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Saron Chronicle


Ethelwerd 894 because one of them was his

in Northumbria, and twice godson, and the other Ethe

devastates the coast, after red's the alderman's.

which he returns home. They had become their godfathers before Hæsten came

In the course of one year to Beamfleet, and at that

• also, died Guthfrid, king of time Hæsten had delivered to him hostages and taken the Northumbrians, on the oaths : and the king had also given him many gifts; and birth-day of Christ's apostle, so likewise when he gave up the youths and the woman.

St Bartholomew, whose body But as soon as they came to Beamfleet, and the fortress is buried at York in the high was constructed, then plundered he that very part of the

church. king's realm which was in the keeping of Æthered his compater; and again, this second time, he had gone out to plunder that very same

The army, which was then in district when his fortress was

the eastern part of the stormed.

country, supplied them with Now the king with his forces

reinforcements, and the had turned westward towards

Northumbrian, in the same Exeter, as I said before, and Then he went to Sceobyrig,

way. the army had beset the and there built a very strong The illustrious duke Ethelm, burgh : but when he fortress, and was joined by with a squadron of cavalry, arrived there, then went they the army which had settled and duke Ethelnoth, with an to their ships.

at Apuldran.


of Western-Angles, While the king was thus

followed behind them, and busied with the army there,

Ethered, earl of the Mercians, in the west, and both thé And moreover a great multi- pressed after them with great other armies had drawn to- tude came to him from the

impetuosity. gether at Shoebury in Essex, East Angles and Northum- The youth of both people and there had constructed á brians ; who hastening up- join battle, and the Angles fortress, then both together wards beyond the river

obtain the victory, went up along the Thames, Thames, went plundering to

These things are said by and a great addition came to the bank of the river Severn, ancient writers to have been them, as well from the East- and there Buttington

done at Buttington, and the Anglians as from the North- built a strong tower. But soon

exertions of the Danes aphumbrians.

Adhered earl of the Mercians, peared futile; they again They then went up along the with the earls Eathelm and ratify peace, give hostages, Thames till they reached the Eathelmnoth, and also with and promise to leave that Severn; then up along the the other faithful servants of

part of the country. Severn.

the king, laid siege to the When two years were comThen Ethered the alderman, town on all sides, until food pleted, from the time that an and Æthelm the alderman, failed the pagans, so that

immense fleet came from and Æthelnoth the alder- they ate the flesh of their Boulogne to Limnæ a town man, and the king's-thanes horses, and, at last, compelled of the Angles, duke Ethelwho where then at home in by hunger, they go out to

noth set out from the western the fortified places, gathered battle against those who were

parts of the Angles, and goes forces from every town east on the eastern side of the from the city of York against of the Parret, and as well west


the enemy, who devastate no as east of Selwood, and also Many fell there on both sides, small tracts of land in the north of the Thames, and but, with God's help, the kingdom of the Mercians, west of the Severn, and also Christians gained the victory,

on the west of Stanford ; 1. some part of the North- and the Danes were put to

E. between the courses of Welsh people.

flight. They went back to the river Weolod and a thick East-Anglia, from whence

wood called Ceoftefne. When they had all drawn to- they had come. gether, then they came up with the army at Buttington 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 Whilst, therefore, the king Essex called Sceobyrig, and

is going thither, the army, built there for themselves a

that was at Awldre, invaded

Essex, and made a camp at strong fortress. Many of the pagans from

Scobrih. 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 And issuing thence, they king, whom he had left for went as far as Budingtune garrisons in the fortresses, near the Severn, and there towns and cities, not only on the eastern side of the Perrot, but also on the western side from which, however, they of Selwood, and not only on were driven out by force, the southern but also on the and fled to their camp in northern bank of the river

Essex. Thames, collect a numerous army against the enemy, to But those who had besieged which also was added an Exeter, hearing of the king's auxiliary force of Welshmen coming, fled to their ships, who lived on the western and stopped out at sea, plunbank of the Severn.


made a camp

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 894 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.

The aforesaid army of pagans
wintered in the island which

is called Mersey. A. 895.

A. 895. And then soon after that, in this year,


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 forementioned 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. A. 897. After this, in the summer of Hasteng, with the armies that this the year,

Ethelwolf. II, 127. broke up, adhered to him, in the 3rd

army some for East-Anglia, some year after they came to the for North-humbria , and they mouth of the river Thames who were moneyless procured and to the mouth of the river

CHARTERS IN 896. None.







897 Florence


Simeon intermission and enter the city of Legions, called in Saxon Legeceastre, at that time deserted, before the army of Ælfred 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. 895.

In the 23rd year of king The before-named army of Alfred, the Danes, who were



"Æthelredus dux

ALFRED, subscribed also by Pleg. the pagans, not having the in Leicester, went round

mund archbishop of Canterbury, of subsistence—for through North Wales and

Ethelbald of York,ninejother bishops, the Christians had taken Northumberland to Mersey, abbas." ** Eadredus comes," Ethel

"Grimbaldus sacerdos," - Johannes everything from them

an island in Essex. redus Gainorum dux," * Elswytha enter the land of the South

regina " and

Merciorum," II, 125. ern Britons, and devastating 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 But the army that had be- The aforesaid army which sufferings of his men afore- sieged Exeter, was caught besieged Exancestre, ravaged said, he [Alfred] reached plundering near Ciceastre, every thing round CissacesExeter, & the pagans terrified where they lost many of their tre. But not long after they at his coming, fled to their men, and lost some of their were put to the rout by those ships, and so returning to


who were in the city, many their seats, near the city which

of them were slain, and many is called in English Cissaceas

of their ships were taken. tre, in the province of the 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 In the following year, the army that was on the river Lee, their ships up the river made a camp near that same river, 20 miles from London. Thames, and afterwards up 1 And afterwards, in the winter, they drew their ships up the the river Ligea, and began Thames into the river Luye (Lea). to build for themselves a for- But the Londoners came to that camp, and fighting with tress near the river, 20 miles the Danes, slew 4 of their leaders, and Almighty God from London.

at a timely moment gave the victory to his true followers. In the summer-time, a great

When the Danes had fled into their camp, the king part of the citizens of Lon- caused the water of the Lea to be divided into three arms, don, and many from the that they might not be able to convey back their ships on neighbouring places, endea- it. The Danes, perceiving this, left their ships, and went as vour to destroy the fortress far as Quadruge near the Severn, and there made a camp, and which the pagans had made wintered on the spot : having sent their wives for safety into for themselves, but their re- East-Anglia. The king with his army pursued them. sistance was so great, that But the Londoners carried to London some of their ships the Christians are put to which they had left, and burnt the rest. flight and four of king Alfred'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.



Saron Chronicle


Ethelwerd 897 themselves ships there, and Limen, crossed the sea withwent southwards over sea to out gain and without honour, the Seine. Thanks be to God but, having lost many of his the army had not utterly companions, he put in at the broken down the English mouth of the river Seine. nation ; but during the three years was it much more broken down by the mortality which broke out among cattle and among men, and most of all by this, that many of the most eminent king's-thanes in the land died during the three years: some of whom were, Swithulf bishop of Rochester, and Ceolmund alderman of Kent, and Beorhtulf alderman of Essex, and Wulfred alderman of Hamtunshire, and Ealheard bishop of Dorchester, and Eadulf the king's-thane in Sussex, and Beornwulf the 'wic-reeve' at Winchester, and Ecgulf the king's horse-thane, and many also besides these, though I have named the most famous. That same year the armies from among the East-Anglians and from among the North-humbrians harassed the land of the West-Saxons, chiefly on the south coast, by predatory bands ; most of all by their óæses,' which they had built many years before. Then king Alfred commanded long ships to be built to oppose the æscs; they were full-nigh twice as long as the others; some had sixty oars, and some had more: they were both swifter and steadier, and also higher than the others. They were shapen neither like the Frisian nor the Danish, but so as it seemed to him that they would be most efficient. Then some time in the same year, there came six ships to Wight, and there did much harm, as well as in Devon, and elsewhere along the seacoast. Then the king commanded nine of the new ships to go thither, and they obstructed their passage from the port towards the outer sea. Then went they with three of their ships out against them; and three lay in the upper part of the port in the dry ; the men were gone from them ashore. Then took they two of the three ships at the outer part of the port, and killed the men, and the other ship escaped ; in that also the men were killed except five: they got away because the other ships were aground. They also were aground very disadvantageously : three lay aground on that side of the deep on which the Danish ships were aground, and all the rest upon the other side, so that no one of them could get to the others. But when the water had ebbed many furlongs from the ships, then the Danish-men went from their three ships to the other three which were left by the tide on their side, and then they there fought against them. There slain Lucumon the king's reeve, and Wulfheard the Frisian, and Æbbe the Frisian, and Æthelhere the Frisian, and Æthelferth the king's geneat, and of all the men, Frisians and English, seventy-two; and of the Danish-men one hundred and twenty. Then, however, the flood-tide came to the Danish ships before the Christians conld shove theirs off, and they therefore rowed them out: nevertheless, they were damaged to such a degree that they could not row round the Sussex land; and there the sea cast tw of them on shore, and the men were led to the king at Winchester ; and he commanded them to be there hanged : and the men who were in the single ship came to East-Anglia, sorely wounded. That same summer no less than twenty ships, with their crews, wholly perished upon the south coast. That same year died Wulfric, the king's horse-thane; he was also ‘Wealh-reeve.' A. 898.

An. 898.

Meanwhile, after four years In this year died Æthelm, The emperor Arnulf died, from the time that the abovealderman of Wiltshire, nine and Louis his son was raised named king died, there was days before midsummer

to be king.

a great discord among the [June 15]: and this year In the same year Rollo with English, because the foul died Heahstan, who his army besieged the city bands of the Danes still rebishop of London. of Chartres, but the bishop mained throughout Northof that same city, named



umberland. 1. King Walthelm, a most religious weard rex hanc regis donationem

man, called Richard duke of Burgundy and Ebal count of stabilito" and by others. II, 128. Poictiers to his help, and bearing in his hands the shift

of the blessed Virgin Mary, he drove back duke Rollo by
the divine will, and freed the city.

ALFRED, subscribed also "Ead-

A. 899.
FRITH, bishop of Winchester, II,

129. 2. Another of WERFRITI,
without a date, is at II, 131. 3.
A third, of King ALFRED, and sub-

scribed "Signum Ædwardi filii regis,"
at U, 130, has no date, but must
belong to some year about this time.

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