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whom they mingled. They brought with them not only an aptitude for civilization, but many of its elements; they have left to posterity indelible traces of their free spirit, their intelligence and their industry which it has been our business to follow. It cannot be thought, that the same men who in the century of Alfred the Great, colonized Iceland, founding there a free republic with wise laws and institutions, who thence prosecuted further important discoveries, and who made that northern isle a school from which the Scalds and Saga-writers sent forth a body of popular literature unrivalled by any nation of that or succeeding ages,-that the fellows of such men in the same century brought to England only their swords and their battle axes-brute strength and unmitigated barbarism.



The church of St Peter's, in the city of Oxford, is one of the oldest in England, and exhibits architectural remains of different ages, of much interest to the antiquary. Beneath it is an old and venerable crypt, commonly called Grimbald's crypt,' supposed to have been built by Grimbald in the reign of King Alfred the Great. Dr Ingram, in his Memorials of Oxford, gives the following account of it.

The Crypt, commonly called Grimbald's Crypt, after all the controversies and criticisms to which the name of Griymbold has given birth, still continues an interesting object of curiosity to antiquaries and architects; nor

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ome curious sculptures. The ...stone; which, according to since Henry III d's reign, be

is there any reason to doubt, that it was built before the Norman Conquest. In its general style, it very much resembles the vaulted crypt of Winchester Caedral; which is attributed to St Ethelwold; and the oldest part of Canterbury crypt, which is undoubtedly earlier than the time of Lanfranc. It contains two rows of short pillars, ranging from east to west, and two of square pilasters attached to the main walls. Each row consists of four pillars, the capitals of which are well executed, two being ornamented with vaulting is composed of semicircular arches of Hearne, was brought from an old qua. y, disu. hind South Hinksey. The prese. +, ince to the crypt is through a large buttress, which though of great age is obviously much more recent than the chancel. There are traces of two other entrances; one at the west end, and another on the north side; from the latter was a winding staircase, leading into the chancel above. Over one of the doors, which are square-headed, is a transom-stone having a semicircle c. ved upon it. At the east end there appears to have been an altar. The crypt is thirty-six feet long twenty feet ten inches wide, and nine feet high.

"The present crypt," adds Dr Ingram in a note "has been generally considered by those antiquaries who have paid the greatest attention to the "subject to be the original one here mentioned, and coeval with the foundation of St Neot's hall, the earliest on record, which was situated on the north side of the church; and there was discoved not long since a vaulted subterraneous passage, leading into the crypt in this direction, the doorway of which still remains."

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Notwithstanding the opinion of so able an antiquary as the author of the remarks just quoted, it has been held by others the style of architecture which presents itself in this crypt, is characteristic of an age la than that of king Alfred. The reader is referred to the p: ssage-probably an interpolation-in Asser's Life of Alfred, giver in pp. 94-96 of this volume. "The authenticity of this passage," says Dr Ingram, "has been much disputed, but it is of importance, even if considered as an early interpolation of the original work of Asser, whose death is recorded in the year 910 in the Saxon Chronicle. All the MSS. seem to be now lost. Spelman, Usher, and Stillingfleet argue against the passage: Twyne, Wood, Hearne and Wise support it. . . It is also to be observed, that from Twyne's commentary on the passage it appears there were copies of Asser extant, containing an account of the building of St Peter's church by St Grimbald, and its consecration by the bishop of Dorchestar "


Preface-page ix

Essays illustrative of England and the English in the time of king Alfred.


mony of the Chroniclers during the life of king 'red: A. D. 849-901-page 1

2. Sketch of the Anglo-Saxon Mint-129

3. Description of all the coins of king Alfred now remaining 137

4. A metrical English version of KING ALFRE POEMS, to illustrate Anglo-Saxon poetry in general-157

KING ALFRED'S PARLIAMENT at Shifford, a metrical fragment from the Anglo-Saxon, (otherwise called KING ALFRED'S PROVERBS)-249

5. History and Political state of Europe in the ninth century, the age of king Alfred the Great.-257

6. Description of king Alfred's jewel, with some obser

vations on the art of working in gold and silver among the Anglo-Saxons-327

7. The Danes: 1. Their warlike deeds and character, -3. Their religion.-4. Their polity.-5. Their love and mode of war.-6. Their manners, customs, and occupations.-7. Their arts and language-337 Regner Lodbrog's Death-song-376

8. KING ALFRED'S CHARTERS translated from the Latin and Anglo-Saxon originals in Kemble's Codex Diplomaticus Anglo-Saxonicus-379.


10. Tabular view of the decline and fall of the Heptarchy in the life-time of king Alfred-411

11. Domestic manners and habits of the Anglo-Saxons-413.

12. Traces of the Danes in England-493 13. Grimbald's Crypt-543

King Alfred's Jewel, to face the title. Seven plates of coins, to face pago 643.


Grimbald's Crypt, to face page 543.

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