surrounded me, glaring on me with their eyes of flame, and distressing me much with the stinking fire which they breathed from their mouth and nostrils, and endeavouring to seize me with the fiery tongs which they held in their hands, yet they did not dare to touch me, though they terrified me much. Being thus on all sides enclosed with enemies and darkness, and looking about on every side for succour, there appeared behind me, in the direction I had come, as it were, a bright star shining through the darkness, which increased by degrees, and came rapidly towards me; when it drew near, all those evil spirits that

122 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 699.

would have carried me away with their tongs, dispersed and fled. Now he, whose approach put them to flight, was the same who conducted me before; and then turning to the right, he proceeded to lead me towards the quarter of the sun's rising in winter, and soon brought me out of the darkness into an atmosphere of clear light. While he was thus leading me, I saw before us a vast wall, whose height and length appeared to be boundless. I began to wonder why we approached the wall, since there was no apparent way of climbing it. When we were come to the wall, we were presently, I know not by what means, on the top of it, where was a spacious and delightful plain, full of vernal flowers of such fragrance that the wonderful sweetness of their odour immediately dispelled the stink of the dark furnace, which had penetrated my very soul. The entire region was illuminated with such a light, that it seemed to exceed the full splendor of the day, or the beams of the meridian sun; for there were in this plain innumerable companies of men in white, and of souls seated together rejoicing. As he led me through bands of happy inhabitants, I thought that this was the kingdom of heaven, but he answered my thoughts, and said, 'Do not think so'. When we had passed these mansions of good and happy spirits, and were gone farther on, I beheld before us a much more glorious light than the former, and therein heard the sweetest voices of persons singing, and so wonderful a fragrance proceeded from the place, that the other, which I had before thought most delicious, now seemed to me but very indifferent; even as that extraordinary brightness of the flowery plain, compared with this, appeared weak and inconsiderable. As I was hoping that we should enter that delightful place, my guide, on a sudden stood still; and then turning round, led me back by the way we had come, he then said to me, 'Dost thou know what all these things are which thou hast seen'? I answered. I did not; on which he said, 'That fearful valley which thou sawest, with its consuming flames and cutting cold, is the place where the souls of those are tried who, delaying confession and amendment of life, at length have recourse to repentance when on the point of death, and so departing from the body, they shall all attain to the kingdom of heaven in the day of judgment; numbers too shall be delivered before the day of

A.D. 699.] VISION OF DRICHTHELM. 123

judgment, by the prayers, alms, and fasting of the living, and especially by the celebration of masses. That fiery and stinking pit, which thou sawest, is the mouth of hell, into which whosoever falls shall never be delivered. The flowery region, in which thou sawest those beautiful young people, so bright and gay, is that into which the souls of those are received who depart from the body in good works, but who, nevertheless, are not so perfect as to be worthy of an immediate entrance into the kingdom of heaven; yet they shall all, at the day of judgment, be admitted to the vision of God and the joys of the heavenly kingdom; but those who are entirely perfect in thought, word, and deed, enter into the kingdom of heaven immediately on their departure from the body; in the neighbourhood whereof is the place where thou heardest the sound of sweet singing, with the fragrant odour and bright light. As for thee, thou must return to the body and live again among men; and if thou art careful nicely to examine thine actions, and to maintain thy speech and behaviour in uprightness and simplicity, thou shalt have a place among the happy companies of good spirits which thou sawest; for when I left thee for a time, it was to know how thou wast to be disposed of'. When he had said this to me, I greatly abhorred returning to my body, being delighted with the sweetness and beauty of the place I had seen, and with the company of those I saw in it; but in the meanwhile, on a sudden, I know not in what way, I found myself alive among men". For the rest, there was a stream in the neighbourhood of his cell, and, in his great desire to chasten his body, he would frequently get in, and there remain as long as he could endure it, singing psalms and praying, standing up to his middle in the water, and sometimes up to his neck; and, when he came out, he could never take off his clothes until they were dried by the warmth of his body. And in winter time, when the pieces of ice were floating around him, those who saw it would say, 'I wonder, brother Drithelm, that you can endure such excessive cold'; to which he would simply answer, 'I have seen greater cold'. And when they said, 'It is wonderful that you endure such rigorous austerity', he would reply, 'I have seen greater austerity'. Thus he continued, through an irrepressible desire of heavenly bliss, to subdue his aged body with daily

124 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 703.

fasting, till the day when he was called away; and he forwarded the salvation of many by his works, as well as by his example.

Earl Brithric is slain.

In the year of grace 700, Brithric, earl of the Northumbrians, desiring to avenge his lord king Egfrid, invaded the territory of the Picts; but as his lord perished, experiencing the curses of the Irish, so he was slain by the Picts. At the same time, the Romans overran Syria, and slew two hundred thousand of the Saracens.

Abbat Adaman flourishes.

In the year of grace 701, flourished the good and learned Adaman, presbyter, and abbat of the monks in the Isle of Hii. Being sent on an embassy to king Aldfrid, he was speedily led to approve of the mode of the ecclesiastical institutions, and of the observance of Easter, which he then witnessed; and on his return home, he sought, though without success, to bring his people in the Isle of Hii into the true way; after which he sailed into Ireland, and persuaded them almost universally to observe the proper time of keeping Easter. The same man of God also wrote an account of the places of our Lord's nativity, passion, and ascension, and gave a wonderful description of the holy land.

In the year of grace 702, John sat in the chair of Rome three years, two months, and thirteen days; after which it remained vacant one month and thirteen days.

Of St. Benedict the English abbat.

In the year of grace 703, St. Benedict, an abbat of England, came to a glorious end, after a praiseworthy life, and rested in the Lord. This man of God was sprung from a noble stock of the English race: in his youth he learned the rudiments of warfare, and became a minister of king Oswy, who rewarded him with no small possessions; but despising for Christ's sake all the perishing things of this world, he went to Rome, to be instructed in the discipline of the church, that so he might enter on the spiritual warfare, and be able thereby to profit both himself and others, and be found a useful servant in culture of the Lord's vineyard. Returning

A.D. 704.] BENEDICT BISHOP. 125

thence to the island of Lerins, he received the tonsure, and joined himself to the fraternity of the monks, among whom he underwent the regular discipline for two years; after which he revisited the threshold of the holy apostles Peter and Paul. At which time, when pope Vitalian sent Theodore into Britain as archbishop of Canterbury, he came over with him, and brought back many relics of the saints. He afterwards attached himself to Egfrid, king of the Northumbrians, who straightway gave him land of sixty families to build a monastery dedicated to Peter the prince of the apostles, at the mouth of the river Were, in the year of grace 674, in the second indiction. Moreover he built another monastery in honour of Paul the teacher of the Gentiles, at Jarrow, not far from the other, which was richly endowed by the aforesaid king with lands of sixty families; these monasteries he filled with religious monks, setting Ceolfrid over the one, and Easterwin over the other: this he did, that whether he were present or absent, regular inspection might be kept up. The venerable Bede, the teacher of the English, was committed to this servant of God to be educated, and was raised by him to the priestly office; he is said to have gone to Rome five times, whence he always returned enriched with heavenly things, and took care, both by labour and example, to instruct those that were under him. At length, after a praiseworthy life, Benedict, the conqueror of vice, and most pious confessor of Christ, overcome by the infirmity of the flesh, resigned his spirit to his Creator on the 12th of January. He was succeeded in the labour and honour of his office by Ceolfrid, a holy man, and one of his disciples, under whom Christ's servant, Bede, worthily completed, to the great benefit of the universal church, his labours on the holy scriptures.

Division of the diocese of Winchester.

In the year of grace 704, died Hedda, bishop of Winchester, successor of Leutherius. In the place where he died, many miracles were wrought by the merit of his sanctity; for the people of that province used to take away the dust from that spot which they mixed in water, and whoever tasted it, or was sprinkled therewith, experienced a happy cure, whether it was man pr beast. On his death, the bishopric was divided into two dioceses, of which, that of

126 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 706.

Winchester was given to Daniel, who held it till the time of Bede; and that of Sherburne was conferred on Aldhelm, who held it four years. There remained to the bishop of Winchester two provinces only, namely Hampshire and Surrey; while the other had Wilts, Dorset, Berks, Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall. Now Sherburne is such an insignificant little village, that it seems marvellous that it continued to be a bishop's see for so many ages.

Offa, king of the East-Saxons, assumes the monastic habit.

In the year of grace 705, Athelred, king of the Mercians, after a vigorous reign of thirty years, became a monk, and died at Bardeney, and was there buried. This king had two sisters, Kinesdrida, and Kineswitha, both of them most holy virgins, dedicated to God from their infancy, and nobly did they keep even unto old age their vow of virginity; the younger, not content merely with her own salvation, brought Offa also, to whom she was betrothed, to the heavenly kingdom. Now Offa reigned in the kingdom of the East-Saxons, after Sigehard and Seufred for a few years; he was a youth of a cheerful countenance, in the flower of his age, and dearly loved by his people; but, by the persuasion of the aforesaid Kineswitha, who had refused to marry him, he was taught to sigh for heavenly love, and going to Rome, he there received the tonsure, and zealously sought the kingdom of heaven. The relics of these holy virgins are held in happy veneration by the people at Medeshamstede, which is now called Peterborough. Alfrid, king of the Northumbrians, died the same year, and was succeeded by his son Osred, who reigned eleven years. Kenred succeeded Athelred in the kingdom of the Mercians, and reigned five years. At the same time John sat in the chair of Rome one year.

Sisinnius pope.

In the year of grace 706, Sisinnius sat in the Roman chair twenty days. In the same year, the exile Justinian was restored to the empire by the assistance of Trehelbus king of Bulgaria, and reigned six years; no sooner had he recovered his power, than he put to death all those who had driven him out, and cut the throat of Absimar Tiberius; moreover he put out the eyes of Gallinicus the patriarch,

A.D. 707.] A LEGEND. 127

and sent him to Rome; he destroyed an immense number of Roman citizens, and desolated the Chersonese where he had passed his exile, exercising unheard of cruelties on his enemies.

Constantine pope.

In the year of grace 707, Constantine sat in the chair of Rome seven years and fifteen days, after which it remained vacant forty days. There was at this time a certain soldier, of the household of Kinred, king of the Mercians; the same was openly given up to all kinds of wickedness, and when the king earnestly admonished him to repent, he despised his wholesome counsels, and deferred to amend his flagitious life. In the meanwhile, falling sick, he was confined to his bed, and began to feel very severe pain; on which the king visited him, and earnestly exhorted him to repent of his offences before he died; but he replied that he would not confess his sins till he was recovered of his sickness, lest his companions should upbraid him with having done it through fear of death. The distemper still increasing, when the king came again to admonish him, he cried out with a lamentable voice, "What are you come for? can you do me any good now"? "Do not talk in that way", replied the king, "but behave yourself like a man in his right mind". "I am not mad", rejoined the other, "but I have a most guilty conscience before my eyes; for just before you came, two young men entered this house, and sat down by me, the one at my head, the other at my feet; and one of them produced a book, very beautiful but very small, and gave it to me to read; in it I found written all the good deeds I had ever done; they took back the book and said nothing. Then, on a sudden, appeared a host of foul and malignant spirits, encompassing the house without, and almost filling it within. Then one of them, who was the foulest, and seemed to be the chief, produced a volume, horrid to behold, of enormous size, and almost insupportable weight, and ordered one of his followers to bring it to me to read. Having read it, I found therein, most plainly written in black characters, all my sins, not only of word and deed, but even of the slightest thought. They then said to those noble men in white who sat by me, 'Why do you sit here? for you know most assuredly that

128 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 710.

this man is ours'. They answered, 'You are in the right; take and add him to the number of the damned'. Two most wicked spirits then rose up with forks in their hands, with which they struck me, one on the head, the other on the foot. These strokes are now with great torture penetrating to my bowels, and as soon as they meet, I shall die, and the devils being ready to snatch me away, I shall be dragged into hell". Thus talked the wretched man in despair, and soon miserably died. Now it is plain, that those things were shown him, not for his own sake, whom they did not profit, but for the sake of others, that knowing his end, they might not put off repentance, lest, being prevented by sudden death, they should perish impenitent.

King Egfrid's death avenged.

In the year of grace 708, Ine, king of the West-Saxons, fought against Gerent, king of the Welsh, and in the beginning of the battle, duke Higebald was slain; but at last the Welsh king fled, leaving his arms and spoils to the English. At the same time, Offa, earl of the Northumbrians, fought against the Picts, of whom he destroyed an immense number, and so avenged the death of king Egfrid.

Death of bishop Aldhelm.

In the year of grace 709, died Aldhelm, bishop of Sherborne. This holy man, while he was yet a presbyter and abbat of the monastery called Maildub's Town [Malmesbury], wrote, by direction of a synod, an excellent book addressed to his nation, against the error of the Britons, by which he led them to the catholic manner of celebrating Easter; he also wrote an admirable book on virginity, and many others; for he was in every respect a most learned man, as well in liberal as in ecclesiastical erudition. He was succeeded in the bishopric by Forthere, a man excellently learned in the holy scriptures.

King Kenred becomes a monk.

In the year of grace 710, Kenred, who had for some time most nobly governed the kingdom of the Mercians, much more nobly resigned the sceptre of that kingdom; for in the pontificate of Constantine, he devoutly sought the gates of the apostles, and there assumed the monastic habit,

A.D. 711.] THE BISHOPS OF SELSEY. 129

continuing there in prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, till the day he was called away. He was succeeded in the kingdom by Ceolred, son of Athelred, who held that kingdom before Kenred. Now Offa, king of the East-Saxons, of whom we have spoken before, came to Rome with Kenred; with the like devotedness of mind he left wife, lands, kindred, and country for Christ's sake, that he might receive in this life a hundredfold, and in the world to come eternal life. He was succeeded in the kingdom by Selred, son of Sebert the good, who reigned thirty-eight years.

Of the first bishop of Selsey.

In the year of grace 711, it was determined by a synodal decree in the province of the South-Saxons, that the people who hitherto belonged to the diocese of the city of Winchester, over which Daniel at that time presided, should have an episcopal see and bishop of their own. Accordingly Eadbert abbat of the monastery of bishop Wilfrid of blessed memory, which was called Selsey, was consecrated to be their first prelate. There that servant of God passed an exile of five years, and obtained from the king of that province land of eighty families, that he might there receive his companions in exile, and supply them with the necessaries of life. The place was surrounded by the sea except on the western side, where it was approached by an isthmus about the cast of a sling in width. Having obtained a grant of this place, Wilfrid founded there a monastery, which his successors held for a long season; it was composed principally of the brethren he had brought with him, living with regular discipline; and as the aforesaid king Athelwold had given him such possessions with lands and people, he baptized all whom he found there in the water of regeneration, and made them stedfast in the faith of Christ. Among whom were about two hundred and fifty men and women slaves, all of whom he not only rescued from the servitude of the devil, but granted them their liberty, and exempted them from human servitude. When Wilfrid was recalled to the province of the Northumbrians, Cedwalla king of the West-Saxons first, and after him Ine, his successor, held that kingdom, having subdued and slain the kings of that province; whence it came to pass, that for the whole of that time, that nation had no

130 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 713.

bishop of its own, but was subject to the bishop of the city of Winchester, as has been said before. After Eadbert, the first bishop of that region, Colla succeeded to the pontifical office, and when he was removed from this life, that see remained vacant till the death of Bede. In this year also died the great Wilfrid, as has been said, after filling the episcopal office forty-five years; he was succeeded in the bishopric of Hagustald [Hexham] by his presbyter Acca, of whose industry and sanctity the presbyter Bede speaks with great commendation in many parts of his history.

Of the first bishops of Worcester.

In the year of grace 712, flourished Egwin, third prelate of the Wiccii: the first bishop of that province was Bosel, the second Osfort, and Egwin was the third in order; he went to Rome with Kenred king of the Mercians, and Offa king of the East-Angles, and obtained from pope Constantine the privilege of liberty for the monastery which he had built in the territory of Worcester, in order to make it more secure from the violence of the wicked. He was succeeded in the bishopric of Worcester by Wilfrid, Mildred, Weremund, Tilhere, Hereferth, Debert, Herebert, Alwin, Hereferth, Athelhun, Wilferth, Kinewol, Dunstan, Oswald, and Eldulf, of whom the last three were archbishops of Canterbury. At the same time, the emperor Justinian was slain by the heretic Philippicus at Constantinople, and his son Tiberius with him; for Justinian had exercised excessive cruelty over the citizens, commanding their city to be ploughed and razed to the the ground, because they had conspired to depose him, as has been related before.

The heretic Philippicus seizes on the Roman empire.

In the year of grace 713, Philippicus seized on the Roman empire, and assuming the purple at the Chersonese, reigned two years. Being a heretic, he sent Cyrus, bishop of Constantinople, into exile, and set in that see a certain false monk of his own persuasion, named John. Philippicus sent to Constantine, the pope of Rome, a letter of heterodox tendency, which that holy man, with the concurrence of the Roman people, treated with contempt, and ordered

A.D. 714.] LIFE OF ST. GUTHLAC. 131

that the emperor's name should not be used in deeds, nor his coin be received, nor his name mentioned in the celebration of mass.

Of St. Guthlac the hermit.

In the year of grace 714, St. Guthlac the hermit ended his days in the marsh of Croyland. He was of illustrious descent by both his parents; at the time of his birth, in the reign of Athelred, king of the Mercians, a hand, of a ruddy splendor, was seen extended from heaven towards a cross, which stood before the door of his mother's house: the fame of so great a miracle speedily filled the region of the Middle-Mercians. The infant was baptized, and named Guthlac by the desire of his parents; but when he grew in strength and years, he gathered a band of followers, and took to arms; yet such was his innate goodness, that he always gave back a third part of the spoil to those whose property it was. After spending eight years in this lawless life, he one night began to reflect within himself, and to call to mind the vanity of this world's glory, and the certainty and eternity of damnation. As soon as it was morning, he left his parents and his comrades in robbery, and went to the monastery of Rependune [Repton], which was then famous: there he received the tonsure and the clerical habit, and determined to do penance for his sins; he was then instructed in sacred literature and in monastic discipline, and was singularly desirous of emulating the virtues of each sort. After reading the virtues of the monks, who had chosen a solitary life, he longed for solitude, and took a journey to find out a suitable spot. Arriving at length at a great marsh in the eastern coasts of the Mercians, he inquired diligently what sort of country it was; and was told by a certain man that there was a great way off in the midst of that vast marsh an island, which many had sought to inhabit, but that nearly all had forsaken it on account of the fearful sights that they saw in that solitude. On hearing this, the man of God requested that the place might be shown him; on which the other took a fishing-boat, and conducted the holy man of God to the spot. This island is called "Croyland", and no one had hitherto dared to live there on account of the terrible visions of demons by which it was frequented. There the holy

132 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 714.

man began to live in solitude, confiding especially in the protection of the blessed Bartholomew. Having continued there some time, he returned to his companions, and receiving from them two boys, he retraced his steps again to the island, where he took with confidence his spiritual weapons, and fought manfully for the Lord. Now there was in this island a mound raised on the turf, and in its side a hollow cistern, where the servant of God constructed a cabin, and fixed his dwelling; he had no garment of linen or woollen, but used skins only; and so great was his abstinence, that he would only take a single morsel of barley bread, and a cup of water after sunset. One day, when he was intent on his accustomed meditation, on a sudden two demons in human form came up to him, and familiarly addressed him after this fashion, "We have experienced the strength of thy faith and thy invincible patience, and have therefore ceased to disquiet thee; moreover we are willing to instruct thee in the manner of life of the ancient hermits. Moses and Elias, and the other ancient fathers, pleased God by their exceeding abstinence; wherefore it is necessary to fast, not two days or three days only, but all the week, that like as God formed the world in six days, and rested on the seventh, so man ought by fasting six days to to reform his spirit, and to eat on the seventh, and give rest to his flesh"! On hearing this, the man of God replied, "Let them be turned back, who seek my soul to take it"; and he presently took his morsel of barley bread according to his custom; whereon these malignant spirits retired, and filled that region with sad lamentations. A short time afterwards, while the blessed man was watching and praying in the dead of night, as he was wont, his cell was entirely filled with foul spirits, who straightway bound the man of God, and carrying him out of his cell, sank him in the foul waters of the dark marsh; and then, taking him up, they dragged him through the roughest places, well nigh tearing his limbs asunder. At length they stop for a while, and command him to depart from that abode; but he answered, "The Lord is on my right hand, that I should not be moved"; on which they took him again, and beat him with iron whips, and after this cruel infliction, they lifted him up in the air, where the heaven itself was blackened with a host of unclean spirits, who in one body conveyed the servant

A.D. 714.] LIFE OF ST. GUTHLAC. 133

of Christ to the very jaws of hell. On beholding the torments of hell, he forgot all the pains he had suffered in comparison of those which were far greater. They then began to insult the saint, and said, "See, we have power to thrust thee into the midst of these pains, where thou will suffer eternal punishment for thy sins". "Fie upon you", said he, "ye sons of darkness; if ye possess this power, why do ye delay"? As they were preparing to do so, behold! St. Bartholomew came suddenly upon them with great splendor, and commanded the demons straightway to take back the servant of God to his own habitation; they fulfilled the command of the apostle quicker than it was spoken; and whilst he was being carried through the air, a voice was heard as of persons singing, "The saints shall advance from virtue to virtue; the God of gods shall be seen in Sion".

It happened in the days of Ceolred, king of the Mercians, that the blessed Guthlac seemed to hear about the time of dawn an uproar of riotous people; on which the man of God went forth from his cell, and perceived a multitude of people who talked in the British tongue, approaching his abode, which he presently saw to be in flames. As he hastened to its rescue, he was caught by the arms and lifted up into the air. At length he perceived it to be a snare of the enemy, and began to say this verse of the psalm, "The Lord is my helper, and I will set my enemies at naught". At another time, while engaged in nightly prayer, he felt the island tremble with a great noise, and presently he heard a sound as of herds rushing along, and straightway he saw enter figures of divers monsters, as wild beasts, serpents, and other animals; as they made a horrible din around the servant of Christ, he said, "Why, most wretched Satan, dost thou feign a strength that is not thine own? In the name of Jesus Christ, I command thee to desist"; and, after these words, the whole appearance immediately vanished. A certain bishop, named Hebba, came to converse with the holy man, having in his company a certain clerk, named Wilfrid; the latter, hearing his servants discoursing of the virtues and miracles of the blessed Guthlac, remarked to some of them who doubted in whose power he did such things, that, if he should see him, he would be able to discern whether he were a true worshipper of God, or only a specious pretender to sanctity. The

134 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 717.

aforesaid bishop, refreshed with the discourse of the man of God, earnestly exhorted him to receive ordination to the priesthood at his hands, whereupon he fell at the bishop's feet and promised compliance. Greatly rejoicing, the bishop first consecrated a church, and then with joy promoted him to the priestly office. By the request of the pontiff, he was that day constrained to sit at supper with the rest, contrary to his custom; then addressing the aforesaid Wilfrid, he said to him, "Brother Wilfrid, what dost thou now think of him, of whom thou promisedst yesterday to give a most true judgment"? Rising up in astonishment, the latter threw himself at his feet, and humbly craved his pardon. I might as well attempt to number the sand of the sea, as to set forth all the virtues of this holy man; he entered on a solitary life in the twenty-fifth year of his age, and continued in it fifteen years. He died perfected in sanctity, and was buried in his oratory, which was dedicated in honour of St. Bartholomew; in which place, all who with pious dispositions call upon him, obtain the indulgence of divine mercy.

Pope Gregory II. and the emperor Anastasius.

In the year of grace 715, Gregory sat in the Roman chair fifteen years, eight months, and twenty-two days, after which the see remained vacant thirty-five days. The same year Anastasius made insurrection against the emperor Philippicus, and, putting out his eyes, seized on his empire, and reigned three years.

Battle between the kings Ine and Ceolred.

In the year of grace 716, Ine, king of the West-Saxons, fought with Ceolred, king of the Mercians, at Wodnesburch, [1] and the victory remained doubtful.

Theodore emperor.

In the year of grace 717, Theodore obtained the Roman empire, and reigned one year. The same year, Osred, king of the Northumbrians, was slain by the misfortune of war, in a battle fought on the sea-coast; and was succeeded by Kenred, who reigned two years.


[1] Supposed to be Wenborough, between Wiltshire and Berkshire.

A.D. 721.] DEATH OF JOHN OF BEVERLEY. 135

A most detestable act.

In the year of grace 718, Rabbod, duke of the Frisons, being persuaded by the preaching of the blessed bishop Wolfran to be baptized, having dipped one foot in the laver, drew back the other, and demanded whether there were more of his predecessors in paradise or in hell. On hearing that there were more in hell, he drew back the other foot, and said, "It is better, then, to follow the many than the few". The same year Leo was made emperor, and reigned twenty-three years.

Death of king Ceolred.

In the year of grace 719, Ceolred, king of the Mercians, died, and was buried at Lichfield: he was succeeded in Mercia by Athelbold, a brave and powerful man, who reigned most triumphantly forty-one years. The same year also, Kenred, king of the Northumbrians, departing this life, left the helm of government to Osric, who reigned twenty years. Now king Athelbold was the son of Alwy, who was the son of Eoppa, who was the son of Wibba, etc.

Death of Ingleis.

In the year of grace 720, Ingleis, brother of king Ine, ended his days. At the same time also, Cuthburga, sister of king Ine and Kineburga, founded an abbey at Wimburn. This Cuthburga had been given in marriage to Egfrid, king of the Northumbrians, but was separated from him in his lifetime.

Death of St. John, bishop of Beverley.

In the year of grace 721, St. John, archbishop of Beverley, rested in the Lord. This holy man wrought many notable miracles, which are recorded by Bede in his Acts of the English. The inhabitants of Beverley to this day exhibit a wonderful spectacle in the place where he was buried; they bind fast the fiercest bulls, which their strongest men drag into the cemetery; but no sooner do they enter than all their rage is lulled, and they become as gentle as so many sheep; their bonds are then loosed, and they sport at large in the enclosure, whereas just before they attacked with their feet

136 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 726.

and horns whatever stood in their way. He was succeeded by Wilfrid the second, his presbyter, who survived the time of Bede.

How Ine, king of the West-Saxons, slew Eadbert.

In the year of grace 722, Ine, king of the West-Saxons, marched a large army into Sussex, and slew in battle Eadbert, whom he had before driven from the castle of Tantona, inasmuch as Ine had built that castle. The same year died Withred, king of Kent, leaving his three sons heirs to his kingdom: Ethelbert, the eldest, attained it, and reigned seventeen years. In these days Tobias, bishop of Rochester, died, and was succeeded by Eadwolf.

Degradation of the bishop of Rheims.

In the year of grace 723, Ricobert, bishop of Rheims, was deposed from the bishopric by Charles, king of the Franks, for refusing to open to him the gates of that city, when he was engaged in a hostile expedition against Reginfred. Eutherius also, bishop of Arles, was ejected from his bishopric for the like reason.

Foolish counsel of a Jewish sorcerer.

In the year of grace 724, a certain Jewish sorcerer persuaded a certain nobleman to issue an edict for putting down the images of God and the saints throughout his dominions, promising him that in that case he should reign forty years. Induced by the hope of a long reign, the nobleman issued the edict, but immediately thereupon expired.

At what time Bede began his history of the English.

In the year of grace 725, the venerable presbyter, Bede, began his history of the English, and having brought his commendable undertaking to a happy conclusion, he presented it to king Ceolwulf.

Images are forbidden to be venerated.

In the year of grace 726, the emperor Leo ordered the images of Christ and his saints to be broken in pieces: pope Gregory sought earnestly to convince him by his letters, but in vain.

A.D. 727.] KING INE VISITS ROME. 137

How king Ine went to Rome.

In the year of grace 727, the fortunate and powerful king Ine left his kingdom to his kinsman Athelhard, and went to Rome, that he might exchange a temporal for an eternal kingdom. On his arrival, with the consent and approbation of pope Gregory, he built a house in the city, which he called "the English School"; to the end that, when the kings of England and the royal family, with the bishops, presbyters, and clergy, came hither to be instructed in the catholic faith and doctrine, nothing heterodox, or contrary to catholic unity, might be taught in the English church, and that so they might return home confirmed in the faith. For the doctrine and schools of the English had been forbidden by the Roman pontiffs from the time of St. Augustine, on account of the constant heresies which had sprung up on the arrival of the English in Britain, whilst pagans mingled with Christians had corrupted the grace and holy conversation of the Christian faith. He built, moreover, nigh to the aforesaid house, a church in honour of the blessed virgin Mary, wherein the divine mysteries might be celebrated for the English who came to Rome, and in which they might be buried, if any of them chanced to die at Rome. And to give strength and perpetuity to all this, it was ordered by a general decree, throughout the entire kingdom of the West-Saxons, in which the aforesaid Ine reigned, that every year, one penny, which in English is called "Romescot", should be sent from every family for the blessed Peter and the Roman church, that the English who sojourned there might from thence be furnished with necessary subsistence. This church, of which we have just spoken, is recorded in the English Chronicles to have been often burnt and again restored. This is that Ine who built the abbey of Glastonbury, which has lately been destroyed, and enriched it with many possessions, and protected it with numerous privileges. The brother of this king was Ingleis, and his sisters were St. Cuthburga and St. Quenburga; his queen also was named Sexburga. He was succeeded in the kingdom by his kinsman Athelhard, who was sprung from the race of king Cerdic, and who reigned fourteen years after him. The

138 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 729.

same year this Athelhard fought against young Oswald, who was of the royal race of the kings of the West-Saxons, and was endeavouring to subdue that kingdom to himself; but finding himself not a match for the king, the young man fled, leaving Athelhard in peaceful possession of the kingdom.

Miserable death of a certain brother.

In the year of grace 728, pope Gregory, finding the emperor Leo incorrigible, withdrew Rome, Italy, and Spain from his rule, and forbade the payment of taxes to him. The same year, a certain brother, whom I forbear to name, lived a disgraceful life among the brethren in a noble monastery. He was frequently reproved by the brethren and elders of the place, and admonished to apply himself to amend his life, and although he would not give heed to them, he was nevertheless endured for the advantage they had from his works, for he was singularly skilful in the mechanical arts. He was much given to drunkenness and other dissolute pleasures, and preferred sitting in his workshop day and night, to singing psalms, or praying in church, or hearing the word of life. At length, falling sick, and reduced to extremity, he called the brethren, and told them how he saw hell open, and Satan sunk in the depths thereof; as also Caiaphas, with the rest who slew our Lord delivered up to avenging flames; "and in their neighbourhood", said he, "I see a place of eternal damnation provided for me, miserable wretch"! On hearing this, the brethren began earnestly to exhort him even then to repent, while he was yet in the flesh; but he answered in despair, "I have no time now to change my life, when I have myself seen my judgment passed"; and so saying, he died without having received the viaticum. The report of this, spreading far and wide, stirred up many to repent of their sins without delay.

Stars appear about the sun.

In the year of grace 729, there appeared about the sun two terrible stars; one of which went before the rising sun, the other followed him when he set, as it were presaging destruction to the east and west; or at least, since one of them was the forerunner of the day, and the other of the night, signifying that mortals were threatened with calamities

A.D. 734.] SIEGE OF SOMERTON. 139

at both seasons. They extended their fiery tails to the north-west, and, appearing in the month of January, continued nearly fifteen days. At this time, a terrible visitation of pagans ravaged the Gauls and Spain with miserable slaughter; but they not long after received in that country the reward due to their wickedness.

Gregory [III.] pope.

In the year of grace 730, pope Gregory sat in the Roman chair ten years. The same year, Osric left his kingdom to Ceolwulf, after holding it fifteen years. Now Ceolwulf was the son of Cuth, who was the son of Cuthwin, who was the son of Leothwuld, who was the son of Egwald, who was the son of Aldelm, who was the son of Ocga, who was the son of Ida. This truly blessed king was well instructed in letters, and his end plainly showed how profitable had been his life.

Death of Brithwald.

In the year of our Lord 731, died Brithwald, archbishop of Canterbury, leaving the archbishopric to Tatwin.

Consecration of Tatwin, archbishop of Canterbury.

In the year of our Lord 732, Tatwin was consecrated archbishop of Canterbury, in his own city, on the 10th of June, by the venerable men, Daniel bishop of Winchester, Ingald bishop of London, Aldwin bishop of Lichfield, and Ealdulf bishop of Rochester. He was a man highly esteemed in the church.

Ceolwulf returns to his kingdom.

In the year of our Lord 733, archbishop Tatwin received the pall and ordained two bishops. The same year, king Ceolwulf, being taken prisoner, was shorn and sent back to his kingdom.

Siege of the castle of Somerton.

In the year of our Lord 734, Athelbald, king of the Mercians, assembled an army and laid siege to the castle of Somerton, which he reduced under his own dominion, there being none to afford assistance to the besieged. The

140 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 734.

aforesaid king afterwards subdued all the kings of England south of the Humber, and reigned over all those provinces. The same year there was an eclipse of the sun, on the 14th of August, about the third hour of the day, insomuch that nearly the whole of his orb appeared to be obscured as by a very black shield.

Eulogy of the venerable presbyter Bede.

In the same year the venerable and heavenly-minded Bede ascended to the courts of heaven. Endued with divine grace, he subdued vice in himself and in others, and is worthy to be had in everlasting remembrance. This venerable presbyter was educated in the monastery of Peter the prince of the apostles, which is called Jarrow, at the mouth of the river Wire [Wear]; there this thrice-blessed man of God spent the whole of his life under the most reverend abbat Benedict and his successor Ceolfrid, bestowing all labour on the holy scriptures and giving himself up to meditative studies, esteeming it delightful to be ever engaged either in learning, writing, or teaching. In his nineteenth year he was made deacon, and in his thirtieth he entered on the office of presbyter, from which time, until his sixtieth year, he composed for the good of the church from the works of the fathers, and in the purest style, seventy-eight books, in thirty-six volumes, which he enumerates in his History of the English; thereby deserving the title which has been given him by the whole church, of doctor and venerable father of the English. And when he had finished his History of the Kings of England, which was the last of his books, the fruit of such diligent study, he broke forth into this prayer,- "And now I beseech thee, good Jesus, that to whom thou hast graciously given to draw from thee the words of knowledge, thou wilt also vouchsafe that he may some day arrive at the fountain of all knowledge, and ever appear before thy face. Moreover, I beseech all who shall read or hear this history of our nation, that they will remember to intercede at the throne of grace for my infirmities, both of mind and body; and that each in their several provinces will grant me this recompence, that I may have the benefit of their pious prayers. Amen".

A.D. 734.] DEATH OF VENERABLE BEDE. 141

Pope Sergius invites Bede to Rome [1]

The fame of this venerable man reached the Roman pontiff, insomuch that his highness needed his assistance for solving some questions of sacred scripture. I do not positively affirm that he went to Rome; but I have no doubt that he was invited thither, as will appear from this letter, which pope Sergius formerly addressed to the abbat Ceolfrid in the following words. "Bishop Sergius, servant of the servants of God, to the religious abbat Ceolfrid, health and apostolic blessing. In what words, or in what manner, can we declare the mercy of our God, and his unutterable providence, and his thankworthy acts, or requite him for all his benefits towards us, who have been brought out of darkness and the shadow of death into the light of knowledge? We therefore exhort the goodness of thy piety, beloved of God, that, whereas there have sprung up certain questions touching ecclesiastical matters, that may not be solved without further inquiry, and on which we desire to confer with some man of learning, thou fail not to yield a ready obedience to this our admonition, as becomes a devoted ally of our holy mother the universal church, but despatch without delay the pious servant of God, the venerable Bede, a presbyter of thy monastery, unto the gates of the princes of the apostles, Peter and Paul, my masters, and thy lovers and protectors, that he may confer with our lowliness; and doubt not, that in answer to thy pious prayers, the gracious Lord will grant him a prosperous return to thee, after that he shall with God's assistance have fulfilled my desire touching the aforesaid questions; for we are persuaded that whatever light shall through him be communicated to the church universal, will be profitable to all who are committed to thy care".

Death and burial of the blessed presbyter Bede.

At the time when the venerable Bede, the worthy servant of God, was to depart out of this world, he was, about two weeks before the day of our Lord's resurrection, afflicted with extreme shortness of breath; and from this time until


[1] It is certain that Venerable Bede never was at Rome. See my life of Bede prefixed to the 8vo. edition of his works, and also to the translation of his Eccles. History in the "Antiquarian Library".

142 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 734.

the 26th day of June, being the day of our Lord's ascension, he was glad and joyful in spirit, day and night giving thanks to almighty God, every day reading to his disciples from the holy scriptures, and spending the rest of the day in psalmody and prayer; moreover, he passed the whole night in joy and gladness, interrupted only by short intervals of sleep. On the third day before that of our Lord's ascension, his breathing began to be more laborious, and a slight swelling appeared in his feet, indicating that death was near; the congregation then being assembled, he was anointed and received the kiss of peace, and reverently and with tears partook of the viaticum: he implored every one to remember his soul, and to some of the brethren who were his more familiar friends he gave in private some small presents. On the day of our Lord's ascension, when his soul was about to depart from the body, as he lay on a hair-cloth over against the oratory wherein he had been accustomed to pray, he with a composed countenance, and in his perfect senses, thus implored the grace of the Holy Spirit, "King of glory. Lord of power, who didst this day triumphantly ascend above all heavens, leave us not comfortless, but send to us the promise of the Father, even the Spirit of truth"; and when he had ended this prayer, he expired. As his soul was departing, the attendants smelled a wonderful odour, exceeding that of sweet spices or precious balsam. He was buried at that time in the same monastery, but now rests with the blessed Cuthbert, bishop of Durham, in a coffin of gold and silver.

State of England at the time of Bede's death.

At the time when God's servant Bede departed out of this world the following kings flourished in England. In Kent Athelbert reigned, in Wessex Athelhard, in Essex Selred, in Mercia Athelbald, in East-Anglia Athelred, who begat St. Athelbert by his queen Leofrona; Ceolwulf reigned in the province of the Northumbrians. Under these kings were the following bishops:- Tatwin in Kent, Aldulf in the city of Rochester, Ingald in London, two in East-Anglia, Eadbert at Helmham, and Athelac at Dommuc; Aldwin at Lichfield in Mercia, in the province of the Wiccii Wilfrid, whose see was at Worcester; Wastold was over the people of the Mercians who live beyond the Severn, and had his see at Hereford.

A.D. 738.] FORTHERE VISITS ROME. 143

In the province of Lindissa [in Lincolnshire] was Kinebert, in Winchester Daniel; in the province of the Northumbrians were four bishops, at York Wilfrid, at Lindisfarne Athelwald, at Hagustald [Hexham] Acca, at Withern Pecthelm. The same year died Tatwin, archbishop of Canterbury. The same year the moon appeared of a bloody red colour, for a whole hour, on the 31st of January. The same year Acca was expelled from the bishopric of Hagustald, and, after two years, was succeeded by Frithebert on the 8th of September.

Nothelm is ordained archbishop of Canterbury.

In the year of our Lord 735, Nothelm was ordained archbishop of Canterbury, of whom Bede testifies, in his preface to the History of the English, that he greatly assisted him in recording the acts of the English by bringing him letters from the archives at Rome, which were necessary for that work, while he was yet a presbyter in the city of London.

Nothelm receives the pall.

In the year of grace 736, Nothelm, archbishop of Canterbury, was confirmed in his bishopric, having received the pall from the pope.

Death of bishop Aldwin.

In the year of grace 737, Aldwin, bishop of Lichfield, ended his days; two bishops were consecrated in his room, Wicta in Lichfield, and Tota the first bishop of Leicester.

How numbers forsaking their property go to Rome.

In the year of our Lord 738, Forthere, bishop of Sherburne, and the queen of the West-Saxons, forsook splendid possessions and went to Rome; which was done by numbers in those days, kings, bishops, noble and ignoble, clergy and laity, men and women. The same year, Athelwald, bishop of Lindisfarne, paid the debt of human nature, and was succeeded in the labour and honour of the office by Kenulf. Frithebert was at that time ordained bishop of Hagustald. At the same time, Selred, king of the East-Saxons, lost his life and his kingdom, and was succeeded by Swithred.

144 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 744.

Death of Athelhard, king of the West-Saxons.

In the year of our Lord 739, Athelhard, king of the West Saxons, died, and was succeeded by his brother Cuthred, who reigned fifteen years. In this year, according to some, Ceolwulf, the most noble king of the Northumbrians, departed from this life to Christ; he was succeeded in his kingdom by his kinsman Eadbert, who reigned eleven years, being the son of Eatta, who was the son of Lethewold, who was the son of Ceolwulf. In the same year, Nothelm archbishop of Canterbury, and Aldulph bishop of Rochester, departed this life.

In the year of our Lord 740, Cuthbert was chosen and consecrated the eleventh archbishop of Canterbury; having received the pall, he ordained Duni over the church of Rochester.

In the year of our Lord 741, Athelbald, the proud king of the Mercians, harassed Cuthred, king of the West-Saxons, at one time by making war on him, at another by stirring up seditions: they frequently made peace between them, which was kept but for a short time.

In the year of our Lord 742, on the death of Gregory, pope Zacharias sat in the Roman chair nine years and three months. Constantine was made emperor the same year, and reigned thirty-five years.

In the year of our Lord 743, fiery strokes were seen in the air on the 1st of January, such as the men of that generation had never seen. In the same year Wilfrid the younger, archbishop of York, died, and was succeeded by Egbert, a man eminently skilled in divine knowledge.

The kings of England fight against the Welsh.

In the year of our Lord 744, Cuthred king of the West-Saxons, and Athelbald king of the Mercians, having made peace with each other, united their forces and fought against the Britons, who had assembled from every quarter. These very brave kings, rushing pell-mell on the enemy, gave them such an overthrow that the Welsh were compelled to turn their backs on their pursuers, who seized on the spoil, and the kings returned home in triumph.

A.D. 748.] MIRACLE OF ST. BENEDICT. 145

Egbert, archbishop of York, recovers the pall.

In the year of our Lord 745, Egbert, archbishop of York, laudably recovered the pall, which had been omitted to be received by eight bishops, from the time of Paulinus the first archbishop of York.

Cruelty of the emperor.

In the year of our Lord 746, Daniel, bishop of Winchester, ended his days, in the forty-fourth year of his episcopate, and was succeeded by Humfrid. At this time, the emperor Constantine, giving himself up to magical arts, and to bloody sacrifices and riotous excess, caused numbers of the monks and clergy to be stoned for the true faith; in all which things he had for his abettor the false patriarch of Constantinople, Anastasius, who loved earthly dignity; for which cause the indignation of Heaven came upon the inhabitants of that city, admonishing the impious emperor to restrain his excessive rage, but he refused to amend his course; therefore there came a pestilence from Sicily and Calabria, where it commenced, and so desolated the royal city that in many houses there was not found a single inhabitant; and such was the violence with which it attacked Anastasius, that he vomited up, as it were, the excrements of his belly, and died a miserable death.

Stars are seen to fall from heaven.

In the year of our Lord 747, stars were seen to fall from heaven, insomuch that all who saw them thought the end of the world was at hand.

Miracle of St. Benedict.

In the year of our Lord 748, the monks of the monastery of Cassino, at the instance of Charlemagne, obtained letters from pope Zacharias to Pepin king of the Franks, commanding the restoration of the body of the most blessed Benedict to its proper place, from whence it had been stolen by the monks of Fleury; that so the aforesaid servants of God might rejoice in the restitution of their father, and the others be rewarded of God. On reading this letter, the pious king Pepin despatched Remigius, archbishop of Rouen, with

146 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 749.

three bishops, to Fleury, to restore the greatest part of the body of St. Benedict to the monks of Cassino, but not to deprive the monastery of Fleury of the whole. When this became known to the brethren of Fleury, they fasted and prayed with tears three days before his tomb, exclaiming, "O father Benedict, our only hope next to God, regard, we beseech thee, our tears, and remain with us in the place which thou didst deign to choose for thyself; but if thou art provoked by the enormity of our sins, and wilt not remain, we are determined to go with thee". And after they had thus spent three whole days in tears and sighs, the aforesaid bishops arrived, and proceeded to fulfil the king's commands. On hearing of their arrival and the object of it, the abbat Medo, who then governed the monastery, called to him the brethren of the congregation, and shut himself with them in the neighbouring church of the blessed Peter, where they gave themselves to prayer, lying prostrate on the ground and bathed in tears. When the bishops entered the temple of the holy mother of God, before they had reached St. Benedict's tomb, they were stricken with such fear and blindness, that they were unable to recognize each other; and perceiving that the visitation was from God, they began to grope their way through the church until they came to the bell-ropes, which they pulled with all their might in order to procure help. On hearing the noise, the abbat and brethren, who were engaged in prayer, entered the church, and finding the bishops unable to see, they asked them what was the matter. They replied, "We have rashly come hither to provoke the blessed father Benedict to vengeance; woe unto us! for we have sinned. But, ye servants of God, pray to almighty God for us, that he may open our eyes; and we promise you that we will never more be guilty of the like presumption". On this the brethren, some with tears and others prostrate on the ground, earnestly prayed that God would, in his mercy, vouchsafe to restore their sight; and while they were praying their eyes were opened, and the aforesaid bishops returned home in great fear. In the same year, Cuthbert archbishop of Canterbury, and Athelbald king of the Mercians, held a council.

In the year of our Lord 749, died Eadbert, king of Kent, after wearing the diadem six years; he was succeeded by

A.D. 754.] MARTYRDOM OF ST. BONIFACE. 147.

Athelbert, who reigned fourteen years. At the same time, Kineric, son of Cuthred king of the West-Saxons, was killed. In the same year died Athelwold king of the East-Angles, and Hunbeanna and Albert divided his kingdom between them.

In the year of our Lord 750, Eadbert, king of the Northumbrians, brought bishop Kinewulf a prisoner to the city of Bebba, which is now called in French Bamborough, and commanded him to confine himself to the church of the blessed Peter in Lindisfarne.

In the year of our Lord 751, Cuthred, king of the West-Saxons, fought against Athelhun, a most enterprizing chief, who had raised an insurrection against his lord, and although by no means a match for him in the number of his troops, yet had the hardihood to meet him in the field. After a most severe engagement, the king retired in triumph from the battle, leaving his enemy severely wounded. In the same year pope Stephen sat in the Roman chair, which he occupied five years and twenty-eight days.

Battle between king Cuthred and king Athelbald.

In the year of our Lord 752,Cuthred king of the West-Saxons, unable to endure the overbearing exactions and insolence of Athelbald, king of the Mercians, met him in the field at Beoreford [Burford] where these kings had a most severe engagement. King Athelbald, preceded by Athelhun who bore his standard, on which was painted a golden dragon, made a fierce attack on the enemy; but king Cuthred's standard-bearer, directing his lance at the hostile standard-bearer, ran him through, at which Cuthred's people raised a shout and took courage. Terrible was the thunder of the battle, and the sound of the blows, and the cries of the fallen: each side was confident of victory; no one thought of flight; but at last, God, who resisteth the proud and giveth grace unto the lowly, turned Athelbald to flight and rejoiced Cuthred with the victory. In the same year there was an eclipse of the sun, after midnight, on the 31st of July.

In the year of our Lord 753, St. Boniface, bishop of the city of Mentz, was crowned with martyrdom in Frisia, with fifty-three others.

In the year of our Lord 754, St. Boniface, who is also

148 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 757.

called Winfrid, archbishop of the Franks, ended his days by martyrdom.

In the year of our Lord 755, Cuthred, king of the West-Saxons, and Athelbald king of the Mercians, had a severe engagement at a place called Sacchenda [Seckington]; in which Athelbald, who would not flee to save his life, was slain. Athelbald was succeeded in the kingdom of the Mercians by Beornred. The kingdom of the West-Saxons was greatly strengthened after the death of king Athelbald, who reigned forty-one years.

Death of king Cuthred.

In the year of our Lord 756, pope Paul sat in the Roman chair ten years. In this year also merciless death carried off the most mighty king Cuthred, after so many successes and victories. He was succeeded in the kingdom by his kinsman Sigebert, who kept it but a short time; for, growing insolent and haughty for the successes of his predecessors, and becoming intolerable even to his domestics, ill-treating them in all manner of ways, and perverting or changing the laws of his predecessors for his own benefit, when Cumbra, a most noble chief, acquainted him with the complaints of the whole kingdom, and advised him to rule with more gentleness the people committed to him, and, laying aside his haughtiness, to appear more amiable to God and men, he wickedly commanded him to be put to death, and was yet more cruel and arrogant to his people. On which the nobles of the kingdom assembled with all the people, and, by the prudent counsel of all, he was expelled the kingdom, and Kinewulf, a youth of royal race, was elected and raised to be king. King Sigebert, being deposed, fled for refuge to a wood called Andredesweald; where he was found, in his retreat at Privetesflode, by Ansian, the swineherd of Cumbra, the cliief who was wickedly slain, as we have said, and was by him put to death in revenge for his lord's murder. In the same year died Humfrid, bishop of Winchester, and was succeeded by Kinehard.

In the year of our Lord 757, Eadbert, king of the Northumbrians, voluntarily resigned his kingdom to his son Osulf, who lost it after holding it one year, being wickedly murdered by his own people on the 24th of July. King Eadbert

A.D. 758.] BEORNRED DEPOSED. 149

assumed the monastic habit and tonsure, being the eighth English king who exchanged a temporal for an eternal kingdom, to be rewarded in heaven with the joy of the eight beatitudes due to voluntary poverty. His son Osulf was succeeded in the kingdom of the Northumbrians by Athelwold Mollo, who reigned six years. In the same year pope Paul sat in the chair of Rome, which he occupied four years.

Of Offa, the courageous king of the Mercians, and of his reign.

In the year of our Lord 758, the people of the kingdom of the Mercians rose against Beornred their king, because he did not govern his people by just laws, but tyrannically; and assembling together, high and low, they, under the direction of a most courageous youth named Offa, expelled him the kingdom; after which, with common consent, as well of clergy as of laity, they crowned Offa king. Now this Offa was of royal descent, being the son of Tinferth, who was the son of Eadulf, who was the son of Osulf, who was the son of Eoppa, who was the son of Wibba, who was the son of Creodda, who was the son of Kinewold, who was the son of Cnebba, who was the son of Ithel, who was the son of Eomer, who was the son of Angelthean, who was the son of Offa, who was the son of Waremund, who was the son of Withleg, who was the son of Wagon, who was the son of Frethegeath, who was the son of Woden. To the last the ancients dedicated the fourth day of the week, which is called Wodnesday; to his wife Frea they dedicated the sixth day, which is called Friday. Woden was the son of Frethewold, who was the son of Freolaf, who was the son of Frithewulf, who was the son of Godwulf, who was the son of Geata. This last the pagans formerly worshipped as a god, and mention is made of him by the excellent poet Sedulius, in his poem on Easter, in the following passage:-

"Quum sua gentiles studeant figmenta poetae
Grandisonis pompare modis, tragicoque boatu,
Ridiculove Getae seu qualibet arte canendi", etc.

Now Geta was the son of Cethwa, who was the son of Beau, who was the son of Seldwa, who was the son of Heremod, who was the son of Itermod, who was the son of Hatra, who was the son of Wala, who was the son of Bedwi, who was the son of

150 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 764.

Shem, who was the son of Noah, who was the son of Lamech, who was the son of Methusaleh, who was the son of Enoch, who was the son of Mahalaleel, who was the son of Cainaan, who was the son of Enos, who was the son of Seth, who was the son of Adam, whom the Lord God made of the slime of the earth. King Offa was a terror and a fear to all the kings of England; for he overcame in battle the king of Kent, the king of the West-Saxons, the king of the Northumbrians, the king of the South-Saxons, the king of the East-Angles, and, as shall be told more at length by and by, having subjugated the other kings, or made them tributary, he not a little enlarged the kingdom of the Mercians.

Athelwold, king of the Northumbrians, slew Oswin.

In the year of our Lord 759, Athelwold Mollo, king of the Northumbrians, made war upon Oswin, a most powerful chief, whom the aforesaid king slew, and returned in triumph. In the same year also died Unnust, king of the Picts.

In the year of our Lord 760, there was an eclipse of the moon about midnight, on the 1st of August. The same year died Cuthbert, archbishop of Canterbury, and was succeeded by Berenguin, a prudent and learned man.

Of the head of St. John the Baptist.

In the year of our Lord 761, the head of the blessed John the Baptist was transferred to the city of Edessa.

In the year of our Lord 762, Athelbert, king of Kent, departed this life, leaving Eadbert heir to his kingdom. The same year, Athelwold, king of the Northumbrians, married queen Etheldreda.

In the year of our Lord 763, Berenguin, archbishop of Canterbury, died, and was succeeded by Jainbert. The same year, Frithewold, bishop of Whitern, departed from this world, and was succeeded by Pethwin.

Of the bishops of Lindesey.

In the year of our Lord 764, Hemeli, bishop of Lichfield, died, and was succeeded by Cuthfrid. The same year, Aldulf, bishop of Lindissa [Lindesey], ended his days, and was succeeded by Ceolwulf. In what place these bishops had their episcopal see we are totally ignorant; but we know that

A.D. 767.] EANBALD ARCHBISHOP OF YORK. 151

there were several bishops in the country of Lindesey, which lies between Lincoln and the river Humber; for the venerable Bede, in his History of the English, testifies that Paulinus, the first prelate of York, ordained the first bishop there. Adrian succeeded to the see of Rome.

In the year of our Lord 765, Athelwold, king of the Northumbrians, slew Oswin, a very brave chief, who had rebelled against him; but, not long after, the same Athelwold departed this life, and was succeeded by Ealred, who was great-great-grandson of king Ida, and reigned eight years.

How Offa, king of the Mercians, made a new archbishop at Lichfield.

The same year, Offa, the most powerful king of the Mercians, having quarrelled with the people of Kent, sought to deprive Jainbert, archbishop of Canterbury, of the primacy, with a view to grace the kingdom of the Mercians with the archbishopric. He sent, therefore, envoys to pope Adrian, requesting him, contrary to ancient custom, to confer the pall on Aldulf, bishop of Lichfield, and to make all the bishops of his kingdom subject to him. The Roman pontiffs are the more easily induced to compliance from the multitude of their cares, and so pertinaciously did he weary the apostolical pope with his specious arguments, that he at last obtained his request, that all the bishops of the Mercians should be subject to the aforesaid bishop. Their names were these:- Denebert bishop of Worcester, Werebert of Leicester, Eadulf of Sinacester, Wulward of Hereford; the bishops of the East-Angles, Hyrald of Helmham, and Tidferth of Dommuc. There remained to the archbishop of Canterbury, the bishops of London, Winchester, Rochester, and Sherburne. This violence on the part of the king lasted during the entire prelacy of Jainbert, although that archbishop spared no expense or labour to preserve his ancient dignity.

Archbishop Aldulf receives the pall.

In the year of our Lord 766, Aldulf, archbishop of Lichfield, received the pall, and Frithebert, bishop of Hagustald, died.

In the year of our Lord 767, Egbert, archbishop of York, died, and was succeeded by Eanbald. This is that Eanbald, who with Athelhard archbishop of Canterbury, frustrated

152 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 772.

the attack made by king Offa on the church of Canterbury. In the same year, Frithebert, bishop of Hagustald, was succeeded by Alcmund.

Bishops of Leicester.

In the year of our Lord 768, Werebert, fourth bishop of Leicester, ended his days, and was succeeded by Unwona. Leicester is an old city, named from Leir king of the Britons. Its first English bishop was Totta, the second Eadbert, the third Werebert, the fourth Unwona, who with Offa king of the Mercians, and Hunbert archbishop of Lichfield, who, by the transposition of the syllables, is called by some Berthun, is recorded to have been present with other bishops at the finding of the blessed proto-martyr Alban; but of this hereafter.

In the year of our Lord 769, the town of Cataracta was burned with fire by Beornred, the deposed king of the Mercians; but himself miserably perished by fire the same year by the just judgment of God.

Charles, king of the Franks, overthrows the Saxons.

In the year of our Lord 770, Charles, king of the Franks, attacked the Saxons with a strong force, and, after slaying many of their chiefs, returned home in triumph. In the same year stars were seen to fall from heaven in a most fearful manner.

In the year of our Lord 771, Offa, king of the Mercians, reduced the English nation by his arms. In this year also, Charles, king of the Franks, was cut off by sudden death; his brother Charles, who before possessed half his father's kingdom, now acquired the sovereignty of the whole with the acclamation of the people.

Adrian pope.

In the year of our Lord 772, on the death of pope Stephen, Adrian the first succeeded him, and continued twenty-three years, ten months, and eighteen days.

In the year of our Lord 773, Ealred, king of the Northumbrians, departed this life, and was succeeded by Ethelred. In the same year, Offa, king of the Mercians, fought with the people of Kent at Ottanford; and, after a fearful slaughter on each side, Offa gained a signal victory, and returned in triumph.

A.D. 775.] OFFA'S FOREIGN POLICY. 153

Charles takes the city of Pavia.

In the year of our Lord 774, Charles, the most potent king of the Franks, laid siege to Ticinum, the chief city of the Lombards, and took it with Desiderius their king, and added the whole of Italy to his empire.

Confederacy between Charles and king Offa.

In the year of our Lord 775, Offa, king of the Mercians, whose policy it was to make the neighbouring kings his friends, that he might not have enemies abroad in addition to the many he had made his foes at home, was anxious by repeated presents to make Charlemagne, king of the Franks, his friend. They were before on ill terms, insomuch that they had prohibited all traffic with each other's dominions; but, from a letter of king Charlemagne's, it appears that a lasting league was made between them.

"Charles, by the grace of God, king of the Franks and Lombards, and patrician of the Romans, to his respected and very dear brother Offa, king of the Mercians, greeting. In the first place, we give thanks to almighty God for the sound catholic faith so laudably evinced by your letters. With respect to foreigners, who from love to God and for their soul's health, desire to visit the gates of the blessed apostles, let them go in peace without molestation; but if there are found among them any who come in quest of gain, and not from religious devotion, let them pay the lawful imposts at the proper places. We also will and enjoin that merchants have protection within our rule; and if in any place they are unjustly oppressed, let them apply to us or our judges, and we will command that ample justice be done them forthwith. Let your charity know, also, that by the bounty of our lord pope Adrian, for whom we beseech you to order intercession to be made, we have sent a present of copes and palls for each of the episcopal sees of your kingdom and of that of king Athelred; and something for the metropolitan cities from the store of human things which the Lord Jesus has bountifully given to us; we have also directed to be sent to your charity a belt, and a Hunish sword, and two silk mantles. Farewell".

154 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 781.

Signs in the heavens.

In the year of our Lord 776, fiery and fearful signs were seen in the heavens after sunset; and serpents appeared in Sussex, as if they had sprung out of the ground, to the great astonishment of all.

Leo Zaccarus emperor.

In the year of our Lord 777, on the death of the emperor Constantius, Leo Zaccarus obtained the Roman empire, and reigned five years.

Bishop Pethwin.

In the year of our Lord 778, Pethwin, bishop of Witern, that is, of Candida Casa, ended his days, in the thirteenth year of his episcopate, and was succeeded by Athelbert. The same year, Athelwold and Herebert, earls of the kingdom of the Northumbrians, rebelled against their king, and slew Aidulf, general of king Ethelred's army, at Cunesclive, after which they slew the king's generals, Kinewulf and Eggen, in a great battle; but king Ethelred fled from the face of them, and they made Alfwold king, who reigned ten years.

King Offa takes the castle of Bensington.

In the year of our Lord 779, Offa, the warlike king of the Mercians, fought with Kinewulf, king of the West-Saxons, at the siege of the castle of Bensington; but Kinewulf was worsted in the fight and fled, and the irresistible Offa reduced the castle under his dominion.

In the year of our Lord 780, Ethelred, the deposed king of the Northumbrians, returned first to the city of Bebba [Bamborough], and afterwards to Kinoth, king of the Picts, where he ended his life.

War among the Northumbrians.

In the year of our Lord 781, the nobles of Northumberland burnt in their own houses a certain governor and his justiciary for their excessive severity. In the same year also Kinewulf, bishop of Lindisfarne, died, and was succeeded by Higbald.

A.D. 785.] DEATH OF KING KINEWULF. 155

Irene empress.

In the year of our Lord 782, Irene, with her son Constantine, governed the Roman empire ten years.

In the year of our Lord 783, Alfwold, king of the Northumbrians, sent to Rome for the pall, and gave it to the archbishop. Alcmund, bishop of Hagustald, died the same year, and was succeeded by Tilbert.

Death of Wilbert, bishop of Sherborne.

In the year of our Lord 783, Wilbert, bishop of Sherborne, died, and was succeeded by Castan.

Charles converts the chiefs of the Saxons to the faith.

In the year of our Lord 784, Withichind and Albion, infidel chiefs of Saxony, were reconciled to Charles, and were baptized.

King Kinewulf is slain.

In the year of our Lord 785, Kinewulf, king of the West-Saxons, after reigning twenty-six years, and gaining many glorious battles over the Britons and many others, at length banished a certain youth named Kinehard, brother of king Sigebert, who had been deprived of the kingdom by Kinewulf, as has been said before, suspecting that he was aspiring to the kingdom, or that he would some day avenge on him his brother's death. Kinehard, thinking it better to yield to circumstances, used dissimulation, as if his departure were his voluntary act. But not long after he associated himself with robbers, and sought the recesses of the woods, where he lay in wait many days, according to the proverb, which says,

"Quod non longa mora dare solet, dat brevis hora".

Meantime, while king Kinewulf was by stealth indulging an illicit amour in a vill named Mereton, it became known to the aforesaid Kinehard, who besieged the house with his accomplices. On seeing himself surrounded by enemies, the king, who had come almost unattended, shut the doors of the house, hoping either to intimidate the robbers with his authority, or to soothe them with his address; but in vain, for, surrounded by numbers, and deeming it inglorious to yield to his foes, he resolutely defended himself, and inflicted

156 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 788.

a severe wound on Kinehard, who thereupon rushed on him with his comrades and slew him. The few servants of the king that were present were all in like manner slain, while they thought rather of avenging their master than of surrendering. The news presently reached the nobles of the murdered king, who were in attendance not far off, and encouraged by Osric, who held the chief command among them, not to let so foul an act pass unpunished, they rushed on the enemy with drawn swords. After many promises and pleading his royal parentage, but to no purpose, Kinehard exhorted his followers to defend themselves; till, in the end, victory inclined to the servants of the king, as was just, and Kinehard was slain with all his comrades. The king's body was buried at Winchester, and that of Kinehard at Rependun [Repton], which was a noble and famous monastery at that time.

Brithric made king of the West-Saxons.

In the year of our Lord 786, on the death of Kinewulf, king of the West-Saxons, his son Brithric succeeded to the kingdom, and reigned sixteen years. The same year Celulf, bishop of Dorchester, died, and was succeeded by Aldulf.

A shower of blood from heaven.

In the year of our Lord 787, there was a shower of blood from heaven on the earth, and queen Riedritha ended her days.

Adrian pope.

In the year of our Lord 788, pope Adrian sent legates into Britain to renew the faith which Augustine had preached. They were honourably received by the kings with the clergy and people, and reared a fair structure on the firm foundation of the faith, the grace of Christ co-operating with them. They held a council at Chalchuthe, when Jainbert, archbishop of Canterbury, resigned a portion of his episcopal jurisdiction to the archbishop of Lichfield. In that council also, Offa, the most potent king of the Mercians, caused his eldest son Egfrid to be solemnly crowned king; he was a pious and noble-minded youth, and reigned from that time conjointly with his father unto the end of the latter's life. In the same year a conspiracy was made against Alfwold,

A.D. 791.] MARRIAGE OF BRITHRIC. 157

king of the Northumbrians, by his patrician, named Sigan, who put him to a miserable death near the Wall, and his body was buried in the church of Hagustald. At the place where the aforesaid king was slain, a light was emitted from heaven in the sight of numbers; and the strangeness of the phenomenon induced the faithful to build a church on that spot, which was consecrated to the honour of God, and to St. Cuthbert and king Oswald. He was succeeded in the kingdom by Osred, son of Alcred and great-great-grandson of king Ida, and reigned one year.

A cross appeared on people's clothes.

In the year of our Lord 789, there appeared the sign of the cross on people's clothes, to the general amazement of all. Now we believe that it was by way of warning the people of that region, that they might avoid the plague of the Danes, which shortly followed.

King Brithric marries the daughter of king Offa.

In the year of our Lord 790, Brithric, king of the West-Saxons, in order to strengthen his influence among his neighbours, married the daughter of Offa, king of the Mercians, who was at that time in the height of his power; strengthened by whose alliance, he drove into France, Egbert, the only one remaining of the royal race who he feared would be an enemy to the interests of his kingdom. On his expulsion the king lived in security, when a piratical band of Danes arrived in three vessels and disturbed the peace of that province. It is to be suspected that they came to spy out the fertility of the country; and this is made clearer than light by the subsequent arrival of a multitude of Danes who filled the whole of Britain. But at this time they landed stealthily, and, attacking a royal vill in the neighbourhood, slew the king's bailiff, who gave them battle. He was the first of the English nation that was slain, but afterwards many thousands of thousands of them fell. At last a multitude of people attacked the Danes, and drove them, with the loss of their spoil, to their ships.

King Osred is driven from his kingdom.

In the year of our Lord 791, king Osred was expelled his kingdom by the treachery of his subjects, and

158 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 792.

Ethelred, son of Mollo, was put in his stead. In this year also, which is the fourth after Osred first became king, he gathered strength and returned to drive out Ethelred, by whom he had been driven out, and was taken in the attempt at Tinemouth, where he was put to death. In the same year a synod was held in a place called Finchale, the archbishop presiding, with his suffragan bishops and many others.

Constantine emperor.

In the year of our Lord 792, Constantine obtained the Roman empire, and reigned seven years. The same year, Charles, king of the Franks, sent into Britain a synodal book, in which were found many things contrary to the true faith, and, in particular, it was laid down with the unanimous consent of almost all the doctors of the east, that images ought to be worshipped, which the catholic church wholly condemns; in opposition to which, Albinus wrote an admirable letter, supported by the authority of divine scripture, and presented it, together with the same synodal book, to the king of the French, in the presence of the bishops and nobles. The same year, Ethelred took to wife Alfleda, a daughter of king Offa.

St. Athelbert king and martyr.

At the same time, Athelbert, king of the East-Angles, son of king Ethelred, left his territories, much against his mother's remonstrances, and came to Offa, the most potent king of the Mercians, beseeching him to give him his daughter in marriage. Now Offa, who was a most noble king, and of a most illustrious family, on learning the cause of his arrival, entertained him in his palace with the greatest honour, and exhibited all possible courtesy, as well to the king himself as to his companions. On consulting his queen Quendritha, and asking her advice on this proposal, she is said to have given her husband this diabolical counsel, "Lo", said she, "God has this day delivered into your hands your enemy, whose kingdom you have so long desired; if, therefore, you secretly put him to death, his kingdom will pass to you and your successors for ever". The king was exceedingly disturbed in mind at this counsel of the queen,

A.D. 792.] PASSION OF KING ATHELBERT. 159

and, indignantly rebuking her, he replied, "Thou hast spoken as one of the foolish women; far from me be such a detestable crime, which would disgrace myself and my successors"; and having so said, he left her in great anger. Meanwhile, having by degrees recovered from his agitation, both the kings sat down to table, and, after a repast of royal dainties, they spent the whole day in music and dancing with great gladness. But in the meantime, the wicked queen, still adhering to her foul purpose, treacherously ordered a chamber to be adorned with sumptuous furniture, fit for a king, in which Athelbert might sleep at night. Near the king's bed she caused a seat to be prepared, magnificently decked, and surrounded with curtains; and underneath it the wicked woman caused a deep pit to be dug, wherewith to effect her wicked purpose. When king Athelbert wished to retire to rest after a day spent in joy, he was conducted into the aforesaid chamber, and, sitting down in the seat that has been mentioned, he was suddenly precipitated, together with the seat, into the bottom of the pit, where he was stifled by the executioners placed there by the queen; for as soon as the king had fallen into the pit, the base traitors threw on him pillows, and garments, and curtains, that his cries might not be heard; and so this king and martyr, thus innocently murdered, received the crown of life which God hath promised to those that love him. As soon as this detestable act of the wicked queen towards her son-in-law was told to the companions of the murdered king, they fled from the court before it was light, fearing lest they should experience the like fate. The noble king Offa, too, on hearing the certainty of the crime that had been wrought, shut himself up in great grief in a certain loft, and tasted no food for three days. Nevertheless, although he was counted guiltless of the king's death, he sent out a great expedition, and united the kingdom of the East-Angles to his dominions. St. Athelbert was ignominiously buried in a place unknown to all, until his body, being pointed out by a light from heaven was found by the faithful and conveyed to the city of Hereford, where it now graces the episcopal see with miracles and healing powers.

160 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 793.

Death of Jainbert, archbishop of Canterbury.

In the year of our Lord 793, Jainbert, archbishop of Canterbury, ended his days, after laboriously discharging the duties of the see for twenty-seven years. He was buried in the Chapterhouse at St. Augustine's, and was succeeded by Athelhard, bishop of the city of Winchester, who filled the see thirteen years. The same year Eanbald, archbishop of York, consecrated Baldulf to be bishop at Witerne, which is called in Latin Candida Casa.

The finding of St. Alban, the proto-martyr of England.

The same year, while Offa, the most potent king of the Mercians, was residing in Bath, and was taking his rest on the royal couch after the labours of the day, he was admonished by an angel from heaven to disinter Alban, the saint of God and proto-martyr of the English or Britons, and to place his relics in a shrine more worthy of them. Anxious to obey the divine commands, the king straightway summoned Humbert, archbishop of the Mercians, whose see he had lately established at Lichfield, and made known to him the will of Heaven touching this matter. The aforesaid archbishop thereupon, taking with him Ceolwulf bishop of Lindsey, and Unwona bishop of Leicester, together with an innumerable multitude of each sex and of every age, met the king at Verolamium on a day appointed. As he was journeying thither, the king beheld a ray of light like a great torch, sent down from heaven, and illuminating the place of the sepulchre. This heavenly miracle, which was seen of all, confirmed their faith in the truth of the vision.

After sanctifying the people by fasting, alms-giving, and prayers, the prelates, wearing their priestly mitres, invoked the aid of the blessed martyr. The memory of the martyr had perished, and the place of his burial been forgotten, for about three hundred and forty-four years, since the time when St. Germanus, bishop of Auxerre, came into Britain with the blessed Lupus, bishop of Troyes, to root out the Pelagian heresy; for the pagan nation of the Saxons, Jutes, and Angles had driven out the Britons and subjugated their country, as has been related more fully before, depopulating the lands, burning the cities and towns, levelling with the

A.D. 793.] TRANSLATION OF ST. ALBAN. 161

ground the sacred churches, slaying the priests, and mercilessly destroying the face of the island from one sea to the other. At this time, therefore, the church of the blessed Alban, the first martyr of the English, which is described by Bede in his history of the English, to have been wonderfully constructed of stone, after the passion of the martyr, was utterly destroyed with the other churches of the country; by which it came to pass that his sepulchre, which, at the time of the arrival of St. Germanus, and before from the time of the martyr's passion unto the desolation of that country, was known to every one, and had in universal veneration for the number of miracles wrought there, was, at the time when it was discovered to king Offa by the ministry of an angel, utterly unknown. After the clergy and people had prayed with alms-giving and fasting, as we have said, they struck the ground and searched everywhere for the martyr's tomb; nor was it necessary to search long for a place which the divine goodness had vouchsafed to point out by a light from heaven. They found the martyr's body, the most mighty king Offa standing by, in a wooden coffin, in which it had been formerly hidden in the time of danger by Christ's faithful ones from the rage of the barbarians; and with it the sacred relics of all the apostles and of various martyrs, placed there long before by St. Germanus. As well the clergy as all the people were moved to tears by this discovery, and more especially as it gave them faith in what the holy fathers said touching the relics, which were recorded to have been placed by the body of the martyr, to his great solace. This treasure, which had been hidden so long under the sod, the archbishops with their bishops lifted out of the tomb with holy fear, and in solemn procession, with hymns and thanksgivings, transferred to a certain church which had formerly been consecrated in honour of the blessed martyr outside of the city of Verolamium, and there they laid up the pious pledges of the father in a coffer of gold and silver and precious stones; and to this very day miracles continue to be wrought at that spot; for, in the sight of numbers of witnesses, the deaf there recover their hearing, the lame walk, the blind see, and all who in faith invoke the aid of the blessed martyr obtain of God the wished-for blessing, whether of mind or body. These events took place in the five hundred and

162 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 798.

seventh year from his passion, the three hundred and forty-fourth from the arrival of the Angles in Britain, in the first indiction, on the 1st of August.

How king Offa, on his way to Rome, purchased a field for strangers.

After these things the king summoned a council of that province, and consulted with archbishop Humbert, and his suffragans, and all the primates, about collecting a convent of monks and privileging a monastery in the place where he had found the relics of the proto-martyr of his kingdom, and which had been consecrated by his blood. They all were pleased with the king's design, and he approved of the counsel of the bishops, that the martyr should be canonized, and the monastery to be built in honour of him should be privileged with the authority of the Roman pontiff; and that all these things might have a more worthy effect, they gave their counsel that the king should either send envoys, or in his own person treat with the court of Rome about them. Acquiescing in their advice, the king undertook the laborious journey, to the end that as the blessed Alban had the glory of being the proto-martyr of the English, so his monastery might surpass in possessions and privileges all others in his kingdom.

The king therefore took ship, and landing at the destined port in Flanders, he turned aside to lodge at a certain town named Monasteriolum [Monistrol], where, to his great surprise, he found no fodder for his horses, although he saw meadows in abundance. On his inquiring whose those meadows were, he was told that they had several owners. The king thereupon gave orders that they should all come before him, that they might be admonished to sell their meadows; those who heard it answered with no small indignation that the owners of the meadows abounded sufficiently in temporal things. When at length these nobles were brought into the king's presence, he treated with them for the sale of the meadows, and on their telling him that they had abundance of wealth, "You have not so much", replied the king, "but that you may yet have more. We will purchase your meadows, not at their worth, but at your own price; nor will we make any difficulty, even though you make no abatement". On hearing this, avarice prevailed with them, and they received from the king for

A.D. 793.] KING OFFA IN ROME. 163

their meadows sucli a price as they chose to fix on; after which the king consecrated those meadows, and with regal munificence assured them to all strangers who should come there, that pilgrims who should sojourn for a time in those places might, by the king's bounty, for ever have grass or hay without price for the support of their horses.

How king Offa arrived in Rome, and promoted the building of the blessed Alban's monastery.

Having paid the money for the purchase of the meadows, the king proceeded on his journey, and at length arriving at Rome, he with pious devotion visited the gates of the apostles and the places of the various saints. He next informed the chief pontiff Adrian of the cause of his arrival, and made his earnest petition, both for the canonization of the blessed Alban and for the founding of the monastery. The court of Rome yielded a ready compliance, and the more so that the discovery of the martyr was the effect of divine revelation. On his consulting the court touching the founding of the monastery, and exempting it from episcopal jurisdiction, the Roman pontiff made answer as follows:- "Most beloved son Offa, most mighty king of the English, we greatly commend thy zeal for the proto-martyr of thy kingdom, and willingly yield our assent to thy petition for building and privileging a monastery, enjoining thee, for the remission of thy sins, to return to thy land, and, with the advice of thy bishops and nobles, to confer on the monastery of the blessed Alban such possessions and liberties as thou shalt be disposed, and what privileges thou shalt so confer we will afterwards confirm; and we will adopt that monastery as a favoured daughter of the Roman see, and it shall be subject to our apostolic see, without the intervention of bishop or archbishop".

On hearing this, the king considered within himself how he could make some recompence for such a gift; and at length, by the inspiration of divine grace, he adopted a salutary expedient, and the next day, going to the English school, which flourished at Rome at that time, he made a grant to it for ever for the support of such of his kingdom as shall come there, of a penny from every family that had possessions in lands to the value of thirty pence; and for this liberality he obtained that none of the English nation should

164 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 793.

suffer exile by way of doing penance. After making the aforesaid grant, having confessed to the pope and received absolution from his sins, together with the blessing of the supreme pontiff, the noble king returned home.

He next summoned a council of nobles and bishops at Verolamium, and with the unanimous consent and good will of all, he conferred ample lands and possessions on the blessed Alban, and ennobled them with a multiplicity of liberties. He then brought together a convent of monks from the most religious houses to the martyr's tomb, and set over them an abbat named Willegod, to whom he granted the monastery with all royal rights. Now the great king Offa reigned over twenty-three provinces, which the English call "shires", viz. Herefordshire, whose bishop's see is in the city of that name; Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, whose bishop's see is in Worcester; Warwickshire, Cheshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, and Derbyshire, whose bishop's see is in Lichfield; Leicestershire, whose bishop's see is in the city of that name; Lincolnshire, whose bishop's see is in Lindesey; Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Cambridgeshire, and half of Hertfordshire, whose bishop's see is at Dorchester; Essex, and Middlesex, and the half of Hertfordshire, whose bishop's see is in the city of London; Norfolk and Suffolk, which have two bishops, one in Helmham, the other in Dommuc; he also reigned over Nottinghamshire, which was subject to the archbishop of York. From all these provinces the king granted the blessed Peter's penny, as has been said before, which the English call "Romescot. [1]

Possessions conferred by Offa on the monastery of St. Alban.

Moreover the most mighty king Offa conferred on Alban, the blessed proto-martyr, his own royal vill called Wunceslaw, about twenty miles from Verolamium, with the land around it, as the king's writings testify, which are to this day preserved in the church aforesaid; and so exceeding great are the privileges of this church, that it alone is quit from the payment of the apostolical custom or rent, called Romescot, from which neither king, nor archbishop or bishop, abbat or prior nor any other in the kingdom, is exempt; moreover tne abbat, or one of the monks, his archdeacon, exercises

AD. 795.] CRUELTY OF CONSTANTINE. 165

pontifical jurisdiction over both clergy and laity throughout that church's demesnes, and is subject to no archbishop or legate, but to the supreme pontiff alone. It is also to be noted that the munificent king Offa, when he granted the aforesaid payment of Romescot from his kingdom to the blessed Peter's vicar, the pontiff of the city of Rome, obtained from the Roman pontiff, that the church of Alban, the proto-martyr of the English, should faithfully collect the same from the whole of Hertfordshire, in which the aforesaid church stands, and retain it for its own use. And as this church was endowed with all royalties, so its abbat for the time being wears the pontifical ornaments. Thus much may suffice for the present concerning St. Alban.

Signs in heaven, precursors of famine and mortality.

In the year of our Lord 794, Humbert, archbishop of Lichfield, died, and was succeeded by Higbert. The same year dreadful prodigies terrified the miserable English nation; for fearful thunderbolts and horrible fiery dragons were seen passing through the air, foreboding a mighty famine and dreadful slaughter of the people. For the Danes with the Norwegians committed sad havoc among the people of Northumberland and of Lindesfarne, destroying the churches of Christ with their inmates. The island of Lindisfarne, which has an extent of eight miles or more, contains a noble monastery, in which was buried the illustrious father, bishop Cuthbert, with other prelates, his most holy successors. Now the Lindis is a rivulet, flowing into the sea, and is about two feet in width at low tides, but at high tides it cannot be seen.

Persecution by the emperor Constantine.

In the year of our Lord 795, the emperor Constantine put out the eyes of many who had incurred his suspicion; he condemned pope Stephen to a cruel death, after detaining him forty years in prison; and all who were suspected by him, or over whom he had any power, he caused to swear on the wood of the holy cross, that they would worship no image of God or of the saints, nor invoke the mother of God. Those who kept vigils to God, who lived religiously, or who had in their possession the relics of the saints, he condemned and deprived of their patrimonies, and subjected

166 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 796.

to every species of torment; he caused the beards of such as were more religious to be smeared with wax and pitch, and then to be set on fire: the monks he compelled to take wives, and the nuns to receive husbands. Numbers who refused compliance attained the palm of martyrdom, nor was there a greater number who thus suffered under any heathen persecution. In this year too, earl Sigar, who had unworthily slain the blessed king Alfwold, came to an end he well merited.

Leo sat in the Roman chair.

In the year of our Lord 796, on the death of pope Adrian, Leo succeeded him, and occupied the see twenty years, five months, and sixteen days, after which it remained vacant three days. In the same year small globes were seen about the sun, signifying perhaps the death of many kings and nobles who in that year departed out of this world; for in the same year Ethelred, king of the Northumbrians, forsaking his own wife, took to himself another, for which he was put to death by his own people. Osred succeeded him in the kingdom, but dying on the twenty-fifth day of his reign, he was succeeded in the kingdom by Eardulf, who reigned ten years. In this same year Eanbald, archbishop of York, died, and was succeeded by another Eanbald. In these days also Ethelbert, king of Kent, died, and was succeeded by Eadbert; at the same time Athelhard succeeded in the rule of the archbishopric after Jainbert, archbishop of Canterbury.

Death and burial of Offa, king of the Mercians.

In the same year, Offa, the magnificent king of the Mercians, having nearly completed his most noble monastery, died, according to the opinion of many, in the town of Offley, and his body is said to have been conveyed to the town of Bedford, and to have been buried in a royal manner in a certain chapel outside of the city, situate on the bank of the river Usk. It is reported by nearly all the people of that neighbourhood, even to the present day, that the aforesaid chapel, from decay and the violence of that river, was precipitated, together with the king's tomb, into the stream; and that the sepulchre is now seen by bathers in the summer time deep beneath the waters, but though it has been sought

A.D. 797.] KENULF SUCCEEDS EGFRID. 167

with the greatest diligence, yet, as if by a fatality, it cannot be found. The most mighty king Offa was succeeded in the kingdom by his son Egfrid, who had reigned eight years conjointly with his father. Now Egfrid, who was an excellent and noble-minded youth, as soon as he was established in the kingdom, walked in the steps of his pious father, and devoutly conferred many lands and possessions on the church of the blessed Alban, the proto-martyr of the English, and confirmed all the other grants which his father had made to the aforesaid church, with all the royal privileges it possesses, and which are as great as can be conferred on any church; and that his donation might have the strength of perpetuity, he added thereto, according to the custom of the Roman church, the subscription of all the bishops, counts, and barons of his whole empire, together with the sign of the cross. Moreover, avoiding in all things the avarice of his father, he with a ready zeal restored whatever the former had taken from the different monasteries for the exaltation of his kingdom, and confirmed the same by his own grant to all who asked it. At the instance also of Athelhard, archbishop of Canterbury, he would willingly have restored the dignities of which archbishop Jainbert had been deprived, as has been said before, if his untimely death had not prevented him; for he died on the hundred and forty-first day after the death of his father, to the great grief of all the nations of his kingdom; wherefore I think it wrong to judge that so noble a youth was taken off for his own sins; but because his father had shed much blood for the strengthening of his kingdom. He was succeeded in the kingdom of the Mercians by Kenulf, a noble man, son of Cuthbert and great-great-grandson of king Wibba, who reigned twenty-four years. His queen Alfritha bore him Kenelm, afterwards a saint, and his daughters Quendrida and Burgenilda.

How Athelhard, archbishop of Canterbury, recovered the lost dignity.

In the year of our Lord 797, Kenulf, king of the Mercians, was religious at home and victorious as a lion in war, thereby adding a lustre to the diadem of his kingdom. There came to him Athelhard and Eanbald, archbishops of Canterbury and York, to confer with him respecting the lost dignity of the church of Canterbury; and on learning from them what

168 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 798.

great wickedness his predecessor king Offa had been guilty of in mutilating the diocese of Canterbury, he with ready zeal restored it to its ancient standing. Sending letters from himself and all the English bishops to pope Leo, Adrian's successor, and archbishop Athelhard himself fulfilling the office of envoy, he obtained his request; wherefore it is recorded far more to the praise and glory of that archbishop that he restored the ancient dignity of the see, than that he merely maintained it in the condition in which he found it. In the same year died Mildred, bishop of Worcester, and was succeeded by Weremund; and in the same year, Eanbald, archbishop of York, having received the pall, and associating with himself bishop Higbald in the act of consecration, ordained Eadred bishop as the successor of Ethelbert, on the 30th of October, at a place called Wodeford.

Munificence of Kenulf, king of the Mercians.

In the year of our Lord 798, Kenulf, king of the Mercians, invaded and ravaged the province of Kent, and taking prisoner king Eadbert, surnamed Pren, who was not a match for him in might, triumphantly brought him back with him in fetters. But not long after, at the dedication of the church which he had founded at Winchelcomb, he gave the captive king his liberty before the altar. There was present on that occasion Cuthred, whom king Kenulf had set over the people of Kent in the room of the aforesaid Eadbert. The church resounded with plaudits, and the street with the voices of the multitude, inasmuch as at that assembly, at which were present thirteen bishops and ten dukes, no one met with a denial of any petition, and each one departed replenished in purse; for besides the numberless gifts which the nobles had received of inestimable value, in utensils, raiment, and choice steeds, he gave to all who had no lands a pound of gold, a marc of gold to every presbyter, a noble to every monk, and many gifts to all the people; he moreover enriched the monastery with such ample revenues, as at this day would seem incredible. Eanbald, archbishop of York, held a synod at Finchale the same year. At the same time Eardulf, king of the Northumbrians, engaged in battle, at a place called Bilingeho, with earl Wade and certain others who had conspired against him; but at length, after many had fallen on

A.D. 801.] DANISH INVASION. 169

each side, the king obtained a noble victory over the aforesaid enemies. Irene reigned sole empress three years.

St. Leo pope and martyr.

In the year of our Lord 799, the inhabitants of Rome, torn into factions, seized pope Leo, a holy and most praisewortliy man, and having bound him, they cut out his tongue and put out his eyes, and at length, in blasphemous defiance of Heaven's vengeance, thrust him forth hardly alive from the Roman see; but the compassionate and merciful Lord, who does not forsake such as hope in him, pitifully restored his tongue and eyes, and reinstated him in his former dignity, seeing and preaching the word of faith better than he had done before.

Persecution by the Danes.

In the year of our Lord 800, a band of impious pagans cruelly wasted the churches of Harkness and Tynemouth, and retired with the spoils to their ships. In the same year died Eadred, bishop of Hagustald, and Eadbert succeeded in his room. In this year also, Alcmund, son of king Alcred, was seized by the guardians of Eardulf, king of the Northumbrians, and was by his command put to death together with his adherents. At the same time, on the twenty-third day of December, a mighty south wind laid low the cities with its fearful violence, and, driving the sea beyond its usual limits, caused an immense destruction of cattle in various places. The same year, Charles, king of the Franks, a man of exceeding valour, entered the city of Rome with immense forces, and made frequent visits to the holy places; after a stay of some months, he adorned the church of the blessed Peter and Paul, the apostles of Christ, with royal gifts of gold, silver, and precious stones; he also honoured the venerable pope Leo with various munificent presents, and dispersing his enemies, he slew some, banished others, and even caused some to be gibbeted.

The emperor Charles.

In the year of our Lord 801, Charles the great king, after settling a number of matters at Rome, to the honour of God and the good of the people, made his entry, on the day of

170 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 802.

our Lord's nativity, into the church of Peter, the chief of the apostles, attended by his principal officers, military and civil, his soldiery, and an immense multitude; he was there invested with the regal purple by pope Leo, who also placed a golden crown on his head, and gave into his hands a regal sceptre. On this day that great emperor obtained by his merit the high honour and dignity of being styled, as in reality he was, emperor of the whole world. At this time also messengers were despatched by the Greeks from the city of Constantinople with presents of inestimable value to Charles, most earnestly beseeching him that he would deign to accept of that empire; and while those messengers were yet there, an embassy, consisting of clergy and laity, was sent by the Christians from Jerusalem to Charles the newly made emperor, bringing, among other presents for the king, a silver standard, together with the keys of the most holy places of our Lord's resurrection and many others, requesting him most pressingly that he would vouchsafe to be their defender and ruler. The most pious emperor granted the petition of all who applied to him, assuring them that he was ready to fight against the enemies of the cross, not only by land, but also by sea, should it be necessary; for he was aware that states are happy if their rulers are lovers of wisdom. Proceeding, therefore, to the city of Ravenna, he deliberated with his nobles on the aforesaid matters.

How king Brithric died of poison.

In the year of our Lord 802, Brithric, king of the West-Saxons, died of poison, after this manner. That king had, as has been said before, a queen named Eadburga, daughter of Offa king of the Mercians, whom abundance of honours inspired with excessive ambition; for, moved by her uncle's cruelty, she accused and maligned unto the king all the nobles and ecclesiastics of the kingdom, by which she made herself odious to them and to all the people; for that wicked woman so wrought on the king by her blandishments, that he either put to death or banished the realm those whom she accused; or if she could not obtain this of the king, she would secretly take them off by poison. Now there was at this time a certain noble youth, very dear to the king, and finding no accusation against him, the wicked queen put an

A.D. 804.] SUCCESSION OF BISHOPS. 171

end to him by poison, which the king also ignorantly tasted and suddenly expired; for though she had not designed the deadly cup for the king, but for the youth, yet both partook of the poisonous draught and perished together. The king being in this manner killed, that most wicked woman was frightened, and fled beyond sea with inestimable treasures unto Charles king of the Franks, to whom she made numerous presents. As that most wicked, although most beautiful, woman was standing among the ladies, the king thus addressed her, "Choose, Eadburga, whom you will accept for a husband, myself, or my son who stands by me in the gallery"; without any deliberation, and throwing aside all modesty, she answered and said, "If I might chose whom I would, I would chose your son rather than yourself, because he is the younger". Perceiving that she sought only the gratification of her lust, the king very properly replied, "If", said he, "you had chosen me, you should have had my son; but because you have chosen him, you shall have neither him nor me". Nevertheless, on account of her wickedness and exceeding beauty, the king conferred on her a noble monastery of females, where, laying aside her secular dress, she hypocritically assumed the garb of the nuns, and discharged the office of abbess for a very few years; for, after a short time, hating her holy duties, she is said to have yielded herself to a low fellow of her own nation; and being taken in adultery, the king commanded her to be expelled the holy monastery; after which she spent the rest of her days in miserable poverty, and came to a disgraceful end. On the death of king Brithric, Egbert succeeded him in the kingdom and reigned thirty-six years. Sprung from the royal stock of that nation, he brought many kingdoms under his powerful sway. In the same year died Eadbert, bishop of London, and was succeeded by Eadgar.

Death of bishop Higbald.

In the year of our Lord 803 died Higbald, bishop of Lindisfarne, and was succeeded by Egbert. This Higbald was engaged in the province of the Northumbrians at the time of the ravages of the Danes above mentioned.

In the year of our Lord 804, Beornred, bishop of Rochester, ended his days, and was succeeded in the bishopric by Puthric.

172 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 813.

In the year of our Lord 805, Athelhard, archbishop of Canterbury, ended his days: as has been related before, he with great spirit recovered the lost dignity of the church of Canterbury: he was succeeded by Wilfrid, who continued twenty-eight years.

In the year of our Lord 806, the aforesaid Wilfrid, archbishop of Canterbury, received the pall, and was confirmed in the dignity of his office.

In the year of our Lord 807, Cuthred, king of Kent, ended his days, and was succeeded in the kingdom by Baldred.

In the year of our Lord 808, Eardulf, king of the Northumbrians, was driven from his kingdom, and was succeeded by Alfwold, who reigned two years. Now the same Alfwold had driven him out and had seized on his kingdom.

How king Egbert subdued Cornwall.

In the year of our Lord 809, Egbert, king of the West-Saxons, attacked that region called Cornwall, and added it to his kingdom, after many had been slain on either side.

In the year of our Lord 810 died Alfwold, king of the Northumbrians, and Eanred reigned after him thirty-two years. At the same time, Egbert, king of the West-Saxons, subdued the northern Britons and made them tributary.

King Egbert ravaged Wales.

In the year of our Lord 811, king Egbert, as in the past year he had compelled the people of North Wales to pay tribute, so in this year he overran their territories from north to south, and after burning and ravaging them he returned home.

In the year of our Lord 812, St. Amand was disinterred at the monastery of Elnon [St. Amand] in Gaul: his body was found uncorrupted after a hundred and fifty-two years; his hair and nails, which seemed to have grown in the interval, were cut off; and when his teeth were extracted with a forceps, the blood flowed from his mouth; and the teeth are still preserved in remembrance of the miracle.

In the year of our Lord 813, Charles, king of the French and patrician of the Romans, caused councils to be held throughout Gaul, one at Mentz, another at Rheims, a third

A.D 821.] PASSION OF ST. KENELM. 173

at Tours, a fourth at Chalons, and a fifth at Arles, in which were settled certain questions of holy scripture of importance to the whole church.

Death of the emperor Charles.

In the year of our Lord 814, Charles the great, king of the French, and emperor of the Romans, ended his days after a reign of forty-five years, and was succeeded by his son Louis. In the same year, Wilfrid archbishop of Canterbury, and Wibert bishop of Sherburne, went to Rome on the affairs of the English church.

The emperor Louis.

In the year of our Lord 815, Louis, king of the French, was consecrated emperor at Rome by pope Leo.

In the year of our Lord 816, on the death of pope St. Leo, Stephen occupied the Roman chair after him one year.

Pope Pascal.

In the year of our Lord 817, on the death of Stephen, Pascal occupied the Roman chair after him seven years and seventeen days. In the same year the English school at Rome was consumed with fire.

In the year of our Lord 818, Seloamir, king of the Norwegians, was driven from his kingdom by the emperor Louis, and took refuge with the Danes.

In the year of our Lord 819, Bernard, king of Italy, was accused of conspiring against the emperor, and, being found guilty of high treason, was deprived successively of his kingdom, his eyes, and his life.

A council.

In the year of our Lord 820, by order of the emperor Louis, a general council of bishops and abbats was held at Aquisgranum [Aix-la-Chapelle], where some useful canons were passed respecting monks and nuns.

Passion of the king and martyr St. Kenelm.

In the year of our Lord 821, on the death of Kenulf, king of the Mercians, his body received burial at Winchelcombe. He was succeeded in the kingdom by his son Kenelm, whom his father entrusted to his sister Quenedrida to bring up, as

174 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 821.

he was but seven years old. Led astray by base ambition, she committed her nephew to a certain officer, who had been his foster-father, with instructions to put him out of the way. Under pretext of taking him out to hunt, he cut off the innocent child's head and hid the body among the bushes; but, wonderful to tell, the deed which was so privily perpetrated in England, was made known by divine revelation at Rome; for a white pigeon let drop a letter on the altar of the blessed Peter, the chief of the apostles, by which a discovery was made of the murder of the king and martyr St. Kenelm, and of the place of his burial. This writing, which was in letters of gold in the English language was, at the pope's bidding, in vain attempted to be read by the Romans and other ecclesiastics who were present; but fortunately there was among them an Englishman, who turned the writing into the Latin tongue, and brought it to pass that a letter from the Roman pontiff made known to the English kings where the martyr of their country lay. The following, among other things, was in the letter, "In Clento cou bathe Kenelm kynebearn lith under thorne haevedes bereaved", which is, being interpreted, "In Clent the cow pasture, Kenelm, king's child, lieth under a thorn, bereaved of his head". Accordingly, the body of the blessed martyr, thus wonderfully discovered to the kings of England, as has been related, was taken up from its hiding place and conveyed to Winchelcombe, attended by an immense multitude of clergy and nobles. Moved by the chanting of the clergy and the hearty plaudits of the people, the murderous woman put forth her head from the window of the chamber where she was standing, and began to repeat in a loud tone the psalm, "Be not silent, O God, at my praise", which with a sort of jugglery she uttered backwards, as though she would thereby diminish the joy of the singers; and when she had gone backwards as far as the verse, "This is the work of those who malign me with the Lord", straightway both her eyes burst from their sockets and fell on the page she was reading. To this day, that psalter, wrought with silver and stained with the gore of her eyes which fell upon it, bears testimony to this judgment. Also, touching this saint's martyrdom, some one has written as follows:

"In Clent, sub spina, jacet in convalle bovina, Vertice privatus, Kenelmus rege creatus".

A.D. 828.] DEATH OF LUDECAN. 175

St. Kenelm was succeeded in the kingdom of the Mercians by his uncle Ceolwulf, who reigned two years, though he was shortly deprived of his kingdom.

In the year of our Lord 822, the earth in Saxony was heaved up into a ridge to the extent of a league, to the amazement of many.

In the year of our Lord 823, Ceolwulf, king of the Mercians, was driven from his kingdom, and was succeeded by Bernulf, who reigned four years.

In the year of our Lord 824, a certain girl, twelve years of age, after the holy communion on Easter-day, abstained first from bread for ten months, and then from eating and drinking for three years, after which she returned to her usual mode of living. Eugenius sat in the chair at Rome.

In the year of our Lord 825, Egbert, king of the West-Saxons, fought against Bernulf king of the Mercians, who hostilely invaded his dominions, at Hellendune, whence, after an immense slaughter of the people of both the kings, Egbert returned home a sorrowful victor.

In the year of our Lord 826, Bernulf, the aforesaid king of the Mercians, was slain by the East-Angles because he claimed that kingdom as his own from the time of king Offa, and was ever seeking to invade it. In the same year, the bodies of the holy martyrs, Marcellinus and Peter, were removed from Rome and taken into France, where they became famous by working many miracles. Ludecan succeeded king Bernulf, and Valentine succeeded pope Eugenius.

In the year of our Lord 827, Egbert, king of the West-Saxons, sent his son Athelwulf, with Ethelstan, bishop of Sherburn, and earl Wihard, into Kent with an immense multitude of soldiers; who drove king Baldred beyond the Thames, and reduced the kingdom of Kent with Sussex under the sway of king Egbert. In this year also the East-Angles received Egbert as their patron and lord. In fine, Egbert was one of eight kings who had the whole of this isle in subjection from the river Humber unto the south coast as far as the Gallic sea.

In the year of our Lord 828, Ludecan, king of the Mercians, being slain by king Egbert, Wilaf succeeded him in the kingdom; but being presently driven out by king Egbert, he passed three years in exile. At the same time

176 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 834.

Egbert also vanquished Swithred, king of the East-Saxons, and drove him from his kingdom; after which the kings of the West-Saxons possessed that kingdom. In the same year there fell a shower of corn from heaven in Gascony much like wheat, but the grains were round and shorter. In this year also died Egbert, bishop of Lindisfarne, and was succeeded by Eardulf.

In the year of our Lord 829, Egbert, king of the West-Saxons, after possessing himself of all the southern kingdoms of England, led a mighty army into Northumberland, committing terrible ravages in that province, and putting king Eanred under tribute.

In the year of our Lord 830, Egbert, the most potent king of the West-Saxons, led a numerous army into Wales, and received the voluntary submission of all the Welsh and their kings. In the same year, Egbert, king of the West-Saxons, moved with compassion, granted to Wilaf, king of the Mercians, that he should hold his kingdom of him under tribute.

Gregory made pope.

In the year of our Lord 831, Gregory sat in the Roman chair sixteen years. In the same year Wulsius, archbishop of York, paid the debt of nature, and was succeeded by Wimund.

In the year of our Lord 832, died Wilfrid, archbishop of Canterbury, and was succeeded by Ceolnoth, who received the pall the following year.

How the Danes ravaged the isle of sheep [Sheppey.]

In the year of our Lord 833, an army of infidel and piratical Danes, after being vanquished at Dunemuth and put to flight, ravaged Scapeia, i.e. the isle of sheep; for the pagans landed there with twenty-five vessels, and having plundered the island, they sailed away, and landing at a place called Carr, gave themselves up to plunder and pillage, sparing neither sex.

How the Danes routed king Egbert with great slaughter.

In the year of our Lord 834, king Egbert assembled a mighty force, and proceeded in battle array against the

A.D. 838.] DANES LAND AT SOUTHAMPTON. 177

aforesaid Danes; but after an immense slaughter on both sides, the fortune of war inclined to the Danes. There fell among the rest Herefrid bishop of Winchester, and Sigelm bishop of Sherburn, with dukes Dudda and Osmund. Bishop Eadmund succeeded Herefrid, and Athelwold succeeded Sigelm.

How king Egbert routed the Danes and Welsh.

In the year of our Lord 835, the Welsh and Danes, with united forces, invaded the kingdom of Egbert with fire and sword, seeking to demolish his castles and towns; on hearing of which, king Egbert went to meet the enemy with a numerous army, and after making an enormous slaughter of his enemies, he at length put the Danes and Welsh to the rout with much loss, and so freed his country from the hostile irruption.

King Egbert again vanquished the Danes.

In the year of our Lord 836, a fresh body of Danes having arrived, king Egbert routed them with a most signal discomfiture.

Pope Gregory gave the name of Leonia to the city which he had founded.

In the year of our Lord 837, pope Gregory gave the name of Leonia to the new city which he had recently built. This Gregory was before called Leo the fourth. In the same year Egbert, king of the West-Saxons, after a reign of thirty-seven years and seven months, departed out of this world, and was buried at Winchester. He was succeeded by his son Athelwulf, called by some Adulf, who reigned twenty years and five months. This Athelwulf had by his queen four illustrious sons, of whom the first was named Eadbald, the second Ethelbert, the third Ethelred, and the fourth Alfred, who all reigned successively after their father. He had a fifth son named Ethelstan, not born in wedlock, to whom his father gave all the kingdoms which his own father Egbert had acquired by conquest, contenting himself with the kingdom of the West-Saxons alone.

Arrival of the Danes in England.

In the year of our Lord 838, the Danes landed at the port of Hamo [Southampton] with thirty-three vessels, and were

178 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 838.

attacked by earl Wulfward, who slew many thousands of them and put them to a disgraceful flight. But not long after, in the same year, the same pagans effected a landing at the mouth of the port, and commenced ravaging the country. On hearing of this, duke Athelhelm, with the men of Dorset, attacked and put them to flight, but was himself slain by them as he incautiously advanced too far in the pursuit.

The cause of the Danish scourge.

Now that we are come to that very great and terrible plague, which the sins of the English nations brought on them by the instrumentality of the Danes, I think it good briefly to unfold the cause of that visitation by way of warning to posterity. In the primitive church of the English religion shone with great lustre, insomuch that kings and queens, princes and dukes, earls and barons, and rulers of churches, from love of the heavenly kingdom, chose the monastic life, voluntarily submitting to exile and a life of solitude, and forsaking all things, that they might follow the Lord; but in process of time all goodness had so died away among them, that no people could be compared with them for treachery and fraud, nor was anything so odious among them as piety and justice, or anything which conferred honour so much as civil wars and shedding innocent blood. Almighty God sent, therefore, against them those cruel and pagan nations, like swarms of bees, who spared neither the female sex nor infantile years,- Danes and Norwegians, Goths and Swedes, Vandals and Frisians, who from the commencement of the reign of the aforesaid Athelwulf until the arrival of the Normans, for nearly two hundred and thirty years, devastated this sinful land from sea to sea, and from man to beast; for their repeated invasions in every part were not made with a view to subjugate and possess the country, but to waste and destroy it. And if they were sometimes defeated, it availed the English nothing, for a greater fleet with more numerous forces would arrive unexpectedly and suddenly in another part; so that whilst the kings of the English would be hastening towards the eastern coast of the kingdom to tight against them, a messenger would arrive and thus address him, " Whither, O king, are you marching? for an innumerable host of pagans has landed in

A.D. 844.] SERGIUS POPE. 179

the southern parts, and is ravaging the cities and towns, and destroying with fire and sword whatever is in their way". News of this kind, whether from the east, the west, or the north, deprived the natives of all hope of safety; and thus, with hearts bowed down by so many misfortunes and evil tidings, would the kings enter on a doubtful contest with their hostile invaders, in which sometimes the natives, and sometimes the enemies, were defeated.

In the year of our Lord 839, earl Herebert fought against the pagans at Merswarum, where he fell, the Danes gaining the victory, and his own men being routed.

In the year of our Lord 840, died Andred, king of the Northumbrians, and was succeeded by his son Athelred, who reigned seven years.

In the year of our Lord 841, an army of pagans marched through the eastern parts of England, that is to say, Kent and East-Anglia, slaying an innumerable multitude. They at the same time ravaged the region of Lindissey. In the same year died Louis the pious, king of the French and patrician of the Romans, and was succeedeed by Lothaire, who reigned fifteen years.

In the year of our Lord 842, a most wicked army of Danes, advancing further into England, slew an immense multitude of people of both sexes in the neighbourhood of Canterbury and Rochester, and of the city of London.

Lothaire punished his enemies.

In the year of our Lord 843, Lothaire, king of the French and emperor of the Romans, marched into Saxony, and with great spirit crushed a conspiracy of the freedmen to destroy their lords, and inflicted capital punishment on the authors of it.

Sergius is made pope.

In the year of our Lord 844, Sergius, who is also called Pelagius, filled the Roman chair three years. In this year Athelwulf, king of the West-Saxons, fought against the Danes at Carr [Charmouth], but the Danes obtained the victory. In the same year Athelred, king of the Northumbrians, was driven from his kingdom, and was succeeded by Redwulf, who was no sooner invested with the diadem than he fought a battle

180 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 849.

with the pagans at Aluthelia, in which himself and his general Alfred fell, with the greatest part of their forces, on which Athelred again obtained the kingdom.

In the year of our Lord 845, duke Earnulf, with the men of Somerest, and duke Osric with the men of Dorset, and Alstan bishop of Sherburn, fought with the Danes at the mouth of the Pedred [the Parret], and gained the victory after inflicting a terrible slaughter on the enemy. In this year died Egfred, bishop of Lindisfarne, and was succeeded by Eanbert.

In the year of our Lord 846, king Athelstan and earl Alcher engaged with an immense army of pagans at Sandwich, taking nine of their largest vessels and putting the rest to flight.

In the year of our Lord 847, Leo filled the Roman chair eight years, three months, and six days, after which it remained vacant two months. In the same year died Eadbert, bishop of Worcester, and was succeeded by Alhun.

An eclipse of the sun.

In the year of our Lord 848, Athelred, king of the Northumbrians being slain, Osbert succeeded him and reigned eighteen years. There was also an eclipse of the sun the same year, at the sixth hour of the day, on the 1st of October.

Birth of Alfred who was afterwards king.

In the year of our Lord 849, there was born to Athelwulf, king of the West-Saxons, a son in the province of Berks, in the royal vill of Wantage, whom in the holy regeneration he named Alfred. His mother was named Osburga, a devout lady of noble birth and an excellent understanding: she was the daughter of the famous Aslat, king Athelwulf's butler, who was descended from the Goths and Jutes, of the seed of the two brothers Stuph and Withgar; these, having obtained a force from their uncle, the king of the West-Saxons, and from their cousin Kenric, first slew the few Britons whom they found inhabiting the Isle of Wight, at a place called Withgaresburich, and then took possession of the island and occupied it, as has been related above.

In the same year, on the vigil of Pentecost, Bertferth, son of Berthwulf king of the Mercians, wickedly slew his kinsman St. Wulstan, who was the grandson of two kings of

A.D. 852.] THE WITCH OF BERKELEY. 181

the Mercians. The body of the deceased was carried to the monastery of Rependun, the most famous of that age, and is said to have been buried in the tomb of his grandsire king Wilaf. His martyrdom was not without heavenly miracles; for from the spot where he was innocently slain, a column of light, extending up to heaven, remained visible to the inhabitants of that place for thirty days.

In the year of our Lord 850, the French were worsted by the Bohemians in a severe engagement. A malignant spirit publicly declared by the mouth of a certain maniac, that he had presided over that war, and by himself and his companions, the spirits of pride and discord, had brought it to pass that the French turned their backs on their enemies.

In the year of our Lord 851, a great heap of pagans arrived in the mouth of the river Thames with three hundred and fifty vessels, and ravaged Dorobernia, that is to say, Canterbury, and put to flight Bertulf king of the Mercians, who had come against them to battle. Rendered bolder by this success, they advanced with all their forces into Surrey; which being told to Athelwulf, king of the West-Saxons, he assembled a mighty army, and accompanied by his son Athelbald, engaged with them in battle in a place called Aclea [Ockley], where he defeated them with unheard-of slaughter.

Death of king Bertulf.

In the year of our Lord 852, Bertulf, king of the Mercians, departed this life, and was succeeded by Burchred, who reigned twenty-two years. In the first year of his reign he took to wife a daughter of the king of the West-Saxons, and thereby strengthened himself in his kingdom; the nuptials were celebrated in the royal vill of Chippenham, where the young Ethelswitha received the appellation of queen.

Of a certain witch, and her miserable death.

In those days there lived in the village of Berkeley a certain woman, who was a witch, a lover of her belly, and given to lasciviousness, forsaking not her flagitious courses and her fortune-telling even in her old age, but remaining shameless even to her death. One day, as she sat at dinner a young raven, which she kept for her amusement, began to chatter I know not what; on which the woman let the knife

182 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 852.

drop from her hand, and turning pale in the face, began to cry, and exclaimed, "I shall hear of some heavy calamity to-day, for my plough is come to-day to the last furrow"; and no sooner had she so said, than there entered a messenger with doleful tidings. On her inquiring why he came, he replied, "I have to inform you that your son and all his family have been suddenly crushed to death". Struck with this sorrowful news, the woman immediately became very ill and took to her bed; and sensible that the disease was creeping on to her vitals, she sent a letter for her yet surviving children, the one a monk and the other a nun. On their arrival she addressed them with sobs after this manner, "My children, it has been my miserable fate, that I have all my life given myself to devilish practices, having been the sink of every vice, and the teacher of all manner of impurities. Yet, in the midst of my wickednesses, I placed my hope for the salvation of my perishing soul in your religion, trusting that you would be my defence against my adversaries, my guardians against my cruel foes. Now, therefore, that I am come to the end of my life, I beseech you by these breasts which have nourished you, that you do your endeavours to alleviate my torments. As soon as I am dead, sew me up in a deerskin, and then place me in a stone coffin, fastening well the lid with iron and lead, and binding it round with three very strong iron chains; after which, procure fifty ecclesiastics to sing psalms, and as many priests to celebrate masses for three days, that so the fierce attacks of my enemies may be repelled; and then, if I shall lie in security for three nights, on the fourth day bury me under ground". They did as she had directed; but, alas! neither prayers, nor tears, nor chains availed anything; for on the first two nights, while the quires were singing around the corpse, the devils came and burst open the church door, which was fastened with a huge bar, and broke with ease the chains that were about the extremities of the coffin; but the middle one was too strong for them, and remained entire. But on the third night, about cock-crowing, the whole of the monastery seemed to be shaken from its foundation by the noise of the approaching demons. One of the devils, who was more terrible in look and taller of stature than the rest, with a violent onset shivered the church-doors to fragments; the clergy and laity became

A.D. 854.] THE WELSH CONQUERED. 183

stiff with fear, and their hair stood on end, and the singing of the psalms ceased. Then the demon, approaching the tomb with a haughty air, called the woman by her name which has not been recorded, and commanded her to rise; she replied that she could not for the fastenings. "There is now no hindrance", said he, and straightway he broke the chain which had baffled the efforts of the other devils, with as much ease as if it had been of tow; and then kicking off the lid of the coffin, he in the face of all dragged the woman forth from the church, where was seen before the doors a black steed, proudly neighing, with hoofs of iron, and completely caparisoned, upon which the wretched woman was thrown, and she quickly disappeared from the sight of the beholders; yet her fearful shrieks were heard for nearly four miles as she cried loudly for help. Now what I have related will not be considered incredible, if you read the dialogue of the blessed pope Gregory, where he narrates how a man, who had been buried in a church, was dragged out of it by devils; and among the Franks, Charles Martel, a man of singular courage, who compelled the Saracens who had entered Gaul to retire back into Spain, after he had ended his days, was buried, as it is said, in the church of the blessed Dionysius; but because he had invaded the patrimony of nearly all the churches of Gaul by applying the tithes to the payment of his soldiers, his body was miserably torn from the tomb by malignant spirits, and was never more seen unto this day.

The Welsh are conquered by the English.

In the year of our Lord 853, Athelwulf king of the West-Saxons, and Bernred king of the Mercians, conquered the Midland-Britons, and brought them into subjection.

How king Athelwulf gave a tenth part of his kingdom to God and his saints.

In the year of our Lord 854 died Wimund, archbishop of York, and was succeeded by Wulfer. In the same year Eanbert, bishop of Lindisfarne, ended his days, and was succeeded by Eardulf. In the same year the magnificent king Athelwulf gave a tenth part of his kingdom to God, and the blessed Mary, and all saints, free from all secular services, exactions, and tributes; which grant and his confirmation thereof by

184 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 854.

deed I think right to insert here, that his devotion may be better known to all men. "In the everlasting reign of our Lord Jesus Christ. The flames of wars in these our times, the spoiling of our wealth, the cruel ravages and manifold oppressions of barbarous enemies and pagan nations, who afflict us even unto death, make us sensible that perilous times are at hand. For which cause, I Athelwulf, king of the West-Saxons, with the advice of my bishops and nobles, for a remedy thereof have adopted the wholesome expedient of granting for ever some portion of my kingdom to God and the holy Mary, and all saints; to wit, a tenth part of my land, free and quit of all secular services, king's tribute both great and small, and the taxations we call witeredden; and for the good of my soul and the remission of my sins, let it be wholly free for the service of God alone, exempt from military service, the building of bridges and castle-ward, to the end that prayers may ascend without ceasing unto God for us, and so much the more diligently as we in aught remit the services of those who offer them. Moreover it has pleased Alstan bishop of the church of Sherburn, and Swithun bishop of the church of Winchester, with their abbats and the servants of God, religious men and women, on whom the aforesaid benefits have been conferred, to appoint that in every church all the brethren and sisters should on every Wednesday sing fifty psalms, and each priest celebrate two masses, one for the king, and another for the nobles who have agreed to this measure, for their souls' good and their deliverance from their sins; and after their death for the defunct king individually, and for the nobles collectively. And let this continue all the days of Christianity, as liberty has been granted, so long as the faith flourishes in the English nation. This charter of donation was written in the year of grace 854, in the fourth indiction, of the 9th day of November, in the city of Winchester, before the greater altar of the blessed apostle Peter".

How king Athelwulf went to Rome.

After these things, Athelwulf, the magnificent king of the West-Saxons, set out with very great state for Rome, taking with him his youngest and favourite son Alfred, that he might be instructed in morals and religion by pope Leo. After

A.D. 854.] ATHELWULF IN ROME. 185

tarrying there a whole year with his son, he had him crowned king by the pope, and a few days afterwards he set out on his return home, and by the way he married Judith, daughter of Charles king of the Franks, and brought her with him to England. But meantime, while the king tarried beyond the seas, a conspiracy was formed against him by certain nobles, headed by Athelbald the king's eldest son, Alstan bishop of Sherburne, and Eanwulf earl of Somerset, whose object it was to exclude the king for ever from the kingdom. Now the cause was twofold, the one because he had had his younger son Alfred crowned king at Rome, as if to the exclusion of his other sons from a share in the kingdom; the other because he had lightly esteemed all the women of England, and had married the daughter of the king of the Franks, a stranger. The aforesaid conspirators had moreover heard that, in violation of the customs and laws of the kings of the West-Saxons, he had bestowed the title of queen on his new wife, the daughter of the king of the Franks, and made her sit by his side at table; whereas among the West-Saxons it is not permitted the queen to sit by the king, or even to be styled queen, but only the king's wife. This disgrace was brought upon them by Eadburga, daughter of king Offa and queen of the same people, who poisoned her husband king Brithric, and was wont, as she sat by the king, to accuse all the nobles of the kingdom, and those against whom she could not prevail by her accusations, she would take off by poison. On account of the wickedness, therefore, of this queen, which has been fully treated of before, they had all conspired never to permit a king to reign over them who should be found guilty in this respect. At length, on the return of the peaceful king Athelwulf from Rome, the aforesaid Athelbald his son, and his accomplices, attempted to carry their wicked plot into effect. But God Almighty did not permit it; for the king, with ineffable clemency, and with a view to prevent a worse than civil war raging between him and his son, repressed the conspiracy of the nobles and bishops by sharing with his son the kingdom of the West-Saxons, which had never before been divided, so that the eastern part of the kingdom fell to the son's lot, and the western portion remained with the father. And when all the nobility of the kingdom took part with the king, and would have deprived the son of the right of reigning,

186 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 857.

if his father had permitted it, the noble-minded king, entirely devoid of covetousness, indulged his son's desire; and thus he who by the just judgment of God was entitled to reign, yielded his right to his wilful and wicked son.

Eadmund was consecrated king.

In the year of our Lord 855, on the death of pope Leo, Benedict succeeded him, and sat in the Roman chair two years, six months, and ten days, after which the see remained vacant fifteen days. In the same year king Eadmund, who was sprung from the stock of the ancient Saxons, undertook the government of the province of the East-Angles, in the thirteenth year from his birth, on the day of our Lord's nativity, being the 25th day of December. This most pious youth was elected king by all the nobles and people of that region, and being forced to reign much against his will, he received the gift of consecration from Humbert, bishop of Helmham, in the royal vill called Bures.

In the year of our Lord 856 died Lothaire, king of the Franks and patrician of the Romans, and was succeeded by Louis, who reigned twenty-one years.

Death of king Athelwulf.

In the year of our Lord 857, Athelwulf, the pacific king of the West-Saxons, among his other good acts pertaining to the present life, calling to mind his departure therefrom by the common road of all men, that his sons might not fall out among themselves after his death, made his will, by which he directed a division of his kingdom between his sons Athelbald and Ethelbert, and of the money which he left between his daughter, and his kindred, and the nobles of his kingdom. For his soul's health and benefit he enjoined his successors after him for ever to nourish with meat, drink, and clothing one poor person, whether native or stranger, for every ten hides or manors throughout his kingdom, provided that the land could support cattle and was under cultivation. He moreover ordered three hundred mancuses of money to be taken to Rome every year, to be distributed there as follows:- a hundred in honour of St. Peter the chief of the apostles, for the purchase of oil for filling all the lamps of that apostle's church on Easter-eve, and again at cock-crowing; a hundred

A.D. 861.] TRANSLATION OF POPE INNOCENT. 187

more for the like purpose in honour of St. Paul; and a hundred he directed to be given to the universal pope for the increase of his almsgiving. Now this king had been devoted to God before the death of his father king Egbert, and had been ordained bishop of Winchester, but on his father's death, though much against his will, he was made king, there being no other of the royal race entitled to reign. At length, after governing the kingdom of the West-Saxons with the greatest assiduity for seventeen years, king Athelwulf went the way of all flesh, giving to his second son Ethelbert the kingdom of Kent and Sussex, while his eldest son Athelwulf reigned in Wessex in the room of his father. King Athelwulf was interred in the cathedral church at Winchester with the honour due to a king. Athelbald was no sooner advanced to the kingdom than in violation of God's law, the dignity of the Christian name, and the custom even of all the heathen, he ascended his father's bed, and married Judith, daughter of Charles king of the Franks, and reigned with unrestrained cruelty over the West-Saxons two years and a half after his father's death. In the same year died Cedda, bishop of Hereford, and was succeeded by Albert.

In the year of our Lord 858, on the death of pope Benedict, Nicholas sat in the Roman chair nine years, two months, and twenty days. In the same year died Athelwold, bishop of Lichfield, and was succeeded by Humbert.

Penitence of king Athelbald.

In the year of our Lord 859, Athelbald, king of the West-Saxons, repented of his aforesaid error, and did penance for the same, putting away his step-mother Judith, whose bed he had defiled, and ruling his kingdom for the remainder of his life in peace and righteousness.

The body of pope Innocent translated into Saxony.

In the year our Lord 860, Lenculf, duke of the Saxons, conveyed the body of the blessed pope Innocent from Rome into Saxony.

Death of Athelbald.

In the year of our Lord 861, Athelbald, king of the West-Saxons, was taken off by a premature death in the fifth year

188 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 862.

of his reign, and was buried with regal pomp at Sherburne. He was succeeded in the kingdom by his brother Ethelbert, who held under his dominion Wessex, Kent, Essex, and Sussex. In his days a great multitude of Danes arrived by sea and sacked the city of Winchester. As they were returning to their ships with much spoil, they were attacked with great spirit by Osric earl of Hants, and Ethulf earl of Berks, who slew many of them, and the rest made their escape. In the same year died Rethun, bishop of Leicester, and was succeeded in the bishopric by Aldred.

St. Swithun.

In the year of our Lord 862, St. Swithun, bishop of Winchester, departed to the Lord. This holy man, endued with many miraculous powers during his life, was withal remarkably eminent for compassion and humility. It happened once on a time that this servant of God was sitting with some workmen by the bridge of the city of Winchester, that his presence might stimulate to diligence in their labours, and a market woman was passing over the bridge into the city with some eggs for sale. The workmen flocked around her, and with the saucy insolence of that class of people, broke every egg she had. The poor woman's cries at this shameful outrage came to the ears of the pious bishop, who, on learning her loss, moved with compassion, made the sign of the cross over the broken eggs, and repaired the fracture of them all. Touching the humility also of the blessed man, it is worthy of mention, that as often as he had to dedicate the fabric of a new church, although the way was long, he would use neither horse nor vehicle, but stoutly proceeded thither on foot; and lest that custom of his should be ridiculed by the ignorant, or set down to ostentation by the proud, he would withdraw from the gaze of men and perform the journey in the night. A lover of unostentatious sanctity, he never prostituted his good deeds by any display. Finally, when about to bid farewell to the present life, he exercised his pontifical authority in strictly charging his household to bury his corpse outside the church, exposed to the feet of the passers-by, and to the droppings of the eaves from above. He was succeeded in the bishopric

A.D. 867.] STATE OF NORTHUMBERLAND. 189

by Ealfert, a man of sufficient ecclesiastical learning, who for some time prudently followed the course of his predecessor.

The Danes winter in the isle of Thanet.

In the year of our Lord 863, the pagans wintered in the isle of Thanet, and made a treaty of peace with the inhabitants of Kent; but, with the treachery of foxes, sallying forth from their camp by night, they ravaged the whole of the eastern coast of Kent, and returned with spoil to their ships.

In the year of our Lord 864, Humbert, bishop of Lichfield, ended his days, and was succeeded in the bishopric by Kineferth.

In the year of our Lord 865, by the gift of pope Nicolas, the bodies of St. Eusebius and St. Pontian were translated into Gaul, where they were honourably interred in monasteries dedicated by the pious to St. Peter.

Death of king Ethelbert.

In the year of our Lord 866, Ethelbert, king of the West-Saxons, died, and his brother Ethelred reigned in his stead five years. At this time also a large army of Danes arrived in England and wintered in the country of the East-Angles, where, too, the greatest part of them, who were on foot, were made cavalry.

Pope Adrian. [1]

In the year of our Lord 867, pope Adrian succeeded Nicolas and sat in the Roman chair four years. In the same year, on All Saints' day, the cruel army of Danes migrated out of the country of the East-Angles to the city of York. At this time too there was the greatest dissension among the Northumbrians, for the people had expelled their lawful king Osbert from his kingdom, and had raised to the throne a usurper named Ella, who was not of the royal lineage; but by divine providence, on the advance of the Danes, Osbert and Ella, for the good of the commonweal, made peace among themselves, and then with united forces approached the city of York; on which the Danes straightway fled, and determined to defend themselves within the city walls. The Christian


[1] See Asset's Life of Alfred and the Saxon Chronicle, for the events of this chapter.

190 ROGER OF AVENDOVER. [A.D. 868.

kings pursued, made a very fierce attack on the enemy, and cast down the city walls. At length they entered the city, and engaged in battle with the pagans to their own exceeding loss; for in that fight, which was fought on Palm Sunday, there fell the kings Osbert and Ella, and with them eight nobles, with an immense multitude of inferior rank. The most cruel victors after this ravaged the entire country of the Northumbrians as far as the mouth of the river Tyne, and subdued it to themselves. The kings of the Northumbrians being slain, a certain man of the English nation named Egbert next governed that kingdom, for six years, in subjection to the Danes. In the same year Alfstan, bishop of Sherburne, ended his days. In the times of Egbert and his son Athelwulf, kings of the West-Saxons, his power and influence were great in that kingdom; for by his services in war he reduced the people of Kent and the East-Angles under the dominion of the aforesaid king Egbert. He also roused the spirit of king Athelwulf against the Danes, who then first began to infest the island; himself too levied money, and having formed an army, fought many spirited and successful battles with the enemy. His power may be understood from the fact of his having kept king Athelwulf out of the kingdom as he was returning from Rome, and made his son Athelbald king in his stead; until at length he permitted the father to return and share the kingdom with his son. After governing his church fifty years, he left it enriched with lands acquired from every quarter; and as his zeal had been excessive in acquiring, so was his liberality unbounded. He was buried in the cathedral church at Sherburne.

Marriage of king Alfred.

In the year of our Lord 868, Alfred, brother of king Ethelred, a youth of wonderful goodness, married a wife of the royal race of the Mercians, to wit, a daughter of Ethelred earl of the Ganni [Gainsborough, in Lincolnshire], who was surnamed "Muchel", which means "great". Her mother's name was Eadburga, of the noble race of the aforesaid kings; the damsel's own name was Alswitha. In the same year the array of the Danes, so often mentioned, left the Northumbrians and came to Snotingeham and wintered there. Now Snotingeham is called in the tongue of the Britons "Tinguobauc", and means

A.D. 870.] HEROISM OF THE ABBESS EBBA. 191

the house of dens". On hearing of their approach, Burhred, king of the Mercians, despatched messengers to Ethelred, king of the West-Saxons, and his brother Alfred, suppliantly beseeching their aid against the army of the pagans, which was hateful both to God and man. Straightway collecting from all quarters an immense army, they joined the king of the Mercians, and approached Snotingeham, unanimously desiring a battle; but the pagans, secure within their defences, declined a battle, and when the Christians could not batter down the walls, a truce was agreed on between the Mercians and the pagans, and all retired to their homes. At this time the oratory of St. Andrew the apostle at Kemesie was built and dedicated by Alcwin, bishop of Worcester. A comet was plainly seen at this period.

In the year of our Lord 869, the aforesaid army of pagans returned again to the Northumbrians, and wintered in the city of York.

Admirable act of the holy abbess Ebba.

In the year of our Lord 870, an innumerable multitude of Danes landed in Scotland under the command of Ynguar and Hubba, men of fearful wickedness and unheard-of daring. Desiring to make an utter desolation of the entire territory of England, they cut the throats of both young and old who came in their way, and shamefully entreated holy matrons and virgins. The rumour of their merciless cruelty having spread throughout every kingdom, Ebba, the holy abbess of the monastery of Collingham, fearing lest both herself and the virgins of whom she had the pastoral care and charge should lose their virgin chastity, assembled all the sisters and thus addressed them, "There have lately come into these parts most wicked pagans, destitute of all humanity, who roam through every place, sparing neither the female sex nor infantine age, destroying churches and ecclesiastics, ravishing holy women, and wasting and consuming every thing in their way. If, therefore, you will follow my counsels, I have hope that through the divine mercy we shall escape the rage of the barbarians and preserve our chastity". The whole assembly of virgins having promised implicit compliance with her maternal commands, the abbess, with an heroic spirit, affording to all the holy sisters an example of chastity

192 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 870.

profitable only to themselves, but to be embraced by all succeeding virgins for ever, took a razor, and with it cut off her nose, together with her upper lip unto the teeth, presenting herself a horrible spectacle to those who stood by. Filled with admiration at this admirable deed, the whole assembly followed her maternal example, and severally did the like to themselves. When this was done, together with the morrow's dawn came those most cruel tyrants, to disgrace the holy women devoted to God, and to pillage and burn the monastery; but on beholding the abbess and all the sisters so outrageously mutilated, and stained with their own blood from the sole of their foot unto their head, they retired in haste from the place, thinking it too long to tarry there a moment; but as they were retiring, their leaders before-mentioned ordered their wicked followers to set fire and burn the monastery, with all its buildings and its holy inmates. Which being done by these workers of iniquity, the holy abbess and all the most holy virgins with her attained the glory of martyrdom.

Desolation of many monasteries.

After these things those most wicked infidels sailed along the coast, and wasted with fire and sword whatever came in their way. In this diabolical persecution the most noble monasteries along the sea-coast are said to have been destroyed; namely, the monastery of monks at Lindisfarne, in which was the cathedral see at that time, graced by the sacred presence of the body of the blessed bishop Cuthbert; a monastery of nuns at Tynemouth; another of monks at Jarrow and Weremouth, in which the presbyter Bede is recorded to have been educated; another of nuns at Streneshale, founded by the most blessed abbess Hilda, who collected many virgins there. Those relentless chiefs then passed through Yorkshire, burning churches, cities, and villages, and utterly destroying the people of whatever sex or age, together with the spoil and the cattle. Sailing next up the river Humber, they exercised the like rage in those parts; and advancing thence they destroyed all the monasteries of monks and virgins that were in the marshes, and slew their inmates. The names of these monasteries are Croyland, Thorney, Ramsey, Hamstede, which is now called Peterborough, with the isle of Ely and the monastery of females

A.D. 870.] MARTYRDOM OF ST. EDMUND. 193

formerly so famous, in which the holy virgin and queen Etheldreda laudably discharged the office of abbess for many years.

Cause of the martyrdom of St. Edmund.

As in that persecution the glorious king and martyr Edmund fell by the swords of the wicked brothers Hinguar and Hubba, it is worth while in this place to relate the cause of so illustrious a martyrdom, and what it was that gave occasion to the aforesaid leaders to condemn so pious a king to such cruel sufferings. There was, not long ago, in the kingdom of the Danes, a certain man named Lothbroc, who was sprung from the royal race of that nation, and had by his wife two sons, Hinguar and Hubba. One day he took his hawk and went out unattended in a little boat to catch small birds and wild fowl on the sea-coast and in the islands. While thus engaged, he was surprised by a sudden storm which carried him out to sea where he was tossed about for several days and nights, and at last, after much distress, he was driven to the English coast, and landed at Redham, in a province of the East-Angles called Norfolk by the natives. The people of that country by chance found him with his hawk, and presented him as a sort of prodigy to Edmund, king of the East-Angles, who for the sake of his comely person gave him an honourable reception. Lothbroc abode some time in the court of that monarch; and as the Danish tongue is very like the English, he began to relate to the king by what chance he had been driven to the coast of England. The accomplished manners of king Edmund pleased Lothbroc, as well as his military discipline and the courtly manners of his attendants, whom the king had industriously instructed in every grace of speech and behaviour. Emulous of the like attainments, Lothbroc earnestly asked permission of the king to remain in his court, that he might be more fully instructed in every kingly accomplishment; and having obtained his request, he attached himself to the king's huntsman, whose name was Berne, that he might with him exercise the hunter's art, in which he was well practised; for such was his skill, both in hawking and hunting, that he was always successful in the pursuit both of birds and beasts. And being deservedly a favourite with the king, the huntsman

194 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 870.

began to envy him exceedingly because of his superiority in these arts; and giving way to deadly hatred to Lothbroc, he one day, when they went hunting together, attacked him by surprise and wickedly slew him, leaving his body in a thicket. This done, the wicked huntsman called off the dogs with his horn and returned home. Now Lothbroc had reared a certain greyhound in king Edmund's court, which was very fond of him, as is natural, and which, when the huntsman returned with the other dogs, remained alone with his master's body. On the morrow, as the king sat at table and missed Lothbroc from the company, he anxiously asked his attendants what had befallen him; on which Berne the huntsman answered and said, that as they were returning from hunting the day before, the other had tarried behind him in a wood, and he declared that he had not seen him since; but scarcely had he so said, when the greyhound which Lothbroc had reared entered the king's house and began to wag his tail and fawn on all, and especially the king; who on seeing him exclaimed to the attendants, "Here comes Lothbroc's dog; his master is not far behind"; he then in his joy began to feed the animal, hoping quickly to see his master; but he was disappointed, for no sooner had the greyhound appeased his hunger than he returned to keep his accustomed watch by his master's body. After three days he was compelled by hunger to come again to the king's table, who, greatly wondering, gave orders to follow the dog when he returned from the hall, and to watch whither he went. The king's servants fulfilled his commands, and followed the dog until he led them to Lothbroc's lifeless body. On being informed thereof, the king was greatly disturbed, and directed that the body should be committed to a more honourable sepulture.

Devastation of East-Anglia and slaughter of the inhabitants.

King Edmund then caused diligent inquisition to be made touching the death of Lothbroc; and Berne the huntsman being convicted of the abominable deed, the king commanded the captains of his court and the sages of the law to pass sentence on the homicide. The judges unanimously agreed that the huntsman should be put into the boat in which the said Lothbroc had come to England, and should be exposed in the midst of the sea without any instrument of navigation,

A.D. 870.] THE DANES AT BERWICK. 195

that it might be proved whether God would dehver him from the danger. The huntsman accordingly was sent out to the open sea, and was carried in a few days to Denmark; and being found by the keepers of the ports, the Danes recognized the boat as that in which their lord Lothbroc was wont to go fowling. Taking him, therefore, to Hinguar and Hubba, the sons of the Dane who had been slain in England, and who were men of great power and cruelty, they straightway put Berne to the torture with a view to make him disclose what had befallen their father, who had been carried from them in that boat. After undergoing severe and varied torments, Berne falsely asserted that their father had chanced to land in England, and being found by Edmund, king of the East-Angles, had by his orders been put to death. On hearing this they burst into the most bitter weeping, and, in the excess of their grief for their father's death, they swore by their omnipotent gods that they would not suffer it to pass unavenged. With a view, therefore, to take vengeance on king Edmund, they made Berne the huntsman, who had arrived in their father's boat, their guide. Then assembling a numerous force, they took to sea and turned their sails towards the country of the East-Angles, with an armament of twenty thousand men, to punish king Edmund for a murder of which he was wholly innocent; but the winds driving their fleet in a contrary direction, they were compelled to land at Berwick-upon-Tweed in Scotland, where they commenced their ravages, which they continued on all sides, till at length they reached East-Anglia, where they pitched their camp at a village called Redford, and put to the edge of the sword all they found, whether men or women. At length, when the tyrant Hinguar, who was the most atrocious of those murderers, had somewhat satiated his rage, he called to him some rustics whom he deemed unworthy of his sword, and straitly questioned them as to the place where their king was then living; for the fame had reached him of the might and prowess of the most pious king Edmund, as also of his incomparable bodily size and stature; wherefore he was the more anxious to put to death all he found, that the king might not be able to form an army for the defence of his country. Now the glorious king and future martyr Edmund was abiding at that time in a royal vill called

196 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 870.

Haeilesdune, which was also the name of a neighbouring wood, as the wicked robber had learned from the common people. Calling, therefore, to one of his followers, he despatched him to the king with a deceitful message, that if he would divide with him his riches he should retain the kingdom under him; but Hinguar demanded the treasure to conceal his real object, which was rather the head than the money of that most merciful king. The soldier thereupon, proceeding with all despatch to king Edmund, addressed him after this manner:-

Hinguar's message to king Edmund.

"My lord Hinguar, ever to be feared, the unconquered king of the Danes, has come to this country to winter. If you despise his power, you shall be accounted unworthy of your life and kingdom". And so when he had delivered the whole of his message to the king, as had been enjoined him, and which we have mentioned above, the most pious king Edmund groaned from the bottom of his heart, and calling to him Humbert, bishop of Helmham, asked counsel of him, saying, "O Humbert, servant of the living God, and the half of my life, the fierce barbarians are at hand, who have in part devastated my beloved country and destroyed the inhabitants, and are endeavouring to blot out that which remains from the memory of our successors. But oh that I might fall so that my people might thereby escape death; for I will not, through love of a temporal kingdom or the gain of the present life, subject myself to a heathen tyrant, when by dying for my people and country I can become a standardbearer of the eternal kingdom".

On which the prelate replied, "Unless you save yourself by flight, most beloved king, the wicked traitors will presently be here, and will seek to destroy both yourself and your subjects whom you desire to save". "What I desire above every thing", said the most merciful king, "is not to survive my faithful and beloved friends, whom the fierce pirate has surprised and slain; and truly what you advise would tarnish my glory, who have never hitherto incurred disgrace in war. Moreover the King of heaven is my witness that no fear ot the barbarians shall separate me from the love of Christ, whether living or dead". Turning then to the messenger

A.D. 870.] BATTLE OF THETFORD. 197

who had been sent by the impious Hinguar, the most blessed king Edmund addressed him as follows:- "Stained as you are with the blood of my people, you deserve the punishment of death; but following the example of my Christ, I do not shrink from willingly dying for his sake, if it shall so befall; hasten, then, back to your master and bear him my reply. Though you may violently rob me of the wealth which divine Providence hath given me, you shall not make me subject to an infidel; for it is an honourable thing to defend our liberties and the purity of our faith; and, if need be, we deem it not in vain even to die for them. Proceed, then, as your haughty cruelty has begun, and after slaying the servants, slay also the king, for the King of kings regards me, and will translate me to reign for ever in heaven". [1]

Battle between king Edmund and Hinguar.

On the departure, therefore, of the fierce messenger, king Edmund commanded his companions to fly to arms, declaring it to be an honourable thing to fight for one's faith and country, and exhorting them not to betray the same by their cowardice. Encouraged, therefore, by bishop Humbert and his nobles and companions in arms, the most blessed king Edmund advanced boldly against the enemy with all the forces he could raise, and falling in with them as they came to meet him not far from the town of Thetford, he fought a severe battle with them, in which both sides sustained excessive loss, inflicting mutual slaughter from morning until evening, so that the whole field was red with the blood of the slain, insomuch that the most pious king Edmund not only sorrowed for the slaughter of his companions fighting for their country and for the faith of Jesus, and who he knew had attained the crown of martyrdom, but also bitterly bewailed the fate of the infidel barbarians who were precipitated into the gulf of hell. After the pagans had retired from the place of slaughter, king Edmund, the most blessed confessor of Christ, led the residue of his forces to the roval vill of Haeilesdune, stedfastly purposing in his mind never again to fight with the barbarians, and declaring that it was necessary that he alone should die for the people, that the whole nation might not perish.

198 ROGER OF AVENDOTER. [A.D. 870.

Passion of the blessed king and martyr Edmund.

While Hinguar was inconsolable on account of the slaughter of his followers, his brother Hubba, who had just ravaged the whole of Mercia, joined him at Thetford with ten thousand men. Resolved to take vengeance on the holy king Edmund, they united their forces, and, moving their camp, quickly reached the village of Haeilesdune, where the most blessed king Edmund then was. The tyrant Hinguar then commanded the king and all his followers to be surrounded, that not one of them might escape alive; whereupon the most holy king Edmund, perceiving himself to be hedged in by his enemies, by the advice of Humbert, bishop of Helmham, fled to the church that he might show himself a member of Christ, and there exchanging his temporal for celestial weapons, he humbly prayed the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost to grant him fortitude in suffering. The most merciful king Edmund was then forcibly bound by the ministers of iniquity, and led forth from the church before their wicked chief, as was Christ before the governor Pilate; at whose command he was tied to a neighbouring tree; after which he was scourged for a long time, and insulted with every species of mockery. But the undaunted champion of Christ, by continuing to call on him between every lash, provoked to fury his tormentors, who then in their mockery using his body as a mark, shot at him with their bows till he was entirely covered with arrows, so that there was not a place in the martyr's body in which a fresh wound could be inflicted, but it was as completely covered with darts and arrows as is the hedgehog's skin with spines. And so the fierce executioner Hinguar, not being able to make the holy martyr Edmund relinquish his faith in Christ and the confession of the Trinity, so as at all to yield to his wicked persuasions, ordered one of his attendants to cut off the martyr's head with his bloody sword; whereupon the executioner, with one fierce stroke, severed his holy head from its trunk on the 20th day of November, as he was praying and confessing the name of Christ. Being thus made an offering most acceptable to God, and fully tried in the furnace of suffering, he was translated to heaven with the palm of victory and the crown of righteousness. The headless body of the blessed

A,D. 870.] ST. EDMUND'S HEAD DISCOVERED. 199

martyr was carried by these servants of the devil to Haeilesdune Wood, where they left it among the thick briars; for these wicked tormentors took great pains that the martyr's body might not be committed to decent interment by the few surviving Christians; for the atrocious robbers, Hinguar and Hubba, had heard that their father Lothbroc had been murdered in that wood. Instigated, therefore, by the lies of Berne the huntsman, and desiring to retaliate on the blessed king and martyr Edmund, they ignominiously threw his head into the same wood, where they left it to be devoured by the birds of heaven and the beasts of the field. The most holy king Edmund had as a partner in suffering his inseparable companion Humbert, bishop of Helmham, who had raised him to the throne, and who, encouraged by the king's undaunted spirit, endured martyrdom, and with him attained the kingdom of heaven. The most blessed king being thus translated to heaven, the pagans triumphed beyond measure, and wintered in those parts, having driven out the few inhabitants who survived the aforesaid slaughter. In the same year Ceolnoth, archbishop of Canterbury, ended his days, and was succeeded by Ethelred, a venerable man and of sufficient knowledge in divine things.

Discovery of the head of St. Edmund.

After the martyrdom of the most blessed king Edmund, the brothers Hinguar and Hubba, so hateful to God, wintered in the country of the East-Angles, giving themselves up to plunder and rapine, during which season they were joined by Gytro, a very powerful king of the Danes, who came to winter with them; but on the approach of spring all the pagans returned together from East-Anglia. On hearing of their departure the Christians came forth from their hiding places from all quarters, and did their best endeavours to find the head of the blessed king Edmund, that it might be united to the body, and the whole committed to sepulture in a royal manner. When they had all met together and were diligently searching the woods for the martyr's head, there appeared a wonderful and unheard-of prodigy; for while searching among the woods and brambles, and calling out to each other in their native tongue, "Where are you? Where are you"? the martyr's head made answer in the same tongue.

200 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 870.

"Here, here, here", and did not cease repeating the same till it brought them all to the spot; where they found a huge and horrible looking wolf embracing the head with its paws, and keeping watch over the blessed martyr. Boldly seizing the head and offering praises unto God, they conveyed it to the body, followed by the wolf as far as the place of sepulture; then uniting the head to the body, they deposited both in a suitable tomb, after which the wolf returned to his wonted solitude. A small church of mean workmanship was erected by the faithful on that spot, where the holy body rested during the lapse of many years. Now the most veritable king and martyr Edmund suffered in the year of our Lord 870, in the twenty-ninth year of his age and the sixteenth of his reign, the twelfth day of December, in the third indiction, in the twenty-second moon.

How the body of the blessed Edmund was found uncorrupted.

After the lapse of many years, when the flames of war were wholly extinguished, the piety of the faithful began to revive, and from the number of miracles that were witnessed at the spot where the martyr's body rested, which is now called Hoxen by the natives, they built a very large church in a royal village called in the English tongue Betrischesworthe, [1] which means the court or dwelling of Beodric, and thither they translated the holy martyr with festivity and dancing. But, wonderful to tell! the martyr's most precious body, which all supposed to have rotted by length of time, was found entire and uninjured, insomuch that not only were the head and body reunited, but there was no appearance of wound or scar in any part. And so the worthy martyr of God, Edmund, was translated to the place aforesaid, appearing as though he were alive, and having as a sign of martyrdom around his neck, as it were, a scarlet thread, according to the testimony of a certain woman of blessed memory named Oswen, who spent many years in fasting and prayer at the sacred tomb of the martyr, and was wont, when the blessed martyr's tomb was opened at the season of the Lord's supper, to cut his hair and nails, which she carefully collected and placed in a little casket on the altar of that church, where they are preserved with due veneration unto this day.


[1] Bury St. Edmunds, in Suffolk.

A.D. 871.] BATTLE OF ASHDOWN. 201

Translation of the bishopric of Dommoc [1] to Helmham.

In the same year died Weremund, bishop of Dommoc, after whom that see was transferred to Helmham; and instead of two bishops, one of whom had his see at Dommoc and the other at Helmham, one bishop only was ordained, named Wilred, whose successors in that place were Athulf, Alfric, Theodred, Ethelstan, Algar, Alwin, Alfric, Stigand, Ethelm, and Herstan.

How the army of the Danes left East-Anglia and invaded Wessex. [2]

In the year of our Lord 871, the aforesaid army of pagans left the East-Angles, and making for the kingdom of the West-Saxons, arrived at the royal vill of Reading, lying to the south of the river Thames in the county of Berks. On the third day after their arrival, two of their chiefs went forth with a vast multitude of armed men to plunder, while the rest made a trench between the two rivers, the Thames and the Kenet, on the right side of the vill. Athulf, earl of Berks, opposed them with his people in a place called Anglefield, or "the field of the Angles", where they fought fiercely on both sides, until one of the chiefs of the pagans being slain, with the greater part of his forces, the rest took to flight; and so the Christians having gained the victory, king Ethelred and his brother Alfred four days afterwards came to Reading with an army they assembled, slaying all the pagans they found outside of their defences. At last the pagans burst forth from all their gates in full strength and began a battle, in which, after a long and fierce fight, they slew earl Athulf and put the Christians to flight. Greatly moved by this calamity, the Christians, after four days, again assembled for fight at a place called Essesdune, or "the hill of the Ash", with all the force they could muster. But the pagans disposed themselves in two divisions, the one under their two kings Bascai and Haldene, and the other under their other chiefs; which, when the Christians perceived, they in like manner divided themselves into two bodies, the one under the command of king Ethelred, the other under his brother Alfred. Now king Ethelred was hearing mass in his tent, and on being urged


[1] Dunwich, see Bede's Eccles. Hist, page 99, {Bohn's Ant. Lib.)

[2] The account given in this section is taken from Asser's Life of Alfred.

202 ROGER OF AVENDOVER. [A.D. 871.

repeatedly by his attendants to go forth to the battle, he constantly affirmed that he would not leave until the priest had ended mass; which act of faith in the Christian king profited him greatly that day. There was in the field of battle a rather small tree, around which the hostile armies contended with wild uproar; when, after a long and spirited contest, by the judgment of heaven, the pagans, not being able to withstand the onset of the Christians, ignominiously took to flight, with the loss of the greatest part of their forces. In this place the two pagan kings, Bascai and Halden, were slain with many thousands more, and went down to hell, there to endure the torments of everlasting fires. In the other part of the field, where Alfred, the king's brother, fought against the chiefs and nobles, there fell Sidrac the elder and Sidrac the younger, Osbern, Frane, and Harold, with innumerable others, and the entire army of the pagans being put to flight on the ensuing night and the next day, was broken and routed over the whole plain of Essesdune. A fortnight afterwards king Ethelred and his brother Alfred came together again to fight against the pagans with united forces at Basing, where, after a long and fierce contest, the pagans gained the victory. Also, after the lapse of two months, king Ethelred and his brother Alfred fought a long while with the odious infidels at Mereton, where they defeated the pagans and put them to flight; but the latter returned again against the Christians and went off victorious. In this battle Hamund, bishop of Sherburn, was crowned with martyrdom, and was succeeded in the bishopric by Ethelheg, a man of erudition in ecclesiastical matters.

Coronation and genealogy of king Alfred.

In the same year Ethelred, king of the West-Saxons, ended his days on the 23rd of April, and was buried in regal fashion at Winbourne. His brother Alfred, who had been before crowned and anointed king by pope Leo at Rome, took the helm of government of the whole of that kingdom. The ancients have traced the genealogy of this king as far as unto Christ. King Alfred was the son of Athelwulf, the great king of the West-Saxons, who was the son of Egbert, who was the son of Alcmund, who was the son of Eafa, who was the son of Eoppa, who was the son of Ingild, who was

A.D. 871.] DESCENT OF ALFRED. 203

the brother of Ina: they were the sons of Kenred, who was the son of Ceolwald, who was the son of Cuthwin, who was the son of Ceaulin, who was the son of Kenric, who was the son of Creodda, who was the son of Cerdic, the first of the Angles that reigned in the kingdom of the West-Saxons. Cerdic was the son of Elesa, who was the son of queen Gewisa, from whom certain of the Britons claim the nobility of their race. Gewisa was the daughter of Gewy, who was the son of Wingy, who was the son of Freawin, who was the son of Frethegar, who was the son of Broand, who was the son of Beldag, who was the son of Woden, to whom the ancients dedicated the fourth day of the week, which they called from his name "Wodensday". Woden was the son of Frethewold, who was the son of Freolaf, who was the son of Frethewulf, who was the son of Finn, who was the son of Godulf, who was the son of Geta, whom the gentiles of old worshipped as a god; and of whom Sedulius, an excellent poet, makes mention in his poem on Easter.

"Cum sua gentiles studeant figmenta poetae
Grandisonis pompare modis, tragicoque boatu,
Ridiculove Getae, seu qualibet arte canendi".

Now Geta was the son of Teatwa, who was the son of Beau, who was the son of Seldwa, who was the son of Sceaf, who, as they say, was when a little boy carried in a vessel, with no one to row it, to a certain island belonging to Germany, called Scandalin, mentioned by the Gothic historian Jordanus, and was found asleep with his head on a bundle of corn, which in the tongue of our country we call "schef", but in the Gallic tongue "garbe". For this reason, he was called "Schef", and was considered as a prodigy by the people of that region, who carefully brought him up. On arriving at man's estate he reigned in a town which was then named Slaswic, but now Harchebi. That country was called Old Anglia, whence the Angles came into Britain, and lies between the Goths and the Saxons. Sceaf was the son of Heremod, who was the son of Itermod, who was the son of Hathra, who was the son of Wala, who was the son of Bedwy, who was the son of Shem, who was the son of Noah, who was the son of Lamech, who was the son of Methuselah, who was the son of Enoch, who was the son of Jared, who

204 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 871.

was the son of Mahalaleel, who was the son of Cainaan, who was the son of Enos, who was the son of Seth, who was the son of Adam, who was the son of God.

Of king Alfred's early years.

In his early years Alfred was exceedingly beloved by his father and mother above all his brothers, and what is more, by every one in the kingdom, for which cause he was ever, during his boyhood, in the king's court. He was of a more comely person than all his brothers, of a more serene countenance, and more gracious in speech and demeanour. Notwithstanding, by the neglect of his parents and governors, he continued illiterate till the twelth year of his age. Yet he would sedulously listen to the Saxon poems day and night; and these he readily retained in memory and used to recite; he was incomparable for skill and success in hunting, hawking, and all kinds of exercise, as he was also in every other endowment. His mother one day showed him and his brothers a book of Saxon poetry, which she held in her hand, and told them she would give it to whichever of them should first learn its contents. Struck with the beauty of the initial letter, "Will you", said Alfred, "give the book to whichever of us shall most quickly understand it and recite it to you"? On her assuring him that she would, he went to his teacher with the book, and having read it, he returned and recited it from memory to his mother. Then with unceasing assiduity he wrote in a book the psalms and prayers of David, which he ever carried about with him in his bosom, using it at his devotions, and constantly meditating on its contents; for he had heard from his teacher that an illiterate king is no better than a crowned ass. In the flower of his youth, perceiving "a law in his members warring against the law of his mind, and striving to bring him into captivity to the law of sin", he would very often, at cockcrowing and in the early morning hours, rise privately from bed and visit the churches and relics of the saints, and would there remain a long while prostrate in prayer, beseeching God of his mercy to strengthen his mind in love to him by sending him some bodily infirmity not too excessive, nor such as to render him incompetent in worldly matters. Having long sought this of God with great devotion of mind, he at length, by God's grace, became subject

A.D. 871.] VIRTUES OF ALFRED. 205

to piles, under which lie painfully laboured for many years, insomuch that he despaired even of life.

How king Alfred was cured of one distemper and fell into another still more severe.

At a certain time, when by divine instinct he came into Cornwall to hunt, he turned aside to a certain church where St. Gueriir and St. Neot used to dwell, and there he remained a long while prostrate in silent prayer, beseeching God of his mercy that the severity of his distemper might be exchanged for some lighter infirmity, yet so that it might not appear outwardly in his body lest he should be despised by men. Having ended his prayer, he proceeded on his journey, and not long after, according to his petition, he was, by divine grace, entirely delivered from that distemper and restored to perfect soundness. But that infirmity being removed, he was attacked by another much more severe, a nuptial affection, which troubled him incessantly from the twentieth year of his age to the forty-fifth. In this storm of trials he had sons and daughters born to him of his beforementioned queen Alswitha, in the order following:- his eldest daughter was named Alfleda, who, when she arrived at a marriageable age, was united to Ethelred, earl of the Mercians; next, a son was born to him named Edward, who governed the realm of England after his father; in the third place a daughter was born to him named Ethelgiva, who bound herself by the rules of monastic discipline and assumed the religious habit. Alfred and Edward, who were brought up in the king's court, studiously learned the psalms and Saxon writings. Ethelwald, the youngest of all, through the care of his father, applied himself to literature, to which he was entirely devoted before he had attained sufficient strength to engage in the affairs and businesses of men.

Of the virtues and wisdom of the great king Alfred.

Amidst the dangers of war and the impediments which ever attend this present life, amidst continual infirmities of body and the ravages of the pagans, king Alfred began to set in order the affairs of his kingdom, to exercise every sportsman-like art, to instruct his goldsmiths and artificers, his falconers and hawkers; by his wisdom he constructed

206 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 872.

buildings venerable and noble beyond anything that had been attempted by his predecessors; he was careful to hear mass daily at stated hours, and loved psalms, and prayers, and almsgiving. Franks and many others from distant countries voluntarily put themselves under his dominion, inasmuch as he was amiable and affable to all, of a cheerful disposition, and a diligent inquirer after every kind of knowledge; strangers and foreigners, whether noble or ignoble, he honoured equally with his own people, according to the worth of each, taking them under his protection, and bestowing on them money and possessions. His earls, his barons and officers, ministers and domestics, he loved with wonderful affection; their sons, who were brought up in his palace, he cherished with the same fostering care that he extended to his own children, taking care to inform their minds with right principles and to imbue them with letters. And thus much may suffice touching his virtues.

Laborious wars of king Alfred.

Purposing now to recount the laborious wars of this king, I have first to relate, that a month after he began to reign, with few and unequal forces he fought with the pagans at a hill called Wilton, [1] which is on the south bank of the river Wilon, which gives to that province the name of Wiltshire. For in the past year the nobles of the region to the south of the river Thames had been exhausted by nine battles, not to speak of the numberless expeditions which individual chiefs had been compelled to make with their own people; when it came to pass that the Danes, though themselves greatly weakened, obtained the victory; after which the pagans proceeded to the city of London, where they wintered, and Burhred, king of the Mercians, purchased a truce of them for a sum of money.

Herefrid bishop of Worcester translated the books of Dialogues into the English tongue.

In the year of our Lord 872, the Northumbrians expelled from the kingdom their king Egbert and archbishop Wulfer, who thereupon betook themselves to Burhred, king of the Mercians, by whom they were honourably entertained. In


[1] Bromton calls this Walton, in Sussex.

A.D. 874.] DANES WINTER IN REPTON. 207

this year Kinebert, bishop of Lichfield, ended his days, and was succeeded by Tunebert. Alwin also, bishop of Worcester, in the same year was succeeded by Herefrid, who on the 7th of June received consecration from Athelred, archbishop of Canterbury. He, at the request of king Alfred, made an elegant translation of the Dialogues of the blessed pope Gregory into the Saxon tongue. King Alfred subsequently invited the same bishop to come to him, together with Plegmund archbishop of Canterbury, Athelstan bishop of Hereford, and Werebert bishop of Leicester, all very learned men, that they might assist him in acquiring a knowledge of literature, for which he honourably rewarded them. He moreover sent messengers into Gaul and fetched thence St. Grimbald, a priest and monk, and a man of erudition in ecclesiastical matters; also John a priest, and Asser a monk of excellent endowments, who came from the monastery of St. David, in the utmost borders of Wales. All these the king associated with himself that he might, by their wisdom and learning, be stimulated to diligence; and so rapidly did he profit by them, that there was not a book of which he had not a perfect knowledge.

The pagan army quitting London passed into Northumberland.

In the year of our Lord 873, John sat in the Roman chair ten years and two days. [1] In the same year the army of pagans so often mentioned quitted London and passed into Northumberland, and after ravaging that country, they wintered in Lindesey in a village called Torkesey. The Mercians gave them presents and made peace with them. In the same year Egbert, king of the Northumbrians, ended his days, and was succeeded in the kingdom by Ricsy, who reigned three years. In this year also Wulfer, archbishop of York, was recalled to his see. In the same year Aldred, bishop of Leicester, was deposed, and was succeeded by Ceolred.

King Burhred went to Rome and died there.

In the year of our Lord 874, the wicked army of Danes quitted Lindesey and passed into Mercia, where they wintered in a village called Reppendune. They expelled Burhred king of the Mercians from the kingdom in the twenty-second


[1] This was John the eighth. He died December 15, 882.

208 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 876.

year of his reign, who a few days after set out for Rome, where he died, and was buried in regal state in the church of the blessed Mary near the English school. After his expulsion the Danes reduced the kingdom of the Mercians under their own dominion, and committed it to the guardianship of a certain foolish minister named Ceolwulf, on the condition that he should peacefully resign it to them whenever they wished it; and with this understanding he gave hostages and swore allegiance to the pagans.

Translation of St. Cuthred's body from the isle of Lindisfarne.

In the year of our Lord 875, the odious band of pagans quitted Reppendune, and being lately reinforced, they divided themselves into two companies, one of which, under their king Haldene, passed into the territory of the Northumbrians and wintered near the river Tyne, subjugating that entire province; to the Picts and Welsh too they became a heavy scourge. Thereupon Eardulf bishop of Lindisfarne, and Eadred the abbat, took away the body of the blessed bishop from the isle of Lindisfarne, and wandered with it for seven years. The other division of the army, under the Danish kings Gytro, Osketel, and Hamund, betook themselves to Grantbrigge [Cambridge] and wintered there. In the summer of the same year king Alfred prepared a navy, and taking to the sea, surprised seven ships that had lately arrived, one of which he captured and put the rest to flight.

A truce made between king Alfred and the Danes.

In the year of our Lord 876, the wicked band of infidels, quitting Grantbrigge by night, came into the country of the West-Saxons and occupied the castle of Warham. There is there a monastery of nuns in a most secure position between two rivers, the Frane and the Trente, situated in Dorsetshire, and having no land contiguous except on the western side. On hearing of their arrival, king Alfred advanced against them in battle array; but the pagans declined an engagement, and gave hostages to gain time until a reinforcement should enable them to enter on a contest with equal forces. They swore, therefore, that they would quit the kingdom of the West-Saxons immediately, but after their usual manner, they treacherously broke the truce, and on a certain night

A.D. 878.] THE DANES AT CHIPPENHAM. 209

made an unexpected attack on the king's cavalry, the whole of whom they cut in pieces; after which they made for the town of Exeter. King Alfred thereupon assembled his army and pursued them; but inasmuch as they had already entered the city, he suffered them to winter there. The same year Halden, king of the Danes, took possession of Northumberland, which he parcelled out among his servants, and made his army cultivate the lands; which so affected Ricsy, the king of that province, that he died of a broken heart, and was succeeded by Egbert.

The numbers of the Danes increase.

In the year of our Lord 877, in the autumnal season, a part of the wicked band of pagans remained in Exeter, and a part retired to ravage Mercia. The numbers too of the unbelievers increased daily; for if thirty thousand of them were slain one day, the loss was doubly supplied by fresh arrivals. King Alfred thereupon commanded galleys, or ships of war, to be built throughout his kingdom, to fight with the fresh comers on the sea, and placing pirates in them, he committed to them the custody of the seas. Himself hastened with an army to Exeter, where the pagans were wintering, and, shutting them in, he blockaded the city and directed his seamen to cut them off from all supplies by sea. As the king's ships were hastening thither in obedience to his command, they fell in with a hundred and fifty vessels full of armed men, coming to the help of their countrymen. Which, when the king's servants saw they were filled with pagan soldiers, they flew to arms, and attacked the barbarous hordes with great spirit; the pagans, too, gave battle, but to no purpose, for they had been tossed about on the sea for nearly a month in great peril of shipwreck, so that they were broken immediately, and all of them were sunk in the sea at a place called Swanwick. [1]

The country of the West-Saxons is ravaged.

In the year of our Lord 878, the army of pagans that had wintered in Exeter quitted that city and went to Chippenham, a royal vill in Wiltshire, and there wintered.


[1] Supposed by Carte to be Sanewick, on the coast of Dorsetshire; but Tindal says it is Swanwick in Hampshire.

210 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 878.

Furthermore Gytro, king of the Danes, having with invincible bravery traversed the entire territories of England, wasting all the sacred places, and bestowing on his soldiers all the gold and silver he could seize, at length, on hearing of the fame of king Alfred, that he excelled all the kings in the English realm in wisdom, prudence, and wealth, profanely turned his arms against that people, giving towns and villages to the flames, putting to the sword whatever came in his way, and, that he might strike a greater terror into the people, sparing neither the female sex nor the tender age of children. The storm of this persecution was heightened by the detestable wickedness of Hinguar and Halden, who with twenty-three vessels came from South Wales, where they had wintered, and where, with the ferocity of wolves, they had committed immense slaughter and burned the monasteries, and sailed to Devon, where the same Hinguar, with Hubba, and Halden, and twelve hundred men, were slain by king Alfred's army before the castle of Kinwith; and there the blood of the blessed king and martyr Edmund, which had been shed by the aforesaid ministers of wickedness, was avenged by the soldiers of the Christian king Alfred. But, nevertheless, the greatest part of them made their escape to Gytro the pagan king, and with united forces they ravaged the entire country of the West-Saxons from sea to sea, covering the ground like locusts, and in the absence of any to defend it, they subdued the whole region to themselves. In this storm of persecution the faithful bishops of Christ fled beyond the sea with the relics of the saints and the treasures of the churches, together with numbers of their people, and a part followed king Alfred and hid themselves in the woods and desert places during that season of peril. Touched with grief of heart, king Alfred knew not what to do or whither to turn, for the wicked king Gytro had possessed himself of every place of defence; so that having hope of nothing better, king Alfred yielded to present circumstances, resolving to await the issue of events.

Exile of the great king Alfred at Ethelingeie.

There is a place in the western parts of England, called Ethelingeie, i.e. the isle of Nobles, surrounded on all sides by marshes, so that it can be approached only by boats. There

A.D. 878.] ALFRED ENCOURAGED BY ST. NEOT. 211

is on the island a thicket of alders full of stags and goats and other beasts of that kind, and in the centre a piece of unoccupied ground of scarcely two acres. Leaving his few followers, king Alfred sorrowfully sought this place unattended, as a place of refuge from his enemies; and spying there a hut, he applied for and obtained hospitality, and there he lived some days a needy guest, subject to the man and his wife, and content with the coarsest fare. Being asked who he was and what he sought in that retired place, he replied that he was one of the king's servants, and that having been defeated with him in battle, he had fled thither to escape the pursuit of his foes. Believing his tale, the swineherd was moved with pity, and carefully supplied him with the necessaries of life. One day the swineherd, as he was wont, drove his pigs to their usual feeding-place, leaving the king at home alone with his wife. The woman had set some cakes to bake on the ashes, and as she was engaged in other duties, she observed that the bread was burnt, on which she sharply rebuked the king, remarking that though he would not turn the cakes, yet he was ready enough to eat them when done. The king bore her reproaches with a submissive air, and not only turned the bread, but delivered it to the woman well done. After king Alfred had continued this solitary life with the swineherd for some time, many of his followers resorted to him, and, by the king's direction, they fortified a spot of ground in the morass with towers and defences, and from thence made constant attacks on the enemies.

How king Alfred was comforted by St. Neot and St. Cuthbert.

It happened at this time that king Alfred, for the sake of receiving edification, paid a visit to St. Neot, who was then living a solitary life at Hamstoke. Among much friendly converse the man of God sharply rebuked him for his wicked actions, set before him the punishment of eternal fire, showed him that the great would suffer the greater torments, and, besides all this, revealed to him by the spirit of prophecy almost every thing which was to happen to him. "You are, O king", said he, "enduring many sufferings from your adversaries, but you will have to endure still greater; for whereas you show yourself proud and exercise excessive

212 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 878.

tyranny in your kingdom, instead of walking humbly before the face of the divine Majesty, you shall be harassed in your kingdom by a people ignorant of Christ, from whom you shalt with difficulty hide yourself, and in this condition you shall remain some days on account of your sins; but nevertheless I have obtained of God by my prayers that if you repent of your cruel acts and the heat of your lust, he will yet look upon you in mercy, and restore your sceptre and former prosperity". The king heard with humility these words of exhortation from God's servant, and having solemnly promised to amend his life, he returned with the blessing of the man of God to the island whence he had come. The following night, as he was asleep on his bed, there stood by him the most holy prelate Cuthbert, and assured him of restoration to his kingdom. Comforted by this plain declaration of the man of God, on rising in the morning the king vowed to God that he would build a monastery in that very place, and from this time forth he was ever a terror to his enemies; for in the same hour there came to Ethelingeie to the king all his officers, with the men of Somerset and Wilts, with whose aid he began exceedingly to harass the pagans. At length king Alfred issued forth from the island on the holy solemnity of Easter, and rode to Egbert's Rock, in the eastern part of the forest of Salwode [Selwood]. There all who had remained in those parts flocked to him overjoyed at the recovery of their king, and in the morning they moved their camp and arrived, after a march of two days, at a place called Ethendune.

Gytro the pagan king embraces the Christian faith.

There they found Gytro the pagan king and all his army, and, after a fierce and obstinate engagement, they by the mercy of God obtained the victory, and pursued the flying enemy from the field of battle without pity, and drove them into a certain castle not far distant, in which, after slaying all that were without, and making spoil of their horses and cattle, they straitly enclosed their enemies and besieged the place. After a siege of fifteen days, the pagans, compelled by hunger and despairing of escape, begged for peace, promising never more to molest the king or his kingdom. Gytro also, their king, who was shut up with them, promised to embrace the faith of Christ, and faithfully kept his word; for fifteen days

A.D. 880.] GYTRO REIGNS IN ESSEX. 213

after, the same pagan king, with thirty of the principal men of his army, was baptized at a place called "Alre", in the language of the country, not far from Ethelingeie, and was raised from the font by king Alfred, who was his god-father and adopted him for a son, changing his name to Athelstan. His anointing took place on the eighth day, in the royal vill of Wadmor, and the newly baptized king, with the others who had embraced the faith of Christ with him, remained twelve days with king Alfred in the midst of much rejoicing; and on their departure the king bestowed on them many rich presents, and granted to Athelstan their chief the country of East-Anglia, where St. Edmund had reigned, to hold of himself.

How king Gytro took up his abode in East-Anglia.

In the year of our Lord 879, the wicked army of pagans quitted Cirencester and proceeded to East-Anglia, where king Gytro, who had recently been baptized, began to take up his abode and to parcel out the country among his followers. At this time also king Alfred built Seafton, [1] which was once a noble city, but is now only a village, where Algiva, queen of king Edmund, Alfred's great-grandson, afterwards built a monastery for nuns. In the same year Louis succeeded to the government of the kingdom of the Franks, and Charles attained the Roman empire, which he governed for twelve years. At the same time died Dunbert, bishop of the city of Winchester, and was succeeded in the bishopric by Dunewulf. The latter was, as it is said, the swineherd whom king Alfred, when he yielded to the violence of the pagans, found feeding swine in Ethelingeie, and was entertained by him for a season, as we have related before; and, discovering his singular abilities, the king immediately on his restoration to his kingdom caused him to be instructed in letters, and afterwards had him consecrated bishop of Winchester.

An eclipse of the moon on the 13th of October.

In the year of our Lord 880, a great host of pagans arrived


[1] It is uncertain what place can be here meant. Mr. Coxe supposes it is Shifford in Oxfordshire, where Alfred once held a parliament, but there seems to be no foundation for this opinion.

214 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 883

from the parts of Gaul, and advancing to the river ThameS, wintered at Fulenham [Fulham]. In the same year there was an eclipse of the moon after midnight on the 13th of October.

Destruction of numerous monasteries in Gaul.

In the year of our Lord 881, numerous monasteries in France were demolished by the pagans; insomuch that the brethren of the monastery of Fleury disentombed the relics of the blessed abbat Benedict, and wandered with them hither and thither to escape the enemy. In the same year also king Alfred defeated a multitude of pagans in a naval battle destroying some and bringing others under subjection.

How the episcopal see was transferred from Lindisfarne to Chester.

In the year of our Lord 882, St. Cuthbert appeared to abbat Eadred in a vision of the night, and bade him tell the bishop of that district to redeem Cuthred, the son of Hardecnute, whom the Danes had sold as a slave to a certain widow at Wintigeham, and to make him their king. This was accordingly done, and he was crowned king in the thirteenth year of king Alfred; after which the episcopal see, which was before in the isle of Lindisfarne, was transferred to Chester, which was formerly called Cunegecester. The saint had also directed through the abbat aforesaid, that whoever should flee to his body in the hour of danger should be unmolested for a month, and king Alfred, as also king Cuthred, made it a law of perpetual observance. In augmentation of the former episcopal see the aforesaid kings granted the whole territory between the Tyne and the Tees to St. Cuthbert for ever, and consigned to the pains of hell all who should disturb it. At the same time the bishopric of the church of Hagustald [Hexham] ceased to exist on account of the excesses of the pagans.

How pope Marinus sent relics to king Alfred.

In the year of our Lord 883, Marinus sat in the Roman chair one year and five months. At the request of king Alfred he made the English school at Rome free of tribute, and, besides many other presents, he sent the aforesaid king no inconsiderable portion of the health-giving cross on which the Son of God had hung for the salvation of the world.

A.D. 883.] JOHANNES SCOTUS. 215

The same year died Asser, bishop of Sherburne, and was succeeded by Swithelm, who was the bearer of king Alfred's alms to St. Thomas the apostle in India, whence he returned in safety, bringing with him many precious stones for the king.

Master John Scot.

The same year there came into England Master John, a Scot by nation, a man of an apprehensive mind and of singular eloquence. Quitting his country early in life he passed over to Gaul, where he was very honourably entertained by Charles the Bald, who made him the companion both of his meals and of his retirement. Instances of the vastness of his understanding, his knowledge, and of his wit, remain to this day. He was once sitting at table opposite the king, when, at the end of the repast, the cups having passed frequently, Charles became unusually merry, and observing master John do something which was offensive to Gallic good breeding, he pleasantly rebuked him and said, "John, what is there between a Scot and a sot"? "Only a table", replied master Scot; thus turning back the reproach on its author. What can be more facetious than such a reply? For the question had been put with reference to the difference of manners, and John's reply had reference to the difference of place; nor was the king offended at the speech, but rather moved to laughter, in which all present joined. At another time, as the king was at table, one of the servants presented him a dish in which were two very large fishes and one very small one; the king gave it to master John, bidding him share it with two clerks who were sitting at meat with him. Now the fishes were of immense size, and master John was small in person. Ever devising something pleasant for the entertainment of the company, John kept the two large fishes for himself and gave the little one to the two clerks; whereat the king found fault, that he had made an unfair division of the fishes. "Nay", said master John, "I have made a good and equal division; for here is a small one", alluding to himself; "and here are two great ones", pointing to the fishes. Then turning to the clerks, "Here", said he, "are two great ones", meaning the clerks, "and here is a little one", meaning the fish.

216 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 884.

At the request of the same king, John translated out of the Greek into Latin the Hierarchy of Dionysius the Areopagite, which however is less intelligible in the Latin than it is in Greek. He also composed a book, which he entitled Usoi ovpudzwv usgiduate, "On the Division of Nature", very useful for solving some difficult questions, making some allowance in some respects, where he has deviated from the path of the Latins and followed in the track of the Greeks, insomuch that by some he has been accounted a heretic; for one Florus wrote against him, and abused and condemned his writings. And indeed there are very many things in the book Usoi ovpudzwv usgiduate, which, without great discrimination, would be considered as opposed to the catholic faith. The Roman pontiff is known to have been of this mind; for in an epistle addressed to Charles he wrote as follows, "It has been reported to our apostleship that a certain John, by birth a Scot, has lately translated into Latin the work of Dionysius the Areopagite, which he elegantly wrote in Greek, touching the divine names and the celestial orders; now, according to the custom of the church, he ought to have submitted it unto us for the approval of our judgment, and the more so inasmuch as this John, though said to be very learned, is by general report deficient in sound wisdom in some respects". Owing to this discredit John left France and betook himself to king Alfred, by whose munificence he was induced to accept the office of teacher, and settled at Malmesbury, as appears from the king's writings. There, after some years, his pupils stabbed him with their writing instruments, and he died in great and cruel torments. His corpse was placed in the church of the blessed Laurence, where it remained for some time; but a ray of fire from heaven having fallen upon his tomb, the monks were stirred up by this revelation and transferred him to a greater church, where they honourably placed him at the left side of the altar. In the same year pope Marinus was succeeded by Adrian, who continued one year and three months.

How king Alfred slew a multitude of his enemies.

In the year of our Lord 884, the wicked army of pagans divided themselves into two bands, one of which passed into France, while the other returned into Kent and besieged the

A.D. 885.] VISION OF CHARLES LE GROS. 217

city of Rochester; but the citizens making a stout resistance, Alfred came to their aid and raised the siege, and compelled the pagans to retire to their ships, where he slew numbers of them and divided their spoil among his followers. In this year also king Alfred sent a strong fleet into East-Anglia, where they found sixteen vessels of pirates at the mouth of the river Stour, and boldly attacking them, they slew them all and possessed themselves of the ships and the spoil; but such of the Danes as could escape to their ships engaged with the English in another naval battle, in which, owing to the supineness of the latter, they were taken off their guard and a multitude of them slain, while the Danes retired in triumph.

The emperor Charles's vision of purgatory.

In the year of our Lord 885, Stephen sat in the Roman chair five years and eight days. In the same year Charles, the son of Louis, monarch of the Roman empire and of the kingdom of the Franks, called together the bishops and nobles of his kingdom and related to them a wonderful vision which he saw, as follows:- "In the name of God, the supreme King of kings, I, Charles, king of the Franks and patrician of the Romans, on the sacred night of the Lord's day, after finishing my devotions, testify that as I was going to my couch, a terrible voice addressed me, saying, 'Charles, thy spirit shall presently go forth from thee for a season', and straightway I was rapt in the spirit, and he who bore me was very bright to look upon, and he held in his hand a clue of thread, which sent forth a beam of clearest light. Proceeding to unwind it, he said to me, 'Behold this shining thread,- fasten it tightly to the thumb of your right hand; for by means of it you shall be led through the maze of the infernal torments'. Having so said, he advanced before me rapidly and led me by the glittering clue into deep and fiery valleys full of pits burning with pitch and sulphur, lead, wax, and tallow. There I found the bishops of my father and my uncles, and when I tremblingly asked them why they were suffering such excessive torments, they answered, 'We were the bishops of your father and your uncles, and when we should have exhorted and entreated them and their people to live in peace and concord,

218 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 885.

we sowed discord among them and encouraged them in evil; wherefore we are now tormented in these fires of hell, with all other lovers of murder and rapine; hither, too, shall come your own bishops and ministers, who now love to do as we did'. Whilst I listened with trembling, some of the blackest devils flew to me with fiery hooks and sought to lay hold of the thread which I held and draw me to them, but they were driven back by the beams of that clue, and could not touch the thread. They then ran behind my back, and would have seized me with their hooks and cast me into those pits of sulphur; but my guide who bore the clue threw it twice round my shoulders, and, drawing me mightily after him, we ascended over high and fiery mountains, out of which came hot streams, and marshes, and all kinds of boiling metals, into which I found were cast innumerable souls of the people and nobles of my father and my brothers, some up to their hair, some to their chin, and others to their navel. These with lamentable cries addressed me thus, 'Whilst we lived we loved war, and slaughter, and rapine, for earthly lust, in company with yourself, and with your father, and your brothers and uncles; for which cause we are tormented in these boiling streams and melted metals'. While I fearfully listened, I heard some souls behind me exclaiming, 'The mighty shall suffer the mightier torments'; and on looking back I saw on the banks of a boiling stream pitchy and sulphureous furnaces, in which I beheld some of the nobles of my father, and of mine own, and of my brothers and uncles, who cried out to me, 'Alas, for us, Charles! Alas for us! You see what heavy torments we are undergoing for our malice and pride, and the evil counsels which through covetousness we gave to our kings and to yourself'. While I was lamenting this spectacle, some devils ran at me with open mouths full of fire, and sulphur, and pitch, and would have swallowed me had not my guide wound the thread thrice round me, whose brightness surpassed that of the fire from their mouths, and was a sure defence to me. We then descended into a valley, dark in one part and burning like a fiery oven, but in another part so pleasant and bright that no words can describe it. Turning towards the dark and fiery part, I beheld there some of the kings of my family in great punishment. At this I was distressed beyond measure, and

A.D. 885.] VISION OF CHARLES LE GROS. 219

Straightway thought that I was myself overwhelmed in the same torments by the black monsters who kindled all kinds of fires in that valley. Trembling exceedingly, I saw by the splendour of the clue of thread one side of the valley grow lighter, where were two fountains, one of which was excessively hot, while the other was clear and tepid, and by them were two casks; directing my steps thither by the clue of thread, and looking into the one which had the boiling water, I saw my father Louis standing in it up to his thighs. I was so grieved at the sight that I well nigh fainted, and he addressed me as follows, 'Fear not, my lord Charles; for I know that your spirit will return again to your body. God has permitted you to come hither that you may see for what sins both I and all whom you have beheld are undergoing these punishments; for one day I am immersed in this cask of boiling water, and the next in the cask of pleasant water; and this, by the prayers of St. Peter and St. Remigius, who have hitherto been the patrons of our royal race; moreover, if you and my faithful bishops, and abbats, and the whole ecclesiastical order will speedily aid me by masses, oblations, psalmody, vigils, and almsgiving, I shall quickly be delivered from this cask of boiling water; for my brother Lothaire and his son Louis have been delivered from these sufferings by the prayers of St. Peter and St. Remigius, and are now in the joys of Paradise; and now', said he, 'look behind you'; and when I had done so I saw there two very deep casks of boiling water. 'These', said he, 'are prepared for you, unless you amend your life and do penance for your sins'. At this I was exceedingly horrified, on which my guide, seeing my spirit so troubled, said to me, 'Follow me to the right of the beautiful valley of Paradise'. And while we were proceeding thither, I saw in the midst of a bright light my uncle Lothaire sitting among glorious kings on a stone of topaz of wonderful size, and crowned with a precious diadem. On seeing me, he immediately called me to him, kindly addressing me as follows, 'Come to me, Charles, my third successor in the Roman empire; I know that you have come through the place of punishment, where my brother, your father, is enduring the punishment allotted to him; but, by God's mercy, he will very soon be delivered, as we have been, by the merits of the blessed Peter and the prayers of St.

220 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 886.

Remigius, whom the Lord has made the great apostle of the French kings and their people; and unless he shall assist and foster the feeble remains of our stock, our race will presently fail to the throne and empire; for know that the imperial power will soon be taken from your hand, and you will live but a short time afterwards in the world'. Louis then turned to me and said, 'The empire which you have hitherto held by hereditary right, your grandson Louis ought to receive'; and when he had so said, it seemed as if an infant stood before me, whom his grandfather Lothaire beholding, said to me, 'Give him the imperial power by that clue of thread which you hold in your hand'. Untying then the thread from the thumb of my right hand, I granted to him the whole imperial power by that thread; and immediately the glittering clue was gathered together in his hand like a sunbeam; and so, after this wonderful occurrence, my spirit returned into my body, very weary and sad". Charles discharged the imperial duties for barely two years after this vision, and was succeeded by that Louis, who afterwards married the daughter of Edward, king of England; but of this hereafter. The same year Ceolmund succeeded Esna, bishop of Hereford.

How king Alfred obtained the monarchy of England.

In the year of our Lord 886, king Alfred, after burning many cities and slaying a multitude of people, laid siege to the city of London, which was the capital of the kingdom; and there all the nations of the English resorted to him and yielded him obedience; for before this they were scattered in desert and woody places on account of the continual irruptions of the Danes, and wandered hither and thither without any one to protect them. Having done homage to him with all solemnity, the king, with their help, made preparations for a very fierce attack on the city, erecting engines around it and labouring to beat down the walls; but the citizens, dreading a contest, opened the city gates to the king and received him with all honour. He thereupon restored the city and repaired its walls, and committed it to the custody of Athelred, earl of Mercia, who had married Elfleda, the king's daughter, and was of the royal stock of that nation. From this time to the end of his life king Alfred remained

A.D. 886.] SUCCESSIONS OF THE KINGS. 221

monarch of the entire kingdom of England, except those parts of the country which the barbarous nation of the Danes had subjugated to themselves; for they had possessed themselves of the whole of Northumberland, with East-Anglia and numerous other districts, whence they harassed king Alfred with fierce and continual attacks.

Recapitulation of the kingdoms and kings of England.

As we have come now to the time of the sole monarchy, I think it right to recapitulate the names and kingdoms of all the kings of England who reigned up to this period, with the order of their succession, for the greater satisfaction of the reader, and that the series of this history may be the better understood. Woden, then, who was sprung from the stock of the ancient Germans, was translated among the gods after his death; and the ancients who worshipped him as a deity dedicated to him the fourth day of the week, which they called from his name "Wodenesday", or the day of Woden. He had a wife named Frea, to whom the ancients in like manner consecrated the sixth day, which they called "Freday", or the day of Frea. Now Woden begat of his wife Frea seven famous sons, from whom were descended seven powerful kings, who afterwards drove out the Britons and reigned in Britain. From Wecta, Woden's eldest son, the kings of Kent are said to have had their origin; from Frehegeath, the second son, the kings of the Mercians; from Balday, the third, the kings of the West-Saxons; from Beldag, the fourth, the kings of the Northumbrians, or the Bernicians; from Wegdag, the fifth, the kings of the Deiri; from Kaser, the sixth, the kings of the East-Angles; from Saxnad, the seventh, the kings of the East-Saxons; the kings of the South-Saxons were from the same nation, but not of the same stock.

Kings of Kent.

Hengist, Osric Aesc, Octa, Ermenric, Aethelbert the first Christian king, Eadbald, Erconbert, Egbert, Lothaire, Eadric, Withred and Siward, Aethelbert, Eadbert, Aethelbert, Eadbert Pren, Cuthred, Baldred, Aethelstan. From Aethelstan the kingdom of Kent was transferred to the kings of the West-Saxons.

222 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 886.

Kings of Mercia.

Creodda, Wibba, Cearl, Penda, Peada the first Christian king, Wulfher, Aethelfred, Kinred, Ceolred, Aethelbald, Beornred, Offa the great, Egfrid, Kenulph, Kenelm, Ceolulph, Bertulph, Ludican, Wiglaf, Bertulph, Burhred. Fronm Burhred the kingdom of the Mercians was transferred to the kingdom of the West-Saxons.

Kings of the West-Saxons.

Cerdic, Kenric, Ceaulin, Ceolric, Ceolwulf, Kinegils and Quichelm, Kinewale, Sexburga, Eascwin, Kentwin, Cedwalla, Ina, Aethelhard, Cuthred, Sigebert, Kineulf, Brithric, Egbert, Aethelulf, Aethelbald, Aethelbert, Aethelred, Aelfrid. This Aelfrid was the first monarch of the kingdom of England, and his line continued until king William, who subjugated England.

Kings of the Northumbrians.

Ida, Adda, Glappa, Theodwald, Fretheulf, Theodoric, Aethelfrid, Eadwin the first Christian king of the Deiri, Eanfrid, Oswald, Oswy, Egfrid, Ealfrid, Osred, Kenred, Osric, Ceolwulf, Eadbert, Osulf, Athelwold Mollo, Ealdred, Aethelred, Alfwold, Osred, Aethelred again, Osred, Eardwulf, Alfwold, Eandred, Aethelred, Readwulf, Osbert, Ella, Egbert, Ricsy, Egbert, Cuthred.

Kings of the Deiri.

Ella who reigned in Deira while eight collateral kings reigned in Bernicia, Aethelfrid, Eadwin, Osric, Oswin. From Oswin the kingdom of the Deiri was transferred to Oswy, king of the Bernicians, and the kingdom of the Northumbrians became one, its limits extending from the river Humber northward unto the Scottish sea. Finally, this kingdom was transferred to the kings of the West-Saxons.

Kings of the East-Angles.

Uffa, Titillus, Redwald, Wibert, Eorpenwald, Sigebert, Egric, Anna, Aethelhere, Aethelwald, Ealdwulf, Ealfwald, Beorna, Aethelred, Aethelbert, Eadmund, Gytro the Dane.

A.D. 887.] DEVASTATIONS OF HASTING. 223

From Gytro the Dane the kingdom of the East-Angles was transferred to the kings of the West-Saxons.

Kings of the East-Saxons.

Erkenwin, Sledda, Seber, Sexred and Siward, Sigebert the little, Suithelm, Sigehere and Sebba, Sigehard and Seofrid, Offa, Selred, Suithred. From Suithred the kingdom of the East-Saxons was transferred to the kings of the West-Saxons.

Kings of the South-Saxons.

Ella, Cissa, Aethelwald, Berthun, Aldhun. From Aldhun the kingdom of the South-Saxons was transferred to the kings of the West-Saxons.

Devastation of the countries beyond the sea.

In the year of our Lord 887, Hastein, or Hasting, [1] a Dane by nation, after overrunning England, crossed into the parts of Gaul with a mighty army of infidels, and landing at the port of Vermond, the unbelievers, as soon as they had quitted their ships, gave up the whole of that country to the flames, burning also the monastery of St. Quintin the martyr, and committing a horrible massacre of the people. Emmo, bishop of Noyon, fell by their swords, and the people became a prey, having lost their shepherd. Directing then their fleet to Havre, they burnt a monastery of nine hundred monks; proceeding thence with not a few ships to Rouen, they burnt and pillaged the city, putting the inhabitants to the sword. Then penetrating into the interior of Gaul, they consumed every thing in their barbarous rage from the city of Genuaba right through Lutetia unto Paris; then stationing their ships in a certain island near the monastery of St. Florence, they destroyed the whole of the province round about, committing to the flames the city of Nantes, and overrunning the country of Anjou, polluting every place with slaughter, and destroying all the castles and cities of Poitou. Lastly, they approached the city of Tours, which they polluted with the blood of innocents and then committed it to the flames. After this they explored with their


[1] It is doubtful whether this is the same who devastated France or not; though Wendover certainly takes them to be the same person.

224 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 887.

ships the upper parts of the river Loire, and arrived at Orleans, which they pillaged of every thing, and then set the city on fire. Why should I mention the distress of Aquitania, since there was not in it a town or village, city or castle, that did not fall by the barbarous rage of the pagans? Witness the people of Poictiers and Saintes! Witness Angouleme, Perigord, Limoges, Auvergne, and Vievron, the capital of Aquitania.

In what manner the robber Hastein reduced the city of Lunis.

After afflicting Gaul with the miseries of which we have before given the reader a sample, the wicked robber Hastein sailed to the city of Lunis, and thought by a sudden attack to make himself master of it; but the citizens, terrified at so great a fleet, fled to arms and defended their walls with shield and dart, encouraging each other to a manful resistance; and so great was their spirit, that with all his efforts Hastein was unable to gain the place. At length he sent his servants to the bishop and count of the city, informing them that he was seized with a mortal illness, and humbly requested to be made a Christian by them. On hearing this the bishop and count rejoiced greatly, and making peace with the enemy of peace, allowed his people free admission to the city. At length the wicked Hastein was carried to church and immersed in the sacred font, from which the bishop and mayor raised him again to their own destruction, and, after receiving the holy anointing, he was carried back to his ships by the hands of his servants. After this, in the depth of night he was clad in armour and laid on a bier, having directed his followers to wear their coats of mail under their tunics; his comrades then with feigned sorrow bore him from on board ship to the church, where the bishop in his holy garments was ready to sacrifice the host for the deceased; when, behold! Hastein, that son of perdition, suddenly sprang up from the bier, put the bishop and count to the sword, and fell with wolfish rage on the people. After perpetrating these atrocities, old and young were slain, the city was pillaged, and its walls thrown down. Having completed the ruin of the city, Hastein went to Charles, king of the Franks, who purchased peace by giving him the city of Chartres for his support; and so Gaul enjoyed a breathing time, after so much tumult and uproar.

A.D. 888.] LIBERALITY OF ALFRED. 225

This account I have here given that no one might think that England was the only country which suffered from the persecution of the Danes.

Founding of monasteries and almsgiving of Alfred.

In the year of our Lord 888, Athelm, [1] bishop of Winchester, was the bearer of king Alfred's alms and those of the West-Saxons to Rome. At the same time also he founded two monasteries, one of monks at Ethelingeie, i.e. the isle of Nobles, where this king lived in exile with the swineherd, and there he ordained a presbyter named John as abbat; he ordered another to be built more to the east at Shaftesbury, as a dwelling for nuns, and there he made his daughter Algiva abbess, who was a virgin consecrated to the Lord; to these monasteries he granted abundance of riches and possessions. Following the divine counsel, he divided all his revenues into two parts, and again dividing one of these into three portions, he allotted one to his soldiers who were divided into three companies, the first, consisting of horse, serving in the kind's court one month while the other two were engaged in military expeditions, and at the end of the month the latter returned from war and were succeeded by fresh troops; and this arrangement he observed all his life: a second portion he allotted to his workmen, who were skilled in every kind of work under heaven: the third portion he assigned to the strangers who resorted to him from divers nations. The other part of his yearly revenue he in like manner divided into three portions, one of which he gave to the poor, a second to the monasteries he had founded, and the third to the clerks and doctors of a school which he had collected out of many parts of Gaul and other remote regions, proportioning his bounty to the sufficiency of each. Also he had six wax candles made of equal size, each of the weight of seventy-two drams, and twelve inches in length, to burn incessantly day and night before the relics of numerous saints. In executing judgment he so diligently investigated each case, that on inquiring into such as were decided in his absence, if he could discover any departure from justice, he


[1] There was no bishop of Winchester, at this time, named Athelm. It appears that the MS. is imperfect in this place. Probably comes or earl should be read, instead of episcopus or bishop.

226 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 891.

would interrogate the judges whether they had come to that decision from ignorance or malice, love or hatred, fear or favour; and if they confessed that it was because they were unable to come to a better judgment, he would give them a discreet and temperate rebuke in such words as these, "Truly I am astonished at your presumption in that when, by the gift of God and of ourselves, you hold the degree and ministry of the wise, you have neglected the pursuit of wisdom: either lay down the ministry of earthly things, or give yourselves to the study of wisdom with more zeal than you have hitherto manifested". Moved by these rebukes as if they had received the greatest punishment, the judges applied themselves with all their might to the study of equity; and in this way he made the illiterate give attention to letters, and brought the slothful to the discipline of wisdom; insomuch that the aged sighed after the knowledge of letters, and counted the young of that period happy in that they could obtain instruction in the liberal arts, while themselves had the unhappiness to remain untaught.

Almsgiving of the great king Alfred.

In the year of our Lord 889 died Ethelred, archbishop of Canterbury, and was succeeded by Plegmund. In the same year king Alfred ordered all the bishops and religious men of England to collect the alms of the faithful to be sent to Rome and Jerusalem; the king also added to the alms of the faithful not a little out of his own treasury, and transmitted the whole to the places aforesaid.

Death of Ethelsuitha, sister of king Alfred.

In the year of our Lord 890, Gytro the Dane, king of the East-Angles, ended his days, having received that kingdom, as well as Christianity itself, by the gift of king Alfred. In the same year king Alfred's sister Ethelsuitha, formerly the queen of Burhred, king of the Mercians, died in the religious habit at Ticinum [Pavia], where she was honourably buried.

A miracle.

In the year of our Lord 891, Arnulf, guardian of Louis, attained the Roman empire and reigned twelve years. The same year there came over three men from Ireland unto king

A.D. 892.] INCURSION OF THE DANES. 227

Alfred, desiring to lead a solitary life for Christ's sake. They had constructed for themselves a very small boat out of three ox-hides and a half, and, without any equipment whatever, they secretly put to sea with food for one week only, determined to go whithersoever chance should take them. By the Lord's direction they landed in Cornwall on the seventh day, and for the novelty and strangeness of the thing were presented unto the king. Their names were Dubslane, Manchet, and Manslinum. The same year, about the time of the Rogations, there appeared a comet which is called in the Saxon tongue Vexete Sterre.

Golden bracelets suspended in the cross-ways.

In the year of our Lord 892, an immense swarm of pagans came over from Gaul with horses and two hundred and fifty vessels, and arriving in the mouth of the river Limen in Kent [the Rother], which flows out of a great wood called Andredeswald, they brought their vessels four miles higher up, and landing, destroyed a fort inhabited by some natives, and built a stronger one for themselves in a place called Appletre. And not long after Hastein arrived from the same parts with eighty vessels, and entering the mouth of the Thames, he constructed a fortification at great expense in a royal vill called Middleton. But while Alfred was thus exposed on all sides to the incursions of his foes, and while, as some say, laws are wont to be silent in the midst of arms, he, nevertheless, amid the clang of trumpets, the uproar of war, and the din of arms, enacted laws for the observance of divine worship and of military discipline; and because by the example of the barbarians the natives themselves were tempted to commit depredations, so that there was scarcely a place safe for any one, or any communication practicable, except under the protection of arms, he instituted centuries or hundreds, and tenths or tithings, that every Englishman who lived according to the laws might have his hundred and tithing; and if any one was charged with any offence, he was immediately required of the hundred and tithing, who became bail for his appearance; but if any one could not give such bail, he incurred the severity of the law; and if any one escaped before or after such bail, all of his hundred and tithing incurred a fine to the king. By these means he

228 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 893.

brought the provinces into such tranquillity that he even ordered golden bracelets to be suspended at the crossings oi the highways to tempt the cupidity of travellers, and no one dared take them.

King Alfred's clemency and the Danes' faithlessness.

In the year of our Lord 893, the pagans who had settled in Northumberland and East-Anglia made peace with king Alfred, confirming it by solemn oaths and giving of hostages; nevertheless they broke the league, and whensoever the army of pagans which had settled in Kent went forth from their defences to pillage, the former, either in conjunction with them or by themselves, ceased not to commit rapine wheresoever they could. On hearing of which, king Alfred marched into Kent with his army and pitched his camp between the two armies of the pagans, that, if haply they should seek the open country, either for booty or for battle, he might bring them to an engagement. But the pagans, sometimes with their cavalry and sometimes with their foot, committed constant depredations in those parts where they knew the king's forces to be absent. Nevertheless the king often fell in with them while engaged in these expeditions, and committed great slaughter among them. They therefore quitted Kent and fled to their countryman Hastein, who had wintered at Middleton, whither the king hotly pursued them, and did not cease till he had driven them, together with the cruel Dane Hastein, into the fortification which the latter had recently constructed there. The king straightway laid siege to the fort, and erecting his machines around it, applied his whole mind to reducing it. Losing all hope of defending the place, Hastein the Dane began to consider in what way he might, by falsehood, deceive the king's clemency. Sending, therefore, messengers to the king, he gave hostages and promised on his oath, that if he might be suffered to depart, he would, for the time to come, refrain from disquieting the realm of England; and the more to assure the king, he sent him his two sons, who were in their boyhood, that if he wished he might imbue them with the sacraments of faith and of baptism. The most pious king, who was always more solicitous to deliver the souls of the pagans than to slay them, acquiesced in his request; and after the boys were regenerated

A.D. 894.] ALFRED DEFEATS THE DANES. 229

in the sacred font, he permitted their father Hastein and the rest of the infidels to depart in peace, according to the agreement.

How king Alfred routed the Danish king in battle.

In the year of our Lord 894, king Alfred marched with a great army against the pagans, whom we have stated above to have landed at the mouth of the river Lige, and who had now divided their forces and were endeavouring to subjugate all the provinces of that region. On his arrival there, the king placed himself with his army between the two bands of the pagans, that if haply they should leave the woods in quest of a more open country he might move against them. But the barbarians, overcome by famine, perceiving that they profited nothing, but rather grew weaker, set out to join their countrymen who had lately landed in Essex, that being thus strengthened they might be better able to endure the attacks of the Christians. Moving their camp by stealth they reached the town of Farnham, where they sought to cross the river, but the king's forces prevented them; and being compelled to fight, the pagans were put to the rout, and in their flight were slain without mercy by the Christians, who inflicted immense slaughter and cruelly wounded their king, who was with difficulty placed on horseback and taken over the Thames by his followers, there being neither ford nor bridge, so that numbers of them were drowned. At last they found a very small island between the Thames and the Colne, which they occupied for some time as a town. The Christians, not having any vessels there, could not lay siege to the place, especially as victuals failed them, and they had fulfilled the period of their service. They therefore returned home, and king Alfred hastened thither with half of his army; but before he had completed his march it was told him that the pagans who dwelt in Northumberland and East-Anglia, had laid siege to Exeter, while others of them did the like to a certain castle in Devon; whereupon king Alfred turned about and led back his forces towards Exeter, leaving, however, a few to subdue the enemy he was threatening. Meanwhile, their king having recovered, the pagans joined their countrymen in Essex, where they found the most wicked traitor Hastein at Beamfleot, which, in violation of the treaty he had made with king Alfred, he had strengthened

230 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 895.

by a deep trench, and thence he made continual irruptions and desolated the whole country around. Moreover the pagans who had settled at Appletre, as has been said before, joined Hastein there, forming an immense body of warriors. Whereupon the troops that king Alfred had left to subdue them, joining to themselves the citizens of London and other warriors who had come at the king's summons from the coasts of the Northumbrians and the East-Angles, marched to Beamfleot, but did not find Hastein in the town. Nevertheless they engaged in battle with his people who came out of the town against them, and so furious was their onset that they put them to flight forthwith, and assaulted and destroyed the town. They moreover captured the wife of Hastein and his two sons, and took some of his ships, which they conveyed to the city of Rochester, where they were burnt, and they sent Hastein's wife and two sons to the city of London. After these things, king Alfred, having gained an easy victory over the pagans, on account of whom he had gone to Exeter, cutting them in pieces and driving them to their ships, returned to the city of London, where earl Ethelred presented to the king the wife of Hastein and his two sons, requesting that it might be adjudged what should be done with the wife and sons of that traitor, who had broken the agreement he had made with the king. When all had given sentence that they were worthy the most shameful death, the king would not do them any harm, inasmuch as he had himself raised one of the boys from the holy font, as has been related above, and earl Ethelred had done the like to the other; he therefore permitted as well the mother as the sons to depart.

Severe war and destruction of the Danes.

In the year of our Lord 895, pope Formosus [1] sat in the


[1] The chronology of Formosus and the six following popes is incorrect. The correct dates are as follow:-

Formosus consecrated Sept. 891 died April, 896.
Boniface VI. consecrated April, 896, died May, 896.
Stephen VI. consecrated Aug. 896, died Oct. 897.
Romanus consecrated Oct. 897, died Feb. 898.
Theodore II. consecrated Feb. 898, died March, 898.
John IX. consecrated June, 898, died Nov. 900.
Benedict IV. consecrated Nov. 900, died Oct. 903.

To Benedict IV. succeeded Leo V. in the year 903, as is correctly stated in the text under that year.

A.D. 896.] DANES DEFEAT THE LONDONERS. 231

Roman chair three years and six months. In the same year died Wulfer, archbishop of York, and was succeeded by Ethelbald. At the same time, the wicked Hastein and the rest of the pagans, whom king Alfred's army had driven from Beamfleot, resolved to cross over to their countrymen who dwelt in the western parts of England. Stealing, therefore, a hasty march through the province of the Mercians, they reached a certain village named Buttingetune, situated on the river Severn, where they were honourably received by their brethren, and admitted into a town they had built there. When this was told to king Alfred, he assembled an invincible army, and arriving at the aforesaid town, which was washed on all sides by the waters of the Severn, he surrounded the pagans both with sea and land forces. After a long siege, and their victuals failing them, the enemy at last devoured their horses; and when they had consumed every thing, driven by necessity, they came forth from the town to fight with the army which was on the eastern side of the river; and in the first onset there fell on the king's side one of his ministers named Ordein, and many others with him. But the Christians at length prevailed, and put their adversaries to flight; and pursuing them without pity, the faithful drowned numbers of them in the waters and put others to the sword. Those who escaped the slaughter fled to Leicester, whose English name is Wyrhale, where they found numbers of their countrymen in a certain town, and were admitted by them into their fraternity. On arriving there, the king, not being able to lay siege to the place, burned all the corn and victuals which he found without the town.

Contest between the English and the Danes.

In the year of our Lord 896, the wicked band of pagans quitted Leicester and made for Northumberland, and there taking ship, they began again to roam the seas. Landing at length at the mouth of the river Line, not far from the city of London, they drew their ships on shore and took to plunder and rapine. On hearing of which the citizens of London, taking to their aid the people of the neighbouring parts, came to the aforesaid place, where they found that the enemy had now formed a settlement. They engaged on both sides, the citizens of London were put to flight, and four of the

232 ROGER OF WEXDOVER. [A.D. 897.

king's officers were slain. But king Alfred coming speedily to their help, the pagans were compelled to leave the place, and retiring in the night, they proceeded through the province of the Mercians, and did not stop till they reached the village of Quantebregge, [1] on the Severn. After they were retired, the king ordered their ships to be burnt with fire.

How king Alfred appointed guardians of the kingdom.

In the year of our Lord 897, Boniface sat in the Roman chair one year and sixteen days. In the same year king Alfred appointed guardians of the kingdom against the irruptions of the Danes, in Kent Ceolmund the chief of them, in the city of Rochester bishop Suithulf, in Essex earl Brithulf, in the city of London earl Ethelred, in Dorchester bishop Halard, in Sussex Eadulf, in Winchester bishop Bertulf, and many others in divers places, whom it were tedious to recapitulate. At this time, too, king Alfred caused to be constructed long ships called galleys, in which he set armed men with a command to guard the paths of the seas, that he might provide for the peace of his kingdom, and protect his subjects as well by a naval as a land armament.

Of Rollo first duke of Normandy, and his vision.

In those days a certain Rollo, a Dane by nation, came into England with an immense body of warriors, and commenced ravaging the country. Now Dania, or Denmark, is an island of the sea, fertile and populous, whose kings in former days made it a law, that whenever the island was too full of people, the bolder men should be compelled to emigrate. The aforesaid Rollo is said to have been among those who were thus expelled. Being an energetic and powerful man, his father kept his eldest son to succeed himself, and sent away Rollo to seek an inheritance for himself by arms, as fortune should favour him. When he had, therefore, landed in England, as has been said, the natives straightway engaged in battle with him, but numbers of them being slain, the rest fled from the scene of contest. Rollo, therefore, was wintering in England for the refreshment of himself and his followers after the dangers of the sea. One night, as he was sleeping, he had a dream: he saw a swarm of bees on a


[1] Supposed to be Quatford, near Bridgenorth.

A.D. 898.] DANES REPULSED BY ALFRED. 233

sudden flying and buzzing over himself and his army, and taking a southerly direction, they flew straight across the sea, and arriving at the land, they all settled on the leaves of different trees, and then roaming through the whole country, they began to collect from different places flowers of various colours, which they brought into one place. On awaking from sleep, Rollo first ponders the vision, and after a diligent consideration, infers that himself and his companions will find rest from their labours in those parts where he had seen the bees alight. Taking the sea, therefore, with his companions, they cross the waters, and with a favourable wind arrive at Jumieges, where they leave at the altar of the chapel of St. Vedast a certain holy virgin named Ameltrudis, whom they had brought from England. On hearing of their arrival, Franco, archbishop of Rouen, distrusting his ability to offer resistance, deemed it better to ask for peace. With all haste, therefore, he sought and obtained peace, which was confirmed by the most solemn obligations. Assuming, therefore, the dominion of the country, Rollo went to Rouen, and elegantly repaired its ruined walls: he, moreover, occupied the surrounding country, erected castles in fit places, and reduced under his sway the whole of the land, which was then called Neustria, and is now called Normandy, from the Northmen themselves. From this Rollo the illustrious dukes of Normandy derived their origin, as the following history will show in the proper place.

Slaughter of Danes by the English.

In the year of our Lord 898, Stephen sat in the Roman chair one year. In the same year died Eastan, bishop of London, and was succeeded by Theodred. At the same time the pagans came with six galleys to the mouth of a river named Uthermare, and gave themselves up to plunder and rapine; which being told to king Alfred, he met the robbers with all haste and scattered their forces; rescuing the booty and forcing them to flee to their ships. The king pursued them with spirit, and slew a hundred and twenty of them. In this affair there fell forty-two soldiers of the king's household. The winds blowing contrary, the fugitive pirates were shipwrecked and their vessels broken; they were consequently taken and bound by the servants of the

234 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 901.

king, who gave orders for them all to be hung on gibbets. After this the king possessed his kingdom in peace all the rest of his life, devoting himself wholly to the restoration of the churches, to almsgiving, and to frame laws for curbing the rapacious and confirming the faithful in their duty.

The kingdom of the West-Saxons without episcopal care.

[A.D. 899.] Romanus sat in the Roman chair four months and twenty-two days, and was succeeded by Theodore, who sat in the chair twenty-six days. He was succeeded in the same year by John, who continued two years and fifteen days. In the same year died Ethelwald, bishop of Sherburn; after which, from hostile violence, the province of the West-Saxons remained seven years without bishops and pastoral care.

Death of the great king Alfred and succession of Eadward.

[A.D. 900.] Charles succeeded to the kingdom of the Franks over which he reigned twenty-seven years. In the same year, after a reign of twenty-nine years and six months, Alfred, the most gracious king of the English, exchanged a temporal for an eternal kingdom, on Wednesday the 28th day of October, in the fifth indiction. He was buried at Winchester in the new monastery which he had himself founded, clad in a robe of blessed immortality, and waiting to be crowned anew at the general resurrection.

Violence offered to a certain holy virgin.

[A.D. 901.] Eadward, the eldest son of king Alfred, inferior to his father in literary culture, but more glorious in power and dignity, was invested with the diadem of the kingdom of England. As soon as he was raised to the throne, Ethelwald the atheling, his uncle's son, who, as he was of the royal race, thought himself in no respect his inferior, made every attempt to gain the kingdom, and seizing on the royal vills of Oxbeam and Wimburn, he rashly entered them with his followers and barred the gates. In this place, as has been related before, St. Cuthburga, king Ina's sister, had founded a monastery of virgins devoted unto God; one of whom this Ethelwald carried off by violence and made her his wife. On hearing of Ethelwald's rashness, king Eadward

A.D. 902.] REBELLION OF ETHELWALD. 235

collected a great army, and coming to Bath, pitched his camp not far from Wimburn; which, when Ethelwald knew, he fled by night, and reaching Northumberland, he besought the Danes who lived there to admit him among them, and then to choose one of their number to fight against king Eadward. He was presently installed in the royal dignity by them all. Finding that he had fled out of his reach, king Eadward ordered the nun whom he had ravished to be taken back to her monastery. As for Ethelwald, he took ship and crossed the sea to Gaul, hoping to return with a stronger force to harass the king.

King Eadward's sons and daughters.

In the meanwhile king Eadward extended the bounds of his kingdom more than his father, building new cities and towns, and restoring some that were destroyed. By a concubine named Egwinna he begat Ethelstan, his eldest son. By his queen Alfleda, daughter of earl Elfelm, he begat two sons, Ethelward and Eadwin; and six daughters, of whom Eadfleda, who was a nun, rests with her sister Ethelhilda at Wilton. The remaining four were given in marriage, the first, Eggiva, to Otho emperor of the Romans; another, Eadhilda, to Charles king of the French; a third, St. Edgitha, to Siric king of the Northumbrians; Algiva, the fourth, to Hugo son of duke Robert. By his wife Edgitha also the same king had Eadmund and Eadred.

[A.D. 902.] The aforesaid Ethelwald the atheling returned from beyond the sea, and collecting a numerous army of pagans from among those who lived in Northumberland and in East-Anglia, and in divers other places, in addition to the force he had brought with him from foreign parts, he made a hostile inroad into Mercia, destroying every thing in his way with fire and sword. Meeting with no opposition, as he was about to retire homeward with an immense booty, king Eadward came with a large body of troops, and pursued the fleeing Ethelwald towards East-Anglia, where finding him with all his men prepared for battle in the plain between the two trenches, he encouraged his men and made a courageous attack on them; but at the first onset there fell on the king's side the primates Sigulf and Sichelm, the abbats Eadwald and Kenulf, the nobles Sibert and Eadbald, and many others with

236 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 905.

them; and on the adversary's side there fell Ysop and Osketel, officers of rank, the earls Brithric and Sinoth, king Eanich, Ethelwald the atheling, and many thousand others. On learning that the bravest of his enemies were slain, king Eadward wisely withdrew from the place of contest, and not long afterwards he made peace with the pagans at a place called Ittingeford. After these things the king reduced to due obedience some of his rebel subjects, and especially the citizens of London and Oxford. In the same year Benedict was made pope, and sat one year and six months.

Louis made emperor.

In the year of our Lord 903, Louis attained the Roman empire and reigned ten years. In the same year, on the death of pope Benedict, Leo sat in the Roman chair forty days, and was succeeded by Christopher, who died six months afterwards.

St. Grimbald departed to the Lord.

[A.D. 904.] The holy presbyter Grimbald, a man of great sanctity, and one of the instructors of king Alfred, ascended to the joys of the heavenly kingdom. The same year the devout handmaid of Christ, the queen-mother of king Eadward, who had founded a monastery of nuns at Winchester, departed this life.

A council held in the country of the West-Saxons.

[A.D. 905.] Sergius sat in the Roman chair seven years and sixteen days. In the same year the magnificent king Eadward, and Plegmund archbishop of Canterbury, assembled a great council of bishops, abbats, and others of the faithful in the province of the Gewissae, which is in that part of England which lies to the south of the river Thames. Now this region, on account of the incursions of the enemy, had been for seven years without episcopal and pastoral care. It was, therefore, most wholesomely decreed in this council, that instead of two bishops, one having his see at Winchester and the other at Sherburn, five prelates should be created, that the Lord's flock might not be deprived of pastoral care by the incursions of the wolves. A canonical election, therefore, took place, when they appointed Frithstan to the see of

A.D. 908.] LEICESTER REBUILT. 237

Winchester, Ethelm to that of Sherburn, Eadulf to the see Wells, Werstan to that of Crediton, and Herstan to that of Cornwall. There were elected two bishops besides, of whom Kenulf was appointed to the see of Dorchester, and Bertheg was set over the South-Saxons, whose prelates have their see at Chichester. All these obtained the gift of consecration on the same day from archbishop Plegmund at Canterbury; and shortly after a distribution of the dioceses was made, when there remained to the bishop of Winchester the provinces of Hants and Surrey, with the isle of Wight, the bishop of Sherburne had Somerset, the bishop of Wells had Dorset and the province of Berks, the bishop of Crediton had Devon, the bishop of Cornwall had Cornwall; but after a few years Wilts had a bishop of its own, who had his see in Ramesbery. Of the bishops who succeeded these five prelates we shall speak in the proper place; but I must not omit to note, what seems wonderful to many, that the episcopal sees continued so long in the above insignificant places. The Cornish bishops had their see at St. Petroc [1] on the river Heilemuthe, near the Northern Welsh.

Signification of a comet.

[A.D. 906.] There appeared a comet for nearly half a year, portending perhaps an exceeding effusion of blood and slaughter, which occurred shortly after in a battle between the Danes and the English, wherein many nobles of both peoples fell.

How king Eadtcard reduced more countries,

A.D. 907. The great king Eadward assembled a numerous army and reduced Essex, East-Anglia, Mercia, Northumberland, and many other provinces, which he wrested from the dominion of the Danes, who had long possessed them. He also reduced the Scots, the inhabitants of Cumberland, and those of Galloway, and after receiving the submission of their kings, he returned home with glory and honour.

Restoration of the city of Leicester.

[A.D. 908.] The city of Leicester, which had been destroyed by the incursions of the Danes, was restored by the care of Ethelred, duke of the Mercians, and his wife Elfleda.


[1] Padstow, near Hayle, in Cornwall.

238 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 911.

How king Eadward subdued the Northmen.

[A.D. 909.] King Eadward sent a military expedition into Northumberland against the Danes there who were in rebellion, and for nearly forty days the king's soldiers cruelly harassed them, slaying numbers of them, and carrying away others into shameful captivity.

Miracle of St. Mary's shift.

[A.D. 910.] The bones of the king and martyr St. Oswald were reverently removed from Bardeney into Mercia. At the same time Rollo, the Norman chief, attacked the town of Chartres, with a view to take it by a sudden assault, and after several attempts to destroy it, the citizens who had manned the walls for its defence, despairing of success, had recourse to the wholesome expedient of erecting on the highest part of the city walls for a standard the shift of the mother of God, which Charlemagne had brought from Jerusalem and had placed in the monastery of the virgin in that city. Rollo and his followers were moved to laughter; but to the end that the power of the mother of God might curb the rashness of the infidels, Rollo himself and all his men were seized with such a great and sudden terror, that hastily abandoning every thing which they were using in the siege, they placed their hope of escape in flight alone; which when the townspeople beheld, they pursued them with the edge of the sword, and slew many thousands of them, compelling Rollo himself to fly with his broken squadrons to Rouen.

Death of two kings.

[A.D. 911.] Anastasius sat in the Roman chair two years and as many months. In the same year the Danes entered Mercia, which they ravaged and plundered; on hearing of which, king Edward met the robbers with a military force, and engaging with them in battle at Wodensfeld, i.e. the field of Woden, he slew two of the pagan kings, Eowils and Haldene, with two earls, Scurfa and Other, and nine others of their chiefs.

A.D. 912.] BAPTISM OF ROLLO. 239

The town of Hertford built.

[A.D. 912.] Ethelred, the valorous earl of the Mercians, ended his days; and after his death, his wife Elfleda, daughter of king Alfred, most serenely governed for a long time the entire province of the Mercians, except the cities of London and Oxford, which her brother king Eadward retained to himself. In the same year king Eadward built the town of Hertford between three rivers, the Memaran, the Beneficche, and the Line, and the town called Witham in Essex, about the feast of St. Martin.

Baptism of Rollo, first duke of Normandy.

In the same year Rollo, duke and conqueror of Normandy, elated in heart, attacked the city of Paris, which he set himself to besiege, and ravaged the country around; but not being able to take the place on account of the strength of its situation and its walls, he turned aside and took the city of Bayeux, which he found defenceless, distributing its spoils to his followers and putting the inhabitants to the sword. In this city he seized a certain noble damsel named Popa, daughter of duke Berengarius, an illustrious man: he not long after married her, and had by her a son named William, and a daughter named Gerloc, a most beautiful damsel. Then taking the cities of Paris and Evreux, he put the citizens to the sword and carried off an immense booty; after which he burst forth on the French nation, burning the churches of Christ, slaughtering the people, and carrying the women away captives. Overwhelmed by these calamities, the French people beset king Charles with loud lamentations, complaining that by his slothfulness Christ's people had fallen victims to the incursions of the pagans. Greatly moved by their complaints, the king sent Franco archbishop of Rouen to Rollo, promising, if he would become a Christian, that he would give him the territory along the coast from the river Eptis unto the limits of Brittany, together with his daughter Gilla in marriage. The archbishop accordingly undertook the embassy, and set the matter before the pagan duke. By the advice of his people Rollo gladly embraced the proposal, and on an appointed day both parties met at St. Clerc, beyond

240 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 912.

the river Eptis; the king of the French and duke Robert on one side, and on the other Rollo and his armed battalions; and there, by the intervention of messengers, peace was confirmed between them, Rollo doing fealty to the king, and the latter giving him his daughter and the territory before named, to which he added the whole of Brittany, whose princes, Berengarius and Alan, took the oath of fealty to Rollo. These matters being honourably settled, the French people who were present admonished Rollo that he ought to kiss the king's foot in acknowledgment of so great a gift; whereupon Rollo, disdaining to bend the knee, rudely seized the king's foot and brought it to his mouth, thereby throwing him backwards to the earth; and when the French rebuked him for the act, they only moved the Normans to laughter; for Rollo scorned to hold as a gift from any one the territory which he had conquered by his arms. Peace being at length settled in this manner, the king of the French returned home, and Rollo with duke Robert returned to Rouen, where he was baptized with all his people by Franco the archbishop, duke Robert raising him from the holy font and giving him his own name, in the nine hundred and twelfth year from our Lord's incarnation. After which the magnificent duke Rollo made great preparations for his nuptials, and took to wife the king's daughter after the Christian; but she being taken off after a few years by a premature death without children, duke Robert took back again Popa, whom he had repudiated, and married her.

Genealogy of the dukes of Normandy.

Inasmuch as illustrious dukes and kings derived their origin from this magnificent duke Robert, it seems worthy the dignity of history to trace out his genealogy in a brief narrative. Japhet the son of Noah begat a son whom he named Magog, from the last syllable of whose name his Gothic offspring derived their name by similitude, and produced two Gothic nations most stout in arms. One of these invaded and occupied the farther Scythia, and had long wars with the kings of Egypt. Their wives, who were afterwards called Amazons, impatient of the long absence of their husbands, renounced the connexion and took up arms, choosing two who were more resolute than the rest as their

A.D. 915.] SLAUGHTER OF THE DANES. 241

queens: then, burning off their right breasts the better to shoot their darts, they invaded the whole of Asia, which they held under their oppressive rule for the space of nearly a hundred years. The other Gothic nation, quitting the isle of Scanza with their king named Berig, went forth from their vessels as soon as they had touched land, and gave to the place the name of Scanza, in memory of the land they had left. Then spreading themselves farther, they penetrated into the recesses and marshes of Germany, and took possession of many countries around, among which were Denmark and Norway, which in after times had illustrious and potent kings. They assert that the god Mars was sprung from them, and were sedulous to appease him by the effusion of human blood. They also boast that the Trojans proceeded from their stock, and that, after the fall of the city, Antenor fled for his treachery, and arriving in Germany reigned subsequently in Dania or Denmark, to which country he gave his own name. For these causes the Danes are known to have a Gothic origin, and so mightily did they increase, that the islands being too thickly peopled, their kings enacted a law, by which their more enterprising men were compelled to emigrate from their homes in quest of an inheritance and a permanent dwelling for themselves and their posterity.

Building of two castles.

[A.D. 913.] Conrad attained the Roman empire and reigned seven years. At the same time Alfleda, lady of the Mercians, came with a great force to Strengate, and built there a castle of defence, and restored another at a place called Bregges [Bridgenorth], to the west of the river Severn.

Slaughter of the Danes.

[A.D. 914.] Alfleda, lady of the Mercians, restored the town of Tamworth; and proceeding thence to Stamford, she restored a tower to the north of the river Weilond. In the same year there was a very great slaughter of the Danes in the neighbourhood of Luton and in Hertfordshire.

Cruel ravages of the Danes.

[A.D. 915.] John sat in the Roman chair four years, two months, and three days. In the same year died Plegmund,

242 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 918.

archbishop of Canterbury, whereupon Athelm bishop of Wells was translated to the see of Canterbury, and Wulfelm was ordained bishop in his room in the church of Wells. In that year also Werferd, bishop of the Wiccii, went the way of all flesh, and Ethelhun, abbat of Berkeley, succeeded in his room. At the same time Alfleda, lady of the Mercians, built the towns of Fadesbury and Warham. In the same year the pagans invaded the borders of the South-Britons, destroying every thing with fire and sword; moreover, they took captive bishop Camelec in Irchenefeld and carried him off to their vessels; but not long after king Eadward ransomed him for forty pounds sterling. The same pagans next invaded Herefordshire, Worcestershire, and Gloucestershire, and provoking the natives to battle, a most severe engagement took place, in which there fell on the part of the Danes Other their king's brother, with duke Rohald, and the greatest part of their army. In the same year king Edward, surnamed the Elder, proceeded to Buckingham, where he built castles on each side of the river Ouse. In the same year died Cuthard, bishop of Lindisfarne, and was succeeded by Milred.

Three towns built.

[A.D. 916.] Laudo sat in the Roman chair one year. In this year also Alfleda, lady of the Mercians, built three towns, Cherenberich [Cherbury], Weadbirich [Wedbury], and Runcofa [Runckhorn.]

Maldon built.

[A.D. 917.] John was made pope. In the same year king Eadward built a town and castle at Maldon, and placed there a garrison of soldiers.

Contest between the English and the Danes.

[A.D. 918.] King Eadward built and garrisoned the towns of Touecester and Wiggingemere. The pagans came with a hostile force against the former and endeavoured to take it; but those within, aided by the inhabitants of that district, defended themselves so manfully that they put all their enemies to flight. The latter then made an irruption into Buckinghamshire, taking the men captives, making booty of the herds, and slaying numbers of the common people between

A.D. 919.] DEATH OF ALFLEDA. 243

the wood of Bernewode and the town of Aylesbury. They then fell with all their force on others of the English provinces, committing the most exterminating ravages, and making immense booty in various places. But king Edward, collecting an armed force, fell on the pagans, putting them to flight, and slaying in the pursuit their leader Togleas, with his son Mannan and his brother. He moreover took captive and reduced to bondage the chief of their strength, and from that time the might of the pagans began to decline. In the same year Alfleda, lady of the Mercians, besieged and took Dorobernia [Derby?], and slew many of the Danes that were therein. Also at the same time king Edward besieged and took Colchester, and put to death without mercy all the pagans except a few who escaped by flight. After this the king marched to Maldon, which was besieged by the pagans, whom he routed, and slew many thousands of them in the pursuit. The king next proceeded to Huntingdon, where he restored the town and castle, and, leaving there a garrison, he, after an interval of a few days, repaired the walls of Colchester, in which he also placed a garrison and allotted them a certain pay. After this, the Danes who were settled in various parts of England, seeing the king's power and wisdom, joyfully submitted themselves to him as their lord and patron. In the same year died Werstan, bishop of Sherburne, and was succeeded by Ethelbald.

Death of Alfleda, lady of the Mercians.

[A.D. 919.] Alfleda, lady of the Mercians and sister of king Edward, a woman of singular discretion, ended her days on the 13th of June, in the eighth year of her sole administration of the government of the Mercians which she exercised with justice and vigour. Her body was conveyed to Gloucester and honourably interred in the church of the blessed apostle Peter. She left an only daughter named Algiva the heiress of her kingdom, lawfully begotten by Ethelred the earl of the Mercians. In giving birth to her, the excessive pains she endured so affected her that for the remainder of her life, which was nearly forty years, she abstained from her husband's bed, in the nobleness of her

244 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 924.

mind deeming it unworthy of her to undergo a repetition of the pains of childbirth.

Building of many towns.

[A.D. 920.] Henry attained the Roman empire and reigned eighteen years. In the same year king Edward rebuilt and garrisoned the towns of Tealwell and Manchester, and taking his niece Algiva, or Alwina, he ordered her to be brought into Wessex. Ethelstan, bishop of Wilton, dying the same year, was succeeded by Odo, who was of Danish origin, and had served some time as a soldier under king Eadward: he afterwards attained the clerical office and received the tonsure, when his growing merits raised him to the honour of the pontificate.

How the king of the Scots made peace with king Edward.

[A.D. 921.] King Eadward came to the town of Nottingham, and built a town on the south bank of the river Trent over against the town on the other bank of the same river, and ordered a stout bridge to be constructed between them. Passing thence to Bedecanwelle [Bakewell], he built a town at no great distance from it, and placed soldiers there. In the same year the king of the Scots, Reginald king of the Northumbrians, who was of the Danish nation, and the duke of Galloway, came and yielded submission to king Eadward. and made with him a lasting treaty.

Death of king Edward's brother.

[A.D. 922.] King Eadward's own brother Ethelward died and was buried at Winchester. In the same year died Ethelhun, bishop of the Wiccii, and was succeeded by Wilferth.

A remarkable incident touching the Lord's body.

[A.D. 923.] The blood of the Lord was brought into England on the 8th day of November, which flowed from Christ's image, when he therein suffered a second time at the hands of the Jews.

Death of king Eadward, and succession of his son Ethelstan.

[A.D. 924.] Eadward, surnamed the Elder, king of England, after a vigorous reign of twenty-four years over all the

A.D. 926.] CONQUESTS OF ETHELSTAN. 245

inhabitants of Britain, to wit, the English, Welsh, Scots, Cumbrians, the people of Galloway, and the Danes, and after many illustrious exploits, ended his days at the royal town of Farndun, and was buried with regal pomp in the new monastery at Winchester. His eldest son Ethelstan was made king and consecrated by Athelm, archbishop of Canterbury, at the royal town of Kingston. In the times of this king the illustrious Dunstan was born in the region of Wessex. In the same year died Athelm, archbishop of Canterbury, and was succeeded by Wulfelm, bishop of Wells, who was succeeded in the church of Wells by Elfey.

How king Ethelstan married his sister.

[A.D. 925.] Ethelstan, king of the English, honourably married his sister Eathgita to Sithric, king of the Northumbrians, a man of Danish origin; who for love of the damsel renounced paganism and embraced the faith of Christ; but not long afterwards he repudiated the blessed virgin, and, abjuring Christianity, restored the worship of idols, and miserably ended his life shortly after his apostacy. The holy damsel thereupon, having preserved her virginity, abode at Pollesbury [Pollesworth], persevering in good works unto the end of her life, devoting herself to fasting and watching, alms-giving and prayer; and after a praiseworthy course of life she departed out of this world on the 15th of July at the same place, where unto this day divine miracles cease not to be wrought.

Fiery rays seen in the air.

[A.D. 926.] Fiery rays were seen throughout the whole of England in the northern quarter of the heavens, portending the disgraceful death of the aforesaid king Sithric, who came to an evil end shortly afterwards; on which king Ethelstan expelled Guthferth his son from his kingdom, which he annexed to his own dominions. He next conquered in battle and routed all the inferior kings of England, to wit, Hunwal king of the Britons, Constantine king of the Scots, Wulferth king of the Wenti; he also expelled Alfred, son of Eadulf, from the castle of Bamborough. On which they all, with the kings of the other provinces, seeing that they were not a match for his prowess, came together unto him

246 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 929.

and requested peace; and, renouncing idolatry, they made a lasting league with him.

King Ethehtan's sister is married to count Hugo.

[A.D. 927.] Hugo, son of count Robert, married the king's sister; and in the same year died Tilred, bishop of Lindisfarne, and was succeeded by Witred.

Friendship between the king and the duke of Normandy.

[A.D. 928.] Leo sat in the Roman chair six months. In the same year died Tunfrid, bishop of Lichfield, and was succeeded by Ella. At the same time there sprang up so close a friendship between king Ethelstan and Robert duke of Normandy, that each did what he would in the dominions of the other, and in war they mutually assisted each other.

Miracle of the mead.

[A.D. 929.] King Ethelstan determined to visit the relics of the saints in his kingdom for the sake of devotion, and in the first place he visited the monastery of Glastonbury. Now there was there a noble matron named Elfleda, a niece of the same king, who on her husband's death had resolved to pass her life in widowhood, and had fixed her abode in the western part of that monastery. This religious woman prepared with much care a dinner for the king, whose pious visit she was forewarned of. The attendants who had gone before to provide for the king's entertainment, knowing that he had been pleased to grant to his niece the privilege of receiving him for her guest, came the day before to see if all things necessary had been provided; when, after a diligent inspection of every thing, they said to her, "There would be abundance of every thing if there were only plenty of mead, which the king loves above all liquors". "The mother of ray Lord Jesus Christ forbid", said she, "that there should be any lack of mead at the king's table"; and so, entering the church of the mother of God, she prostrated herself in prayer to God and his mother. What then? The king came, accompanied by a large company of soldiers, and after the celebration of mass he was invited in to dinner; but when they began to drink, they greedily drained the vessel to the depth of a hand's breadth at the first onset; and afterwards,

A.D. 934.] DEATH OF THE KING'S BROTHER. 247

by God's supply and through the merits of the blessed woman, it continued without diminution throughout the day, so that to the general astonishment there was enough for all. When this miracle was related to the king by his attendants, he was moved in his spirit, and said to them, "We have greatly sinned in needlessly burdening this handmaid of the Lord"; and arising and saluting his niece, he proceeded on his pious journey. The same year Stephen was made pope, and filled the chair two years and one month.

[A.D. 930.] Bishop Wilferth died, and was succeeded by Kinewold.

Death of bishop Eadulf.

[A.D. 931.] Eadulf, bishop of Crediton, ended his days, and was succeeded by Ethelgar. These were bishops of Devonshire. Pope John filled the chair four years.

[A.D. 932.] Frithstan, bishop of Winchester, a man of eminent sanctity, ordained in his stead in the bishopric a religious man named Birstan, and spent his life in poverty in the city of Winchester. This most holy prelate celebrated mass daily for the rest of the departed, and sang psalms constantly for the health of their souls. One night, as he was going his accustomed round of the burying grounds, singing and reciting psalms, and had concluded with the prayer, "May they rest in peace", suddenly he heard the voices as of a vast multitude responding from the tombs, "Amen, amen".

King Ethelstan devastates the kingdom of Scotland.

[A.D. 933.] Ethelstan, king of England, proceeded with a strong fleet and a large force of cavalry to Scotland, the greater part of which he laid waste, because the king of Scotland had broken the truce which he had made with him. In the issue Constantine the king of Scotland was compelled to deliver up his son as a hostage, with suitable presents; and so, the peace being renewed, the king returned home. St. Frithstan died the same year.

How king Ethelstan ordered his brother to be drowned in the sea.

[A.D. 934.] King Ethelstan ordered his brother Eadwin to be drowned in the sea. The cause of the deed is alleged to have been as follows:- "There was in a certain town of

248 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 934.

Wessex a shepherd's daughter, a damsel of surpassing beauty, who had a dream that the moon shone forth from her womb, and illuminated the whole of England with its light. On relating the dream to a certain matron who had nursed the king's sons, the latter took the damsel to her own home, and adopted her as her daughter, nourishing her with delicate food, clothing her in finer garments, and instructing her in manners and behaviour. Not long after this, Eadward, son of the great king Alfred, happening to pass through that town, turned aside to the woman's house, thinking it would be a blot on his fame should he disdain visiting the nurse who had brought him up. At first sight of the damsel he fell in love with her, and, passing the night with her, he left her pregnant. In due time she brought forth a son, whom, in faith of the dream, she named Ethelstan. King Eadward dying, as has been related before, his son Ethelward, begotten of his lawful wife, died not long after his father; whereupon, by universal consent, Ethelstan, though the son of a concubine, was elected king and consecrated at the royal town of Kingston, as has been said before, Eadwin being set aside as, from his tender years, unfit to govern. After his consecration, Ethelstan conceived the darkest hatred towards his brother Eadwin, knowing him to be born in lawful wedlock, and fearing some day to be deprived by him of the throne. Instigated by this feeling, the king caused his brother Eadwin to be put, with a sole attendant, into an old worn-out boat, and being taken out a great way from land, to be exposed in this miserable condition to the mercy of the sea. Weary of life, the youth plunged into the billows and was drowned; but his attendant, by dint of rowing with his hands and feet, succeeded in bringing the body of his master from Dover to Witsand. After his rage had cooled, king Ethelstan, struck with horror at the crime, underwent a penance of seven years, bewailing his brother's murder, and condemned to a cruel death his butler, who had persuaded him to the act. In the same year St. Birstan, bishop of Winchester, departed to the heavenly kingdom, and was succeeded by Elfey, a most religious man; the same year died Wulfelm, archbishop of Canterbury, and was succeeded by Odo, bishop of Wells, in which church Odo was succeeded by Osulf.

A.D. 939.] BATTLE OF BRUNENBURG. 249

Death of Robert, first duke of Normandy.

[A.D. 935.] Robert, first duke of Normandy, departed this life in a good old age, having appointed his son William, a most handsome youth, his successor.

How Louis, the nephew of the king of England, received the diadem of France.

[A.D. 936.] Count Hugo sent envoys into England to fetch over Louis, king Charles's son, to receive the kingdom of France. Having taken an oath from the French envoys, his uncle, king Ethelstan, sent him over to France with certain bishops. Count Hugo and other nobles who had gone to meet him, submitted themselves to Louis on the sea-shore, and conducting him to Laon, he was there crowned by archbishop Arthald in the presence of twenty bishops and nobles of the kingdom.

How king Ethelstan defeated a multitude of enemies.

[A.D. 937.] The pagan Anlaf, king of the Irish, and of numerous islands, on the invitation of Constantine, king of the Scots, entered the mouth of the river Humber with a mighty fleet, and was met by Ethelstan, king of England, and his brother Edmund, with their army, at a place called Bruneberih, where, in a battle which lasted from daybreak unto evening, they slew five inferior kings and seven dukes of the enemy, and shed such a quantity of blood in that spot as had never been heard of until that day in any battle in England; and having compelled the kings Anlaf and Constantine to take refuge in their ships, they returned home in glorious triumph.

How the emperor Otho married king Ethelstan's sister.

[A.D. 938.] Otho attained the Roman empire and reigned thirty-six years. Immediately on his advancement to the throne, he took to wife king Ethelstan's sister Elgiva.

King Ethelstan founded two monasteries.

[A.D. 939.] Stephen sat in the Roman chair three years, four months, and fifteen days. At this time Ethelstan, king of England, for the good of the soul of his brother Eadwin,

250 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 940.

whom by evil counsel he had caused to be drowned in the sea, commanded two monasteries to be built at Middleton and Muchelney, and enriched them with lands and possessions.

Death of king Ethelstan and succession of his son [brother] Edmund.

[A.D. 940.] Ethelstan, the great king of England, ended his days at Gloucester on the 27th day of October in the sixteenth year of his reign. He was succeeded in the kingdom by Eadmund his brother and lawful heir, who conveyed his body to Malmesbury, and buried him with honour in the place which the king had in his lifetime chosen for his sepulture. On his elevation to the regal dignity, king Eadmund admitted to his counsels the blessed Dunstan, and had him numbered among his royal courtiers and nobles, knowing him to be of approved life and of ready speech, which had been evinced while his brother was yet living. Beholding the undeviating good conversation of the man, many of the king's officers and servants said, "He is a good man", others said, "Nay, but he deceiveth the people". Wherefore certain persons, envious of his goodness and prudence, began to lessen him in the king's eyes; to whom the king, lending a favourable ear, and not well examining the matter, commanded Dunstan to be deprived immediately of every honour with the dignity of chancellor, and to seek service elsewhere where he would. On the morrow the king, for his amusement, went out hunting with his attendants: straightway the woods resounded with the hunter's horn and the barking of the dogs; a multitude of deer took to flight, one of which of extraordinary size the king singled out for the chace, and followed with his dogs alone, driving him through difficult paths unto the edge of a precipice, over which the stag and dogs fell headlong and were dashed to pieces. The king following at full speed, and seeing the precipice, strove to rein in his steed; but not being able to keep back the unruly and stiff-necked animal, he gave up all hope of saving himself, and commended his soul to the pleasure of almighty God, saying, "I give thee thanks. Lord Jesus Christ, that at this time I do not remember having injured any one but Dunstan only; and this fault I will with ready zeal amend by a hearty reconciliation, if thou only grant me time". At these words, through the merits of the blessed man, the

A.D. 941.] BATTLE OF LEICESTER. 251

horse stood still on the very verge of the precipice, and the king, recovering himself, gave God thanks for the restitution of his life. On reaching home he ordered the blessed Dunstan to be fetched, and no sooner was he come than they mounted their horses and rode together on the road leading straight to Glastonbury. On arriving there, having entered the monastery, the king took Dunstan by the right hand, and kissing it, led him to the cathedral seat, in which, with the consent of the monks he set him, with these words, "Be thou a very faithful abbat of this seat and church; and if anything be wanting for the holy religious service, I will supply it of my royal bounty". Thus called of God to the office of rule, though sorely against his will, the blessed Dunstan studied to render himself beloved of all, without compromising his religious severity.

How king Eadmund and Anlaf king of Norway divided the kingdom.

In these days Anlaf, of Norwegian descent, who in the time of king Ethelstan had been expelled the kingdom of Northumberland, came this year to York with a very great fleet; he then made an inroad into the southern parts of England, purposing by a sudden attack to reduce the whole of the kingdom. When king Edmund heard thereof, he came to meet him with a numerous army, and the two kings meeting at Leicester, a battle was fought which lasted nearly the whole day, and the loss on each side was excessive; but the two archbishops, Otho of Canterbury and Wulstan of York, seeing the danger and apprehending the desolation of the kingdom, brought about an accommodation on the following terms, that Anlaf should have the whole of the island of England to the north of the royal street called Watlinge, and that Edmund should peaceably enjoy the entire kingdom to the south of the same road, and that the survivor should have the whole kingdom after the other's death. After this Anlaf took to wife Alditha, daughter of earl Orm, by whose counsel and aid he had gained the victory aforesaid. The same year died Alfred, bishop of Sherborne, and was succeeded by Wulsius.

[A.D. 941.] Anlaf, the newly made king, while wasting the church of the blessed Balter and burning Tinningeham with fire, was presently smitten by the judgment of God,

252 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 946.

and miserably ended his life; on which king Eadmund invaded Northumberland, and vigorously expelling thence Anlaf son of Sihric and Reginald son of king Guthred, became again monarch of all England.

How king Eadmund wrested many towns from the hands of the Danes.

[A.D. 942.] King Eadmund wrested Lincoln, Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, and Stamford, with all Mercia, from the hands of the Danes, reducing the whole under his own power.

A miracle which happened to St. Dunstan.

[A.D. 943.] Queen Algiva having borne to the great king Eadmund a son named Eadgar, St. Dunstan heard voices on high singing and saying, "Peace to the church of England in the time of the boy who is now born, and our Dunstan". In the same year king Eadmund raised king Anlaf from the laver of holy regeneration, and honoured him with royal presents; he also held Reginald viceroy of Northumberland, while he was being confirmed by the bishop, and adopted him as his son. Martin was pope.

Death of William duke of Normandy.

[A.D. 944.] William, second duke of Normandy, was slain by the treachery of Arnulf, count of Flanders; for the same William having seized one of the castles of the aforesaid count, Arnulf, dissembling his treachery, invited him to a conference, and while they were treating of an accommodation on board a ship, the duke was slain by duke Balzon. He was succeeded by his son Richard, the third duke of Normandy.

How king Eadmund conferred numerous manors on the blessed Eadmund.

[A.D. 945.] Eadmund gave to the blessed martyr Eadmund the royal town of Bedericesworth, in which the said martyr's body reposes unto this day, and also a considerable tract of land around it; which grant he with pious devotion confirmed by the subscription of the bishops, earls, and barons.

How king Eadmund gave Cumberland to the king of the Scots.

[A.D. 946.] Agapetus sat in the Roman chair ten years, six months, and ten days. In the same year king Eadmund, with the aid of Leoling, king of South Wales, ravaged the

A.D. 946.] CORONATION OF EDRID. 253

whole of Cumberland, and put out the eyes of the two sons of Dummail, king of that province. He then granted that kingdom to Malcolm, king of the Scots, to hold of himself, with a view to defend the northern parts of England from hostile incursions by sea and land.

Death of king Eadmund.

In the same year Eadmund, the most pious king of the English, on the feast of St. Augustine, invited all the nobles of his kingdom to a great banquet in the royal town of Michelebury, as was the custom with the English every year, in veneration of the blessed Augustine, through whom the Enghsh had received the light of faith. When all were assembled and seated at the king's table, they began to feast and make merry, the king himself setting them the example. At length the king stood up to see his guests, and beholding a certain robber named Leof, whom he had some years before banished for his crimes, standing among the rest in the hall, greatly indignant thereat the king ordered his butler to put out that robber straightway from the palace; but the wicked wretch refusing to go out for the butler, the king, enraged beyond measure, leaped suddenly from the table, and seizing him by the hair, threw him on the ground. Hurt by the fall and feeling the king lying on him, the traitor quickly drew a knife which he wore concealed about him, and, lamentable to relate! cut the king's throat. Seeing their lord dead and weltering in blood, all the king's officers and servants rushed on the robber and cut him into a thousand pieces. And thus the royal banquet, which had so bright a commencement, was by this crime brought to a gloomy issue.

Coronation of the most pious king Eadred.

King Eadmund then being dead and buried at Glastonbury, his brother Eadred received the diadem of the kingdom in the royal town of Kingston from the archbishop of Canterbury on the 16th day of August. He left also two sons, Eadwin and Eadgar, his lawful heirs, but they could not succeed their father by reason of their tender age. Eadred reduced the whole of Northumberland under his dominion, as his brother king Eadmund had done before he received the fealty of the king of Scots, and devoutly gave two images to the metropolitan

254 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 946.

church of York; and then, after receiving the oath of fealty from the king of Cumberland and placed those parts in security, he returned southward with his people. This noble king, like his predecessors, loved the blessed Dunstan with such warmth of affection that he committed to him the custody of all his treasures. Meanwhile the blessed Elfey, bishop of the city of Winchester, who had invested the said Dunstan with the order of monk and presbyter, departed this world; and the king, wishing to place Dunstan in his room, made his desire known to him through the queen mother; whereupon he replied, "I beseech you, lady, cease from these entreaties; for I shall not be a bishop in the days of the king your son". This the man of God said from his love to the king, whose interests he would not desert by becoming a bishop; but the following night he dreamed that he went to Rome, and returned straightway after offering his adoration to the apostles; and when he had reached Mountjoy, behold! St. Peter met him with the apostles Paul and Andrew, each holding a sword in his hand, which they presented to him. On the sword of St. Peter was written, "In the beginning was the word", and on the swords of St. Paul and St. Andrew were inscribed their own names. The apostle St. Peter then sweetly chanted to him, "Take my yoke upon you, and ye shall find rest to your souls"; then, by way of rebuke, he raised the wand which he held, and striking him a light blow on the palm, said, "Receive this admonition no longer to refuse the Lord's yoke". On this the man of God awoke, and in the morning related the vision to the astonished king, who said to him, "Since the swords which you received by the gift of the apostles imply the armour of the Holy Spirit, know for certain that by the sword of Peter, inscribed with the word of God, you will receive from heaven the dignity of archbishop, by the sword of Paul a simple bishopric, and by the sword of Andrew another bishopric will be committed to your rule". And afterwards, according to the interpretation of the dream, he governed the church of Canterbury, which was dedicated, in the name of the Holy Trinity, the church of London, which was consecrated in the name of Paul, and the church of Rochester, which was consecrated in the name of the blessed Andrew.

A.D. 948.] NORTHUMBERLAND SUBMITS TO EDRED. 255

Miracles of the holy bishop Elfege.

[A.D. 947.] St. Elfey, bishop of Winchester, was succeeded by Elfsy. We read of the blessed Elfey, that as he was removing the penitents to the church-doors on Ash Wednesday, he exhorted them to give themselves to fasting and chastity during the forty days, abstaining even from the enjoyment of their wives; on which, while the rest acquiesced with reverence in the bishop's admonitions, one of them jocosely remarked that he could not abstain at the same time from his wife and from food. Whereupon the bishop replied, "You grieve me very much, wretched man, and know not what the coming day will bring forth to you"; and so the man departed and experienced the weight of the blessed Elfey's prophecy, being found the next morning dead in his bed, strangled perhaps by the devil. At another time, while conferring holy orders, he advanced three monks to the order of priesthood; and when the ordination was over, the holy bishop, gathering in his thoughts, addressed the bystanders and said, "I have this day laid my hands on three monks, of whom two shall obtain the grace of the episcopal office, the one in the city of Worcester and afterwards in Canterbury, and the other shall fill my seat; the third, abandoned to wanton pleasures, shall meet with a miserable end". Which prophecy of the holy prelate was confirmed by the event. In the same year the Northumbrian nation, breaking faith with king Eadred, set up as their king a certain Eilric, of Danish extraction.

How king Eadred vigorously subdued his enemies.

[A.D. 948.] To punish the breach of faith of the Northumbrians, king Eadred ravaged their country, and burnt the monastery at Ripon, which was built by St. Wilfred; but on the king's retiring, their army sallied forth from York and inflicted a great slaughter on his rear. Whereupon the king determined to return and exterminate all his enemies to a man; but the Northumbrians, much terrified, abjured Eilric whom they had set up as their king, and atoned by honours and presents for the damage and loss they had inflicted on king Eadred.

256 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 955.

Hereby of the Anthropomorphites.

[A.D. 949.] There sprang up in Italy the heresy of the Anthropomorphites, who contend that God was a corporal form, which was opposed by Ritherius, bishop of Verona, both by his preaching and in his writings.

Death of king Eilric.

[A.D. 950.] King Eilric, by the treachery of earl Osulf, was slain by a nobleman named Macon, together with his son Henry and his brother Reginald, in a lonely spot called Steinmore; after which king Eadred reigned in those parts.

Imprisonment of Wulstan, archbishop of York.

[A.D. 951.] King Eadred placed Wulstan, archbishop of York, in close confinement at Withabury, because he had been often accused before him on certain charges, as that he had ordered many citizens of Thetford to be put to death in revenge for their having unjustly slain abbot Aldelm.

Alfwold is consecrated bishop of Crediton.

[A.D. 952.] On the death of Algar, bishop of Crediton, Alfwold succeeded him by the counsel of the blessed Dunstan.

Wulstan is delivered from prison.

[A.D. 953.] Wulstan, archbishop of York, was delivered from prison, and restored to the episcopal dignity at Dorchester.

Osketel is consecrated archbishop.

[A.D. 954.] Osketel, a good man and fully instructed in divine knowledge, was made archbishop of York.

King Eadred dies.

[A.D. 955.] Eadred, the most potent king of England, was taken with a grievous sickness in the tenth year of his reign, and speedily despatched a messenger for the blessed Dunstan to receive his confession. As the latter was hastening to the palace, he heard a voice above him distinctly utter, "King Eadred now rests in peace"; whereupon the horse on which he rode, unable to bear the angelic voice, fell dead to the earth without having received any injury from his rider. On coming to the king, the blessed Dunstan found that he had

A.D. 950.] BANISHMENT OF ST. DUNSTAN. 257

died the same hour that the angel had announced it to him on his journey. The king's body was carried to Winchester, and committed to sepulture by the blessed Dunstan in the Old Minster.

Eadwy, son of king Eadmund and the holy queen Algiva, succeeded him, and received the royal anointing at Kingston, from Odo, archbishop of Canterbury. A certain light woman, who was nevertheless of lofty birth, inveigled him by her infamous familiarity into marrying either herself or her grown up daughter, both of whom it is reported, though horrible to repeat, that he in turn shamelessly made the subjects of his base passions. For on the day of his regal consecration, immediately after the anointing, he hurried from the table and left the mirthful company, that he might sottishly indulge his lascivious pleasures. The nobles, displeased thereat, sent the blessed abbat Dunstan to bring back the king to take his part in the mirth of the royal banquet. In fulfilment of their orders he took with him bishop Cynesius, his kinsman, and entering the chamber, they found the splendid royal diadem negligently cast on the floor, and the king wallowing in filthiness between the two women. Moved at the enormity of his conduct, Dunstan thus addressed the king, "Your nobles have sent us to request that you will return to your seat, as becomes you, and enjoy the mirth of the banquet", and straightway rebuking the lewdness of the women, and seizing the hand of the reluctant king, he brought him back, though in hot displeasure, to the royal banquet. The harlot, whose name was Algiva, swelling with implacable rage against the servant of God, denounced his rashness in entering the king's secret chamber uninvited; and the wicked woman did not cease to persecute the blessed Dunstan till she had turned the king's mind to a mortal hatred of the venerable abbat.

John is consecrated Pope.

[A.D. 956.] John was made pope, and sat in the Roman chair seven years. The base woman, Algiva, above mentioned, with the consent of king Eadwy, plundered all the property of the monastery of Dunstan, the man of God, and finally prevailed on the king to banish him from the kingdom,

258 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 958.

on which he sought refuge in Gaul. But the woman, in hopes of surprising him, sent officers in quest of him, to put out his eyes; but not finding him they returned home in confusion.

How king Eadwy is driven from his kingdom.

[A.D. 957.] King Eadwy, for his unwise administration of the government committed to him, was entirely forsaken by the Mercians and the Northmen; for, disgusting by his vanity all the wise men and the nobles of his kingdom, he, nevertheless, eagerly cherished the ignorant and the wicked. So that unanimously agreeing in deposing him, they, by the direction of God, chose his brother Eadgar to be king; and by the will of the people the kingdom was divided between the brothers, the river forming the boundary of the dominions of each. Eadgar, thereupon, recalled the blessed Dunstan from exile, and restored him to all his former honours. A short time after this, Kenwold, bishop of the church of Worcester, died, and the blessed Dunstan, though much against his will, was elected in his room, and was consecrated by Odo, archbishop of Canterbury.

Simoniacal promotion of an archbishop.

[A.D. 958.] On the death of Brithelm, bishop of London, king Eadgar placed the blessed Dunstan in his room; whereupon the latter straightway built a monastery at Westminster, for twelve monks, on the spot where bishop Mellitus had of yore built a church to the blessed Peter, and there he made St. Wulstan abbat. In the same year, St. Odo, archbishop of Canterbury, separated king Eadwy and Algiva from each other, either for the cause of consanguinity, or for their adulterous intercourse. In this year, too, the same Odo, archbishop of Canterbury, a man of a lucid understanding, commendable for his virtues, and endued with the spirit of prophecy, was removed from human affairs, and carried by the hands of angels into paradise. On his removal to heaven, Elfsin, bishop of the city of Winchester, by profuse presents, and by circumventing king Eadgar by his messengers, ascended the throne of the church of Canterbury by means of his money, like Simon Magus. On the

A.D. 959.] DEATH OF EADWY. 259

very first day of his intrusion he could not refrain from venting the long cherished rage of his breast; but going to St. Odo's tomb, and stamping on it with his foot, he thus addressed him, "Base old man, thou hast now, though late, given up the ghost, and hast made way for a better man, and I am now in possession of what I have long coveted, but no thanks to thee for it". The following night as he lay asleep, he saw the form of the blessed Odo standing by his side, sharply rebuking him, and threatening him with speedy destruction. Believing that what he had seen was nothing but the emptiness of a dream, Elfsi, notwithstanding, hastened his journey to Rome to obtain the pall; in the course of which, as he was crossing the Alps, it being the winter season, he had no remedy but to plunge his frozen feet into the warm entrails of his horses disembowelled for the purpose,- those feet with which he had stamped on the tomb of the holy man! but not even so did he overcome the cold, which rather increased; and so he terminated his flagitious life by a miserable death.

Death of king Eadwy, and succession of his brother Eadgar.

[A.D. 959.] King Eadwy, after oppressing the English during a lascivious and tyrannical reign of four years, died by the just judgment of God, and was interred in the New Minster at Winchester. His brother Eadgar, who was elected by all the people, succeeded him in the throne, thus reuniting the kingdom in one. In this year also, Brithelm, bishop of Wells, was elected to the high priesthood of the holy church of Canterbury; but he was too modest, humble, and kind, to restrain as he ought the haughty and rebellious under the lash of correction; on discovering which the king ordered him to return to his former dignity, and by the judgment of all the blessed Dunstan was elected archbishop in his room. By him, and the other nobles, king Eadgar was wisely counselled, insomuch that he everywhere restrained the rashness of the wicked, kept the rebellious under severe correction, cherished the just and modest, restored and enriched the desolate churches of God, removed all levity from the monasteries of the secular clergy, gathered multitudes of monks and nuns to praise and glorify the great Creator, and built more than forty monasteries. All these

260 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 963.

he honoured as brethren, and cherished as beloved sons, admonishing the shepherds whom he set over them to exhort them to live regularly, so as to please Christ and all his saints; for the man of God, Dunstan, was wonderfully discreet in every thing, with the help of God, preserving strictly prudence and fortitude, justice and temperance, to his life's end. The same year died Leofwin, bishop of Lindesey, and was succeeded by Ailnoth, and the latter by Asowin, at whose instance St. Oswald, afterwards bishop of Worcester, consecrated a monastery at Ramsey.

How the blessed Dunstan received the pall.

[A.D. 960.] St. Dunstan went to Rome, and after receiving the pall from pope John returned home in peace. A few months after this, king Eadgar assented to his suggestion that the blessed Oswald should be set over the church of Worcester; when he was accordingly consecrated bishop by the blessed Dunstan, and became eminent for the many miracles that he wrought. In those days died Guthard, bishop of Selsey, and was succeeded by Alfred.

Foundation of the monastery of Tavistock.

[A.D. 961.] Earl Ordgar built a monastery at Tavistock in Devon, and filled it with religious monks. Now earl Ordgar was father of Alfrida queen of king Eadgar, by whom he had Ethelred, who was afterwards king of England, as the sequel of this history will show more at length.

Death of St. Wibert.

[A.D. 962.] St. Wibert, who founded the monastery of Gemblours, departed unto Christ.

Substitution of monks for the clergy in the Old Minster at Winchester.

[A.D. 963.] On the death of Brithelm, bishop of Winchester, St. Elthelwold, abbat of the monastery of Abingdon, who had been brought up and taught by St. Dunstan, succeeded him in the bishopric. In the same year, by command of king Eadgar, the secular clergy were expelled from the Old Minster, and their place was filled by monks who lived religiously and regularly. King Eadgar, surnamed the Pacific, is said to have had two queens in succession: by

A.D. 966.] BAPTISM OF HAROLD. 261

the first, the Alfleda [the White], surnamed Enede, daughter of earl Ordmar, he had Eadward, who was afterwards king and martyr; after her decease he took Alfrida, daughter of earl Ordgar, and widow of Ethelwold, earl of the East Angles, by whom he had two sons, Eadmund and Ethelred. By Wulfrida, a concubine, who certainly was not a nun at the time, but had veiled herself for fear of the king, being but a young girl, he begat St. Edith. Pope Benedict sat in the chair two months and five days, and pope Leo, one year and four months.

Restoration of two monasteries.

[A.D. 964.] King Eadgar the Pacific placed monks in the New Minster at Winchester, and in that in Middleton, and made Ethelgar abbat of the former, and Kineward of the latter.

Warning from heaven.

[A.D. 965.] John sat in the Roman chair, seven years and eleven months. At this time as St. Ethelwold, bishop of the city of Winchester, was standing praying one night at the great altar of his church before the relics of the saints, there appeared unto him three venerable persons, the middle one of whom plainly uttered these words, "I am", said he, "Birstan, formerly bishop of this city"; then pointing to his right side, "Here", said he, "is Birin, the first preacher and priest of this church"; after this, pointing to his left side, "Here", said he, "is St. Swithun, the spiritual patron of this church and city; know also, that as you see me with them in your presence, so I enjoy equal glory with them in heaven; why then am I defrauded of the honour due to me from mortals on earth who an magnified with the fellowship of celestial spirits in heaven"? And having thus spoken he was borne on high with his companions, leaving his precious memory to that people on earth.

How king Harold forsook idolatry, and was baptized.

[A.D. 966.] The Danes were disputing at a feast with a clerk named Popo concerning the worship of God, and of the gods, the Danes asserting that Jesus Christ is God, but that there are other gods, greater and more ancient; Popo

262 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 971.

on the contrary affirming that Jesus Christ is the only true God, one in substance, and three in person. Harold the Danish king, demanded of the clerk that he should prove by credible testimony the faith which he had offered to them. The clerk declaring that he would prove it before all the people, they placed in his hands a mass of red hot iron to carry, which he did as long as he pleased, in the presence of them all, without receiving injury; on which the king utterly renounced his idols, and turned with all his people to worship the true and only God, and the clerk was promoted to be bishop.

How king Eadgar sent nuns to Romsey.

[A.D. 967.] King Eadgar collected a society of nuns in the monastery of Romsey, which his grandfather, king Eadward, had built, and placed St. Merwinn there as abbess.

How king Eadgar placed monks at Exeter.

[A.D. 968.] King Eadgar collected a society of monks at Exeter, and set over them a religious man named Sideman with the authority of abbat. In the same year died the bishop of Lindesey, and was succeeded by Alfsy, a man of erudition in ecclesiastical matters.

How monks were established at Worcester instead of clerks.

[A.D. 969.] King Eadgar commanded the bishops throughout England to put out the clerks from the greater monasteries and the cathedral churches, and to put monks in their room. St. Oswald, therefore, made the clerks of Worcester become monks and assume the religious habit, depriving of their benefices such as refused.

Translation of St. Swithun's relics.

[A.D. 970.] The venerable relics of St. Swithun, a hundred and ten years after his sepulture, were raised from the tomb on the fifteenth of July by the blessed Ethelwold, bishop of that church, who had been warned from heaven so to do, and honourably translated to the church of the apostles, Peter and Paul.

Removal of two noble earls.

[A.D. 971.] Eadmund, son of king Eadgar, Elfege earl of

A.D.974.] ACTS OF EADGAR. 263

Southampton, and Ordgar, earl of Devon, the king's father in law, ended their days.

Dedication of the New Minster in the city of Winchester.

[A.D. 972.] King Eadgar completed the huilding of the New Minster in the city of Winchester, which his father had begun, and dedicated it. In the same year, on the death of Osketel, archbishop of York, St. Oswald, bishop of the church of Worcester, was consecrated archbishop in his stead.

How king Eadgar wore the crown.

[A.D. 973.] Eadgar the Pacific, king of England, in the thirtieth year of his age, on Whit-sunday, in the presence of the prelates, Dunstan and Oswald, and the other pontiffs of all England, wore the crown at Akemanecester, which in Latin is called Bathonia [Bath], where he is royally consecrated with glory and honour, giving the customary presents to each of the nobles, as is usual on the coronation of kings.

How king Eadgar received fealty from eight tributary kings.

[A.D. 974.] Otho the second attained the Roman empire and reigned ten years. In the same year, pope Domnus sat at Rome one year and six months. At this time there landed in the isle of Thanet some merchants from York, who were immediately taken prisoners by the islanders, and spoiled of all their property; on which, king Eadgar, moved with exceeding rage against the spoilers, deprived them of all their goods, and put some of them to death. In these days the body of the blessed Algiva, king Eadgar's mother, was discovered, by revelation from heaven, in a place called Septonia [Shaftesbury]. In the same year king Eadgar the Pacific, coming to the city of Legions [Chester], received the oath of fealty from eight tributary kings, to wit, Rinoth king of Scots, Malcolm king of the Cumbrians, Maco king of Mona and numerous isles, Dusual king of Demetia, Siferth and Huwal kings of Wales, James king of Galwallia, and Jukil king of Westmoreland; and on the morrow, embarking with them in a vessel, and placing them at the oars himself took the helm, and skilfully steering the vessel according to the course of the river, all his nobles following in other vessels, to the admiration of multitudes he voyaged from the palace to the

264 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 975.

monastery of St. John the Baptist, where divine service was performed; after which he returned with the same pomp to the palace; and as he entered the vessel, he is reported to have said to his nobles, that now at length each of his successors could boast that he was king of England, having been so honoured by so many obsequious kings. In the same year a great earthquake convulsed the whole of England.

King Eadgar's prudence and munificence.

[A.D. 975.] King Eadgar the Pacific, for the advantage and quiet of his kingdom, assembled four thousand eight hundred strong vessels; twelve hundred of which he stationed on the east coast of England, twelve hundred on the west, twelve hundred on the south, and twelve hundred in the north sea, for the defence of the realm from foreign nations. He was accustomed during his whole life to visit all the provinces of his kingdom, and to observe diligently how the laws and statutes were kept by the nobles, and that the poor did not suffer from the oppression of the mighty, commending the courage of one and the justice of another, and studying the good of his realm and kingdom in everything. Hence he was feared by his enemies on every side, and beloved by all his subjects. He next ordered a new coinage for the whole of England, for the old was so debased by clipping that its weight was become very inconsiderable. At the same time, bishop Alfsey and earl Eadulf conducted Kinred king of Scots to king Eadgar, who made him many presents of his royal bounty; among the rest a hundred ounces of the purest gold, many ornaments of silk, rings, and precious stones. He gave him, moreover, the whole of the district called Laudian [Lothian] in the native tongue, on this condition, that every year, on particular festivals, when the king and his successors wore the crown, he should come to court and celebrate the festival with the other princes of the realm. The king gave him besides many mansions on the road, that he and his successors might find entertainment in going to the feast, and returning; and these houses continued to belong to the kings of Scotland, until the times of king Henry the second.

A.D. 975.] DEATH OF EADGAR. 265

Death of Eadgar and succession of Eadward.

In the same year, the flower and grace of kings, the glory and honour of England, king Eadgar the Pacific, whose liberality and magnificence had now filled all Europe, departed this life in the thirty-second year of his age and the sixteenth of his reign, exchanging an earthly for an eternal kingdom. His body was carried to Glastonbury, and there buried in a royal manner. On his death a great dissension arose among the nobles of the realm respecting the choice of a successor; some favouring the king's eldest son Eadward, whilst others inclined to his brother Ethelred, by the second wife. For which cause the two archbishops, Dunstan of Canterbury and Oswald of York, assembled with the bishops, abbats, and nobles, and having elected Eadward according to the direction of his dying father, amidst the murmurs of some, consecrated and anointed him king; for his step-mother Alfdritha sought to advance her son Ethelred, a boy scarcely eight years of age, that she might reign the more speciously in his name. And so, after the death of the Pacific king, the kingdom was troubled and full of animosities; for a number of the nobles and great men thrust forth the abbats and monks from the monasteries in which king Eadgar had placed them, and restored the clerks and their wives in their room; and one of them, named Elfery with great insolence overthrew nearly all the monasteries which the most reverend Ethelwold had built in the province of Mercia. These questions being referred to the blessed Dunstan, he assembled a synod at Winchester, and in the midst of the conflict of the disputing parties, the image of the Lord, which stood near in the church, distinctly spoke, to the confusion and silencing of the clerks and those who favoured them. But the minds of the cruel gainsayers not being yet calmed, another synod was held at Calne, in an upper room (coenaculum), at which were present all the senators of the kingdom; but the king, on account of his tender age, was absent. While the matter was being discussed with much heat on both sides, and numbers assailed Dunstan with great abuse, against which he stood firm as a church wall, on a sudden, the whole of the floor on which they were assembled gave way with the beams and the planks, and all were precipitated with

266 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 978.

violence to the earth, except Dunstan alone, who remained standing on the only plank which kept its place, and so he escaped uninjured. All the rest of the adverse party were either killed or suffered a long illness. This miracle, which was wrought, as were others of the kind, by the grace of God, gave rest to the blessed Dunstan and the monks from the attacks of the clerks and others.

Appearance of a comet, followed by a famine.

[A.D. 976.] A comet appeared and was followed by a dreadful famine. In the same year Benedict sat in the Roman chair, which he filled nine years and six months. In the same year died Algar, bishop of Crediton, and was succeeded by Alwold.

King Eadward's goodness.

[A.D. 977.] Alfdritha, the step-mother of Eadward the new king, strove with all her power to raise her son to the throne, and laboured to inveigle Eadward with her flattery. But the latter, treading in the steps of his religious and pious father, retained only the name of king, allowing his brother Ethelred and his mother to order all the affairs of the kingdom.

Passion of St. Eadward, king and martyr.

[A.D. 978.] As king Eadward was one day weary with hunting and very thirsty, leaving his attendants to follow the dogs, and hearing that his step-mother and his brother were living in a certain village named Corvesgate, he rode thither unattended in quest of something to drink, in his innocence suspecting no harm, and judging of the hearts of others by his own. Seeing him coming, his step-mother allured him with her caresses, and kissing him offered him a cup, and as the king eagerly quaffed it, he was stabbed with a dagger by one of her attendants. The king, finding himself mortally wounded, set spurs to his horse to regain his friends, who learnt his death by the track of the blood. The wicked woman Alfdritha and her son Ethelred ordered the corpse of the king and martyr St. Eadward to be ignominiously buried at Wareham in the midst of public rejoicing and festivity, as if they had buried his memory and his body together; for now that he was dead they grudged him

A.D. 979.] CORONATION OF ETHELRED. 267

ecclesiastical sepulture, as when he was alive they robbed him of royal honour. But divine pity came to his aid, and ennobled the innocent victim with the grace of miracles; for such a celestial light was shed on the place that even with its beams the lame were enabled to walk, the blind to see, and the dumb to speak, and all who laboured under any infirmity were healed. Multitudes from all parts of the kingdom resorted to the martyr's tomb, and among the rest his murderess took her journey thither. Having mounted her horse she urged him to go forward, when lo! he who before outstripped the winds and was full of ardour to bear his mistress, now by the will of God stood immovable, nor could her attendants move him at all with their shouts and blows. Their labour was still in vain when another horse was put in his place. On this, Alfdritha, seeing God's miracle, became exceedingly penitent, insomuch that for many years her flesh, which she had nourished in delicacy, she mortified with hair-cloth at Warwell, sleeping on the ground, and afflicting her body with all manner of sufferings. Elfery also, whom we have mentioned before as having destroyed the monasteries of the monks, bitterly repenting of his fault, removed the king's sacred body from that mean place, and interred it with due honour at Shaftesbury; but not even so did he escape condign punishment, his whole body being eaten with worms the following year, as it is said. The glorious martyrdom of this most blessed king sheds a refulgence through endless ages. Amen.

Coronation of king Ethelred.

[A.D. 979.] Ethelred, brother of St. Eadward the king and martyr, and son of Alfdritha, a rare youth, of a graceful person, fair countenance, and lofty stature, received the royal diadem from the holy prelates Dunstan of Canterbury, and Oswald of York, and ten bishops, on Sunday, the 24th day of April, at Kingston. At which coronation, the blessed Dunstan, filled with the spirit of prophecy, foretold to him what would befall him and what tribulation he must undergo, in the following words:- "Because thou hast aspired to the kingdom by the death of thy brother, whom thy mother slew, hear therefore the word of the Lord: thus saith the Lord, 'The sword shall not depart from thy house, but shall

268 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 983.

rage against thee all the days of thy life, and shall slay thy seed, until thy kingdom be given to another people, whose manners and language thy people know not; nor shall thy sin be expiated but by ample vengeance, the sin of thyself, and the sin of thy mother, and the sin of her accomplices in wickedness'". After this prophecy of the blessed Dunstan the man of God, a cloud was seen throughout the whole of England, at one time of a bloody, and then of a fiery appearance, assuming different forms and colours, and disappeared about dawn. In the same year Elfery, earl of the Mercians, came to Wareham with a multitude of people, as has been said before, and caused the body of Eadward, the precious king and martyr, to be disinterred. On being stripped it was found whole and uncorrupted: it was then washed and wrapped in new garments, and honourably buried at Shaftesbury.

Danish persecution.

[A.D. 980.] Southampton was ravaged by pirates, and almost all its inhabitants were either slain or carried away captives. The pirates then retired and devastated the isle of Thanet, after which they grievously infested the city of Chester.

Birth of Eadmund Ironside.

[A.D. 981.] King Ethelred took to wife the daughter of a certain duke, and had by her a son whom he named Eadmund. [1] In the same year the monastery of St. Petroc in Cornwall was devastated by Danish pirates, who committed frequent ravages in Devon as well as in Cornwall.

Danish persecution.

[A.D. 982.] The pirates landed in Dorset from three vessels, and after ravaging the whole of Portland, they took refuge in their vessels.

Rapacity of king Ethelred.

[A.D. 983.] There arose a strife between king Ethelred and the bishop of Rochester, the cause of which is uncertain;


[1] It is doubtful who was the mother of Eadmund Ironside. Florence of Worcester says she was Elfgiva. Malmesbury calls his mother "an obscure person".

A.D. 987.] DISTRESS OF THE ENGLISH NATION. 269

and the king in consequence laid siege to the city of Rochester, determined to take it; whereupon the blessed Dunstan bade him desist, lest he should irritate St. Andrew, the patron of that city. But disregarding the blessed man's admonition, the king would not retire till the bishop paid him a hundred pounds. Astonished at his avarice, St. Dunstan sent the king this message, "Because thou hast preferred silver unto God, money to an apostle, avarice unto me, there shall quickly come upon thee the evils which the Lord hath spoken, but not in my lifetime". After the death of the blessed man, according to his prediction, the Danes infested all the ports of the kingdom, insomuch that men knew not which way to go and oppose them, and at length the prudent determined to make trial of money where the sword had failed. Accordingly they paid ten thousand pounds to satisfy the rapacity of the Danes, that the prophecy of the blessed Dunstan might be fulfilled.

St. Oswald [Ethelwold], bishop of Winchester, departed to the Lord.

[A.D. 984.] John sat in the Roman chair nine months, and was succeeded by another John, who sat nine years. In this year also Otho the third attained the Roman empire and reigned nineteen years. In the same year St. Oswald [Ethelwold], bishop of Winchester, departed to the Lord, and was succeeded by Elfege, abbat of Bath, a learned and accomplished man.

[A.D. 985.] On the death of Kinewald, bishop of Wells, the most reverend abbat Sigar succeeded him. In this year too, Alfric, duke of Mercia, son of duke Alfer, was banished the kingdom.

Payment of tribute to the Danes.

[A.D. 986.] Ethelred, king of England, who in spite of the prohibition of king Dunstan had extorted a hundred pounds from the bishop of Rochester, was compelled to purchase a very short peace by the payment of sixteen thousand pounds.

Distress nf the English nation.

[A.D. 987.] The English nation was afflicted by two plagues, the one a fever affecting the people, the other a mortality of the cattle; and by these every part of the kingdom was grievously wasted.

270 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 989.

Death of St. Dunstan, archbishop of Canterbury.

[A.D. 988.] The most blessed confessor of the Lord, archbishop Dunstan, ended his praiseworthy life by a happy death on Saturday, the 19th day of May. His glorious miracles are recorded to have commenced in his mother's womb. For almighty God, foreshowing by a prodigy his future sanctity, revealed what he would become unto his mother while bearing in her womb her yet unborn son. On the day of the purification of the blessed virgin Mary, the whole concourse of the city being in church with burning tapers, when the priest had adorned himself with the sacred vestments for the solemn service of the altar, on a sudden, whether by chance or by the will of God, all the lights were extinguished. In the midst of the general amazement, the taper of Dunstan's mother took light, and, by communicating it to the rest, restored the joy of all. As he advanced in years, a harp which hung on a peg, without any human touch, played the sweet melody of the antiphone, "Gaudent in coelis". By the Spirit of God he foresaw all the artifices of the devil, and when he once came to him in the guise of a beautiful woman, tempting him to commit fornication, he seized him by the nose with a red-hot tongs, and held him until he made it appear that he was the devil by assuming various and terrific forms; and at length being let go, he fouled and corrupted the air, and left his filthy marks on those who stood by. On his death the most blessed father Dunstan was succeeded by Ethelgar, who had been made the first abbat in the New Minster at Winchester by the blessed Ethelwold, and afterwards received the pontifical honour at Selsey, in which church he was succeeded by Ordbriht.

Alfric archbishop of Canterbury.

[A.D. 989.] Ethelgar, archbishop of Canterbury, dying, was succeeded by Alfric, who before was abbat of Abingdon; of whom it does not seem likely, as some affirm, that he displaced the clerks and put monks in their room at Canterbury; for it appears that monks were in the church of St. Saviour from the time of archbishop Laurence, the first successor of the blessed Augustine.

A.D. 992.] DEATH OF ARCHBISHOP OSWALD. 271

Discord between king Ethelred and Richard duke of Normandy.

[A.D. 990.] Mildred, bishop of Lindisfarne, was taken from this life, and was succeeded by Aldhun. At the same time Alfric, archbishop of Canterbury, was succeeded by Siric, who before was bishop of Wilton. At the same time there arose a quarrel between Ethelred king of England, and Richard duke of Normandy, the cause of which was as follows. King Ethelred had married Emma, daughter of the aforesaid duke, who had borne him two sons, Alfred and Eadward. The king was so petulant to this his wife, that he would scarcely admit her to his bed; and she, on her part, proud of her high descent and irritated against her husband, blackened his character in no small degree to her father. The duke in consequence seized every one from the realm of England, whether clergy or laity, who sought to pass through his territories, putting some of them to death and imprisoning others. On hearing of this dissension, pope John sent into England Leo, bishop of Treves, who brought the aforesaid potentates to peace and unity.

Tribute paid to the Danes.

[A.D. 991.] The Danes plundered Gipeswic [Ipswich], and slew Brithnoth, duke of the East-Saxons, at Meldon; on hearing of which, by the advice of Siric, archbishop of Canterbury, and the other nobles of the kingdom, a tribute of ten thousand pounds was paid them to cease from the rapine, burning, and slaughter which they committed along the coast.

Death of St. Oswald the archbishop.

[A.D. 992.] St. Oswald, archbishop of York, departed this life on the 28th of February, and ascended to the joys of the heavenly kingdom. He was buried at Worcester, in the church of the blessed virgin Mary, which he himself had founded, and was succeeded by Aldulf, abbat of Medesham [Peterborough]. In the same year, by order of king Ethelred, a number of vessels were manned with choice crews under the command of earls Alfric, Theodred, Elstan, and Escwin, who were directed to withstand all attempts at invasion; but earl Alfric gave the enemy intelligence of the preparations against them; and when the adverse parties came to an engagement, he treacherously deserted to the Danish fleet

272 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 994.

with all his men, but was nevertheless compelled to share in their disgraceful flight. The king's officers pursued the fugitives and captured one vessel of the Danish fleet, which they made prize of, and put to death all the crew. The rest of the Danish pirates fell in with the ships of London, and, in the engagement which ensued, many thousands of the Danes perished. In addition, duke Alfric's vessel was captured, with its crew and equipments, he himself escaping with difficulty.

Danish persecution.

[A.D. 993.] The aforesaid band of pagans took and spoiled Bananburg [Bamborough], and ravaged Northumberland and Lindesey, and when the country people came out to fight against them, their leaders, Frane, Frithegist, and Godwin, who were of Danish descent, betrayed their followers, and were the first to fly. In this year also, by command of king Ethelred, Algar, son of the aforesaid traitor Alfric, was deprived of his sight.

A heavy tribute paid to the Danes.

[A.D. 994.] Sweyn king of the Danes, and Anlaf king of the Norwegians, arrived at London with ninety-four cogues [1] on the nativity of the blessed Mary, and made a fierce assault with a view to take it; but being repulsed with great loss by the citizens, they turned their rage against the provinces of Essex, Kent, Sussex, and Southampton, which they grievously ravaged, and slew multitudes of the inhabitants. King Ethelred thereupon, with the advice of his nobles, made them a payment of sixteen thousand pounds, collected from the whole of England, to induce them to cease from robbing and slaughtering the innocent people. King Ethelred at this time dispatched Elfege, bishop of Winchester, and duke Athelwold, to king Anlaf, whom they brought in peace to the royal vill where king Ethelred then was, and at his request dipped him in the sacred font, after which he was confirmed by the bishop, the king adopting him as his son and honouring him with royal presents, and the following summer he returned to his own country in peace.


[1] A term still used in the Highlands of Scotland. See Waverley.

A.D. 998.] GERBERT THE APOSTATE. 273

Translation of the body of the holy bishop Cuthbert to Durham.

[A.D. 995.] The body of the holy bishop Cuthbert, as had been foreshown by a heavenly oracle, was translated to Durham, which thenceforth became the episcopal see; for at the time when the church of Lindisfarne was ravaged by Hinguar and Hubba, Eardulf, the then prelate of that church, taking with him the things that were therein, together with the uncorrupted body of the blessed Cuthbert, wandered with them from place to place for many years, until the episcopal seat was fixed in a place called Cunegecester [Kingchester]. These things took place in the time of the great king Alfred, as has been recorded above.

Death of Richard, duke of Normandy.

[A.D. 996.] Gregory sat in the Roman chair two years. In the same year Richard, duke of Normandy, ended his days, and was buried at Feschamp; he was succeeded by his son Richard the second.

Miserable ravages of the Danes.

[A.D. 997.] Sigar, bishop of Wells, died, and was succeeded by Alfwin. In the same year, North Wales, and the provinces of Dorset, Cornwall, and Devon were, without opposition, desolated by the Danes with fire and sword, slaughter and pillage, and the monastery of Tavistock was devoured by the flames.

Gerbert the apostate.

[A.D. 998.] John sat in the Roman chair ten months. In the same year Silvester, who is also named Gerbert, succeeded him, and sat four years and one month. This Gerbert was born in France, and bred a monk from his boyhood at Fleury; but, whether from disgust or ambition, he escaped by night and went into Spain to learn astrology. He there attached himself to a certain adept in the art, who gave him astronomical books to copy. There was among the rest a volume which comprised the whole of the art, but which he could by no means get out of his master's hands. Burning with desire to possess this book, when his entreaties were of no avail, he offered large presents and promised more, but his master despising them all, he at last resolved

274 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 998.

to procure the volume by stealth. Accordingly, as the master was at table, his daughter, for whom Gerbert had a passion, made her father inebriated, and, as he lay asleep on a couch, Gerbert purloined the volume from under his head and fled. On awaking from sleep, the master by the aid of the stars pursued the fugitive. But Gerbert, learning likewise from a scrutiny of the stars that his master was pursuing him, concealed himself by hanging by his hands under a bridge so as neither to touch the land nor the water; and so, his purpose being thus frustrated, the master returned home in confusion. Gerbert then hastened to the sea, where by his incantations he summoned the devil to him, and did him homage on condition that he would transport him beyond the sea safe from his master's pursuit, which he accordingly did. Returning home to France, Gerbert entered the public schools where he had many disciples in the aforesaid science.

It is related of this Gerbert, that after a close examination of the stars, when all the planets were about to commence their courses, he cast for himself the head of a statue, which said nothing unless it was questioned, when it would declare the truth either in the affirmative or the negative; as, for example, on Gerbert asking, "Shall I attain the apostolical dignity"? the statue replied, "Yes". "Shall I die before I say mass in Jerusalem"? "No". Deceived by this ambiguity, they say that he never thought of repentance before his death, trusting in a long life, and not knowing that there is at Rome a church called "Jerusalem", where the pope says mass, which is called "standing at Jerusalem". Immediately after saying mass there, Gerbert fell sick and took to his bed, and then, perceiving how he had been deceived by consulting the statue, he became aware of his approaching death. Calling therefore his cardinals to him, he bewailed his sins, and when they were so overcome with amazement as to be unable to say a word, his reason having become dulled by his sufferings, he ordered that he should be cut in pieces and scattered to the winds, adding, "Let him have the service of my members who had their homage, for my mind never consented to that wicked and profane act".

Of the treasure of Octavian.

In the days of this Gerbert there was, in the Campus

A.D. 999.] THE DANES IN KENT. 275

Martius, nigh to Rome, a statue of brass, having the forefinger of its right hand extended, and with this inscription on its head, "Strike here"; by which words the people of that time understood that treasure would be found in the statue, and many were the idle blows they expended on the innocent image. But Gerbert, putting a very different construction on the words, observed when the sun was at its meridian height, and marked the spot to which the shadow of the image extended by fixing a post there. Then, on the following night, attended only by his chamberlain, who bore a light, he made for the spot, where, after his usual incantations, he opened the ground, and discovered a passage wide enough to admit of their entering. On passing within, they beheld a great palace with walls, ceilings, in short, everything, of gold; they beheld golden soldiers amusing themselves with golden dice; a king of the same metal was sitting at table with his queen, attended by their servants, with goblets of immense weight and price, and of surpassing workmanship. In the interior of the house a carbuncle stone dispelled the darkness; in an opposite corner stood a boy holding a bow with the string drawn and the arrow pointed; so that, in the midst of so many tempting objects, there was nothing which might be touched with impunity, though it was permitted our guests to gaze at them; for no sooner was a hand extended to touch anything, than straightway all the figures seemed to rush forward and make an attack on the presumptuous aggressor. Under the influence of this fear, Gerbert resisted the impulse of covetousness: but the chamberlain, hoping that in the midst of such abundance so petty a theft would pass undetected, laid hands on a knife of curious workmanship which he saw lying on a table; but immediately all the figures started up in an uproar, the boy let fly his arrow at the chamberlain, and the place was enveloped in darkness; and had he not at his master's bidding hastened to lay down the knife, they would both have paid dearly for their temerity. Thus Gerbert's cupidity was unsatisfied, and they returned home in confusion by the light of their lantern.

Devastation of Kent.

[A.D. 999.] A wicked host of pagans ravaged nearly the

276 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1003.

whole of the western part of Kent, and laid siege to the city of Rochester. The men of Kent had a fierce engagement with them, but after many had fallen on both sides the Danes at length gained the victory. King Ethelred too sent an army against them, but with no success.

King Ethelred subdues the Isle of Mona.

[A.D. 1000.] The aforesaid fleet of pagans invaded Normandy, on hearing of which, Ethelred king of England meanwhile reduced the Isle of Mona.

Danish persecution, and the discovery of St. Ivo.

[A.D. 1001.] The aforesaid army of pagans returning from Normandy besieged the city of Exeter, but were manfully opposed by the citizens and compelled to retire. The men of Devon, Somerset, and Dorset, assembled and engaged with the enemy in a place called 'Penho', where the Danes inflicted a great slaughter on the English, and gained the victory. After this the pagans directed their course to the Isle of Wight, the whole of which, together with the adjacent provinces, they spoiled of everything, without meeting with any resistance. In the same year was found the body of St. Ivo, bishop and confessor, on the twenty-fourth of April.

King Ethelred pays tribute to the Danes.

[A.D. 1002.] King Ethelred, by the advice of his nobles, purchased peace of the Danes by payment of twenty-four thousand pounds. In the same year, Aldulf, archbishop of York, disinterred the relics of St. Oswald the archbishop, and on the twenty-fifth of April, deposited them with all honour in a coffer which he had prepared. Not long after this the same archbishop was removed from this life, and was succeeded by Wulstan, bishop of Worcester, who was succeeded in the church of Worcester by Leofsy.

Description of the traitor Eadric.

[A.D. 1003.] Ethelred king of England conferred the earldom of Mercia on a traitor, Eadric, surnamed Streon, who purchased the king's favour, not by his nobility, but by his wealth. He was the very scum of mankind, the disgrace

A.D. 1008.] ETHELRED BUILDS SHIPS. 277

of England, double-tongued, crafty, a betrayer of secrets, a practised dissembler, ready in inventing falsehood; he was often sent to the enemy as a mediator of peace, but invariably fanned the flame of discord. But we shall treat of all this ill the sequel.

The Danes ravage without opposition.

[A.D. 1004.] John sat in the Roman chair five years. In the same year the Danes with unheard-of cruelty, covering the whole of England like locusts, made spoil of everything, and put the inhabitants to the sword; nor was any one found to make head against them.

Famine in England.

[A.D. 1005.] England was afflicted by so grievous a famine that the like was never known. In the same year Henry attained the Roman empire, and reigned twenty-two years.

Treachery at a festival.

[A.D. 1006.] Siric archbishop of Canterbury died, and was succeeded by Alfege bishop of Winchester, who was succeeded by Elfsy. In the same year the perfidious earl Eadric invited Ethelstan, a noble earl, to a great festival at Shrewsburv: and on the fourth dav, taking him into the woods to hunt, while the rest were intent on the sport, a certain murderer, named Godwin, whom Edric had bought with his gifts, suddenly leaped forth from his concealment, and wickedly slew earl Ethelstan. In revenge for this king Ethelred ordered Edric's two sons to be deprived of their sight.

Ethelred purchased a peace.

[A.D. 1007.] Sweyn king of the Danes, a powerful and cruel man, came to England with a great fleet, and rapine, burning, and slaughter, followed in his train. Wherefore there was trembling throughout all England, like unto a bed of reeds agitated by the west wind; and so great was king Ethelred's consternation, that he purchased with money a temporary peace which his arms could not procure.

King Ethelred built ships.

[A.D. 1008.] Ethelred king of England ordered one vessel

278 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1011.

to be furnished for every three hundred and ten hides throughout all England, and a helmet and coat of mail for every eight hides. At the same time, Brithric, brother of the perfidious earl Eadric, a deceitful and haughty man, made an unjust accusation against Wulnoth, one of the king's servants, who, to avoid being taken, fled, and, taking to himself twenty vessels, led a piratical life, and for a long period harassed the king, who sought to take him.

Sergius made pope.

[A.D. 1009.] Sergius sat in the Roman chair two years and nine months. In the same year died Brithric, bishop of Sherborne, and was succeeded by Elmar.

A victory gained by treachery.

[A.D. 1010.] A fresh army of Danes arrived at Gipeswic on the day of our Lord's ascension, and gave themselves up to plundering and ravaging. There assembled against them to battle, earl Ethelstan, son of the king's sister, the nobles Oswin, and Eadwy, and Wulfer, and a great force with them; but when the English were meditating nothing of the kind, Turketil, whose father was a Dane, commenced a flight; and the Danes, gaining the victory, spread themselves over East-Anglia, Grantebrige [Cambridge], and the marshes, pillaged and burned everything they fell in with; and then, taking a westerly direction, they most terribly ravaged the counties of Huntingdon, Bedford, Buckingham, and Oxford.

Passion of St. Alfege, archbishop and martyr.

[A.D. 1011.] The aforesaid servants of iniquity having completed their course of ravaging, laid siege to Canterbury; and on the twentieth day of the siege, by the treachery of Almar archdeacon of that province, whom archbishop Alfege had saved from being put to death, part of the city was set on fire, and then the whole of it was taken. Men were put to the sword, some were devoured by the flames, others were cast headlong from the walls, many were hung up by their secret parts, infants torn from their mothers' breasts were tossed on the points of lances or cut into morsels, mothers were dragged by their legs through the streets and cast into the flames. In the midst of these scenes, Alfege, archbishop of the city, was seized, dragged forth in fetters, and put to divers torments;

A.D. 1011.] DANES BESIEGE CANTERBURY. 279

while Almar, abbat of St. Augustine, was permitted to depart, Godwin bishop of Rochester, and Leofrona abbess of St. Mildred, the monks, and an immense number of either sex, were taken; after which Christ's church was pillaged and burnt; the monks, with a multitude of men, women, and children, were divided into ten parts: nine were put to death, the tenth was reserved for life, consisting of four monks and eight hundred others. After the people were slaughtered, and the whole of the city pillaged and burnt, archbishop Alfege was dragged forth in fetters, and after being wounded, he was led down to the fleet, and again thrust into confinement, where he was tortured for seven months, that he might be induced by his sufferings to purchase his redemption. Meanwhile the wrath of pitying Heaven was so fierce against the infidel people, that two thousand of them died of excessive pains in their intestines. But when the wicked wretches were not even thus brought to repentance, a certain Dane named Thrum, seeing the holy archbishop suffering such great torments and yet unable to die, moved with impious pity, struck him on the head with an axe; and so the archbishop, constantly confessing Christ and made a glorious martyr, breathed out his exulting soul to heaven. At the place of his passion, a dry log, which was sprinkled with his blood, in the space of one night sprouted again, and put forth shoots and leaves; the sight of which miracle so terrified the infidels, that, eagerly kissing the most holy body, they permitted it to be conveyed to London, where it was committed to honourable interment. After the lapse of ten years, the said body, free from every stain of corruption, was raised and borne to Canterbury to a more becoming resting place, where unto the present time the blood continues fresh and the body untainted.

After this, the general rage of persecution increasing throughout all England, the perfidious earl Eadric, and all the nobles of every order and dignity, assembled at the city of London before the solemnity of Easter, and there abode with the king until they had paid a tribute of forty-eight thousand pounds to the Danes, that all the Danes in the kingdom might live everywhere in peace with the English, and that each people might have as it were one heart and one soul. This convention was confirmed on either side by

280 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1012.

oaths and hostages, after which Sweyn, king of the Danes, returned to his own country, and so the fierceness of the persecution abated for awhile.

A sinful dance commenced in disobedience.

[A.D. 1012.] At a certain town in Saxony named Colewic, where is a church of Magnus the martyr, the people having come together for divine service on the vigil of our Lord's nativity, a presbyter named Robert solemnly began the first mass according to custom; when lo! fifteen men and three women commenced dancing in the churchyard, and uproariously singing secular songs, to the great impediment of the presbyter, insomuch that the holy solemnity of mass was well nigh lost in the noise of the singers. They were at length commanded by presbyter Robert to be silent, but refused to obey, whereupon he in wrath uttered this imprecation: "May it please our God and St. Magnus, that you may go on singing for a whole year". The words of the priest had such weight, that his son, grasping by the arm his sister who was singing with the rest, could by no means pull her away, but tore her arm from her body. Howbeit not a drop of blood followed; and she remained a whole year dancing wuth the rest. The rain did not fall on them; neither were they affected by cold, heat, hunger, thirst, or fatigue; nor were their garments or shoes worn out; but they sang like frantic people, and sank into the ground, at first up to their knees, and at last up to their thighs; and by the will of God a covering was formed over them to protect them from the rain. At length, after the lapse of a year, Herebert, archbishop of Cologne, loosed them from the bond wherewith their hands were held, and reconciled them before the altar of St. Magnus the martyr. The presbyter's daughter with two others expired immediately; the rest slept three days and nights: some of them afterwards died and were famous for their miracles, while some betrayed their punishment by a trembling in their limbs. Let those read this who are bound by their vows to obedience, that they may learn how great is the sin of disobedience.

Another example of disobedience.

The emperor Henry, while out hunting on the Lord's day called Quinquagesima, his companions being scattered, came

A.D. 1012.] CRUELTY OF CONSTANTINE. 281

unattended to the entrance of a certain wood; and seeing a church hard by, he made for it, and feigning himself to be a soldier, simply requested a mass of the priest. Now that priest was a man of notable piety, but so deformed in person that he seemed a monster rather than a man. When he had attentively considered him, the emperor began to wonder exceedingly why God, from whom all beauty proceeds, should permit so deformed a man to administer his sacraments. But presently, when mass commenced, and they came to the passage, "Know ye that the Lord he is God", which was chanted by a boy, the priest rebuked the boy for singing negligently, and said with a loud voice, "It is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves". Struck by these words, and believing the priest to be a prophet, the emperor raised him much against his will, to the archbishopric of Cologne, which see he adorned by his devotion and excellent virtues. In a monastery of nuns in that city there was a certain damsel, whom the zeal of her parents rather than her own devotion had placed there. By her worldly behaviour and deceitful address she had allured a number of lovers; one of whom, whose lust had been nourished by immense wealth and high descent, carried off the damsel and kept her as a lawful wife. A long time elapsed, but at last the matter became known to Herebert the archbishop, and by his command the sheep was restored to the fold. But not long after she was, in the absence of the archbishop, again carried off from the monastery by the aforesaid youth; on which the sentence of excommunication was pronounced against him, forbidding any of his fellow citizens to speak or hold any intercourse with him. Lightly regarding the sentence, the youth withdrew to his more remote possessions, where he spent a flagitious life with his excommunicated companion. But when at length it pleased God to call the archbishop to himself, and he was confined to his bed with exceeding sickness, his people came together from all parts to receive the blessed man's last benediction; but the libertine alone, disdaining to come himself, procured others to speak for him, that he might receive absolution. On hearing the name ot the young man, the archbishop groaned and said, "If the wretched man will leave the cursed woman, let him be absolved; but if he continue obstinate, next year, on this

282 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1012.

very day, and at the hour of my departure, let him be prepared to give an account of his sins before God. When the clock shall strike the sixth hour, I shall depart from the body". Nor was faith wanting to the words of the man of God; for he died at the hour which he had foretold, and at the end of the year, on the same day and hour, that wretched young man was with his companion struck with lightning and died. In the same year pope Benedict attained the Roman chair, and filled it twelve years

Sudden destruction of the Danes throughout all England.

In this year a certain Huna, king Ethelred's chief military commander, an undaunted and warlike man, beholding the insolence of the Danes, who after the establishment of peace had grown strong throughout the whole of England, presuming to violate and insult the wives and daughters of the nobles of the kingdom, came in much distress to the king and made his doleful complaint before him. Greatly moved thereat, the king, by the advice of the same Huna, sent letters into all parts of the kingdom, commanding all the people, that on one day, the feast of St. Brice the bishop, they should rise and put to death all the Danes settled in England, leaving none surviving, so that the whole English nation might once and for ever be freed from Danish oppression. And so the Danes, who a little before had made a league with the English, and had sworn to live peaceably with them, were shamefully slain, and their wives and little ones dashed against the posts of their houses. The decree was mercilessly carried into effect in the city of London, insomuch that a number of Danes who had fled to a church for refuge, were all butchered before the very altars. But some Danish youths, flying on board a vessel, escaped to Denmark, and reported to king Sweyn the bloody end of his people. Moved to tears thereat, he called together all the nobles of his kingdom, and making known to them what had happened, inquired of them diligently what they advised to be done; whereupon they all with one acclamation determined that the blood of their kinsmen and friends should be revenged.

Their fury was increased by the death of Gunnildis, sister of king Sweyn, who was slain in England on this

A.D. 1013.] SWEYN ARRIVES IN ENGLAND. 283

occasion. For this Gunnildis had been married to earl Paling, a Danish nobleman, and coming to England in former years with her husband, had there embraced the faith of Christ and the sacrament of baptism. This discreet woman had mediated a peace between the Danes and English and had given herself, with her husband and only son, as a hostage to king Ethelred for its security. Having been committed by the king to the custody of earl Eadric, after a few days this traitor caused her husband and her son to be cruelly slain in her presence with four lances, and lastly ordered the noble woman to be decapitated. Enduring with fortitude the terrors of death, Gunnildis neither grew pale at its approach, nor did she lose her serenity of countenance after her blood was spent; howbeit she confidently asserted in her last moments that the shedding her blood would be to the great damage of all England. For these causes, Sweyn, king of the Danes, a cruel and blood-thirsty man, eager for vengeance, assembled all his own forces, and sent messengers with letters to places out of his dominion, inviting such as were honest soldiers, desirous of gain and light of heart, to join in this expedition.

How Sweyn, king of the Danes, subjugated England.

[A.D. 1013.] Sweyn, king of the Danes, and a most odious tyrant, took to sea with a strong fleet in the month of July, and landed in England at the port of Sandwich. After staying there a few days he sailed round East-Anglia, and entering the mouth of the river Humber, he passed from thence into the Trent, up which he sailed as far as the village of Gainesburgh, which he made a station for his ships. Leaving there his son Cnute with a considerable force in charge of his vessels, he sallied forth himself to lay waste the provinces. The inhabitants of Northumberland, of Lindesey, and of the Five Cities, were the first to yield him subjection, and presently all the races who dwellt to the north of the public road called Watling Street, were compelled to yield, gave their hands, swore fealty, and delivered hostages. Then directing his course southwards, he issued an edict to his followers, to ravage the fields, burn the towns, cut down the woods and fruit-trees, spoil the churches, slay all of the male sex who should come to their hands, and reserve the

284 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1013.

females to satisfy their lust; and so, with his servants raving with the rabidness of wild beasts, he came at length to Oxford, and taking the city almost without effort, he received the fealty and took hostages of the inhabitants. Passing on to Winchester he took it, and extorted security from the inhabitants by obliging them to take an oath. Then directing his course with great glory to the city of London, he sought by every means, whether of violence or craft, to take it, but at his first arrival a number of his followers were drowned in the river Thames, because in their rash impetuosity they would search for neither bridge nor ford. King Ethelred, who was then in the city, manfully defended the walls with the citizens, and took from Sweyn all hope of gaining the place. The latter, therefore, retired in haste, first to Wallingford, and thence to Bath, mad with canine rage, and destroying whatever came in his way. In the latter place he tarried awhile to refresh his army; and there Almar, earl of Devon, and all the nobles in the western part of the kingdom, and the king's servants who dreaded his tyranny, came to him, and made peace with him, and gave hostages. Having therefore reduced the whole kingdom to his will, and finding no one to resist him, he gave orders that he should be styled king of England, there being no one to dispute his right, or bold enough to claim the title to himself.

King Ethelred crossed over into Normandy.

Meanwhile, Ethelred king of England lay in dull inactivity in the city of London, full of fears and suspicions, and not daring to entrust himself to any. His conscience moreover smote him for the murder of his brother, the holy king Edward; and fearing lest he should quickly feel the vengeance of Heaven, he did not dare to assemble an army nor to lead them against the enemy, lest the nobles of the realm who had been unjustly treated by him, should desert him in the battle, and give him up to the vengeance of his foes. Tormented by these distressing apprehensions, the wretched king secretly withdrew from the city of London, and arriving at Southampton, crossed over to the Isle of Wight, whence he despatched his queen Emma with his two sons Alfred and Eadward, and their guardians Halchun bishop of Durham, and Elfsey abbat of Medmesham, into Normandy to duke

A.D. 1014.] RETURN OF ETHELRED. 285

Richard her brother, who received them with honour and respect. Eadric too, king Ethelred's kinsman, crossed over with the queen and a hundred and forty soldiers, and resided with her two years, attending her with great state. They crossed the sea in the month of August, and when king Ethelred heard of the honourable reception they had met with, he followed himself in the month of January following, and laid all his troubles before the noble duke, who much compassionated his calamities, and soothed his grief with words of consolation.

Miserable death of Sweyn, and flight of his people.

[A.D. 1014.] Sweyn the odious tyrant, as we have already said, invaded England, which he oppressed with slaughter and rapine, seizing the substance of the people, proscribing their nobles, and carrying off to his vessels both private and public property, thus making it evident that he was not the natural sovereign but a tyrant. The people knew not what to do, because if they determined to resist they had no one to lead them, and if they preferred submission they had a tyrant for a ruler. In this necessity divine mercy delivered England from so many calamities; for on the Purification of the blessed Mary Sweyn ended his life disgracefully, the cause of his death being uncertain according to some; but in the book of the miracles of the king and martyr St. Eadmund it is found written, that while the said Sweyn was exacting an immense sum from the town where the body of the said martyr rests, and from all his lands, and moreover affirmed that the martyr himself was no saint at all, he was pierced by an arrow from the town, and after dreadful bodily suffering departed to hell on the third of February. On his death all the Danes fled to his son Cnute, who was then in Lindesey, whither his father had sent him with the fleet and the hostages, and on their arrival they chose him for their king and lord.

King Ethelred returns to England and defeats Cnute.

After these things the English nation sent messengers into Normandy to king Ethelred, declaring that they loved no one better than himself their natural sovereign, if he would only treat them with more mildness than before; on hearing which king Ethelred sent his son to them with the

286 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1015.

messengers, assuring them, that if in aught he had done amiss, he would make it all right according to their mind. Accordingly, in the spring he came to England, where he was joyfully and honourably received by all; and then by common consent an army was assembled against Cnute, who had gained over the men of Lindesey, and had now moved his camp in order to forage. But king Ethelred, coming on him by surprise, put him to flight, and ravaging the whole of Lindesey put to death all the inhabitants he could find. Cnute, by the aid of the wind, escaped with his fleet to the port of Sandwich; where, to the reproach of the English nation, he cut off the hands, ears, and nostrils of all the hostages which had been given to his father, and then, suffering them to depart, he set out for Denmark to recruit his forces. In the same year, on the twenty-ninth of September, the sea passed its accustomed limit and drowned many towns and an immense multitude of people.

Treachery of earl Eadric.

[A.D. 1015.] A great council both of English and Danes was held at Oxford, where, by the counsel of the wicked earl Eadric, the king ordered a number of Danish nobles to be put to death, on the charge of betraying the king; and their followers, seeking to revenge the death of their lords, were repulsed and driven into the tower of the church of the holy virgin Fretheswith, where they were burnt with fire, as they could not in any other way be ejected. The church was shortly after by the king's command restored to its former state. Among the other nobles who were slain were Sigefurth and Mercher, earls of Northumberland, sons of Eargrin a nobleman, who were invited to a feast by the wicked earl Eadric, and were treacherously slain at his table. King Ethelred ordered Algiva, wife of earl Sigefurth, and a most noble woman, to be conducted to Malmesbury and there confined. While she remained there, the king's son, Eadmund, called by the English nation 'Ironside', for his great strength of body and of mind, came and married her without his father's knowledge, and setting out with her for Northumberland, invaded the entire territory of the aforesaid two earls, and subjugated their people. Now this Eadmund was not begotten of Emma the Norman, but of a

A.D. 1016.] DEATH OF ETHELRED. 287

woman of low birth; howbeit he redeemed this defect of his mother by the nobleness of his mind and the vigour of his body.

Return of Cnute to lay waste England.

At this time Cnute king of Denmark, having settled his affairs there and made friends of the neighbouring princes, came into England, determined to subdue it or die. Landing at Sandwich from a powerful fleet, and marching thence into Wessex, he wasted and pillaged everything. As king Ethelred was at that time sick at Corsham, Eadmund Ironside his son essayed to meet the enemy; but when the hostile armies were on the point of engaging, earl Eadric the traitor laid snares for Eadmund to put him to death; on discovering which, the latter withdrew from the field with a small force, and yielded for a time to the enemy. Shortly after, earl Eadric the traitor came to Cnute and made subjection to him; and all Wessex, following his example, gave hostages, and furnished the Danish army with horses and arms. The Mercians made a show of resistance, but through the king's supineness the war slumbered.

Ravages of king Cnute and duke Eadric in England.

[A.D. 1016.] [1] Cnute king of Denmark and the wicked earl Eadric, on the approach of the Epiphany of our Lord, invaded Mercia with a large body of horse, and burned a number of towns, carrying off the spoil, and slaying all the people they met. After this, Cnute proceeded to the city of London and laid siege to it; on hearing of which Eadmund the atheling hastened thither; whereupon, Cnute, finding that he could not take the city, abandoned the siege, and returned to ravage Mercia; after which he wasted Northumberland, and slew earls Uthred and Turkhill, and made Egric earl in the place of Uthred. After this, Cnute turned southwards, and returned with his spoils to his ships.

Death of king Ethelred and succession of Cnute.

At this time, Ethelred king of England, after a life of troubles and distresses, ended his days on the 23rd of April, and was buried in St. Paul's church in the city of London. After his death the greater part of the kingdom, as well the


[1] The events of this year seem to be a mere abridgment of Florence's account of them.

288 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1016.

clergy as the laity, assembled, and with one consent elected Cnute, and, going to him, they made peace with him and did him fealty. The citizens of London alone, and the nobles who were there, raised to the throne Eadmund Ironside, the king's son, who, after his elevation to the royal dignity, boldly advanced into Wessex, and being joyfully received by all the people, reduced that province to his sway. On hearing of which the greatest part of the kingdom submitted to Eadmund. Cnute, too, entered Dorset and sought to reduce it; but Eadmund meeting him at a place called Pennum, gave him battle, on the ninth of June, and put him to the rout with all his men.

Second and third battles between Eadmund and Cnute.

After this victory, king Eadmund met Cnute a second time in Worcestershire, after Midsummer. Having well ordered his forces, and set his best men in the fittest places, he bade them remember that they were fighting for their country and children, their wives and their inheritances; and when his manly address had kindled the spirits of all, he ordered the trumpets to sound and his forces to advance. The battle having joined with tremendous clamour, they fought at first with their spears and then with their swords. King Eadmund fought in the first rank, where he carried all before him, laying low his enemies without intermission, and manfully playing the part of a stout soldier and a good king; but because the wicked earl Eadric, with the earls Almar and Aldgar, and many others who ought to have supported him, were treacherously fighting on the side of the Danes, Eadmund's side was too weak; notwithstanding, on the first day of the contest, which was the twenty-fifth of June, so severe and so bloody was the battle, that in the end neither army could fight for very weariness, and accordingly they spontaneously separated. But the next day, king Eadmund would have utterly crushed all the Danes, had it not been for the treachery of earl Eadric; for when they were fighting with spirit on each side, the latter, seeing that the English were prevailing, cut off the head of a certain man, and held it up, exclaiming, "It is in vain for you English to fight, for you have lost your head; flee, then, with speed; for here I hold in my hands the head of king Eadmund. On hearing

A.D. 1016.] EADMUND'S BATTLES. 289

this the English began to waver; but finding that their king was alive, they took courage and rushed again against the Danes, and destroyed numbers of them, fighting with all their might and manfully maintaining their ground, till, on the approach of night, both armies voluntarily separated as on the preceding day. But before the morning, Cnute ordered his men to retire from the place of conflict under the silence of the night; and directing his course towards London, he again laid siege to it.

King Eadmund's fourth battle.

In the morning, learning that the enemy had fled, king Eadmund returned into Wessex to collect a greater army. Having had such proof of the king's valour, the wicked earl Eadric, at the instigation of Cnute, came to him deceitfully with intent to betray him, and promising to be faithful, he made peace with him. Having collected an army for the fourth time, king Eadmund raised the siege of London and chased the Danes to their ships, and, on their returning, he gave them battle a fifth time at Brentford, and driving them from their camp, he gained the victory by his spear and sword, and won the glory and triumph of war. Flying to his ships, Cnute again sallied forth to ravage Kent, and king Eadmund led his army against him and gave the enemy battle near Ottefort; but not enduring his onset, they turned their backs and took refuge in the isle of Sheppey.

King Eadmund's sixth battle with Cnute.

King Eadmund then marched into Wessex, pressing hotly on the footsteps of Cnute, who had gone to lay waste Mercia, and was venting his cruel rage on the inhabitants of that region. King Eadmund met the enemy at Essendon, and drawing up his forces in three divisions, he went round them exhorting them to be mindful of their former exploits and to defend themselves and their country from the greedy barbarians, and assuring them of an easy victory over those whom they had beaten so many times before. Then giving the signal to his men, he made a sudden attack on the enemy. Both armies fought with all their might, and numbers fell on each side; but nevertheless the fortune of the battle inclined to the English. The valour of king Eadmund was very conspicuous, for obseving that the Danes fought with more

290 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1016.

than their usual spirit, quitting his royal station, which according to custom was between a dragon and a standard, he penetrated the opposing forces, opening a way with his sword, and like a thunderbolt cleaving their ranks, which he left to his followers to demolish. Then hastening against Cnute's division, he roused the horrid din of battle. Terrible was the conflict in that quarter. But earl Eadric the traitor, seeing the forces of the Danes beginning to turn, deserted to Cnute with the division he commanded, as had been before arranged between them, and the Danes thus reinforced made a lamentable slaughter of the English; for there fell of them the noble dukes Alfric and Godwin, Usketel and his son Ethelwold, Ethelwin beloved of God, Eadnoth bishop of Dorchester, abbat Wulsy, and almost all the nobility of the English, who had never before in one battle sustained so terrible a slaughter. Cnute, on his side, sustained an irreparable loss of leaders and nobles. This deadly battle was fought on St. Luke the evangelist's day.

Single combat between Eadmund and Cnute.

A few days after this lamentable battle in which so many nobles fell, king Eadmund pursued Cnute, who was now committing ravages in Gloucestershire. The said kings therefore came together to fight at a place called Deerhurst, Eadmund with his men being on the west side of the river Severn, and Canute with his men on the east, both preparing themselves manfully for battle. When both armies were now on the point of engaging, the wicked earl Eadric called together the chiefs and addressed them as follows: "Nobles and warriors, why do we foolishly so often hazard our lives in battle for our kings, when not even our deaths secure to them the kingdom, or put an end to their covetousness? My counsel then is, that they alone should fight who alone are contending for the kingdom; for what must be the lust of dominion, when England, which formerly sufficed for eight kings, is not now enough for two? Let them therefore either come to terms, or fight alone for the kingdom". This speech pleased them all; and the determination of the chiefs being communicated to the kings, received their approbation. There is a small island called Oseney in the mouth of that river. Thither the kings, clad in splendid

A.D. 1016.] SINGLE COMBAT OF EADMUND AND CNUTE. 291

armour, crossed over and commenced a single combat in the presence of the people. Parrying the thrust of the spear as well by their own skill as by the interposition of their strong shields, they drew their swords and fought long and fiercely hand to hand, his valour protecting Eadmund, and his good fortune Cnute. The swords rung on their helmets, and sparks of fire flew from their collision. The stout heart of Eadmund was kindled by the act of fighting, and as his blood grew warm his strength augmented; he raised his right hand, brandished his sword, and redoubled his blows on the head of his antagonist with such vehemence that he seemed rather to fulminate than strike. Feeling his strength failing him, and unable long to endure such an onset, Cnute meditated peace; but as he was crafty, and afraid lest if the youth perceived his weakness he would not listen to his words of peace, drawing in all his breath he rushed on Eadmund with wonderful valour, and immediately drawing back a little, he asked him to pause awhile and give him audience. The latter was of a courteous soul, and, resting his shield on the ground, he listened to the words of Cnute, who thus proceeded: "Hitherto I have coveted thy kingdom, bravest of men; but now I prefer thyself not only to the kingdom of England, but to all the world. Denmark serves me, Norway yields me subjection, the king of Sweden has struck hands with me; so that, although fortune promises me victory everywhere, yet thy wonderful manliness hath so won my favour, that I long beyond measure to have thee as a friend and partner of my kingdom. I would that thou, in like manner, wert desirous of me, that I might reign with thee in England, and thou with me in Denmark". Why should I add more? King Eadmund most graciously assented and yielded to his words, though he could not be forced by arms. The kingdom was therefore by Eadmund's direction divided between the two, the crown of the whole kingdom reverting to king Eadmund. The whole of England therefore, to the south of the river Thames, was ceded to him, with Essex and East-Anglia, and the city of London the capital of the kingdom; Cnute retaining the northern parts of the kingdom. Laying aside, therefore, their splendid armour, the kings embraced each other amidst the rejoicings of both the armies. They then exchanged their garments

292 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1017.

and arms in token of peace, and Eadmund became Cnute and Cnute Eadmund. By his wife Aldgiva, a noble woman, king Eadmund had two sons, Eadward and Eadmund, of whom more shall be said in the proper place.

Death of king Eadmund.

While king Eadmund showed himself clement and pitiful to the good, his government was equally terrible and severe to the wicked. Envious of his goodness, the treacherous earl Eadric, lord of Mercia, was indefatigable in devising means to destroy him. At length, when king Eadmund was passing a night at Oxford, as he retired to a closet for the purpose of easing nature, the son of the said Eadric, at the instigation of his father, concealed himself in the sink, on the night of St. Andrew the apostle, and thrust a very sharp knife into the king's bowels, where he left it, and fled, leaving the king mortally wounded. He was buried at Glastonbury near his grandfather king Eadgar the Pacific, exceedingly lamented by all England, which under his rule had hoped to breathe again from the oppressions of the Danes.

King Cnute acquires the rule of all England.

[A.D. 1017.] On the death of Eadmund king of England, Cnute king of Denmark acquired the English kingdom and reigned twenty years. In the beginning of his reign he divided England into four parts, of which he kept Wessex to himself, and committed Mercia to Eadric, East-Anglia to Turkil, and Northumberland to Hyric. Hearing that he was deprived of the earldom of Mercia, which he had held many years, Eadric was greatly disturbed, and coming to Cnute in a rage, he upbraided him sharply with the many benefits he had done, and among them he mentioned these two, "I first", said he, "deserted king Eadmund for thy sake, and afterwards slew him to show my fidelity to thee; and now thou hast taken from me the earldom of Mercia". The crimson that mounted into Cnute's cheek showed his excessive rage, which broke forth in these words, "Thou shalt meet with merited death for thy treason against me and against God, in slaying thy lawful lord and my brother with whom I was in league. His blood be on thy head, who hast stretched out thy hand against the Lord's anointed". Then,

A.D. 1017.] BANISHMENT OF THE ROYAL FAMILY. 293

to prevent any tumult of the people, he caused him to be suffocated and thrown through a window into the Thames, thus inflicting on him a just retribution for his treachery. Touching the death of this traitor other authors have written differently, as, that after his treacherous murder of king Eadmund, he came to Cnute and accosted him with this salutation, "Hail, sole king", and on being asked by Cnute why he so saluted him, he related to him the fact of king Eadmund's murder; on which Cnute replied, "As a reward of thy service, I will to-day elevate thee above all the nobles of the realm". He then ordered him to be beheaded, and his head to be fixed on a pole and exposed to the birds on the tower of London. But whether the traitor ended his life one way or the other, it does not much matter; since this is sufficiently clear, that he, who had deceived so many, by the just judgment of God met with condign punishment.

King Cnute banishes alt the royal family from England.

After these things, Cnute determined in his heart either to destroy, or doom to perpetual exile, all the royal family of the English nation. Beginning therefore with Eadwin, brother to king Eadmund by the same mother, he delivered him to an officer named Ethelward to put him to death; but the man, from affection for the youth, concealed him in a certain abbey, and thus saved him from death for a time. Moreover, he sent king Eadmund's sons, Eadwin and Eadward, to the king of Sweden to be put to death. But although he was his ally, the king of Sweden did not comply with Cnute's instructions, but sent the youths to be brought up by Solomon king of Hungary, where they were educated as became their rank, and moreover Eadward married the queen of Hungary's sister named Agatha, by whom in process of time he had two sons, Eadmund and Eadgar, and two daughters, Margaret and Christiana, of whom more will be said in the proper place. Meanwhile, the sons of Ethelred, Alfred and Eadward, whom he had begotten of queen Emma, hearing of Cnute's cruelty, kept their quiet retreat in Normandy with their uncle duke Richard. Cnute sent also into exile all others whom he found to be of the royal race, hoping to preserve to his heirs the sovereignty of the kingdom of England. In the same year died Wulstan bishop of

294 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1020.

Worcester, and was succeeded in the bishopric by Leofsy abbat of Thorney.

King Cnute marries Emma.

[A.D. 1018.] Algiva, daughter of earl Elfelm and wife of king Cnute, died, after bearing him two sons, Sweyn and Harold, though some say they were illegitimate children. Cnute therefore sent into Normandy to duke Richard for his sister Emma, king Ethelred's widow, who accordingly in the month of July came to England and was united to king Cnute in lawful wedlock. Acting as mediator between him and the English nation, she counselled him to send back his fleet and his stipendiary soldiers to their own country. Accordingly, after distributing amongst them eighty-two thousand pounds of silver, he dismissed them to their native land.

Cnute crosses over into Denmark.

[A.D. 1019.] Cnute, king of England and Denmark, crossed over to the latter place and wintered there. In the same year died Ealmar bishop of Selsey, and was succeeded by Ethelric.

A certain man raised to a bishopric by a joke.

[A.D. 1020.] Having settled his affairs in Denmark, Cnute, king of England and Denmark, came to England at the festival of Easter, and holding a council at Orencester, banished duke Ethelward from England; and in the same year died Living archbishop of Canterbury, and was succeeded by Ethelnoth. At this time also, after the see of the church of Durham had remained void for three years from the death of bishop Aldhun, a council of bishops was at length held to elect a bishop; in the midst of which there came in a certain priest and monk, named Eadmund, who said in joke, "Why do you not choose me to be bishop"? This joke the bishops who were present did not take as such, but unanimously elected him, and after a three days' fast, inquired the pleasure of the holy bishop Cuthbert on the matter. Accordingly, while the priest was celebrating mass at the head of St. Cuthbert, in the midst of the service a voice was heard as if emitted from the very tomb of the father, three times naming Eadmund as bishop.

A.D. 1023.] TRANSLATION OF ST. ELFEGE. 295

King Cnute places monks in St. Eadmund's.

In the same year Cnute, king of England and Denmark, having built a royal monastery with suitable offices at a place called Baderichusforthe, where Eadmund, the blessed king and martyr, awaits with uncorrupted body the day of the joyful resurrection, by the advice of queen Emma and the bishops and barons of the realm, established monks therein, and set over them an abbat named Wido [Guy], a man humble, modest, mild, and pious. Moreover he enriched the monastery of the blessed king and martyr with so many manors and other possessions, that in temporal things it justly ranks above almost all the monasteries of England. The priests too who had lived there by course, he either advanced to the highest religious order in the same place, or sent them away to other places, abundantly supplied with all the necessaries of life. At the same time also, he signalized all the places where he had fought battles, by building churches there, placing in them priests and ministers to celebrate divine mysteries for the good of those that were slain.

Death of the martyr St. Elfege avenged.

[A.D. 1021.] Cnute, king of England, found occasion to banish Turkil and Hyric, two Danish nobles; and as they were seeking their native land, no sooner had they touched the Danish soil, than Turkil, the instigator of the murder of St. Elfege, was killed by the nobles of that country. In the same year died Algar bishop of Helmham, and was succeeded by Alwin.

Cnute enjoins the observance of the laws of England.

[A.D. 1022.] The English and Danes held a council at Oxford, and agreed to keep the laws of king Eadward the First. These laws were, by Cnute's direction, translated from the English tongue into the Latin; and, for their equity, were commanded by the king to be observed. In this year also died Richard duke of Normandy, surnamed the Second, and was succeeded by his son Richard, surnamed the Third.

King Cnute translates the body of St. Elfege to Canterbury.

In the year of grace 1023, John sat in the Roman chair nine years and as many months. In the same year Cnute,

296 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1026.

king of England, raised with his own hands the body of the blessed archbishop Elfege, which was buried at St. Paul's, in the city of London, and caused it to be translated to the church of Canterbury, where it was interred with due veneration. Thus he sought to correct everything wherein either himself or his predecessors had done amiss, that the stain of unrighteousness might be wiped out as well before God as before men. Moreover, by the counsel of queen Emma, he sought to conciliate all the English, making them many presents, and promising them good and wholesome laws. In the same year Robert succeeded to the dukedom of Normandy.

King Cnute subdues the Swedes.

In the year of grace 1024, the fortunate king Cnute led an army of English and Danes against the Swedes, and in the first engagement lost many of his men, and intended to renew the battle on the morrow; but in the night, earl Godwin, who commanded the English army, without the knowledge of Cnute, boldly attacked the Swedes with the English forces alone; and, taking them off their guard, slew an immense number of them, and took their kings Ulf and Eiglof prisoners. In the morning, the king, missing the English, thought that they had perfidiously deserted to the enemy; but on leading his Danish forces against the enemy, he found nothing in their camp but the blood and corpses of the slain, and the English collecting the spoils. Canute sailed in triumph to England; and ever after had the English in the highest honour. In the same year died Wulstan archbishop of York, and was succeeded by Alfric.

King Cnute enriches the monastery at Winchester.

[A.D. 1025.] Conrad attained the Roman empire, which he governed for fifteen years. At the same time also the magnificent king Cnute decorated the Old Minster of Winchester with such munificence that the minds of strangers are confounded at the sight of the gold and silver and the splendour of the jewels. This, too, was done at the instigation of queen Emma, whose profuse liberality consumed whole treasures on such objects.

King Cnute honours the tomb of king Eadmund.

In the year of grace 1026, Cnute, king of England,

A.D. 1030.] BIRTH OF WILLIAM THE BASTARD. 297

presented at the tomb of king Eadmund, at Glastonbury, a pall of various colours woven with the figures of peacocks.

Cnute gains over the Norwegians.

[A.D. 1027.] Hearing that the Norwegians despised their king Olaf for his imbecility, king Cnute sent over to the nobles a great quantity of gold and silver, pressing them to depose Olaf and choose himself for their king. They greedily received his presents, and bade him come to them with confidence, for that he would find them all prepared to receive him.

King Cnute subjugates Norway.

[A.D. 1028.] Cnute, king of England, sailed to Norway with fifty vessels, and, expelling king Olaf with the consent of the nobles, subjugated that kingdom. In the same year was born Marianus Scotus, who received instruction in liberal studies, and afterwards composed a book of chronicles, wherein he narrated more fully than other chronicles the acts of the kings of England, and which he extended from the emperor Octavian Augustus to the time of Henry the First, king of England, noting the Dominical letter for each year.

Return of king Cnute to England.

A. D. 1029. Cnute, king of England, Denmark, and Norway, returned into England, and sent into exile Haco, a Danish earl, who had married Gunilda, a noble matron, daughter of Wirtigern king of the Windi; for which cause Cnute feared lest he should be deprived of life, or expelled his kingdom by him.

Birth of William duke of Normandy.

[A.D. 1030.] Robert, son of Richard duke of Normandy, after a vigorous government of seven years, devoutly made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. He left behind him a son seven years of age, named William, begotten of a concubine whom he chanced to see while dancing, and was so enamoured of her beauty that he lay with her the same night, and thenceforth, cleaving to her alone, he loved her as a wife. The boy who was born of her was called "William the Bastard", as not having been begotten in wedlock. This boy's future

298 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1031.

greatness was indicated to his mother in a dream, in which her bowels seemed to be spread over all Normandy and England; and at the very moment of his birth, as soon as he had come into life and had touched the floor, he immediately grasped with both hands the rushes which were spread on it. As soon, therefore, as the midwives had heard the mother's dream, they all with glad applause declared that he would be king. Duke Robert therefore, when about to set out for Jerusalem, called a council of nobles at Feschamp, where he declared his son William his heir, and made all of them swear fealty to the boy. Earl Gilbert was made the boy's tutor, and the guardianship of the tutor was given to Henry king of the French, with the understanding that, if his father should not return at the time appointed, the dukedom of Normandy should by free disposition be conceded to William. At the same time died Haco, the earl before mentioned.

Cnute sets out for Rome.

[A.D. 1031.] Cnute, the most potent king of England and Denmark, set out in great state for Rome, bearing with him ample presents to the apostle Peter, gold and silver, silken garments and precious stones. He obtained from pope John that the English school should be exempt from tribute, and procured, by payment of a sum of money, the destruction of certain border forts on the journey, where toll was extorted from strangers. Before the altar of the blessed Peter, in which his body reposes, he made a vow to God to amend his life and morals. In a letter addressed to Agelnoth and Alfric, archbishops of Canterbury and York, and to all the bishops and nobles of the realm, he wrote, among other matters, that he was at Rome at the great festival of Easter, before pope John and the emperor Conrad, in the presence of all the kings and princes of the nations from mount Garganus to the nearest sea, all of whom received him with marks of honour and made him ample presents. The emperor also gave him many gifts, vessels of gold and silver, silken garments, gems, and precious vestments. Moreover, the magnificent king Cnute complained before our lord the pope, that when the archbishops of his realms sent to Rome to obtain the pall, an immense sum of money was extorted

A.D. 1035.] DEATH OF CNUTE. 299

from them, insomuch that they could not obtain the pall without simony; at which the pope was greatly confounded, and forbade the repetition of the offence for the future. He moreover signified by letter to the aforesaid bishops that, before his return to England, all ecclesiastical dues, as plough-alms, the small tithes of gardens and of agistment, the first-fruits of seeds, called in English "chiricscat", the tithe of sheaves, with St. Peter's penny, called in English "Romescot", should be faithfully paid. He moreover strictly enjoined the viscounts and officers of the realm, to do no wrong to any of their people, but to execute right judgment alike to nobles and servants, and not in anything to deviate from justice for the sake of placing money in the treasury, there being no necessity for making unrighteous gains.

Dedication of the monastery of St. Eadmund.

[A.D. 1032.] Agelnoth, archbishop of Canterbury, on the 18th day of October, dedicated, in honour of God's mother and St. Eadmund, the monastery of the latter saint, which king Cnute had devoutly built at Bederichesworth.

Victory of king Cnute over the king of Scots.

[A.D. 1033.] On the return of the most potent king Cnute, he led a hostile expedition against the Scots who had rebelled, and easily defeated Malcolm and two kings his allies. And, in the same year, on the death of Leofsy bishop of Worcester, Britheg succeeded to the episcopal see.

Pope Benedict.

[A.D. 1034.] Benedict attained the Roman chair, and sat fourteen years. And in the same year died Eadric bishop of Dorchester, and was succeeded by Eadnoth.

Coronation of Cnute' s sons.

[A.D. 1035.] Cnute the great king of England, Denmark, and Norway, made his son Sweyn, whom he had by Algiva, king over the Norwegians; and caused his son Hardecnute, begotten of queen Emma, to be crowned in Denmark; after which he returned to England.

Death of Cnute king of England.

In the same year the most potent king Cnute ended his

300 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1035.

days at Shaftesbury, on the 12th of November, and was buried in royal fashion in the Old Minster in the city of Winchester. May his soul enjoy everlasting glory! I think I ought not to omit, that when in the flower of his reign over the realms he had acquired, he caused his royal seat to be placed on the sea-shore at the flow of the tide, and, seating himself, he said in a threatening tone, "Thou art my vassal, and the land whereon I sit is mine, nor is there any of its inhabitants who would resist my rule. I now command thee not to mount up to my land, nor presume to wet my royal garments". But the sea, despising his orders, washed his royal feet and legs. Scarcely in time, the king leaped up and said, "Let all the inhabitants of the world know that the power of kings is vain and frivolous, and that there is no one worthy the name of king besides Him whose eternal laws the heaven, and earth, and sea, and all things that are therein, obey". After this the king never wore the crown as long as he lived; but setting it on the head of the image of Him that was crucified, afforded to future monarchs an eminent pattern of humility.

Coronation of king Harold.

After the death of the great king Cnute, the nobles of the realm assembled at Oxford to elect a successor. There earl Leofric, and all the Danish nobles, with the Londoners, with common consent chose Harold, son of Cnute by Algiva a concubine; but Godwin earl of Kent, and all the nobles of Wessex, preferred to have for their king Hardecnute, son of Cnute by queen Emma, or one of the sons of king Ethelred by the same Emma, who were in exile in Normandy. But as Hardecnute was then in Denmark, and Alfred and Eadward, the sons of Ethelred, in Normandy, Harold's party prevailed, and graced him with the diadem of England. Immediately on his advancement, he hastened to Winchester, where he violently laid hands on the treasures which king Cnute had committed to queen Emma; and moreover banished Emma from England, as being his step-mother. She directed her course to Baldwin earl of Flanders, who gave her the castle of Bruges for a residence, her kinsman, William duke of Normandy, being yet under ward, and not having the free administration of his duchy.

A.D. 1037.] BODY OF PALLAS FOUND AT ROME. 301

Death of Alfred, son of king Ethelred.

[A.D. 1036.] On hearing of Cnute's death, Alfred, Ethelred's eldest son, came to England with fifty vessels, full of chosen soldiers, to reduce it, if so compelled, by force of arms; and landing at Sandwich, he advanced to Canterbury. On hearing of his arrival, Godwin earl of Kent came to meet him with assurances of fidelity, but in the ensuing night acted the part of the traitor Judas towards him and his followers; for, after giving him the kiss of peace and a joyful entertainment, in the dead of night, when Alfred and his companions were buried in sleep and unarmed, they were all seized in their beds, when they suspected no evil, by a multitude of armed men, who bound their hands behind their backs, and compelled them to sit down in a row. Nine were then beheaded, and the rest reserved for a short space; but the traitor Godwin, thinking that more survived than need be, ordered them to be decimated again; so that but very few remained alive. This took place in the royal town of Guildford. He then sent the young man Alfred, who was in every way worthy to be king, bound unto the city of London, to his enemy king Harold, with a view to ingratiate himself with him, and also the few soldiers that survived the decimation. All the latter king Harold slew immediately; but after looking on the youthful Alfred, he caused his eyes to be put out, and then sent him to the isle of Ely, where he died of grief and was buried.

Discovery of the body of Pallas, son of Evander, at Rome.

[A.D. 1037.] The body of Pallas, the son of Evander, of whom Virgil makes mention, was found at Rome, and, to the great admiration of all, had remained uncorrupted after so many ages. The mouth of the wound, inflicted by Turnus in his breast, was four feet and a half in length. The following epitaph was found written over him:-

"Fiiius Evandri Pallas, quem lancea Turni
Militis occidit, more suo jacet hic".

There was found at his head a burning lamp, so contrived by mechanical skill as to defy the power of wind or water to extinguish it, which greatly astonished every one, till some one, more cunning than the rest, bored a hole underneath

302 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1040.

the flame, on which the air entered and the fire ceased. The corpse was much higher than a wall against which it was reared; but after some days, being exposed to the influence of the rain and dew, it experienced the common corruption of mortals in the dissolution of the flesh and nerves

Death of several bishops.

A.D. 1038. Athelnoth archbishop of Canterbury, Ethelric bishop of Selsey, Alfric bishop of Helmham, and Britheg bishop of Worcester, died. Athelnoth archbishop of Canterbury was succeeded by Eadsy, the bishop of Selsey by Grinketel, the bishop of Helmham by Stigand, and the bishop of Worcester by Living bishop of Crediton. But Stigand was afterwards put out, and Grinketel bishop of Selsey, by payment of a sum of money, obtained two bishoprics, Selsey and Helmham. At length Grinketel was put out, and Stigand admitted. The latter then obtained by money the bishopric of Helmham for his brother Egelmar; and, to satisfy his own avarice, by means of his money ascended the sees of Canterbury and Winchester, and scarcely would allow the see of Selsey to be governed by a bishop of its own.

Hardecnute visits his mother in Flanders.

[A.D. 1039.] Hardecnute, king of Denmark, sailed to Flanders, to his mother Emma, late queen of England, and continued awhile with her at Bruges; and in the same year died Brithmar, bishop of Lichfield, and was succeeded in the bishopric by Wulsy.

Death of king Harold and coronation of Hardecnute.

[A.D. 1040.] Harold king of England, after a reign of four years, died in the city of Oxford, and was buried at Westminster. The English and Danish nobles thereupon, with one consent, sent messengers into Flanders to Hardecnute king of Denmark, who was staying there with his mother, and invited him into England to assume the diadem. He accordingly came into England, where he was received with universal joy, and received the royal consecration from Eadsy archbishop of Canterbury. As soon as he was settled on the throne, remembering the injuries which his predecessor

A.D. 1041.] WORCESTERSHIRE DEVASTATED. 303

had done to himself and his mother, he sent soldiers and executioners to the city of London, to dig up the body of king Harold, and after cutting off the head, to throw it into the Thames. This being done, the body was found shortly after by a fisherman, and buried by the Danes in their burying-ground in London.

Heavy retribution for Alfred's death.

After these things, the king ordered the English nation to pay eight marks to each rower, and ten marks to each pilot of his fleet; by which he made himself odious to all who before had wished to have him for their king. Added to this, the king was highly exasperated against the traitor Godwin earl of Kent, and Living bishop of Worcester, who were charged before him by Alfric archbishop of York, and many others, with the murder of his brother Alfred; insomuch that the king degraded Living from his bishopric and conferred the see on Alfric. But the traitor Godwin, to make his peace with the king for the murder of his brother, presented him with a golden vessel, with its prow and all its equipments of gold, and eight hundred soldiers with golden arms. Each of these soldiers had on his arms two golden bracelets of the weight of fifteen ounces, a coat of mail of golden tissue, a golden helmet on the head, a sword girt to the loins with golden clasps, a weighty Danish axe of gold on the left shoulder, in the left hand a shield with bosses and studs of gold, and in the right a golden lance, called "hategar" by the English. In addition to all this, he took an oath before the king and almost all the nobles of the realm, that neither by his device or concurrence had his brother been murdered and deprived of his eyes.

The king devastates Worcestershire.

[A.D. 1041.] Hardecnute king of England sent his officers through the whole kingdom, without excusing any, to collect the tax which he had appointed, to supply his pirates with necessaries. Two of these officers were slain by the citizens of Worcester and the people of those parts, in a monastery to which they had fled for refuge; whereat the king, highly enraged, to revenge so great an enormity, sent an armed force, with orders to slay the inhabitants, sack and burn the

304 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1041.

city, and devastate the whole province. This was accordingly done, and they returned to the king with an enormous booty, and so his fury was in some measure assuaged. In the same year, Eadward, brother of king Hardecnute, and son of king Ethelred, arriving in England from Normandy, met with a welcome reception from the king, and continued with glory and honour in his brother's court as long as the latter lived.

The king of England's sister is married to the emperor.

At this time, Hardecnute, king of England, married his sister Gunilda, the daughter of king Cnute and queen Emma, to Henry the Roman emperor. This damsel, in her father's lifetime, was, for her matchless beauty, wooed in vain by many nobles; so that now the point of her nuptials was such, that the king her brother, and all his people, were so lavish of gold and silver, silken garments, precious jewels, and costly horses, that even to this very day, at feasts, hostelries, and other places of resort, players and minstrels cannot worthily extol the splendour thereof. For a long season the marriage knot remained unbroken, but at last, some sowers of discord charged the empress before the emperor of adultery. It was necessary therefore, according to the custom of the country, that Gunilda should clear her reputation by duel against her accuser, who was a man of gigantic size. But of all the knights and attendants who had come with her from England, there was not found one bold enough for the encounter with a man of such terrible stature. In this extremity, a boy, whom Gunilda had carried from England and brought up in her chamber, and who for his diminutive size was called Mimecan, undertook to do battle for his mistress, well assured of her purity; and encountering the giant, by the just judgment of God, cut through his hamstring, so that he fell to the earth, and Mimecan, cutting off his head, presented it to his mistress. Rejoicing in the unlooked for victory, the empress repudiated the emperor, and neither threats nor blandishments could prevail on her thenceforth to ascend his bed.

Simoniacal bestowment of a bishopric on a clerk.

The same emperor, in the lifetime of his father Conrad, had received from a certain clerk a silver pipe, on condition

A.D. 1042.] DEATH OF HARDECNUTE. 305

that, when he became emperor, he would confer on him a bishopric. Accordingly, when he arrived at man's estate, and was made emperor after his father, the bishopric was claimed and bestowed on the clerk. Shortly after this, the emperor was seized with severe illness and confined to his couch, and so much did the malady increase, that for three days he lay senseless and speechless, and, as it were, rapt from the body, affording no other sign of life than a slight heaving of the bosom, and a feeble breathing which became sensible on applying the hand to the nostrils. The bishops and his friends who were present appointed a fast for three days, and with tears and prayers besought the compassion of Heaven for the restoration of the emperor. To these remedies, as is believed, he owed his recovery, and summoning before him the bishop who had purchased his promotion with the silver pipe, he degraded him by a decree of the council; and, in the hearing of all, the emperor confessed, that for the space of three days during which he had lain lifeless, he was beset by demons, who assailed him and shot into his face flames of fire through that same pipe, burning his whole body as well inwardly as outwardly. And so intense was that flame, that, in comparison of it, our earthly fire would seem cool and without heat. But in the midst of these intolerable flames, the said emperor had with him a young man, holding in his hands a golden cup of extraordinary size full of water, by whose assiduity in sprinkling the water, the violence of the heat was extinguished, and he returned to his former health; and while the emperor was wondering who that youth could be that had afforded him such refreshment, a voice from heaven said to him, "Recall to memory the monastery of the blessed martyr Laurence, formerly destroyed by the pagans, and which thou restoredst, and how thou placedst monks therein, and conferredst thereon many lands and ornaments, and among them a golden cup adorned with jewels, in honour of that martyr. Wherefore, know for a certainty that that youth is the blessed St. Laurence, who in requital gave thee space for repentance and refreshed thee in thy torments".

Death of king Hardecnute, and coronation of king Eadward, who was afterwards a saint.

[A.D. 1042.] At a marriage feast, on the occasion of Osgod

306 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1045.

Glappa marrying his daughter to a Dane named Cnute, at Lamheia [Lambeth], Hardecnute king of England, merry hearted and in the enjoyment of health and spirits, while standing by the aforesaid bride, in the midst of his cups fell to the earth, and remaining speechless died on the 8th of June. He was carried thence to Winchester, and was buried by the side of his father Cnute. His brother Eadward, elected king with the assent of the clergy and laity, was consecrated by Eadsy archbishop of Canterbury and Alfric archbishop of York, on Easter-day. Now this Eadward was the son of king Ethelred, who was the son of Eadgar, who was the son of Eadmund, who was the son of Eadward, who was the son of the great king Alfred, whose genealogy has been traced already up to Adam. Now king Eadward, immediately that he was raised to the throne, took away from his mother, queen Emma, all her gold and silver and other valuables, inasmuch as, before he was king, she had never given him any thing that he had asked for. Nevertheless he ordered that she should be supplied with all necessaries while she remained at Winchester.

Archbishop Eadsy appoints a deputy.

[A.D. 1043.] Eadsy, archbishop of Canterbury, weighed down with infirmity, appointed a certain Siward his deputy. And in the same year, Ethelstan, abbat of Ramsey, was stabbed beneath his church at the hour of vespers by a certain person unknown, and expired.

Marriage of king Eadward with the daughter of earl Godwin.

[A.D. 1044.] King Eadward, to strengthen his administration, married Edith, daughter of the most potent earl Godwin; and in the same year Alfric, bishop of Helmham, died, and was succeeded by Stigand the king's chaplain.

King Eadward equips a fleet.

[A.D. 1045.] Brithwold, bishop of Ramesbury, died, and was sueceeded by Herman, the king's chaplain. In the same year king Eadward assembled a large fleet at the port of Sandwich against the king of Norway, who was making hostile preparations against England; but the expedition of the latter monarch was prevented by a war commenced against him by Sweyn, king of Denmark.

A.D. 1048.] WITCHCRAFT AT ROME. 307

Pope Silvester.

[A.D. 1046.] Silvester sat in the Roman chair fifty-six days, and was succeeded the same year by Gregory, who sat two years. In the same year died Living, who held the bishoprics of Worcester, Crediton, and Cornwall. After his decease, Leofric, the king's chancellor, obtained the prelacy of Crediton and Cornwall, and Aldred took the see of Worcester.

Stigand obtains two bishoprics.

[A.D. 1047.] Grinketel, bishop of Selsey, died, and was succeeded by Hecca, the king's chaplain. In this year too died Elfwin bishop of Winchester, and Stigand bishop of Helmham, being placed in his room, kept both sees.

Pope Clement.

[A.D. 1048.] After Gregory, Clement sat in the Roman chair nine months and six days; and in the same year Damasus succeeded him, and sat twenty-six days; after whose decease, Leo succeeded, and filled the chair five years, two months, and six days.

Diabolical sorcery.

In the days of this pope there was discovered at Rome a case of diabolical witchcraft unheard of in our times. There lived together in a cottage situated on a public road leading to Rome, two old women, both given to witchcraft. When a stranger came to them unattended, they would transform him into a horse, or swine, or some other animal, and they spent in drunkenness and gluttony the money they acquired by the sale of these animals. It happened that these women entertained a certain youth, who gained his livelihood as a jongleur and was skilful in dancing; and in the night they transformed him into an ass, and made much gain by him; for by the change the youth had by no means lost his understanding with his speech, but performed as an ass whatever tricks and vagaries the old women bade him. The ass's sports attracted a multitude of people who paid money to the wicked hags to witness his performance. As the ass's fame spread through the country, a certain wealthy man came and bought him of the witches for a large sum of money; and as he took the

X 2

308 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1051.

ass away, they warned him to keep the ass from getting into water, if he would have daily entertainment from him. Accordingly the rich man set a vigilant keeper over the ass, and whenever he wished for amusement, he delighted his guests with the ass's tricks. Satiated at last with this sort of entertainment, the ass was kept with less vigilance; and one day, breaking his haher, he made his escape, and plunged into a neighbouring pool, where, after a few turns in the water, he recovered his human form. The ass's keeper followed him, and on sight of the man, asked him whether he had seen an ass. The man replied that he was the ass, and that he had lately resumed the human form; and then related the whole of his adventures. The man in amazement related the story to his master, who communicated it to pope Leo, before whom the women were at last convicted and made confession of their guilt. But on the pope expressing his doubts and affirming that it was a frivolous tale, Peter Damian proved the truth of it, and cited the case of Simon Magus, who made Faustian appear in the likeness of the said Simon, to the horror of his sons.

Death of Eadmundy bishop of Durham.

[A.D. 1049.] Eadmund bishop of Durham died, a religious man, whose promotion and sanctity have been mentioned before. He was succeeded in the bishopric by Eadred.

Death of archbishop Eadsy.

A.D. 1050, died Eadsy archbishop of Canterbury, St ward his deputy, and Eadnoth bishop of Dorchester. Eadsy was succeeded by Robert bishop of London, who was succeeded in that see by William, and Ulf the king's chaplain was promoted to Dorchester.

King Eadward frees the English from tribute.

[A.D. 1051.] King Eadward freed the English from the payment of a most heavy tribute of thirty-eight thousand pounds, which for a long time they had paid to the Danish mercenaries. In the same year died Alfric archbishop of York, and was succeeded by Kinsy the king's chaplain. At the same time William duke of Normandy visited England, and was honourably received by king Eadward, who sent him

A.D. 1051.] AFFRAY AT DOVER. 309

home laden with presents. In this year a number of the nobles of Northumberland assembled at a certain church near the city of Lindisfarne, to hear causes, and requested the priest to be so good as to perform mass for them; but having that night slept with a concubine, he feared to undertake so high an office; but yielding to their urgent entreaties, he with much trembling celebrated the divine mysteries. But when he was about to take the sacred mystery, he beheld the portion, which according to custom he had placed in the chalice, changed to so black a colour, as to be more like pitch than bread and wine. Conscious of his guilt, the priest knew not what to do; and fearing that, whatever he did, he could not escape the judgment of almighty God, he with loathing and exceeding trepidation took the terrible substance, which he found so bitter, that he thought he had never before tasted the like. The service being ended, he immediately communicated the matter to the bishop, who appointed him a penance, and exhorted him thenceforth to study to offer unto God a chaste life; which he faithfully promised to do, and kept his vow as long as he lived.

Exile of earl Godwin.

In those days, Eustace earl of Boulogne, who had married Goda, king Eadward's sister, landed at Dover, where his rough soldiers slew a man of the town as they were in quest of lodgings. Another townsman enraged at this sight, slew the soldier who had done it; whereat the earl and his comrades in great wrath slew a number of men and women, and trod their children under their horses' feet. But a multitude of people coming together to attack them, the enemy took to flight, and after a loss of eighty men, the rest escaped to king Eadward, who was then at Gloucester. Indignant at the slaughter of his people, Godwin earl of Kent, out of his country, which comprised Kent, Sussex, and Wessex, and his eldest son Sweyn, from the whole of his country, which comprised the counties of Oxford, Gloucester, Hereford, Somerset, and Berks, and his son Harold, out of his honour of Essex, East-Anglia, Cambridge, and Huntingdon, collected a great army. With these forces earl Godwin marched into Gloucestershire, and sending messages to the king, demanded, under the threat of making war, the

310 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1052.

surrender to him of Eustace and all his men. Being well provided with troops, king Eadward replied that he should not give up earl Eustace, and commanded him, as one who had levied an army against his sovereign and disturbed the peace of the realm, to come to court and make answer to the charge, and submit himself to the laws. But Godwin, as he did not dare to encounter the king in battle, so was he equally afraid of coming to court; wherefore, by the common sentence of his court, the king banished Godwin and his five sons from England. He accordingly with his wife Gyva, and his son Tosti with his wife Judith, daughter of Baldwin earl of Flanders, and two others of his sons, Sweyn and Gurth, took shipping with immense treasures, and directed their course into Flanders to the aforesaid earl. His sons Harold and Leofwin, went to Bristol and crossed the sea to Ireland. The king, too, repudiated his wife Edith for her father Godwin's sake, and ignominiously sent her with a single attendant to Redwell, where she was committed to the keeping of the abbess.

Reconciliation of the king and earl Godwin,

A.D. 1052, died queen Emma, wife of the kings Ethelred and Cnute, and was buried at Winchester; and in the same year, Marianus Scotus, a most veracious chronicler, departed this life. At this time, Griffin king of Wales ravaged Herefordshire, and slew a number of the inhabitants for revolting from him. And not long after, earl Harold and his brother Leofwin returned from Ireland into Wessex, where they made much booty, and slew such as offered resistance. Their father Godwin, after committing piratical ravages in Kent, Sussex and those parts, at length sailed to the Isle of Wight, where he was joined by his sons, and they took counsel how they might avenge themselves on king Eadward. They had gained over a number of warriors from among the people, and having assembled a large army, he directed his fleet to the city of London on the day of the exaltation of the holy cross, and made his camp at Southwark. King Eadward, who was then at London, had assembled a large army and a numerous fleet, to press Godwin and his sons by sea and land. But the English, whose sons, nephews, and kindred were with Godwin, refused to fight against them;

A.D. 1054.] DEATH OF GODWIN. 311

wherefore five wise men from eacli party acted as mediators between the king and Godwin, and sought to re-establish peace. After holding a council of his nobles, the king restored Godwin and all his sons to their former honours, except Sweyn, who had slain Beorn the king's cousin; for which cause he did penance by journeying from Flanders to Jerusalem barefooted, and died on his return from an illness brought on by excess of cold. He moreover deigned to take back queen Edith, but had no carnal knowledge of her. Peace and concord being thus established, the king promised good laws and strict justice to all his people, and sent back to their native land all the Normans who had given him evil counsel against the English; among whom Robert, archbishop of Canterbury, William bishop of London, and Ulf bishop of Dorchester, and their Norman followers, narrowly escaped banishment by crossing the sea. But Robert [William], bishop of London, was, for his great goodness, restored shortly after to his former dignity. Stigand, who had formerly quitted the see of Helmham and intruded himself into that of Winchester, now took advantage of king Eadward's simplicity, and obtained the dignity of Canterbury, while archbishop Robert was yet living. Osbern and Hugo, who were Normans, quitted their castles and found refuge with the king of Scots.

Death of a king of Wales.

[A.D. 1053.] Rhesus, brother of Griffin king of Wales, was slain at a place called Bullendon, and his head was presented to king Eadward at Gloucester on the vigil of the Epiphany.

Disgraceful death of the traitor Godwin.

[A.D. 1054.] Eadward king of England kept the festival of Easter at Winchester, and as he sat at meat, his butler, while carrying the king's goblet of wine to the table, struck one foot against the floor, but recovering himself with the other, saved himself from falling. On seeing which, earl Godwin, who, as was his custom, sat with the king at table, remarked, "One brother has helped the other". To whom the king gave this cutting reply, "And my brother would now be able to aid me, had it not been for Godwin's

312 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1055.

treachery". Godwin, who had betrayed the king's brother, not enduring this reply, said, "I know, king, that you have me in suspicion touching the death of your brother; but, as God is true and righteous, may this morsel of bread choke me if ever your brother received his death or bodily harm through me or by my counsel". The king then blessed the morsel, which Godwin put into his mouth, and, being conscious of his guilt, he was choked and died. Seeing him pale and lifeless, the king exclaimed, "Take forth this dog and traitor, and bury him in a cross-way, for he is unworthy of Christian sepulture". But his sons who were present, removed their father from the table, and buried him, without the king's knowledge, in the Old Minster of that city. The king then gave the dukedom of Kent to Godwin's son Harold, who was the commander of his forces. In the same year Siward duke of Northumberland, a valiant man, led a numerous army into Scotland, and drove king Macbeth from the kingdom, after slaying many thousands of the Scots, together with all the Normans of whom we have made mention above. The king gave the kingdom of Scotland to Malcolm, son of the king of Cumberland, to hold of himself.

Herefordshire devastated.

A.D. 1055. Victor governed the Roman see two years, three months, and thirteen days. In the same year, Siward, duke of Northumberland, died, and king Eadward conferred that dukedom on Tosti, duke Harold's brother. Not long after this, king Eadward held a council at London, and banished from England earl Algar, who thereupon went into Ireland, where he got eighteen piratical vessels, and joining himself to Griffin king of Wales, made incursions into the kingdom of England. Having invaded Herefordshire, they were met by duke Ranulph, son of king Eadward's sister; but at the first onset Ranulph and his men fled; whereupon Algar and Griffin pursued the fugitives and slew five hundred of them. After this victory they entered the city of Hereford, and having slain seven ecclesiastics who defended the doors of the cathedral, they burned that church with its ornaments and relics. Then, after slaying some of the inhabitants, and taking others captives, and burning the town, they retired with a rich booty. On hearing of this

A.D. 1056.] BISHOP LEVEGAR SLAIN. 313

deed, king Eadward assembled a large army at Gloucester, and giving it in command to Harold, son of Godwin, he ordered him to make a fierce attack on the enemy. Accordingly, he boldly entered Wales and advanced with his army as far as Snowdon; but Algar and Griffin, well acquainted with Harold's valour, avoided an encounter. After terribly ravaging Wales, Harold marched to Hereford, which he environed with a broad and high rampart, and strengthened the city with gates and bars. At length, by the intervention of messengers, a peace of short duration was made between Algar and the king. In the same year, Hermann bishop of Ramesbury, annoyed at the king's refusal to allow the episcopal seat to be transferred to Salisbury, resigned his bishopric, and crossing the sea, assumed the monastic habit at St. Bertin's, and remained three years in that monastery. The first bishop of Ramesbury was Ethelstan, the second Odo, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury, the third Osulf, the fourth Algar, the fifth Elstan, the sixth Siric, the seventh Alfric, the eighth Brithwold, who continued from the time of king Ethelred to St. Eadward. We read of this Brithwold, that in the time of king Cnute, he would frequently turn his thoughts to the Enghsh royal race, then well nigh destroyed, and would wonder whether it would ever be restored, and that one night, as he lay on his bed musing on this subject, he was caught up on high, where he saw Peter, the prince of the apostles, holding in his arms Eadward the future king, then in Normandy, whom he consecrated to be king, and foretold that he would lead a life of celibacy and reign twenty-four years. It is said also that Brithwold inquired respecting the succession of the kings of England, and received this answer, "The kingdom of England belongs to God, and he will provide himself kings". The aforesaid Hermann returned to his bishopric, and, with king Eadward's leave, united the bishopric of Sherborne with that of Ramesbury, and transferred the cathedral see to Salisbury.

Bishop Levegar slain.

[A.D. 1056.] Ethelstan bishop of Hereford died, and was succeeded by Levegar, duke Harold's chaplain. This prelate, who was a model of piety, was slain by Griffin king of Wales, who burnt the city of Hereford. Levegar was succeeded by

314 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1057.

Walter who continued to the time of king William. In the same year Egelric bishop of Durham voluntarily left his bishopric, and took the monastic habit at Peterborough, where he lived an exemplary life twelve years.

King Eadward recalls his nephew.

[A.D. 1057.] Eadward king of England, being advanced in years, sent Aldred bishop of Worcester into Hungary, and recalled thence Eadward, son of king Eadmund his brother, with the intention of making him his successor. Eadward came accordingly, with his son Eadgar and his daughters Margaret and Christina, but died not long after his arrival in the city of London, leaving the king the charge of his son Eadgar and his daughters before mentioned. On the thirty-first of August in the same year died Leofric earl of Chester, a man of praise-worthy life; he was buried in the monastery which he had founded at Coventry. Having founded this monastery by the advice of his wife the noble countess Godiva, he, at the prayer of a religious woman, placed monks therein, and so enriched them with lands, woods, and ornaments, that there was not found in all England a monastery with such an abundance of gold and silver, gems and costly garments. The countess Godiva, who was a great lover of God's mother, longing to free the town of Coventry from the oppression of a heavy toll, often with urgent prayers besought her husband, that from regard to Jesus Christ and his mother, he would free the town from that service, and from all other heavy burdens; and when the earl sharply rebuked her for foolishly asking what was so much to his damage, and always forbade her ever more to speak to him on the subject; and while she, on the other hand, with a woman's pertinacity, never ceased to exasperate her husband on that matter, he at last made her this answer, "Mount your horse, and ride naked, before all the people, through the market of the town, from one end to the other, and on your return you shall have your request". On which Godiva replied, "But will you give me permission, if I am willing to do it"? "I will", said he. Whereupon the countess, beloved of God, loosed her hair and let down her tresses, which covered the whole of her body like a veil, and then mounting her horse and attended by two knights, she rode through the market-place, without being seen,

A.D. 1058.] A LEGEND. 315

except her fair legs; and having completed the journey, she returned with gladness to her astonished husband, and obtained of him what she had asked; for earl Leofric freed the town of Coventry and its inhabitants from the aforesaid service, and confirmed what he had done by a charter. The said earl also, at the instigation of his countess, munificently enriched with lands, buildings, and various ornaments the churches of Worcester, St. Mary of Stone, and St. Wereburg, with the monasteries of Evesham, Wenloc, and Lenton.

Wonderful occurrences at Rome.

[A.D. 1058.] Stephen sat in the Roman chair nine months, and was succeeded by Benedict, who likewise governed the church nine months. At that time a certain youth, a citizen of Rome, and of senatorial dignity, married a noble virgin, and in honour of the occasion made a feast to his companions for many days. One day, being satiated with delicacies, they went out into the plain to strengthen their stomachs with exercise, and spent a great part of the day in playing at ball. But not to lose his nuptial ring, the youth, unobserved by his companions, put it on the extended finger of a certain brazen statue; after which he joined in the game; but becoming heated with violent running, he was the first to give up play, and on coming to the statue, he found the finger on which he had placed the ring, bent against the palm, and the ring held firmly on it. After many vain attempts to break the finger, or get off the ring by any means, finding that all was of no avail, he retired in great confusion, concealing what had happened from his companions. Returning at night to the statue with his servants, he was amazed at finding the finger extended and the ring taken off. Concealing his loss, as he the following night lay down by the side of his bride, he was sensible of the presence of some misty and dense substance interposed between him and her, but which nevertheless could neither be felt nor seen. Prevented by this obstacle from embracing his wife, he heard a voice addressing him, "Lie with me; for thou marriedst me today: I am Venus, on whose finger thou placedst the ring, which I have, and will not give up". A long time elapsed, during which as often as he sought to lie on his wife's bosom, the same thing interposed, and the same

316 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1058.

voice was heard. In other things the youth was strong and daring, as well in the forum as in military exercise. At length, by his wife's advice, the matter was made known to their parents, who, after holding a speedy council, communicated the occurrence to a priest near to the city named Palumbus. The man was skilled in necromancy, could raise magical appearances, call up devils, and compel them to do any work he pleased. They therefore agreed to give him a large sum of gold and silver, if by any possibility he could recover the ring. The priest thereupon delivered a letter to the youth neatly written in these words, "Go to the cross roads at night, and stand there in silence carefully awaiting the issue. For there will pass by figures of people of both sexes, of every age, grade, and condition, some on foot, some on horseback, some with downward looks, and others with heads erect and haughty mien. If they address you, make no reply; for whatever pertains to joy or sadness you will at once perceive by their looks and actions. That multitude will be followed by one of more beautiful person and larger size than the rest, and sitting in a chariot. Speak not, but give him the letter to read, and if you only have fortitude, your desire will be immediately accomplished". The young man accordingly set about the enterprise with great spirit, and boldly took his stand at the cross-ways to prove the faith of the priest's words. Among the rest who passed by he saw a woman in the attire of a harlot, riding on a mule, her hair flowing loosely over her shoulders, and holding in her hand a golden rod, with which she managed her steed, and as she went she exhibited wanton gestures, her garments being so thin that she was all but naked. The last, who seemed to be above the rest, directed his haughty eyes on the youth from his proud car, studded with emeralds and union-pearls, and demanded the cause of his coming. The youth made no reply, but extended his hand and gave him the letter. The demon did not dare to slight the well known seal, but when he had opened and read it, he exclaimed with arms stretched towards heaven, "Almighty God, how long wilt thou endure the wickedness of the priest Palumbus"? He then despatched his satellites to take away the ring from Venus, which, with much evasion, she was at length compelled to resign. The happy youth then without any

A.D. 1060.] NICOLAS POPE. 317

obstacle attained the enjoyment of his bride for which he had so long sighed. But the priest Palumbus, on hearing the demon's complaints of him unto the Lord, perceived that the end of his days was at hand; wherefore he cut off all his members with a knife, and died in this astonishing act of penance, after making public confession to the pope of unparalleled acts of wickedness.

Earl Harold promises England to William duke of Normandy.

[A.D. 1059.] While earl Harold was visiting his own estates at Boseham, he one day for recreation entered a fishing boat, and to obtain better sport, put out to sea, when a sudden storm arising, he was driven with his companions to the coast of Ponthieu, where he was seized by the inhabitants of that country and thrown into fetters, on the charge of being a spy. To procure his deliverance, Harold by his liberal promises induced a messenger to go and acquaint William duke of Normandy, that he had been sent to him by king Eadward to open to him matters of great moment; and that he was detained in prison by Godwin count of Ponthieu, so that he could not execute the king's commands. Harold was in consequence, by William's mediation, set at liberty by Godwin, and conducted to Normandy, where he was received with honour by William, and courteously supplied with food and clothing. To ingratiate himself with William, Harold made him a grant of the castle of Dover, which was his own by right, and promised on his oath to confirm to him the kingdom of England after the death of king Eadward. In return, duke William promised to give him his little daughter in marriage with her ample patrimony, and henceforth treated him as one of his family. But some authors have given a different account, and say that Harold was sent into Normandy by king Eadward, to conduct duke William into England, inasmuch as the king purposed to make him his son.

Nicolas pope.

[A.D. 1060.] Nicolas sat in the Roman chair two years and six months; and in the same year died Kinsy archbishop of York, and was succeeded by Aldred bishop of Worcester. The bishopric of Hereford, which had also been

318 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1063.

committed to him on account of his great industry, was given to Walter the Lotharingian, chaplain of queen Edith; and in the same year, on the death of Duduc, bishop of Wells, Gisa, the king's chaplain, succeeded him.

The archbishop of York obtains the pall from Rome.

[A.D. 1061.] Aldred, archbishop elect of York, set out for Rome with earl Tosti, and received the pall from pope Nicolas. Gisa, prelate of Wells, and Walter of Hereford, were also consecrated there.

St. Wulstan elected prelate of Worcester.

[A.D. 1062.] Wulstan, prior of the church of Worcester, a man of notable piety, was elected to the prelacy of that church, and, with the acclamation of the king and people, consecrated as bishop. His consecration was performed by Aldred, archbishop of York, forasmuch as archbishop Stigand was at that time suspended from his office, for having presumed to enter on it while Robert, archbishop of Canterbury, was yet living.

At this time there was an extraordinary birth, on the confines of the lesser Brittany and Normandy. For in one, or rather in two women, there were two heads, and four arms, and every thing else double down to the navel; but below there were two legs, two feet, and every thing else single. The one laughed, ate, and talked; the other wept, fasted, and kept silence. What they ate with two mouths was expelled at one orifice. At last, one of them died, and the other survived: the living bore the dead for nearly three years, till at length she died also from the oppression and stench of the corpse.

Earl Harold devastates the whole of Wales.

[A.D. 1063.] By the command of king Eadward, earl Harold made an expedition into Wales to harass king Griffin; but warned of his approach, the latter took ship and escaped with difficulty. Finding that he had escaped, Harold assembled a greater army, and being met by his brother Tosti at the king's command, they, with united forces, began to lay waste that country by sea and land; so that, urged by necessity, the Welsh gave hostages, and promised thenceforth

A.D. 1065.] DEATH OF GRIFFIN. 319

to pay tribute to king Eadward, and moreover drove their king, Griffin, into exile.

The Welsh put to death their king.

[A.D. 1064.] On the fifth of August the Welsh people put king Griffin to death, and sent his head to duke Harold, who transmitted it to king Eadward. Harold then set over the Welsh another king, who did fealty to the king of England, and promised faithfully to him and his successors all their dues.

Discovery of St. Oswin, king and martyr.

[A.D. 1065.] The sacred bones of the king and martyr, the blessed Oswin, were discovered as follows. After the passion of the said most illustrious king, as has before been clearly set forth in treating of his martyrdom, his body was borne to the monastery of Mary, God's blessed mother, to the north of the mouth of the river Tyne, and there buried in royal state. For the number of his miracles through a long series of years, the place of his sepulchre was had in so great reverence by the people of that region, that they chose to have the king and martyr who was buried among them, amd who had been their lord and patron on earth, as their protector also in heaven; wherefore, in process of time, to do greater honour to the noble martyr, holy nuns, from the monastery of the abbess St. Hilda, were brought to his body, and continued in the height of devotion, in the church of Mary, God's blessed mother, until the Danish persecution which was stirred up by the fury of the brothers, Hinguar and Hubba. In the heat of this diabolical persecution, this monastery, and all its buildings, is believed to have been demolished, with the other English monasteries, by the aforesaid servants of the devil, and the holy virgins were translated by martyrdom to the heavenly kingdom. For many years after this, that country continued under the power of the infidel Danes, by which the memory of the holy martyr was well nigh blotted out from the minds of the people; but when at length the devotion of the faithful began to return, and the purity of the faith to revive, the bishop of that district placed priests and clergy in the church of God's mother to celebrate the divine mysteries for the parishioners of that place. Meanwhile, the

320 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1005.

most blessed martyr lay entombed under the humble turf, until the time of Egelwin bishop of Durham, and Tosti earl of Northumberland, who succeeded Siward in that dignity, not by hereditary succession, but by the grant of king Eadward. It pleased therefore the divine goodness, in the lifetime of the aforesaid bishop, to bring to light the blessed martyr's relics for the profit of the whole church, that the candle which had been long placed under a bushel, being set on a candlestick, might illuminate the darkness of infidelity. There was a certain warden of the aforesaid church, in which the body of the blessed martyr had been buried, whose name was Eadmund, a religious man, and devoted to the blessed martyr, and, though not professedly of any particular monastery, yet wearing the religious habit. One night, after he had given his members to rest in the church, when the nightly vigil was over, there stood by him a man of lofty stature and heavenly brightness, who called him by name and said, "Brother Eadmund, brother Eadmund, I am king Oswin, who lie in this church unknown to all. Arise therefore, and tell bishop Egelwin to search for my body under the pavement of this oratory; and when he has found it, let him not fail to place it in the same oratory with more than ordinary honour". Awaking from sleep, and glad at the vision, Eadmund in the early twilight went to the bishop, and reverently opened to him the matter of the vision. On hearing this, the prelate rejoiced with unspeakable joy, and reverently going to the spot, found a multitude of people assembled there from distant parts, and by his command, after prayer had been made by all, they set about digging up the floor of the oratory, and by the time the day was far spent, had discovered nothing. Emulous for the saint's credit, Eadmund seized a mattock, and with much warmth struck the ground where they had all for a long while been digging, and after repeated blows discovered the slab of a tomb, and on removing the stone, he with joy beheld the holy relics. The bishop himself raised the sacred body, which he then washed with his own hands, and after wrapping it in clean linen, placed it with honour in a more conspicuous part of the church. The water with which the most sacred body was washed in a corner of the chapel, was of benefit to a number of people as well as cattle, on whom the bishop directed it to be

A.D. 1065.] OF THE SONS OF GODWIN. 321

sprinkled; and the dust of the saint, diluted in water, restored to health a number of sick persons who drank of it. These things took place on the 11th of March, in the four hundred and fortieth year after his passion.

Miracle of St. Oswin's hairs.

As the bishop was on his way to make the above discovery, the countess Judith, wife of Tosti, begged that some small portion of the sacred relics might be given her, and accordingly she received by his gift a large portion of the uncorrupted hairs of the holy martyr. Led by holy devotion, she wished to confirm in the faith some who were incredulous. Commanding therefore a large fire to be kindled in the middle of her hall, she boldly threw the hairs into it, when, so far were they from receiving injury from the violence of the flame, that they rather acquired greater beauty thereby. In admiration at the miracle, the countess took the holy martyr's hairs out of the fire, and, by the bishop's advice, laid them by with due honour. She then dismissed a crowd of simple people, who had come together to the sight, confirmed in devotion to the blessed martyr.

The Welsh slay certain of the king's servants.

In the same year duke Harold built a great edifice in Wales, and stored it with an abundance of provision, that king Eadward might be able to amuse himself there awhile in the hunting season. But Craddoc, son of Grifiin, whom Harold had exiled in the preceding year, came there in a hostile manner on the feast of St. Bartholomew, and slew nearly all the workmen and their masters, and carried off all the provisions.

Wickedness of the traitor Godwin's sons.

It happened in the same year, in the presence of king Eadward at Wyndeleshore [Windsor], Tosti earl of Northumberland, moved with envy, seized by the hair his brother Harold as he was pledging the king in a cup of wine, and handled him shamefully, to the amazement of all the king's household. Provoked to vengeance at this, Harold seized his brother in his arms, and, lifting him up, dashed him with violence against the ground; on which the soldiers rushed forward from all sides, and put an end to the contest between these

322 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1066.

famous brothers, and separated them from each other. The king thereupon foretold that the destruction of those brothers was at hand, and that God's vengeance would not long be delayed. For all the sons of the traitor Godwin were so enormously wicked, that if they saw a beautiful mansion, they would cause the owner and all his offspring to be murdered by night, and so would obtain the possessions of the deceased. Yet notwithstanding these enormities, they so abused the king's simplicity, that he made them justiciaries and guardians of the realm. After this strife with his brother Harold, Tosti quitted the king's court in a rage, and coming to the city of Hereford, where his brother Harold had prepared a great feast for the king, he cut off the limbs of all the servants, and put an arm, or some other member, in each of the vessels of wine, mead, ale, or pickle; after which he sent a message to the king, that on coming to his lodging, he would find the food seasoned to his mind, and that he should take care to carry away the delicacies with him. On hearing of this detestable wickedness, the king sentenced him to banishment.

The Northmen drive earl Tosti out of England.

At this time the Northumbrians assembled with one consent at York, on the 3rd of October, and expelled Tosti their earl, putting to death all his household, whether Danes or English, and seizing on his treasures and arms, and all his possessions. After his expulsion, they made Mercher, son of earl Algar, earl of that country, and requested the king to confirm him in that dignity. King Eadward having complied, Tosti went with his wife into Flanders to count Baldwin, and passed the winter at St. Omer.

Dedication of the monastery of the blessed Peter, without London.

[A.D. 1066.] Eadward, king of England, held his court at Christmas at Westminster; and, on the blessed Innocent's day, caused the church which he had erected from its foundations, outside of the city of London, to be dedicated with great pomp in honour of St. Peter the prince of the apostles; but both before and during the solemn festival of this dedication, the king was confined with severe illness. As his illness increased, he took to his bed, where after lying two

A.D. 1066.] DEATH OF KING EDWARD. 323

days speechless and apparently lifeless, he on the third day revived, and fetching a heavy and deep sigh, exclaimed, "Almighty God, if it be not an illusion, but a true vision, which I have beheld, grant me strength to tell it to those who are by; but if, on the other hand, it be false, I pray thee withhold from me the power of telling it". After this prayer, he narrated with sufficient ease and clearness as follows: "I just now saw standing by me two monks whom I had seen before in Normandy in my youth, and knew to have lived most religiously, and died most Christianly. These men assured me that they were sent to me with a message from God, and proceeded as follows,- 'Forasmuch as the princes, dukes, bishops, and abbats of England are not the servants of God, but of the devil, therefore God will, within a year and a day, deliver this kingdom into the hand of the enemy; and this land shall be wholly overrun with demons'. On my saying that I would declare this to the people, that they might repent of their sins and make confession and satisfaction, and, like the Ninevites, obtain mercy; 'It will be to no purpose', they replied, 'for they will not repent, nor will God have mercy upon them'. Then said I, 'But when may we hope for a remission of such dire calamities'? 'If', they replied, 'a green tree be cut down, and the head carried far away from the root, and after this they of their own accord unite, and blossom, and bear fruit, then may a remission of these evils be hoped for'". The English afterwards proved the truth of this prophecy; for England truly became the dwelling of foreigners, and felt the yoke of strangers, none of her dukes, or prelates, or abbats being English, nor was there any hope of ending this misery.

Death of king Eadward the Third, and his virtues.

The pacific king Eadward, the glory of England, the son of king Ethelred, exchanged a temporal for an eternal kingdom, in the fourth indiction, on the vigil of our Lord's epiphany, being the fifth day of the week, [Thursday, Jan. 5, 1066]. The day after his death, the most blessed king was buried at London, in the church which he himself had built in a new and costly style of architecture, which was afterwards adopted by numbers. With him ended the line of the English kings, which

324 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1066.

commencing with Cerdic. the first English king of Wessex, had continued unbroken for five hundred and seventy-one years, except by a few Danish sovereigns, who, for the sins of the English nation, reigned a short time. Having now said enough of the secular cares and warlike occupations of this most blessed king and confessor, it seems not amiss to add a few words touching his sanctity and virtues. For while yet in this mortal body, he was a most diligent inquirer into heavenly secrets; and the King of kings vouchsafed to reveal to him, by the spirit of prophecy, some mysteries worthy of relation. Once on a time, when holding his court at Westminster with royal state, on Easter-day, as he sat at table, he suddenly raised his voice to a laugh with less restraint than usual, and thereby drew on himself the eyes of all the guests, who wondered exceedingly at the king's laughing in that manner, without any cause as they supposed. When they had retired from dinner, and the king was sitting among the bishops and nobles, earl Harold said to him, "My lord, O king, we have had an unusual spectacle to-day, which has caused us much wonder; for we never before saw you laugh so freely". The king answered, "I saw a wonderful sight, and so had reason to laugh". On which the nobles who were present, well knowing that it was not a silly matter which had drawn a laugh from a man of his dignity, earnestly besought him to vouchsafe to disclose to them the cause of his extraordinary joy. Overcome by their entreaties, "It is now", said he, "upwards of two hundred years that the seven sleepers have been resting on their right side in the cave of Mount Coelius at Rome; but to-day, after we had taken our seats at table, they turned on their left side, and will so remain for seventy years". On hearing this, all the audience inquired what was signified by this change; to which he replied, "This change doubtless portends some terrible calamities to mankind, who will suffer severely from wars and other plagues; and, by Christ's power, the pagans will be vanquished by the Christians". After hearing this and much besides to the like effect, the aforesaid nobles retired from the king in astonishment, and sent messengers to search out the truth of the matter. Earl Harold sent a knight, a bishop who was present sent a clerk, and an abbat a monk, with presents from the king

A.D. 1066.] CORONATION OF HAROLD. 325

and a letter under his seal, to Michael emperor of Constantinople, requesting that the seven sleepers might be shown to the messengers of Eadward king of England. The emperor graciously received the ambassadors of England, who had come from such distant parts, and commanded that the aforesaid seven sleepers should be shown to them; whereupon, finding that everything relating to the holy sleepers agreed with what king Eadward had declared in England, and having presented their gifts, they gave God thanks, and returned home.

Chastity of king Eadward.

Concerning this most holy king, we must not omit to mention, that he never either lost his own chastity, or injured that of any woman. Nevertheless he had a queen named Edith daughter of earl Godwin, as has been said before, whose mind was stored with all liberal knowledge, but she evinced little understanding in secular matters. The king treated her as his wife, but in such sort, that he neither abstained from her bed, nor had any carnal knowledge of her. Whether he acted thus from hatred of her father, a convicted traitor, and all her family, which he prudently concealed for a time, or from love of chastity, is uncertain; but the presumption is strong, that the pious king was unwilling to beget successors from the stock of a traitor.

Coronation of king Harold, and his victory over the king of Norway. [1]

Eadward, the most holy king of England, being dead, as has been said before, the nobles in the realm were in doubt


[1] Matthew Paris inserts here the following prologue.

The Prologue of Matthew Paris.

Of chronography, that is the arrangement of dates, we will first speak in answer to envious disparagers, and to those who deem our labour to be useless; afterwards we will, in the present prologue, describe and briefly lay open the cause of events to well-wishers, and those who expect, nay, demand it of us. For our accusers say, "Why is it necessary to commit to writing the lives or deaths of men, and the different events of the world, or to perpetuate in writings the prodigies connected with various events"? Let them learn what the philosopher says, "Inasmuch as every man is naturally desirous of acquiring knowledge", and "A man without learning and a recollection of past events sinks into the dulness of an animal, and the life of that man, although in a living state, must be looked upon as if he was in his grave". And if you are forgetful of the ancient dead, and of past events, who will remember you? This is the anathema of the psalmist, who says, "Let the memory of him be blotted from the earth"; and the benediction of the same, "The righteous man shall live in memory to eternity, and his name shall be extolled for ever with blessings; but the unjust man will be mentioned with maledictions and ignominy". To avoid, therefore, the steps of the wicked, let us follow, step by step, the track of the good, whose acts we are describing, behold the fruits of the scriptures, behold the mirror of man's lot. On this account (although other examples may not be wanting) the law-giver Moses, in the Old Testament, shows forth, and by committing them to writing endeavours to perpetuate, the innocence of Abel, the envy of Cain, the coming of Jacob, the carelessness of Esau, the simple-mindedness of Job, the evil disposition of the eleven sons of Israel, the righteousness of the twelfth son, namely Joseph, the punishment of the five cities, and the repentance of the Ninevites; that we may truly imitate the good, but dread to be followers of the wicked. Aspiring to this end, the holy evangelists, theologists, Josephus the Hebrew historian, Cyprian bishop of Carthage and a martyr, Eusebius Caesariensis, Jerome the priest, Sulpitius Severus, Fortunatus, the venerable priest Bede, and Prosper of Aquitaine, have written the acts of God and the deeds of the ancients; and, to come to modern writers, Marianus Scotus the monk of Fulda, and Sigisbert a monk of Gemblour, and some others of profound genius, have published true chronicles. And at this point we also begin the chronicles of the English, from William, the leader of the Normans, who, being provoked by the perfidious and perjured king Harold, drove him from the throne of the kingdom as one who had broken his faith; and the cause of this deed I shall briefly relate to my readers.

326 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1066.

whom to choose for their king and governor, some inclining to William duke of Normandy, some to earl Harold son of Godwin, while others favoured the pretensions of Eadgar son of Eadward. For Eadmund Ironside, the natural king from the legitimate royal stock, begat Eadward, and Eadward begat Eadgar, to whom was due by right the kingdom of England. But Harold, an able and crafty man, knowing that delay is always injurious, on the day of the Epiphany, being that on which king Eadward was buried, extorted the assent of the nobles, and placed the diadem on his own head. After his promotion, his brother Tosti arrived from Flanders with sixty vessels, and landing at the mouth of the river Humber, committed piratical ravages; but being driven from that province by the brothers Eadwin and Mercard, he turned his sails towards Scotland, where he fell in with Harold king of Norway, and made a league with him. The latter sailed to England with three hundred cogues to endeavour to subjugate it. As he was committing ravages in Northumberland,

A.D. 1066.] BATTLE OF STANFORD BRIDGE. 327

he was opposed by earl Mercher and the men of that region, whom he defeated in battle and drove into York. On hearing this, Harold king of England hastened thither with all his strength, and arriving at a town called Stanford, he found there his armies aforesaid, and, though it is hard to believe, a single Norwegian, standing at the entrance of the bridge, slew a number of the English, and kept their whole army from passing over. On being invited to surrender, he mocked the English, and said that they were men of no spirit, who could not overcome a single warrior. When no one dared to approach him, as deeming it unadvisable to engage with him hand to hand, at last one of the king's household pierced him through with a dart, on which he fell dead into the stream, yielding the victory to the English, who finding a free passage, fell on the rear of the Norwegian fugitives. At length, after slaying Harold king of Norway, Tosti, brother of the king of England, and many others, the king of England appropriated to his own use the booty and spoils, without allowing any one to share with him, which so disgusted his army, that they unanimously forsook him.

William duke of Normandy charges Harold with breach of faith.

Elated with his recent victory, Harold thought nothing of the solemn oath he had made to William duke of Normandy. Moreover, the death of duke William's daughter, whom he had betrothed in her infancy, increased his security; added to which, William was embroiled in wars with the neighbouring princes, so that his threats seemed likely never to be effective. Harold maintained that the oath he had taken when in duresse was not binding, since he could not give the kingdom to another, while king Eadward was yet living, and without consulting him. But William thought otherwise; for no sooner did he hear that Harold was invested with the diadem, than he sent messengers to him with a mild rebuke for his breach of faith, and threatening that within a year he would claim his rights. Harold, on the other hand, by the same messengers, excused himself to William on the grounds aforesaid. They accordingly returned without success to the duke of Normandy, and delivered the following message, "Harold king of England says that it is true that he did, under duresse, swear to give you the kingdom of

328 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1066.

England, when he betrothed your daughter in Normandy; but he maintains that a compulsory oath is not binding; for, if a vow or an oath, which, without consulting her parents, a damsel knowingly took respecting her person, in her father's house, could be recalled as of no effect, much more ought an oath, which he had made under duresse, being the king's liegeman, and without informing him, to be of none effect. He adds, moreover, that it would have been the height of presumption in him, without consulting the great council of the nation, to give the inheritance of the kingdom to a stranger; and that it is unjust in you to ask him to give up a kingdom, whose government had been conferred on him by the general assent of the nobles".

Arrival of William duke of Normandy in England. [1]

On hearing this message, William duke of Normandy was exceedingly indignant, and, that he might not prejudice the


[1] This same Harold while yet young, aspiring to the kingdom of England and voluntarily travelling abroad, whilst on a voyage, was driven from his track by a storm, and, when ho thought that he had reached Flanders, he was driven to the province of [Ponthieu]; the ruler of which made him prisoner and presented him to William duke of Normandy. But Harold asserted that he had done all this willingly, that he might come to Normandy to enter into a treaty with the Norman duke, and take his daughter to wife; and this he swore on the relics of many of the saints that he would fulfil faithfully at a fixed period. The more secret this arrival was, the more honourably was he received; for the two chiefs had before been enemies. He moreover swore that, after the death of king Edward, who had already grown old and was without children, he would faithfully keep the kingdom of England for the duke, who had a right to the kingdom. Having then spent some days in great rejoicings, Harold returned to England enriched with large presents; but after he was settled in safety he frequently boasted that he had escaped the snares of his enemy, though he did not mind incurring the charge of perjury. At length the time approached, when all his promises ought to have been fulfilled, and it now fully expired without his doing anything. The duke therefore sent messengers to inquire the reason of this; but Harold, a false and proud man, insolently denied all his agreements, and taunting the messengers sent them back with their horses mutilated. The duke, justly incensed at this, roused the king of the French, and all his neighbours, relations, and friends, to take vengeance with him for such a great insult; and by the Lord's assistance in his vengeance, crushed Harold, and, as the following history mentions, gained for himself the kingdom of England.

In the year of grace 1066, the peaceful king Edward, son of king Ethelred, the boast of Englishmen, on the fifth day of the week, at the feast of the Lord's Epiphany, exchanged a temporal for an eternal kingdom, after having reigned twenty-four years. This most blessed king was buried on the morrow after his death, at London, in a church which he had himself built after a new fashion; and afterwards many, who built churches on the same plan, emulated the lavish expenditure of that work. In him at last ceased the line of English kings, which line is said to have continued uninterrupted, from the time of Cerdic the first king of the West-Saxons, for five hundred and seventy-one years, excepting when a few Danes reigned for some time as a punishment for the wickedness of the English nation.

On the death then of the most holy king Edward in whom the line of the kings of England became extinct, the nobles of the kingdom were wavering in their choice of a ruler. For some were in favour of William duke of the Normans, some were for earl Harold son of Godwin, but others inclined to Edgar, Edward's son. But Edward was the son of Edmund Ironside, who was the natural descendant of a race of kings; Edgar was the son of Edward, and to him the kingdom of England of right belonged; but Harold, a crafty and shrewd man, who knew how dangerous it was to delay when all things were ready, on the very day of the Epiphany on which Edward was buried, extorted the allegiance of the nobles, and claimed the kingdom for himself, adding to his other offences by assuming the crown without the anthority of the church; and by this act he made enemies of pope Alexander and all the prelates of England. Harold also king of Norway, coming with a thousand ships to attack him, was defeated by the English king Harold, which raised his pride so that he became oppressive to his subjects. Being now become a tyrant from a king he thought nothing of the agreement between himself and duke William which had been made and confirmed by oath. His feeling of security was also increased by the death of William's daughter to whom he had betrothed himself before she was of a marriageable age. He heard, moreover, that William was engaged in wars with the neighbouring dukes, and hoped that his threats would not come to anything. He declared too, that the oath which he had been compelled to make, ought not to be kept, since he could not give away the kingdom whilst Edward was alive, nor grant it to any one without consulting that king; but Harold thought one thing and William another. For that prince, as soon as he learnt that Harold was crowned, sent messengers and gently accused him of breaking their treaty, and threatened that he would exact what was due before a year was passed; Harold, in reply, sent excuses to duke William by the messengers before mentioned. But the messengers returning without effecting anything addressed the Norman duke in these words, "Harold king of the English, tells you that he was in fact driven by necessity when he betrothed himself to your daughter in Normandy and swore to yield the English kingdom to you; but in answer to this he asserts that an oath exacted by violence ought not to be kept. For if a vow or an oath which a girl in her father's house has made concerning herself without consulting her parents, is not considered binding, so much more, he declares, ought an oath which he had made on compulsion, when he was under the authority of the king, and of which the king was ignorant, to be considered nugatory. He affirms moreover, that it was too presumptuous, without the general consent, to swear the hereditary right of another to you. He added moreover, that it was unjust to ask him to give up a kingdom which he had undertaken to rule, by the general consent of the nobles".

A.D. 1066.] WILLIAM LANDS AT HASTINGS. 329

justice of his cause by any rashness, he sent messengers to pope Alexander, to obtain the sanction of apostolical authority for his enterprise. After considering both sides of the question, the pope sent William a standard in token of his right; on receiving which he called a council of nobles at Lillebone, and demanded the sentiments of each on the matter aforesaid. They all promised him their aid, and encouraged him to proceed in his enterprise; after which they broke up the council, agreeing in the month of August to assemble at the port of St. Valery with horses and arms, in readiness to cross the sea. Accordingly, they all assembled at the time appointed, but the wind was unfavourable for conveying them over to England. To procure a gale, the duke ordered the body of St. Valery to be brought out into the open air, and immediately their sails were filled with the wished for breeze. All thereupon embarked, and made a rapid course to Hastings. In quitting his vessel, duke William slipped and fell; on which, a knight, who stood near, gave a happy turn to the accident by saying, "Duke, you have taken possession of England as its future sovereign".

330 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1066.

As soon as he had landed, he restrained all his army from plundering, remarking that they ought to spare the property which would shortly be their own. He then kept himself quiet for fifteen successive days, as though his object was any thing rather than war

On hearing of duke William's arrival, king Harold goes against him to battle.

On his return from fighting with the Norwegians, Harold heard of William's arrival, and made towards Hastings with a very small force; for except his hired soldiers he had very few of the country-people with him, insomuch that it would not have been much for an enemy to defeat him. Nevertheless Harold sent forward scouts to estimate the enemy's strength and numbers. These were seized in duke William's camp, who ordered them to be conducted round and shown his army, and after giving them a plentiful refreshment, sent them back safe to their master. On their return, Harold inquired what report they had to give of matters; whereupon, after reporting the great confidence of the duke, they seriously

A.D. 1066.] BATTLE OF HASTINGS. 331

affirmed that all his army looked like priests, inasmuch as they had the whole of the face and both lips shaven, which was not an English custom. Smiling at their simplicity, the king assured them that those were not priests, but soldiers of stout hearts and invincible in battle. On this, the king's brother Gurth, a man of great wisdom and virtue beyond his years, interrupted him and said, "As you say the Normans are so brave, I think it unadvisable that you should fight with them, to whom you are inferior in forces and in the justice of your cause; for you cannot deny that, whether voluntarily or against your will, you took an oath to duke William; wherefore you will act more advisedly, if, in the present necessity, you withdraw; lest, fighting as a perjured man, you incur defeat or death. But we, who have taken no such oath, shall engage in battle with a clear conscience, fighting for our country; so shall your cause prosper better if we fight alone; while you can give us aid if we flee, or avenge us if we die". But Harold's rashness would not allow him to lend a favourable ear to this advice, thinking it inglorious and a reproach to his past life, to turn his back to an enemy.

A monk, sent by duke William, makes three proposals to Harold.

While the brothers were thus conversing, a monk arrived from duke William, with three proposals on his behalf to Harold, either that he should give up the kingdom according to his oath, or hold the kingdom as William's vassal, or lastly, that they should decide the matter by single combat in the presence of both armies. On hearing this, Harold would neither give William's messenger a benignant look nor a courteous speech, but indignantly dismissed him with the single ejaculation that the Lord might judge between him and William. On this, the monk boldly replied, that, if he denied William's right, the latter was prepared to prove it, either by the judgment of the apostolic see, or, if he preferred, by battle. Harold would add nothing to his former reply, which served to kindle the spirit of the Normans for the battle.

Battle of Hastings, and victory of duke William.

The adverse sides then drew up their forces; the English, who had spent all the night in singing and feasting, in the

332 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1066.

morning advanced against the enemy in a state of intoxication, all the foot soldiers armed with battle-axes, and holding their shields in front, presented an impenetrable mass; which would doubtless have secured the fortune of the day, had not the Normans, after their usual custom, pretended to fly, and so dissolved their close array. King Harold stood on foot near a standard with his brothers, that, sharing the common danger, no one might think of flying. On the other side, the Normans had spent the whole night in confessing their sins, and in the morning, after strengthening themselves by partaking of the body and blood of the Lord, boldly awaited the attack of the enemy. Placing his foot soldiers and bowmen in the first line, William stationed his cavalry on either wing behind them. Then with a serene countenance and loud voice declaring that God would favour his righteous cause, the duke called for his arms, and his attendants having in their haste put on his tunic the wrong way, he altered it with a smile, saying, "The might of my duchy shall be changed into that of a kingdom". Then, singing the song of Roland to kindle the courage of his men, and invoking the aid of God, they began the battle. They fought bravely on both sides great part of the day, neither giving way; till at last William signified to his men, that they should pretend to fly, and retire from the field; on seeing which, the English army broke their ranks to pursue and cut down the fugitives, and thus hastened their own destruction; for the Normans turned again, and, attacking the English, speedily put them to flight. The latter took post on a hillock, and hurling their weapons and throwing stones from the upper ground, easily repulsed the hot attack of the Normans, and slew numbers of them. Then making way by a path known to themselves to an eminence surrounded with a steep trench, they slew there such a number of Normans, that the inequalities of the ground were filled with corpses. In this way fortune alternated from one side to the other, as long as Harold's soul and body kept together. Not content with exhorting the rest to play the part of a good soldier, he would engage hand to hand with the assailants, suffering none to approach with impunity, and severing horse and rider at a blow. William, on the other hand, moved everywhere among the foremost, encouraging his men with his voice, and not suffering them to

A.D. 1067.] CORONATION OF WILLIAM I. 333

attack the close array of the foe. Three choice horses were slain under him, and though his body-guards often in a friendly whisper reproved his rashness, the magnanimous duke persisted unwearied in his efforts, till Harold fell, pierced through the brain wih an arrow, and thus yielded the victory to the Normans. A soldier cut off with his sword the leg of the dead monarch, for which unbecoming act he was ignominiously beaten by William. The English fled until night, which brought with it to the Normans a complete victory over their enemies, as has been said before. The hand of God, without a doubt, protected duke William in this battle; for though he was hit with such a number of darts on that day, the enemy could not shed one drop of his blood. Having then done all things well, duke William provided for the honourable interment of his dead, and gave the same permission to the enemy. On Harold's mother requesting the body of her son, he sent it to her without ransom, though she offered a large sum. The body of the deceased king was buried at Waltham, in the church which he had built from his own means in honour of the holy cross, and wherein he had placed secular canons. This subversion of the kingdom and effusion of blood were predicted by the appearance of a large comet of bloody colour and with a long train in the beginning of that year; as some one has written,

Anno milleno, sexageno quoque seno,
Anglorum metae flammas sensere cometae.

This battle was fought at Hastings, on the day of St. Calixtus the pope, on the 14th of October.

Of the coronation of king William the first.

[A.D. 1067.] William duke of Normandy approached the city of London, where he was received with much exultation by the clergy and people, and saluted as king by all of them to a man. On Christmas day he received the crown of the kingdom from Aldred archbishop of York; for he was loath to receive this office of consecration from Stigand archbishop of Canterbury, because that prelate had irregularly been appointed to his high dignity. After this, he strengthened his sovereignty by making the nobles do homage, and take oaths of fidelity to him, and making them give hostages, by

334 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1067.

which means he struck terror into all who aspired to the sovereignty. After he had disposed of the different cities and fortresses amongst his own followers, he set sail for Normandy, taking with him his English hostages and a large sum of money. When he had lodged his hostages in safe custody in that country, he again hurried to England, where he expelled the English from their possessions and bountifully distributed them amongst the warriors who had fought with him at the battle of Hastings; and the small portion which he allowed the natives to retain, he condemned to be held in perpetual vassalage. The higher ranks of the natives, being indignant at this, fled to Malcolm king of the Scots; others took to a wild life in the woods and for a long while continued to harass the Normans. Among those who fled from England to Malcolm king of the Scots, were the earls Edwin and Morcar brothers, and the nobles Mercher and Waltheof, who, together with some bishops and others of the clergy, too many to mention individually, were honourably received by him. Amongst others Eadgar atheling, the lawful heir to the English throne, seeing the distracted state of the country, took ship, and with his mother Agatha, and his sisters Margaret and Christina, attempted to return to Hungary his native place, but they were driven by a storm to Scotland. By this accident a marriage was brought about between king Malcolm and Margaret, whose praiseworthy life and precious death the book published about her faithfully records; but her sister Christina was blessed as a nun, and united to the celestial bridegroom. In course of time the queen Margaret bore six sons and two daughters; of whom three sons, namely, Eadgar, Alexander, and David, became kings according to their rank, and thus the high standing of the kings of England, which had been driven from its territories by the Normans, descended to the kings of the Scots. But of these things hereafter.

How England was subdued for the sins of the inhabitants.

Very lamentable indeed was the downfall of our dear country England, whose kings, at the time of their first arrival, were of a barbarous appearance and mien, of warlike habits, and, incited by profane rites, dared all men to all things, and subdued all things by force of arms and by

A.D. 1067.] EXETER BESIEGED. 335

superior skill; but after a time having received the faith of Christ, by degrees giving their attention to religion, they neglected the warlike exercises; for the kings, changing their habits, some at Rome, some in their own country, striving for a celestial kingdom, sought the eternal in exchange for the temporal one; and many founded churches and monasteries, bestowed money on the poor, and fulfilled all the works of charity. The island was so full of martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins, that scarcely a village could be passed in which the celebrated name of some new saint was not heard of; but after a while charity beginning to cool, the golden age was turned into the age of clay, and they gave up the pursuit of religion. As formerly on the incursion of the Danes, so now on the expulsion of the English by the Normans, the extermination of the inhabitants was for the punishment of their sins; for the aristocracy becoming slaves to debauchery and the luxuries of the table, did not according to Christian custom seek the church of a morning, but lying a-bed with their wives only listened to the solemnities and masses of matins as they were spoken by a hurrying priest. The clergy too, and others in orders, were so deficient in learning, that one who had learnt grammar was a subject of admiration to the rest; all classes were alike given to drinking, and in this pursuit they spent days as well as nights, bringing on themselves surfeits by their food, and sickness by their drink. However these bad reports are not to be understood as referring to all, since it is evident that there were many men in the same nation of every rank and station who were pleasing to the Lord.

How king William besieged and took Exeter.

About the same time king William laid close siege to the city of Exeter, which had revolted from him, where a certain man baring himself broke wind, in contempt of the Normans; on which William, being driven to anger, easily subdued the city. Thence he marched to York and entirely destroyed that city and its inhabitants with fire and sword. Those who could escape from the massacre fled into Scotland to king Malcolm, who willingly received all English exiles and afforded protection to one and all, as far as lay in his power, on account of Eadgar's sister Margaret whom he had taken

336 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1068.

to wife, and for the sake of whom he harassed the neighbouring provinces of England with fire and pillage. For this, king William, having collected a large force of horse and foot soldiers, marched into the northern parts of England, ordering the cities, villages, fields, and towns of the whole of that part of the country, to be laid waste, and the crops to be burnt. He particularly ordered the devastation of the sea-ports, not only on account of this new cause for his anger, but also because there was a report of the approach of Cnute king of the Danes; and he was determined that this pirate-robber should find no supplies about the coast. King Malcolm also came to him and tendered his submission. After this, king William having settled the cities and fortresses in England, and placed his own followers in charge of them, crossed the sea to Normandy, taking with him English hostages and a large sum of money; but shortly after, returning to England, he distributed more bountifully than before amongst his followers who fought with him at Hastings, the lands and property of the English; and what little remained in their possession he condemned to be held in perpetual vassalage. Upon this many departed from the kingdom, amongst whom were Edgar atheling, Edward's son, the lawful heir to the sovereignty, Morcar and Edwin brothers, Mercher and Waltheof earls of the Northumbrians, except the bishops, and clergy, and many other nobles, whom it would be too tedious to mention individually.

Of the struggle for the papacy.

About this time two prelates at Rome, Alexander and Cadelus, were contending for the papal seat; the synod assembled at Mantua, and through the mediation of Anno archbishop of Cologne, Alexander, having first cleared himself of simony, was appointed to the apostolic seat; and Cadelus, being proved to be a simoniac, was rejected from it. At the same time seven thousand men, who were making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to pray there, were besieged in a fortress on Holy Friday by the Arabs, and so many of them were killed and wounded that only two thousand out of the whole number escaped.

How king William had a son born whom he called Henry.

A.D. 1068. There was born in England to king William

A.D. 1069.] BISHOP EGELRIC CAST INTO PRISON. 337

a son, who was called Henry: for his two elder sons, William Rufus and Robert, were born in Normandy before their father subdued England. In the same year king William gave to earl Robert the county of the Northumbrians; but the inhabitants of that region opposing him, slew him with nine hundred of his men; however, king William, coming upon the authors of this deed, destroyed them to a man.

Egelric, bishop of Durham, is cast into prison.

[A.D. 1069.] Certain people came to king William with an accusation of treason against Egelric bishop of Durham, who was taken by the ministers of the king at the town called Burgh, and brought to Winchester, where he was thrust into prison. Afterwards, in the month of August, his brother Egelwin, who was made bishop of the same place, was ordered into banishment. About the same time, between the two festivals of the blessed Mary, in the autumn, the sons of Swane and his brother Osbern came from the kingdom of the Danes, with three hundred ships, to drive king William out of England; and, when their arrival was made known, Eadgar Atheling, son of Eadward, and earl Waltheof, with many thousand armed men, went to meet them, in hopes, with their assistance, to take king William and consign him to perpetual imprisonment. Then, after entering into a treaty, and joining forces, they came to York, and as quickly as possible took possession of the city, with the fortress, and there slew many thousand men. They then bound the chief men of the city and province in chains, and tortured them cruelly till they made them give up all their money. Then taking up their winter quarters there, between the rivers Ouse and Trent, they pitilessly harassed the inhabitants of the country. But as soon as the winter was over, William came upon them with a very large army, and put to flight the bravest of the enemy, and destroyed the rest with the edge of the sword. Though Waltheof, an earl of noble descent, had with his own hand destroyed many of the Normans in the same battle, beheading them one by one as they advanced through the gates of the fortress; but at length William gained the victory, and put his adversaries to flight. Eadgar Atheling then came to king

338 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1071.

William, and, having obtained peace and pardon, tendered his allegiance to him.

Of the slavery of the English church.

[A.D. 1070.] King William by evil counsel, despoiled the monasteries of the English of their gold and silver, and, what was a greater insult to holy church, he did not even spare the chalices or sepulchral ornaments. He also placed under military rule all the bishoprics and abbacies which held baronies, and which, up to that time, had been free from all secular authority; enrolling, at his own pleasure, each of the bishoprics and abbacies as to how many soldiers each should furnish to him and his successors in time of war; and, placing the enrolments of this ecclesiastical slavery in his treasury, he drove from his kingdom many ecclesiastics who resisted this most evil decree. At this time, Stigand archbishop of Canterbury, and Alexander of Lincoln, made their escape to the Scots, and remained amongst them for a time; Egelwin bishop of Durham, alone of all the English prelates, although an exile and proscribed man, with a godly zeal excommunicated all the invaders of the church and the robbers of church property. In the same year, on the deposition from his prelacy of the apostate archbishop Stigand,- who by bribes had been first made bishop of Helmham, afterwards of Winchester, and lastly of Canterbury, as has been mentioned above; a man who held his honours, not with a view to religion, but to satisfy his avarice- Lanfranc, formerly a monk of Bec, and afterwards abbat of Caen, succeeded him in the archbishopric of Canterbury; and he, having spent eighteen years in that prelacy, afforded an example of a good life to his successors. At the same time, Eadgar Atheling, who had surrendered to king William, broke his oath by making his escape to the Scots; but after spending some years among them, wishing to prove king William's liberality, he set sail to Normandy, where he was hospitably received by king William, and, after being honoured with large presents, received from the king a daily allowance of one pound of silver.

How many of the nobles of Enyland fled to desert places.

[A.D. 1071.] The earls Edwin, Mercher, and Siward,

A.D. 1072.] BATTLE AT HEREWARD's FORT. 339

together with Egelwin bishop of Durham and many thousands of the clergy and laity, not being able to bear with the anger of king William, took refuge in the woods and wilds. And after they had committed many excesses in different places, to the injury of the king, they at length retired to the Isle of Ely, where they chose a place of refuge; and often sallying out from thence in a hostile manner under the command of Hereward, [1] a bold noble chief of English extraction, they harassed that part of the country in no slight degree to the king's cost; they also constructed a fort of wood in the marshes, which is to this day called by the inhabitants of the province, "Hereward's Fort". On this being rumoured abroad, king William came upon them with the whole strength of his kingdom, laid siege to the fort both by land and water, and then, by cutting roads of great length and building very large bridges, he rendered the bogs passable to both men and beasts, and erected a new fort at a place called Wisbeach; when the enemies of the king learned this, they all, except Hereward, who led his followers out of the island with the strong hand, came in a body and gave themselves up to William to undergo whatever punishment he chose. The king on this put bishop Egelwin into confinement: of the rest he put some to death and condemned others to perpetual imprisonment. But Hereward, as long as he lived, practised all the stratagems he could think of against king William.

King William receives homage of the king of the Scots.

[A.D. 1072.] King William entered Scotland with hostile intent, in hopes to find some of his enemies there, but when he had marched through that country and found none of them there, he received the homage of the king of Scots, and taking hostages from him he returned to England. In this year, too, Egelwin bishop of Durham, who was detained in custody of the king at Westminster, died, and was buried there in the porch of St. Nicholas.

Digression concerning the two confederate priests.

In those days there dwelt in a city of Bretagne called


[1] Hereward was the son of Leofric, lord of Bourne in Lincolnshire. There is an account of him in Chronicon Angliae Petriburgense.

340 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1072.

Nantes, two priests, who from their very childhood were so united by the ties of friendship, that, if there should be necessity for it, each would risk death for the other. Hence one day they agreed between themselves, that whichever of them should first die, should within thirty days appear to his surviving friend, either when he was sleeping or awake, and declare to him the nature of the life to come, and the condition of souls when they had left the body, that the survivor, being thus sufficiently informed on the subject, might know which of the various opinions of philosophers, concerning the soul, ought to be adopted. For the disciples of Plato set it down that the death of the body does not destroy the soul, but gives it back to God, its originator, as if released from a prison; on the other hand, the Epicureans affirm, that the soul, when released from the body, vanishes into air, and is blown away and dispersed to the winds; theologists, on the contrary, assert that there are three places of abode for the soul after death, one in heaven, another in purgatory, and the third in hell; and that, as the spirits which are in hell will not be saved, so those which exist in purgatory will obtain mercy. So when they had pledged themselves to this agreement and confirmed it by oath, it shortly after happened that one of them died suddenly without confession and without preparation; the other remained alive, and anxiously thinking of their agreement, waited in vain for the period of thirty days. After they had expired, and he in despair had turned his attention to other things, lo! the dead friend appears to the living one and addresses him thus, "Do you know me"? to which his friend answered in the affirmative; the dead man then again said, "My appearance will be of great use to you (if you are willing that it should be so), but useless to myself; for a decree is gone forth from God against me, and, wretch that I am, I am doomed to eternal punishment". Upon this, he that was still living promised that he would give all his property to monasteries and to the poor, and would pass his days and nights in continual fasting and prayers, for the rescue of his dead friend, the latter replied, "What I have told you is decreed; for because I departed from life without repentance, by the just decrees of God I have been cast into the sulphury lake of hell, where, as long as the stars revolve in the sky and the sea beats the shore, I

A.D. 1072.] SUPREMACY OF CANTERBURY. 341

shall be tormented for my sins; and, that you may experience one of my innumerable punishments, stretch forth your hand and receive only one drop of my bloody sweat". The live man received it, and it perforated his skin and flesh as if with a heated iron, making a hole as large as a nut. While the living friend was testifying his grief, the dead man said, "This will remain to you as long as you live and be a solemn proof of my punishment, unless you neglect a remarkable means of salvation open to you; wherefore, whilst you can, change your way of living, change your mind, that by those means you may be able to avoid the wrath of your Maker". The living friend not being willing to answer to these words, the dead one looked at him more sternly, saying, "If, wretched man, you hesitate to be converted, read these characters"; and, as he spoke, he opened his hand inscribed with hideous characters, in which Satan and all the host of hell rendered thanks to the whole assembly of the priests, because they not only would not give up their own pleasures, but also, by their neglect of preaching, they permitted such a great number of souls committed to their charge to descend to hell as had never been seen in times past; and with these words the phantom of the dead man disappeared. Then the survivor of the two, after distributing all his property amongst the churches and the poor, went to Saint Melan, and changed his mode of life, informing all those who heard and saw him, of his sudden conversion, so that they said, "This is a conversion by the hand of the Most High".

Dispute between the sees of Canterbury and York.

In the same year, by command of pope Alexander, to which king William consented, a question was argued at Windsor, in the presence of Hubert a Romish priest and legate, concerning the supremacy of the see of Canterbury over that of York; and there it was, by the authority of ancient writings, proved and shown that the see of York ought to yield place to the see of Canterbury, and faithfully to be obedient to it in all the dispensations of its archbishop, as primate of all Britain, in all things which pertain to the Christian religion; also that, whenever the archbishop of Canterbury should think fit to call a convocation, the archbishop

342 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1074.

of York, with all his bishops and dependent clergy, should appear before him, and should live obedient to the canonical dispensations of the former prelate. The see of York ought also to receive the episcopal blessing from that of Canterbury; and to make its canonical profession to that see, with confirmation by oath. To this decree the king and the before-mentioned Lanfranc archbishop of Canterbury, and Thomas archbishop of York, agreed, as also did the before-named cardinal and all the bishops and abbats of thie kingdom.

How king William subdued Maine.

[A.D. 1073.] King William crossed over to Normandy with a powerful army, and reduced Maine to subjection; but the English in this expedition destroyed the cities and villages, and laid waste the vineyards with the crops, thus rendering the country less fertile for a long time to come. After this, having disposed all things to his satisfaction, he recrossed the sea to England. In this year, two great cycles having elapsed from the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar, all things agreed, as to the course of the sun and moon, with that year in which Jesus Christ was baptized, that is, the eighth day before the ides of January, being the day of the Epiphany and Sunday; the beginning of his fast was on the second day of the week, his temptation on the sixth day of the week; for the great year of the paschal cycle has nineteen times twenty-eight years, which being reckoned makes five hundred and thirty-two years.

Of a scandal which arose in the church.

[A.D. 1074.] Gregory sat in the Roman church for twelve years, one month, and three days. This pope in a general council excommunicated simoniacs, removed married priests from their sacred duties, and forbade the laity to listen to their masses, thus setting a new example, and, as it seemed to many, showing an inconsiderate judgment, as being against the opinion of the holy fathers, who have written that the sacraments belonging to the church, namely baptism, unction, and the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, had, by the invisible co-operation of the Spirit, the same effect, when dispensed in the church of God by evil men as if dispensed by good men; and that, as the Spirit

A.D. 1074.] CONSPIRACY AGAINST KING WILLLAM. 343

mysteriously quickens them, they are neither strengthened by the merits of the good, nor weakened by the sins of the bad. From this there arose so great a scandal, that never, in the time of any heresy, had the church been divided by a more serious schism: some were acting for the sake of justice, others against it; moreover few regarded continency, some pretending to it for the sake of gain and vain boasting; but many, adding adultery to incontinence, rendered their perjury more glaring; in addition to which the laity took this opportunity to rise in opposition to the holy orders, and, shaking themselves free from all subjection to the church, polluted the sacred mysteries, and held arguments about them; they also baptized children, using the unclean wax of the ears instead of the holy unction and oil, and thought little, when at the point of death, of receiving the holy viaticum and the obsequies of burial from married priests; they burnt the tithes due to the priests, and, treading under foot the body of our Lord consecrated by the married priests, voluntarily poured out the blood of the Lord on the ground.

Of a conspiracy of the nobles against king William.

In the same year earl Ralph, to whom the king had given the earldom of East-Anglia, by the advice of earls Waltheof and Roger, plotted to drive king William from the kingdom. Now Ralph married the sister of earl Roger, and it was at the celebration of the marriage that they planned this conspiracy. Ralph was born of a Welsh mother and an English father; and, as we have said, when the day of the marriage came, the friends of both parties assembled at the town of Norwich, and after a sumptuous feast, being intoxicated with wine, they began unanimously and with loud voices to plot treachery against the king. They declared that a man born in adultery was very little suited to rule over such a great kingdom and such men as the English. The accomplices in this plot were the earls Roger, Waltheof, and Ralph, others of the bishops and abbats, with many barons and warriors, who sent messengers to the king of the Danes, earnestly beseeching his speedy assistance; then, having been joined by Welsh confederates, each chief in his own domain spread fire amongst the towns

344 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1075.

of the king, and indulged in general pillage; but the keepers who were ill charge of the king's fortresses came out with the people of the provinces to meet them, and strove to defeat their purpose. King William on this returned suddenly from Normandy; and, having taken earl Roger his kinsman and Waltheof prisoners, bound them in chains and committed them to prison: on hearing which earl Ralph departed in alarm from England. After this, king William sent an army against Norwich, and there besieged the wife of Ralph with her family in the castle, until, her provisions failing, she gave her promise on oath to depart from England, never to return. Of the Welsh who had been present at the marriage before-mentioned, king William ordered some to be deprived of their eyes, some to be sent into exile, and caused others to be hung on a gibbet. When these affairs were thus settled, there came from Denmark Cnute the son of Swane, and earl Haco, with two hundred ships full of armed men; but when they heard from their friends what had happened, they altered their course and sailed into Flanders, not daring to contend against king William. In this same year, on the fifteenth day before the kalends of January, queen Edith departed to the Lord at Winchester; and, by order of the king, was buried at Westminster close to her husband king Edward.

How earl Waltheof was beheaded.

[A.D. 1075.] King William ordered earl Waltheof to be deprived of his head at Winchester, and to be buried at a cross road outside the city; but, in the course of time, his body was dug up and carried to be buried at Croyland with great honours. After this the king crossed over into Brittany, and laid siege to the fortress of Dole; but the king of France, coming against him with hostile intent, cut off all his supplies of provisions; on this the king raised the siege, and in his retreat lost many men and horses together with much money. Not long afterwards, indeed in a short time, the above-named kings became friends. In the same year, too, on Easter-day, king William at the church of Feschamps presented his daughter Cecilia to be consecrated to God. About the same time, Robert, king William's son, to whom that king had given possession of Normandy in presence of

A.D. 1075.] MURDER OF THE BISHOP OF DURHAM. 345

Philip king of the French, before he subdued England, this Robert now, because his father did not permit him to retain possession of it, withdrew to France, and, with the assistance of Philip, frequently collected much booty in Normandy, burning towns and slaying the inhabitants, and caused much anxiety and trouble to his father. Upon which king William made war against his son Robert, and at Gerberai, a castle of France, was thrown from his horse, [1] his son William was wounded, and many of his family were slain; on account of which the king cursed his son Robert, of which malediction the latter plainly felt the effects before he died.

How the Northmen murdered the bishop of Durham.

At this time Walchere bishop of Durham, with no regard to the pontifical dignity, busied himself with secular affairs, and purchased of king William the county of Northumberland; and himself performing the duties of lieutenant, he presided at the lay tribunals, and insolently extorted endless sums of money from the inhabitants of the province, from the nobles as well as from the lower ranks. The people at length, being reduced to the most extreme poverty by the continual exactions of the bishop and his followers, were greatly indignant that they were continually obliged to pay such heavy sums for ransom, upon which all the inhabitants of the province in common, having assembled at a secret conference, unanimously determined to come with concealed weapons to the county courts, and repel these injuries by force if it should be necessary. And when shortly after at the accustomed pleas the inhabitants assembled, as had been pre-arranged, with their minds resolutely made up, and had demanded that justice should be done them for their wrongs, the bishop cruelly answered, that he would not grant them justice for any wrong or calumny before they paid him four hundred pounds of the best money. Upon this, one of them speaking for all, requested the bishop, that they might have a conference concerning what he demanded, so that after deliberation they might be able to answer more advisedly. This being granted they withdrew for a little while, and one of them, whose signal they all awaited, cried out in his native


[1] Florence of Worcester and the Saxon Chronicle say that it was Robert himself who unhorsed king William, not knowing him to be his father.

346 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1077.

language, "Schort red, god red, slea ye the bischop"; and they all to a man, hearing these words, flew to their arms, and murdered without mercy the bishop and a hundred men with him, near the river Tyne, where the pleas which caused his death used to be held by the bishop. [1]

In this year two great cycles finished their revolutions.

[A.D. 1076.] Which is the thirteenth year of the first nineteen-year cycle, the great cycle of Dionysius having elapsed, two great cycles have revolved from the passion of our Lord, at which time all things, relating to the course of the sun and the moon, agree with the year of the incarnation of our Lord; whence it is plain that Dionysius did not correctly connect the years of our Lord with his cycle. For because he reckoned his cycle from the five hundred and thirty-second year of our Lord, he doubtlessly meant, that Christ was born in the second year of the first great cycle; wherefore this year, agreeing with the year of our Lord's passion, ought to have been not the thirteenth but the thirty-third year of the great cycle, because that was the year of the passion of our Lord; and, consequently, since the courses of the sun and moon agree with the truth of the gospel, Dionysius placed the nativity of Christ twenty-one years later than he ought.

Paul is made abbat of the church of St. Alban.

[A.D. 1077.] On the fourth day before the kalends of July, Paul, a monk of Caen, was appointed to rule the church of St. Alban, the first of English martyrs, the same Paul, who, by the advice and assistance of Lanfranc archbishop of Canterbury, much enlarged that church in a short space of time; for he, at great cost, built a new church with a cloister and all proper offices, reformed in it the order of monks, at that time almost extinct, and, in honour of the blessed martyr Alban, greatly ornamented the monastery, and furnished it with many holy books. In the same year Herlewin, the first abbat of Bec, departed this life and restored his blessed spirit to his Creator; and in this year also, on Palm Sunday, a large star appeared near the sun in a clear sky about the sixth hour.


[1] It appears from all the other authorities, that Walchere was murdered on the 14th of May, 1080.

A.D. 1079.] BISHOP ODO IMPRISONED. 347

Of the dispute between the pope and the emperor.

In the same year, the emperor Henry having called together, at Worms, a council of twenty-four bishops and many of the chief men, ordered a decree to be made, that all decisions and acts of pope Gregory, formerly called Hildebrand, should be rendered null and void, and on this all the council, except a few, abjured Hildebrand. On the other hand, Hildebrand excommunicated the emperor, with this purpose, that the primates of the kingdom might have a just cause for opposing an emperor who was excommunicated. Hildebrand afterwards released the chiefs from the sentence of excommunication, and even absolved the emperor himself, in Lombardy, on a pretended reconciliation with him; on which all those who had formerly abjured Hildebrand, now abjured the emperor, and appointed Ralph duke of Burgundy to be king over them, to whom also a crown was sent by the pope, on which was written, "Petra, [a rock] gave the diadem to Peter, Peter gives it to Ralph". Sigifred archbishop of Mayence gave the benediction to him as king; but a revolt arising against them amongst the people of Mayence, Ralph with the archbishop fled by night. Hildebrand absolved all those who opposed the emperor; but the emperor, although all the approaches through the Alps were fortified against him, frustrated all their plots everywhere and came by way of Aquileia to Ratisbon, and there attacked Ralph and put him to flight; and on the return of the expedition he ravaged Suabia.

Of the dedication of the church of Bec.

[A.D. 1078.] On the tenth day before the kalends of December, the church at Bec was dedicated to the honour of the blessed Mary, by Lanfranc archbishop of Canterbury, of which work, he himself laid the first foundation stone after abbat Herlewin.

How king William subdued the Welch, and imprisoned bishop Odo.

[A.D. 1079.] William king of the English led a large army into Wales, and subdued it, receiving the homage and fealty of the petty princes of that country; he also took his brother Odo, who was accused of treason against him, and imprisoned him.

348 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1083.

In the same year, Thurstan, abbat of Glastonbury, committed a base crime, for he caused three monks to be slain under the altar; and eighteen were so severely wounded that their blood flowed copiously over the steps of the altar, and from the steps to the floor. In the same year, at the feast of Whitsuntide, the emperor Henry, in a council held at Mayence, appointed Wibert bishop of the city of Ravenna, to be pope. In the same year, Antioch, the capital of Syria, together with the whole adjacent province, and many other districts, were taken by the pagans.

How the emperor Henry slew many of his enemies.

[A.D. 1080.] Pope Hildebrand, who was called Gregory, prophesied, as a thing revealed to him from God, that a false king would die in this year; and indeed he prophesied truly, but he was deceived in his conjecture as to who the false king was, for he wished it to be interpreted as referring to the emperor Henry. The emperor, however, having fought a great battle against the Saxons, slew the false king, namely Ralph, with many chiefs of Saxony.

[A.D. 1081.] William, archbishop of Rouen, held a convocation at Lillebonne, at which king William, with many chiefs and clergy, were present. In the same year, on the sixth day before the kalends of April, there happened a great earthquake with a loud noise at the first hour of the night. Marianus Scotus arranges his chronicle up to this time.

[A.D. 1082.] Marianus Scotus, beginning his chronicles from the nativity of Christ, brought them down to this year, and endeavoured to correct the error which is found in the cycle of Dionysius, as is plainly to be seen; he arranged the years of our Lord on the one hand according to Dionysius's cycle, on the other hand according to the truth of the gospel.

Queen Matilda dies.

[A.D. 1083.] Queen Matilda, the daughter of Baldwin count of Flanders, and wife of William king of the English, closed her last day, and was honourably buried with honour at Caen in a convent which she had herself caused to be built; she was a very noble and religious matron, and in her bountiful liberality our holy church rejoices. At this same time king William sent justiciaries through all the counties

A.D. 1085.] SUFFERINGS OF THE ENGLISH. 349

of England, to inquire in each of the towns how many acres of land were sufficient for one plough in a year, in each village, and how many beasts might suffice for the tillage of one hide. He also ordered a census to be taken of all cities, castles, towns, villages, rivers, marshes, and woods, and of how many soldiers there might be in each county of the kingdom, and all these things were committed to writing and brought to Westminster, where they are preserved in the king's treasury to this day. [1] Then for each plough throughout the whole kingdom, that is for each portion of land that could be tilled by one plough in the year, he received six silver shillings.

Of the schism between the church of Rome and the emperor.

[A.D. 1084.] The Romans received Henry as emperor, and by their decision Hildebrand was rejected from the papacy; on the throne of which apostolic seat was placed Wibert archbishop of Ravenna, and to him the name of Clement was given, and all agreed in saying that Hildebrand was justly deposed, as guilty of treason to the king, because he appointed another emperor. But some who thought differently exclaimed against it, and asserted that the pope could not be removed by the decision of a few, and those few of the laity; and, what was more important, that no one else ought to be ordained in the place of a living prelate. Henry was nevertheless reinstated in his empire, and from pope Clement received the benediction as patrician of the Romans. In the same year too Desiderius, abbat of Casino, was made pope in opposition to Clement, but soon after died of dysentery. In the same year at the feast of Whitsuntide, William king of the English, constituted his younger son Henry a belted knight at Westminster. Then he received the homage and oath of fealty from the inhabitants of all England for whatsoever fee or tenement they possessed, and having extorted large sums of money from all ranks where he could find any cause just or unjust, he crossed the sea into Normandy.

Of the pitiable sufferings of the English nation.

[A.D. 1085.] After the Normans had accomplished the Lord's will on the English nation, when scarcely a single


[1] This is the record called Doomsday Book.

350 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1085.

noble of English extraction remained in the kingdom, all were reduced to such a state of woe and slavery that it was considered a disgrace to be called an Englishman; there sprang up in England iniquitous customs and most evil practices, and the more the new chiefs spoke of right and of justice the greater were the offences committed, those who were called justices were the authors of every injustice; whoever took a stag or a buck was deprived of his eyes, and no one dared complain; for the wild king loved wild beasts, as though he were the father of wild beasts. By a most wicked plan he contrived that, where once there used to be the conversation of human beings, or where holy worship used to be offered up in the churches, in that same place stags and every kind of wild beasts boldly ran loose; whence it was proverbially asserted that, for thirty miles and more, land capable of producing crops was converted into forests and dens for wild beasts. This king also surpassed all his predecessors in building castles. Normandy had fallen to his lot by hereditary right, he had acquired Maine by force of arms, he had made Brittany favourable to him, he was reigning alone in England, and was subjugating Scotland and Wales; but still he was such a lover of peace that a girl laden with gold might traverse the whole of England without harm.

The see of Dorchester is transferred to Lincoln.

A little before this time king William had given the bishopric of Dorchester to Remigius a monk of Feschamps; but it greatly displeased this bishop that the city was small, when the city of Lincoln in the same bishopric seemed more worthy of the episcopal seat. He therefore bought some land on the very top of a hill, and built a church there, and although the archbishop of York asserted that the place and the city belonged to his diocese, Remigius, paying but little attention to his assertions, was not slow in accomplishing the work which he had begun, and when completed he furnished it with priests of learning and of most correct morals. This priest was small indeed in size, but great in heart, dark in colour, but bright in his works; he was also at one time accused of treason, against the king, but a follower of his cleared his lord of this accusation by the ordeal of heated

A.D. 1086.] MONASTERIES FOUNDED. 351

iron, restored him to the royal favour, and thus washed away this stain of the pontiff's disgrace. By this founder, at this time, and from these causes, the modern church of Lincoln was begun.

King William founded two monasteries.

[A.D. 1086.] A great inundation caused danger and loss in many places, so that many rocks were loosened and overwhelmed several towns in their fall. About the same time king William founded two monasteries; one in England in honour of St. Martin, at Hastings, which was called "Battle", in the place where it is said the battle was fought between him and Harold; and there he appointed monks to celebrate masses for the soul of king Harold and others who were there slain, and enriched the monastery with suitable possessions. He also built another monastery at Caen in Normandy, which with suitable lands he consecrated in honour of saint Stephen, the first martyr, and which he rendered famous by magnificsat gifts. By queen Matilda, William begat many children, namely, Robert, Richard, William, and Henry; the firstborn of whom, mortified that Normandy was refused him whilst his father lived, departed in anger to Italy, being in hopes, by marrying the daughter of the marquis Boniface, to get assistance in that part of the world, and so be enabled to cope with his father; but, being disappointed in his expectations there, he excited Philip king of the French against his father, on which account he was deprived of his father's blessing and disinherited; so that, having lost the right of primogeniture, at the death of his father he lost the sovereignty of England, and scarcely retained the duchy of Normandy. Richard, a noble youth and of a good disposition, was cut off by death in the flower of his youth; for it is related that he incurred a deadly disease whilst hunting stags in the New Forest, in the very same place which his father, after having destroyed towns and subverted churches, as has been said before, had converted into thick woods and abodes for wild beasts. He had five daughters; of whom Cecilia became abbess at Caen; Constance was given in marriage to Alan count of Bretagne; the third, the wife of Stephen count of Blois, brought forth Stephen who was afterwards king of the English, and, after the death of her

352 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1087.

husband, took the veil as a nun at Marcigny; [1] of the fourth who had been promised to Harold afterwards king of the English, and of the fifth who was betrothed to Alphonso the king of Galicia, I have not heard further mention. Besides, king William in his youth had so regarded the laws of chastity, that it was publicly said that he was impotent; nevertheless, being advised to marry by the opinion of the nobles, he so conducted himself, that for many years he was not marked by suspicion of any sin. To those under his subjection he appeared submissive, but to those who rebelled against him he was inexorable; every day he attended mass, and carefully heard the morning and evening services at the regular hours; and so let these things suffice as to his morality. In the same year pope Gregory, also called Hildebrand, died at Salernum; and when at the point of death, he called his cardinals to him, and confessed that he had greatly sinned in his pastoral cure, and that, being led on by the devil, he had aroused the anger and hatred of God against the human race; Clement, in a few days, succeeded him in the Romish church; and, at his death, Desiderius abbat of Casino succeeded, and was named Victor.

King William gives away three bishoprics.

[A.D. 1087.] At Christmas William king of the English held his court at Gloucester, and gave bishoprics to his three chaplains, namely, that of London to Maurice, that of Norwich to William, and that of Chester to Robert. In the same year, Wiscard [2] duke of Apuleia died, and his two sons Roger and Boamund, succeeded him. In this year too, the Venetians were designing to bring away the body of St Nicholas from Myra, a town of Lycia, which was ravaged by the Turks, but some citizens of Bar to the number of forty-seven, who were coming from Antioch to Myra, forestalled them, and the latter compelled four monks, who were found at the place, to show them the tomb of the saint, which they broke open, and having taken out the bones of St Nicholas complete, they embalmed them in oil and brought them with glory to Bar. This removal took place in the seven hundred and forty-fifth year from the death of the same holy pontiff Nicholas.


[1] On the Loire; some say Marchiennes in Flanders.

[2] The celebrated Rohert Guiscard.

A.D. 1087.] DEATH OF WILLIAM I. 353

Of the heresy of Berengarius.

At this same time Berengarius, archbishop of Tours, inclined to heretical opinions. He denied that bread and wine, when placed on the altar, and blessed by the priest, were the true and substantial body of Christ, as the holy universal church acknowledges; and the whole of France was full of his doctrine, which was spread abroad by poor scholars whom he supported by daily allowance. On which, pope Leo, Victor's successor, looking to the safe standing of the church, convened a council against him at Vercelli, where he cleared away the darkness of Berengarius's cloudy false doctrine by the brightness of gospel proofs; but, although Berengarius had disgraced the early part of his youth by the defence of some heretical opinions, in his more mature age he recovered his senses, so that he was considered by some as a holy man without detraction, being approved by his many good works, and chiefly by his humility and the bountifulness of his charities.

The discovery of the tomb of Gawaine.

At this time too, there was found, near the sea-coast in the province of Wales called Ross, a tomb measuring fourteen feet in length, which was that of Walwen, (Gawaine) who was the son of the sister of the great British king Arthur. For he reigned in that part of Britain which till now is called Walweith; he was a man most renowned in warfare and in all courtliness, as appears plainly herein before set forth, where the deeds of the Britons were treated of.

The death of William the First, king of England, and the coronation of William Rufus.

In the same year, William, king of the English, making a stay in Normandy, restrained himself somewhat from the enmity contracted between him and the French king; and Philip, the king of the French, misconstruing his endurance, is reported to have made this insulting speech, "The king of the English", said he, "lies at Rouen, keeping his bed after the manner of women in labour; but after he has brought forth I will come to his purification, and bring a hundred thousand candles with me as an offering". [1] The English


[1] In allusion to the custom of lighting tapers in churches.

354 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1087.

king, piqued at this and the like speeches, collected a large army, and when the crops in the fields, the grapes in the vineyards, and the fruit in the orchards were plentiful, he invaded France cruelly, and burnt and laid waste all the country; nothing could appease the anger of the excited king, so that he revenged the insult offered him, at the cost of many. Finally, he set fire to, and burnt, the city of Mantes, with the church of St. Mary there, in which were burnt two nuns, who thought that their sanctuary ought not to be left even at such an emergency; at which deed, the king exulting, whilst urging on his soldiers to give fuel to the flames, incurred a disease by approaching too near the fire, and from the heat and changeableness of the autumnal season. The anguish of his disease was moreover increased by his horse falling whilst leaping over a broken ditch, which accident caused an internal rupture to the rider; from the pain of this the king suffered so much that he returned to Rouen. His weakness daily increasing, he took to his bed, being driven to it by the urgency of his disease: physicians were consulted, who on examination of his urinals foretold certain death. Having, however, recovered his strength a little, he performed the duties of a Christian at the confession and viaticum; he bequeathed Normandy to his son Robert, England to William Rufus, and his maternal possessions with money to Henry; he ordered all those imprisoned by him to be liberated from custody and indemnified, and caused money to be brought and distributed amongst the churches; and assigned to the cathedral of the holy Mary, lately burnt by him, a sufficient sum of money to rebuild it. Having then duly arranged his affairs, on the eighth day before the ides (13th) of September he departed this life, in the twenty-second year of his reign, the fifty-second of his dukedom, the fifty-ninth of his life, and the thousand and eighty-seventh year of the incarnation of our Lord. His dead body was brought by way of the Seine to Caen, and there buried in the presence of a large concourse of prelates. Robert his first-born son, at the time his father died, rebelled against him in Normandy. William Rufus, before his father had expired, crossed the sea to England, thinking this would be more useful to him in the sequel than to be present at the obsequies of his father's burial; Henry was the only one

A.D. 1088.] CONSPIRACY AGAINST WILLIAM RUFUS. 355

of all his children who was present, and when the owner of the land where the king's body was buried made a difficulty about it, Henry pacified his anger by paying him a hundred marks of silver. Meanwhile, William, at a distance in England, was neither slow nor sparing in distributing money; he brought to light all the treasure of his father which was accumulated at Winchester; he apportioned gold to the monasteries; to parochial churches he assigned five shillings of silver; and to each province he charitably gave one hundred pounds to be distributed amongst the poor; in course of time, too, he conspicuously ornamented the tomb of his father with a large quantity of silver and gold and with glittering jewels; and having thus arranged things, William was soon acknowledged by the willing dispositions of the inhabitants of the provinces, subdued the whole of England at will, and received the keys of all the late king's treasures. Lanfranc the archbishop also came into favour with him, because he had brought him up and made him a soldier whilst his father was alive; and by his advice he took the crown of England on the day of the holy martyrs Cosmas and Damian, and passed the rest of the winter favourably. Nevertheless, almost all the nobles of the kingdom, each in his province, were, not without perjuring themselves, exciting wars against the king, although crowned, and adopting his first-born brother Robert to the kingdom. In the same year the Spanish Saracens, after raging against the Christians, were soon after compelled by Alphonso king of Gallicia to return to their own country, and lost some cities which they formerly possessed. At this time Cnut king of the Danes was slain by his subjects.

A conspiracy of the nobles against king William.

[A.D. 1088.] At Christmas king William held his court at London; and afterwards, at the beginning of the spring, he made war against his uncle Odo, bishop of Bayeux; for he, on being released from imprisonment, and after confirming his nephew Robert in the duchy of Normandy, came to England, and received the county of Kent as a gift from the king; but seeing that all the affairs of the kingdom were not arranged as formerly, according to his will, he grew jealous and left the king, infusing into many others the same spirit of discontent. He said that the kingdom was suited to the

356 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1088.

king's brother Robert, who would now atone for the follies of his youth by great diligence and activity; he affirmed that William was effeminately brought up, that he was as cruel in disposition as in appearance, that he was a coward at heart, that he would in all things act against human and divine law, and that honours, which had been acquired by many toils, would now be lost. These sayings were spread abroad by Odo himself, by Roger de Montgomery, by Geoffrey bishop of Constance, by Robert earl of Northumberland, and many others who sent letters abroad, at first secretly, but afterwards openly. William bishop of Durham also, whom king William had made a justiciary, joined them in their conspiracy. Odo collected great booty at the castle of Rochester, ravaging the royal possessions in Kent, and chiefly the lands of archbishop Lanfranc, because he asserted that it was by that prelate's advice that he had been imprisoned by king William the First. For when, some time before this, the elder king William complained in Lanfranc's presence that he was deserted by Odo, his own brother and a bishop of his making, Lanfranc said, "Seize him and imprison him"; and, on the king's answering that he was a priest and a bishop, Lanfranc replied, "You will not seize the bishop of Bayeux, but the earl of Kent"; and the king acted on this advice. Geoffrey, too, the bishop of Constance, with his kinsman Robert, plundered Bath and Berkeley, and collected at Bristol spoil taken in the county of Wilts. Roger de Montgomery brought forces together, with the Welsh from Shrewsbury, and laid waste the county of Worcester; but on his attacking the town of Worcester, the troops of the king, who were in charge of the fort there, being inspirited by receiving the benediction of the holy Wulstan, slew and made prisoners of a number of the hostile insurgents, and, although few in number, put to flight the large force opposed to them. Hugh Bigod at Norwich, and Hugh de Grantmenil at Leicester, were indulging in pillage, each in his own district.

How king William raised his standard, and made war against these rebels

King William, finding that almost all the nobles were conspiring in the common rage against him, called on the brave and good English, whom, by promises of lightening the taxes and of granting the freedom of the chase, he

A.D. 1088.] BISHOP ODO A PRISONER. 357

brought into faithful subjection to him; and, with the like cunning, he imposed upon Roger de Montgomery, who was one day riding in his company, saying that he would willingly leave the kingdom if Roger, and the others whom his father had made his guardians, wished it, and, if they chose, they might take money or lands and arrange things in the kingdom entirely at their own discretion, if they would only take care not to call in question the judgment of his father, who, if he had erred about his son, might have erred about them also; for the same authority which had made him king made them earls. By these words Roger was brought over, and he who was the first after Odo to subscribe himself to this conspiracy was the first of all who repented of it, and deserted from it. The king then advanced against the rebels, and destroyed the forts of his uncle Odo the bishop at Tunbridge and Pevensey; and having intercepted the bishop himself, he made him prisoner, and the king's troops, taking him with them to the castle of Rochester, demanded entrance from the inhabitants of the castle; they moreover told them that their lord wished it, and that the king, though absent, ordered it. There were at that time in this same castle almost all the youthful nobility of England and of Normandy, and amongst them three sons of earl Roger, and Eustace the younger, count of Boulogne, with many others whom I omit to mention individually by name. But those inside, looking out from the walls, thought that the appearance of the bishop did not agree with the words of the royal troops; they therefore quickly opened the gates, and all sallying out, they made prisoners of the soldiers, and brought them together with the bishop into the castle. The report of this transaction soon came to the king's ears, and he, hesitating between the dictates of anger and of his conscience, assembled all the English who were in his pay, and ordered them all to come to the siege, unless they wished to be called "Nithings", i.e., in English, "base fellow". The English, who held nothing to be worse than to be made notorious by the disgrace of this name, flocked in crowds to the king, and thus a large army was assembled; and those within the castle, being unable to endure a long siege, surrendered it to the king. Bishop Odo, being thus for the second time taken prisoner,

358 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1088.

abjured England for ever; the king permitted the bishop of Durham to depart free through regard for past friendship, and he soon after crossed the sea to Normandy; all the rest returned to their allegiance. In the midst of this siege the king's agents in charge of the sea-coast partly drowned and partly slew by the sword certain men whom duke Robert had sent to help the aforesaid rebels; some of them also, meditating flight, were frustrated by the wind, and so became a subject of derision to the English, whilst they brought destruction on themselves; for they plunged into the sea to avoid being taken alive. [1]


[1] Instead of the foregoing chapter, Matthew Paris has the following.

King William therefore, seeing that almost all the nobles of England, who were remarkable for bravery and honour, had conspired together in the same furious spirit, promised them easy laws, a relaxation of tribute, and free leave to hunt, and by these means he attached them to himself. Afterwards he no less craftily circumvented Roger de Montgomery when they were riding together, saying that he would willingly resign the kingdom, if it seemed good to Roger and the others, who had been left by his father as his guardians: and that he would readily allow them to take money or lands at their discretion, and settle matters in the kingdom at their pleasure, provided they would not incur the charge of treason; for if they acted otherwise than as he demanded, they would be sure to suffer for it, especially as the same power which had made him king had made them earls. At these words, Roger, who was the head of this conspiracy next to Otho, was moved with repentance, and fell off from the rest. The king marching against the rebels took the castles of Tunbridge and Pevensey. In the latter he found the bishop, and threw him into prison. The king's knights conducted him to Rochester, demanded admittance from those who were in charge of it, by virtue of their lord's wishes and of the king's authority. At that time almost all the youthful nobles of England and Normandy were in that castle; namely, three sons of earl Roger, Eustace the younger, count of Boulogne, and many others, whom I forbear to mention. But those who were in the castle, looking out over the wall, and seeing that the bishop's look did not harmonize well with the words of the knights, opened the gates with speed, and sallying out, made prisoners of the whole party. When news of this reached the king, he was inflamed with anger, and summoned all the English soldiers who were in his pay to come and besiege the castle, unless they wish to be set as "Nithings", i.e., "base fellows". Now, as this appellation is the most disgraceful that their language can furnish, the English flocked to the king in large numbers. The besieged, unable to defend the castle, surrendered it to the king. Thus bishop Otho was a second time captured and abjured the kingdom for ever. The bishop of Durham was allowed to pass freely into Normandy, for the king was ashamed of his pretended friendship, and all the rest, having given pledges, were dismissed. Amid these delays of the siege, the king's agents who guarded the sea coast, destroyed, either by the sword or by shipwreck, some men whom duke Robert had sent to help the conspirators, some of whom, eager to escape, plunged into the waves, to prevent the enemy from taking them alive.

A.D. 1089.] DEATH OF LANFRANC. 359

Of a rich man, who was eaten by mice.

[A.D. 1089.] Odo, a monk of Cluny, and afterwards bishop of Ostia, was made pope by the name of Urban, in opposition to pope Clement and Henry the emperor. In the time of this pope, a certain German count, who was a most bitter enemy of the emperor Henry, whilst sitting one day at table in a gloomy state of mind, though surrounded by numbers of servants, was suddenly so surrounded by mice that there appeared to be no way of escape. So great was the number of the animals that one would hardly suppose any place on earth could have furnished so many. The attendants tried to drive them away with sticks and whatever came to hand, but in vain, for they could not save their master from being attacked by the teeth of the furious animals, against which their blows seemed to have no effect. At length they carried the count down to the sea-side, and rowed with him out to sea; but even thus he could not escape; for the mice plunged into the sea, and bit through the sides of the boat; upon which, the servants, seeing that they should certainly be drowned, put back to the land, but the mice got there first, attacked the count as soon as he came on shore, and satisfied their hunger by totally devouring him.

Of the death of Lanfranc, archbishop of Canterbury.

In the same year died Lanfranc, [1] archbishop of Canterbury, who, besides other deeds of piety, repaired the larger church dedicated to Christ at Canterbury, built the offices of the monks, and restored the privileges of the church, which had been impaired by the neglect of his predecessors. He also reclaimed many estates which had been alienated, restored to the monastery twenty-five manors, built two guest-houses outside the city, assigning to them a sufficient sum out of his own revenues; he restored the church of Rochester, and ordained Hernost, a monk of Bec, to be bishop therein; at whose consecration this verse was found on the altar,


[1] Lanfranc died May 24-28, 1089.

360 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1090.

Bring forth the robe, etc.

The archbishop, seeing this, predicted that the bishop would soon die; and so it happened; for he died before the end of the year, and was succeeded by Gundulf, a monk of Bec, who lived till the reign of king Henry. Moreover, Lanfranc repaired the abbey of St. Alban, the first English martyr; and governed England when the king was absent. He spent much time in study, and studied to correct the books of the Old and New Testaments, which had been corrupted by the fault of the transcribers. The benefit of this revision was felt not only by the English church, but by that of France also. When the venerable Lanfranc was dead, king William kept in his own possession almost all the churches and monasteries of England, when their pastors were dead, and, plundering every thing he could lay his hands on, let them out to laymen to farm.

How concord was re-established between king William and duke Robert.

[A.D. 1090.] King William took up arms against his brother Robert duke of Normandy, and having taken the castles of St. Waleric and Albemarle, sent his troops to burn and plunder his brother's territories; but when the year was nearly expired, by the intervention of their friends, concord was re-established, on these conditions, that the king should retain the castles which he had taken, and assist the duke in getting possession of all the dominions which their father had held, except England. It was also agreed that if either of them should die without heir, the survivor should inherit his dominions. This agreement was sworn to by twelve princes on the part of the king, and twelve barons on the part of the duke. In the mean time, Malcolm, king of Scots, ravaged England and carried off much booty; wherefore the king and his brother Robert came to England, and led an army into Scotland, and Malcolm, in alarm, did homage and swore fidelity to the king of England. Duke Robert, after delaying a long time at his brother's court, returned at last to Normandy.

Of the prudence of the Scottish king Malcolm.

As I have mentioned Malcolm, king of Scots, I will briefly relate his disposition and modesty of character. It

A.D. 1090.] CHARACTER OF MALCOLM. 361

was once told him, that one of his chief nobles had made an agreement with his enemies to kill him: the king ordered the accuser to be silent, and said nothing himself until the arrival of the traitor, who was at that time absent. The nobleman soon after came to court with a large retinue, meditating treason against the king, who commanded his hunters with their dogs to attend him early the next morning. At the appointed time all were in attendance, and set out to hunt. The king, arriving at a level spot of ground, surrounded on all sides by a dense wood, retained the traitor with himself alone, whilst the others followed the dogs and the chase. When they were all out of sight, the king said to him, "You and I are now here alone, armed alike, and mounted on equally good horses; there is no one to see us or to hear, or to assist either of us. If, then, you have the courage, do what you intend, on this spot, and make your words good to my enemies, with whom you are in league. If you wish to kill me, where will you have so good, so secret, and so fair a chance?- If, however, you meant to poison me, you should have left that for the women to do. If you meant to murder me in my bed, a girl from the streets might do that as well as you. If, however, you meant to stab me with a concealed weapon, that is the act of an assassin and not of a knight,- Act, then, as a man and as a true knight- fight me on equal terms, and, traitor though you are, your conduct will be only disloyal, but not cowardly and disgraceful". The knight, hearing these words from the king, was struck dumb, fell from his horse to the ground, and throwing away his arms, fell on his knees before the king. "Be not afraid", continued the king, "I shall do you no harm". The knight professed, with the most solemn oaths, that he would be faithful to the king for the future; and they both then returned at their leisure to the rest of the party, who knew nothing of what had happened.

Of the first introduction of monks at Tynemouth.

About this time, Robert de Mowbray, earl of Northumberland, inspired from above, wished to rebuild the church of St. Oswin, at Tynemouth, which had long been desolate, and to place some monks there to serve God and the martyr

362 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1091.

St. Oswin. For this purpose he went to see Paul, the abbat of St. Alban's, and entreated of him to send thither some of his monks, promising to provide them with all things necessary in the way of food and clothing. The abbat consented to this request, and sent thither some of the monks of St. Alban's, to whom the earl gave manors, churches, revenues, fish-ponds, mills, and every other necessary, and confirmed all these donations by charter for ever, free from all secular service, assigning to the abbat Paul and his successors, and to the church of St. Alban the first English martyr, the church of Tynemouth, with all its appurtenances, as a perpetual possession, for the salvation of his own soul, and that of his predecessors and successors; so that the abbat for the time being, with the consent of the brethren, may have the government of the prior and monks, both to appoint and to remove them, as they shall deem expedient.

Of the death of Remigius, bishop of Lincoln.

[A.D. 1091.] Remigius, bishop of Lincoln, wished to dedicate his church which was now finished, but Thomas, archbishop of York, opposed it in the presence of the king and many of the bishops, affirming that the church stood in his province. In consequence of this, and the death of Remigius, which ensued soon after, the dedication of the church was not completed. In the same year, at Metae, the body of St. Clement, the first bishop ordained there by the apostles, was found and placed in a shrine.

Of the abbat, who after death flagellated the cellarer.

About the same time, a mortal pestilence made such havoc at Fulda, that it carried off the abbat first, and afterwards many of the brethren. Those who remained, alarmed at the progress of the disease, began to give large alms and to offer prayers both for the souls of those who were dead, and for the escape of the survivors; but, in process of time, the devotion of the brethren, as often happens, began to flag, and the cellarer continually asserted that the means of the church were not equal to such profuse expenditure, and that it was foolish to consume on the dead what was wanted for the sustenance of the living. Soon after, it happened that the cellarer was kept up late one night to attend to some

A.D. 1092.] ILLNESS OF WILLIAM II. 363

pressing business, which when he had completed, he retired to rest: but as he passed the door of the chapter-house, he saw the abbat and brethren, who had died that year, sitting in due form within. Frightened at the sight he attempted to make his escape, but by the abbat's command, he was caught by the brethren, and brought before the chapter. The abbat then rebuked him, and ordered him to be scourged; after which he was told that it was presumptuous for any one to make gain by the death of another, particularly as all men must one day or another die, and that it was a wicked thing to defraud a monk after death of one year's aid from the living, when he had passed his whole life in service at the church. "Go", said the abbat, "you will soon die; be a warning then to others by your fate, as you have already been to them a pattern of avarice".

How king William, on a sick bed, promised to reform the laws.

[A.D. 1092.] William the second was now at Gloucester, confined to his bed by illness, during the season of Lent. Being in fear of death, and suffering pain from his disease, he promised to amend the laws and give peace to the Lord's house; wherefore he gave the archbishopric of Canterbury to the venerable Anselm, abbat of Bec, and the bishopric of Lincoln to his chancellor Robert Bloet. [1] But no sooner did the king recover than he was worse than he had been before; for he regretted beyond measure that he had not sold the bishopric of Lincoln, particularly as Thomas, archbishop of York, complained of bishop Robert, that the city of Lincoln and province of Lindsey belonged wholly to his province, and that the dispute between them could not be settled until bishop Robert had bargained to pay the king five hundred pounds for his church's liberty; and this was at the time set down as a simoniacal act in the king, though it was afterwards justified. In the same year, Malcolm, [2] king of Scots, entering England on a plundering expedition, was intercepted and slain. With him perished his son also, who, if he had lived, would have been his heir. When his


[1] Robert Bloet died Jan. 10, 1123.

[2] He was slain on St. Brice's day (Nov. 13th), by the earl of Northumberland or his steward. See Florence of Worcester and the Saxon Chronicle.

364 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1093

queen Margaret heard of it, she was weighed down, both in mind and body, even to death's door; for she went to the church, where she made confession, and received the communion, and died breathing out her spirit in prayer to the Almighty. The Scots then chose Duvenal, [1] Malcolm's brother, to be their king; but Duncan, Malcolm's son, who was a hostage at the court of William, with the help of the English king, drove out his uncle and succeeded his father on the throne. In the same year, John, bishop of Wells, born at Tours, with the consent of the king, removed his see from Wells to Bath.

The rebuilding of Carlisle.

[A.D. 1093.] King William rebuilt Carlisle, which had now been desolate for two hundred years since the invasion of the Danes, and repeopled it with inhabitants from the south of England. In the same year, there was so great an inundation that no one ever remembered the like to have happened before; and, at length, on the approach of winter, the rivers were so frozen that persons could ride over them on horseback: but a sudden thaw came, and broke down the bridges with the masses of ice which were carried down against them.

This year also, Ivo, provost of Beauvais, was consecrated bishop of Chartres by pope Urban, and a streak of fire passed across the heavens from south to north on the 1st of August; after which there was a severe famine, followed by so dreadful a pestilence, that the living could hardly bury the dead. About the same time, king William, provoked by his brother Robert's not observing the treaty which he had made, crossed over into Normandy; and, when the brothers met at a conference, the jurors on both sides threw the whole blame upon the king. William, however, paying no attention to them, and leaving the conference in anger, assaulted and took the castle of Bure. On the other hand, the duke took the castle of Argenton, and therein made prisoner the king's counsellor, Roger of Poitou, with seven hundred knights. After this he took the castle of Hulm also. In the meantime the king raised twenty thousand foot soldiers in England to meet him in Normandy; but when they were


[1] Donald, as he is commonly called.

A.D. 1093.] CONSECRATION OF ANSELM. 365

on the point of embarking, the king took ten shillings from each of them, and sent all of them home again. But duke Robert brought into Normandy Philip, king of the French, with a large army, to besiege king William in the castle of Auche; but the French king, blinded by money, returned to France with all his army. Seeing this, duke Robert relinquished his expedition, and king William, returning to England, afflicted the churches and monasteries of the kingdom with most oppressive exactions. The same year, Paul, abbat of St. Alban's, whilst returning from a pastoral visit to his monks at Tynemouth, was seized with a severe illness at a place called Colewich, where he died on the 13th of November: his body was carried back to St. Albans, and there honourably buried. The church of St. Alban's remained four years without a pastor, in the hands of William the second.

Of the consecration of Anselm to be archbishop of Canterbury.

The same year, there was a meeting of all the bishops of England, and Thomas, archbishop of York, consecrated Anselm, elect of Canterbury, to be archbishop, on the 4th of December. Before, however, they came to the examination of the prelate who was about to be ordained, whilst Walkelin, bishop of Winchester, was reading the written form of election according to the ecclesiastical mode, Thomas, archbishop of York, objected that the writing was not in due order. For when they came to the words, "My brother bishops, it is known to all of us how long it is since the church of Canterbury, which is the metropolitan of all Britain, has been deprived of a pastor", Thomas answered and said, "If the church of Canterbury is the metropolitan of all Britain, the church of York, which passes for being metropolitan, is not so: now, we know that the church of Canterbury is primatial, but not metropolitan". All saw the reason of this remark, and the form was altered from "metropolitan church of all Britain" to "primatial church of all Britain", and so the controversy ended, and Thomas consecrated Anselm to be primate of all Britain. In the course of the ceremony, the book of the gospel was held open over his head by the bishops, and when the consecration was ended, these words were noticed in the page which was open.

366 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1094.

"He invited many, and sent his servant, and they all began to make excuses".

Of the bishopric which was bought with money.

[A.D. 1094.] Herebert, surnamed Losinga, was abbat of Ramsey, but he now by purchase procured himself to be made bishop of Thetford; but afterwards, in penitence for his crime, he went to Rome, where he resigned his simoniacal staff and ring into the hands of the pope; but by the indulgence of the holy see, he received the same back again, and returning home, transferred his see to Norwich, where he established a congregation of monks. The same year king William sent his brother Henry with a large sum of money into Northumberland, [1] to harass it by every kind of annoyance in his power: for Robert earl of Northumberland, puffed up with pride, refused to attend the court of the king, who consequently marched an army against him into Northumberland, and having surprised all the principal members of the earl's family at Newcastle, threw them into confinement. He then proceeded to the castle of Tynemouth, and there took prisoner the brother of earl Robert; from thence he carried his prisoner with him to Bamborough, where he besieged earl Robert; but perceiving that the castle was impregnable, he constructed in front of it another fortress of wood, which he called Malvoisin, and leaving there part of his troops, he departed with the remainder. The earl one night left the castle privately, and was followed by the king's army as far as Tynemouth, where, as he attempted to defend himself, he was taken prisoner without a wound and thrown into prison at Windsor. The castle of Bamborough was now given up to the king, and all the partisans of the earl received cruel treatment; for William of Auche was deprived of his sight, and Odo count of Champagne, and several others were disinherited. The same year king William, ever active, led an army into Wales, because the Welsh during the preceding year had slain many of the Normans, broken the strong-holds of his nobles, destroyed Montgomery Castle, slain its inhabitants, and destroyed the whole neighbourhood with fire and sword. King William,


[1] The Latin text has "Normandy"; but it is evident that it must be Northumberland,

A.D. 1094.] TRIAL FOR HIGH TREASON. 367

therefore, in hostile array, traversed all Wales, but not being able to follow the enemy through the passes of the mountains and the thick woods, he returned home without having effected much. The same year the stars seemed to fall from heaven so thickly that they could not be numbered. A Frenchman observing one fall of a larger size than the rest, noted the place, and sprinkled water thereon, upon which he was much astonished to see smoke issue with a hissing noise from the spot.

How king William made Anselm pay a thousand pounds.

At this time William king of England wishing to circumvent Anselm archbishop of Canterbury, demanded of him, without delay, the sum of one thousand pounds; asserting that he had a right to demand it, because he had admitted Anselm so readily to the archbishopric. But Anselm thinking it the same thing whether he paid this sum before or after his promotion, considered either conduct as deserving of severe punishment; and because he could not fill the king's coffers except by wounding his own conscience, he chose to incur the king's displeasure rather than a loss of his own character with danger to his soul at present, and to sow the seeds of future confusion and scandal in the church of God. But that he might do his duty, as he had ever done, faithfully to the church, he asked the king's licence to go and receive the pall from pope Urban. At the mention of the pope's name, the king was violently incensed, for at that time there was a schism in the Roman church. Wibert, archbishop of Ravenna, had been impudently obtruded by force on the papacy by the emperor Henry, who claimed the right of nominating the pope without the interference of any other person. King William, therefore, in the same way, asserted that no archbishop or bishop of his dominions should have respect to the court or the pope of Rome, as he had the same privileges in his kingdom which the emperor had in his empire. Anselm, therefore was arraigned before the king on this head and accused of high treason. On the opposite side were certain of the bishops who refused to render to the archbishop the obedience which was his due; and all, except Gundulf bishop of Rochester, consented to the madness of the king,

368 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1094.

and showed themselves to be dumb dogs that did not dare to bark. The king therefore threatened the archbishop with his displeasure, and informed him, by the mouth of his messengers, that there was no other mode of regaining his favour than by protesting with an oath that he would not obey the orders of pope Urban. But within a few days afterwards there came to England Walter bishop of Albano, bringing with him the pall for the archbishop, and by his mediation the two parties were reconciled. Anselm, therefore, received the pall; and when he again asked the king's licence to visit pope Urban, they say he received some such reply as this: If he would abandon his intentions, and swear upon the holy gospels, that he would neither visit the threshold of the apostles, [1] nor appeal to the Roman see for any excuse whatever, he might then attend to his own affairs in peace, and retain his position as the first noble in the land; but, if not, he might put in practice his ill-advised journey, and leave England, never to return.

How the archbishop was spoiled of his goods, and left England.

The archbishop, on leaving the council, went to Canterbury and gave public tokens of the answer he had got from the court. When he was on the point of embarking at Dover, William de Warenast, a friend of the king, ran up to him in a most irreverent manner, and searched not only the archbishop's sacks, but also the sleeves of his robe and his saddle-bags for money, but found none. The archbishop, during this process, used not a single word of reproach nor displayed the least sign of annoyance or offence. When he was gone, the public apparitors confiscated to the king's use all his goods and also the goods belonging to his see, besides declaring null and void all the useful and honourable acts which Anselm had done during his prelacy. Meanwhile, the archbishop, arriving at Rome, was received by pope Urban at the Lateran with much honour, and afterwards at the council of Bari assisted in refuting the error of the Greeks who dissented from the Catholic unity. He was afterwards present at the council of Rome, when pope Urban presided, and it was by Anselm's advice that the council excommunicated all laymen who bestowed investiture


[1] Rome is so called by the monastic writers.

A.D. 1095.] LIFE OF WULSTAN, 369

to benefices, and all clerks who presumed to receive it at their hands. The archbishop then left the council, and lived in exile at Lyons until the death of king William.

Of the life and death of St. Wulstan.

[A.D. 1095.] The venerable Wulstan bishop of Worcester was taken to the Lord. His saintly and religious character makes it necessary that I should say a few words about his laudable career, for the edification of my hearers. He was born of religious parents in the province of Warwick, his father's name was Estan and his mother's Wulgen. He received his education in the noble monastery of Peterborough. His parents were so devoted to religion, that, before they died, they separated themselves from the world and from each other under a vow of chastity, and so passed in holiness the remainder of their life. The young man, led by their example, and principally his mother's, left the world and received the monastic habit, in the same monastery to which his father had retired, from its abbat the venerable Brithege, by whom also he was promoted successively to deacon's and priest's orders. Here he at once embraced all the severity of the monastic life: he was unwearied in watching, in prayer, and fasting, and became to all a model of virtue; for which reason he was appointed to take care of the novices, and at length, also, from his knowledge of ecclesiastical business, he became their treasurer. Having now an opportunity of showing his zeal for the Lord, by reason that he had the custody of the church, he gave himself wholly up to a life of contemplation, and was earnest in prayer and study both by night and by day; he subdued his flesh by fasting two or three days together; and practised holy vigils to such an extent that he continued therein not only the night but the following day also, and, as I heard from his own mouth, he even passed four days and nights in watching, without taking food; by these means he would have incurred much danger to his health, by reason of his brains being dried up, if he had not from time to time refreshed his body by sleep; but even when he slept, he used no bed or bedstead, but when fatigued with reading the Scriptures he enjoyed a little repose with his head leaning on his hand. At length, after some time had elapsed, prior Egelwin died,

370 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1095.

and Wulstan was appointed by Aldred, bishop of that diocese, to succeed him. This office he discharged piously and laudably, not relaxing the severity of his former life, but increasing it, so as to offer to all the brethren an example of a religious life. In process of time also, when bishop Aldred was raised to the archiepiscopal see of York, the unanimous consent both of the clergy and people fixed upon Wulstan to succeed him, and the king gave them leave to appoint whomsoever they pleased to the vacant see. It so chanced, also, that the legates of the apostolic see were present, and heartily concurred in the election: this however offended Wulstan, for he was most unwilling to be appointed, and affirmed with an oath that he would much rather have his head cut off than be promoted to this high dignity. When, therefore, notwithstanding the entreaty of several religious and venerable persons, he could by no means be persuaded, he was at last severely rebuked for his obstinacy by Wulsy a hermit, who had spent more than forty years in solitude. Admonished by this oracle, which seemed to come from heaven, he, with much grief, was compelled to assent, and the election was confirmed on the day of the decollation of John the Baptist; [1] and, on the nativity of the blessed mother of God, [2] he was consecrated bishop of Winchester by the venerable Aldred archbishop of York. Stigand, of Canterbury, was at this time suspended by our lord the pope on account of the many transgressions which he had committed, as we have said elsewhere; but yet Wulstan made profession to the church of Canterbury, and its archbishops catholically instituted. This consecration took place in the twentieth year of the king St. Edward, the fifteenth indiction, and on a Sunday.

Of the virtues of St. Wulstan during his episcopate.

Now the holy Wulstan flourished thirteen years in the bishopric of Worcester, living in a simple and pious manner, giving to every one that which belonged to him, till the time of king William, who, as has been said, when he had subjugated England, either expelled from the kingdom all


[1] The 29th of August.

[2] The 8th of September.

A.D. 1095.] THE VIRTUES OF ST. WULSTAN. 371

who rebelled against him, or threw them into prison, or reduced them to extreme servitude and wretchedness. At length king William, wishing to settle ecclesiastical matters, in the year of our Lord 1075 caused a synod to be assembled at Westminster. The president of the council was Lanfranc, archbishop of Canterbury, who, in conjunction with his suffragans, began to correct whatever was amiss, and to set forth for the monks and clergy a more correct mode of life. Before this archbishop St. Wulstan was accused as a simple and illiterate man, ignorant of the French language, and unable to assist in the king's councils; for which reasons, with the king's consent, and indeed, by his command, it was determined that Wulstan should be deposed. Wherefore Lanfranc, among other decrees of the council, commanded the man of God, Wulstan, to resign his staff and ring. But that servant of the Lord underwent no change either of look or of feeling, but stood up, and holding out his pastoral staff, "Truly, my lord archbishop", said he, "I know that I am not worthy of this high honour, nor sufficient for the discharge of its labours and duties. You claim from me the pastoral staff, which it was not you who gave me; yet, in deference to your judgment, I resign it, though not to you, but rather to St. Edward, by whose authority I received it". With these words he rose, and, followed by his attendants, approached the marble monument where the remains of the glorious king were entombed. "Blessed king Edward", said he, "thou knowest how reluctantly I undertook this burden, and absented myself when I was summoned; I acknowledge that I acted unwisely, but it was thou who didst compel me. For though there was no fault in the election of the monks, in the petition of the people, or in the good will and favour of the bishops and prelates, yet thy authority and will preponderated over all these motives; but now we have a new king, a new law, and a new archbishop promulgates new theories: they accuse thee of error in having made me a bishop, and me of presumption for having assented; I therefore resign my pastoral staff, not to those who demand back what they did not give, but to thee who didst give it me I resign the charge of those whom thou didst entrust to my care". With these words he raised his arm slowly, and struck the

372 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1095.

staff into the stone by which the saint's body was covered, "Receive, my lord the king", continued he, "and give it to whomsoever thou mayest choose"; and so, leaving the altar, he threw off his episcopal robes, and sat down like a simple monk among the monastic brethren who were present. All were lost in astonishment at seeing the pastoral staff sink into the stone, where, as if it formed part of the marble itself, it stood erect, and turned neither to the right hand nor to the left. Some of those who were present, tried to pull it out, but it remained immoveable. The story was carried before the synod, but Lanfranc, refusing to listen to it, sent Gundulf, bishop of Rochester, to go to the tomb, and bring before the council the staff which Wulstan placed on it. In obedience to this command, Gundulf endeavoured to pull out the staff, but the virtues of Wulstan had fixed it too firmly, and he could not draw it out. Then Lanfranc, in astonishment at so unwonted an occurrence, hastened in company with the king, to the tomb. When he came there, he offered up a prayer, and putting his hand to the staff, tried to pull it out, but the attempt was ineffectual. The king exclaimed aloud; the archbishop was distressed: they acknowledged that St. Edward had not done wrong in promoting Wulstan, and Lanfranc approaching the bishop, said to him, "Truly, the Lord walketh with the simpleminded, and resteth with the humble: your holy simplicity, my brother, was a subject of derision with us, but, alas for the darkness which blinds us! we call good evil, and evil good. Wherefore, in virtue of our authority, and the judgment by which God has convicted us, we again commit to your hands the office from which we unadvisedly expelled vou, for we perceive of a certainty that single-mindedness, which works with faith and love, is more powerful than worldly wisdom, which many abuse through avarice. Come, therefore, my brother, approach to your pastoral staff, for we have no doubt that the saintly hand of the king, which hath withheld it from us, will resign it easily to you". The holy bishop Wulstan, hearing these words, following the bent of his simple-mindedness, implicitly did as he was told, and approaching the tomb said, "Behold! my lord and king, I commit myself to thy judgment, and resign into thy hands the staff which thou gavest me. Wherefore, I

A.D. 1095.] DEATH OF ST. WULSTAN. 373

pray thee now to give thy decision. Thou hast preserved thy dignity and established my innocence; if then thou still hast the same opinion of me, confirm thy former sentence, give me back my staff, or if thy opinion is altered, show to whom it shall be given". With these words the saint tried to take the staff, but it anticipated his wishes, and yielded to his hand, as if it had been stuck in clay. The king and archbishop ran up to him, and on their knees begged his forgiveness, commending themselves to the prayers of the saint: but he, who had learned from the Lord to be mild and humble in heart, threw himself in his turn upon his knees before them, and prayed to receive a blessing from so great an archbishop. Then king William, kindling with devotion towards his saintly relative king Edward, with wonderful zeal adorned his holy tomb, covering it with workmanship of gold and silver.

Of the death of St. Wulstan.

On another occasion, the man of God, Wulstan, was at a council held in Winchester, where, by command of king William, and with the consent of pope Alexander, he perseveringly reclaimed certain lands belonging to his see, which had been violently withheld by archbishop Aldred, when he was translated from the see of Worcester to this metropolitan see of York. He now demanded that justice should be done him, and at length it was determined that the dispute should remain in abeyance until some one should be appointed in the province of York to speak in its behalf. Not long after, Thomas, the king's chaplain, was consecrated to the see of York, and the complaint of Wulstan, bishop of Worcester, was again brought forward and settled in a council held at Pedred, before the king, the archbishop of Canterbury, and the nobles of the whole kingdom. All the arguments, however, were based on falsehood, for it was the object of Thomas and his party to humble the church of Worcester, and to reduce it in subjection to that of York; but, by the just judgment of God, they were all brought to nothing and quashed by written evidence of the most conclusive nature, and the man of God Wulstan recovered not only all the possessions which he claimed, but succeeded in re-establishing, with the king's consent, the perfect freedom

374 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1095.

of his church, such as it had been in the time of its founder, king Alfred, his son Edward, and their successors. Upon this, archbishop Thomas, restoring to Wulstan all his possessions and liberties, entreated the man of God with much earnestness, not only to possess his own church in peace, but to condescend to visit the church of York and give his people the example of so religious a character. After this the blessed bishop Wulstan lived, full of virtues, until the present year of the divine incarnation, 1095, in which, as we have already said, he exchanged this life for that which is eternal, on the fourteenth day before the kalends of February (Jan. 19). At the very hour of his death he appeared in a vision to Robert, bishop of Hereford, at a town called Crichelay, and told him to make haste to Worcester and bury him. His ring also, with which he had received episcopal consecration, he allowed no one to remove from his finger, lest after death he should be thought to deceive his friends, for he had often told them that he would never part with it as long as he was alive, nor even when he should he buried.

The council held by pope Urban concerning the expedition to Antioch,

The same year, i.e. A.D. 1095, our lord Urban held a council at Clermont, a city of Auvergne, and enacted the following statutes to be observed by the whole church:-

That the church be catholic in one pure faith, and free from all secular service.

That no bishop, abbat, or others of the clergy, should receive any ecclesiastical dignity from the hand of princes or of any of the laity.

That no clerk shall hold prebends in two churches or in two cities.

That no one shall be a bishop and abbat at the same time.

That no ecclesiastical dignity shall be bought or sold.

That no one, in whatever rank of holy orders, shall use carnal commerce.

That those who shall have purchased benefices from ignorance of the canon shall be pardoned.

That those who have knowingly held prebends purchased either by themselves or by their fathers for them, shall be deprived of them.

A.D. 1095.] STATUTES OF POPE URBAN. 375

That no layman shall eat flesh from Ash Wednesday, and no clerk from Quinquagesima, to Easter.

That at all times the first fast of the four seasons shall be in the first week of Lent.

That at all times holy orders be solemnized, either on the eve of Saturday, or, if the fast continues, on the Sunday.

That on the Saturday of Easter, no office shall be solemnized, except after the ninth hour.

That the second fast be celebrated in Whitsun-week.

That from the Advent to the octaves of the Epiphany, and from Quadragesima to the octaves of Easter, and from the first day of Rogations to the octaves of Whitsun-day, and from the fourth day of the week, at sun-set, at all times, to the second day of the week, at sun-rise, a truce [1] shall be observed.

That whoever shall take prisoner a bishop shall be in all respects an outlaw.

That whoever shall take prisoners any clerks or their servants shall be accursed.

That whoever shall spoil the goods of bishops or clerks shall be accursed.

That whoever shall marry within the seventh generation of consanguinity shall be accursed.

That no one shall be elected to a bishopric, unless he be a priest, deacon, or subdeacon, or unless his birth be sufficiently respectable, except on the most urgent necessity, and by licence of the pope.

That the sons of priests or of their concubines shall not be admitted to the priesthood, unless they have first adopted the monastic life.

That whoever have fled to a church or to a cross, shall have security of limb granted to them and be delivered over to justice, or if innocent be set free.

That every church shall have its own tithes, which shall not be transferred to any other.

That no layman shall buy or sell tithes.

That no fee be received for the burial of the dead.

In this council pope Urban renewed the statutes of Hildebrand; and excommunicated Philip king of the French, for


[1] Called by Malmesbury the "Truce of God".

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having married the wife of another man, namely, of Fulk count of Anjou, though the count and his own former wife were both living.

The pope's sermon to the council about the expedition to the Holy Land.

When the business of the council, which was held in November, was brought to a conclusion, the pope addressed a sermon to the people about taking the cross, after the following manner: "My brethren", said he, "and dearest children, whether kings, princes, dukes, marquises, counts, barons, or knights, also those of you who are in orders, and in short all of you, who have been redeemed by the bodily passion and shedding of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, hear the complaints of God himself, which are addressed to all of you, about the wrongs and unspeakable injuries which have been done towards him. After the fall of the angels, God created the world, and divided it into three parts, Europe, Asia, and Africa, and placed men therein to make up the defection of the inhabitants of heaven, that they might possess the earth and serve him therein with the other creatures, and after death might ascend and reign with him in heaven. But after a short time the human race fell away by disobedience and transgression from the Lord, so that among all mankind, there was found no one that did good, no not one: for behold the breadth of the whole world is full of faithless and blaspheming pagans, who worship stocks and stones, so that, to the shame of the few Christians who survive, the unbelievers have taken possession of Syria, Armenia, and the provinces of Asia Minor, Bithynia, Phrygia, Galatia, Lydia, Caria, Pamphylia, Iraenia, Lycia, and Cilicia. They have also occupied as a perpetual possession Asia, the third part of the world, and justly esteemed by our ancestors, equal for its extent to the other two, wherein also all the apostles except two suffered martyrdom for the Lord. In those countries, at present, the Christians, if any remain, pay tribute to those infidels. With shame be it said, they have now had possession of Africa, another of the great divisions of the world, three hundred years and more - of that land, which was once the nurse of wonderful abilities, and formerly, by giving mankind the holy Scriptures, extinguished the errors of infidelity, as is known to all who

A.D. 1095.] SERMON OF POPE URBAN. 377

are acquainted with the Latin literature. The third quarter of the world is Europe, of which we Christians possess but a small portion; and even that is harassed continually by the Turks and Saracens. Spain and the Balearic isles have for three hundred years been subjugated by them, and in hope they are already preying upon the remainder. They have covered Illyricum, and all the country below it, even to the sea which is called St. George's Arm. They claim possession of our Lord's tomb, and sell to our pilgrims for money admission to the holy city, which would be open to no one but to Christians if there was the least of divine virtue in their bosoms. Gird yourselves then for the battle, my brave warriors, for a memorable expedition against the enemies of the cross. Let the sign of the cross decorate your shoulders in token that you will aid to propagate Christianity; let your outward ardour declare your inward faith. Turn against the enemies of Christ those weapons which you have hitherto stained with blood in battles and tournaments among yourselves. Let your zeal in this expedition atone for the rapine, theft, homicide, and fornication, the adulteries, and deeds of incendiarism, by which you have provoked the Lord to anger. Have compassion on your brethren who dwell in Jerusalem and the coasts thereof; check the insolence of the barbarians, whose object is to destroy the Christian name. For ourselves, we will trust in the mercy of Almighty God, and the authority of his blessed apostles Peter and Paul: and in virtue of the power which God has given us, however unworthy of it, to bind and to loose, all who engage in this expedition in their own persons and at their own expense, shall receive a full pardon for all the offences, which they shall repent of in their hearts, and with their lips confess; and in the retribution of the just, we promise to the same an increased portion of eternal salvation. And this forgiveness shall extend also to those who shall contribute according to their substance to promote this expedition, or shall lend their counsel or their assistance to advance its success. Go then, brave soldiers, and secure to yourselves fame throughout the world; dismiss all fear of death from your minds; for the sufferings of this world are not meet to be compared with the future glory which shall be revealed to us. Such are our commands to you who are present;

378 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1095.

such our instructions to be delivered to the absent; and we fix the spring next ensuing as the term for your operations to commence. God will accompany you on your march, and the season of the year be propitious, both by abundance of fruits and by the serenity of the elements. Those who shall die, will sit down in the heavenly guest-chamber, and those who survive will set their eyes on our Lord's sepulchre. Happy are they who are called to this expedition, that they may see the holy places in which our Lord conversed with man, and where to save them he was born, crucified, died, was buried, and rose again". These were the words of Urban, after which he commanded the prelates of the churches who were present to return home, and with all earnestness and solicitude exhort the people under their charge to take part in the aforesaid expedition.

Of the names of the nobles who took the cross, and of their unanimity.

When the clergy and people heard the words of the above-mentioned discourse, they with one voice seconded the tenor of the preacher, and declared their readiness to go on pilgrimage. Forthwith certain of the nobles who were present at the council, threw themselves on their knees before the pope, and dedicated themselves and all they had to the warfare of Christ. First among them was Ademar bishop of Puy, who, receiving from the pope's hand the sign of the cross, was instantly followed by William bishop of Aurasia, and multitudes of others of all ages and conditions. When the business of the council was over, they all returned home, and the fame of what had then taken place, spreading through the world, stimulated not only the Mediterranean provinces to this pilgrimage, but all those also who in the remote islands or in barbarous nations had heard the name of Christ. Of those who took the cross were, Hugh the Great, brother to Philip king of France, Godfrey duke of Lorraine, Raimond count of Toulouse, Robert duke of Normandy, Boamund an Apuleian by residence but Norman by birth, Robert count of Flanders, Stephen count of Chartres, Baldwin and Eustace brothers of duke Godfrey, a second Baldwin of Bourges, Garner count of Degres, Baldwin count of the Amanci, Isoard count of Die, William count of Forcis, Stephen earl of Albemarle, Rotro count of Perche, Hugh count

A.D. 1095.] PETER THE HERMIT. 379

of St. Paul, Henry de Asca, Ralph de Bangentiac, Hebrand de Pausac, William Amauen, Genton de Bar, Gast de Bederi, William de Mont Pessulan, Girard de Rosseillon, Gerald de Ceresiac, Roger de Barneville, Guy de Possessa, Guj de Garlandia, Thomas de Sprea, Galo de Chaumont, and Stephen count of Blois. All these were the captains and leaders of the knights and others of the faithful, who awaited the fitting time to set forth, and were prepared with large bodies of armed men to join the Christian warfare, and nobly to devote themselves to this pilgrimage for the name of Christ.

Of the revelation made to Peter the hermit concerning the above-named enterprise.

This military undertaking was in no slight degree promoted by the preaching of Peter the hermit; concerning whom, I believe, it will not be without fruit that I should relate, for the benefit of those who never heard of it, the divine revelation which was made to him. He was a priest, named Peter, following the profession of a hermit, and shortly before these events had travelled out of France, bound by a vow of pilgrimage, to the Holy Land. When he arrived at his destination, he paid the tribute required by the law which regulates the admission of pilgrims, and entering the city, was received to lodge in the house of a Christian family. From his host he heard an account of the miserable state of the true believers who resided under the rule of the infidels, and what he thus learned from hearsay, he afterwards confirmed by the testimony of his own eye-sight. Hearing that Simeon, the patriarch of the city, was a religious man, who feared the Lord, he went to him, and had much conversation with him. The patriarch, gathering from the words of Peter that he was a man of circumspection, explained to him all the sufferings which God's people endured who resided in that city. Peter sympathised with the miseries which afflicted his brethren, and could not refrain from tears. "Be assured", said he to the patriarch, "that if the Roman church and the princes of the west could be informed of this calamitous state of things from some one on whom they could depend, they would certainly endeavour to find a remedy for your sufferings. Write a letter, then, to our lord the pope and the Roman church, as well as to the

380 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1095.

kings and princes of the west; and I, so help me God, and for the saving of my soul, will testify to the enormity of your sufferings, and will invite all and every one to contribute towards their remedy". This speech pleased the patriarch and others who were standing by, and he delivered into Peter's hands, with many thanks, the letter which he required. Now it came to pass on a certain day that this man of God was more than usually anxious to return to his own country, that he might execute the commission which he had undertaken, and turning his thoughts towards the fountain of all mercy, he entered the church of our Lord's resurrection, where he passed the night in prayer and fasting. At length, fatigued, he lay down on the pavement to enjoy a little sleep, and had hardly closed his eyes before he saw our Lord Jesus Christ, who, standing before him, urged him to execute the above-mentioned commission, saying, "Arise, Peter, make haste, and fulill without fear what I have enjoined on you, for I will be with you; it is time for the holy places to be purified, and for my servants to be succoured in their distress". Peter awoke, comforted by the heavenly vision, and hailing the divine admonition, felt no more fear or apprehension, but offering up a prayer, hastened down to the sea-side. Here he embarked on board a ship, and arriving after a prosperous voyage at Bari, proceeded thence to Rome, where he found pope Urban, and gave him the patriarch's letter, and a discreet and faithful narrative of the miseries which those in the Holy Land endured. The pope received him kindly, and promised that at a fitting time he would co-operate with him most heartily. Peter travelled through all Italy, and at length, crossing the Alps, supplicated the princes of the west with all earnestness, not to suffer the holy places which our Lord had designed to honour with his presence, to be any longer defiled by the filth of the unbelievers. Nor did he rest content with this, but he encouraged even the populace and those of inferior rank to undertake the same pious task. Thus in process of time, Peter the hermit, with a large multitude of armed men, whom he had got together with much labour out of France and the empire, joined the above-named expedition, and earnestly endeavoured to advance the interests of the cross.

A.D. 1096.] EXPEDITION TO THE HOLY LAND. 381

Of Walter, who was the first to set out on the pilgrimage.

[A.D. 1096.] In the month of March, and on the 8th day of that month, Walter, surnamed Sans-avoir, [1] a man of noble birth and active habits, with a great multitude of armed footmen, for he had few cavalry, was the first of all those who had taken the cross to set out on the expedition, and crossing the Teutonic and Hungarian kingdoms, arrived at the river Maroc. Crossing this he entered the province of Bulgaria, and came to a place called Belgrave, where some of his followers remaining at Mala-villa [Semlin], without his knowing it, to buy provisions, were seized by the Bulgarians, stripped naked and scourged, after which they were sent back to their companions. Walter, therefore, demanding permission of the duke of Bulgaria, to purchase necessaries, and not obtaining his request, pitched his camp before the city of Belgrave. Here he suffered severe losses because he could not restrain his army, who were greatly distressed for provisions. For, as they were not allowed to buy anything from that wicked race of men, they attacked the flocks and herds of the Bulgarians, and carried them off to their camp. The Bulgarians, hearing of this, seized their arms to rescue the spoil, and having defeated the plunderers, set fire to a chapel, to which a hundred and fifty of them had fled for protection, and burned them all; the rest took to flight. Walter, with his army, next arrived at Stralice, the capital of inland Dacia, and lodged a complaint with the governor of the city, of the wrong which had been done to God's host by the Bulgarians. Having obtained full satisfaction for the injury, he thence proceeded to the royal city, and being introduced to the presence of the emperor Alexius, he requested of him that until the arrival of Peter the hermit, at whose command he had marched, he should be allowed to remain with his army near the city, with free permission to buy and sell. This privilege the emperor readily conceded to him.

Of the pilgrimage of Peter the Hermit.

Next to Walter in setting out on the pilgrimage was Peter the hermit, who traversed Lorraine, Franconia, Bavaria, and


[1] Commonly called in English, Walter the penniless.

382 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1096.

Austria, and reached the frontiers of Hungary with forty thousand men in arms. From thence, proceeding to Mala-villa, they heard of the severe loss which the followers of Walter had there suffered, and beheld their arms and spoils which the enemy had hung up as trophies on the walls of the city. This sight filled them with just indignation; they flew to arms, and breaking into the city, either slew with the sword or drowned in the river almost all the inhabitants. When they had thus taken the city, they remained in it five days; but Peter, hearing that the king of Hungary was collecting his forces to avenge the slaughter of his subjects, gave orders for the army to use all speed in crossing the river, carrying with them the cattle and spoils of the city. Thus, after a march of eight days, they arrived before the strongly fortified city of Niz, and crossing the river by the bridge, pitched their camp there. When the time for their departure arrived, the main body of the army marched forwards, but some mad fellows of Teutonic origin, separating from the rest, set fire to seven mills situated near the bridge above mentioned. They were about a hundred in number, who, to satisfy their madness, added to their own misery, and set fire in the same way to the houses of certain persons situated in the suburbs, and then made haste to join the army who had gone forwards. But the lord of that district, indignant at what had taken place, called together the people of the city, encouraged them to take up arms, and set out himself at once with a large body of men to overtake the plunderers before they should reach the rest of the army. When he came up with them, he attacked them fiercely, and put all of them most deservedly to the sword. Of all these events Peter was entirely ignorant; for he was engaged in leading forwards the army that had gone before; but when he was told of what had happened, he took counsel with his officers, and by their advice returned to the place where the dead bodies of the slain were lying. At the sight of their corpses he shed tears, and was desirous of knowing what could have been the cause of such a bloody deed. For this purpose he sent messengers to the magistrates of the city, and learned from them that the affray had been occasioned by the just anger of the citizens; however, by this rash attempt of a few of the pilgrims, a whole legion of them were stimulated

A.D. 1096.] DEATH OF THE CRUSADERS. 383

to avenge the injury which had been done to them. They were in number about a thousand men who committed this rash deed; and as some of the inhabitants of the city came out to oppose them, a fierce battle ensued. Five hundred of our men were slain on the bridge, and almost all the rest were drowned because they were ignorant of the fords of the river. At this severe defeat of their comrades, Peter's army was enraged, and flew to arms; about 10,000 of the pilgrims were slain, and all Peter's money was taken by the Bulgarians, together with his chariot and everything which he had. Four days afterwards he collected together the men who had been dispersed in the rout, about thirty thousand of them, who again addressing themselves to their journey, they continued their route, though with much difficulty, and by a hasty march arrived at Constantinople. Here Peter, relying on his interview with the emperor, reposed with his army several days, and then, by the emperor's command, crossed the Hellespont, and entered Bithynia, which is the first of the Asiatic provinces: from thence they came to a place situated on that same sea, named Cinitoth, where they pitched their camp.

Of the death of the thirty thousand crusaders.

This place lay on the frontiers of the Turkish dominion, and abounded in everything, particularly in provisions. When they had remained there about two months, the Latins, to the number of ten thousand men, began to reconnoitre the country, and to drive off the flocks and herds, and marching in military array towards the city of Nice, returned to their camp with much spoil and without the loss of a man. When the Teutonic part of the army saw how the Latins had succeeded in that enterprise, they determined to make a similar attempt; wherefore, about ten thousand of them, accompanied by two hundred cavalry, set out towards Nice to a town about four miles distant from that city, and making a violent assault upon it, they overcame all the opposition of the inhabitants and seized on the town. They then slew all the people, and seizing on the spoils, garrisoned the fortress, and were so pleased with the fertility and agreeable nature of the country, that they determined

384 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1096.

to remain there till the arrival of the princes: [1] but Soliman the lord of that country, hearing that the Teutonic soldiers had presumed to take and keep possession of his town, marched thither with all speed, and besieging the fortress, took it by storm, and put to the sword all he found therein. Meanwhile, the rumour spread in the camp that the Teutonic troops had fallen into the hands of Soliman, and when the truth was known, notwithstanding the reluctance of their leaders, all the army to a man flew to arms, thirty-five thousand foot and five hundred horse, and marched prepared for battle towards Nice. They found Soliman, with an immense multitude of Turks, in a plain, and attacked him in full force; but the Turks, knowing that they were fighting for their lives, made a valiant resistance, and the Christians, heavily pressed, and no longer able to endure the weight of the battle, broke their ranks and took to flight, whilst the Turks pursuing them, inflicted a severe loss upon the army. There fell in that battle Walter the penniless, Reginald de Breis, Fulcher of Orleans, and of thirty thousand footmen and five hundred cavalry who issued from the camp, hardly one escaped either captivity or death. Such was the event of this battle of disobedience, which the people fought so rashly, contrary to the commands of their leader, who advised his ignorant army to wait patiently at Constantinople until the arrival of the princes who were to follow them, who were more prudent than themselves, and more experienced in military affairs. But Soliman, not satisfied with the success which he had gained, fiercely attacked the camp, and put them to the sword without mercy, the old and the invalids, monks and clerks, matrons, girls, and boys, though some of them whose age or appearance interceded in their behalf, were saved alive, to be made slaves for life. Near the camp, however, and close by the sea-side, was an old, uninhabited fortress, into which three thousand of the pilgrims fled for safety. Soliman immediately laid siege to it, but those who were within defended themselves bravely; and Peter, coming into the emperor's presence, persuaded him by much entreaty to send his army and rescue the


[1] That is, of the princes and nobles who were collecting their forces in different parts of Europe, to follow Peter the hermit.

A.D. 1096.] SLAUGHTER OF THE PILGRIMS. 385

remains of the people. When this was done, Peter remained at Constantinople with the residue of the army, waiting for the princes to arrive.

Of certain pilgrims who were treacherously slain.

Next after these came on pilgrimage a Teutonic priest named Godeschal, who, having the gift of persuasion, led about fifteen thousand men out of the Teutonic dominions into Hungary, where they, by the king's orders, obtained provisions on favourable terms from the Hungarians; but abusing this privilege, and indulging in drunkenness, they committed great enormities, killing and plundering the people, and abusing the wives and daughters of the Hungarians. The king was justly incensed at these acts, and called his people to arm and avenge them. They fell in with these infuriated pilgrims at Belgrave, and seeing that they were preparing to make resistance - for they were brave men, and inured to arms - they resolved to get the better of them by treachery and not by fighting. For this purpose messengers were sent, who addressed Godeschal and the other leaders in these terms: "It has come to the ears of our lord the king that you have done great injuries to his people, and ungratefully returned them evil for good. Now, our king knows well that there are among you men of discretion and fearing the Lord, and that these deeds, which have justly provoked our king to anger, were done against their will; wherefore, from reluctance to throw on all of you the fault of a few only, he has determined to spare the pilgrims at present, but he demands of you, in order to pacify his wrath, that you shall deliver yourselves, your substance, and your arms unconditionally into his hands, otherwise not one of you shall escape death, since you have not the power of escaping". Godeschal, therefore, and the other commanders, presuming too much on the royal clemency, persuaded the army, though with great difficulty, to deliver themselves with all their arms and substance into the king's power, and so satisfy his complaints. But this was no sooner done, than instead of mercy they met with death; those treacherous people rushed upon the army, who were deprived of their swords, and without distinguishing the righteous from the wicked, committed a general

386 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1096.

massacre, polluting the whole place with the blood and corpses of the slain. Some few, however, escaped the common danger, and returning home, related there the slaughter of their fellow pilgrims, and earnestly advised them to have continually before their eyes the malice of that wicked nation, and more discreetly and cautiously to regulate their line of march.

Of certain pilgrims who persecuted the Jews, and were afterwards slain.

About the same time there came together out of the parts of the west, as many as two hundred thousand foot, and about three thousand horse, among whom were the noblemen, Thomas de Feria, Clarenbald de Vendole, count Herman, and William surnamed the Carpenter. [1] All these, filled with the spirit of madness, and attacking the Jewish people in the towns and cities through which their road lay, slew many thousands of them. This happened especially in the cities of Mayence and Cologne, where also a count named Emico, a noble of distinction in those parts, uniting himself to their company, participated in their misdeeds, and spurred them on to crime. They passed through Franconia and Bavaria, and reached the borders of Hungary, where, thinking that they might enter that kingdom as freely as they pleased, they were compelled to halt at Meezeburg, because the entrance of the bridge was closed against them. The king of the country had commanded that they should be prevented from entering his territories, from fear lest, when admitted, they should endeavour to take vengeance on his people for having slain the followers of Godeschal. Upon this, the pilgrims petitioned the king to allow them to pass peaceably, but this being resolutely denied them, they talked of laying waste the king's lands near the rivers and marshes, burning the suburban districts, and doing him all the harm in their power. It happened, then, one day that seven hundred of the king's men were sailing by, to protect the country from the attacks of the pilgrims, when on a sudden they fell into the hands of the enemy, who put all of them to the sword except a few, who saved themselves


[1] From the heavy strokes of his battle-axe.

A.D. 1096.] PILGRIMAGE OF GODFREY. 387

in the reeds and marshes. Elated by this success, the pilgrims proposed now to besiege the town by constructing a bridge, and force an entrance into the kingdom with their swords. Accordingly, the bridges were constructed, and brought up to the walls of the town; the perseverance of the pilgrims was so great that they almost had the entrance to the town in their power, when, suddenly, they were struck with a panic, and took to flight, without knowing the cause; thus, for their sins, they turned their backs upon the enemy, who derived confidence from their terror, and following them bravely, put them, without hope of escape, to the sword. Count Emico fled with his troops in disorder, and with difficulty returned to his country, but the nobles whom we have named reached Italy, and some of them, trying the same mode of escape, and making for Dyrrachium by sea, reached the coast of Greece.

Of the progress of duke Godfrey and his companions in the crusade.

In the year aforesaid, namely, A.D. 1096, in the month of August, and on the 15th day of the month, the illustrious Godfrey duke of Lorraine, following Peter the hermit, Godeschal, and others, called together those who were to accompany him, and set out on the crusade. With him were the following noblemen:- Baldwin his own half-brother, Baldwin count of Hamauci, Hugh count of St. Paul, and his son Engelran, Garner count de Gres, Reginald count of Tull and Peter his brother, Baldwin de Bourges, Henry de Auche and Godfrey his brother, Dodo de Cons and Cono de Montacute. These were followed by a multitude of Frieslanders, Saxons, Lorrainers, and men out of all the countries that lie between the Rhone and Garonne. All these advancing together through Austria and Hungary, gave hostages to the king, and proceeded to Belgrave, a town of Bulgaria, and from thence to Niz and Strelitz. They then proceeded to Inner Dacia, which by another name is called Moesia, and descending to the convents of St. Basil, arrived at the large and magnificent city of Philippolis, where, when they heard that Hugh the Great, brother of Philip king of France, was kept in prison together with some others by the emperor Alexius, their illustrious leader Godfrey sent ambassadors and requested that the aforesaid

388 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1096.

persons, having taken the cross, might be set at liberty. Now the aforesaid Hugh was among the first to set out on pilgrimage; he crossed the Alps, and went through Italy into Apulia, whence with a small retinue he crossed to Dyrrachium, and remained there waiting for the rest of the pilgrims. There he was seized by the governor of that province and delivered over, bound, to the emperor, who kept him in prison as he would a robber or a murderer. The messengers of duke Godfrey received a positive refusal, and the crusaders, in consequence thereof, for eight days overran the whole country with their troops. When the emperor heard of this, he sent to the duke and offered to give up the captive nobles on condition that the crusaders should cease from plundering. The duke, therefore, restrained his men from further pillage, and proceeded to Constantinople, where he received the captive noblemen unharmed, namely, Hugh the Great, Drogo de Neel, Clarembald de Vendole, and William the carpenter; all of whom thanked him gratefully for their liberation.

Of the perfidy of the emperor Alexius.

Alexius, the Grecian emperor, was a wicked and deceitful man. When he served in the palace of his predecessor Nicophorus, he was the first soldier at the court, but he conspired basely against his master, and about five or six years before this expedition to the Holy Land he deposed his sovereign and became emperor in his stead. In his communication with the pilgrims, he always used deceitful language, for he viewed with suspicion the numbers and prowess of the crusaders. If, therefore, he ever refrained from doing them an injury, this was the effect, not of honour, but of fear; for when duke Godfrey had encamped with his army before the city of Constantinople, messengers came from the emperor inviting the duke to visit the court with a few only of his attendants. The duke, therefore, by the advice of his council, made excuses for not going, at which the emperor was indignant, and refused to furnish a market to the duke's army. The princes now began to fear that their provisions would fail, and, scouring the suburban districts with armed men, collected such numbers of sheep and cattle, that there

A.D. 1096.] PILGRIMAGE OF BOAMUND. 389

was more than sufficient to support the army. The emperor was thus compelled to allow the crusaders a market again.

How prince Boamund set forth on the expedition of the cross.

In the mean time, whilst these things were happening at Constantinople, the lord Boamund, son of Robert Guiscard, prince of Tarentum, had passed the Adriatic before the setting in of winter, and landing at Dyrrachium, proceeded through the deserts of Bulgaria, to join those who were following after him. These were the following noblemen:- Tancred son of William [1] the marquis, Richard de Provence and Raymond his brother, Robert de Anxe, Herman de Carvi, Robert de Sourdevalle, Robert Fitz-Thurstan, Humphry Fitz-Ralph, Richard son of count Ranulph, the count de Rouseillon and his brothers, Boeleis of Chartres, Albered de Cognan, and Humphrey his son. These were followed by a company of Italians and others living between the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic seas. All these following the standard of Boamund as far as the city of Castorea, were compelled to drive off the flocks and herds by force, because the people of the country would not sell them provisions. Departing thence, they encamped in the region of Pelagonia, where, hearing that there was a town in the neighbourhood inhabited by heretics, they proceeded hastily thither, and seizing on the fortress, and setting fire to the houses, they carried off an immense and valuable spoil.

Of the pilgrimage of the count of Toulouse.

The pilgrims aforesaid were followed by Raimund count of Toulouse, and Ademar bishop of Puy. With them were the following nobles:- William bishop of Aurasia, count Bainbald, Gaustus de Bediers, Girard de Rouseillon, William de Mont Pessulan, William count of Foris, Raimund Pelez, Ganton de Bar, William Amanen: and they were followed by Goths and Gascons, and other people, who reside between the Pyrenees and the Alps. All these following the track of former pilgrims, crossed Italy, Lombardy, and the district of Forioli, whence they descended into Istria and Dalmatia. They were no less than forty days in crossing this latter


[1] Ordericus Vitalis says he was son of Otho the marquis. Perhaps we ought here to read, "brother of William the marquis".

390 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1096.

country, and that too in great danger; at length, however, they reached Dyrrachium, where the count was encouraged by a letter from the emperor, and having crossed the woody and mountainous district of Epirus, his army encamped in the district of Pelagonia, which abounded in all kinds of necessaries. Here the venerable bishop of Puy, who had pitched his tents away from the rest of the army, was attacked and taken prisoner by the Bulgarians. One of them, demanding money from him, protected him against the others; and a tumult arising, the whole army was aroused, and, seizing their arms, rescued the bishop from their hands. Resuming their march, the pilgrims proceeded through Thessalonica and Macedonia, and after a series of continued labours and toils arrived at Rodetus, a city lying on the shores of the Hellespont, about four miles from Constantinople, where they were met by messengers from the princes, who had gone before them, praying them to finish their business with the emperor and join them as soon as possible. The count, therefore, acceding to a request which came both from the imperialists and from the princes of the crusaders, left his army under the custody of the bishops and nobles who were in the camp, and, making all haste with a small retinue to Constantinople, obtained an audience with the emperor, by whom he was received with all honour; but when he was urged to take the oath of allegiance to the emperor, as the others had done, he decidedly refused. The emperor, taking offence thereat, harassed him and his army with all kinds of stratagems, and commanded his troops to make a sudden attack on the crusaders and try to destroy them; whereupon his centurions and quinquagenarians who commanded his troops, in obedience to the commands of their master, attacked the count's scouts unawares and in the niglit, and, taking them altogether by surprise, slew numbers of them. The count, hearing this, charged the emperor with dishonourable conduct, and Alexius, repenting of what he had done, invited Boamund to an audience (for he had not yet crossed the Hellespont), and endeavoured by the intervention of himself and his friends to be reconciled to the count. The mediators, though indignant at what had happened, saw that there was no room for taking vengeance, and having higher aims in view, reconciled the count with

A.D. 1097.] SIEGE OF NICE. 391

the emperor, and the former, having taken the oath of allegiance in the same form as preceding crusaders, left the emperor's presence with many gifts and every demonstration of honour. The oath of allegiance, to which all the princes of the west consented, was to this effect:- That the cities and castles, with all other possessions which seemed to belong to the dominions of the emperor, should, if the crusaders could recover them, be immediately given up into the emperor's possession, but that the princes of the crusaders should keep all the booty which they should find therein. This condition seemed unjust to some of the nobles, that by their labours they should gain an advantage to another. But the emperor, to satisfy the pilgrims, swore that he would render them bona fide assistance and advice, by which they might the sooner conquer the enemies of the faith. In the meantime the troops of the count reached Constantinople, and by his orders, crossing the straits, joined themselves without delay to the rest of the army.

How Robert, duke of Normandy and his companions set out on pilgrimage.

About the same time, Robert, duke of Normandy, took the sign of the cross, and set out last of all the pilgrims for Jerusalem. He first placed Normandy in pledge to his brother king William, for ten thousand marks of silver. His army was joined by Robert count of Flanders, Eustace count of Boulogne, Stephen count of Blois, the count of Chartres, Stephen count of Albemarle, Rotroc count of Perche, Roger de Barneville, the illustrious chiefs Fergand and Conan of Bretagne, followed by men from England, Normandy, Flanders, Bretagne, Anjou, western France, and other countries lying between the British seas and the Alps. All these, setting out about the beginning of winter, and passing through Apuleia and Calabria, so as to avoid the severity of the snow and frost, remained in that country until the more genial season should arrive. About the same time the church of Norwich was founded, and monks substituted therein instead of clerks.

How the crusaders besieged the city of Nice.

[A.D. 1097.] Duke Godfrey being with his men at

392 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1097.

Constantinople, duke Boamund at Castorea, and the count of Toulouse at Pelagonia, they celebrated the day of our Lord's nativity, and, in honour of the season they determined to withhold their hands from every species of plunder or injury. In the beginning of spring they collected their baggage, and, proceeding on their journey with wagons and sumpter horses, advanced by slow marches towards Nice, and from thence to Nicomedia, the metropolis of Bithynia, where they met the venerable Peter the hermit, at the head of a few troops whom he had saved from their former defeats. The princes received him kindly, and condoling with him on the losses which he had experienced, gave him many handsome presents. Thus the army of the crusaders increased in numbers, and proceeding on their journey by easy marches, they by God's grace, reached Nice, where, encamping round it in a circle, but so as to leave a vacant space for future pilgrims, they laid siege to the city in the month of May, and on the fifteenth day of the month, being Ascension day. The count of Toulouse now speedily completed his business at court, and with the emperor's permission, made the utmost speed towards Nice, where he joined his troops to the army of the besiegers.

How duke Robert came to the siege of Nice.

Now, Robert duke of Normandy hearing that the city of Nice was besieged by the crusaders who had gone before him, called together his companions in arms, and having prepared his baggage, went down to the sea-side, and anxious to redeem the time which he had wasted in Apuleia, he passed through Illyricum, Macedonia, and Thrace without opposition, and arrived at Constantinople. Here he was admitted into the emperor's presence, and with other nobles who accompanied him, took the oath of allegiance which was offered. For this reason they were admitted into more extensive favour, and honoured with gifts; gold, costly robes, vessels of exquisite workmanship and rich material, with garments wholly of silk and of unheard-of value, such as they had never seen before, and which caused the utmost astonishment to those who received them, because they exceeded all they had ever seen. After this they obtained the emperor's permission, and crossing the

A.D. 1097.] BATTLE BETWEEN CHRISTIANS AND TURKS. 393

Hellespont, proceeded with their troops to Nice, where they were joyfully hailed by the princes who had preceded them, and pitched their tents with the greatest magnificence in the place which the others had left vacant for them. In this manner, then, for the first time was one army of God formed out of diverse bodies of troops, consisting, as they were numbered, of six hundred thousand infantry and a hundred thousand mailed cavalry, all of whom, sitting down in a large circle round the walls of the aforesaid city, with all devotion consecrated to God the fruits of their pious labours.

Of the battle between the Christians and Turks, in which the latter were defeated.

Nice is a large city of Bithynia, abounding in all kinds of riches. Its lord was a powerful Turkish chieftain, named Soliman, [1] which in the Persian language means "king", who ruled the whole of the neighbouring country. His ancestors had gained this country from the Grecian emperor Romanus, who reigned in the third degree before Alexius, and had handed it down to this Soliman, together with all the provinces from Tarsus in Cilicia to the Hellespont, so that his officers came close up to the suburbs of Constantinople, and gathered tribute and taxes from all those countries for their sovereign's use. Soliman himself, with a great multitude of armed men, was encamped among the neighbouring mountains, scarcely ten miles off, watching in what manner he might best free his city from the siege laid to it by the crusaders. To raise the spirits of the besieged, he sent two messengers, who were to find their way into the city by means of a boat on the lake, and so deliver his commands; but one of them was taken by the Christians and the other was slain. The prisoner was examined and forced to confess; [2] by which means they learned that Soliman would come down from the mountains the next day and try to raise the siege. Accordingly, the next day about the third hour,


[1] Many of the very common oriental names, both in ancient and modern times, are rather names of offices or of dignity, than personal appellation.

[2] In arcto ponentes may mean that he was put to the torture, but does not necessarily bear this interpretation.

394 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1097.

Soliman appeared in the plain, as the captive messenger had told them, at the head of five hundred thousand men. He first despatched ten thousand cavalry to attack the count of Toulouse, who was stationed at the southern gate of the city, but the count received them bravely, repulsed their attack, and they were already on the point of dispersing, when Soliman, coming up with more numerous troops, rallied the fugitives, and again forced them onward upon our men. Duke Godfrey, the lord Boamund, and the count of Flanders, with their followers, armed to the teeth, seeing the count's men hard pressed, charged the enemy with vigour, and, having slain four or five thousand of them, besides taking a few prisoners, compelled them to take flight. Thus our men gained the first victory and continued the siege, with their troops arranged round the city in the following order. At the eastern gate was duke Godfrey with his two brothers and their men; at the northern gate were the lord Boamund, Tancred, and their other princes: the southern gate was assigned to count Raimund and the bishop of Puy; and the western to Robert duke of Normandy, and the count of Flanders, with their followers. Thus the city was blockaded on every side, and the sun never before saw so glorious an army as that which lay around its walls. Our princes now, to strike terror into the besieged, cut off the heads of the slain, and shot them from their engines into the city. A thousand of these heads, together with a select number of the prisoners, were sent to Constantinople, as a present to the emperor.

How one of the towers was undermined and fell.

After this, the princes determined to apply petrariae and other machines to destroy the walls of the city. The workmen, accordingly, began to ply their labours, and the city was shaken by frequent strokes, during the space of seven days, when it happened one day that, an assault having, as usual, been resolved on, our men had the misfortune to lose two nobles, Baldwin Calderon, and Baldwin of Ghent, the one by a stone, the other by an arrow, as they were bravely fighting and assaulting the city. In another conflict, also, agreed on in the council of the princes, count William de Foreis, and Galo de Lisle were slain by arrows, Guy de

A.D. 1097.] TAKING OF NICE. 395

Possessa, also, was seized with a severe illness, of which he died. On another day, also, when all the princes were plying their engines with the greatest energy against the walls, count Herman, and Henry de Asche, Teutonic nobles, put together with much skill a curious machine, containing twenty horsemen, and pushed it up to the walls, but, such was the gallantry of the defenders, that the machine was completely crushed by a large stone from above, and those who were inside perished with it. The others, however, continued the siege without intermission, and by their repeated assaults did not allow the besieged a moment's rest. But a great impediment to the exertions of the army was a large lake adjoining the city, for the inhabitants by means of it enjoyed free communication, and introduced plenty of provisions, to the great detriment of the besiegers. To remedy this, they brought ships to the lake and placed armed men on board, by which means the supplies of the city were cut off. There was, also, a tower on the south-side of the city higher and stronger than the others; and when the Christians found every other means of taking it fail, they at length placed men to undermine it. In this way, they, after much labour, drew out all the stones from the foundations, replacing them with blocks of wood, which they afterwards set fire to: the blocks were consumed, and the tower fell with a horrid crash, troubling, as an earthquake, the hearts of all who heard it, and terrifying the citizens by its fall. The army of the crusaders flew to arms at the signal, and with mutual exhortations prepared to march up into the city.

Of the taking of Nice, and the reward given by the emperor.

The wife of Soliman, in despair at the fall of this tower, attempted to escape privately from the city across the lake, but our men, who had been placed in the ships to keep a look-out over the lake, took her prisoner and brought her before the princes. With her were taken her two sons, still of tender years, and they were now placed in close custody with their mother. The illustrious duke Godfrey had taken notice of a certain Turk, who had slain many of our men with his arrows, and moreover abused the princes from the walls; wherefore watching his opportunity, he shot him through the brain with an arrow, and the man fell dead from

396 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1097.

the wall into the ditch. All were now aroused to the assault, and proceeded to attack the city to the sound of horns and trumpets. The air was filled with the noise: arrows, flaming javelins, stones, logs of wood, availed nothing to the besieged, their arms and valour and their missiles, that fell thicker than before, were all in vain. They were at last compelled to surrender, and delivered up the city to Tacinus, an officer of the Grecian emperor: and this arrangement was consented to by the princes, who had higher objects in view, because it was in accordance with the agreement which they had entered into. The pilgrims, however, received back all their slaves as well those who had been taken by the citizens during the siege, as those who had belonged to the army of Peter the hermit, as above related. The princes then sent messengers to the emperor exhorting him to despatch forthwith a sufficient number of his nobles to guard the city. The emperor, in joy and gladness, sent some of his confidential ministers to receive possession of the city with all the substance of the captives in gold and silver, and every kind of moveable: by the same messengers, also, he sent large presents to each of the pilgrims, endeavouring both by letters and by word of mouth to gain the goodwill of all, and offering them abundant acknowledgments for so laborious a service, attended with so great an augmentation of his dominions. Nice was taken on the 21st of June, [1] in the year of our Lord 1097.

How the crusaders proceeded on their march, and of the disastrous victory which they gained.

The siege being ended, the army of the crusaders, by order of the princes, resumed its march on the 29th of June, and, when they had passed over a certain bridge, they divided the army into two parts. Lord Boamund and Robert duke of Normandy, Stephen count of Blois, Hugh de St. Paul, and Tancred, took the left hand and reached a valley named Gorgoni; all the others went to the right, and completed a day's march, though scarcely two miles distant from the place where the other body had encamped. But Soliman, not forgetting the injury which he had received, appeared on


[1] July in the original text, but this is an error probably of the scribe.

A.D. 1097.] PROGRESS OF THE CRUSADERS. 397

the morrow, about the second hour of the day, with an immense multitude of Turks, said to exceed two hundred thousand. Our army, warned of their approach by the scouts, placed their baggage, their wagons, and sick along the edge of a reedy marsh which lay near, and, preparing themselves for battle, sent messengers to the other division, from whom they had foolishly parted company, exhorting them to come with speed to their assistance; but in the meantime, against the will of our own men, a severe conflict began in which the Christian soldiers suffered terribly, for their horses, unused to the clamour which the Turks made, the clang of their trumpets and the noise of their tambours, could not be made to obey the spur. They therefore were compelled to retreat, but the illustrious Robert duke of Normandy coming up to them shouting aloud, "Whither are you fleeing, soldiers? the Turkish horses are swifter than ours, it is of no use to run away: better die than live in disgrace, come, my brave men, think as I do, and follow me". The words were no sooner said, than he charged on a Turk, and pierced him through shield and cuirass with his lance, and then a second, and a third in like manner, in one moment; the Christians regained their courage, and a desperate conflict ensued. Two of our princes were slain in this battle. William, Tancred's brother, attacked a Turkish king, and each was pierced through the body by the other's lance. Godfrey Durmont was pierced with an arrow whilst he was cutting off a Turk's head; and count Robert of Paris was slain in a similar manner. Two thousand of the pilgrims were killed, and their troops were repulsed. But whilst they were in this distress, the other division, led by Godfrey with forty thousand armed men, rushed suddenly and fiercely upon the Turks, who were astonished to see a new army come up, and terrified as if the heaven itself was falling upon them, took to flight together with Soliman their leader. The Christians pursued them so incessantly, that for four miles beyond their camp the ground was covered with their dead bodies, and returned to their camp, bringing back with them all those whom the Turks had taken prisoners at the beginning of the battle. Here they found abundance of gold, silver, baggage, horses, cattle, sheep, and provisions of all kinds, pavilions, tents, horses, and camels, all of which they carried off to their

398 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1097.

own camp. It is said that in that battle there fell on the side of the enemy three thousand powerful men. [1] It was fought on the last day of June, with great inequality of force, for the Turks had one hundred and fifty thousand men, but the Christian army amounted to fifty thousand only.

How the pilgrims continued their march from Nice to Antioch through the countries which they had subdued.

After three days' rest, which was necessary both for themselves and their horses, the trumpet sounded, and the army having passed through all Bithynia, entered Pisidia, and descended into an arid plain, where they could get no water. Here they encamped, and the people suffered so much that more than five hundred of them died. At length, when they had extricated themselves from this calamity, they entered a fertile country near the lesser Antioch, which is the capital of Pisidia. They now again divided their forces and dispersed themselves through the provinces to reconnoitre and bring back all the information they could procure to their princes. These, after leaving the camp, had passed Heraclea, a city of Lycaonia, and gone to Iconium the capital of the same district, but they found it entirely destitute of inhabitants; for the Turks when they heard that the Christians were coming, left their cities and castles, not daring to defend them by arms: from thence they passed on to Marasia and so entered Cilicia. Now Cilicia is bounded on the east by Coelo-Syria, on the west by Isauria, on the north by the Taurus, and on the south by the sea of Cyprus: it has two capital cities, Anavarza and Tharsus, the birthplace of Paul the teacher of the gentiles. This city was made subject to Baldwin brother to duke Godfrey. Robert duke of Normandy took a city called Azen, and gave it to Simeon one of his knights. Duke Boamund and earl Raimond took another city, which they bestowed on Peter de Alpibus: thence they advanced to the city of Oxa, which they took, and Peter de Rossillon took Rufa and several


[1] Does the word powerful in this passjige mean that three thousand chiefs or nobles were slain? It would seem so, if we may credit the alleged numbers of the armies engaged and the letter sent to Europe by the princes, stating that thirty thousand Turks perished in this battle.- See Martene's Vett. Scriptt. Ampl. Coll. i. 568.

A.D. 1097.] MARCH TOWARDS ANTIOCH. 399

fortresses. A Burgundian, named Guelf, took the city of Adama, and hospitably entertained Tancred when he arrived there. Proceeding from thence Tancred advanced to Mamistra, slew the Turks and subdued the city. Thence he marched down to the lesser Alexandria, which he took, and reduced the whole province to submission. Baldwin, brother of duke Godfrey, resumed the campaign, and subdued the whole country as far as the Euphrates. His fame spread as far as Edessa beyond the river, the inhabitants of which, hearing that such an illustrious general had come from the regions of the west, humbly invited him to come among them, and to take upon him the government of their city. Now Edessa, otherwise called Rages, is a splendid city of Mesopotamia. It was to this place that Tobit the elder sent his son Tobit the younger to receive back the ten talents from their relative Gabel. To this city Baldwin accordingly went, and was received by its governor and people with glory and honour. From thence he went to Samosata, and perceiving that it could not be taken by arms, he bought it for ten thousand pieces of gold from its governor, and added it to his own dominions. Sororgia, which was the next city on his march, he besieged and captured. The whole of the way was now open to all who wished to go from Edessa to Antioch. In the meantime the main body of the army marched to Maresea, which the Turks quitted at their approach, leaving therein none but the Christian portion of the inhabitants. From thence they sent forward Robert duke of Normandy with the count of Flanders to Artasia, the inhabitants of which hearing of the coming of the Christians, rose upon the Turks, who had long tyrannized over them, and putting all of them to death, threw their heads outside the walls of the city. It is fifteen miles from Antioch, and the city is otherwise called Calquis.

Of the passage of a certain bridge, and the siege of Antioch.

All the dispersed divisions of the army were now called together, and, when the whole of them were assembled, it was forbidden by proclamation that they should again separate. The next morning they marched towards Antioch, but as their way lay over the Orontes, otherwise called the Fer, and they heard that there would be much difficulty in

400 ROGER OF WEXDOVER. [A.D. 1097.

passing the bridge, [1] they sent Robert duke of Normandy, with a light body of troops, to advance and explore the way, that, if any unforseen impediment should arise, they might be forewarned thereof: the duke, accordingly, kept in advance of the army until he reached the aforesaid bridge. The structure was of stone-work, and had towers at each front, in which a hundred brave men, skilled in the use of the cross-bow, were stationed to prevent any one from crossing the river either by the bridge or by the ford. Seven hundred cavalry, moreover, had come from Antioch, and were posted on the opposite bank of the river to prevent, as far as lay in their power, our men from crossing. When duke Robert found that he could not pass the river, in consequence of the opposition of the troops aforesaid, a severe conflict took place, which lasted till the main body came up. Then the trumpets sounded, the Christians attacked the bridge, and drove back its defenders, whilst others searched for the ford, and passing the river, drove off the enemy and gained the opposite bank. The whole army then crossed, and halted for the night. The next morning they pursued their course along the king's way, between the mountains and the river, and encamped in front of the city, at the distance of less than a mile from its walls.

Antioch is an illustrious city, so called from Antiochus, son [2] of of Alexander of Macedon, who made it the capital of his kingdom. In it the prince of the apostles afterwards fixed his episcopal seat, under the venerable Theophilus, who was the most powerful of its inhabitants, and from whom it was afterwards called Theophilis. In ancient times it was called Reblata, and it was here that Sedekiah, king of Juda, was brought before Nebuchodonosor, and deprived of his sight. It is situated in Coelo-Syria, which is a district of Syria, famous for its fertile lands, its delightful streams, and pleasant fountains. The lord of the city was one Axianus, [3] a Turk by nation, and of the family of the


[1] The Fer is called the Farfar by Albert of Aix, but the bridge alluded to in the text is over the Ifrin, not over the Orontes. See Gibbon, xi. p. 62.

[2] It is hardly necessary to inform the reader that Antiochus was not the son of Alexander the Great.

[3] His Persian name was Akky-Sian, (see Michaud, vol. i. p. 267, note), which has been rendered by various writers Darsianus, Axianus, Gratianus, and Cassianus.

A.D. 1097.] SIEGE OF ANTIOCH. 401

great sultan of Persia, named Belfecho, who expelled the Christians and subjugated all these countries to his rule. The princes of the west, therefore, determined to besiege this city, and on the 28th of October they drew up their army in a circle around its walls. There are five gates to the city, two of which, on account of the river flowing by them, could not be blockaded; the enemy, therefore, leaving these alone, confined their attention to the other three. The upper gate was assailed by Boamund and those who had followed his standard from the beginning; next to him came Robert duke of Normandy and the count of Flanders, with their men, and joining to the camp of Boamund near the Gate of the Dog. Next to them came the count of Toulouse and Ademar bishop of Puy, with other nobles who followed their standard; next to whom was duke Godfrey, with his brothers Eustace and Baldwin, with many other troops, who had followed him as their leader.

How Boamund, in quest of provisions, slew many of the Turks.

Thus the city was laid siege to, and machines were fixed in different places, namely, petrariae, trubucles, and mangonels, [1] which threw great stones into the city, to the no slight terror of the inhabitants. They also constructed a wooden castle of great width, and placed cross-bow men on the top, who, lying in wait for the enemy, slew many of them with their flaming and poisoned arrows. But the Turks, on their part, erected corresponding engines, and threw back stone for stone, and dart for dart, upon the pilgrims, until, after some time had elapsed, and numbers had been slain on both sides, principally of those who went out for provisions, they began to be in want of food, and the lord Boamund, the count of Flanders, and Robert, by the unanimous vote of the council, sallied forth to procure provisions. Hearing that the Turks were in possession of a fortress and large city full of all kinds of wealth in the enemy's country, they marched thither with their men, and by God's will, few as they were, slew large numbers of the enemy and took much spoil for their own use. It was, however, discovered by their scouts, that a large multitude of


[1] For an explanation of these various kinds of engines see Ducange's and Dufresne's Glossaries.

402 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1097.

Turks were not far off, and Boamund sent off the count of Flanders with a body of men to meet them, promising that he would himself follow with a larger body. But the count, who was a brave man in war, attacked the enemy vigorously, and slew a hundred of them. As he was returning to the camp, intelligence was brought that there was a stronger body advancing on the other side. The pilgrims at once attacked them with a more numerous force, and by God's grace, put them all to flight, and pursued them two miles with great slaughter. Thus they returned triumphantly to the camp with horses and mules, camels and asses, cattle, and other abundant spoils which they had collected. The fields round the camp were filled, and the princes, who had suffered much from want, were now elated with joy and gladness. But yet, even so large a spoil could not subsist such a great multitude more than a few days, and famine in a short time again began to prevail in the camp: an immense number of soldiers, forgetful of their vows and of their profession, returned secretly to their country; amongst whom was Tacinus, the subtle and favourite minister of Alexius, for he feared that the pilgrims would act tyrannically, and though he left his family with their tents behind him, by way of concealing his treason, he departed from the camp never to return. At this time, Swain, [1] son to the king of Denmark, had taken the cross, and on his way to join in the siege of Antioch with fifteen hundred well-armed men, he was surprised by an ambuscade of the Turks not far from Nice, and slain with all his men; but by reason of their valiant resistance, their deaths were nobly avenged, and the enemy paid dearly for their victory.

How the pilgrims were afflicted by a famine and mortality.

At this time the famine among the besiegers became daily greater and greater, followed by a pestilence; and the bishop of Puy, who was the pope's legate in the camp, appointed a fast for three days to be observed by all the people; for the more prudent and learned men among them agreed that their sins were the cause of their sufferings. They also commanded that all loose females should be removed from


[1] This story is omitted by the Danish historians.

A.D. 1097.] DISTRESS OF THE PILGRIMS. 403

the army, and that neither drunkenness, revelling, dice, or false swearing should be tolerated. Every species of fraud or dishonourable conduct was forbidden, and humble prayers were offered up that the divine mercy would look down upon them. Thus, by the abundant grace of God, the people were recalled to a better way of life, and the wrath of the Lord was in part appeased; for the pilgrims were above measure alarmed by the knowledge that there were spies in the camp out of every nation in the east belonging to the unbelievers, and every man in the army was anxious to know how he could defend himself against so large an armament as might come against them. Now, it was easy enough for spies to remain undiscovered in the camp, calling themselves merchants from Greece, Syria, or Armenia, who brought provisions to sell to the army. As these spies witnessed the famine and pestilence which prevailed in the camp, the pilgrims justly feared that this intelligence would be spread among the Gentiles, who would be induced by it to come in force and destroy them all. The princes were at a loss what remedy to apply to this evil; but Boamund, who was a shrewd man, about the time of twilight in the following night, when his comrades were all engaged throughout the camp in preparing their supper, commanded several Turks whom he had in prison to be put to death, and their flesh, roasted over a large fire, to be prepared for the table. He further instructed the servants, if asked what they were about, to reply that general orders had been given that from henceforth all the Turks that should be brought in prisoners by the scouts, should be served up for food both to the princes and the people. All the army, hearing of this remarkable act of the lord Boamund, ran together at the news, and the Turkish spies who were in the camp believed that it was done in earnest and without dissimulation. Fearing, therefore, lest the same should happen to themselves, they left the camp and returned to their own country, where they told their employers that the men in our army exceeded the ferocity of the beasts of the forest, and not content to subdue cities and castles, and to carry off the spoils of their enemies, or to torture and slay their prisoners, they must needs fill their bellies with their flesh and feed on the blood of their victims. This report went out to the most remote

404 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1097.

districts of the east, and alarmed the most distant countries. The city of Antioch, also, was disturbed by the report of this deed. Such mercy did God show towards his people by the zeal of the lord Boamund, and by his means the grievance of the spies was in part put a stop to.

Of duke Godfrey's recovery from illness, and the cause of his illness.

Another cause of joy in the army was the recovery of duke Godfrey, who was at this time restored to health from a serious illness; for when they were at the lesser Antioch he had received a wound, almost fatal, inflicted upon him by a bear. The duke had gone out into a wood for recreation, and found there a poor pilgrim carrying dry wood who was attacked by a bear, against which being unable to defend himself, he took to flight and called aloud for help. The duke, seeing him running away and crying aloud, with the bear close behind and ready to devour him, rushed upon the animal with his drawn sword to save the poor man. The bear, seeing him advance with his sword drawn, left the poor pilgrim and rushed upon the more formidable of his enemies. The duke's horse was terribly lacerated, and his rider, dismounted, continued the battle on foot. The bear, with open jaws and horrid roar, in contempt of the duke and of his sword, endeavoured to close with him, whilst the duke tried to run him through the body; but the bear, evading its point, hugged the duke in his fore paws, and tried to throw him down that he might tear him in pieces; but the duke, being a strong and athletic soldier, grasping the bear in his left hand, plunged the sword up to its hilt into his body and laid him dead upon the ground. The victory, however, cost the duke dear; for he was dreadfully wounded and covered with blood; by the loss of which he was so disabled, that he was unable to go back to his tent. As, however, the poor pilgrim, who had been saved from death by the duke's interference, spread the intelligence in the camp, the troops sallied forth, and, placing him in a litter, carried him amid the general sorrow of all the soldiers to the camp, where he was attended by the surgeons until he recovered from his wounds, an event which happened at the time which we before mentioned, to the great joy of all the army.

A.D. 1098.] SAMPSON BISHOP OF WORCESTER. 405

How Sampson was consecrated bishop of Worcester.

In the same year, Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, consecrated Sampson to be bishop of Worcester, at London, in St. Paul's church, on Sunday the 25th of June. Also Richard d'Essaie was made abbat of the church of St. Alban protomartyr of the English, and governed it with honour twenty-two years, during which he reformed the state of religion within the walls of the monastery, and amplified it without, both in cells, landed possessions, and property of every description.

Of the slaughter of two thousand Turks.

[A.D. 1098.] The pilgrims, who were engaged in the siege of Antioch, celebrated the days of our Lord's nativity most nobly with religious ceremonies and giving of alms. During the same time the citizens of Antioch, anxious for their city in its then critical position, invited the princes of the infidels, far and near, to come to their assistance. At their earnest request, the cities of Damascus, Jerusalem, Caesarea, Aleppo, Haman, Emissa, Hierapolis, and many adjoining countries, sent forth twenty-eight thousand warriors, who assembled at Hareg, about fourteen miles from Antioch. It was their intention to fall suddenly on the pilgrims, whilst these were intent on assaulting the city; but our princes, aware of their secret design, left their infantry to carry on the siege, and assembling all the cavalry at the first twilight, they left the camp in silence, and halting for the night about one mile from the camp between a certain lake and the river Orontes, they flew to arms early in the morning, and disposed their troops in six divisions, to each of which was assigned its leader. The Turks, who were not far off, knew that our men were at hand, and sent forward two bodies of soldiers in advance, whilst they followed more leisurely with the rest. The Christians were only seven hundred men; but from the strength which was given them from on high, they seemed to themselves to be many thousands. As the troops therefore advanced on both sides, the first lines of the Turks charged fiercely on the Christians, trusting that when they had shot their arrows they should be able to retreat to their own troops; but our men bearing

406 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1098.

down upon them with swords and lances fixed, drove them up into a heap between the lake on one side and the river on the other; so that the Turks, unable to move freely about in their usual manner, or to cope with the Christians in battle, placed their only safety in flight. The Christians pursued them hotly as far as their camp, which was ten miles from the scene of action. The townspeople of Hareg, seeing that the troops were routed and almost all of them put to the sword, burnt their town and took to flight also; but the Armenians and others of the faithful, resident in those parts, seized on the town, and gave it up to the Christians. On that day two thousand of the enemy were slain, and our men, offering abundant thanks to God for their victory, returned to the camp, carrying with them five hundred heads of the slain, a thousand excellent horses, and an immense quantity of booty. Meanwhile the citizens, sallying bravely from the city, assaulted our men during the whole day, but retreated into the city at the approach of the princes. When the victorious party arrived at the camp, they shot two hundred of the Turkish heads into the city, to inform the inhabitants of their victory, and fixed the rest on stakes before the walls, to augment by the sight of them the sufferings of the besieged.

How three hundred pilgrims were destroyed by the Turks.

When all the princes were returned to the siege, they made a general assault on the city, and were as bravely met by the besieged, who slew the standard-bearer of the bishop of Puy and many others. At length, when the siege had lasted five months, some Genoese vessels arrived, bringing pilgrims and provisions; and the crew sent several messengers to request from the princes an escort to the camp. This news gave satisfaction to the pilgrims, who had long been distressed for want of food, and a large number of them went down to the sea-side, where they finished their business and prepared to return again to the camp. The lord Boamund, the count of Toulouse, Everard de Busaco, and Garner count de Gres, were the princes charged with escorting the pilgrims newly arrived and the others who had gone down to meet them. The people of Antioch, hearing of the expedition, sent out four thousand light troops to intercept

A.D. 1098.] SLAUGHTER OF TURKS. 407

and destroy them. Whilst, therefore, the inferior pilgrims, who were unarmed, were on their way to the camp with the provisions and loaded horses, the Turks, springing from their ambuscade, attacked them vigorously. The princes defended them for a long time; but at last, seeing the impossibility of continuing the conflict against so large a multitude of Turks, retreated to the camp with as many as could follow them; but of the poorer pilgrims about three hundred, of both sexes and of all ages, were slain in that skirmish.

Of the great daughter which was made of the Turks, and of the battle such as before was unheard of.

Meanwhile a report reached the camp that the pilgrims just landed had been surprised by an ambuscade of the Turks, and all put to the sword. Whilst this rumour was afloat, Boamund, followed by the count of Toulouse, entered the camp, and explained to the princes the misfortune which had happened. Now Axianus, lord of the city, finding that his men were victorious, ordered the gates of the city to be opened that the troops might enter freely on their return. But our princes, eager to revenge the blood of their men, took up arms, and hastening to meet the enemy, rushed furiously on the Turks who dispersed for fear, and strove each to gain the bridge of the city; but Godfrey duke of Lorraine had posted his men on the bridge, who either slew the Turks as they advanced, or drove them back on the princes who were pursuing them. Thus, unable to resist either party and with no means of escape, they were all cut to pieces. Axianus, seeing the rout of his troops, opened the gates to admit at least those of them who remained. There was then such a dense throng on the bridge, that an immense number fell into the river. Duke Godfrey, also, by mere strength of arm cut off the heads of several armed Turks at a single blow, and, seeing one of them fiercely charging our men, he clove him in two parts, armed in mail as he was, so that his upper part fell to the ground, whilst his lower half was borne into the city by the horse, which rushed neighing and snorting through the Turks as if inspired by the devil, and terrified all of them at the ghastly corpse upon its back. Robert duke of Normandy, also, dealt

408 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1098.

another Turk, with whom he was fighting, so fierce a blow, that he cut through his helmet, shield, head, teeth and neck, down to his breast, as a sheep is cleft in two by a butcher; and as he fell to the earth, the duke cried aloud, "I commend thy bloody soul to all the ministers of hell"! Two thousand of the Turks were slain on that day, and if night had not come on, the affair of Antioch would have been brought to a termination. Our men learned for certain from the prisoners that twelve principal men of the Turks fell on this occasion. The citizens buried the bodies of their slain during the night, but our men, digging them up again, stripped those buried dogs of all the gold, silver, and rich clothes which they had on, and gave all to the use of their own pilgrims who were poor.

How the pilgrims captured two thousand horses.

After this heaven-sent victory, the pilgrims erected some new stations and engines to annoy the city, and, learning that the citizens, being short of fodder, sent their horses to graze at a place about four miles distant from the city, they made a rapid march thither, slew those who were in charge, and led off to the camp two thousand noble horses, besides mules of both sexes. About the same time, also, Baldwin, brother of duke Godfrey, who, as we have related, had received the dominion of Edessa, hearing that the pilgrims were in great want of necessaries, sent many presents, gold, silver, silken robes, and valuable horses, by which the position of the princes was much ameliorated. To his brother Godfrey also, he sent all the revenues, in corn, wine, barley, and oil, of his lands near the Euphrates, besides fifty thousand pieces of gold. At this time, also, intelligence was brought to the princes that the sultan of Persia, at the earnest request of the citizens of Antioch, seconded by the entreaties of his own subjects, had despatched into Syria an immense army, which was said to be already close at hand. This intelligence so alarmed our princes, that Stephen count of Chartres, under pretence of illness, obtained permission from his companions to depart, and went away with four thousand men, never again to return. The princes who remained were dispirited by such a notable calamity, and consulted what remedy should be applied before others

A.D. 1098.] EMIFER THE TRAITOR. 409

should be led to imitate so fatal an example. It was therefore unanimously agreed that every one who should withdraw himself without leave of the princes from the camp, should be held as guilty of sacrilege or of homicide; and thus it came to pass, that all of them, as if by a monastic vow, voluntarily bound themselves to be obedient to the princes.

Of Emifer, by whom Antioch was betrayed.

The divine clemency is often known to assist his servants, when all other means fail, neither does it suffer them to be tempted beyond their power of endurance. Now there was in Antioch a man of high birth and distinguished by the profession of Christianity, named Emifer, [1] a man of much power and influence with Axianus, in whose palace he discharged the office of notary, and was famous for his activity and prudence. This man, hearing that Boamund was an illustrious and magnificent prince, immediately after the city was laid siege to, sent trustworthy messengers to secure his friendship, and every day disclosed to him the position of things in the city, and secretly pointed out to him how he ought to act. Boamund also, on his part, concealed his friend's secret, so that none of the messengers on either side could gather any of their correspondence. This friendship lasted seven months, and the subject of their deliberations was in what manner the city might be restored to Christianity. Boamund often put this question to Emifer, who sent his son to him bearing this message, "If the foul dogs, under whose dominion we are oppressed, could be expelled, and the city, recovering its ancient liberty, could be again inhabited by God's people, I am sure that I should enjoy the prize of eternal happiness with the spirits of the blessed: if, however, I shall not be able to fulfil my promise, without a doubt my house and the name of my family will be rooted out, so that it never shall be heard of more. If, however, you can obtain the consent of your allies that the city, when given up to you by me, shall become yours, I will for your sake devote myself to this enterprise: I will deliver into


[1] I am inclined to think that this is the name of the dignity Emir, as we generally render it, and not of the individual; for he is elsewhere named Phirouz. See Michaud, i. p. 305, note.

410 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1098.

your hands this strongly fortified tower, as you behold, and from it your princes will have free ingress to any part of the city. But be assured that, if this is not done to-morrow, it will never be done at all; for two hundred thousand cavalry are coming out of all the kingdoms of the east to assist this city, and they are already encamped on the banks of the Euphrates". When Boamund heard these words, he returned to the camp, and, calling aside the senior princes, addressed them thus: "I see, my dear friends and brothers, that you are concerned at the approach of Corboren with his immense host, which, having spent three weeks in besieging Edessa, is now advancing to aid the citizens of Antioch. It seems to me, therefore, that we should endeavour to get Antioch into our possession before this multitude arrives. If you ask how this is to be done, I reply that there is a way by which our wishes may be effected: I have a friend in the city, who has in his keeping a strong tower, which he has bound himself to deliver up to me, when I ask it. If therefore you should deem it prudent to hand over to me the city to be my own, if by any means it can be taken, I am ready to fulfil my portion of the bargain; but if any of you have a different proposition to make, I readily give place to him, and renounce my own claims".

Of the capture and spoil of Antioch.

The chiefs expressed great satisfaction at these words, all except the count of Toulouse, and gave solemn pledges that they would tell the secret to no one; at the same time they exhort Boamund to pay the utmost attention towards ensuring the success of the project. The council was dismissed, and Boamund informing his friend that he had obtained the desired conditions, invited him to put the design in practice the following night. Emifer, on the other hand, warned Boamund, that all the princes should leave the camp about the ninth hour, as if to meet the enemy, and return silently about the first watch of the night, that they might be ready at midnight to join in the enterprise. All this was done, and the middle of the night approached, when all the city was buried in sleep. Boamund then sent a servant to his friend to inquire whether he wished his master's household yet to show themselves?

A.D. 1098.] TAKING OF ANTIOCH. 411

The servant arrived and delivered the message, to which Emifer replied, "Sit down there, and say nothing till I come back". He then waited awhile until the master of the watch, who was used to go round the walls three or four times every night with lanterns, to see if any of the guards were asleep, should have passed by; after which, seeing his opportunity, he returned to the messenger and said: "Go back quickly, and tell your master to come here with a chosen band of men, as quickly as possible". The messenger returned and found his master ready with the princes. All were prepared, and presented themselves in a body at the foot of the tower, as one man. Emifer, entering the tower, found his brother there asleep, and knowing that his mind was averse to such an enterprise, and fearing lest he should be an impediment to its success, he stabbed him to the heart, a righteous and at the same time a bloody deed! He then went, and looking down on the princes who were waiting below, he threw down a rope by which to pull up a ladder for them to mount. When the ladder was raised, not one of them would mount, for fear of treachery, notwithstanding the exhortations of Boamund, who, seeing their timidity, mounted the ladder intrepidly himself. Emifer, taking him by the hand and drawing him into the tower, said, "Long live this right hand"! He then led him farther in, where his brother's corpse was lying, and he explained to his friend why he had killed him. Boamund embraced his friend, eulogizing his firmness of mind; and returning to the ladder urged his men to ascend, but not one of them would go up, until Boamund again descended and gave the most evident proof that all was safe. All then mounted in great haste and the tower was full of them, and not only that tower, but ten others adjoining were speedily occupied and the guards in them massacred: last of all they opened a small false gate and admitted the princes who were on the outside. In this way their number increased, and they sallied forth to the gate of the bridge, which they opened by force, having slain its defenders. They now perceived that the day was dawning, and began to make a loud noise with horns and trumpets to arouse those who were still in the camp. The standard of Boamund floating from one of the highest towers declared that the city was taken. The citizens

412 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1098.

aroused from their slumbers, wondered what this unusual noise could mean, and when at length they saw all the streets flowing with blood, and armed men in every quarter, they abandoned their houses, and, trying to fly with their wives and children, were every where confronted by the ministers of death. The Christians, who inhabited different quarters of the city, flew to arms, and joining their liberators made great havoc on the enemy: all the houses with their stores were broken open; gold, silver, rich garments, jewels and vessels of inestimable value, carpets and cloths of pure silk, were equally divided among men who a little before had suffered from want and hunger, but now abounded in all things. More than ten thousand Turks are said to have been slain in the city, and their bodies lying unburied in the streets were a miserable spectacle to look on. About five hundred war-horses were found in the city, all thin and suffering from want of food; for little, fit either for men or horses to eat, was found in the city when it was taken.

Of the death of Axianus, prince and lord of Antioch.

Axianus, the lord of Antioch, seeing that the city was lost, went out alone through a postern gate, and in the anguish of his mind, was making his escape, but was met by some Armenians, who, knowing him, threw him on the ground and cut off his head with his own sword, and presented it to the princes before the whole army. Others of the nobles, uncertain what to do, and essaying to fly up to the upper garrison, were met by some of our men who were higher up than themselves, and thus being intercepted and embarrassed by the declivities of the hill, pressed too by our men from above, and endeavouring at the same time to defend themselves, they were thrown headlong, horses and men, in number about three hundred. Others endeavoured to escape into the mountainous districts, but our men pursued them and made some of them prisoners; the rest, by the goodness of their horses, escaped to the mountains. Thus Antioch was taken in the fourteenth year after the pagans first got possession of it, which was A.D. 1098, and on the third day of the month of June.

Of Sensabol, and how he gave up his castle to Corboran.

When the tumult, occasioned by the capture of Antioch,

A.D. 1098.] SECOND SIEGE OF ANTIOCH. 413

had subsided, and all was perfectly calm, the princes met together and determined to ascend the hill which overhangs the city, and to dislodge the garrison by which it was occupied: but when they reached the place, they perceived that it could not be taken except by famine; so they turned their attention to other matters. The lord and governor of that fortress was Sensabol, son of the above-named Axianus or Garsianus, and he had with him a large number of Turkish troops, and when he heard that Corboran with the Persian army, in whom he placed all his hopes, had entered the territory of Antioch, he hastened to meet him and informed him of the death of his father and the desolation of Antioch. Corboran replied, "If you wish me to put forth all my strength for you, give up to me your fortress, and when I am secure in that particular, I will assault that rabble with all my forces". Sensabol acquiesced, and gave his fortress into the hands of his defender. Corboran had no sooner taken possession of it than he promised faithfully to assist Sensabol. The princes, hearing that Corboran had entered the dominions of Antioch, were solicitous to strengthen the city and to fill it with necessaries, when lo! three hundred horsemen from Corboran's army approached the city in an audacious manner and challenged our men to come forth and meet them. Roger de Barneville, a true knight attached to Robert duke of Normandy, taking with him fifteen companions, sallied out bravely to meet them; but the enemy deceitfully fled and Roger pursued them, until they reached an ambuscade, which rising suddenly and assailing our men put them to flight. Unable from the fewness of his forces to contend with the enemy, and overtaken by the greater speed of the Persian horses, Roger was slain and his men escaped within the walls. The enemy cut off his head, and returned unhurt to their own camp.

Of the second siege of Antioch by Corboran.

The third day after Antioch was taken, Corboran, the Persian prince, pitched his camp with an immense army before the city, and enclosed in the blockade all the south side from the eastern to the western gate. Near the eastern gate was a fort guarded by Boamund: the enemy, surrounding this fort made frequent attacks upon it, and Boamund,

414 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1098.

impatient at their audacity, sallied out against them, but was met by an overwhelming Turkish force, which compelled him to retreat into the city, whilst the common soldiers, crowded together in the gate by the fierce assault of the enemy, lost about two hundred of their number. Another time, also, the Turks attacked a fort which had been recently constructed, with such fury, that, if speedy succour had not come up, they would certainly have captured it. It was Robert duke of Normandy, who came up with his men, and having slain or taken prisoners many of the enemy, compelled the rest to take to flight. On another occasion, the Turks were challenging our men to fight, and some of them, dismounting from their horses, showed more than usual earnestness, and called on the others to imitate their example: whilst they were thus engaged, Tancred sallied out through the eastern gate, before the enemy could regain their horses, and slew six of them; the others escaped.

Of the scourges which God suffered to fall on the pilgrims for their sins.

In the meantime the city suffered terribly from famine; this was in punishment for their sins, because many of them, in despair, let themselves down by ropes and baskets from the walls, and, leaving their comrades, escaped to the seaside. Those who thus doubted of the goodness and mercy of God, were not only the common people and the poor, but also nobles and men of gentle blood; such were William de Grantmenil, of Apulia, and Alberic his brother, William the Carpenter, Guy his brother, Lambert, and many others with them. Besides these, also, there were some who, despairing of help, went over to the enemy and abjured the faith of Christ. Others also seriously meditated flight, but they were recalled to firmness by the bishop of Puy and Boamund, who made them swear that they would not abandon the cause of Christ, until the battle, which would some time or other be fought, should be over. The famine, too, was so severe in the city, that the people, for want of food, turned to shameful expedients: a hen was sold for fifteen shillings, an egg for two shillings, a nut for one penny; they ate leaves of trees, thistles, the skins and flesh of horses and asses, mules and dogs; and the most filthy things were now accounted great delicacies. It was pitiable to behold men once so

A.D. 1098.] FAMINE AMONG THE PILGRIMS. 415

strong, and distinguished by nobility of birth, now supporting their weak bodies on staves, and not able to use their arms. In the meantime William de Grantmenil, Stephen count of Chartres, and the others who had fled with them, related to all the miseries which the Christians endured at Antioch, and, to palliate their own flight, they described those sufferings, great as they were, as being many times greater than the reality. They came to the emperor, who with forty thousand Latin troops, besides others levied in different countries, was on his way to assist the Christians in Antioch, and advised him not to go, in words to this import: "Your faithful princes, most powerful emperor, when they took Antioch, thought that the war was at an end, but the last error is worse than the first. Scarcely had one day passed, after the capture of the city, when, lo! Corboran, the most powerful prince of Persia, with immense forces from the east, which no one could number, laid siege again to the same city; whilst our people are so subdued by hunger, cold, heat, and the edge of the sword, that it is said they have not provisions in the city even for a single day. We therefore, who are here, seeing that the cause of our brethren did not prosper, often advised them to look to their own safety, and, abandoning an impossible enterprise, to provide for themselves by flight without delay; but, when we could not deter them from their design, we began to think of our own safety, and now, if it so please you, and it should be the opinion of your counsellor also, proceed no further, lest those who now follow you be drawn into the same danger. Tatin, your prudent and faithful minister, whom you sent with us, will confirm the truth of our words, for he saw the weakness of our men, and withdrew himself from their cause that he might make these things known to your majesty". The emperor, hearing these words, by their advice dismissed his legions, and returned with tears to his palace. When the report of the emperor's return reached Antioch, it augmented the triumph of the pagans and the despondency of the Christians. So great was the famine amongst God's people, such the ferocity of the enemy both within and without, that there appeared to be neither remedy nor consolation: old and young were involved in the same calamity, and could give each other no comfort: they thought of their wives and children and

416 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1098.

patrimonies they had left at home, to come upon pilgrimage for the cause of Christ, and they murmured at the ingratitude of the Almighty, who had no respect for their sufferings, but let them, as if they were a people unknown to him, be delivered into the hands of their enemies.

Of the consolation which God bestowed upon the afflicted pilgrims.

But the Lord at last looked down upon his suffering people, and sent them consolation from the mercy-seat. A poor pilgrim, who was a priest, and belonged to the army, came to the princes and pilgrims of the west, and said these words to them:- "Hear, my brethren and dear friends, the vision which I have seen. I made up my mind to pass the night in the church of the mother of God, and to pray to the Lord to ease our sufferings; whether awake or half-asleep I know not, God only knows, but I saw our Lord Jesus Christ without knowing him; his blessed mother was also present, together with Peter the prince of the apostles. As I looked upon them, the Lord said to me, 'Dost thou know me'? and I replied, 'No, my Lord'. Meanwhile a bright cross shone above his head, and he again asked me the same question: to whom I answered, 'My Lord, if I understand rightly from the sign of the cross above your head, I take you for our Redeemer'. To which he said, 'It is as thou sayest'. I then threw myself at his feet, and bedewing his knees with my tears, said to him, 'Lord, Lord, pity us, pity thy people; Lord, help us'! The Lord then answered, 'I have helped you hitherto; for I permitted you to take Nice, and have covered you in many battles. Under my guidance you have conquered and prevailed at Antioch, and I have been indulgent to your wishes during the siege itself; but you have been ungrateful to me for my kindness and rebelled against me: your iniquities have arisen from your abundance; you have provoked me to anger by the injuries which your nation have done me, in committing fornication with strange women. The ill-savour of you has gone up to heaven, and has made me avert my eyes from you. I will repay you for your ingratitude; neither will I spare your debaucheries and your licentiousness'. Then the mother of mercy and Peter fell down at the feet of the merciful Redeemer, and mitigated his threats by their supplications:- 'Lord, for

A.D. 1098.] THE SAVIOUR'S LANCE FOUND. 417

many years hath a pagan people possessed that house which was the house of prayer, and shamefully defiled it; and behold, wilt thou, for the sins of a few, destroy in thy anger all the Christians who have freed thy house by their own blood? Have mercy, Lord, have mercy upon thy people, and deliver not thy inheritance to destruction, nor let the nations triumph over them'. The most holy listened to the prayers of his mother and the apostle, and, smiling pleasantly, said to me these words:- 'Go and tell my people to remove every brothel and all uncleanness away from them, to wash away their shame with their tears, and to return to me, and I will then return to them, and within five days I will render them timely assistance, because I am the God of mercy. Let them sing in the mean time, Our enemies were gathered and boasted in their strength; bruise thou their might, O Lord, and scatter them that they may know that there is none other to fight for them, but only thou, O Lord'". When the priest had finished, all the people immediately turned to lamentations, and exhorted one another to confess their sins. One might see the tears running down their cheeks; and all ages with ashes on their heads and barefoot, going up to the churches to pray for counsel and assistance from on high. Then Boamund, being a man wise in counsel, exhorted every one of them to bind himself by an oath never to leave that holy band of pilgrims until they had kissed the sepulchre of the Lord, according to the original intention of their pilgrimage. The advice was received by all; they took the oath, and their energies were thereby marvellously strengthened.

How they found the lance of the Saviour.

About the same time, a priest named Peter, of Provence, came to the bishop of Puy and the count of Toulouse, asserting that the apostle St. Andrew had appeared to him in a dream, and earnestly bade him three or four times go to the princes, and tell them that they would find hidden, in the church of the prince of the apostles, the lance with which our Saviour's side was pierced, and he gave the clearest tokens by which the place might be found. He came therefore to the princes, as he had been bidden, and told them everything, adding, that the apostle had used many threats in case he should disobey,

418 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1098

and that he was obliged to deliver the message for fear of being put to death. When this was communicated to the rest of the princes, they came together to the place in the church which was pointed out, and having removed the earth a little, found the lance, as had been told them. The people, hearing of this discovery, flocked to the church, and worshipping so precious a relic, began to take breath from their sufferings, and to walk more boldly in the ways of the Lord.

How the troops were mustered and marched out of the city in order of battle.

The princes and people, therefore, meeting together, finding that the Lord had inspired them with fresh fervour, determined unanimously to give notice to Corboran that they would fight him the next day. This message was conveyed to him by Peter the hermit, and at dawn of day all the soldiers flocked to the churches to hear divine service. The priests then admonished the pilgrims to confess their sins, to fortify themselves by partaking of the body and blood of Christ, and thus to march boldly against the enemies of the cross. On the 28th of June, therefore, they invoked the divine aid, and drew up their army in divisions, assigning to each its line of operations. To lead the first body they appointed Hugh the great, Anselm de Riburgismont, with several others; but how many they were or what were their names, we do not recollect. The second division was led by the count of Flanders and Robert the Frison, with others who had followed his banner from the first. Robert duke of Normandy, Stephen count of Albemarle, and other nobles belonging to their company, led the third division. The fourth was led by Ademar bishop of Puy and the count of Toulouse with their followers, who carried with them our Lord's lance. The fifth was led by Reinard count of Tulle, with Peter de Stadeneis, Garner de Greis, Henry de Asches, Walter de Domedart, and many others. The sixth division was led by Reinbald count of Horinges, Louis de Mascons, and Lambert son of Conon de Montacute. The seventh was commanded by duke Godfrey and his brother Eustace. The eighth by the noble knight Tancred. The ninth by Hugh count of St. Paul, with Egelran his son, Thomas de Feria, Baldwin de Bourg, Robert Fitz-Gerard, Reginald of Beauvais,and Galo

A.D. 1098.] BATTLE OUTSIDE ANTIOCH. 419

de Chaumont. The tenth was commanded by Rotrou count of Perche, Everard de Pusac, Drogo de Monci, Ralph Fitz-Godfrey, and Conan of Bretagne. The eleventh was led by Isoard count of Die, Reimund Pilet, Gastus of Biterne, Girard de Roussillon, William de Mont-Pessulan, and William Amane. The twelfth and last division was stronger than the others, and was led by Boamund, whose duty it was to assist any of the other divisions which should be hard pressed by the enemy. The count of Toulouse, being in bad health, was left to guard the city, and to protect the infirm and wounded, in case that the Turks, who still held out in the upper fortress, should attack them in the absence of the princes. Intermixed with the different divisions, as they marched forth, might be seen priests and deacons in white garments, carrying in their hands the ensign of the cross; and those who remained in the city, putting on their sacred vestments, ascended the walls of the city, and offered up prayers for the safety of the Lord's people. As our army issued from the walls, a pleasant dew descended from on high upon them, sent, as it would seem, from the Almighty to bless their arms; its effect was felt, not only by the men, but even by the horses, which, though for many days they had fed on nothing but the leaves and branches of trees, yet all that day excelled the cavalry of the enemy both in speed and strength.

Of the terrible battle and glorious victory which ensued.

Meanwhile Corboran, seeing our men issue forth, drew up his troops for battle, under the command of twenty-nine admirals and kings, whose names were these: Meleduchac, Amir-Solyman, Amir-Solendais, Amir-Hegyblo, Amir-Inatoane, Amir-Mahumet, Camyath, Cotoloseniar, Megalgo, Telon, Batulius, Boessach, Amir-Baiach, Axian, Sansodole, Amir-Goian, Ginahadole, Amir-Tidinguin, Amir-Nathap, Sogueman, Boldagis, Amir-Ilias, Gelisassan, Gigremis, Amir-Gogens, Artabeth, Amir-Dalis, Amir-Tacaor, Amir-Mosse. All these were earnestly exhorted by Corboran, if they valued his favour, to put forth all their bravery, and to despise the resistance which should be made to them by a rabble of half-starved, raw, and inexperienced soldiers like the Christians. Moreover, Soliman, prince of Nice, lent his diligent assistance

420 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1098.

to marshal the troops, distinguishing who were to march in the van and who in the rear. Meanwhile, our princes occupied all the plains in front of the city and the mountains, apparently to the distance of about two miles from the city; and when the trumpet sounded they marched forwards to meet the enemy; the three first divisions charging them with sword and lance, preceded by the footmen, who with long-bows and cross-bows, plied the enemy therewith, and made a way for the heavy charge of the cavalry that were following them. At length, all the divisions, except that of Boamund, were engaged, and the Turks, having lost numbers of their men, were beginning to be disordered, and to take to flight, when Soliman, coming up from the parts towards the sea with two thousand men, assailed Boamund so violently in the rear, and discharged such a cloud of arrows, that they almost covered the whole line; then casting aside their bows they continued the fight with swords and mallets so fiercely, that Boamund must have given way before them had not Godfrey and Tancred come up, and with, energy not sufficiently to be admired, turned the tide of blood and death upon the enemy. Soliman then tried another device, and set fire to some hay and straw, prepared for the purpose, which, though it gave forth little flame, yet concealed everything around with a dense smoke. Under cover of this vapour the enemy slew several of our footmen; but after a time, God, who rules the winds, turned the smoke upon the enemy, who, blinded and almost suffocated by it, took to flight, followed by the Christian soldiers, who drove them furiously back upon their disordered lines, and slew them without mercy even to their tents, where they knew their principal strength was assembled. There the Turks resisted with all their valour, and a terrible conflict took place; brazen helmets rung like anvils under the blows, sparks of fire were struck forth from the collision of steel and steel, and the clash of swords was like thunder; men's brains were shed upon the ground, coats of mail were cracked to pieces, and the entrails of those who wore them poured out upon the ground; the horses sweated with fatigue, and not a moment's pause was allowed their riders, the armies were met almost close together; while some of them fought hand to hand, foot to foot, and with their bodies touching one another, continued

A.D, 1098.] A WONDERFUL TENT. 421

the deadly combat. And now, it was doubtful on which side victory would settle, when on a sudden, an invincible army was seen to descend from the mountains, warriors sitting on white horses, and carrying white flags in their hands. The princes recognised in them St. George, St. Demetrius, and St. Mercurius, [1] and the same sight, which terrified the pagans, raised fresh hopes in the minds of the Christians. All did not see them, but only those whom God permitted to behold his secret counsels; and it turned out to the confusion of the Turks, but to the immediate triumph of their enemies; for the Turks, as we have said, no sooner saw the sign than they took to speedy flight, leaving behind them abundance of valuable stuff. Some of our men also saw angels flying in the air, and launching forked lightning on the flying Turks. Corboran had kept aloof from the multitude at the beginning of the battle, and took his post on an eminence; but, when he saw the flight of his legions, he left his troops and fled beyond the Euphrates, changing horses, when those which he had been riding on before were tired, the better to secure his own retreat. Our princes, from an apprehension that their horses might not hold out, did not follow the fugitives far, except Tancred and a few others, who pursued the enemy and destroyed them until sunset; for the divine manifestation had inspired them with such fear, that they could neither resist our attacks nor defend themselves from our swords, and ten of our men seemed to them to be ten thousand.

Of the rich spoils of the Turks who fled, and of the wonderful tent.

This glorious battle being over, our princes returned to the enemy's camp, where they found such abundance of riches, in gold, silver, gems, silken garments, and vessels beyond all price, that they were unable to number them or take any account of them. There were also great numbers of horses, cattle, flocks of sheep, provisions, slaves, both boys and girls, tents and pavilions, all of which they carried off to their camp. Among other things there was a wonderful tent, constructed like a city, with towers, walls, and battlements, woven in various colours of the best silk. From its


[1] "St. Maurice", says Robert the Monk, p. 64.

422 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1098.

centre, which formed the principal chamber, there went off compartments on all sides marked out like streets, in which two thousand men could comfortably seat themselves. After this, the Turks, who were in the upper fortress, seeing that their allies had fled, surrendered to our princes on condition that they might retire to whatever place they pleased. These things took place A.D. 1098, on the 28th [1] day of June.

Of the repairing of the churches, and the description of Antioch.

Our princes therefore returned from the battle, and the city being reduced to a state of tranquillity, it seemed good to all of them, and especially to the bishop of Puy, that the principal church, formerly erected to the honour of the prince of the apostles, together with the other churches of the city, should be restored to their former dignity, and ministers be placed in them to serve the Lord day and night. They also restored John, the patriarch, to his ancient dignity, and appointed bishops to all the neighbouring cities wherever there had been bishops formerly, and gave up the sovereignty of the city to Boamund, who, as he was used to be called the prince, or first in dignity, amongst his men, began now to be habitually termed the prince of Antioch. Now, the city itself is most beautiful, and well fortified, having within it four high hills, on one of which there is a fortress that overlooks all the city. In the lower parts, the city is regularly built and surrounded by a double wall; the inner wall is high and spacious, having in its circuit four hundred and fifty towers, surmounted with beautiful battlements; the outer wall is not so high, but remarkable for its antiquity. Antioch contains three hundred and forty churches, and its patriarch has a hundred and fifty-three bishops under him. The town is bounded on the east by four hills; on the west it has a river, which some name Farfar, some Orontes. Eighty-five kings contributed to the building of the city; from the first of them, Antiochus, it derives its name. The Christians took it after a siege of eight months and one day; and after it was taken, the Gentiles besieged it again for three weeks, before the Christians went out and fought with them. The victors


[1] This is corrected from the Latin text as given in the manuscript, which reads incorrectly the 20th.

A.D. 1098.] HUGH THE GREAT. 423

now reposed in the city five months and nine days, during which, but it is not known from what cause, such mortality afflicted the people, that within a few days as many as fifty thousand persons of both sexes died. Among other victims was Ademar, bishop of Puy, who was looked upon as the father and governor of the people. He was buried amid the lamentations of the whole army, in the church of the prince of the apostles, and on the spot where the lance of our Saviour was found. Henry de Asches and Reginald de Armesbach, two men distinguished for the nobility of their birth, also fell victims; and the rest of the princes, to avoid the same danger, agreed to separate, on the condition that on the 1st of October they should again come together, when men and horses should both have recovered their strength, and complete what still remained to be done of their vow of pilgrimage. Raimond, surnamed Pilet, marched with his troops and took a castle called Thalamania; thence he proceeded to Marra, to a city full of Saracens. The inhabitants came out to meet him, and at first were repulsed, but at last they gained the victory, and slew a large number of the faithful.

How Hugh the Great was sent to the emperor, but did not return.

Whilst these tilings were going on, Hugh the Great was sent by the princes to the emperor Alexius, and greatly tarnished his former fame by neither returning himself nor sending any answer back to those who sent him, forgetting the truth of that line of Juvenal:

... The greater is the crime in him
Who greater is.

Meanwhile, the count of Toulouse besieged and took the rich city of Albara, and caused Peter of Narbonne to be ordained bishop therein. Then, on the first day of September, [1] all the princes being assembled together according to stipulation, they prepared for marching to Jerusalem, and on the 28th of September advanced to Marra and laid siege to it. This city lies about three days journey from Antioch, and its citizens were arrogant on account of their wealth, for they fixed crosses on the towers and walls of the city, which


[1] The original text has November, but this is evidently a mistake.

424 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1098.

they defiled by spitting upon them, and in other ways also, in contempt of the Christians. At this our men were indignant, and after several days of skirmishing they planted ladders, and, scaling the walls, took the city by assault; but they found no inhabitants in it, and consequently took possession of all its treasures without opposition or tumult. The citizens had fled into caves beneath the earth, and so were safe for a time, but in the morning our men lighted fires at the entrances of the caves, and, compelling them to surrender, cut off the heads of some and threw the others into prison. On the 11th of December, William, bishop of Aurasia, died there; he was a religious and just man, who feared God. The pilgrims spent one month and four days in that city.

How king William oppressed the English by tribute.

The same year William king of the English, surnamed Rufus, was in Normandy, wholly engaged in warlike schemes, whilst in England by his exactions he not only scraped, but actually excoriated, the people, so that he was hated by all men. About the same time died Walkeline bishop of Winchester, and Hugh of Shropshire was slain by the Irish, [1] and was succeeded by his brother Robert de Belesme.

How the princes, on account of the murmurs of the people, prepare to continue their march.

[A.D. 1099.] The princes of the west and the pilgrims solemnly celebrated our Lord's nativity at Marra, when a dissension arose between Boamund and the count of Toulouse; but as it has not much to do with our present subject, let us pass on to other matters, and show how the people were annoyed that the princes made unnecessary delays, and disputed among themselves about every city which was taken, neglecting in the meantime, as it seemed, the main business of the expedition. The count of Toulouse, therefore, to satisfy the people, taking with him ten thousand men-at-arms and three hundred and fifty knights, set forwards toward Jerusalem, whilst Robert duke of Normandy and Tancred followed with eighty knights and a numerous body of foot. After some days, when they had passed over the intervening country, they went down into a plain round a


[1] The Saxon Chronicle, Simeon of Durham, and Florence, say by Norwegian pirates.

A.D. 1099.] THE CRUSADERS AT LAODICEA. 425

city called Archis not far from the sea-coast, and pitched their camp near it. This is one of the Phoenician cities, at the foot of Mount Libanus, and was founded, according to ancient tradition, by Aracheus, the seventh of the sons of Canaan, who called it after his own name Aracheus, afterwards corrupted into Archis. The Christians besieged it a long time, but without success. Here the question was again mooted concerning the lance with which our Lord's side had been pierced; some said that it had really been pointed out by divine inspiration, for the consolation of the army; whilst others maliciously contended that it was a stratagem of the count of Toulouse and was no discovery at all, but invented solely for gain. A large fire was therefore kindled, of a size sufficient to terrify even the standers by, and when all the people were assembled together on the sixth day of the week before our Lord's passover, the priest Peter, to whom the discovery of the lance had been made, underwent a perilous ordeal: for when he had offered up a prayer, he took the lance with him, and passed unhurt through the midst of the fire; but, as he died a few days afterwards, the ordeal did not give entire satisfaction to the opposite party. About the same time duke Godfrey and the other princes, who had remained at Antioch, prepared, at the urgent request of the army, to continue the march, and on the 1st day of March, arrived at Laodicea, in Syria, with twenty-five thousand brave soldiers. This city was inhabited by Christians, and Godfrey demanded of its prefect that Guenemer of Boulogne, who was there detained in prison, should be released: the authorities, not daring to resist the duke, released him with all his companions and the whole of his fleet; for Guenemer, after he had taken the cross, put in there with a strong fleet, and was surprised by the citizens and thrown into prison. The duke put him again at the head of his fleet, and ordered him to follow the army along the coast.

Hovo the princes passed through many districts and arrived at Tripolis.

The princes now followed the sea-coast as far as the city of Gabula, otherwise called Gibel. It is distant about twelve miles from Laodicea. The army pitched their tents round the city, which they besieged for some time, when the governor, who was the sultan of Egypt's procurator, offered

426 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1099.

the duke six thousand gold pieces, and many other gifts, if he would abandon the siege; but, being unable to obtain this request, he sent messengers offering the same money to the count of Toulouse, if he could save it from falling into the duke's hands. The count took the money and sent the bishop of Albaria to the duke, urging him to leave the siege and come to him with all speed, for he had heard that a large multitude of enemies were coming out of Persia to avenge the losses which they had suffered at Antioch under Corboran, and for all this he affirmed that he had the most trustworthy intelligence. The duke and the other princes, believing what was told them, left the siege; and passing the city of Valentia, and leaving on the left Maraclea, the first city of Phoenicia, they reached Tortosa, and proceeding thence pitched their camp near the city of Archis. Here they were met by Tancred, who disclosed to them the trick of the count of Toulouse, and they in consequence separated their tents from his, and would not encamp on the same ground with him. The count, seeing the offence which he had caused in the minds of the princes, sent presents and reconciled them all to him except Tancred. The princes then, leaving the bishop of Albaria and some others to besiege Archis, directed their march to Tripolis. There they found the governor of the place and all the citizens drawn up in battle array, and, indignant at this demonstration, they attacked them furiously, broke their line at the first charge, and drove them back into the city, after slaying seven hundred of them: the princes then kept Easter before Tripolis, on the 10th of April. The governor of the city, perceiving how unable he was to meet our men in the field, sent an embassy, and obtained terms from the princes, that, on condition he would give them fifteen thousand pieces of gold, with horses, mules, silken garments, costly plate, cattle, and sheep, they should pass through his territories without doing any harm. Our troops, then, following the coast and having the ridges of Mount Libanus on their right hand, crossed Biblius, and encamped near the sea, at a place called Emaus. Three days after they halted before Beyrout, and the next day reached Sidon: the day after, they passed Sarepta, where the prophet Elijah was nurtured, and came to the capital city Tyre; thence to Acre, and, leaving Galilee on the left, between Carmel and the sea,

A.D. 1099.] FORTIFICATION OF THE HOLY CITY. 427

to Caesarea the metropolis of Palestine which is also called the tower of Strate. Some of the princes passed through the fortress of Bethelon, and reached the city of Baruch on the day of our Lord's ascension; thence, crossing through Saide to Arra and Cayphas, they all met at Caesarea and kept Whit-sunday on the 28th of June.

Of the desolation of the church of St. George the martyr by the Turks.

After stopping here three days, they proceeded on their march, leaving on their right hand the maritime districts of Antipatris and Joppa, and passing by Eleutheria, came to Lydda, otherwise called Heliopolis, where the body of the illustrious martyr St. George reposes. His church had been destroyed by the enemies of the faith before the pilgrims arrived, for they feared lest the army should use the beams of the roof, which were of great length, to construct machines to attack the city with. From thence Robert count of Flanders set out for Ramula, where finding the gates open they entered the city, but found no one in it, for the Turks, hearing of the march of our troops, had saved themselves by departing the night before. The next day some others of the princes arrived, and, finding there abundance of wine, oil, and corn, they stopped there three days, during which they made one Robert of Normandy bishop of that city, assigning him for a perpetual diocese, Ramula and Lydda, with the suburban districts adjoining. Thence our troops continued their march to Nicopolis, a city of Palestine, formerly, when it was only a village, called Emmaus. It was here that Christ is known to have walked with Cleophas after his resurrection, and there is, in front of the city, a wholesome fountain, wherein men that are sick and cattle are washed to cleanse them from different disorders; for Christ is said once, when passing by this fountain, to have washed his feet therein, by which means the water acquired the capacity to heal various diseases.

How the Turks fortified the holy city, and plundered the Christians.

Meanwhile the Turks, who resided in Jerusalem, learning the approach of the pilgrims, fortified the city with all diligence, and stripped the faithful whom they found therein of all the money they possessed, by which means from the

428 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1099.

patriarch, who was the head of the city, and the rest of the people they collected fifteen thousand pieces of gold. After this act of spoliation, they expelled all the Christians from the city, except the old and infirm, women and children. In the meantime, the pilgrims, thinking delay dangerous, at dawn of day proceeded on their journey with devotion of heart, and when they came to have a near view of the holy city of Jerusalem, they sent forth sighs and tears of joy, and taking off their shoes, continued their march with naked feet: thus they proceeded until they came in front of the city, and commenced the siege of it on the 6th of June. The number of the besieging army is said to have been about forty thousand foot, and fifteen hundred cavalry, besides aged persons, valetudinarians, and a rabble of others, who did not bear arms. In the city were said to be forty thousand well armed Turks, who had flocked thither as well to defend the royal city, as to provide for their own safety. The princes, perceiving that they could do no good on the eastern, western, and southern sides of the city on account of the deep vallies, determined to besiege it on the north, and for this purpose they pitched their tents between the gate called Stephen's gate and the tower of David. First in order was Godfrey, and next him were Robert of Normandy and the count of Flanders: the lord Tancred and some others with him were posted around a tower which from a certain angle in the wall was called the Angular Tower: the count of Toulouse with his troops laid siege to the walls between another tower and the western gate; part of his troops were placed, towards the north, on the mountain, whereon the city is built, between the city itself and the church called Sion, which is about a bow-shot distant from the walls. This is the place, where our Saviour is said to have supped with his disciples, and to have washed his feet: there also the Holy Spirit is said to have descended upon the disciples in fiery tongues; the mother of God there paid the debt of nature; and the tomb of the first martyr St. Stephen is there held in reverence even unto this day.

Of the first impetuous assault on the city.

When the camps were pitched in a circle round the city, on the fifth day after their arrival, all were summoned by

A.D. 1099.] ATTACK ON THE HOLY CITY. 429

sound of trumpet to make a general assault upon the walls. When they had put on their armour, they all, from the highest to the lowest, flocked together to the attack, which they made with such valour and perseverance that they effected a breach in the outworks, drove the garrison in despair within the inner walls, and, if they had had engines and scaling ladders to second their zeal, they would certainly have taken the city on that day. But, when they had been seven hours engaged, seeing that they toiled in vain without machines, they deferred the attack for a time, and with immense labour procured timber and artificers to construct engines, and, when their materials were ready, they brought them with great toil up to the walls, and constructed with them towers, petrariae, trubucles, and rams, together with sows to undermine the walls; for they esteemed as nothing all that had been done before, if they should fail in this which was the main object of their toilsome pilgrimage. Our army therefore laboured with assiduity to make engines, hurdles, and scaling ladders, by which the siege was protracted; and whereas the country near the walls is dry and without water, they were obliged to make use of streams, fountains, or wells, lying at the distance of five or six miles from the city, whereby the people endured excessive thirst: the Turks, also, when they heard that the Christians were coming, filled up as many of the wells as they could with sand and other things, to annoy the besiegers; and they broke all the cisterns and other reservoirs, so that they would hold no water, or else concealed them so that the thirsty soldiers could derive no benefit from them. Thus they were obliged to disperse in different directions to procure water, and if a small party of them went, they hardly found a stream, before another and larger party came up on the same errand, and a fight sometimes took place between them. Their horses, also, mules and asses, flocks and herds, died of thirst, for their inwards were dissolved by the heat, causing an intolerable stench and corruption of the air. In the meantime a messenger arrived reporting that a Genoese fleet had arrived at Joppa, and asking of the princes an escort to conduct them to the camp. For this duty the count of Toulouse selected one Galdemar, a brave knight, and assigned him thirty cavalry and five hundred infantry, to whom were added, for greater

430 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1099.

security, Raimond Pilet, and William de Sabran, with five hundred cavalry, who, arriving in the plain country near the cities of Lydda and Ramula, encountered there six hundred Turks; an engagement took place, in which four of our knights and several foot-soldiers were slain; but our troops finally prevailed; two hundred of the Turks were slain, and the rest put to flight. There fell, however, on our side, two noblemen, Gilbert de Treva, and Aicard de Monte Merla; the rest reached Joppa in safety, and so the convoy was escorted safely to Jerusalem, where they were received with much joy, and were of no small benefit to the Christian army.

The machines being completed, the city is again assaulted.

At the end of one month the machines were completed, and the bishops and elders of the army gave orders for a general reconciliation to take place among the soldiers, with fasting, solemn processions, and prayers to God. All this was accordingly done, and on a fixed day the whole multitude of the pilgrims came together in arms, animated with one purpose, either to lay down their lives for Christ, or to restore his city to Christian liberty. All of them then advancing towards the walls, did their best to bring up and place the machines, that they might the better attack the Turks who fought from the towers and battlements; but the enemy resisted bravely, throwing back upon us, with horrid noise, darts, arrows, and stones from their engines; whilst our men, covered by their shields and hurdles, shot on the Turks with long bows and cross-bows, and throwing massive stones, advanced nearer and nearer to the walls, allowing no rest to the garrison upon the walls. Others of our soldiers, placed within the machines and towers, aimed large stones from their petrarios and trubucles against the walls, which it was their object to shake and cause to fall; whilst others again from some smaller engines aimed lighter stones against those who were on the walls, in this way distracting their attention from our men who were advancing below. But still they made little progress; for the Turks who were within let down from the walls bags of straw, carpets, beams of wood, and cushions filled with tow, the softness of which broke the force of the engines and mocked the toil of our men; besides which, the stones and darts thrown from

A.D. 1099.] THIRD ATTACK ON THE CITY. 431

their machines, caused our men to pause in the attack, whilst they endeavoured to fill the moat with earth, stones, brush-wood, and rubbish, so as to have an easier access to the walls: but the besieged, on the other hand, to defeat their purpose, threw lighted fire-brands, darts smeared with oil and sulphur, to set fire, if possible, to our machines. To oppose these missiles, our princes threw sand and water from above, and so put out the fire. The attack was made in three places at once by duke Godfrey, Robert duke of Normandy, and the count of Toulouse; it lasted the whole day from morning till night, and at last the darkness alone separated the combatants.

Of the third assault and the capture of the city.

Early in the morning all the army resumed the conflict with alacrity, and every man returned to the post which had been assigned to him the day before. Some of them threw mill-stones from the machines against the walls; others brought up the towers, and others again with long bows and cross-bows, and some with stones, drove back the besiegers from the battlements, so that none of them might be able to show even his hand over the walls, whilst the citizens attempted by means of lighted tow, fire in small pots that would easily break, and by other things as before, to destroy the machines of the Christians. A great slaughter was made on both sides by the force of the missiles employed; nor was it easy to say which of them fought with the greatest bravery. There was one of our machines which threw amazingly large stones against the walls, and the enemy, finding other means ineffectual, brought up two witches to enchant and render it useless. Whilst these two were carrying on their enchantments, a large stone from the same engine struck both of them dead, together with three other women who were waiting on them, and the bodies of all five fell into the moat. A shout was raised by the army at the sight, and the spirit of the Turks was proportionably broken. It was now the seventh hour of the day, and our men, fatigued with their ineffectual exertions, were meditating to withdraw their smoking towers and engines and put off the assault until the next day, when lo! the divine assistance displayed itself, and kindled hope in their hearts; a knight

432 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1099.

descended from Mount Olivet bearing a bright and dazzling shield, and gave a signal to our troops to return to the conflict and renew the assault. Duke Godfrey, encouraged by the sign, recalled the army with loud shouts, and they obeyed the command with such alacrity that it seemed as if the battle was but just beginning. A hermit also, who dwelt in Mount Olivet, gave them hope and vigour by foretelling that they would take Jerusalem on that day. All these signs encouraged the army, and made them certain of gaining the victory. At length duke Godfrey, with the grace of God assisting him, succeeded so far as to level every obstacle and to gain free access to the walls, which the besieged were too tired to defend. His men, at the command of their leader, threw fire on the bags of straw and cushions suspended from the walls, and the flames, wafted by the wind, spread such a smoke through the city, that the garrison, unable to sustain its effects, withdrew from the battlements. The duke, seizing the beams which they had suspended from the walls to annoy our men with, made one end of them fast to the tower with nails, and the other to the battlements; then throwing a bridge across from one to the other, the duke himself, as a brave knight, first entered the city, followed by his brother Eustace, Robert duke of Normandy, the count of Flanders, with his brothers Litolf and Gilbert, and such a crowd of horse and foot that the bridge was unable to bear them. The Turks seeing that our troops had gained the walls, and the duke planted his banner thereon, left the towers and fled into the narrow streets. Our common soldiers also, perceiving that the princes had secured a footing in the towers, planted scaling ladders against the walls as fast as they could, and without delay joined their leaders. Then duke Godfrey sent some of his men to open the northern gate, still called the gate of St. Paul; and it was no sooner thrown open, than all the army entered, at the ninth hour, on the sixth day of the week. The city of Jerusalem was taken in the year of our Lord 1099, four years after the pilgrims first bound themselves by a vow of pilgrimage. Pope Urban II. sat in the Roman see; Henry was the emperor of the Roman, and Alexius of the Grecian empire: Philip reigned in France, and William Rufus in England: whilst over all men and all things reigned

A.D. 1099.] TERRIBLE SLAUGHTER IN JERUSALEM. 433

our Lord Jesus Christ for ever and ever; to whom be honour and glory for endless ages.

How the Turks were put to death, and the holy city cleansed.

The city being in this manner taken, duke Godfrey and his faithful followers scoured the streets with drawn swords, and put to death all the Turks they met with. So great was the number of corpses and of heads separated from their bodies, that no one could walk in the streets without treading on the dead bodies. But while this was going on, the count of Toulouse and the other princes were fighting bravely around Mount Sion, not knowing what had happened; but when they heard the shouts of the two parties, and saw the slaughter of the towns-people, they knew that the city had been broken into, and that our troops had gained the victory. Upon this, they immediately raised scaling ladders against the walls, and entered the city without opposition, slaying the enemy in large numbers, and opening the south gate which was in the neighbourhood, let in the rest of the army. Thus the Turks, who had fled from the duke and his men, now fell in with this new enemy, and in avoiding Scylla fell into Charybdis; for such was the havoc committed in every part of the city that the terrible effusion of blood caused satiety and disgust even in the victors themselves. Now Tancred, hearing that a large number of Turks had fled for refuge within the courts of the temple, rushed thither with a large number of armed men, and, forcing his way into the temple, slew a great number of people therein, and is said to have carried off with him a large quantity of gold and silver. When the other princes heard of this, they rushed in with a multitude of foot and horse, slew all they met with, and filled the streets with blood. Ten thousand Turks are said to have fallen within the precincts of the temple, besides those who were slain in the streets to about the same number; for our men, dispersing through the streets, and searching every secret place they could find, drew out master and mistress, with their children and all their family, from the secret chambers where they had hidden themselves, and either put them to death with the sword, or threw them headlong and broke their necks. He who first got possession of a house or palace, claimed it as his own permanent property;

434 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1099.

for it had been agreed among the princes that, when the city was taken, each should keep what he could get; and thus, whoever first took possession of a house, fixed a banner, shield, or some kind of weapon, at the door, as a sign to others that the house was already occupied.

How the princes visited the holy places.

When the city was reduced to tranquillity after its capture, and the spoils were collected by the pilgrims, they began with sighs and tears, with naked feet, and with every sign of humility and devotion, to visit each of the holy places which our Lord had hallowed by his presence, and in particular, the church of the Resurrection and of our Lord's Passion. It was most pleasant to behold with what devotion the faithful, of both sexes, whilst their minds were exhilarated with spiritual enjoyment, approached, shedding tears, to the holy places, and gave thanks to God for having brought their pious labours and long service to the desired consummation. All thence derived hopes that it would be the earnest of a future resurrection, and these present benefits gave them a firm expectation of those which were to come, that the earthly Jerusalem, which they now trod, would be to them the way to that which exists in heaven. The bishops too and priests, having purified the churches of the city, and especially the precincts of the temple, consecrated to God the holy places, and celebrating mass before the people gave thanks for the blessings which they had received. On that day also, the ever-to-be- commended Ademar, bishop of Puy, who, as we have said, died at Antioch, was seen by many in the holy city; nay, many men of the greatest credit affirmed that they saw him with their own eyes going round with the princes to visit the holy places. Many others, also, of those who during the pilgrimage had slept in Christ, appeared to many in the city, devoutly visiting the holy places. The venerable Peter the Hermit, who five years before had visited the patriarch and the faithful inhabitants of the holy city, and by whose zeal the princes of the west had been induced to undertake this pilgrimage, was now recognized and affectionately saluted by all, and received their thanks for having so faithfully discharged their commission, and brought princes and nations to undertake such great labours

A.D. 1099.] ELECTION OF KING. 435

for the sake of Christ. When all this was done, the princes returned to their houses and hostels, which their people had in the meantime prepared for them, and they found them so full of every necessary, that all of them, from the least to the greatest, abounded in every thing which they could wish for; gold, silver, jewels, and costly garments, corn, wine, and oil, besides plenty of water, from the want of which they had suffered so much during the siege, so that those who had taken possession of a house, had it in their power now to minister to the wants of their more needy brethren. From these causes it resulted that the second day after the victory there was an abundance of everything that could be desired to be sold in the public market at a low price, and even the inferior people had plenty of everything.

How the princes elect a king and a patriarch.

After seven days spent in repose and spiritual enjoyment, the princes came together on the eighth, to determine, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, which of their number should be king of that country and of the holy city. Neither must I omit to mention that all the princes, having invoked the aid of the Angel of wisdom from on high, agreed to elect for king whomsoever the Lord should appoint. [1] A wax candle was then given to each of the princes, that which ever of them God should choose by lighting the taper, should be immediately saluted king by all of them. The lot fell upon Robert duke of Normandy, who, however, put out the light, and so unhappily defeated the divine intention, for he said that he should hereafter enjoy a more noble sovereignty, when he returned home, in England. [2] All the princes now, after much discussion on all sides, elected duke Godfrey, and escorted him with praises, hymns, and psalms before the sepulchre of the Lord. They also determined to appoint a patriarch over the holy city, and by the favour of Robert duke of Normandy, a certain bishop of Maturane in Calabria obtained the appointment for a favourite of his, Arnulf, a priest's son, and known among the pilgrims for his incontinence


[1] The reading here is entirely corrupt; but the sense is as I have rendered it in the text.

[2] We learn from the Polychronicon that Robert had just heard of the death of William Rufus, his brother.

436 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1099.

and levity. But Arnulf died soon after, and so his newly-acquired dignity came to an end. After him the see remained vacant five months, and the princes, who were present, after much deliberation, chose the venerable Daibert to sit on the patriarchal throne and to exercise the pastoral care. He was previously bishop of the church of Pisa, a man of great erudition, and nurtured from his childhood in ecclesiastical affairs.

How the sultan of Egypt's army was defeated by the Christians.

The holy city had not long been taken by the faithfu], before the sultan of Egypt and Damascus, the most powerful of the eastern princes, hearing what had happened to Jerusalem, summoned his commander-in-chief Elafdal, and gave him orders to march on Syria with all the forces of Egypt and his whole empire, and to exterminate the rash people from the face of the earth, that their name should never again be mentioned. Now Elafdal was by birth an Armenian, sprung from Christian parents, but for the sake of riches had apostatized from the faith: his baptismal name was Emyreius, but when he changed his religion, he was called Elafdal. This enemy of Christ's cross, therefore, having assembled all the strength of Egypt, Arabia, and Damascus, came to Ascalon, and there pitched his camp with all his troops, with the intention of proceeding to Jerusalem, besieging the Christian army therein, and, when he had defeated them, utterly destroying our Lord's sepulchre. But the pilgrims of the cross had no wish to experience a second time the calamities of a siege; wherefore they assembled together, clergy and people, at our Lord's sepulchre, and prostrating themselves on the ground, they supplicated the Lord, with contrite hearts and much weeping, mercifully to release his people from their imminent perils. Deriving confidence from this act of religion, they bravely marched towards Ascalon to meet the enemy in the field. They bore with them a piece of the Lord's cross, lately discovered by an inhabitant of Jerusalem, named Syrus, who said that he had kept it in his custody, handed down to him from ancient times. The duke, now king of Jerusalem, arriving at Ramula with the other princes, was there credibly informed that the aforesaid Emyreius was encamped with his army at

A.D. 1099.] DEFEAT OF THE TURKS. 437

Ascalon. He therefore sent forwards two hundred cavalry, to spy out the road and the position of the enemy: but when they had proceeded a little way, they found some herds of oxen, horses, and camels, with herdsmen in charge, all of whom, as well as the cavalry who were guarding them, fled as soon as our men approached, leaving the flocks and herds to shift for themselves. Some of them, however, were captured, and information was gained from them concerning the designs of the enemy, that their commander-in-chief, who was now seven miles off, proposed after two days to advance and destroy our army. The Christians were about twelve hundred knights, and foot-soldiers about six thousand, who now, in confidence of victory, drew up their men in nine divisions, three of which were posted in front, three in the centre, and three in the rear, that the enemy if they penetrated through the first and second divisions in any part, might find another line ready to receive them. The spoil which they had just secured was very great, and they passed the night where they were with much joy; but in the morning they were summoned by the trumpet to make ready for battle, and, commending themselves to God, and trusting wholly to him, they marched forward, as one man, to meet the enemy. As the legions therefore thus advanced in military order and with steady march to battle, they beheld the cattle, by some divine impulse, as it is believed, with tails and horns erected, accompany the troops in line on the right hand and on the left, and no force could prevent them. The enemy, beholding this from the distance, in the dazzling light of the sun, were already discouraged before the battle began, for they thought the Christian army to be immense, though they had a large number of men on their own side. Robert duke of Normandy, also, who was the leader and standard-bearer of the Christians, performed an exploit, which cannot be too much extolled; for seeing in the distance the standard of Admiravisus, having a golden apple on the top of a lance which shone with silver plating, and supposing that Admiravisus himself was there, he charged upon him through the midst of the enemy, and gave him a mortal wound, thereby causing no little terror to the gentiles.

438 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1099.

The lamentation of Admiravisus; the victory and the spoils.

Admiravisus, scarcely alive and mortally wounded, uttered the following lamentation to the Almighty, "Creator of all things, what cruel destiny is mine! what indelible disgrace to our arms! A small and needy body of men has prevailed over our large forces! I led hither two hundred thousand cavalry, [1] and infantry surpassing number, able, as we supposed, to conquer the whole world: but now, if I am not mistaken, they have been disgracefully defeated by less than a thousand cavalry and a few thousand infantry. Without doubt their God is almighty and fights for them, or ours is angry with us, and chastens us in his severe displeasure. However this may be, I shall never again meet them in battle, but return with disgrace to my country, whilst I am yet alive". With these words he renewed his tears, and indulged in the most profuse lamentations. The Turks were now meditating flight, when a knight of Lorraine, who had been posted in the rear with duke Godfrey, charging them on the flanks cut off their chance of retreat. Thus, attacked by the duke of Normandy in front, and cut off from retreat by those who were behind them, they were cut to pieces at the will of the Christians; the admiral on a dromedary escaped by a rapid flight. Our army, then, having been blessed with this victory from on high, arrived at the enemy's camp, where they found such abundance of gold, silver, stuffs, precious stones, and riches unknown to our parts of the world, that they were surfeited therewith, and the least of them could say with the poet: [2]

"Plenty hath made me poor".

Duke Robert redeemed the standard at twenty marks of silver from those who kept it whilst he pursued the enemy, and carried it to our Lord's sepulchre to be a monument of this memorable victory. Another man bought the sword of the same admiral for forty bezants. In this manner the enemy was put to flight, and our army having, by God's gift, obtained the victory, returned with great joy to Jerusalem, encumbered with an immense quantity of spoil.


[1] This must be an exaggeration; it may be doubted whether two hundred thousand cavalry ever yet met together under one commander.

[2] Ovid. Met. lib. iii. v. 466.

A.D. 1099.] SITUATION OF JERUSALEM. 439

How Robert duke of Normandy and the count of Flanders returned to their own country.

Robert duke of Normandy, and the count of Flanders, having now successfully completed their pilgrimage, returned to their native country. Some say that God, offended with Robert because he had declined the sovereignty of Jerusalem, never afterwards allowed him to succeed in any thing, as the history will hereafter show. When, therefore, these princes were gone, king Godfrey, keeping with him Tancred, Garner count de Gres, and some others of the western princes, administered with vigour and prudence the kingdom which God had given him. He bestowed the city of Tiberias, situated on the lake of Genesar, with the whole county of Galilee, and the maritime city of Cayphas, otherwise called Porphyria, on the lord Tancred, who was so solicitous to please God in his government, that even to the present day the churches of that district speak of his government with pride. Two years afterwards he was promoted for his merits to the principality of Antioch, and enriched that church, so glorious in ancient times, with many gifts, besides which he also extended the bounds of that principality by adding to it several captured cities and fortresses.

Of the topography of the holy city, and of the cities which lie around it.

The holy city of Jerusalem is well known to be situated on lofty mountains, and in the tribe of Benjamin. It has on the west the tribe of Simeon, the land of the Philistines, and the Mediterranean sea; from which, near the city of Joppa, it is twenty-four miles distant, and half-way on this route are the castle of Emaus, Modin, the garrison of the blessed Maccabees, Nob, the village of priests, and Dispolis, now called Lydda, where Peter restored to health the paralytic AEneas, and where Simeon dwelt in the house of Simon the tanner, when he received the messenger, as at Joppa he restored to life the female disciple called Tabitha. On the eastern side of Jerusalem is the river Jordan, and the desert of the sons of the prophets, about fourteen miles off, a woody valley, and the Dead Sea. On this side of Jordan are Jericho, and Galgala the residence of Elisha; but on the other side are Gilead, Basan, Amon, and Moab, which were afterwards

440 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1099.

divided between Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe Manasseh: the whole of this region goes now by the general name of Arabia. On the south of Jerusalem is the tribe of Judah, wherein is Bethlehem, hallowed by the birth of our Lord, Thecua, the city of the prophets Habacuc and Amos, and Hebron, which is Cariatharbe, the burial-place of the Jewish patriarchs. On the north lies Gibeon, famous for the victory of Joshua the son of Nun, and the tribe of Ephraim, Shilo, Sichar, and the district of Samaria, Bethel, which witnessed the sin of Jeroboam, Sebastea, the tomb of Elisha and Abdias, and scene of John the Baptist's martyrdom. This district was formerly called Samaria from Mount Somer, as was also the whole province, which was the kingdom of the kings of Israel. There is also the city of Neapolis or Nicopolis, where Simeon and Levi, sons of Jacob, slew Sichem son of Emmor, for violating their sister Dinah, and destroyed his city by fire.

Jerusalem is the capital of Judea, and according to ancient history was called Salem at first, from Shem the eldest son of Noah, who built it and reigned therein. He it was who was afterwards called Melchisedech, who offered bread and wine to Abraham when he returned from the slaughter of the four kings. Melchisedech is by interpretation "king of justice", and God saved him from the Deluge, that Christ might be born from his seed. There was at that time another city, according to Jerome, called Salem, also, like the former, governed by Melchisedech; its ruins are seen even to the present day near the streams of Jordan. In process of time the city was called Jebus, from one of its kings, and thus, by a combination of these names Jebus and Salem, it was called Jebussalem, and thence, by substituting r for b, it came to be called Jerusalem; afterwards when Jebus was taken by David, it was called the city of David; and when Solomon his son reigned, it was called Hierosolyma, i.e. Hierusalem of Solomon. [1] This city, in the forty-second year after our Lord's passion, for the sins of the Jews, was besieged and taken by Titus the magnificent prince of the Romans, who destroyed it so that, according to the word of the Lord, not one stone was left upon another. It was afterwards rebuilt by AElius Hadrian, the fourth Roman emperor after Titus,


[1] The whole of this etymology is fanciful and absurd.

A.D. 1099.] DESCRIPTION OF JERUSALEM. 441

and called AElia after his name; but whereas it before was situated over the steep precipice of the mountain, and looked down a continual slope towards the east and south, lying on the side on Mount Sion and Mount Moriah, and had only the temple and castle of Antonia on the hill-top; the emperor Hadrian now transferred it wholly to the summit, and so enclosed the place of our Lord's passion within the circuit of the walls.

Of the sacred places within the holy city.

This sacred city, beloved by God, is not so large as some of the greatest cities in the world, but larger than many of the least. In form it is oblong and quadrangular, with one side a little longer than the rest, and on three sides it is surrounded by deep valleys: for on the east it has the valley of Jehoshaphat, at the bottom of which is the church of the mother of God, where she is believed to have been buried, and her glorious sepulchre is there shown. Below is the brook Kedron, which owes its origin to the rain which falls in that place, about which it is said "He went forth beyond the brook Kedron", etc. On the south is the valley of Enon, adjoining the aforesaid valley, and in the division of the country belonging to the tribes of Benjamin and Judah. This valley rises towards the summit of the mountain which is over against Beennon on the west; thereon is Aceldama, the field of blood, purchased by the money which was paid for our Lord, to bury strangers in. On the west of the same valley is a place where there is an old pool, famous in the times of the kings of Judah, and higher up another pool, called the "fountain of the Patriarch", near a cemetery in a cave called the "cave of the lion". On the northern side, the city may be approached on level ground, at the place where the proto-martyr Stephen is said to have been stoned. The patriarch of this holy city has under him four archbishops, namely, of Caesarea, Tyre, Nazareth, and Petras, otherwise called Mount Royal. The first is in the district of Palestine, the second in Phoenicia, the third in Galilee, and the fourth in the province of Moab. The archbishop of Caesarea has for his suffragan the bishop of Sebasta: the archbishop of Tyre has for suffragans the bishops of Acre, Sidon, Berith, and Bellina, otherwise called Caesarea Philippi: the province of Nazareth

442 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1099.

has only one suffragan see, that of Tiberias; and the archbishop of Petras has one suffragan bishop also, namely, a Greek bishop in Mount Sinai. Besides the foregoing, the patriarch has also, immediately subject to himself, the suffragan bishops of Bethlehem, Lydda, and Hebron, where Adam and Eve, with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were buried.

The holy places in the city are, the church of our Lord's resurrection on Calvary, alias Golgotha, having black friars under a prior; the temple of our Lord, in the care of the knights, [1] and another temple, in which there are clerks. In the church of Mount Sion are regular canons, having an abbat at their head; in the church of the valley of Jehoshaphat are black monks under an abbat; in the church de Latina are black monks, under an abbat; all these are mitred abbats, and attend with the bishops aforesaid in the service of the patriarch. There are, moreover, other cities which have no bishops, namely Ascalon, subject to the bishop of Bethlehem; Joppa, which is under the canons of our Lord's sepulchre; Neapolis, which is under the clerks of the temple; and Cayphas, subject to the archbishop of Caesarea. Nazareth is the place where Mary, our Lord's mother, was born, and the Son of the Most High was conceived in the womb of the virgin; Bethlehem, where the Bread of Life was born; and the Jordan is the river in which Christ was baptized. There is also another place where Christ fasted, and was tempted by the devil; the lake of Gennesareth, where he called his disciples and did many miracles; Mount Tabor, whereon he appeared transfigured. Within the holy city is the temple, where he was presented; Mount Sion, where he supped with his disciples, where the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples, and the mother of our Lord departed from this world; Calvary, where he suffered death upon the cross; the sepulchre, where he lay and rose again on the third day; Mount Olivet, where he sat on an ass and was worshipped by the children, and from which he ascended into heaven; Bethany, where he raised Lazarus from the dead; Siloe, where he restored sight to him who was born blind; Gethsemani, or the valley of Jehoshaphat, where Christ was seized by the Jews, and his mother Mary was


[1] Knights Templars.

A.D. 1099.] DEATH OF WILLIAM RUFUS. 443

buried; the church of St. Stephen, where he was stoned to death; and Sebastea, where John the Baptist was buried with the prophets Elisha and Abdias. And now, this must suffice the reader for the present concerning the land of Jerusalem and the holy city.

How king William first held his court in the new hall at Westminster.

In the same year, which was A.D. 1099, William king of England, returning to England out of Normandy, held his court for the first time in the new hall at Westminster. When he first entered with a large retinue of soldiers to inspect it, some said that it was much larger than was necessary, but the king replied that it was not half so grand as it ought to be, and would be only a bedroom in proportion to the palace which he intended to build. [1] A short time after, as he was hunting in the New Forest, a messenger came to inform him that his family were besieged in Maine. The king immediately hastened down to the sea-side, and went on board ship, but the sailors said to him, "Great king, why do you put out to sea in this storm? are you not afraid of being drowned"? To which he replied, "I never yet heard of a king being drowned". In this manner he crossed the sea, and never gained so much credit from any other act during his whole life; for arriving at Maine, he drove out of it count Helias, and, having taken the city, returned to England. The same year, king William gave the bishopric of Durham to his pleas-man, [2] Randolph, a bad man; and Osmund, bishop of Salisbury, departed this life. Sigebert, a monk of Gemblours, brought his Chronicle down to this date. [3] The same year, also, blood was seen to ooze out of the earth at Finchampstead in Berkshire, and the whole night after, the heavens appeared red, as if they were on fire.

Of the death of William Rufus, and of certain signs which prognosticated his death.

A.D. 1100, king William Rufus held his court at Christmas


[1] Perhaps even William Rufus would be satisfied with the palace which has now been built at Westminster.

[2] An officer who held pleas, and defended the rights of the crown to escheats, etc., a sort of procurator.

[3] This is a mistake: Sigebert's Chronicle came down to A.D. 1152.

444 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1100.

with much magnificence in Gloucester, at Easter in Winchester, and at Whitsuntide in London. On the morrow of St. Peter's ad vincula [1] he went to hunt in the New Forest, where Walter Tyrrel, shooting at a stag, unintentionally struck the king, who fell pierced to the heart, without uttering a word, and thus by a miserable death ended his cruel life. Many signs presignified his departure; for the day before his death, he dreamed that he was bled by a physician, and that the stream of his blood reached to heaven and obscured the sky. Upon this, he sprang up from sleep, invoking the name of St. Mary, and, calling for a light, kept his chamberlains with him for the remainder of the night. In the morning, a foreign monk, who was at court on some business connected with his church, related to Robert Fitz-Hamon, a powerful nobleman intimate with the king, a wonderful dream which he had seen the preceding night: he saw the king enter a church, and cast his usual haughty look on the congregation round him, after which he took the crucifix between his teeth, and almost bit off its arms and legs; the crucifix was at first passive, but afterwards kicked the king with its right foot so that he fell upon the pavement, and emitted such a large flame from its mouth that the smoke of it rose in a cloud even to the stars. Robert told this dream to the king, who said with a laugh, "He is a monk, and, like all monks, dreamed this to get something by it; give him a hundred shillings, that he may not say he has dreamed in vain". The king's wretched death was also foretold, as I before observed, by the blood which oozed out from the ground, though there was no want of other tokens presignifying the same event. For Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, when he was in exile for three years through his tyranny, went from Rome to Marcenniac about the first of August to enjoy the conversation of Hugh, abbat of Cluny; there a conversation arose between them concerning king William, and the abbat affirmed with the most solemn protestation of truth, that in the past night he had seen the king summoned before the throne of God, accused of his crimes, and sentenced by the just Judge to damnation; but did not explain how he was informed of it, neither did the archbishop or any other of those who were present, ask him,


[1] August 2.

A.D. 1100.] CHARACTER OF WILLIAM RUFUS. 445

out of respect to his great holiness. The following day also, the archbishop went to Lyons, and the same night, when the monks who accompanied him had chanted the matin-service, behold, a young man, simply dressed, and of a mild countenance, stood by one of the clerks of the archbishop, who had his bed near the door of the chamber, and though not asleep, kept his eyes shut; and calling him by name, "Adam", said he, "are you asleep"? The clerk answered, "No", and the young man continued, "Do you wish to hear some news"? "Most willingly", said Adam. "Then", said the young man, "be informed for certain that the quarrel between the archbishop and king William is now put an end to". The clerk, roused by these words, looked up and opened his eyes, but saw no one. The next night also one of the monks of the same archbishop was standing at his post and chanting matins, when some one held out to him a small paper to read, on which the monk read the words, "King William is dead". He immediately opened his eyes, but saw no one except his companions. A short time after, two of his monks came to him, and telling him of the king's death, earnestly advised him immediately to return to his see.

Of the faults of king William.

It was right that king William was cut off by death in the midst of his injustice; for he was beyond all other men, and always did whatever evil was in his power, following the advice of his evil counsellors. He was a tyrant to his own people, worse to strangers, but worst of all to himself, and annoyed his subjects by continual gelds and tallagies, [1] whilst he provoked his neighbours by wars and exactions, and England could not take breath under the burdens which he laid upon it. For the king and his servants laid violent hands on everything, creating confusion and destruction on all sides; their acts of violence and adultery, of fraud and oppression, were such as had never been heard of in former times. This wicked king, hateful both to God and to his people, on the day of his death, held to his own use the archbishopric of Canterbury, the bishoprics of Winchester and Salisbury, besides twelve abbacies, which he either sold, or


[1] Customs or imposts.

446 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1100.

let out to farm or kept in his own hands; neither did he practise his crimes of debauchery in secret, but openly in the light of day. Need I say more on this subject? Whatever pleased God and the faithful servants of God, was sure to displease the king and his followers. He was buried the day after his death at Winchester; but his tomb was watered by no one's tears, so great was the joy which the people felt at his departure.

How Henry I. was crowned king of the English.

King William being dead, the nobles of England did not know what had become of his eldest brother Robert duke of Normandy, who had now been five years on the expedition to Jerusalem, and they were unwilling for the kingdom to remain long without a ruler. Henry, the youngest and most prudent of the brothers, perceiving this, assembled together the clergy and people of England at London, and, to induce them to espouse his cause and make him king, he promised them to revise and amend the laws by which England had been oppressed in the time of his deceased brother. To this the clergy and people replied, that if he would confirm to them by charter all the liberties and customs which were observed in the reign of the holy king Edward, they would accede to his wishes and make him their king. This Henry readily engaged to do, and, confirming the same by an oath, he was crowned king at Westminster, on the day of the annunciation of St. Mary, with the acclamations of the clergy and people; after which he caused these privileges to be reduced to writing, to the honour of the holy church and the peace of his people.

Of the liberties which king Henry granted to his kingdom.

Henry, by the grace of God, king of England, to Hugh de Bocland sheriff, and to all his faithful people, both French and English, in Herefordshire, [1] health. Know that I, by the mercy of God and by the unanimous consent of the barons of the kingdom, have been crowned king of England: and, whereas the kingdom has been oppressed with many unjust exactions, I, to the honour of God, and in the love


[1] This should be Hertfordshire in which St. Albans was situated.

A.D. 1100.] LAWS OF ENGLAND AMENDED. 447

which I bear to all of you, do hereby grant liberty to God's holy church, that I will not make it subject to sale or let it out to farm, nor, when an archbishop, bishop, or abbat is dead, will I receive anything from the domain of the church, or of its vassals, until a successor is appointed to it: and all the evil customs by which the kingdom of England has been unjustly oppressed, I hereby annul, which evil customs I here in part enumerate.

If any of my barons, earls, or others, who hold of me, shall die, his heir shall not redeem his lands, as he was accustomed to do in the time of my father, but shall pay a just and lawful relief for the same: in the same way, also, the vassals of my barons shall pay a just and equitable relief to resume their lands from their lords. And, if any of my barons or others shall wish to give his daughter or sister, or niece or cousin, to any one in marriage, he may communicate with me thereon; but I will not take anything from him for a licence, nor will I prevent him from giving her in marriage, unless it be to a man who is my enemy. And if any of my barons or others shall die, leaving a daughter to be his heir, I will give her in marriage together with her inheritance with the consent of my barons; and if, when the husband is dead, the wife remains alive without children, she shall have her dowry and her right of marriage, neither will I give her in marriage against her own will. But if the wife remains alive having children, she shall have her dowry and right of marriage, whilst she shall keep her person according to law, neither will I give her in marriage against her own consent, and the lands of the children shall be in the custody of the wife, or some near relation, according to what is just and right, and I command my vassals to conduct themselves in the same way towards the sons, daughters, and wives of their vassals.

As regards the monetage in common use, which was taken throughout the cities and counties, which was not so in the time of king Eadward, I utterly annul and prohibit it; and if any one shall be taken, either moneyer or other, with false money, let justice be done upon him according to law. I forgive all the pleas and debts which were due to the king my brother, except my farms, and except such as were contracted for the inheritances of others, or for those things

448 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1100.

which more justly concerned other people. And if any one had made any bargain for his inheritance, I forgive it, together with all reliefs, which were agreed on for their true inheritances. And if any of my barons or vassals shall be rich, in whatever way he may dispose of his money, it shall be confirmed by me; but if, prevented by the casualties of war, or sickness, he shall not have given away or disposed of his money, his wife, children, or parents, and lawful vassals, shall divide it for the good of his soul, as to them shall seem best. If any one of my barons or vassals shall commit forfeiture, he shall not give bail in mercy for his money, as he would have done in the time of my father or brother, but according to the degree of his forfeiture, nor shall he atone for it as he would have done in the time of my father or brother; but if he shall be convicted of perfidy or a crime, according to the crime, so shall be the atonement. All past murders, up to the day of my coronation, are hereby forgiven; and those which shall in future be committed shall be justly atoned for, according to the law of king Eadward. I retain the forests in my own hands, by the consent of all my barons, in the same way as my father held them. I concede to all knights who defend their own lands by arms, to hold all the lands of their domains free from all gelds and gifts to myself, that, being relieved from their great burden, they may acquire experience in horses and arms, and be ready for my service and for the defence of the whole kingdom. I establish peace throughout all my dominions, and I command it henceforth to be observed. I restore to you the law of king Eadward, with those improvements, by which my father with the consent of the barons amended it. If any one has taken anything of men or of another's since the death of my brother king William, let the whole be speedily restored without alteration; and if any one shall keep back any part thereof, he, on whom it is found, shall make heavy atonement to me for it. Witness the following, Maurice bishop of London, William elect of Winchester, Girard bishop of Hereford, earl Henry, earl Simon, earl Walter Gilford, Robert de Montford, Roger Bigod, and many others.

There were as many of these charters made, as there are counties in England, and by the king's orders, they were placed in the abbeys of each county for a memorial.

A..D. 1100.] RETURN OF ARCHBISHOP ANSELM. 449

Of the return of Anselm archbishop of Canterbury to England.

King Henry, having thus been crowned, gave the bishopric of Winchester to William Giffard, and immediately invested him with all the possessions belonging to the see, contrary to the statutes of the new council, of which we have made mention above. Then, by the advice of all the English church, he sent a solemn embassy abroad to Anselm archbishop of Canterbury, inviting him earnestly to return without delay and take possession of his see. In the meantime duke Robert, brother of the king, having gloriously fulfilled his pilgrimage to Jerusalem, returned to Normandy, after five years' absence, and was received with joy and honour by all his subjects. The king at that time had Ralph [1] bishop of Durham in custody: he was a man of perverse character, ready for all kinds of wickedness, and the disturber of all England; he had been made bishop of Durham by king William, and, for his ready compliance with that king, was constituted his procurator throughout the kingdom, to plunder, pull down, and destroy every man's goods for the benefit of the king's exchequer; but when that unjust king was dead, and Henry was crowned in his place, the new king, with the consent of all the English people, threw him into prison, from which he escaped by corrupting the guards, and crossed over into Normandy, where he stirred up duke Robert against his brother. The duke sent private letters to the nobles of England, showing that he was the eldest son of William, who had conquered England by his arms, and on this plea he claimed the crown of England for himself. When the nobles heard this, many of them favoured his cause, and promised him loyalty and assistance. Robert, in the mean time, prepared to prosecute his claim; but as he was but just returned from pilgrimage, he deferred his intentions for a time, until a convenient opportunity should arise. The same year Thomas, archbishop of York, died, and was succeeded by Gerard; and Sigisbert, monk of Gemblours, brought down his elegantly written chronicle to this present year.


[1] Ralph Flambard.

450 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1100.

Of the virtues and premature death of duke Godfrey.

The same year died pope Urban, and was succeeded by Paschal, who sat eighteen years in the Roman see. The same year Godfrey, king of Jerusalem, at the instance of some of his barons, crossed the river Jordan, and, having collected a great booty of sheep and oxen in the country of the Ammorites, then inhabited by the Arabs, returned home in triumph. The news of this attack aroused a distinguished Arabian prince, a powerful and warlike potentate, who, having first obtained permission and peace by sending a herald, came to visit Godfrey with a noble retinue of his countrymen; for he had heard by report of the power and magnificence of the king and people of the west, who had far and wide subdued so large a territory of the east; wherefore, burning with desire to see him, he was introduced into his presence and respectfully saluted him. When he had for some time admired the king's constitution of body, he requested of him with much earnestness to show his strength, by using his sword on a camel which he had brought with him for that purpose. The king, not by way of bravado, but to strike terror into those barbarians, drew his sword, and at one blow cut off the camel's head, as if it had been a thread. The Arab was astonished at the sight, but in his own mind ascribed it to the sharpness of the sword; and having requested permission to speak, asked the king if he could do the same with another person's sword. The king smiling, asked the prince to lend him his own sword, and with it cut off the head of another camel on the spot, and without the least difficulty. Thus the Arab, finding that the reports of the king's strength were true, gave him many presents in gold and silver, horses, and other valuables; and having secured his friendship, returned to his own people, and told every body of the wonderful strength of the king. After this, the glorious king was seized in the month of July with an incurable disease, and, having received the viaticum of salvation, breathed his last, confessing the name of Christ, to enjoy everlasting happiness with the angels in heaven. He died on the 18th of July of this present year, and was buried in the church of our Lord's sepulchre, under Mount Calvary, where his successors also have a place appointed

A.D. 1101.] BALDWIN KING OF JERUSALEM. 451

for them even unto the present day. The kingdom of Jerusalem was vacant three years after his death, and at last by the sentence of all the princes and people, the lord Baldwin, brother, by both parents, to the deceased king, was called to the throne, to reign next to his brother, as justice required.

How Baldwin was crowned king of Jerusalem, and of his piety.

[A.D. 1101.] Baldwin, count of Edessa, and uterine brother of king Godfrey, coming to Jerusalem, was anointed and crowned king of Jerusalem on the day of our Lord's nativity, by the hand of Diabert the patriarch. But the noble Tancred had not forgotten the old injury of which we have before spoken, received from Baldwin, now elected king; wherefore he obtained permission to leave the country, and, giving up to the new king the cities of Tiberias and Cayphas, which he had received from the gift of king Godfrey, he retired to Antioch, where he was well received by the populace of the city, for Boamund, prince of Antioch, had been captured at Meletemia, a city of Mesopotamia, by Damsiva, a Turk, and had not yet recovered his liberty; wherefore Tancred, after repeated invitations to take the government of the city and people, until Boamund should be liberated, at length acceded to their petition, and undertook the government of the city and country. About the same time, also, king Baldwin crossed the Jordan, and traversed the interior of Arabia, that he might spy out the weak points of the neighbouring nations; and one night he came so suddenly upon a body of Turks that he took many of them in their tents, together with their wives, children, all their substance, and an unheard of number of camels and asses. But most of the men escaped, by the fleetness of their horses, leaving their wives and children, with all their baggage in the hands of the Christians. The king, on his return, found a woman, wife to a powerful chief, in the agonies of parturition, and ordered a bed to be made for her, as well as time would permit, and supplying her with skins of water, plenty of milk, maid-servants to attend upon her, and his own cloak to wrap her up in, he proceeded with the army on their march. The next day, the powerful Arab chief, in despair about his wife, followed our army, and came up to the place where his wife was lying. Astonished at the sight, he praised the

452 ROGER OF WENDOVER. [A.D. 1102.

king's humanity, extolled him to the stars, and from that moment adhered to him faithfully in all his necessities.

How king Henry married Matilda, daughter of the king of Scots.

The same year, Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, returned to England, and betrothed Matilda, daughter of Malcolm, king of Scots, and of the queen St. Margaret, to Henry, the new king of England. After the celebration of the nuptials, there was no slight disturbance in the kingdom, on account of Robert duke of Normandy, who was said to be coming with a numerous army to subdue England. At this news, king Henry despatched a naval force to meet his brother, but the greater part of the army submitted to Robert at his approach. The duke came to an anchor at Portsmouth on the 1st of August, and the king marched against him with a numerous army; but the nobles on both sides, not tolerating this dissension between the brothers, made peace between them on the following conditions,- that the king should pay three thousand marks of silver every year from the English dominions to his brother Robert, and that if either should die without heirs, the other should succeed to his dominions. These terms were confirmed by the oaths of twelve nobles on each side, and duke Robert, after staying with his brother until Michaelmas, returned to his own country. The same year, Henry succeeded to the Roman empire, and reigned thirty-five years. [1] The same year, also, king Henry gave the bishopric of Hereford to one Reinelm, without election made, and publicly invested him, contrary to the decrees of the new council.

Of the council held at London, and the degradation of certain abbots.

[A.D. 1102.] Henry, king of England, besieged Arundel castle, the property of Robert de Belesme, who held it against the king; but as it was a castle difficult to take, he constructed another of wood over against it, and in the interim, besieged and took the castle of Bruges. [2] At length, Arundel castle surrendered, and the king banished Robert de


[1] This is not correct; Henry V, did not receive the imperial crown until April 13, 1111.

[2] Bridgenorth.

AD. 1103.] ANSELM RETIRES TO ROME. 453

Belesme from England. The same year, Anselm archbishop of Canterbury