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Afterwards that great army
returned into England with
all their things in 250 ships
to the fort of Limene; which
port is in the eastern part of
Kent near the great wood of
Andredeslaige, which con-
tains 120 miles in length and
30 in breadth. Landing from
their ships, they built
castle at Awldre.

The naval and equestrian
army of the pagans, leaving
East Thames went to Bononia
and crossing thence with
their horses in 250 ships to
Kent, came to land at the
mouth of the river Limen,
which flows out of the great
wood named Andred. They
drew their vessels up into the
wood four miles from the
river's mouth, and there destroyed a half-built castle
inhabited by a few countrymen, and built for themselves
another fort at a place called Apultreo.


In the year 893

CHARTERS IN 893. None.

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the eastern district, the Northhumbrians and the East-Angles had given oaths to king Ælfred, and the East-Angles six hostages; and nevertheless, contrary to their plighted troth, as oft as the other armies went out with all their force, they also went out, either with them or on their own part.


On this king Ælfred gathered together his forces, and proceeded until he encamped between the two armies, as near as he could for the wood fastnesses and the water fastnesses, so that he might be able to reach either of them in case they should seek any open country. From this time the enemy always went out along the weald in bands and troops, by whichever border was at the time without forces and they also were sought out by other bands, almost every day, either by day or night, as well from the king's force as also from the burgs. The king had divided his forces into two, so that one half was constantly at home, the other half in the field; besides those whose duty it was to defend the burgs. The army did not come out of their stations with their whole force oftener than twice: once when they first came to land, before the forces were assembled; a second time when they would go away from their stations.

Then had they taken much booty, and would at that time go northward over the Thames into Essex towards their ships. Then the king's forces outrode and got before them, and fought against them at Farnham, and put the army to flight, and retook the booty; and they fled over the Thames where there was no ford; then up along

the Colne into an island. Then the forces there beset them about so long as they there had any provisions: but at length they had stayed their term of service, and had consumed their provisions; and the king was then on his way thitherwards with the division which warred under him.

While he was on his way thither, and the other force was gone homewards, and the Danish-men remained there behind, because their king had been wounded in the battle, so that they could not carry him away, then those who dwelt among the Northhumbrians and among

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9 The beginning of the reign of king Charles the boy: his

knight was Hagano. 10 That same year the city of York was taken by the Normans; but bishop Seba

by God's help escaped. 11 This year also, Alfred king of the West Saxons fought against the Northmen at Fearnhame. He cut them to pieces, and wounded their king, and put them to flight and took much spoil from them and they were compelled to pass beyond the river Thames into Essex; but many of them perished in the


Ethelwerd 894

After the Easter of that year. the army which had come from Gaul leave their camp, and trace the intricacies of a certain immense wood, which is called Andredessuda, and they extended as far as the Western Angles.

Slowly as they go, they ravage the adjoining provinces, Hampshire and Berkshire:

These things were told to the heir Edward, son of king Alfred, who had been exercising himself in the southern

parts of England. And twice in the year they counted the spoil which they had obtained by fraud, in the land which borders on the southern bank of the Thames. then in possession of the The filthy crew which were East Angles, suddenly removed to a place called Bamfleet;

and there the allied band divided; some of them remained, and some of them

went beyond the sea. After this they reach the Western Angles, who meet them with threatening arms and dense array at Farnham. They exult, freed by the arrival of the prince, like sheep under the protection of the shepherd; the tyrant is wounded, and his troops

are driven across the river

Thames into the northern

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Earl Ethered, setting out from the city of London, lent his aid to the prince. The barbarians asked peace and a treaty hostages are given, they promise by oath to leave the kingdom of the aforesaid king; their words and deeds agree together without delay. Lastly, they set out for the country of the East-Angles, formerly governed by the king Saint Edmund. And their ships fly round to them from the Limnean port to Meresige a place in Kent.

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Alfred: as also did giving six hostages. often as the armies in

solemn peace on oath with king
those who dwelt in East-Anglia,
But they broke the treaty, and, as
Kent left their castles to plunder, they also went out to
plunder, either with them, or alone, wherever they could.

When this was known, king

Alfred, taking with him part of his army, and leaving the other part at home, as was his wont, and placing others for garrisons in the castles and cities, marched hastily into Kent, where he laid out a camp, in a place naturally very strong because it was surrounded on all sides by water, high rocks and overhanging woods; so that, if the enemies went out into any of the plains to plunder or fight, he could join battle with them without delay.

But they, now on foot, now on horse-back, plundering in bands, frequented those districts, which they saw were not occupied by the king's troops. But, contrary to their expectation, not only some from the royal forces, but also from the cities, attacked them almost every day and night, and so annoyed them, that they all left Kent and went forth together from their quarters to plunder, for they had gone out together to plunder whilst they first began to live in those places.

But this time they took a greater and more plentiful booty, and determined to cross the river Thames, and enter Essex, and so, with their booty, to meet the naval band, which they had sent beforehand. But, being overtaken by the king's army, they fought a battle with them at Feornham, and having lost their booty together with the horses which they had brought with them from foreign parts, they were all put to flight, and crossing the Thames where there was no ford, they took refuge in an island situated within the stream of the river Colne, where they were blockaded, until food failed

1 But afterwards he took an
oath to king Alfred, that he
would hurt him in nothing.
But the king gave many gifts
to him and his wife, and his
children; one of whom the
king himself had held in
baptism, and the great duke
Edred the other.
But Hasteng, always unfaith-
ful, built a camp at Beam-


and swore to be true to king Elfred against the aforesaid pagans who had already come back to England.

the king's army, and the time for their going home came round, and another army relieved them. This army therefore went home, and king Alfred hastened up with the other half of his army, but the pagans seeing that their king was much wounded, and that they could not carry

Saron Chronicle

the East-Anglians gathered some hundred ships and went about south; and some forty ships about to the north, and besieged a fortress in Devonshire by the north sea; and those who went about to the

south besieged Exeter. When the king heard that, then turned he westward towards Exeter with all his force, except a very strong body of the people eastward.


But king Alfred heard that a large part of the pagan army, which had been driven thence, had gone by sea and sailed to Exeter; wherefore he led with him his army of horse and foot-soldiers, and fighting sternly against them, defeated them there and put them to flight.

Ethelwerd 894

In the course of the same year, Hasten breaks away with his band from Bamfleet, and devastates all Mercia, until they arrive at the end of Britain.

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Meanwhile, by command of king Alfred, Adhered earl of the Mercians, together with the citizens of London, and other prudent warriors_without number, came to Beamfleot, and besieged the fortress of the pagans, broke into it, and gained there numberless spoils in gold, silver,

horses and garments. Among which, also, the wife of Hasteng with his two sons were led to London, and brought before king Alfred; whom the king at once ordered to be given up, because her sons were, one of them son [GOD-SON] of king Alfred, the other ef earl Adhered. But, when Hasteng again came to Beanfleat, he rebuilt there the castle which had been broken down.

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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.

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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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