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In the year 893
Afterwards that great army The naval and equestrian returned into England with army of the pagans, leaving all their things in 250 ships East Thames went to Bononia to the fort of Limene; which and crossing thence with port is in the eastern part of their horses in 250 ships to Kent near the great wood of Kent, came to land at the Andredeslaige, which conmouth of the river Limen, tains 120 miles in length and which flows out of the great 30 in breadth. Landing from wood named Andred. They their ships, they built a drew their vessels up into the castle at Awldre. 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.
CHARTERS IN 893. None.
And not long after the pagan In the meantime Hasteng king Hæsten with 80 vessels came with 80 ships to the entered the mouth of the port of the Thames, and Thames, and built for himself made a camp at Middletune a fortress at a royal vill called
CHARTERS IN 894. None.
894. The pagans, who inhabited
2 In the year 894 1 The East Saxons and Northumbrians gave hostages,
Ethelwerd 894 the eastern district, the Northhumbrians and the East-Angles had given oaths to king Alfred, and the East-Angles six hostages; and neverthe- After the Easter of that year. less, contrary to their plighted troth, as oft as the other the army which had come armies went out with all their force, they also went out, from Gaul leave their camp, either with them or on their own part.
and trace the intricacies of a On this king Ælfred gathered together his forces,
certain immense wood, which and proceeded until he encamped between the two armies, is called Andredessuda, and as near as he could for the wood fastnesses and the water they extended as far as the fastnesses, so that he might be able to reach either of Western Angles. them in case they should seek any open country.
Slowly as they go, they From this time the enemy always went out along the ravage the adjoining proweald in bands and troops, by whichever border was at vinces, Hampshire and Berkthe time without forces : and they also were sought out by
shire: other bands, almost every day, either by day or night, These things were told to the as well from the king's force as also from the burgs.
heir Edward, son of king The king had divided his forces into two, so that one Alfred, who had been exerhalf was constantly at home, the other half in the field ; cising himself in the southern besides those whose duty it was to defend the burgs.
parts of England. The army did not come out of their stations with their And twice in the year they whole force oftener than twice: once when they first counted the spoil which they came to land, before the forces were assembled; a had obtained by fraud, in the second time when they would go away from their stations. land which borders on the
southern bank of the Thames.
The filthy crew which were 7 Not long after he made then in possession of the another on the north side of East Angles, suddenly rethe Thames, at a place called moved to
a place called Beanfleot.
Bamfleet; Then had they taken much 9 The beginning of the reign and there the allied band booty, and would at that of king Charles the boy: his divided; some of them retime go northward over the
knight was Hagano.
mained, and some of them Thames into Essex towards 10 That same year the city of
went beyond the sea. their ships. Then the king's York taken by the After this they reach the forces outrode and got before Normans; but bishop Şeba Western Angles, who meet them, and fought against
by God's help escaped. them with threatening arms them at Farnham, and put 11 This year also, Alfred king and dense array at Farnham. the army to flight, and retook of the West Saxons fought They exult, freed by the the booty; and they fled against the Northmen at arrival of the prince, like over the Thames where there Fearnhame. He cut them to sheep under the protection was no ford ; then up along pieces, and wounded their of the shepherd; the tyrant
the Colne into an island. king, and put them to flight is wounded, and his troops Then the forces there beset and took much spoil from
are driven across the river them about so long as they them and they were compell- Thames into the northern there had any provisions : ed to pass beyond the river
countries. but at length they had stayed Thames into Essex; but Meanwhile, the Danes are their term of service, and many of them perished in the held besieged in Thorney had consumed their provi
isle. sions; and the king was then
Earl Ethered, setting out way thitherwards with
from the city of London, lent the division which warred
his aid to the prince. under him.
The barbarians asked peace While he was on his way
and a treaty: hostages are thither, and the other force
given, they promise by oath was gone homewards, and
to leave the kingdom of the the Danish-men remained
aforesaid king; their words there behind, because their
and deeds agree together king had been wounded in
without delay. the battle, so that they could
Lastly, they set out for the not carry him away, then country of the East-Angles, formerly governed by the those who dwelt among the king Saint Edmund. And their ships fly round to them Northhumbrians and among from the Limnean port to Meresige a place in Kent.
Simeon Northumberland, made
and swore to be true to king solemn peace on oath with king Alfred : as also did Elfred against the aforesaid those who dwelt in East-Anglia, giving six hostages. pagans who had already But they broke the treaty, and, as often as the armies in come back to England. 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, az 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 ont together to plunder whilst they first began to live in those places.
1 But afterwards he took an
him in nothing.
Edred the other.
ful, built a camp at BeamBut this time they took a
fled. 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 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
Ethelwerd 894 the East-Anglians gathered But king Alfred heard that a In the course of the same some hundred ships and went large part of the pagan army, year, Hasten breaks away about south; and some forty which had been driven with his band from Bamfleet, ships about to the north, and thence, had gone by sea and and devastates all Mercia, besieged a fortress in Devon- sailed to Exeter ; wherefore until they arrive at the end shire by the north sea ; and he led with him his army of
of Britain. those who went about to the horse and foot-soldiers,
south besieged Exeter. and fighting sternly against When the king heard that, them, defeated them there then turned he westward and put them to flight. towards Exeter with all his force, except a very strong body of the people eastward.
These went onwards until Meanwhile, by command of they went to London ; and king Alfred, Adhered earl of then with the townsmen, and the Mercians, together with the aid which came to them the citizens of London, and In the same year Danaasuda, from the west, they went other prudent warriors with- in Beamfleote, was destroyed east to Beamfleet.
out number, came to Beam- by the people, and they Hæsten was then come there fleot, and besieged the for- divide the treasure among with his band which before tress of the pagans, broke into
them. sate at Middleton ; and the it, and gained there numbergreat army was also come less spoils in gold, silver, thereto, which before sate horses and garments. at Apuldre near Limene- Among which,
also, the mouth.
wife of Hasteng with his two The fortress at Beamfleet had
sons were led to London, and been ere this constructed by brought before king Alfred ; Hæsten, and he was at that whom the king at time gone out to plunder; ordered to be given up, and the great army was because her sons were, one therein.
of them son [GoD-son) of Then came they thereto, and king Alfred, the other ef put the army to flight, and
earl Adhered. stormed the fortress, and But, when Hasteng again took all that was within it, as
came to Beanfleat, he rebuilt well the property, as the wo- there the castle which had men, and the children also, been broken down. and brought the whole to London; and all the ships they either broke in pieces or burned, or brought to London or to Rochester; and they brought the wife of Hæsten and his two sons to the king: and he afterwards
After this, Sigeferth, the gave them up to him again,
pirate, lands from his fleet
Simeon him with them, remained 4 But a messenger came to there.
king Alfred saying, “A But king Alfred had not yet hundred ships are come from completed his march to Northumberland and Eastattack the enemy, when lo, Anglia, and are besieging news is brought that the
Exeter." 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 A pultreo, 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 And when he had gone out to Æthered the father of his plunder upon the king, the children.
king broke into the aforesaid A severe battle was therefore camp, and there took his fought with the pagans, and wife, and children, and the Christians, at the first money, and booty, and ships ; 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 but he gave back to Hasteng Haesten, at their father's his wife and
because request, but also gave him a
he was their god-father.