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Ceolneth thought, and also said to those who were with him, 'As soon as God shall give peace in this land, either these priests shall be monks, or from elsewhere I will place within the minister as many monks as may do the service of themselves for God knows that I . . . .
A. 871. This year the army came to Reading in Wessex; and three days after this, two of their earls rode forth Then Ethelwulf the ealdorman met them at Englefield, an: there fought against them, and got the victory: and there one of them, whose name was Sidrac, was slain. About three days after this, king Ethelred and Alfred his brother led a large force to Reading, and fought against the army, and there was great slaughter made on either hand. And Ethelwulf the ealdorman was slain, and the Danish-men had possession of the place of carnage. And about four days after this, king Ethelred and Alfred his brother fought against the whole army at Ashdown; and they were in two bodies in the one were Bagsac and Halfdene the heathen kings, and in the other were the earls. And then king Ethelred fought against the division under the kings, and there king Bagsac was slain; and Alfred his brother against the division under the earls, and there earl Sidrac the elder was slain, earl Sidrac the younger, and earl Osbern, and earl Frene, and earl Harold; and both divisions of the army were put to flight, and many thousands slain : and they continued fighting until night. And about fourteen days after this, king Ethelred and Alfred his brother fought
As this portion of the text is slightly defective, the Latin narrative is subjoined Cum autem venisset Cantuariam, statim cogitare cœpit quomodo possit ejicere clericos de ecclesia Christi, quos Ceolnothus pro tali necessitate compulsus ibi posuit. Primo igitur anno ordinationis suæ tanta mortalitas facta est in ecclesia Christi, ut de tota congregatione monachorum non remanerent nisi quinque. Qua de causa quia ita subito non potuit invenire tot monachos qui ibi servitium Dei facere possent, ex simplicitate cordis præcepit capellanis clericis suis, ut essent cum eis usque quod Deus pacificaret terram, quæ tunc nimis erat turbata propter nimias tempestates bellorum. Accepit etiam de villis suis presbyteros, ut essent cum monachis, ita tamen ut monachi semper haberent dominatum super clericos. Cogitavit idem archiepiscopus et sæpe suis dixit, quia statim cum Deus pacem nobis dederit, aut isti clerici monachi fier.t, aut ego ubicumque monachos inveniam quos reponam. Scit enim Deus, inquit quod aliter facere non possum. Sed nunquam temporibus suis pax fuit in Anglia, et ideo reman serunt clerici cum monachis, nec ullo tempore fuit ecclesia sine monachis Sed nec iste Æthelredus archiepiscopus potuit facere.
against the army at Basing, and there the Danes <btained the victory. And about two months after this, king Ethelred and Alfred his brother fought against the army at Marden; and they were in two bodies, and they put both to flight, and during a great part of the day were victorious; and there was great slaughter on either hand; but the Danes had possession of the place of carnage: and there bishop Heahmund* was slain, and many good men and after this battle there came a great army in the summer to Reading. And after this, over Easter, king Ethelred died; and he reigned five years and his body lies at Winburn-minster.
Then Alfred the son of Ethelwulf, his brother, succeeded to the kingdom of the West-Saxons. And about one month
after this, king Alfred with a small band fought against the whole army at Wilton, and put them to flight for a good part of the day; but the Danes had possession of the place of carnage. And this year nine general battles were fought against the army in the kingdom south of the Thames, besides which, Alfred the king's brother, and single ealdormen, and king's thanes, oftentimes made incursions on them, which were not counted and within the year nine earls and one king were slain. And that year the WestSaxons made peace with the army.
A. 871. And the Danish-men were overcome and they had two heathen kings, Bagsac and Halfdene, and many earls; and there was king Bagsac slain, and these earls; Sidrac the elder, and also Sidrac the younger, Osbern, Frene, and Harold; and the army was put to flight.
A. 872. This year the army went from Reading to London, and there took up their winter-quarters: and then the Mercians made peace with the army.
A. 873. This year the army went into North-humbria, and took up their winter-quarters at Torksey in Lindsey: and then the Mercians made peace with the army.
A. 874. This year the army went from Lindsey to Repton, and there took up their winter-quarters, and drove king Burhred over sea about twenty-two years after he had obtained the kingdom; and subdued the whole country: and Burhred went to Rome, and there remained; and his body lies in St. Mary's church at the English school. And that same year they committed the kingdom of the Mercians te
the keeping of Ceolwulf, an unwise king's-thane; and he swore oaths to them, and delivered hostages that it should be ready for them on whatever day they would have it, and that he would be ready both in his own person and with all who would follow him, for the behoof of the army.
A. 875. This year the army went from Repton: and Halfdene went with some of the army into North-humbria, and took up winter-quarters by the river Tyne. And the army subdued the land, and oft-times spoiled the Picts, and the Strathclyde Britons. And the three kings, Gothrun, and Oskytel, and Anwind, went with a large army from Repton to Cambridge, and sat down there one year. And that summer king Alfred went out to sea with a fleet, and fought against the forces of seven ships, and one of them he took, and put the rest to flight.
A. 876. This year the army stole away to Wareham, a fortress of the West-Saxons. And afterwards the king made peace with the army; and they delivered to the king hostages from among the most distinguished men of the army; and then they swore oaths to him on the holy ring, which they never before would do to any nation, that they would speedily depart his kingdom. And notwithstanding this, that part of the army which was horsed stole away by night from the fortress to Exeter. And that year Halfdene apportioned the lands of North-humbria: and they thenceforth continued ploughing and tilling them. This year Rolla overran Normandy with his army, and he reigned fifty
A. 876. And in this same year the army of the Danes in England swore oaths to king Alfred upon the holy ring, which before they would not do to any nation; and they delivered to the king hostages from among the most distinguished men of the army, that they would speedily depart from his kingdom; and that by night they broke.
A. 877. This year the army came to Exeter from Wareham; and the fleet sailed round westwards: and then a great storm overtook them at sea, and there one hundred and twenty ships were wrecked at Swanwich. And king Alfred with his forces rode after the army which was mounted, as far as Exeter; and they were unable to overtake them before they were within the fortress, where they could not be come at. And they there delivered to him hostages
as many as he would have, and swore many oaths: and then they observed the peace well. And afterwards, during harvest, the army went into Mercia, and some part of it they apportioned, and some they delivered to Ceolwulf.
A. 878. This year, during midwinter, after twelfth night, the army stole away to Chippenham, and overran the land of the West-Saxons, and sat down there; and many of the people they drove beyond sea, and of the remainder the greater part they subdued and forced to obey them, except king Alfred and he, with a small band, with difficulty retreated to the woods and to the fastnesses of the moors. And the same winter the brother of Hingwar and of Halfdene came with twenty-three ships to Devonshire in Wessex; and he was there slain, and with him eight hundred and forty men of his army: and there was taken the war-flag which they called the RAVEN. After this, at Easter king Alfred with a small band constructed a fortress at Athelney; and from this fortress, with that part of the men of Somerset which was nearest to it, from time to time they fought against the army. Then in the seventh week after Easter he rode to Brixton, on the east side of Selwood; and there came to meet him all the men of Somerset, and the men of Wiltshire, and that portion of the men of Hampshire which was on this side of the sea; and they were joyful at his presence. On the following day he went from that station to Iglea [Iley], and on the day after this to Heddington, and there fought against the whole army, put them to flight, and pursued them as far as their fortress: and there he sat down fourteen days. And then the army delivered to him hostages, with many oaths, that they would leave his kingdom, and also promised him that their king should receive baptism: and this they accordingly fulfilled. And about three weeks after this king Gothrun came to him, with some thirty men who were of the most distinguished in the army, at Aller, which is near Athelney: and the king was his godfather at baptism; and his chrism-loosing* was at Wedmore and he was twelve days with the king; and he greatly honoured him and his companions with gifts.
A. 879. This year the army went to Cirencester from * Apparently the removal of the fillet which, covering the chrism CD the forehead, was bound round the head at confirmation.
Chippenham, and sat there one year. And that year a body of pirates drew together, and sat down at Fulham on the Thames. And that same year the sun was eclipsed during one hour of the day.*
A. 880. This year the army went from Cirencester to East Anglia, and settled in the land, and apportioned it. And that same year the army, which previously had sat down at Fulham, went over sea to Ghent in France, and sat there one year.
A. 881. This year the army went further into France, and the French fought against them: and then was the army there horsed after the battle.
A. 882. This year the army went up along the banks of the Maese far into France, and there sat one year. And that same year king Alfred went out to sea with his ships, and fought against the forces of four ships of Danish men, and took two of the ships, and the men were slain that were in them; and the forces of two ships surrendered to him, and they were sorely distressed and wounded before they surrendered to him.
A. 883. This year the army went up the Scheldt to Condé, and sat there one year. And Marinus the pope then sent 'lignum Domini' to king Alfred; and that same year Sighelm and Athelstan carried to Rome the alms which the king had vowed to send thither, and also to India, to St. Thomas and to St. Bartholomew, when they sat down against the army at London; and there, thanks be to God, they largely obtained the object of their prayer after the vow.
A. 884. This year the army went up the Somme to Amiens, and there sat one year. This year the benevo lent bishop Ethelwold died.
A. 885. This year the fore-mentioned army divided itself into two; the one part went eastward, the other part
The eclipse happened on the 14th of March, 880.
The account of the death of Ethelwold bishop of Winchester, here inserted in MS. F., is anticipated a century by the carelessness of the scribe: the name of his successor in the Latin puts this beyond all doubt. See A. 98
Asser omits tne events of A. 884 of the Chronicie, and places those of 885 under that year. At any rate the foreign transactions are rightly so place