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afterwards they ditched the town around, so that no one could go either in or out; and they repeatedly fought against the town, but the townsmen strenuously withstood them."

Edmund fights with the Danes at Pen, by Gillingham, in Dorsetshire, and at Sceorstan, (Shirestone, near Burford,) then relieves London, and two days after defeats the Danes at Brentford.

Edmund retires into Wessex, when the Danes again besiege London; "and they beset the town around, and strongly fought against it, as well by water as by land. But the Almighty God delivered it."

The Danes retire from London, proceed up the Orwell, and ravage Mercia. "Then King Edmund assembled, for the fourth time, all his forces, and went over the Thames at Brentford, and went into Kent, and the army fled before him, with their horses, into Sheppy; and the king slew as many of them as he could come up with." Edric comes over to the king at Aylesford, and dissuades him from following up his victory.

The Danes again pass through Essex into Mercia.

Edmund pursues them, but, being betrayed by Edric, is defeated at Assandun, (Ashdown, near Saffron Walden), “and all the nobility of the English race was there destroyed."

Canute pursues Edmund into Gloucestershire. "Then counselled Edric the ealdorman and the witan who were there, that the kings should be mutually reconciled. And they delivered hostages mutually; and the kings came together at Olanege, near Deerhurst, and they

The isle of Olney, near Gloucester.

confirmed their friendship as well by pledge as by oath, and settled the tribute for the army. And then they separated with this reconcilement; and Edmund obtained Wessex, and Canute Mercia. And the army then went to their ships, with the things that they had taken. And the men of London made a truce with the army, and bought themselves peace; and the army brought their ships to London, and took up their winter quarters therein.

"Then at St. Andrew's mass (Nov. 30) died King Edmund, and his body lies at Glastonbury, with his grandfather Edgar."


CANUTE, the son of Sweyn, already in possession of the greater part of England, succeeded to the whole on the death of Edmund, and secured his throne by a marriage with Emma, the widow of Ethelred. He undertook several foreign expeditions, in the course of which he conquered Norway, and also made a pilgrimage to Rome, and did much to repair the ravages of war in England; restoring minsters and churches, and promulgating equitable laws. Canute died in 1035, leaving three sons, Sweyn, Harold and Harthacnut, and a daughter, Gunhilda, who married the emperor Henry III.

A.D. 1017. "This year Canute was chosen king; .. "he obtained the whole realm of the English race, and

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divided it into four parts; Anglia to Thurkill, and

Wessex to himself, and East Mercia to Edric, and Nor

thumbria to Eric," as his viceroys.

Edric, boasting of his treasons, is shortly after slain in London, by order of Canute, "very justly."

Canute puts to death Edwy, the brother of king Edmund, and several of the chief English nobles, and banishes Edwy, king of the churls.

Canute marries the widow of Ethelred, " called Ælfgive in English, and Ymma in French."

A.D. 1018. The tribute paid to the army, amounting to 82,500 pounds.

Canute takes forty ships of the army into his pay, and the rest retire to Denmark.

Edgar's law received both by Danes and Angles.

A.D. 1019. Canute goes to Denmark, and remains the whole winter.

A.D. 1020. Canute returns to England. He builds at Assandun " a minster of stone and lime, for the souls of the men who there were slain, and gave it to one of his priests, whose name was Stigands."

A.D. 1021. Thurkill, the earl of East Anglia, is outlawed.

A.D. 1022. "This year King Canute went out with his ships to Wight."


A.D. 1023. Canute returns to England. is restored to favour, and appointed governor of Denmark. The remains of Alphage removed, "with much state and bliss, and songs of praise," from London to Can

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terbury; Canute, and his queen, Hearda-Cnut," assisting.

"with her royal child

A.D. 1025. Canute goes to Denmark, but is defeated by the Swedes.

A.D. 1026. The Northmen of Dublin do homage to the king of Munster.

A.D. 1027. King Canute makes a pilgrimage to Romeh.

A.D. 1028. Canute goes to Norway,

with fifty ships of English thanes," drives out Olaf, and conquers the country.


A.D. 1029. Canute returns to England.

Hacon, the doughty earl," [husband to Gunhilda, the niece of Canute] is banished; he died at sea the next year.

A.D. 1030. Olaf returning to Norway, is slain; "he afterwards was saintedi."

"So soon as Canute came home from Rome, then went he into Scotland; and the king of the Scots, Malcolm, submitted to him, and became his man [vassal], but that he held only a little while."

Melbethe (Macbeth) and Jehmarc, two Scottish chiefs, also submit.

h The Saxon Chronicle ascribes this event to the year 1030; but Wippo, who was secretary to Conrad II., says that he saw Canute at the coronation of the emperor, which took place at Rome, March 26, 1027 Florence of Worcester has preserved a long letter from Canute to the archbishop of Canterbury and others, giving an account of his exertions for the benefit of the English clergy and others having business with the papal court, which are not even alluded to in the Chronicle, the entry simply being "1030, Canute goes to Rome."

i St. Olave, king and martyr, was formerly commemorated in the English Church on the 29th of July, supposed to have been the day of his death. Fourteen churches exist dedicated to him.

A.D. 1032. "This year appeared the wild-fire, such as no man before remembered; and moreover on all sides it did harm, in many places."

A.D. 1035. Canute dies, Nov. 12, and is buried at Winchester. Harold succeeds.


HAROLD, the second son of Canute, though he at first agreed to a partition of England with his half-brother Harthacnut, soon obtained the whole, and banished the queen Emma, after murdering her son Alfred. He died suddenly in the year 1040.

A.D. 1035. Harold despoils Queen Emma of her treasures; she is allowed to dwell at Winchester, under the guard of the house-carles *.

William the Bastard succeeds his father Robert as duke of Normandy.

A.D. 1036. Alfred and Edward, the sons of Ethelred and Emma, are treacherously invited to England. Alfred is blinded, and dies in confinement at Ely. "Godwin and other men who had much power" are stated as the perpetrators by the Saxon Chronicle. Edward escapes to Normandy.

A.D. 1037. "Harold was chosen king over all, and Harthacnut forsaken, because he stayed too long in Denmark; and then they drove out his mother Elgiva, the queen, without any kind of mercy, against the stormy

See p. 166.

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