The island Britain is 800
miles long, and 200 miles broad. And there are in the island five nations;
English, Welsh (or British) , Scottish, Pictish, and Latin. The first
inhabitants were the Britons, who came from Armenia , and first peopled
Britain southward. Then happened it, that the Picts came south from
Scythia, with long ships, not many; and, landing first in the northern
part of Ireland, they told the Scots that they must dwell there. But they
would not give them leave; for the Scots told them that they could not all
dwell there together; "But," said the Scots, "we can nevertheless give you
advice. We know another island here to the east. There you may dwell, if
you will; and whosoever withstandeth you, we will assist you, that you may
gain it." Then went the Picts and entered this land northward. Southward
the Britons possessed it, as we before said. And the Picts obtained wives
of the Scots, on condition that they chose their kings always on the
female side ; which they have continued to do, so long since. And it
happened, in the run of years, that some party of Scots went from Ireland
into Britain, and acquired some portion of this land. Their leader was
called Reoda , from whom they are named Dalreodi (or Dalreathians).
Sixty winters ere that
Christ was born, Caius Julius, emperor of the Romans, with eighty ships
sought Britain. There he was first beaten in a dreadful fight, and lost a
great part of his army. Then he let his army abide with the Scots , and
went south into Gaul. There he gathered six hundred ships, with which he
went back into Britain. When they first rushed together, Caesar's tribune,
whose name was Labienus, was slain. Then took the Welsh sharp piles, and
drove them with great clubs into the water, at a certain ford of the river
called Thames. When the Romans found that, they would not go over the
ford. Then fled the Britons to the fastnesses of the woods; and Caesar,
having after much fighting gained many of the chief towns, went back into
B.C. 60. Before the
incarnation of Christ sixty years, Gaius Julius the emperor, first of the
Romans, sought the land of Britain; and he crushed the Britons in battle,
and overcame them; and nevertheless he was unable to gain any empire
A.D. 1. Octavianus reigned
fifty-six winters; and in the forty-second year of his reign Christ was
born. Then three astrologers from the east came to worship Christ; and the
children in Bethlehem were slain by Herod in persecution of Christ.
A.D. 3. This year died
Herod, stabbed by his own hand; and Archelaus his son succeeded him. The
child Christ was also this year brought back again from Egypt.
A.D. 6. From the beginning
of the world to this year were agone five thousand and two hundred
A.D. 11. This year Herod
the son of Antipater undertook the government in Judea.
A.D. 12. This year Philip
and Herod divided Judea into four kingdoms.
A.D. 12. This year Judea
was divided into four tetrarchies.
A.D. 16. This year Tiberius
succeeded to the empire.
A.D. 26. This year Pilate
began to reign over the Jews.
A.D. 30. This year was
Christ baptized; and Peter and Andrew were converted, together with James,
and John, and Philip, and all the twelve apostles.
A.D. 33. This year was
Christ crucified; about five thousand two hundred and twenty six winters
from the beginning of the world.
A.D. 34. This year was St.
Paul converted, and St. Stephen stoned.
A.D. 35. This year the
blessed Peter the apostle settled an episcopal see in the city of Antioch.
A.D. 37. This year Pilate
slew himself with his own hand.
A.D. 39. This year Caius
undertook the empire.
A.D. 44. This year the
blessed Peter the apostle settled an episcopal see at Rome; and James, the
brother of John, was slain by Herod.
A.D. 45. This year died
Herod, who slew James one year ere his own death.
A.D. 46. This year
Claudius, the second of the Roman emperors who invaded Britain, took the
greater part of the island into his power, and added the Orkneys to rite
dominion of the Romans. This was in the fourth year of his reign. And in
the same year happened the great famine in Syria which Luke mentions in
the book called "The Acts of the Apostles". After Claudius Nero succeeded
to the empire, who almost lost the island Britain through his incapacity.
A.D. 46. This year the
Emperor Claudius came to Britain, and subdued a large part of the island;
and he also added the island of Orkney to the dominion of the Romans.
A.D. 47. This year Mark,
the evangelist in Egypt beginneth to write the gospel.
A.D. 47. This was in the
fourth year of his reign, and in this same year was the great famine in
Syria which Luke speaks of in the book called "Actus Apostolorum".
A.D. 47. This year
Claudius, king of the Romans, went with an army into Britain, and subdued
the island, and subjected all the Picts and Welsh to the rule of the
A.D. 50. This year Paul was
sent bound to Rome.
A.D. 62. This year James,
the brother of Christ, suffered.
A.D. 63. This year Mark the
evangelist departed this life.
A.D. 69. This year Peter
and Paul suffered.
A.D. 70. This year
Vespasian undertook the empire.
A.D. 71. This year Titus,
son of Vespasian, slew in Jerusalem eleven hundred thousand Jews.
A.D. 81. This year Titus
came to the empire, after Vespasian, who said that he considered the day
lost in which he did no good.
A.D. 83. This year
Domitian, the brother of Titus, assumed the government.
A.D. 84. This year John the
evangelist in the island Patmos wrote the book called "The Apocalypse".
A.D. 90. This year Simon,
the apostle, a relation of Christ, was crucified: and John the evangelist
rested at Ephesus.
A.D. 92. This year died
A.D. 110. This year Bishop
A.D. 116. This year Hadrian
the Caesar began to reign.
A.D. 145. This year Marcus
Antoninus and Aurelius his brother succeeded to the empire.
A.D. 167. This year
Eleutherius succeeded to the popedom, and held it fifteen years; and in
the same year Lucius, king of the Britons, sent and begged baptism of him.
And he soon sent it him, and they continued in the true faith until the
time of Diocletian.
A.D. 189. This year Severus
came to the empire; and went with his army into Britain, and subdued in
battle a great part of the island. Then wrought he a mound of turf, with a
broad wall thereupon, from sea to sea, for the defence of the Britons. He
reigned seventeen years; and then ended his days at York. His son
Bassianus succeeded him in the empire. His other son, who perished, was
called Geta. This year Eleutherius undertook the bishopric of Rome, and
held it honourably for fifteen winters. To him Lucius, king of the
Britons, sent letters, and prayed that he might be made a Christian. He
obtained his request; and they continued afterwards in the right belief
until the reign of Diocletian.
A.D. 199. In this year was
found the holy rood.
A.D. 283. This year
suffered Saint Alban the Martyr.
A.D. 343. This year died
A.D. 379. This year Gratian
succeeded to the empire.
A.D. 381. This year Maximus
the Caesar came to the empire. He was born in the land of Britain, whence
he passed over into Gaul. He there slew the Emperor Gratian; and drove his
brother, whose name was Valentinian, from his country (Italy). The same
Valentinian afterwards collected an army, and slew Maximus; whereby he
gained the empire. About this time arose the error of Pelagius over the
A.D. 418. This year the
Romans collected all the hoards of gold that were in Britain; and some
they hid in the earth, so that no man afterwards might find them, and some
they carried away with them into Gaul.
A.D. 423. This year
Theodosius the younger succeeded to the empire.
A.D. 429. This year Bishop
Palladius was sent from Pope Celesrinus to the Scots, that he might
establish their faith.
A.D. 430. This year
Patricius was sent from Pope Celestinus to preach baptism to the Scots.
A.D. 430. This year Patrick
was sent by Pope Celestine to preach baptism to the Scots.
A.D. 435. This year the
Goths sacked the city of Rome; and never since have the Romans reigned in
Britain. This was about eleven hundred and ten winters after it was built.
They reigned altogether in Britain four hundred and seventy winters since
Gaius Julius first sought that land.
A.D. 443. This year sent
the Britons over sea to Rome, and begged assistance against the Picts; but
they had none, for the Romans were at war with Atila, king of the Huns.
Then sent they to the Angles, and requested the same from the nobles of
A.D. 444. This year died
A.D. 448. This year John
the Baptist showed his head to two monks, who came from the eastern
country to Jerusalem for the sake of prayer, in the place that whilom was
the palace of Herod. A.D. 449. This year Marcian and Valentinian
assumed the empire, and reigned seven winters. In their days Hengest and
Horsa, invited by Wurtgern, king of the Britons to his assistance, landed
in Britain in a place that is called Ipwinesfleet; first of all to support
the Britons, but they afterwards fought against them. The king directed
them to fight against the Picts; and they did so; and obtained the victory
wheresoever they came. They then sent to the Angles, and desired them to
send more assistance. They described the worthlessness of the Britons, and
the richness of the land. They then sent them greater support. Then came
the men from three powers of Germany; the Old Saxons, the Angles, and the
Jutes. From the Jutes are descended the men of Kent, the Wightwarians
(that is, the tribe that now dwelleth in the Isle of Wight), and that
kindred in Wessex that men yet call the kindred of the Jutes. From the Old
Saxons came the people of Essex and Sussex and Wessex. From Anglia, which
has ever since remained waste between the Jutes and the Saxons, came the
East Angles, the Middle Angles, the Mercians, and all of those north of
the Humber. Their leaders were two brothers, Hengest and Horsa; who were
the sons of Wihtgils; Wihtgils was the son of Witta, Witta of Wecta, Wecta
of Woden. From this Woden arose all our royal kindred, and that of the
A.D. 449. And in their days
Vortigern invited the Angles thither, and they came to Britain in three
ceols, at the place called Wippidsfleet.
A.D. 455. This year Hengest
and Horsa fought with Wurtgern the king on the spot that is called
Aylesford. His brother Horsa being there slain, Hengest afterwards took to
the kingdom with his son Esc.
A.D. 457. This year Hengest
and Esc fought with the Britons on the spot that is called Crayford, and
there slew four thousand men. The Britons then forsook the land of Kent,
and in great consternation fled to London.
A.D. 465. This year Hengest
and Esc fought with the Welsh, nigh Wippedfleet; and there slew twelve
leaders, all Welsh. On their side a thane was there slain, whose name was
A.D. 473. This year Hengest
and Esc fought with the Welsh, and took immense Booty. And the Welsh
fled from the English like fire.
A.D. 477. This year came
Ella to Britain, with his three sons, Cymen, and Wlenking, and Cissa, in
three ships; landing at a place that is called Cymenshore. There they slew
many of the Welsh; and some in flight they drove into the wood that is
A.D. 482. This year the
blessed Abbot Benedict shone in this world, by the splendour of those
virtues which the blessed Gregory records in the book of Dialogues.
A.D. 485. This year Ella
fought with the Welsh nigh Mecred's-Burnsted.
A.D. 488. This year Esc
succeeded to the kingdom; and was king of the men of Kent twenty-four
A.D. 490. This year Ella
and Cissa besieged the city of Andred, and slew all that were therein; nor
was one Briten left there afterwards.
A.D. 495. This year came
two leaders into Britain, Cerdic and Cynric his son, with five ships, at a
place that is called Cerdic's-ore. And they fought with the Welsh the same
day. Then he died, and his son Cynric succeeded to the government, and
held it six and twenty winters. Then he died; and Ceawlin, his son,
succeeded, who reigned seventeen years. Then he died; and Ceol succeeded
to the government, and reigned five years. When he died, Ceolwulf, his
brother, succeeded, and reigned seventeen years. Their kin goeth to
Cerdic. Then succeeded Cynebils, Ceolwulf's brother's son, to the kingdom;
and reigned one and thirty winters. And he first of West-Saxon kings
received baptism. Then succeeded Cenwall, who was the son of Cynegils, and
reigned one and thirty winters. Then held Sexburga, his queen, the
government one year after him. Then succeeded Escwine to the kingdom,
whose kin goeth to Cerdic, and held it two years. Then succeeded Centwine,
the son of Cynegils, to the kingdom of the West-Saxons, and reigned nine
years. Then succeeded Ceadwall to the government, whose kin goeth to
Cerdic, and held it three years. Then succeeded Ina to the kingdom of the
West-Saxons, whose kin goeth to Cerdic, and reigned thirty-seven winters.
Then succeeded Ethelheard, whose kin goeth to Cerdic, and reigned sixteen
years. Then succeeded Cuthred, whose kin goeth to Cerdic, and
reigned sixteen winters. Then succeeded Sigebriht, whose kin goeth to
Cerdic, and reigned one year. Then succeeded Cynwulf, whose kin goeth to
Cerdic, and reigned one and thirty winters. Then succeeded Brihtric, whose
kin goeth to Cerdic, and reigned sixteen years. Then succeeded Egbert to
the kingdom, and held it seven and thirty winters, and seven months. Then
succeeded Ethelwulf, his son, and reigned eighteen years and a half.
Ethelwulf was the son of Egbert, Egbert of Ealmund, Ealmund of Eafa, Eafa
of Eoppa, Eoppa of Ingild, Ingild of Cenred (Ina of Cenred, Cuthburga of
Cenred, and Cwenburga of Cenred), Cenred of Ceolwald, Ceolwald of
Cuthwulf, Cuthwulf of Cuthwine, Cuthwine of Celm, Celm of Cynric, Cynric
of Creoda, Creoda of Cerdic. Then succeeded Ethelbald, the son of
Ethelwulf, to the kingdom, and held it five years. Then succeeded
Ethelbert, his brother, and reigned five years. Then succeeded Ethelred,
his brother, to the kingdom, and held it five years. Then succeeded
Alfred, their brother, to the government. And then had elapsed of his age
three and twenty winters, and three hundred and ninety-six winters from
the time when his kindred first gained the land of Wessex from the Welsh.
And he held the kingdom a year and a half less than thirty winters. Then
succeeded Edward, the son of Alfred, and reigned twenty-four winters. When
he died, then succeeded Athelstan, his son, and reigned fourteen years and
seven weeks and three days. Then succeeded Edmund, his brother, and
reigned six years and a half, wanting two nights. Then succeeded Edred,
his brother, and reigned nine years and six weeks. Then succeeded Edwy,
the son of Edmund, and reigned three years and thirty-six weeks, wanting
two days. When he died, then succeeded Edgar, his brother, and reigned
sixteen years and eight weeks and two nights. When he died, then succeeded
Edward, the son of Edgar, and reigned --
A.D. 501. This year Porta
and his two sons, Beda and Mela, came into Britain, with two ships, at a
place called Portsmouth. They soon landed, and slew on the spot a young
Briton of very high rank.
A.D. 508. This year Cerdic
and Cynric slew a British king, whose name was Natanleod, and five
thousand men with him. After this was the land named Netley, from him, as
far as Charford.
A.D. 509. This year St.
Benedict, the abbot, father of all the monks, ascended to heaven.
A.D. 514. This year came
the West-Saxons into Britain, with three ships, at the place that is
called Cerdic's-ore. And Stuff and Wihtgar fought with the Britons, and
put them to flight.
A.D. 519. This year Cerdic
and Cynric undertook the government of the West-Saxons; the same year they
fought with the Britons at a place now called Charford. From that day have
reigned the children of the West-Saxon kings.
A.D. 527. This year Cerdic
and Cynric fought with the Britons in the place that is called
A.D. 530. This year Cerdic
and Cynric took the isle of Wight, and slew many men in Carisbrook.
A.D. 534. This year died
Cerdic, the first king of the West-Saxons. Cynric his son succeeded to the
government, and reigned afterwards twenty-six winters. And they gave to
their two nephews, Stuff and Wihtgar, the whole of the Isle of Wight.
A.D. 538. This year the sun
was eclipsed, fourteen days before the calends of March, from before
morning until nine.
A.D. 540. This year the sun
was eclipsed on the twelfth day before the calends of July; and the stars
showed themselves full nigh half an hour over nine.
A.D. 544. This year died
Wihtgar; and men buried him at Carisbrook.
A.D. 547. This year Ida
began his reign; from whom first arose the royal kindred of the
Northumbrians. Ida was the son of Eoppa, Eoppa of Esa, Esa of Ingwy, Ingwy
of Angenwit, Angenwit of Alloc, Alloc of Bennoc, Bennoc of Brand, Brand of
Balday, Balday of Woden. Woden of Fritholaf, Fritholaf of Frithowulf,
Frithowulf of Finn, Finn of Godolph, Godolph of Geata. Ida reigned twelve
years. He built Bamburgh-Castle, which was first surrounded with a hedge,
and afterwards with a wall.
A.D. 552. This year Cynric
fought with the Britons on the spot that is called Sarum, and put them to
flight. Cerdic was the father of Cynric, Cerdic was the son of Elesa,
Elesa of Esla, Esla of Gewis, Gewis of Wye, Wye of Frewin, Frewin of
Frithgar, Frithgar of Brand, Brand of Balday, Balday of Woden. In this
year Ethelbert, the son of Ermenric, was born, who on the two and
thirtieth year of his reign received the rite of baptism, the first of all
the kings in Britain.
A.D. 556. This year Cynric
and Ceawlin fought with the Britons at Beranbury.
A.D. 560. This year Ceawlin
undertook the government of the West-Saxons; and Ella, on the death of
Ida, that of the Northumbrians; each of whom reigned thirty winters. Ella
was the son of Iff, Iff of Usfrey, Usfrey of Wilgis, Wilgis of
Westerfalcon, Westerfalcon of Seafowl, Seafowl of Sebbald, Sebbald of
Sigeat, Sigeat of Swaddy, Swaddy of Seagirt, Seagar of Waddy, Waddy of
Woden, Woden of Frithowulf. This year Ethelbert came to the kingdom of the
Cantuarians, and held it fifty-three winters. In his days the holy Pope
Gregory sent us baptism. That was in the two and thirtieth year of his
reign. And Columba, the mass-priest, came to the Picts, and converted them
to the belief of Christ. They are the dwellers by the northern moors. And
their king gave him the island of Hii, consisting of five hides, as they
say, where Columba built a monastary. There he was abbot two and thirty
winters; and there he died, when he was seventy-seven years old. The place
his successors yet have. The Southern Picts were long before baptized by
Bishop Ninnia, who was taught at Rome. His church or monastery is at
Hwiterne, hallowed in the name of St. Martin, where he resteth with many
holy men. Now, therefore, shall there be ever in Hii an abbot, and no
bishop; and to him shall be subject all the bishops of the Scots; because
Columba was an abbot -- no bishop.
A.D. 565. This year Columba
the presbyter came from the Scots among the Britons, to instruct the
Picts, and he built a monastery in the island of Hii.
A.D. 568. This year
Ceawlin, and Cutha the brother of Ceawlin, fought with Ethelbert, and
pursued him into Kent. And they slew two aldermen at Wimbledon, Oslake and
A.D. 571. This year Cuthulf
fought with the Britons at Bedford, and took four towns, Lenbury,
Aylesbury, Benson, and Ensham. And this same year he died.
A.D. 577. This year Cuthwin
and Ceawlin fought with the Britons, and slew three kings, Commail, and
Condida, and Farinmail, on the spot that is called Derham, and took from
them three cities, Gloucester, Cirencester, and Bath.
A.D. 583. This year
Mauricius succeeded to the empire of the Romans.
A.D. 584. This year Ceawlin
and Cutha fought with the Britons on the spot that is called Fretherne.
There Cutha was slain. And Ceawlin took many towns, as well as immense
booty and wealth. He then retreated to his own people.
A.D. 588. This year died
King Ella; and Ethelric reigned after him five years.
A.D. 591. This year there
was a great slaughter of Britons at Wanborough; Ceawlin was driven from
his kingdom, and Ceolric reigned six years.
A.D. 592. This year Gregory
succeeded to the papacy at Rome.
A.D. 593. This year died
Ceawlin, and Cwichelm, and Cryda; and Ethelfrith succeeded to the kingdom
of the Northumbrians. He was the son of Ethelric; Ethelric of Ida.
A.D. 596. This year Pope
Gregory sent Augustine to Britain with very many monks, to preach the word
of God to the English people.
A.D. 597. This year began
Ceolwulf to reign over the West-Saxons; and he constantly fought and
conquered, either with the Angles, or the Welsh, or the Picts, or the
Scots. He was the son of Cutha, Cutha of Cynric, Cynric of Cerdic, Cerdic
of Elesa, Elesa of Gewis, Gewis of Wye, Wye of Frewin, Frewin of Frithgar,
Frithgar of Brand, Brand of Balday, and Balday of Woden. This year came
Augustine and his companions to England.
A.D. 601. This year Pope
Gregory sent the pall to Archbishop Augustine in Britain, with very many
learned doctors to assist him; and Bishop Paulinus converted Edwin, king
of the Northumbrians, to baptism.
A.D. 603. This year Aeden,
king of the Scots, fought with the Dalreathians, and with Ethelfrith, king
of the Northumbrians, at Theakstone; where he lost almost all his army.
Theobald also, brother of Ethelfrith, with his whole armament, was slain.
None of the Scottish kings durst afterwards bring an army against this
nation. Hering, the son of Hussa, led the army thither.
A.D. 603. This year Aethan,
King of the Scots, fought against the Dalreods and against Ethelfrith,
king of the North-humbrians, at Daegsanstane [Dawston?], and they slew
almost all his army. There Theodbald, Ethelfrith's brother, was slain with
all his band. Since then no king of the Scots has dared to lead an army
against this nation. Hering, the son of Hussa, led the enemy thither.
A.D. 604. This year
Augustine consecrated two bishops, Mellitus and Justus. Mellitus he sent
to preach baptism to the East-Saxons. Their king was called Seabert, the
son of Ricola, Ethelbert's sister, whom Ethelbert placed there as king.
Ethelbert also gave Mellitus the bishopric of London; and to Justus he
gave the bishopric of Rochester, which is twenty-four miles from
A.D. 604. This year
Augustine consecrated two bishops, Mellitus and Justus. He sent Mellitus
to preach baptism to the East-Saxons, whose king was called Sebert, son of
Ricole, the sister of Ethelbert, and whom Ethelbert had there appointed
king. And Ethelbert gave Mellitus a bishop's see in London, and to Justus
he gave Rochester, which is twenty-four miles from Canterbury.
A.D. 606. This year died
Gregory; about ten years since he sent us baptism. His father was called
Gordianus, and his mother Silvia.
A.D. 607. This year
Ceolwulf fought with the South-Saxons. And Ethelfrith led his army to
Chester; where he slew an innumerable host of the Welsh; and so was
fulfilled the prophecy of Augustine, wherein he saith "If the Welsh will
not have peace with us, they shall perish at the hands of the Saxons."
There were also slain two hundred priests, who came thither to pray for
the army of the Welsh. Their leader was called Brocmail, who with some
fifty men escaped thence. A.D. 611. This year Cynegils succeeded to the
government in Wessex, and held it one and thirty winters. Cynegils was the
son of Ceol, Ceol of Cutha, Cutha of Cynric.
A.D. 614. This year
Cynegils and Cwichelm fought at Bampton, and slew two thousand and
forty-six of the Welsh.
A.D. 616. This year died
Ethelbert, king of Kent, the first of English kings that received baptism:
he was the son of Ermenric. He reigned fifty-six winters, and was
succeeded by his son Eadbald. And in this same year had elapsed from the
beginning of the world five thousand six hundred and eighteen winters.
This Eadbald renounced his baptism, and lived in a heathen manner; so that
he took to wife the relict of his father. Then Laurentius, who was
archbishop in Kent, meant to depart southward over sea, and abandon
everything. But there came to him in the night the apostle Peter, and
severely chastised him, because he would so desert the flock of God. And
he charged him to go to the king, and teach him the right belief. And he
did so; and the king returned to the right belief. In this king's days the
same Laurentius, who was archbishop in Kent after Augustine, departed this
life on the second of February, and was buried near Augustine. The holy
Augustine in his lifetime invested him bishop, to the end that the church
of Christ, which yet was new in England, should at no time after his
decease be without an archbishop. After him Mellitus, who was first Bishop
of London, succeeded to the archbishopric. The people of London, where
Mellitus was before, were then heathens: and within five winters of this
time, during the reign of Eadbald, Mellitus died. To him succeeded Justus,
who was Bishop of Rochester, whereto he consecrated Romanus bishop.
A.D. 616. In that time
Laurentius was archbishop, and for the sorrowfulness which he had on
account of the king's unbelief he was minded to forsake this country
entirely, and go over sea; but St. Peter the apostle scourged him sorely
one night, because he wished thus to forsake the flock of God, and
commanded him to teach boldly the true faith to the king; and he did so,
and the king turned to the right (faith). In the days of this same king,
Eadbald, this Laurentius died. The holy Augustine, while yet in sound
health, ordained him bishop, in order that the community of Christ, which
was yet new in England, should not after his decease be at any time
without an archbishop. After him Mellitus, who had been previously Bishop
of London, succeeded to the archbishopric. And within five years of the
decease of Laurentius, while Eadbald still reigned, Mellitus departed to
A.D. 617. This year was
Ethelfrith, king of the Northumbrians, slain by Redwald, king of the
East-Angles; and Edwin, the son of Ella, having succeeded to the kingdom,
subdued all Britain, except the men of Kent alone, and drove out the
Ethelings, the sons of Ethelfrith, namely, Enfrid. Oswald, Oswy, Oslac,
Oswood. Oslaf, and Offa.
A.D. 624. This year died
A.D. 625. This year
Paulinus was invested bishop of the Northumbrians, by Archbishop Justus,
on the twelfth day before the calends of August.
A.D. 625. This year
Archbishop Justus consecrated Paulinus bishop of the North-humbrians.
A.D. 626. This year came
Eamer from Cwichelm, king of the West-Saxons, with a design to assassinate
King Edwin; but he killed Lilla his thane, and Forthere, and wounded the
king. The same night a daughter was born to Edwin, whose name was
Eanfleda. Then promised the king to Paulinus, that he would devote his
daughter to God, if he would procure at the hand of God, that he might
destroy his enemy, who had sent the assassin to him. He then advanced
against the West-Saxons with an army, felled on the spot five kings, and
slew many of their men. This year Eanfleda, the daughter of King Edwin,
was baptized, on the holy eve of Pentecost. And the king within twelve
months was baptized, at Easter, with all his people. Easter was then on
the twelfth of April. This was done at York, where he had ordered a church
to be built of timber, which was hallowed in the name of St. Peter. There
the king gave the bishopric to Paulinus; and there he afterwards ordered a
larger church to be built of stone. This year Penda began to reign; and
reigned thirty winters. He had seen fifty winters when he began to reign.
Penda was the son of Wybba, Wybba of Creoda, Creoda of Cynewald, Cynewald
of Cnebba, Cnebba of Icel, Icel of Eomer, Eomer of Angelthew, Angelthew of
Offa, Offa of Wearmund, Wearmund of Whitley, Whitley of Woden.
A.D. 627. This year was
King Edwin baptized at Easter, with all his people, by Paulinus, who also
preached baptism in Lindsey, where the first person who believed was a
certain rich man, of the name of Bleek, with all his people. At this time
Honorius succeeded Boniface in the papacy, and sent hither to Paulinus the
pall; and Archbishop Justus having departed this life on the tenth of
November, Honorius was consecrated at Lincoln Archbishop of Canterbury by
Paulinus; and Pope Honorius sent him the pall. And he sent an injunction
to the Scots, that they should return to the right celebration of Easter.
A.D. 627. This year, at
Easter, Paulinus baptized Edwin king of the North-humbrians, with his
people; and earlier within the same year, at Pentecost, he had baptized
Eanfled, daughter of the same king.
A.D. 628. This year
Cynegils and Cwichelm fought with Penda at Cirencester, and afterwards
entered into a treaty there.
A.D. 632. This year was
A.D. 633. This year King
Edwin was slain by Cadwalla and Penda, on Hatfield moor, on the fourteenth
of October. He reigned seventeen years. His son Osfrid was also slain with
him. After this Cadwalla and Penda went and ravaged all the land of the
Northumbrians; which when Paulinus saw, he took Ethelburga, the relict of
Edwin, and went by ship to Kent. Eadbald and Honorius received him very
honourably, and gave him the bishopric of Rochester, where he continued to
A.D. 634. This year Osric,
whom Paulinus baptized, succeeded to the government of Deira. He was the
son of Elfric, the uncle of Edwin. And to Bernicia succeeded Eanfrith, son
of Ethelfrith. This year also Bishop Birinus first preached baptism to the
West-Saxons, under King Cynegils. The said Birinus went thither by the
command of Pope Honorius; and he was bishop there to the end of his life.
Oswald also this year succeeded to the government of the Northumbrians,
and reigned nine winters. The ninth year was assigned to him on account of
the heathenism in which those lived who reigned that one year betwixt him
A.D. 635. This year King
Cynegils was baptized by Bishop Birinus at Dorchester; and Oswald, king of
the Northumbrians, was his sponsor.
A.D. 636. This year King
Cwichelm was baptized at Dorchester, and died the same year. Bishop Felix
also preached to the East-Angles the belief of Christ.
A.D. 639. This year Birinus
baptized King Cuthred at Dorchester, and received him as his son.
A.D. 640. This year died
Eadbald, King of Kent, after a reign of twenty-five winters. He had two
sons, Ermenred and Erkenbert; and Erkenbert reigned there after his
father. He overturned all the idols in the kingdom, and first of English
kings appointed a fast before Easter. His daughter was called Ercongota --
holy damsel of an illustrious sire! whose mother was Sexburga, the
daughter of Anna, king of the East-Angles. Ermenred also begat two sons,
who were afterwards martyred by Thunnor.
A.D. 642. This year Oswald,
king of the Northumbrians, was slain by Penda, king of the Southumbrians,
at Mirfield, on the fifth day of August; and his body was buried at
Bardney. His holiness and miracles were afterwards displayed on manifold
occasions throughout this island; and his hands remain still uncorrupted
at Barnburgh. The same year in which Oswald was slain, Oswy his brother
succeeded to the government of the Northumbrians, and reigned two less
than thirty years.
A.D. 643. This year Kenwal
succeeded to the kingdom of the West-Saxons, and held it one and thirty
winters. This Kenwal ordered the old church at Winchester to be built in
the name of St. Peter. He was the son of Cynegils.
A.D. 644. This year died at
Rochester, on the tenth of October, Paulinus, who was first Archbishop at
York, and afterwards at Rochester. He was bishop nineteen winters, two
months, and one and twenty days. This year the son of Oswy's uncle
(Oswin), the son of Osric, assumed the government of Deira, and reigned
A.D. 645. This year King
Kenwal was driven from his dominion by King Penda.
A.D. 646. This year King
Kenwal was baptized.
A.D. 648. This year Kenwal
gave his relation Cuthred three thousand hides of land by Ashdown. Cuthred
was the son of Cwichelm, Cwichelm of Cynegils.
A.D. 650. This year
Egelbert, from Gaul, after Birinus the Romish bishop, obtained the
bishopric of the West-Saxons.
A.D. 650. This year Birinus
the bishop died, and Agilbert the Frenchman was ordained.
A.D. 651. This year King
Oswin was slain, on the twentieth day of August; and within twelve nights
afterwards died Bishop Aidan, on the thirty-first of August.
A.D. 652. This year Kenwal
fought at Bradford by the Avon.
A.D. 653. This year, the
Middle-Angles under alderman Peada received the right belief.
A.D. 654. This year King
Anna was slain, and Botolph began to build that minster at Icanhoe. This
year also died Archbishop Honorius, on the thirtieth of September.
A.D. 655. This year Penda
was slain at Wingfield, and thirty royal personages with him, some of whom
were kings. One of them was Ethelhere, brother of Anna, king of the
East-Angles. The Mercians after this became Christians. From the beginning
of the world had now elapsed five thousand eight hundred and fifty
winters, when Peada, the son of Penda, assumed the government of the
Mercians. In his time came together himself and Oswy, brother of King
Oswald, and said, that they would rear a minster to the glory of Christ,
and the honour of St. Peter. And they did so, and gave it the name of
Medhamsted; because there is a well there, called Meadswell. And they
began the groundwall, and wrought thereon; after which they committed the
work to a monk, whose name was Saxulf. He was very much the friend of God,
and him also loved all people. He was nobly born in the world, and rich:
he is now much richer with Christ. But King Peada reigned no while; for he
was betrayed by his own queen, in Easter-tide. This year Ithamar, Bishop
of Rochester, consecrated Deus-dedit to Canterbury, on the twenty-sixth
day of March.
A.D. 656. This year was
Peada slain; and Wulfhere, son of Penda, succeeded to the kingdom of the
Mercians. In his time waxed the abbey of Medhamsted very rich, which his
brother had begun. The king loved it much, for the love of his brother
Peada, and for the love of his wed-brother Oswy, and for the love of
Saxulf the abbot. He said, therefore, that he would dignify and honour it
by the counsel of his brothers, Ethelred and Merwal; and by the counsel of
his sisters, Kyneburga and Kyneswitha; and by the counsel of the
archbishop, who was called Deus-dedit; and by the counsel of all his
peers, learned and lewd, that in his kingdom were. And he so did. Then
sent the king after the abbot, that he should immediately come to him. And
he so did. Then said the king to the abbot: "Beloved Saxulf, I have sent
after thee for the good of my soul; and I will plainly tell thee for why.
My brother Peada and my beloved friend Oswy began a minster, for the love
of Christ and St. Peter: but my brother, as Christ willed, is departed
from this life; I will therefore intreat thee, beloved friend, that they
earnestly proceed on their work; and I will find thee thereto gold and
silver, land and possessions, and all that thereto behoveth." Then went
the abbot home, and began to work. So he sped, as Christ permitted him; so
that in a few years was that minster ready. Then, when the king heard say
that, he was very glad; and bade men send through all the nation, after
all his thanes; after the archbishop, and after bishops: and after his
earls; and after all those that loved God; that they should come to him.
And he fixed the day when men should hallow the minster. And when they
were hallowing the minster, there was the king, Wulfere, and his brother
Ethelred, and his sisters, Kyneburga and Kyneswitha. And the minster was
hallowed by Archbishop Deusdedit of Canterbury; and the Bishop of
Rochester, Ithamar; and the Bishop of London, who was called Wina; and the
Bishop of the Mercians, whose name was Jeruman; and Bishop Tuda. And there
was Wilfrid, priest, that after was bishop; and there were all his thanes
that were in his kingdom. When the minster was hallowed, in the name of
St. Peter, and St. Paul, and St. Andrew, then stood up the king before all
his thanes, and said with a loud voice: "Thanks be to the high almighty
God for this worship that here is done; and I will this day glorify Christ
and St. Peter, and I will that you all confirm my words. -- I Wulfere give
to-day to St. Peter, and the Abbot Saxulf, and the monks of the minster,
these lands, and these waters, and meres, and fens, and weirs, and all the
lands that thereabout lye, that are of my kingdom, freely, so that no man
have there any ingress, but the abbot and the monks. This is the gift.
From Medhamsted to Northborough; and so to the place that is called
Foleys; and so all the fen, right to Ashdike; and from Ashdike to the
place called Fethermouth; and so in a right line ten miles long to Ugdike;
and so to Ragwell; and from Ragwell five miles to the main river that
goeth to Elm and to Wisbeach; and so about three miles to Trokenholt; and
from Trokenholt right through all the fen to Derworth; that is twenty
miles long; and so to Great Cross; and from Great Cross through a clear
water called Bradney; and thence six miles to Paxlade; and so forth
through all the meres and fens that lye toward Huntingdon-port; and the
meres and lakes Shelfermere and Wittlesey mere, and all the others that
thereabout lye; with land and with houses that are on the east side of
Shelfermere; thence all the fens to Medhamsted; from Medhamsted all to
Welmsford; from Welmsford to Clive; thence to Easton; from Easton to
Stamford; from Stamford as the water runneth to the aforesaid
Northborough." -- These are the lands and the fens that the king gave unto
St. Peter's minster. -- Then quoth the king: "It is little -- this gift --
but I will that they hold it so royally and so freely, that there be taken
there from neither gild nor gable, but for the monks alone. Thus I will
free this minster; that it be not subject except to Rome alone; and hither
I will that we seek St. Peter, all that to Rome cannot go." During these
words the abbot desired that he would gant him his request. And the king
granted it. "I have here (said he) some good monks that would lead their
life in retirement, if they wist where. Now here is an island, that is
called Ankerig; and I will request, that we may there build a minster to
the honour of St. Mary; that they may dwell there who will lead their
lives in peace and tranquillity." Then answered the king, and quoth thus:
"Beloved Saxulf, not that only which thou desirest, but all things that I
know thou desirest in our Lord's behalf, so I approve, and grant. And I
bid thee, brother Ethelred, and my sisters, Kyneburga and Kyneswitha, for
the release of your souls, that you be witnesses, and that you subscribe
it with your fingers. And I pray all that come after me, be they my sons,
be they my brethren, or kings that come after me, that our gift may stand;
as they would be partakers of the life everlasting, and as they would
avoid everlasting punishment. Whoso lesseneth our gift, or the gift of
other good men, may the heavenly porter lessen him in the kingdom of
heaven; and whoso advanceth it, may the heavenly porter advance him in the
kingdom of heaven." These are the witnesses that were there, and that
subscribed it with their fingers on the cross of Christ, and confirmed it
with their tongues. That was, first the king, Wulfere, who confirmed it
first with his word, and afterwards wrote with his finger on the cross of
Christ, saying thus: "I Wulfere, king, in the presence of kings, and of
earls, and of captains, and of thanes, the witnesses of my gift, before
the Archbishop Deus-dedit, I confirm it with the cross of Christ." (+) --
"And I Oswy, king of the Northumbrians, the friend of this minster, and oś
the Abbot Saxulf, commend it with the cross of Christ." (+) -- "And I
Sighere, king, ratify it with the cross of Christ." (+) -- "And I Sibbi,
king, subscribe it with the cross of Christ." (+) -- "And I Ethelred, the
king's brother, granted the same with the cross of Christ." (+) -- "And
we, the king's sisters, Kyneburga and Kyneswitha, approve it." -- "And I
Archbishop of Canterbury, Deus-dedit, ratify it." -- Then confirmed it all
the others that were there with the cross of Christ (+): namely, Ithamar,
Bishop of Rochester; Wina, Bishop of London; Jeruman, Bishop of the
Mercians; and Tuda, bishop; and Wilfrid, priest, who was afterwards
bishop; and Eoppa, priest, whom the king, Wulfere, sent to preach
christianity in the Isle of Wight; and Saxulf, abbot; and Immine,
alderman, and Edbert, alderman, and Herefrith, alderman, and Wilbert,
alderman, and Abo, alderman; Ethelbald, Brord, Wilbert, Elmund, Frethegis.
These, and many others that were there, the king's most loyal subjects,
confirmed it all. This charter was written after our Lord's Nativity 664
-- the seventh year of King Wulfere -- the ninth year of Archbishop
Deus-dedir. Then they laid God's curse, and the curse of all saints, and
all christian folks, on whosoever undid anything that there was done. "So
be it," saith all. "Amen." -- When this thing was done, then sent the king
to Rome to the Pope Vitalianus that then was, and desired, that he would
ratify with his writ and with his blessing, all this aforesaid thing. And
the pope then sent his writ, thus saying: "I Vitalianus, pope, grant thee,
King Wulfere, and Deus-dedit, archbishop, and Abbot Saxulf, all the things
that you desire. And I forbid, that any king, or any man, have any
ingress, but the abbot alone; nor shall he be Subject to any man, except
the Pope of Rome and the Archbishop of Canterbury. If any one breaketh
anything of this, St. Peter with his sword destroy him. Whosoever holdeth
it, St. Peter with heaven's key undo him the kingdom of heaven." -- Thus
was the minster of Medhamsted begun, that was afterwards called
Peter-borough. Afterwards came another archbishop to Canterbury, who was
called Theodorus; a very good man and wise; and held his synod with his
bishops and with his clerk. There was Wilfrid, bishop of the Mercians,
deprived of his bishopric; and Saxulf, abbot, was there chosen bishop; and
Cuthbald, monk of the same minster, was chosen abbot. This synod was
holden after our Lord's Nativity six hundred and seventy-three winters.
A.D. 658. This year Kenwal
fought with the Welsh at Pen, and pursued them to the Parret. This battle
was fought after his return from East-Anglia, where he was three years in
exile. Penda had driven him thither and deprived him of his kingdom,
because he had discarded his sister.
A.D. 660. This year Bishop
Egelbert departed from Kenwal; and Wina held the bishopric three years.
And Egbert accepted the bishopric of Paris, in Gaul, by the Seine.
A.D. 661. This year, at
Easter, Kenwal fought at Pontesbury; and Wulfere, the son of Penda,
pursued him as far as Ashdown. Cuthred, the son of Cwichelm, and King
Kenbert, died in one year. Into the Isle of Wight also Wulfere, the son of
Penda, penetrated, and transferred the inhabitants to Ethelwald, king of
the South-Saxons, because Wulfere adopted him in baptism. And Eoppa, a
mass-priest, by command of Wilfrid and King Wulfere, was the first of men
who brought baptism to the people of the Isle of Wight.
A.D. 664. This year the sun
was eclipsed, on the eleventh of May; and Erkenbert, King of Kent, having
died, Egbert his son succeeded to the kingdom. Colman with his companions
this year returned to his own country. This same year there was a great
plague in the island Britain, in which died Bishop Tuda, who was buried at
Wayleigh -- Chad and Wilferth were consecrated -- And Archbishop
A.D. 667. This year Oswy
and Egbert sent Wighard, a priest, to Rome, that he might be consecrated
there Archbishop of Canterbury; but he died as soon as he came thither.
A.D. 667. This year Wighard
went to Rome, even as King Oswy, and Egbert had sent him.
A.D. 668. This year
Theodore was consecrated archbishop, and sent into Britain.
A.D. 669. This year King
Egbert gave to Bass, a mass-priest, Reculver -- to build a minster upon.
A.D. 670. This year died
Oswy, King of Northumberland, on the fifteenth day before the calends of
March; and Egferth his son reigned after him. Lothere, the nephew of
Bishop Egelbert, succeeded to the bishopric over the land of the
West-Saxons, and held it seven years. He was consecrated by Archbishop
Theodore. Oswy was the son of Ethelfrith, Ethelfrith of Ethelric, Ethelric
of Ida, Ida of Eoppa.
A.D. 671. This year
happened that great destruction among the fowls.
A.D. 672. This year died
King Cenwal; and Sexburga his queen held the government one year after
A.D. 673. This year died
Egbert, King of Kent; and the same year there was a synod at Hertford; and
St. Etheldritha began that monastery at Ely.
A.D. 674. This year Escwin
succeeded to the kingdom of Wessex. He was the son of Cenfus, Cenfus of
Cenferth, Cenferth of Cuthgils, Cuthgils of Ceolwulf, Ceolwulf of Cynric,
Cynric of Cerdic.
A.D. 675. This year
Wulfere, the son of Penda, and Escwin, the son of Cenfus, fought at
Bedwin. The same year died Wulfere, and Ethelred succeeded to the
government. In his time sent he to Rome Bishop Wilfrid to the pope that
then was, called Agatho, and told him by word and by letter, how his
brothers Peada and Wulfere, and the Abbot Saxulf, had wrought a minster,
called Medhamsted; and that they had freed it, against king and against
bishop, from every service; and he besought him that he would confirm it
with his writ and with his blessing. And the pope sent then his writ to
England, thus saying: "I Agatho, Pope of Rome, greet well the worthy
Ethelred, king of the Mercians, and the Archbishop Theodorus of
Canterbury, and Saxulf, the bishop of the Mercians, who before was abbot,
and all the abbots that are in England; God's greeting and my blessing. I
have heard the petition of King Ethelred, and of the Archbishop Theodorus,
and of the Bishop Saxulf, and of the Abbot Cuthbald; and I will it, that
it in all wise be as you have spoken it. And I ordain, in behalf of God,
and of St. Peter, and of all saints, and of every hooded head, that
neither king, nor bishop, nor earl, nor any man whatever, have any claim,
or gable, or gild, or levy, or take any service of any kind, from the
abbey of Medhamsted. I command also, that no shire-bishop be so bold as to
hold an ordination or consecration within this abbacy, except the abbot
intreat him, nor have there any claim to proxies, or synodals, or anything
whatever of any kind. And I will, that the abbot be holden for legate of
Rome over all that island; and whatever abbot is there chosen by the monks
that he be consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury. I will and decree,
that, whatever man may have made a vow to go to Rome, and cannot perform
it, either from infirmity, or for his lord's need, or from poverty, or
from any other necessity of any kind whatever, whereby he cannot come
thither, be he of England, or of whatever other island he be, he may come
to that minster of Medhamsted, and have the same forgiveness of Christ and
St. Peter, and of the abbot, and of the monks, that he should have if he
went to Rome. Now bid I thee, brother Theodorus, that thou let it be
proclaimed through all England, that a synod be gathered, and this writ be
read and observed. Also I tell thee, Bishop Saxulf, that, as thou desirest
it, that the minster be free, so I forbid thee, and all
the bishops that after thee come, from Christ and from all his saints,
that ye have no demand from that minster, except so much as the abbot
will. Now will I say in a word, that, whoso holdeth this writ and this
decree, then be he ever dwelling with God Almighty in the kingdom of
heaven. And whoso breaketh it, then be he excommunicated, and thrust down
with Judas, and with all the devils in hell, except he come to repentance.
Amen!" This writ sent the Pope Agatho, and a hundred and twenty-five
bishops, by Wilfrid, Archbishop of York, to England. This was done after
our Lord's Nativity 680, the sixth year of King Ethelred. Then the king
commanded the Archbishop Theodorus, that he should appoint a general
Wittenmoot at the place called Hatfield. When they were there collected,
then he allowed the letter to be read that the pope sent thither; and all
ratified and confirmed it. Then said the king: "All things that my brother
Peada, and my brother Wulfere, and my sisters, Kyneburga and Kyneswitha,
gave and granted to St. Peter and the abbot, these I will may stand; and I
will in my day increase it, for their souls and for my soul. Now give I
St. Peter to-day into his minster, Medhamsted, these lands, and all that
thereto lyeth; that is, Bredon, Repings, Cadney, Swineshead, Hanbury,
Lodeshall, Scuffanhall, Cosford, Stratford, Wattleburn, Lushgard,
Ethelhun-island, Bardney. These lands I give St. Peter just as freely as I
possessed them myself; and so, that none of my successors take anything
therefrom. Whoso doeth it, have he the curse of the Pope of Rome, and the
curse of all bishops, and of all those that are witnesses here. And this I
confirm with the token of Christ." "I Theodorus, Archbishop of Canterbury,
am witness to this charter of Medhamsted; and I ratify it with my hand,
and I excommunicate all that break anything thereof; and I bless all
that hold it." (+) "I Wilfrid, Archbishop of York, am witness to this
charter; and I ratify this same curse." (+) "I Saxulf, who was first
abbot, and now am bishop, I give my curse, and that of all my successors,
to those who break this." -- "I Ostritha, Ethelred's queen, confirm it."
-- "I Adrian, legate, ratify it." -- "I Putta, Bishop of Rochester,
subscribe it." -- "I Waldhere, Bishop of London, confirm it." -- "I
Cuthbald, abbot, ratify it; so that, whoso breaketh it, have he the
cursing of all bishops and of all christian folk. Amen."
A.D. 676. This year, in
which Hedda succeeded to his bishopric, Escwin died; and Centwin obtained
the government of the West-Saxons. Centwin was the son of Cynegils,
Cynegils of Ceolwulf. Ethelred, king of the Mercians, in the meantime,
overran the land of Kent.
A.D. 678. This year
appeared the comet-star in August, and shone every morning, during three
months, like a sunbeam. Bishop Wilfrid being driven from his bishopric by
King Everth, two bishops were consecrated in his stead, Bosa over the
Deirians, and Eata over the Bernicians. About the same time also Eadhed
was consecrated bishop over the people of Lindsey, being the first in that
A.D. 679. This year Elwin
was slain, by the river Trent, on the spot where Everth and Ethelred
fought. This year also died St. Etheldritha; and the monastery of
Coldingiham was destroyed by fire from heaven.
A.D. 680. This year
Archbishop Theodore appointed a synod at Hatfield; because he was desirous
of rectifying the belief of Christ; and the same year died Hilda, Abbess
A.D. 681. This year
Trumbert was consecrated Bishop of Hexham, and Trumwin bishop of the
Picts; for they were at that time subject to this country. This year also
Centwin pursued the Britons to the sea.
A.D. 684. This year Everth
sent an army against the Scots, under the command of his alderman, Bright,
who lamentably plundered and burned the churches of God.
A.D. 685. This year King
Everth commanded Cuthbert to be consecrated a bishop; and Archbishop
Theodore, on the first day of Easter, consecrated him at York Bishop of
Hexham; for Trumbert had been deprived of that see. The same year Everth
was slain by the north sea, and a large army with him, on the thirteenth
day before the calends of June. He continued king fifteen winters; and his
brother Elfrith succeeded him in the government. Everth was the son of
Oswy. Oswy of Ethelferth, Ethelferth of Ethelric, Ethelric of Ida, Ida of
Eoppa. About this time Ceadwall began to struggle for a kingdom. Ceadwall
was the son of Kenbert, Kenbert of Chad, Chad of Cutha, Cutha of Ceawlin,
Ceawlin of Cynric, Cynric of Cerdic. Mull, who was afterwards consigned to
the flames in Kent, was the brother of Ceadwall. The same year died
Lothhere, King of Kent; and John was consecrated Bishop of Hexham, where
he remained till Wilferth was restored, when John was translated to York
on the death of Bishop Bosa. Wilferth his priest was afterwards
consecrated Bishop of York, and John retired to his monastery in the woods
of Delta. This year there was in Britain a bloody rain, and milk and
butter were turned to blood.
A.D. 685. And in this same
year Cuthbert was consecrated Bishop of Hexham by Archbishop Theodore at
York, because Bishop Tumbert had been driven from the bishopric.
A.D. 686. This year
Ceadwall and his brother Mull spread devastation in Kent and the Isle of
Wight. This same Ceadwall gave to St. Peter's minster, at Medhamsted,
Hook; which is situated in an island called Egborough. Egbald at this time
was abbot, who was the third after Saxulf; and Theodore was archbishop in
A.D. 687. This year was
Mull consigned to the flames in Kent, and twelve other men with him; after
which, in the same year, Ceadwall overran the kingdom of Kent.
A.D. 688. This year
Ceadwall went to Rome, and received baptism at the hands of Sergius the
pope, who gave him the name of Peter; but in the course of seven nights
afterwards, on the twelfth day before the calends of May, he died in his
crisom-cloths, and was buried in the church of St. Peter. To him succeeded
Ina in the kingdom of Wessex, and reigned thirty-seven winters. He founded
the monastery of Glastonbury; after which he went to Rome, and continued
there to the end of his life. Ina was the son of Cenred, Cenred of
Ceolwald; Ceolwald was the brother of Cynegils; and both were the sons of
Cuthwin, who was the son of Ceawlin; Ceawlin was the son of Cynric, and
Cynric of Cerdic.
A.D. 688. This year King
Caedwalla went to Rome, and received baptism of Pope Sergius, and he gave
him the name of Peter, and in about seven days afterwards, on the twelfth
before the kalends of May, while he was yet in his baptismal garments, he
died: and he was buried in St. Peter's church. And Ina succeeded to the
kingdom of the West-Saxons after him, and he reigned twenty-seven years.
A.D. 690. This year
Archbishop Theodore, who had been bishop twenty-two winters, departed this
life, and was buried within the city of Canterbury. Bertwald, who before
this was abbot of Reculver, on the calends of July succeeded him in the
see; which was ere this filled by Romish bishops, but henceforth with
English. Then were there two kings in Kent, Wihtred and Webherd.
A.D. 693. This year was
Bertwald consecrated archbishop by Godwin, bishop of the Gauls, on the
fifth day before the nones of July; about which time died Gifmund, who was
Bishop of Rochester; and Archbishop Bertwald consecrated Tobias in his
stead. This year also Dryhtelm retired from the world.
A.D. 694. This year the
people of Kent covenanted with Ina, and gave him 30,000 pounds in
friendship, because they had burned his brother Mull. Wihtred, who
succeeded to the kingdom of Kent, and held it thirty-three winters, was
the son of Egbert, Egbert of Erkenbert, Erkenbert of Eadbald, Eadbald of
Ethelbert. And as soon as he was king, he ordained a great council to meet
in the place that is called Bapchild; in which presided Wihtred, King of
Kent, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Brihtwald, and Bishop Tobias of
Rochester; and with him were collected abbots and abbesses, and many wise
men, all to consult about the advantage of God's churches that are in
Kent. Now began the king to speak, and said, "I will that all the minsters
and the churches, that were given and bequeathed to the worship of God in
the days of believing kings, my predecessors, and in the days of my
relations of King Ethelbert and of those that followed him -- shall so
remain to the worship of God, and stand fast for evermore. For I Wihtred,
earthly king, urged on by the heavenly king, and with the spirit of
righteousness annealed, have of our progenitors learned this, that no
layman should have any right to possess himself of any church or of any of
the things that belong to the church. And, therefore, strongly and truly,
we set and decree, and in the name of Almighty God, and of all saints, we
forbid all our succeeding kings, and aldermen, and all lawmen, ever, any
lordship over churches, and over all their appurtenances, which I or my
elders in old days have given for a perpetual inheritance to the glory of
Christ and our Lady St. Mary, and the holy apostles. And look! when it
happeneth, that bishop, or abbot, or abbess, depart from this life, be it
told the archbishop, and with his counsel and injunction be chosen such as
be worthy. And the life of him, that shall be chosen to so holy a thing,
let the archbishop examine, and his cleanness; and in no wise be chosen
any one, or to so holy a thing consecrated, without the archbishop's
counsel. Kings shall appoint earls, and aldermen, sheriffs, and judges;
but the archbishop shall consult and provide for God's flock: bishops, and
abbots, and abbesses, and priests, and deacons, he shall choose and
appoint; and also sanctify and confirm with good precepts and example,
lest that any of God's flock go astray and perish --"
A.D. 697. This year the
Southumbrians slew Ostritha, the queen of Ethelred, the sister of Everth.
A.D. 699. This year the
Picts slew Alderman Burt.
A.D. 702. This year Kenred
assumed the government of the Southumbrians.
A.D. 703. This year died
Bishop Hedda, having held the see of Winchester twenty-seven winters.
A.D. 704. This year
Ethelred, the son of Penda, King of Mercia, entered into a monastic life,
having reigned twenty-nine winters; and Cenred succeeded to the
A.D. 705. This year died
Ealdferth, king of the Northumbrians, on the nineteenth day before the
calends of January, at Driffield; and was succeeded by his son Osred.
Bishop Saxulf also died the same year.
A.D. 709. This year died
Aldhelm, who was bishop by Westwood. The land of the West-Saxons was
divided into two bishoprics in the first days of Bishop Daniel; who held
one whilst Aldhelm held the other. Before this it was only one. Forthere
succeeded to Aldhelm; and Ceolred succeeded to the kingdom of Mercia. And
Cenred went to Rome; and Offa with him. And Cenred was there to the end of
his life. The same year died Bishop Wilferth, at Oundle, but his body was
carried to Ripon. He was the bishop whom King Everth compelled to go to
A.D. 710. This year Acca,
priest of Wilferth, succeeded to the bishopric that Wilferth ere held; and
Alderman Bertfrith fought with the Picts between Heugh and Carau. Ina
also, and Nun his relative, fought with Grant, king of the Welsh; and the
same year Hibbald was slain.
A.D. 714. This year died
Guthlac the holy, and King Pepin.
A.D. 715. This year Ina and
Ceolred fought at Wanborough; and King Dagobert departed this life.
A.D. 716. This year Osred,
king of the Northumbrians, was slain near the southern borders. He reigned
eleven winters after Ealdferth. Cenred then succeeded to the government,
and held it two years; then Osric, who held it eleven years. This same
year died Ceolred, king of the Mercians. His body lies at Lichfield; but
that of Ethelred, the son of Penda, at Bardney. Ethelbald then succeeded
to the kingdom of Mercia, and held it one and forty winters. Ethelbald was
the son of Alwy, Alwy of Eawa, Eawa of Webba, whose genealogy is already
written. The venerable Egbert about this time converted the monks of Iona
to the right faith, in the regulation of Easter, and the ecclesiastical
A.D. 718. This year died
Ingild, the brother of Ina. Cwenburga and Cuthburga were their sisters.
Cuthburga reared the monastery of Wimburn; and, though given in marriage
to Ealdferth, King of Northumberland, they parted during their lives.
A.D. 721. This year Bishop
Daniel went to Rome; and the same year Ina slew Cynewulf, the etheling.
This year also died the holy Bishop John; who was bishop thirty-three
years, and eight months, and thirteen days. His body now resteth at
A.D. 722. This year Queen
Ethelburga destroyed Taunton, which Ina had formerly built; Ealdbert
wandered a wretched exile in Surrey and Sussex; and Ina fought with the
A.D. 725. This year died
Wihtred, King of Kent, on the ninth day before the calends of May, after a
reign of thirty-two winters. His pedigree is above; and he was succeeded
by Eadbert. Ina this year also fought with the South-Saxons, and slew
Ealdbert, the etheling, whom he had before driven into exile.
A.D. 727. This year died
Tobias, Bishop of Rochester: and Archbishop Bertwald consecrated Aldulf
bishop in his stead.
A.D. 728. This year Ina
went to Rome, and there gave up the ghost. He was succeeded in the kingdom
of Wessex by Ethelhard his relative, who held it fourteen years; but he
fought this same year with Oswald the etheling. Oswald was the son of
Ethelbald, Ethelbald of Cynebald, Cynebald of Cuthwin, Cuthwin of Ceawlin.
A.D. 729. This year
appeared the comet-star, and St. Egbert died in Iona. This year also died
the etheling Oswald; and Osric was slain, who was eleven winters king of
Northumberland; to which kingdom Ceolwulf succeeded, and held it eight
years. The said Ceolwulf was the son of Cutha, Cutha of Cuthwin, Cuthwin
of Leodwald, Leodwald of Egwald, Egwald of Ealdhelm, Ealdhelm of Occa,
Occa of Ida, Ida of Eoppa. Archbishop Bertwald died this year on the ides
of January. He was bishop thirty-seven winters, and six months, and
fourteen days. The same year Tatwine, who was before a priest at Bredon in
Mercia, was consecrated archbishop by Daniel Bishop of Winchester, Ingwald
Bishop of London, Aldwin Bishop of Lichfield, and Aldulf Bishop of
Rochester, on the tenth day of June. He enjoyed the archbishopric about
A.D. 729. And the same year
Osric died; he was king eleven years; then Ceolwulf succeeded to the
kingdom, and held it eight years.
A.D. 733. This year
Ethelbald took Somerton; the sun was eclipsed; and Acca was driven from
A.D. 734. This year was the
moon as if covered with blood; and Archbishop Tatwine and Bede departed
this life; and Egbert was consecrated bishop.
A.D. 735. This year Bishop
Egbert received the pall at Rome.
A.D. 736. This year
Archbishop Nothelm received the pall from the bishop of the Romans.
A.D. 737. This year Bishop
Forthere and Queen Frithogitha went to Rome; and King Ceolwulf received
the clerical tonsure, giving his kingdom to Edbert, his uncle's son: who
reigned one and twenty winters. Bishop Ethelwold and Acca died this year,
and Cynewulf was consecrated bishop. The same year also Ethelbald ravaged
the land of the Northumbrians.
A.D. 738. This year
Eadbery, the son of Eata the son of Leodwald, succeeded to the
Northumbrian kingdom, and held it one and twenty winters. Archbishop
Egbert, the son of Eata, was his brother. They both rest under one porch
in the city of York.
A.D. 740. This year died
King Ethelhard; and Cuthred, his relative, succeeded to the West-Saxon
kingdom, which he held fourteen winters, during which time he fought many
hard battles with Ethelbald, king of the Mercians. On the death of
Archbishop Nothelm, Cuthbert was consecrated archbishop, and Dunn, Bishop
of Rochester. This year York was on fire.
A.D. 742. This year there
was a large synod assembled at Cliff's-Hoo; and there was Ethelbald, king
of Mercia, with Archbishop Cuthbert, and many other wise men.
A.D. 743. This year
Ethelbald, king of Mercia, and Cuthred, king of the West-Saxons, fought
with the Welsh.
A.D. 744. This year Daniel
resigned the see of Winchester; to which Hunferth was promoted. The stars
went swiftly shooting; and Wilferth the younger, who had been thirty
winters Bishop of York, died on the third day before the calends of May.
A.D. 745. This year died
Daniel. Forty-three winters had then elapsed since he received the
A.D. 746. This year was
King Selred slain.
A.D. 748. This year was
slain Cynric, etheling of the West-Saxons; Edbert, King of Kent, died; and
Ethelbert, son of King Wihtred, succeeded to the kingdom.