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13 during two years and a half of licentiousness after his father he held the government of the West-Saxons.
The afore aid most noble king left to his son Ethelbald the hereditary kingdom of Wessex. To his son Ethelbert he left the kingdom of Kent and Essex and Sussex. Both the brothers therefore, youths of the best disposition, ruled happily their kingdom, whilst each lived,
son Ethelbald, in spite of the prohibition of Jesus Christ, and contrary to the custom of all the pagans, ascended his father's bed, and took to wife, with great infamy, Judith daughter of Charles king of the Franks, and thus
lawless, for two years and a
king of Wessex had held his half, he held the helm of the kingdom in five peace West-Saxons, after the death of his noble father.
and the crews stormed Winchester. And alderman Osric with the men of Hampshire, and alderman Ethelwulf with the men of Berkshire, fought against the army, and put them to flight, and had possession of the place of slaughter.
sea, and attacked and destroyed the city of Winchester. As they were returning laden with booty to their ships, Osric, earl of Hampshire, with his men, and earl Eth elwulf, with the men of Berkshire, confronted them bravely; a severe battle took place, and the pagans were slain on every side; and, finding themselves unable to resist, they took flight like women, and the Christians were masters of the place of death.
CHARTERS IN 860. 1. ETHEL BERHT of Wessex, subscribed also by "Ethelred filius regis," and others. II, 68. 2. ÆTHELBALD king of Wessex, signed also by Æthelberht rex,"" Judith regis filius [sic MS.]," and others. 11, 69. 3. A third charter, subscribed by "ETHELBEARHT rex,", Ethelred fili. regis," "Elfræd fili. regis," and otbers, without a date, is givenfin II, 70, as belonging to either 860, 861, or 862.
(2) A. 861.
CHARTERS IN 861: none.
(4) A. 862.
(3) Here died S. Swithun tha bishop.
As St Swithin is such a well-known personage, the following notice of him by MATTHEW of WESTMINSTER, may amuse some of my readers.
In the year of Grace 862, Saint Swithin, bishop of the city of Winchester, departed to the Lord. This holy man, whilst he still lived, was the possessor of many virtues, but was most famous for mildness and humility. It happened once, that this servant of God was sitting by chance with the workmen at Winchester bridge, that his presence
stir them into activity: when lo, a woman carrying eggs for sale passed by on her way to the city. The workmen all ran round her, making fun, as men of that kind often do, and broke all her eggs for her. When the news of this shameful deed and the poor woman's complaint reached the bishop's ears, he sighed at her loss, and moved to kindness, made the sign of the cross over the broken eggs, whereby they all became whole again. Of the humble-mindedness of this holy man, it is a memorable example, that, as often as he was about to dedicate a new church-building, he always went thither on foot, and not on a horse or in a carriage, however long the journey might be. And that this might not furnish ridicule to the ignorant, or be set down by the proud for vain glory, he used to withdraw himself from the sight of men, and travel al
ways by night. He was a lover of solitary holiness and thought that he should sacrifice his interests to any external show. At length, when he was on the point of bidding farewell to this present life, he commanded his domestics, on their obedience to his episcopal authority, to bury his body outside the church, where it might be trodden under the feet of passers-by, and wetted by the dew from heaven. His successor in the bishopric was Ealferth, a man sufficiently learned in church matters, who for some time had wisely fulfilled the duties for his predecessor:
(5) A. 863.
6) A. 864. 8 Here the heathen arıny sat down in Thanet, and made peace with the men of Kent, and the men of Kent promised them money for the peace; and during the peace
2 In the year of our Lord's incarnation 864, the pagans wintered in the isle of Thanet, and made a firm treaty with the men of Kent, who promised them money for adhering to their covenant; but
After four years, from the death of king Æthelbald, the pagans strengthen their position in the isle of Thanet, and promise to be at peace with the men of Kent, who on their part prepare money
ing from the sea, assaulted and destroyed the city of Winchester. But when the aforesaid army was on its way back to the ships, loaded with booty, Osric the worthy leader of the men of Hampshire, came up with his people, and the good earl Ethelwlf with the men of Berkshire, manfully met them with an immense army, and joining battle, the pagans were slain on all sides by the English, who were aided by the angelic spirits.
And when the dreadful enemies were unable to stand any longer for their wounds, a great multitude cruelly fell, others hid themselves among the thick bushes, and some like women, took to flight. The English, with fortune smiling upon them, were masters of the field of death.
And the same year a great heathen army came to the land of the English nation, and took up their winter quarters among the EastAngles, and there were horsed; and the East-Angles made peace with them.
* DE DANUBIO OF-BIA is probably
a corruption of DE DANIA "from Denmark."
CHARTERS IN 865. none.
1 Ethelberht governed his
In the year of our Lord's
And the same
an army of cavalry.
ANNALS. ANNO 865. The Normans came into France in the middle of July.
After one year king Æthelbyrht died, and his body rests peaceably in the monastery
CHAP. II. OF THE REIGN OF
Ethered succeeded to the
throne after the death of his brother Ethelbyrht.
In the same year the fleets of the tyrant Ingware arrived in England from the north, and wintered among the East Angles, and having established their arms there, they get on their horses, and make peace with all the inhabitants in the neighbourhood.
But, to speak in nautical phrase, I will no longer commit my vessel to the power of the waves and of its sails, or keeping off from land steer my round-about course through so many calamities of wars and series of years, but will return to that which first prompted me to this task; that is to say, I think it right in this place briefly to relate as much as has come to my knowledge about the character of my revered lord Alfred, king of the Anglo-Saxons, during the years that he was an infant and a boy.
night, and plundered the eastern parts of Kent.
promised to pay them money, if they should keep the treaty. But in the mean time, breaking forth secretly by night from their camp, like foxes, and violating the truce, and despising the promise of for a few days. But, oh
money, they remained quiet horrible! they devastated the eastern coast of the Kentish people. They knew that they should get greater money by stolen booty than by peace as also it happened.
Thus king Ethelby rht, for five years, peacefully, amiably, and honorably ruled the kingdom that had been intrusted to him; and it was to the great grief of his princes, bishops, and all his people, that he went the way of all flesh leaving the government of his earthly kingdom, he began to be a partaker of the other.
2 He was buried near his brother in Sherborne, where he awaits the comfort of a future resurrection.
In the following year, that is 866, which was the 18th since the birth of Elfred, Ethelred the brother of Ethelbyrt king of the West-Saxons, undertook the government of
the kingdom. In the same year a great fleet of pagans from Danubia entered the borders of Britain, and so wintered on the kingdom of the Eastern-Anglia, which is called in the Saxon tongue East-angle, and there the large army became cavalry, riding and scouring here and there, carrying off an enormous booty, and sparing neither men nor women, widows nor maids.
In these days the prince Elfred began with sweet meditation to be imbued with