Page images


Saron Chronicle

Ethelwerd 851 3 And the same year came The same year also a great 3 That year was not yet three hundred and fifty ships army of the pagans came finished, when a large fleet of to Thames-mouth, and the with three hundred and fifty pagans came, with 350 ships, crews landed and broke into ships to the mouth of the to the mouth of the river Canterbury and London, and river Thames, and sacked Thames, commonly called put to flight Beorhtwulf king Dorubernia, $ which is the Thames-mouth, and destroyof the Mercians with his city of the Cantuarians, [and ed the city of Canterbury army.

also the city of London, *] and the city of London, and which lies on the north bank put to flight Beornulf king of of the river Thames, on the Mercia, having defeated his confines of Essex and Mid

army. dlesex; but yet that city $ Canterbury was called Deruben- belongs in truth to Essex"; NIA, i. e. Dover, in the earlier part and they put to flight Beorh- occur in Asser, but it is evident that of the Saxon History. tulf, king of Mercia, with they have been omitted by the copy

ist; for the descriptive words wHICH all the army, which he had led out to oppose them.

not apply to Canterbury.

* The words in brackets do not



[ocr errors]

4 And then went south over
After these things, the same

4 After the battle they the Thames into Surrey; and army of pagans went into returned beyond the river there king Æthelwulf and his Surrey, which is Thames towards the south, son Æthelbald, with the army a districtsituated on the through the province of Surof the West-Saxons, fought south bank of the river rey, and there king Athulf against them Aclea Thames, and to the west of with the Western Angles met (Ockley], and there made Kent. And Æthelwulf, king them: an immense number the greatest slaughter among of the Saxons, and his son was slain on both sides, nor the heathen army that we

been written
battles which

before the terrible
Alfred afterwards

Æthelbald, with all their have we ever heard of a more have heard tell of unto the army, fought a long time severe battle before that day : present dayll, and there got against them at a place called these things happened near the victory. Ac-lea, i. e. the Oak-plain,

Aclea Wood. and there, after a lengthened || This must, apparently, have battle, which was fought with

much bravery on both sides, fought against the Danes at Ash

the greater part of the pagan down, and Eddington. multitude was destroyed and

ANNALS. 851. The Normans enter cut to pieces, so that we never heard of their being so slaughtered, either before or

since, in any country, in one
CHARTERS 1N851, BERTWOLP day; and the Christians
king of Mercia, Friday, March 27. II,
36.° 2. Another of BERTWOLP, II, gained an honourable victory,

and were triumphant over
the place of death.

INGULF states that there was a
severe disease in 851, prevalent over
all England, which withered the
limbs of men, women, and children,

and was similar to the palsy. The Annals have " Athelstan son of King Adhewlf." He was king of the eastern subject kingdom of Kent, Essex, and Sussex.

the Seine.


Some call him brother of Ethelwolf.

1 Also in the same year 1 And the same year king In the same year king Æthel- king Athelstan and duke Æthelstan and alderman

stan and earl Ealhere slew a Ealhere fought against the Ealchere fought on ship- large army of the pagans in army of the above-mentioned board, and cut off a large Kent, at a place called Sand- nation in the province of army at Sandwich in Kent, wich, and took nine ships of Kent, near the town of Sandand took nine ships, and put their fleet; the others escap- wich, where they slew many the others to flight. ed by flight.

of them, put their troops to flight, and took nine ships,


851 Florence


Simeon The same year also a great 1 Adelwlf, in the 16th year in the same year a great army of the pagans came of his reign, and Edelbald army,


pagans came with with three hundred and fifty his son, having assembled 350 ships into the mouth of ships to the mouth of the all their forces, fought with the river Thames. Who laid river Thames, and sacked

a great army, which with waste Dornberria,i.e. the city Dorubernia, which is the 250 ships had put in at of the Kentish men, and put city of the Cantuarians, and Thames-mouth and

to flight Berhtulf king of the also the city of London, powered those illustrious Mercians with all his army, which lies on the north bank cities, famous through so who had come to do battle of the river Thames, on the many years, namely London, against them. confines of Essex and Mid- and Canterbury, and defeated dlesex; but yet that city and put to flight Britwlf belongs in truth to Essex'; king of Mercia, with his and they put to flight Beorht- army, who never afterwards UI: uulf king of Mercia with throve again; all his army, which he had

led out to oppose them.


[ocr errors]



After these things, the same 3 And enter

After this the Danes became army of pagans went into ing Surrey, they met the more bold, and all their army Surrey, which is

royal squadrons at Achlea. was drawn together in Surrey. a district situated on the There was fought, therefore, which the warlike Ethelwlf south bank of the river between those large armies king of the Saxons hearing, Thames, and to the west of so great and so

both he and his son Ethelbald Kent. And Ætheluulf, king battle, as no one before had with him collected a large of the West-Saxons, and his

ever heard to have been army in a place which is son Æthelbald, with all their fought in England. You called Aclea, that is, in the army, fought a long time might then have seen warrior field of the oak. And against them at a place called men fall on both sides like a

when the pride of the EnAc-lea, i. e. the Oak-plain, crop of corn, and streams of glish nation shone with and there, after a fierce blood roll with them the glancing arms, the English battle, which was fought with heads and limbs of the slain. fought a very long time with much bravery on both sides, But would it not be too great the Danes ; bravely striving the greater part of the pagan and wearying prolixity to against them, because they multitude was destroyed and describe each particular ? saw that their king fought cut to pieces, so that we

God gave the fortune of the fiercely, therefore they benever heard of their being so battle to those who believed came braver than their enslaughtered, either before or in him, and unutterable an

emies in war. And when since, in any country, in one guish to those who des- they had manfully striven for day; and the Christians pised him. King Adelwlf

a very long tiine, and both gained an honourable victory, then was the glorious victor. sides fought with much and were triumphant over

sharpness and spirit, the the place of death.

greatest part of the Pagan throng was thoroughly cut off and slain, so that never in any land, in one day, before

or after, did so many fall.

The Christians however on * Simeon prefixes ANNO DOMINICÆ that same day honourably

gained the victory and were graph, but the other chroniclers are against himu.

masters of the field of death, giving thanks to the Lord in

hymns and confessions. In the same year king Æthel- 4 The same year Edelstan, * King Ethelstan and earl Ealhere slew a king of Kent, and duke Eal- stan and earl Alchere found large army of the pagans in here, fought a naval battle a great army of the pagans Kent, at a place called Sand- against the Danes at Sand- in Kent in a place which is wich, and took nine ships of wich, and having made a called At Sandwich ; † whom

great slaughter of the enemy, + AT SANDWICH : a customary

INCARNATIONIS 852 to this para

Saxon idiom.

Saron Chronicle




A. 852. Here at this time Ceolred abbat of Medeshamstede and the monks let to Wulfred the land of Sempin- * Thls local notice of MEDESHAMgaham, on this condition, that after his decease the land STEAD, i. e. PETERBOROUGH, occurs

in only one MS. of the Saxon Chroshould return to the minster, and that Wulfred should give nicle, which was probably written by the land of Sliowaford (SLEAFORD] to Medeshamstede, and a monk of that abbey. each year should deliver into the minster sixty fother of wood, and twelve fother of coal, and six fother of faggots, and two tuns full of pure ale, and two beasts fit for

abbat of Peterborough, subscribed by slaughter, and six hundred loaves, and ten measures of BURGRED king of Mercia &c. II, 46.

This Charter is partly the same as Welsh ale, and each year a horse, and thirty shillings, and one day's entertainment. At this agreement were present under this year. king Burhred, and archbishop Ceolred, and bishop Tunberht, king of Mercia, II, 47. and bishop Cenred and bishop Alhhun, and bishop Berhtred, and abbat Wihtred, and abbat Werhtherd, and alderman Æthelheard and alderman Hunberht, and many others.



the extract from the Saxon Chronicle



A. 853. Here Burhred king In the year of our Lord's

After three years of the Mercians and his incarnation 853, which was king Burhred asked assist• witan' begged of king the fifth of king Alfred, ance from king Ætheluulf Æthelwulf that he would Burgred, king of the Mer- to subdue the Northern assist him so that he might cians, sent messengers, and

make the North-Welsh obe- prayed Æthelwulf king of
dient to him,

the West-Saxons, to come
and help him in reducing the
nuidland Britons, who dwell
between Mercia and the
western sea, and who strug-
gled against him most im-

moderately. He then did so; and went

So without

He granted it, and with an army across Mercia delay, king Æthelwulf, hav, having collected his army, among the North-Welsh, and ing received the embassy, passed through the Mercian made them all obedient to moved bis army, and ad- kingdom to go against the him.

vanced with king Burghred Britons : whom he subdued
against Britain, and immedi- and made tributary.
diately on entering that
country, he began to ravage
it; and having reduced it
under subjection to king

Burghred, he returned home.
3 And upon this after Easter 4 In the same year also, after 3 The same year also after
Æthelwulf king of the West- Easter, Æthelwulf, king of Easter king Athulf gave his
Saxons gave his daughter * to the West-Saxons, gave bis daughter in marriage to king
Burgred king of Mercia. daughter to Burgred, king of

the Mercians, to be queen,
* Her name was Ethelswith.

and the marriage was cele-
brated royally at the royal

vill of Chippenham.

853 Florence
their fleet; the others esca-

ped by flight.


Simeon took nine of their ships; but they almost cut off in the same the others fled. place, God granting them

help, and seized nine of their ships : the rest struck with

terror escaped by flight. 6 This year, therefore, was fortunate for the English


852. Beorhtuulf, king of the 2 To whom (BerTwoLF] sucMercians, departed this life, ceeded Burrhed on the throne to whom Burhred succeeded

of Mercia. in the kingdom.






Adelwlf, in the 18th year in the year of our Lord's Burhred, king of the Mer- of his reign, most powerfully incarnation 853, of the birth

cians, by messengers, helped Burhred to subdue of Alfred 5, Burhred king prayed Ætheluulf king of under his rule the North of the Mercians sent mesthe West-Saxons, to


sengers, and begged Ethelwlf and help him in reducing the

king of the West Saxons to midland Britons, who dwell

bring him help in order that between Mercia and the

he might be able to subdue western sea, and who strug- CHARTERS IN 853.

under his dominion the gled against him most im- kinge de nyesse xex subscribed in by midland Britons who dwell

CIALNOTHUS moderately.

gratia archiepiscopus, between Mercia and the others, among whom we find “Ego

Western Sea, who often ELFRED fili regis consensi et 'subscripsi." II, 48.

strove against him. So without

But King Ethelwlf, having delay, king Ætheluulf, hav

received his embassy, moved ing received the embassy, relates, under this year, a legend and bravely went forth with

an army, distributed pay, moved his army, and ad- concerning the terrible death and vanced with king Burhred damnation of a witch; also the fate king Burhred to war. against Britain, and immedi

Presently when he had begun ately entering that

to lay waste that nation, country, he began to ravage



of Charles Martel.


he took, slew, and subdued it; and having reduced it

it to king Burhred, who give under subjection to king

ing thanks sent him away Burhred, he returned home.

with joy to return to his own


3 In the same year also, after And gave him his daughter 3 The same year after the Easter, Ætheluulf, king of

in marriage.

feast of Christ's holy resurthe West-Saxons, gave his

rection, king Ethelwlf, of daughter to Burhred, king of

glorious power, gave his

, the Mercians, and the mar

daughter, with great glory, riage was celebrated royally

as it is customary for kings, at the royal vill of Chippen

to Burhred king of the Merham.

cians, at the vill which is called At Chippenham ;

Saron Thronicle


Ethelwerd 853





? And the same year king 1 In the same year, king 1 In the same year king Æthelwulf sent his



Atheluulf sent his son Alfred Ælfred to Rome. Leo was Ælfred, above-named, to Rome in the days of our then pope of Rome, and he Rome, with an honourable lord pope Leo, who conseconsecrated him king, and escort both of nobles and crated him king and named took him for his son at con- commoners. Pope Leo (the him his son in baptism, as firmation. *

FOURTH) at that time presided we are accustomed to name

over the apostolic see, who little children, when
See note * in page 18.

ordained and anointed for receive them from the
king the aforesaid child Æl- bishop's hand.
fred, and confirmed him,
receiving him as his son of

adoption. 2 Then, in the same year, 2 The same year also, earl 2 In the same year were Ealhere, with the men of Kent, Ealhere, with the men of fought battles in the isle of and Huda, with the men of Kent, and Huda with the Thanet against the pagans ; Surrey, fought in Thanet men of Surrey, fought bravely and there was a great slauagainst the heathen army; and resolutely against an ghter made on both sides, and at first they were vic- army of the pagans, in the and many were drowned in torious; and many there island, which is called in the

the sea. were slain, and drowned on Saxon tongue, Tenet, [THAeither hand, and both the NET], but Ruim in British. alderman were killed. 3 And at first the Christians

had the victory, but when the battle was protracted to a great length, many fell on both sides, and also were drowned in the water ; and both the earls were there


A. 854.

CHARTERS IN 854. 1. ETHELWOLF, king of Wessex, subscribed also by Alstan, “ Æthred fili. reg. and " Ælfred fili. reg." II, 50. This is the celebrated grant of tithes : it

is dated April 22. 2. Another copy of
the same charter follows, p. 52, in
which the names of Ethelred and
Alfred do not appear. Both copies
bear the subscription of the
celebrated Swithun bishop of
Winchester, and Alstan bishop of

Sherborne. 3

ETHELWOLP, April 23. 4. ETHELWOLF, subscribed also by “ ÆTHELRED filius regis, and “ ÆLFRED filius regis," II, 55. 5. BERTWOLF of Mercia, no date,

II, 55.

A. 855. Here the heathen In the year of our Lord's After a year the
men first sat over winter in incarnation 855, which was pagans wintered in Sheppey.

the seventh after the birth of
the aforesaid king, the great
army of the pagans passed
the whole winter in the afore-

said isle of Sheppey. And the same year king In the same year the afore- In the same year king Æthelwulf gave by charter said venerable king Æthel- Athulf gave the tenth of the tenth part of his land wulf released the tenth part all his possessions to be the throughout his realm for the of all his kingdom from all Lord's portion, and glory of God and his own royal service and tribute, and appointed it to be in all the eternal salvation. with a pen never to be for- government of his kingdom. gotten, offered it up to God


INGULP places the grant of tithes the One and the Three in in 855, after the return of Ethelwolr

from Rome: but, if he started for One, in the cross of Christ,

Rome in 855, and stayed there

12 for the redemption of his months, it is certain that he returned own soul and of his prede- in 856, and consequently, if the grant

was made in 855, it must have been

Ethelwolf married Judith on the 1st of October

856. (BOUQUET, vii, 72 ]


made before he started.

« PreviousContinue »