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4 But a messenger came to
king Alfred saying, "A
hundred ships are come from
Northumberland and East-
Anglia, and are besieging


But king Alfred had not yet completed his march to attack the enemy, when lo, news is brought that the pagans who inhabited Northumberland and East-Anglia had collected together 240 ships, that some of them in 100 ships had sailed round the south coast of England, and the others in 40 ships round the north coast: that the one party had besieged Exeter, the others a fortress in Devonshire with a large body of men. When the king heard these things, he was not daunted by the rashness of the enemy, but became furious at his men being besieged. Without delay, he recalled all his cavalry, and marched to Exeter, leaving, however, a small body of men to finish the subjugation of the enemy he was following. These, proceeding to London, with the citizens and others who had come to help them from the western coast of England, advance to Beanflot; for they had heard that the greatest part of the army, which had settled at Apultreo, had gone thither, and that king Haesten had come there with his army from Milton and had there built a fortress, but at that moment they were gone forth to plunder.

For the same king, a short time before, had made peace with King Alfred, and given several hostages, and had moreover at the request of King Alfred, given his two sons to be regenerated in the laver of salvation; one of them was taken from the fountain by King Alfred himself, the other by the noble duke Æthered.

But Haesten, going to Beanflot, quickly made there a fortress, and immediately plundered the lands of Ethered the father of his


A severe battle was therefore fought with the pagans, and the Christians, at the first shock, put them to flight, destroyed their works, and seizing on all they could find, carried with them the women and children to London. Some of the ships they broke to pieces, some they burnt, and carried the rest either to London or Rochester.

They also took the wife and two sons of Haesten, before he came back to Beanflot from plundering, and these they carried to king Ælfred. But he did them no harm, because one of them, as we have said before, was his [GOD] son, the other the [GOD] son of duke Æthered; but he confirmed the peace between them, and having received hostages not only restored the wife and sons of Haesten, at their father's request, but also gave him a

And when he had gone out to
plunder upon the king, the
king broke into the aforesaid
camp, and there took his
wife, and children, and
money, and booty, and ships;

but he gave back to Hasteng
his wife and sons, because
he was their god-father.

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Saron Chronicle

because one of them was his godson, and the other Ethered's the alderman's. They had become their godfathers before Hæsten came to Beamfleet, and at that


time Hæsten had delivered to him hostages and taken
oaths and the king had also given him many gifts; and
so likewise when he gave up the youths and the woman.
But as soon as they came to Beamfleet, and the fortress
was constructed, then plundered he that very part of the
king's realm which was in the keeping of Ethered his
compater; and again, this
second time, he had gone out
to plunder that very same
district when his fortress was

Now the king with his forces
had turned westward towards
Exeter, as I said before, and
the army had beset the
burgh : but when he
arrived there, then went they
to their ships.
While the king was thus
busied with the army there,
in the west, and both the
other armies had drawn to-
gether at Shoebury in Essex,
and there had constructed a
fortress, then both together
went up along the Thames,
and a great addition came to
them, as well from the East-
Anglians as from the North-

They then went up along the
Thames till they reached the
Severn; then up along the

Then Ethered the alderman,
and Ethelm the alderman,
and Ethelnoth the alder-
man, and the king's-thanes
who where then at home in
the fortified places, gathered
forces from every town east
of the Parret, and as well west
as east of Selwood, and also
north of the Thames, and
west of the Severn, and also
some part of the North-

Welsh people.

When they had all drawn together, then they came up with the army at Buttington

Then he went to Sceobyrig,
and there built a very strong
fortress, and was joined by
the army which had settled
at Apuldran.

And moreover a great multi

tude came to him from the

East Angles and Northum-
brians; who hastening up-
wards beyond the river
Thames, went plundering to
the bank of the river Severn,
and there at Buttington
built a strong tower. But soon
Adhered earl of the Mercians,
with the earls Eathelm and
Eathelmnoth, and also with
the other faithful servants of
the king, laid siege to the
town on all sides, until food
failed the pagans, so that
they ate the flesh of their
horses, and, at last, compelled
by hunger, they go out to
battle against those who were
on the eastern side of the

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part of the country. When two years were completed, from the time that an immense fleet came from

Boulogne to Limnæ a town of the Angles, duke Ethelnoth set out from the western parts of the Angles, and goes from the city of York against the enemy, who devastate no small tracts of land in the kingdom of the Mercians, on the west of Stanford; I. E. between the courses of the river Weolod and a thick wood called Ceoftefne.

on the bank of the Severn, and there beset them about, on either side, in a fastness. When they had now sat there many weeks on both sides of the river, and the king was in the west in Devon, against the fleet, then were the enemy distressed for want of food; and having eaten a great part of their horses, the others being starved with

894 Florence

large sum of money.



This year died king Guthred.

Meanwhile the pagan army from Beanflot, as we have said, being routed by the Christians, went to a city in Essex called Sceobyrig, and

built there for themselves a

strong fortress.

Many of the pagans from East-Anglia and Northumberland having joined them, they plundered first the banks of the Thames, and then of the Severn. Resenting their attacks, those noble leaders, Æthered Æthelm Æthelnoth and other servants of the king, whom he had left for garrisons in the fortresses, towns and cities, not only on the eastern side of the Perrot, but also on the western side of Selwood, and not only on the southern but also on the northern bank of the river Thames, collect a numerous army against the enemy, to which also was added an auxiliary force of Welshmen who lived on the western

bank of the Severn.

Whilst, therefore, the king
is going thither, the army,
that was at Awldre, invaded
Essex, and made a camp at

And issuing thence, they
went as far as Budingtune
near the Severn, and there

made a camp.

From which, however, they
were driven out by force,
and fled to their camp in

But those who had besieged
Exeter, hearing of the king's
coming, fled to their ships,
and stopped out at sea, plun-

When these were assembled into one body, they pursued the enemy, and overtaking them at Buttington on the bank of the river Severn, laid siege, on both sides of the river, to the fortress in which they had taken refuge. Several weeks passed over; some of the pagans died of hunger, some of them, when they had eaten their horses, burst from the fortress and gave battle to those who were on the eastern side of the river, but when many thousands of the pagans had been slain, and all the others were put to flight, the Christians obtained the victory. In this battle the noble Ordeah, and many of the king's servants were slain. And when the pagans who fled, returning to East-Saxony, had come to their fortress and their ships, winter now coming on, they again gather a large army out of East-Anglia and Northumberland, and having placed their wives; their money and ships in East-Anglia, and left their fortresses, they march without

A fourth army came that same year from Northumberland as far as Leicester; but were there besieged, and afflicted by so sore a famine, that they ate even their horses.

Saron Chronicle



Ethelwerd hunger, then went they out against the men who were encamped on the east bank of the river, and fought against them and the Christians had the victory.

And Ordheh a king's-thane was there slain, and also many other king's-thanes were slain; and of the Danish-men there was very great slaughter made; and that part which got away thence was saved by flight.

When they had come into Essex to their fortress and to their ships, then the survivors again gathered a great army from among the East-Angles and the North-humbrians before winter, and committed their wives and their ships and their wealth to the EastAngles, and went at one stretch, day and night, until they arrived at a western city in Wirral, which is called Lega-ceaster.

Then were the forces unable to come up with them before they were within the fortress: nevertheless they beset the fortress about for some two days, and took all the cattle that was there-without, and slew the men whom they were able to overtake without the fortress, and burned all the corn, and with their horses ate it in every evening. And this was about a twelvemonth after they first came hither over sea.

A. 895.

And then soon after that, in

The aforesaid army of pagans
wintered in the island which
is called Mersey.

A. 895.

this year, the army from Wirral went among the North-Welsh, for they were unable to stay there: this was because they had been deprived both of the cattle and of the corn which they had plundered.

When they had turned again out of North-Wales with the booty which they had there taken, then went they over North-humbria-land and East-Anglia, in such wise that the forces could not overtake them before they came to the eastern parts of the land of Essex, to an island that is out on the sea, which is called Mersey. And as the army which had beset Exeter again turned homewards, then spoiled they the South-Saxons near Chichester; and the townsmen put them to flight, and slew many hundreds of them, and took some of their ships. Then that same year, bofore winter, the Danish-men who had sat down in Mersey, towed their ships up the Thames, and thence up the Lea. This was about two years after they had come hither over sea.

A. 896.

In that same year the fore

CHARTERS IN 896. None.

mentioned army constructed a fortress on the Lea, twenty miles above London, After this, in summer, a great body of the townsmen, and also of other people, went onwards until they arrived at the Danish fortress; and there they were put to flight, and some four king's-thanes were slain. Then after this during harvest, the king encamped near to the town, while the people reaped their corn, so that the Danish-men might not deprive them of the crop. Then on a certain day the king rode up along the river, and observed where the river might be obstructed, so that they would be unable to bring out their ships. And they then did thus: they constructed two fortresses, on the two sides of the river. When they had already begun the work, and had encamped there-beside, then perceived the army that they should not be able to bring out their ships. They then abandoned them, and went across the country till they arrived at Cwatbridge by the Severn; and there they constructed a fortress. Then the forces rode westwards after the army and the men of London took possession of the ships; and all which they could not bring away they broke up and those which there were stalworth' they brought to London: moreover the Danish-men had committed their wives to the keeping of the East-Angles before they went out from their fortress. Then sat they down for the winter at Cwatbridge. This was about three years after they had come hither over sea to Limene-mouth.

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intermission and enter the city of Legions, called in Saxon Legeceastre, at that time deserted, before the army of Elfred and the underking Æthered, who were following, could overtake them. Some of them, however, they took and put to death, re-taking all the sheep and oxen which they had gained by plunder: they then besieged the city two days, and gave some of the standing corn to their horses, burning the rest. All this was done after the revolution of one

year from the time when they had left the coasts of Gaul, and entered the mouth of the Limene.


The before-named army of the pagans, not having the means of subsistence-for the Christians had taken every thing from thementer the land of the Southern Britons, and devastating

In the 23rd year of king
Alfred, the Danes, who were
in Leicester, went round
through North Wales and
Northumberland to Mersey,
an island in Essex.

ALFRED, subscribed also by Pleg.
mund archbishop of Canterbury,
Ethelbald of York,ninefother bishops,
"Grimbaldus sacerdos," " Johannes

abbas." "Eadredus comes," "Ethel-
redus Gainorum dux," "Elswytha
"Ethelred us dux
Merciorum," II, 125.

it far and wide, carry off with them a very great booty. And, because they did not dare to return through Mercia for fear of the Mercians, they went first through Northumberland, then through the Mediterranean Angles, and having taken their wives and ships in East-Anglia, entered an island called Meresig situated on the sea-coast in the eastern part of East-Saxony. Afterwards, roused by the sufferings of his men aforesaid, he [ALFRED] reached Exeter, & the pagans terrified at his coming, fled to their ships, and so returning to their seats, near the city which is called in English Cissaceastre, in the province of the

But the army that had be-
sieged Exeter, was caught
plundering near Ciceastre,
where they lost many of their
men, and lost some of their

The aforesaid army which besieged Exancestre, ravaged every thing round Cissacestre. But not long after they were put to the rout by those who were in the city, many of them were slain, and many of their ships were taken.

South-Saxons, they carried off booty. But being routed by the inhabitants of that city, the greater part of them were wounded or slain, and many of their ships taken.

2 896.

1 In the same year they drew their ships up the river Thames, and afterwards up the river Ligea, and began to build for themselves a fortress near the river, 20 miles from London.

In the following year, the army that was on the river Lee,
made a camp near that same river, 20 miles from London."
1 And afterwards, in the winter, they drew their ships up the
Thames into the river Luye [Lea].

But the Londoners came to that camp, and fighting with
the Danes, slew 4 of their leaders, and Almighty God
at a timely moment gave the victory to his true followers.
When the Danes had fled into their camp, the king
caused the water of the Lea to be divided into three arms,
that they might not be able to convey back their ships on
it. The Danes, perceiving this, left their ships, and went as
far as Quadruge near the Severn, and there made a camp, and
wintered on the spot: having sent their wives for safety into
East-Anglia. The king with his army pursued them.
But the Londoners carried to London some of their ships
which they had left, and burnt the rest.

In the summer-time, a great
part of the citizens of Lon-
don, and many from the
neighbouring places, endea-
vour to destroy the fortress
which the pagans had made
for themselves, but their re-
sistance was so great, that
the Christians are put to
flight and four of king Al-
fred's officers are slain. But the king himself, in the autumn, measured out his camp not far
from the city, in order to prevent the pagans from carrying off the crops of the provincials.
But one day as the king was riding along the river's bank, he considered where he could
find a favorable place for blocking up the river, that the Danes might not be able
to extricate their ships; and without delay, he ordered his men to begin making a
barrier on both sides of the river. When the pagans perceived this, they again committed
their wives to the care of the East-Anglians, and leaving their ships, went on
foot a rapid march to a place called Quatbricg, and having built for themselves a fortress,
they passed the winter there. Meanwhile the Londoners carried some of their ships to
London and broke up the rest.


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