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together, they followed after the army to Buttington on the bank of the Severn, and there beset them on every side in a fastness. When they had sat there many weeks on the two sides of the river, and the king was west in Devon against the naval force, they were distressed for want of food, and had eaten a great part of their horses, and the others had died of hunger; they then went out to the men who were encamped on the east side of the river, and fought against them, and the Christians had the victory. And there was Ordheh, a king's thane, slain, and also many other king's thanes were slain ; and of the Danish there was a very great slaughter made; and the part that came away then was saved by flight. When they came into Essex to their work and to their ships, the remnant gathered again a great army from the East Angles and from the Northumbrians, before winter, and committed their wives and their ships and their chattels to the East Angles, and went at one stretch, by day and night, until they arrived at a desolated city in Wirrall, which is called Legaceaster (Chester). Then could the force not overtake them before they were within the work; they however beset the work from without for two days, and took all the cattle which was there without, and slew the men that they might intercept outside of the work, and burned all the corn, and with their horses consumed it on every plain. And that was a twelvemonth after they had come over sea hither.

An. DCCC.XCV. And then soon after that, in this year, the army went from Wirrall, because they could not abide there, into Wales; that was because they had been deprived both of the cattle and of the corn which they had obtained by plunder. When they had again wended out of North Wales with the booty which they

had there taken, they went over Northumberland and East Anglia, so that the (king's) force could not reach them, until they came into the eastward part of the East Saxons' land, to an island that is out in the sea, which is called Mersey. And when the army which had beset Exeter again turned homewards, they harried on the South Saxons near Chichester, and the townsfolk put them to flight and slew many hundreds of them, and took some of their ships. Then, in the same year, before winter, the Danish who sat in Mersey towed their ships up the Thames and then up the Lea. This was two years after they had come over the sea hither.

An. DCCC.XCVI. In the same year the forementioned army had wrought a work on the Lea, twenty miles above London. Then, in the summer after, a great number of the townspeople, and also of the other folk, went until they came to the Danish work, and were there put to flight, and some four king's thanes slain. Then afterwards, during harvest, the king encamped in the neighbourhood of the town, while the people reaped their corn, so that the Danish might not deprive them of the crop. Then one day the king rode up by the river and observed where the river might be obstructed so that they might not bring out their ships. And they then did so; they wrought two works on the two sides of the river. When they had actually begun the work, and had encamped thereby, then the army perceived that they could not bring out their ships. They then abandoned them and went over land, until they arrived at Quatbridge (Bridge). That was three years after they had come hither over sea to the mouth of the Limen.


Then the summer after, in this

year, the army went, some to East Anglia, some to Northumbria; and they who were moneyless got themselves ships, and went south over sea to the Seine. Thanks be to God, the army had not utterly broken up the Angle race; but they were much more broken, in those three years, by a mortality of cattle and men; most of all thereby, that many of the king's most excellent thanes that were in the land died in those three years of these one was Swithulf, bishop of Rochester, and Ceolmund, ealdorman of Kent, and Beorhtulf, ealdorman of the East Saxons, and Wulfred, ealdorman of Hampshire, and Ealhheard, bishop of Dorchester, and Eadulf, a king's thane in Sussex, and Beornulf, wick-reeve at Winchester, and Ecgulf, the king's horse-thane, and many also besides these, although I have named the most eminent. In the same year the armies from the East Angles and Northumbrians harassed the West Saxons' land very much, on the south coast, by predatory bands; (though) most of all by the longships (aescas), which they had built many years before. Then king Aelfred commanded long-ships to be built against them, which were full nigh twice as long as the others; some had sixty oars, some more; they were both swifter and steadier, and also higher than the others; they were shapen neither as the Frisian nor as the Danish, but as it seemed to himself that they might be most useful. Then on a certain time in the same year there came six ships to Wight, and did there much evil, both in Devon and elsewhere on the seashore.

Then the king commanded (his men) to go thither with nine of the new ships and they blockaded against them the mouth into the outer sea. They then went with three ships out against them, and three lay high

up in the mouth, in the dry: the men were gone off on shore. They then took two of the three ships at the outward mouth, and slew the men, and the one escaped, in which also the men were killed, save five, who came away because the ships of the others were aground. They were also aground very inconveniently; three were aground on the side of the deep on which the Danish ships were aground, and all the others on the other side, so that not one of them could get to the others. But when the water had ebbed many furlongs from the ships, then the Danish went from the three ships to the other three which had been left by the ebb on their side, and they then fought there. There were slain Lucumon the king's reeve, and Wulfhard the Frisian, and Aebbe the Frisian, and Aethelhere the Frisian, and Aethelferth the king's companion, and of all the men, Frisian and English sixty-two, and of the Danish a hundred and twenty. But then the flood came to the Danish ships before the Christians could shove theirs out; and they therefore rowed away out; they were then so damaged that they could not row round the South Saxons' land, for there the sea cast two of them on land, 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 one ship came to East Anglia sorely wounded. In the same summer no less than twenty ships, with men and everything perished on the south coast. In the same year died Wulfric the king's horse-thane, who was also Welsh-reeve.

An. DCCCC.I. In this year died Aelfred son of Athulf (Aethelwulf), six nights before All-hallowmass (Oct. 26th). He was king over all the Angle race, except part that was under the dominion of the Danes; and he

held the kingdom one year and a half less than thirty And then Edward his son succeeded to the



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(Discovered near Athelney in 1693. It bears the inscription:
AELFRED MEC HEHT GEWYRCAN, i.e. Alfred had me made)


[Rolls Series]

Alfred, as great in peace as in war, organised the government and drew up a code of laws from which the passages collected in this section are excerpts.

I, then, Alfred, king, gathered these dooms together, and commanded many of those to be written which our forefathers held, those which to me seemed good; and many of those which seemed to me not good I rejected, by the counsel of my "witan," and in otherwise commanded them to be holden; for I durst not venture to set down in writing much of my own, for it was unknown to me what of it would please those who should come after us. But those things which I met with, either of the days of Ine my kinsman, or of Offa

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