A.D. 750. This year Cuthred, king of the West-Saxons, fought with the proud
A.D. 752. This year, the twelfth of his reign, Cuthred, king of the
West-Saxons, fought at Burford with Ethelbald, king of the Mercians, and
put him to flight.
A.D. 753. This year Cuthred, king of the West-Saxons, fought against the
A.D. 754. This year died Cuthred, king of the West-Saxons; and Sebright,
his relative, succeeded to the kingdom, which he held one year; Cyneard
succeeded Humferth in the see of Winchester; and Canterbury was this year on
A.D. 755. This year Cynewulf, with the consent of the West-Saxon council,
deprived Sebright, his relative, for unrighteous deeds, of his kingdom,
except Hampshire; which he retained, until he slew the alderman who remained
the longest with him. Then Cynewulf drove him to the forest of Andred,
where he remained, until a swain stabbed him at Privett, and revenged the
alderman, Cumbra. The same Cynewulf fought many hard battles with the
Welsh; and, about one and thirty winters after he had the kingdom, he was
desirous of expelling a prince called Cyneard, who was the brother of
Sebright. But he having understood that the king was gone, thinly attended,
on a visit to a lady at Merton, rode after him, and beset him therein;
surrounding the town without, ere the attendants of the king were aware of
him. When the king found this, he went out of doors, and defended himself
with courage; till, having looked on the etheling, he rushed out upon him,
and wounded him severely. Then were they all fighting against the king,
until they had slain him. As soon as the king's thanes in the lady's bower
heard the tumult, they ran to the spot, whoever was then ready. The
etheling immediately offered them life and rewards; which none of them would
accept, but continued fighting together against him, till they all lay dead,
except one British hostage, and he was severely wounded. When the king's
thanes that were behind heard in the morning that the king was slain, they
rode to the spot, Osric his alderman, and Wiverth his thane, and the men
that he had left behind; and they met the etheling at the town, where the
king lay slain. The gates, however, were locked against them, which they
attempted to force; but he promised them their own choice of money and land,
if they would grant him the kingdom; reminding them, that their relatives
were already with him, who would never desert him. To which they answered,
that no relative could be dearer to them than their lord, and that they
would never follow his murderer. Then they besought their relatives to
depart from him, safe and sound. They replied, that the same request was
made to their comrades that were formerly with the king; "And we are as
regardless of the result," they rejoined, "as our comrades who with the king
were slain." Then they continued fighting at the gates, till they rushed
in, and slew the etheling and all the men that were with him; except one,
who was the godson of the alderman, and whose life he spared, though he was
often wounded. This same Cynewulf reigned one and thirty winters. His body
lies at Winchester, and that of the etheling at Axminster. Their paternal
pedigree goeth in a direct line to Cerdic. The same year Ethelbald, king of
the Mercians, was slain at Seckington; and his body lies at Repton. He
reigned one and forty years; and Bernred then succeeded to the kingdom,
which he held but a little while, and unprosperously; for King Offa the same
year put him to flight, and assumed the government; which he held nine and
thirty winters. His son Everth held it a hundred and forty days. Offa was
the son of Thingferth, Thingferth of Enwulf, Enwulf of Osmod, Osmod of Eawa,
Eawa of Webba, Webba of Creoda, Creoda of Cenwald, Cenwald of Cnebba, Cnebba
of Icel, Icel of Eomer, Eomer of Angelthew, Angelthew of Offa, Offa of
Wermund, Wermund of Witley, Witley of Woden.
A.D. 755. This year Cynewulf deprived King Sigebert of his kingdom; and
Sigebert's brother, Cynehard by name, slew Cynewulf at Merton; and he
reigned thirty-one years. And in the same year Ethelbald, king of the
Mercians, was slain at Repton. And Offa succeeded to the kingdom of the
Mercians, Bernred being driven out.
A.D. 757. This year Eadbert, king of the Northumbrians, received the
tonsure, and his son Osulf the kingdom; which he held one year. Him his own
domestics slew on the ninth day before the kalends of August.
A.D. 758. This year died Archbishop Cuthbert. He held the archbishopric
A.D. 759. This year Bregowin was invested archbishop at Michaelmas, and
continued four years. Mull Ethelwold this year succeeded to the
Northumbrian kingdom, held it six winters, and then resigned it.
A.D. 760. This year died Ethelbert, King of Kent, who was the son of King
Wihtred, and also of Ceolwulf.
A.D. 761. This year was the severe winter; and Mull, king of the
Northumbrians, slew Oswin at Edwin's-Cliff, on the eighth day before the
ides of August.
A.D. 762. This year died Archbishop Bregowin. A.D. 763. This year Eanbert
was invested archbishop, on the fortieth day over mid-winter; and Frithwald,
Bishop of Whitern, died on the nones of May. He was consecrated at York, on
the eighteenth day before the calends of September, in the sixth year of the
reign of Ceolwulf, and was bishop nine and twenty winters. Then was Petwin
consecrated Bishop of Whitern at Adlingfleet, on the sixteenth day before
the calends of August.
A.D. 764. This year Archbishop Eanbert received the pall.
A.D. 765. This year Alred succeeded to the kingdom of the Northumbrians,
and reigned eight winters.
A.D. 766. This year died Archbishop Egbert at York, on the thirteenth day
before the calends of December, who was bishop thirty-six winters; and
Frithbert at Hexham, who was bishop there thirty-four winters. Ethelbert
was consecrated to York, and Elmund to Hexham.
A.D. 768. This year died King Eadbert, the son of Eata, on the fourteenth
day before the calends of September.
A.D. 772. This year died Bishop Mildred.
A.D. 774. This year the Northumbrians banished their king, Alred, from York
at Easter-tide; and chose Ethelred, the son of Mull, for their lord, who
reigned four winters. This year also appeared in the heavens a red
crucifix, after sunset; the Mercians and the men of Kent fought at Otford;
and wonderful serpents were seen in the land of the South-Saxons.
A.D. 775. This year Cynewulf and Offa fought near Bensington, and Offa took
possession of the town. In the days of this king, Offa, there was an abbot
at Medhamsted, called Beonna; who, with the consent of all the monks of the
minster, let to farm, to Alderman Cuthbert, ten copyhold lands at
Swineshead, with leasow and with meadow, and with all the appurtenances;
provided that the said Cuthbert gave the said abbot fifty pounds therefore,
and each year entertainment for one night, or thirty shillings in money;
provided also, that after his decease the said lands should revert to the
monastery. The king, Offa, and King Everth, and Archbishop Hibbert, and
Bishop Ceolwulf, and Bishop Inwona, and Abbot Beonna, and many other
bishops, and abbots, and rich men, were witnesses to this. In the days of
this same Offa was an alderman, of the name of Brorda, who requested the
king for his sake to free his own monastery, called Woking, because he would
give it to Medhamsted and St. Peter, and the abbot that then was, whose name
was Pusa. Pusa succeeded Beonna; and the king loved him much. And the king
freed the monastery of Woking, against king, against bishop, against earl,
and against all men' so that no man should have any claim there, except St.
Peter and the abbot. This was done at the king's town called Free-Richburn.
A.D. 776. This year died Bishop Petwin, on the thirteenth day before the
calends of October, having been bishop fourteen winters. The same year
Ethelbert was consecrated Bishop of Whitern, at York, on the seventeenth day
before the calends of July.
A.D. 778. This year Ethelbald and Herbert slew three high-sheriffs --
Eldulf, the son of Bosa, at Coniscliff; Cynewulf and Eggo at Helathyrn -- on
the eleventh day before the calends of April. Then Elwald, having banished
Ethelred from his territory, seized on his kingdom, and reigned ten winters.
A.D. 780. This year a battle was fought between the Old-Saxons and the
Franks; and the high-sheriffs of Northumbria committed to the flames
Alderman Bern at Silton, on the ninth day before the calends of January.
The same year Archbishop Ethelbert died at York, and Eanbald was consecrated
in his stead; Bishop Cynewulf retired to Holy-island; Elmund, Bishop of
Hexham, died on the seventh day before the ides of September, and Tilbert
was consecrated in his stead, on the sixth day before the nones of
October; Hibbald was consecrated Bishop of Holy-island at Sockbury; and
King Elwald sent to Rome for a pall in behoof of Archbishop Eanbald.
A.D. 782. This year died Werburga, Queen of Ceolred, and Bishop Cynewulf,
in Holy-island; and the same year there was a synod at Acley.
A.D. 784. This year Cyneard slew King Cynewulf, and was slain himself, and
eighty-four men with him. Then Bertric undertook the government of the
West-Saxons, and reigned sixteen years. His body is deposited at Wareham;
and his pedigree goeth in a direct line to Cerdic. At this time reigned
Elmund king in Kent, the father of Egbert; and Egbert was the father of
A.D. 785. This year died Bothwin, Abbot of Ripon, and a litigious synod was
holden at Chalk-hythe; Archbishop Eanbert resigned some part of his
bishopric, Hibbert was appointed bishop by King Offa, and Everth was
consecrated king. In the meantime legates were sent from Rome to England by
Pope Adrian, to renew the blessings of faith and peace which St. Gregory
sent us by the mission of Bishop Augustine, and they were received with
every mark of honour and respect.
A.D. 787. This year King Bertric took Edburga the daughter of Offa to
wife. And in his days came first three ships of the Northmen from the land
of robbers. The reve then rode thereto, and would drive them to the king's
town; for he knew not what they were; and there was he slain. These were
the first ships of the Danish men that sought the land of the English
A.D. 788. This year there was a synod assembled at Fingall in
Northumberland, on the fourth day before the nones of September; and Abbot
Albert departed this life.
A.D. 789. This year Elwald, king of the Northumbrians, was slain by Siga,
on the eleventh day before the calends of October; and a heavenly light was
often seen on the spot where he was slain. He was buried in the church of
Hexham; and Osred, the son of Alred, who was his nephew, succeeded him in
the government. This year there was a synod assembled at Acley.
A.D. 790. This year Archbishop Eanbert died, and Abbot Ethelherd was chosen
archbishop the same year. Osred, king of the Northumbrians, was betrayed
and banished from his kingdom, and Ethelred, the son of Ethelwald, succeeded
A.D. 791. This year Baldulf was consecrated Bishop of Whitern, on the
sixteenth day before the calends of August, by Archbishop Eanbald and Bishop
A.D. 792. This year Offa, King of Mercia, commanded that King Ethelbert
should be beheaded; and Osred, who had been king of the Northumbrians,
returning home after his exile, was apprehended and slain, on the eighteenth
day before the calends of October. His body is deposited at Tinemouth.
Ethelred this year, on the third day before the calends of October, took
unto himself a new wife, whose name was Elfleda.
A.D. 793. This year came dreadful fore-warnings over the land of the
Northumbrians, terrifying the people most woefully: these were immense
sheets of light rushing through the air, and whirlwinds, and fiery, dragons
flying across the firmament. These tremendous tokens were soon followed by a
great famine: and not long after, on the sixth day before the ides of
January in the same year, the harrowing inroads of heathen men made
lamentable havoc in the church of God in Holy-island, by rapine and
slaughter. Siga died on the eighth day before the calends of March.
A.D. 794. This year died Pope Adrian; and also Offa, King of Mercia, on the
fourth day before the ides of August, after he had reigned forty winters.
Ethelred, king of the Northumbrians, was slain by his own people, on the
thirteenth day before the calends of May; in consequence of which, Bishops
Ceolwulf and Eadbald retired from the land. Everth took to the government
of Mercia, and died the same year. Eadbert, whose other name was Pryn,
obtained the kingdom of Kent; and Alderman Ethelherd died on the calends of
August. In the meantime, the heathen armies spread devastation among the
Northumbrians, and plundered the monastery of King Everth at the mouth of
the Wear. There, however, some of their leaders were slain; and some of
their ships also were shattered to pieces by the violence of the weather;
many of the crew were drowned; and some, who escaped alive to the shore,
were soon dispatched at the mouth of the river.
A.D. 795. This year was the moon eclipsed, between cock-crowing and dawn,
on the fifth day before the calends of April; and Erdulf succeeded to the
Northumbrian kingdom on the second before the ides of May. He was
afterwards consecrated and raised to his throne, at York, on the seventh day
before the calends of June, by Archbishop Eanbald, and Bishops Ethelbert,
Hibbald, and Baldulf.
A.D. 796. This year died Archbishop Eanbald, on the fourth day before the
ides of August; and his body is deposited at York. The same year also died
Bishop Ceolwulf; and another Eanbald was consecrated to the see of the
former, on the nineteenth day before the calends of September. About the
same time Cynewulf, King of Mercia, made inroads upon the inhabitants of
Kent as far as the marsh; and the Mercians seized Edbert Pryn, their king,
led him bound into Mercia, and suffered men to pick out his eyes, and cut
off his hands. And Ethelard, Archbishop of Canterbury, held a synod,
wherein he ratified and confirmed, by command of Pope Leo, all things
concerning God's monasteries that were fixed in Witgar's days, and in other
king's days, saying thus: "I Ethelard, the humble Archbishop of Canterbury,
with the unanimous concurrence of the whole synod, and of all the
congregations of all the minsters, to which in former days freedom was given
by faithful men, in God's name and by his terrible judgment do decree, as I
have command from Pope Leo, that henceforth none dare to choose them lords
from lewd men over God's inheritance; but, as it is in the writ that the
pope has given, or holy men have settled, our fathers and our teachers,
concerning holy minsters, so they continue untainted without any
resistance. If there is any man that will not observe this decree of God,
of our pope, and of us, but overlooketh it, and holdeth it for nought, let
them know, that they shall give an account before the judgment-seat of God.
And I Ethelard, archbishop, with twelve bishops, and with three and twenty
abbots, this same with the rood-token of Christ confirm and fasten."
A.D. 796. This year Offa, king of the Mercians, died on the fourth before
the kalends of August; he reigned forty years.
A.D. 797. This year the Romans cut out the tongue of Pope Leo, put out his
eyes, and drove him from his see; but soon after, by the assistance of God,
he could see and speak, and became pope as he was before. Eanbald also
received the pall on the sixth day before the ides of September, and Bishop
Ethelherd died on the third before the calends of November.
A.D. 798. This year a severe battle was fought in the Northumbrian
territory, during Lent, on the fourth day before the nones of April, at
Whalley; wherein Alric, the son of Herbert, was slain, and many others with
A.D. 799. This year Archbishop Ethelbert, and Cynbert, Bishop of Wessex,
went to Rome. In the meantime Bishop Alfun died at Sudbury, and was buried
at Dunwich. After him Tidfrith was elected to the see; and Siric, king of
the East Saxons, went to Rome. In this year the body of Witburga was found
entire, and free from decay, at Dercham, after a lapse of five and fifty
years from the period of her decease.
A.D. 800. This year was the moon eclipsed, at eight in the evening, on the
seventeenth day before the calends of February; and soon after died King
Bertric and Alderman Worr. Egbert succeeded to the West-Saxon kingdom; and
the same day Ethelmund, alderman of the Wiccians, rode over the Thames at
Kempsford; where he was met by Alderman Woxtan, with the men of Wiltshire,
and a terrible conflict ensued, in which both the commanders were slain, but
the men of Wiltshire obtained the victory.
A.D. 801. This year Beornmod was ordained Bishop of Rochester.
A.D. 802. This year was the moon eclipsed, at dawn, on the thirteenth day
before the calends of January; and Bernmod was consecrated Bishop of
A.D. 803. This year died Hibbald, Bishop of Holy-island, on the
twenty-fourth of June, and Egbert was consecrated in his stead, on the
thirteenth of June following. Archbishop Ethelherd also died in Kent, and
Wulfred was chosen archbishop in his stead. Abbot Forthred, in the course of
the same year, departed this life.
A.D. 804. This year Archbishop Wulfred received his pall.
A.D. 805. This year died King Cuthred in Kent, and Abbess Colburga, and
A.D. 806. This year was the moon eclipsed, on the first o[ September;
Erdwulf, king of the Northumbrians, was banished from his dominions; and
Eanbert, Bishop of Hexham, departed this life. This year also, on the next
day before the nones of June, a cross was seen in the moon, on a Wednesday,
at the dawn; and afterwards, during the same year, on the third day before
the calends of September, a wonderful circle was displayed about the sun.
A.D. 807. This year was the sun eclipsed, precisely at eleven in the
morning, on the seventeenth day before the calends of August.
A.D. 812. This year died the Emperor Charlemagne, after a reign of five and
forty winters; and Archbishop Wulfred, accompanied by Wigbert, Bishop of
Wessex, undertook a journey to Rome.
A.D. 813. This year Archbishop Wulfred returned to his own see, with the
blessing of Pope Leo; and King Egbert spread devastation in Cornwall from
east to west.
A.D. 814. This year died Leo, the noble and holy pope; and Stephen
succeeded him in the papal government.
A.D. 816. This year died Pope Stephen; and Paschalis was consecrated pope
after him. This same year the school of the English nation at Rome was
destroyed by fire.
A.D. 819. This year died Cenwulf, King of Mercia; and Ceolwulf succeeded
him. Alderman Eadbert also departed this life.
A.D. 821. This year Ceolwulf was deprived of his kingdom.
A.D. 822. This year two aldermen were slain, whose names were Burhelm and
Mucca; and a synod was holden at Cliff's-Hoo.
A.D. 823. This year a battle was fought between the Welsh in Cornwall and
the people of Devonshire, at Camelford; and in the course of the same year
Egbert, king of the West-Saxons, and Bernwulf, King of Mercia, fought a
battle at Wilton, in which Egbert gained the victory, but there was great
slaughter on both sides. Then sent he his son Ethelwulf into Kent, with a
large detachment from the main body of the army, accompanied by his bishop,
Elstan, and his alderman, Wulfherd; who drove Baldred, the king, northward
over the Thames. Whereupon the men of Kent immediately submitted to him; as
did also the inhabitants of Surrey, and Sussex, and Essex; who had been
unlawfully kept from their allegiance by his relatives. The same year also,
the king of the East-Angles, and his subjects besought King Egbert to give
them peace and protection against the terror of the Mercians; whose king,
Bernwulf, they slew in the course of the same year.
A.D. 825. This year Ludecan, King of Mercia, was slain, and his five
aldermen with him; after which Wiglaf succeeded to the kingdom.
A.D. 827. This year was the moon eclipsed, on mid-winter's mass-night; and
King Egbert, in the course of the same year, conquered the Mercian kingdom,
and all that is south of the Humber, being the eighth king who was sovereign
of all the British dominions. Ella, king of the South-Saxons, was the first
who possessed so large a territory; the second was Ceawlin, king of the
West-Saxons: the third was Ethelbert, King of Kent; the fourth was Redwald,
king of the East-Angles; the fifth was Edwin, king of the Northumbrians; the
sixth was Oswald, who succeeded him; the seventh was Oswy, the brother of
Oswald; the eighth was Egbert, king of the West-Saxons. This same Egbert
led an army against the Northumbrians as far as Dore, where they met him,
and offered terms of obedience and subjection, on the acceptance of which
they returned home.
A.D. 828. This year Wiglaf recovered his Mercian kingdom, and Bishop
Ethelwald departed this life. The same year King Egbert led an army against
the people of North-Wales, and compelled them all to peaceful submission.
A.D. 829. This year died Archbishop Wulfred; and Abbot Feologild was after
him chosen to the see, on the twenty-fifth of April, and consecrated on a
Sunday, the eleventh of June. On the thirteenth of August he was dead!
A.D. 830. This year Ceolnoth was chosen and consecrated archbishop on the
death of Abbot Feologild.
A.D. 831. This year Archbishop Ceolnoth received the pall.
A.D. 832. This year heathen men overran the Isle of Shepey.
A.D. 833. This year fought King Egbert with thirty-five pirates at
Charmouth, where a great slaughter was made, and the Danes remained masters
of the field. Two bishops, Hereferth and Wigen, and two aldermen, Dudda and
Osmod, died the same year.
A.D. 835. This year came a great naval armament into West-Wales, where they
were joined by the people, who commenced war against Egbert, the West-Saxon
king. When he heard this, he proceeded with his army against them and
fought with them at Hengeston, where he put to flight both the Welsh and the
A.D. 836. This year died King Egbert. Him Offa, King of Mercia, and
Bertric, the West-Saxon king, drove out of England into France three years
before he was king. Bertric assisted Offa because he had married his
daughter. Egbert having afterwards returned, reigned thirty-seven winters
and seven months. Then Ethelwulf, the son of Egbert, succeeded to the
West-Saxon kingdom; and he gave his son Athelstan the kingdom of Kent, and
of Essex, and of Surrey, and of Sussex.
A.D. 837. This year Alderman Wulfherd fought at Hamton with thirty-three
pirates, and after great slaughter obtained the victory, but he died the
same year. Alderman Ethelhelm also, with the men of Dorsetshire, fought
with the Danish army in Portland-isle, and for a good while put them to
flight; but in the end the Danes became masters of the field, and slew the
A.D. 838. This year Alderman Herbert was slain by the heathens, and many
men with him, among the Marshlanders. The same year, afterwards, in
Lindsey, East-Anglia, and Kent, were many men slain by the army.
A.D. 839. This year there was great slaughter in London, Canterbury, and
A.D. 840. This year King Ethelwulf fought at Charmouth with thirty-five
ship's-crews, and the Danes remained masters of the place. The Emperor
Louis died this year.
A.D. 845. This year Alderman Eanwulf, with the men of Somersetshire, and
Bishop Ealstan, and Alderman Osric, with the men of Dorsetshire, fought at
the mouth of the Parret with the Danish army; and there, after making a
great slaughter, obtained the victory.
A.D. 851. This year Alderman Ceorl, with the men of Devonshire, fought the
heathen army at Wemburg, and after making great slaughter obtained the
victory. The same year King Athelstan and Alderman Elchere fought in their
ships, and slew a large army at Sandwich in Kent, taking nine ships and
dispersing the rest. The heathens now for the first time remained over
winter in the Isle of Thanet. The same year came three hundred and fifty
ships into the mouth of the Thames; the crew of which went upon land, and
stormed Canterbury and London; putting to flight Bertulf, king of the
Mercians, with his army; and then marched southward over the Thames into
Surrey. Here Ethelwulf and his son Ethelbald, at the head of the West-Saxon
army, fought with them at Ockley, and made the greatest slaughter of the
heathen army that we have ever heard reported to this present day. There
also they obtained the victory.
A.D. 852. About this time Abbot Ceolred of Medhamsted, with the concurrence
of the monks, let to hand the land of Sempringham to Wulfred, with the
provision, that after his demise the said land should revert to the
monastery; that Wulfred should give the land of Sleaford to Meohamsted, and
should send each year into the monastery sixty loads of wood, twelve loads
of coal, six loads of peat, two tuns full of fine ale, two neats' carcases,
six hundred loaves, and ten kilderkins of Welsh ale; one horse also each
year, and thirty shillings, and one night's entertainment. This agreement
was made in the presence of King Burhred. Archbishop Ceolnoth, Bishops
Tunbert, Kenred, Aldhun, and Bertred; Abbots Witred and Weftherd, Aldermen
Ethelherd and Hunbert, and many others.
A.D. 853. This year Burhred, King of Mercia, with his council, besought
King Ethelwulf to assist him to subdue North-Wales. He did so; and with an
army marched over Mercia into North-Wales, and made all the inhabitants
subject to him. The same year King Ethelwulf sent his son Alfred to Rome;
and Leo, who was then pope, consecrated him king, and adopted him as his
spiritual son. The same year also Elchere with the men of Kent, and Huda
with the men of Surrey, fought in the Isle of Thanet with the heathen army,
and soon obtained the victory; but there were many men slain and drowned on
either hand, and both the aldermen killed. Burhred, the Mercian king, about
this time received in marriage the daughter of Ethelwulf, king of the
A.D. 854. This year the heathen men for the first time remained over
winter in the Isle of Shepey. The same year King Ethelwulf registered a
TENTH of his land over all his kingdom for the honour of God and for his own
everlasting salvation. The same year also he went to Rome with great pomp,
and was resident there a twelvemonth. Then he returned homeward; and
Charles, king of the Franks, gave him his daughter, whose name was Judith,
to be his queen. After this he came to his people, and they were fain to
receive him; but about two years after his residence among the Franks he
died; and his body lies at Winchester. He reigned eighteen years and a
half. And Ethelwulf was the son of Egbert, Egbert of Ealhmund, Ealhmund of
Eafa, Eafa of Eoppa, Eoppa of Ingild; Ingild was the brother of Ina, king of
the West-Saxons, who held that kingdom thirty-seven winters, and afterwards
went to St. Peter, where he died. And they were the sons of Cenred, Cenred
of Ceolwald, Ceolwald of Cutha, Cutha of Cuthwin, Cuthwin of Ceawlin,
Ceawlin of Cynric, Cynric of Creoda, Creoda of Cerdic, Cerdic of Elesa,
Elesa of Esla, Esla of Gewis, Gewis of Wig, Wig of Freawine, Freawine of
Frithugar, Frithugar of Brond, Brond of Balday, Balday of Woden, Woden of
Frithuwald, Frithuwald of Freawine, Freawine of Frithuwualf, Frithuwulf of
Finn, Finn of Godwulf, Godwulf of Great, Great of Taetwa, Taetwa of Beaw,
Beaw of Sceldwa, Sceldwa of Heremod, Heremod of Itermon, Itermon of Hathra,
Hathra of Hwala, Hwala of Bedwig, Bedwig of Sceaf; that is, the son of Noah,
who was born in Noah's ark: Laznech, Methusalem, Enoh, Jared, Malalahel,
Cainion, Enos, Seth, Adam the first man, and our Father, that is, Christ.
Amen. Then two sons of Ethelwulf succeeded to the kingdom; Ethelbald to
Wessex, and Ethelbert to Kent, Essex, Surrey, and Sussex. Ethelbald reigned
five years. Alfred, his third son, Ethelwulf had sent to Rome; and when the
pope heard say that he was dead, he consecrated Alfred king, and held him
under spiritual hands, as his father Ethelwulf had desired, and for which
purpose he had sent him thither.
A.D. 855. And on his return homewards he took to (wife) the daughter
of Charles, king of the French, whose name was Judith, and he came home
safe. And then in about two years he died, and his body lies at Winchester:
and he reigned eighteen years and a half, and he was the son of Egbert. And
then his two sons succeeded to the kingdom; Ethelbald to the kingdom of the
West-Saxons, and Ethelbert to the kingdom of the Kentish-men, and of the
East-Saxons, and of Surrey, and of the South-Saxons. And he reigned five
A.D. 860. This year died King Ethelbald, and his body lies at Sherborn.
Ethelbert his brother then succeeded to the whole kingdom, and held it in
good order and great tranquillity. In his days came a large naval force up
into the country, and stormed Winchester. But Alderman Osric, with the
command of Hampshire, and Alderman Ethelwulf, with the command of Berkshire,
fought against the enemy, and putting them to flight, made themselves
masters of the field of battle. The said Ethelbert reigned five years, and
his body lies at Sherborn.
A.D. 861. This year died St. Swithun, bishop.
A.D. 865. This year sat the heathen army in the isle of Thanet, and made
peace with the men of Kent, who promised money therewith; but under the
security of peace, and the promise of money, the army in the night stole up
the country, and overran all Kent eastward.
A.D. 866. This year Ethered, brother of Ethelbert, took to the West-Saxon
government; and the same year came a large heathen army into England, and
fixed their winter-quarters in East-Anglia, where they were soon horsed; and
the inhabitants made peace with them.
A.D. 867. This year the army went from the East-Angles over the mouth of
the Humber to the Northumbrians, as far as York. And there was much
dissension in that nation among themselves; they had deposed their king
Osbert, and had admitted Aella, who had no natural claim. Late in the year,
however, they returned to their allegiance, and they were now fighting
against the common enemy; having collected a vast force, with which they
fought the army at York; and breaking open the town, some of them entered
in. Then was there an immense slaughter of the Northumbrians, some within
and some without; and both the kings were slain on the spot. The survivors
made peace with the army. The same year died Bishop Ealstan, who had the
bishopric of Sherborn fifty winters, and his body lies in the town.
A.D. 868. This year the same army went into Mercia to Nottingham, and there
fixed their winter-quarters; and Burhred, king of the Mercians, with his
council, besought Ethered, king of the West-Saxons, and Alfred, his brother;
that they would assist them in fighting against the army. And they went
with the West- Saxon army into Mercia as far as Nottingham, and there
meeting the army on the works, they beset them within. But there was no
heavy fight; for the Mercians made peace with the army.
A.D. 869. This year the army went back to York, and sat there a year.
A.D. 870. This year the army rode over Mercia into East-Anglia, and there
fixed their winter-quarters at Thetford. And in the winter King Edmund
fought with them; but the Danes gained the victory, and slew the king;
whereupon they overran all that land, and destroyed all the monasteries to
which they came. The names of the leaders who slew the king were Hingwar
and Hubba. At the same time came they to Medhamsted, burning and breaking,
and slaying abbot and monks, and all that they there found. They made such
havoc there, that a monastery, which was before full rich, was now reduced
to nothing. The same year died Archbishop Ceolnoth; and Ethered, Bishop of
Witshire, was chosen Archbishop of Canterbury.
A.D. 871. This year came the army to Reading in Wessex; and in the course
of three nights after rode two earls up, who were met by Alderman Ethelwulf
at Englefield; where he fought with them, and obtained the victory. There
one of them was slain, whose name was Sidrac. About four nights after this,
King Ethered and Alfred his brother led their main army to Reading, where
they fought with the enemy; and there was much slaughter on either hand,
Alderman Ethelwulf being among the skain; but the Danes kept possession of
the field. And about four nights after this, King Ethered and Alfred his
brother fought with all the army on Ashdown, and the Danes were overcome.
They had two heathen kings, Bagsac and Healfden, and many earls; and they
were in two divisions; in one of which were Bagsac and Healfden, the heathen
kings, and in the other were the earls. King Ethered therefore fought with
the troops of the kings, and there was King Bagsac slain; and Alfred his
brother fought with the troops of the earls, and there were slain Earl
Sidrac the elder, Earl Sidrac the younger, Earl Osbern, Earl Frene, and Earl
Harold. They put both the troops to flight; there were many thousands of
the slain, and they continued fighting till night. Within a fortnight of
this, King Ethered and Alfred his brother fought with the army at Basing;
and there the Danes had the victory. About two months after this, King
Ethered and Alfred his brother fought with the army at Marden. They were in
two divisions; and they put them both to flight, enjoying the victory for
some time during the day; and there was much slaughter on either hand; but
the Danes became masters of the field; and there was slain Bishop Heahmund,
with many other good men. After this fight came a vast army in the summer
to Reading. And after the Easter of this year died King Ethered. He
reigned five years, and his body lies at Winburn-minster. Then Alfred, his
brother, the son of Ethelwulf, took to the kingdom of Wessex. And within a
month of this, King Alfred fought against all the Army with a small force at
Wilton, and long pursued them during the day; but the Danes got possession
of the field. This year were nine general battles fought with the army in
the kingdom south of the Thames; besides those skirmishes, in which Alfred
the king's brother, and every single alderman, and the thanes of the king,
oft rode against them; which were accounted nothing. This year also were
slain nine earls, and one king; and the same year the West-Saxons made peace
with the army.
A.D. 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.D. 872. This year went the army to London from Reading, and there chose
their winter-quarters. Then the Mercians made peace with the army.
A.D. 873. This year went the army against the Northumbrians, and fixed
their winter-quarters at Torksey in Lindsey. And the Mercians again made
peace with the army.
A.D. 874. This year went the army from Lindsey to Repton, and there took up
their winter-quarters, drove the king, Burhred, over sea, when he had
reigned about two and twenty winters, and subdued all that land. He then
went to Rome, and there remained to the end of his life. And his body lies
in the church of Sancta Maria, in the school of the English nation. And the
same year they gave Ceolwulf, an unwise king's thane, the Mercian kingdom to
hold; and he swore oaths to them, and gave hostages, that it should be ready
for them on whatever day they would have it; and he would be ready with
himself, and with all those that would remain with him, at the service of
A.D. 875. This year went the army from Repton; and Healfden advanced with
some of the army against the Northumbrians, and fixed his winter-quarters by
the river Tine. The army then subdued that land, and oft invaded the Picts
and the Strathclydwallians. Meanwhile the three kings, Guthrum, Oskytel,
and Anwind, went from Repton to Cambridge with a vast army, and sat there
one year. This summer King Alfred went out to sea with an armed fleet, and
fought with seven ship-rovers, one of whom he took, and dispersed the
A.D. 876. This year Rolla penetrated Normandy with his army; and he reigned
fifty winters. And this year the army stole into Wareham, a fort of the
West-Saxons. The king afterwards made peace with them; and they gave him as
hostages those who were worthiest in the army; and swore with oaths on the
holy bracelet, which they would not before to any nation, that they would
readily go out of his kingdom. Then, under colour of this, their cavalry
stole by night into Exeter. The same year Healfden divided the land of the
Northumbrians; so that they became afterwards their harrowers and plowers.
A.D. 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.D. 877. This year came the Danish army into Exeter from Wareham; whilst
the navy sailed west about, until they met with a great mist at sea, and
there perished one hundred and twenty ships at Swanwich. Meanwhile King
Alfred with his army rode after the cavalry as far as Exeter; but he could
not overtake them before their arrival in the fortress, where they could not
be come at. There they gave him as many hostages as he required, swearing
with solemn oaths to observe the strictest amity. In the harvest the army
entered Mercia; some of which they divided among them, and some they gave to
A.D. 878. This year about mid-winter, after twelfth-night, the Danish army
stole out to Chippenham, and rode over the land of the West-Saxons; where
they settled, and drove many of the people over sea; and of the rest the
greatest part they rode down, and subdued to their will; -- ALL BUT ALFRED
THE KING. He, with a little band, uneasily sought the woods and fastnesses
of the moors. And in the winter of this same year the brother of Ingwar and
Healfden landed in Wessex, in Devonshire, with three and twenty ships, and
there was he slain, and eight hundred men with him, and forty of his army.
There also was taken the war-flag, which they called the RAVEN. In the
Easter of this year King Alfred with his little force raised a work at
Athelney; from which he assailed the army, assisted by that part of
Somersetshire which was nighest to it. Then, in the seventh week after
Easter, he rode to Brixton by the eastern side of Selwood; and there came
out to meet him all the people of Somersersetshire, and Wiltshire, and that
part of Hampshire which is on this side of the sea; and they rejoiced to see
him. Then within one night he went from this retreat to Hey; and within one
night after he proceeded to Heddington; and there fought with all the army,
and put them to flight, riding after them as far as the fortress, where he
remained a fortnight. Then the army gave him hostages with many oaths, that
they would go out of his kingdom. They told him also, that their king would
receive baptism. And they acted accordingly; for in the course of three
weeks after, King Guthrum, attended by some thirty of the worthiest men that
were in the army, came to him at Aller, which is near Athelney, and there
the king became his sponsor in baptism; and his crisom-leasing was at
Wedmor. He was there twelve nights with the king, who honoured him and his
attendants with many presents.
A.D. 879. This year went the army from Chippenham to Cirencester, and sat
there a year. The same year assembled a band of pirates, and sat at Fulham
by the Thames. The same year also the sun was eclipsed one hour of the day.
A.D. 880. This year went the army from Cirencester into East-Anglia, where
they settled, and divided the land. The same year went the army over sea,
that before sat at Fulham, to Ghent in Frankland, and sat there a year.
A.D. 881. This year went the army higher up into Frankland, and the Franks
fought with them; and there was the army horsed after the battle.
A.D. 882. This year went the army up along the Maese far into Frankland,
and there sat a year; and the same year went King Alfred out to sea with a
fleet; and fought with four ship-rovers of the Danes, and took two of their
ships; wherein all the men were slain; and the other two surrendered; but
the men were severely cut and wounded ere they surrendered.
A.D. 883. This year went the army up the Scheldt to Conde, and there sat a
year. And Pope Marinus sent King Alfred the "lignum Domini". The same year
led Sighelm and Athelstan to Rome the alms which King Alfred ordered
thither, and also in India to St. Thomas and to St. Bartholomew. Then they
sat against the army at London; and there, with the favour of God, they were
very successful after the performance of their vows.
A.D. 884. This year went the army up the Somne to Amiens, and there
remained a year. This year died the benevolent Bishop Athelwold.
A.D. 885. This year separated the before-mentioned army in two; one part
east, another to Rochester. This city they surrounded, and wrought another
fortress around themselves. The people, however, defended the city, until
King Alfred came out with his army. Then went the enemy to their ships, and
forsook their work. There were they provided with horses; and soon after,
in the same summer, they went over sea again. The same year sent King
Alfred a fleet from Kent into East-Anglia. As soon as they came to
Stourmouth, there met them sixteen ships of the pirates. And they fought
with them, took all the ships, and slew the men. As they returned homeward
with their booty, they met a large fleet of the pirates, and fought with
them the same day; but the Danes had the victory. The same year, ere
midwinter, died Charles, king of the Franks. He was slain by a boar; and
one year before his brother died, who had also the Western kingdom. They
were both the sons of Louis, who also had the Western kingdom, and died the
same year that the sun was eclipsed. He was the son of that Charles whose
daughter Ethelwulf, king of the West-Saxons, had to wife. And the same year
collected a great fleet against Old-Saxony; and there was a great fight
twice in the year, and the Saxons had the victory. There were the
Frieslanders with them. And the same year succeeded Charles to the Western
kingdom, and to all the territory this side of the Mediterranean and beyond,
as his great-grandfather held it, except the Lidwiccians. The said Charles
was the son of Louis, who was the brother of that Charles who was the father
of Judith, whom Ethelwulf, king of the West-Saxons, married. They were the
sons of Louis, who was the son of the elder Charles, who was the son of
Pepin. The same year died the good Pope Martin, who freed the English
school at the request of Alfred, king of the West-Saxons. And he sent him
great gifts in relics, and a part of the rood on which Christ suffered. And
the same year the army in East-Anglia brake the truce with King Alfred.
A.D. 886. This year went the army back again to the west, that before were
bent eastward; and proceeding upwards along the Seine, fixed their
winter-quarters in the city of Paris. The same year also King Alfred
fortified the city of London; and the whole English nation turned to him,
except that part of it which was held captive by the Danes. He then
committed the city to the care of Alderman Ethered, to hold it under him.
A.D. 887. This year the army advanced beyond the bridge at Paris; and then
upwards, along the Seine, to the Marne. Then upwards on the Marne as far as
Chezy; and in their two stations, there and on the Yonne, they abode two
winters. This same year died Charles, king of the Franks. Arnulf, his
brother's son, had six weeks before his death bereft him of his kingdom;
which was now divided into five portions, and five kings were consecrated
thereto. This, however, was done with the consent of Arnulf; and they
agreed that they should hold in subjection to him; because none of them had
by birth any claim on the father's side, except him alone. Arnulf,
therefore, dwelt in the country eastward of the Rhine; Rodulf took to the
middle district; Oda to the western; whilst Berenger and Witha became
masters of Lombardy and the Cisalpine territory. But they held their
dominion in great discord; fought two general battles, and frequently
overran the country in partial encounters, displacing each other several
times. The same year also, in which the Danish army advanced beyond the
bridge at Paris, Alderman Ethelhelm led the alms of the West-Saxons and of
King Alfred to Rome.
A.D. 888. This year Alderman Beeke conducted the alms of the West-Saxons
and of King Alfred to Rome; but Queen Ethelswith, who was the sister of King
Alfred, died on the way to Rome; and her body lies at Pavia. The same year
also Ethered, Archbishop of Canterbury and Alderman Ethelwold, died in one
A.D. 889. This year there was no journey to Rome; except that King Alfred
sent two messengers with letters.
A.D. 890. This year Abbot Bernhelm conducted the alms of the West-Saxons
and of King Alfred to Rome; and Guthrum, king of the Northern men, departed
this life, whose baptismal name was Athelstan. He was the godson of King
Alfred; and he abode among the East-Angles, where he first established a
settlement. The same year also went the army from the Seine to Saint Lo,
which is between the Bretons and the Franks; where the Bretons fought with
them, obtained the victory, and drove them out into a river, in which many
of them were drowned. This year also was Plegmund chosen by God and all his
saints to the archbishopric in Canterbury.
A.D. 891. This year went the army eastward; and King Arnulf fought with the
land-force, ere the ships arrived, in conjunction with the eastern Franks,
and Saxons, and Bavarians, and put them to flight. And three Scots came to
King Alfred in a boat without any oars from Ireland; whence they stole away,
because they would live in a state of pilgrimage, for the love of God, they
recked not where. The boat in which they came was made of two hides and a
half; and they took with them provisions for seven nights; and within seven
nights they came to land in Cornwall, and soon after went to King Alfred.
They were thus named: Dubslane, and Macbeth, and Maelinmun. And Swinney,
the best teacher that was among the Scots, departed this life. And the same
year after Easter, about the gang-days or before, appeared the star that men
in book-Latin call "cometa": some men say that in English it may be termed
"hairy star"; for that there standeth off from it a long gleam of light,
whilom on one side, whilom on each.
A.D. 893. This year went the large army, that we before spoke about, back
from the eastern district westward to Bologne; and there were shipped; so
that they transported themselves over at one time with their horses withal.
And they came up with two hundred and fifty ships into the mouth of the
Limne, which is in East-Kent, at the east end of the vast wood that we call
Andred. This wood is in length, east and west, one hundred and twenty miles,
or longer, and thirty miles broad. The river that we before spoke about
lieth out of the weald. On this river they towed up their ships as far as
the weald, four miles from the mouth outwards; and there destroyed a fort
within the fen, whereon sat a few churls, and which was hastily wrought.
Soon after this came Hasten up with eighty ships into the mouth of the
Thames, and wrought him there a work at Milton, and the other army at
A.D. 894. This year, that was about twelve months after they had wrought a
work in the eastern district, the Northumbrians and East-Angles had given
oaths to King Alfred, and the East-Angles six hostages; nevertheless,
contrary to the truce, as oft as the other plunderers went out with all
their army, then went they also, either with them, or in a separate
division. Upon this King Alfred gathered his army, and advanced, so that he
encamped between the two armies at the highest point he could find defended
by wood and by water, that he might reach either, if they would seek any
field. Then went they forth in quest of the wealds, in troops and
companies, wheresoever the country was defenceless. But they were also
sought after most days by other companies, either by day or by night, both
from the army and also from the towns. The king had divided his army into
two parts; so that they were always half at home, half out; besides the men
that should maintain the towns. The army came not all out of their stations
more than twice; once, when they first came to land, ere the forces were
collected, and again, when they wished to depart from their stations. They
had now seized much booty, and would ferry it northward over Thames into
Essex, to meet their ships. But the army rode before them, fought with them
at Farnham, routed their forces, and there arrested the booty. And they
flew over Thames without any ford, then up by the Colne on an island. Then
the king's forces beset them without as long as they had food; but they had
their time set, and their meat noted. And the king was advancing
thitherwards on his march with the division that accompanied him. But while
he was advancing thitherwards, the other force was returning homewards. The
Danes, however, still remained behind; for their king was wounded in the
fight, so that they could not carry him. Then collected together those that
dwell in Northumbria and East-Anglia about a hundred ships, and went south
about; and with some forty more went north about, and besieged a fort in
Devonshire by the north sea; and those who went south about beset Exeter.
When the king heard that, then went he west towards Exeter with all his
force, except a very considerable part of the eastern army, who advanced
till they came to London; and there being joined by the citizens and the
reinforcements that came from the west, they went east to Barnfleet. Hasten
was there with his gang, who before were stationed at Milton, and also the
main army had come thither, that sat before in the mouth of the Limne at
Appledore. Hasten had formerly constructed that work at Barnfleet, and was
then gone out on plunder, the main army being at home. Then came the king's
troops, and routed the enemy, broke down the work, took all that was therein
money, women, and children and brought all to London. And all the ships
they either broke to pieces, or burned, or brought to London or to
Rochester. And Hasten's wife and her two sons they brought to the king, who
returned them to him, because one of them was his godson, and the other
Alderman Ethered's. They had adopted them ere Hasten came to Bamfleet; when
he had given them hostages and oaths, and the king had also given him many
presents; as he did also then, when he returned the child and the wife. And
as soon as they came to Bamfleet, and the work was built, then plundered he
in the same quarter of his kingdom that Ethered his compeer should have
held; and at another time he was plundering in the same district when his
work was destroyed. The king then went westward with the army toward
Exeter, as I before said, and the army had beset the city; but whilst he was
gone they went to their ships. Whilst he was thus busied there with the
army, in the west, the marauding parties were both gathered together at
Shobury in Essex, and there built a fortress. Then they both went together
up by the Thames, and a great concourse joined them, both from the
East-Angles and from the Northumbrians. They then advanced upward by the
Thames, till they arrived near the Severn. Then they proceeded upward by
the Severn. Meanwhile assembled Alderman Ethered, Alderman Ethelm, Alderman
Ethelnoth, and the king's thanes, who were employed at home at the works,
from every town east of the Parret, as well as west of Selwood, and from the
parts east and also north of the Thames and west of the Severn, and also
some part of North-Wales. When they were all collected together, they
overtook the rear of the enemy at Buttington on the banks of the Severn, and
there beset them without on each side in a fortress. When they had sat
there many weeks on both sides of the water, and the king meanwhile was in
Devonshire westward with the naval force, then were the enemy weighed down
with famine. They had devoured the greater part of their horses; and the
rest had perished with hunger. Then went they out to the men that sat on
the eastern side of the river, and fought with them; but the Christians had
the victory. And there Ordhelm, the king's thane, was slain; and also many
other king's thanes; and of the Danes there were many slain, and that part
of them that came away escaped only by flight. As soon as they came into
Essex to their fortress, and to their ships, then gathered the remnant again
in East-Anglia and from the Northumbrians a great force before winter, and
having committed their wives and their ships and their booty to the
East-Angles, they marched on the stretch by day and night, till they arrived
at a western city in Wirheal that is called Chester. There the army could
not overtake them ere they arrived within the work: they beset the work
though, without, some two days, took all the cattle that was thereabout,
slew the men whom they could overtake without the work, and all the corn
they either burned or consumed with their horses every evening. That was
about a twelvemonth since they first came hither over sea.
A.D. 895. Soon after that, in this year, went the army from Wirheal into
North-Wales; for they could not remain there, because they were stripped
both of the cattle and the corn that they had acquired by plunder. When
they went again out of North-Wales with the booty they had acquired there,
they marched over Northumberland and East-Anglia, so that the king's army
could not reach them till they came into Essex eastward, on an island that
is out at sea, called Mersey. And as the army returned homeward that had
beset Exeter, they went up plundering in Sussex nigh Chichester; but the
townsmen put them to flight, and slew many hundreds of them, and took some
of their ships. Then, in the same year, before winter, the Danes, who abode
in Mersey, towed their ships up on the Thames, and thence up the Lea. That
was about two years after that they came hither over sea.
A.D. 896. This same year wrought the aforesaid army a work by the Lea,
twenty miles above the city of London. Then. in the summer of this year,
went a large party of the citizens. and also of other folk, and made an
attack on the work of the Danes; but they were there routed, and some four
of the king's thanes were slain. In the harvest afterward the king encamped
close to the city, whilst they reaped their corn, that the Danes might not
deprive them of the crop. Then, some day, rode the king up by the river;
and observed a place where the river might be obstructed, so that they could
not bring out their ships. And they did so. They wrought two works on the
two sides of the river. And when they had begun the work, and encamped
before it, then understood the army that they could not bring out their
ships. Whereupon they left them, and went over land, till they came to
Quatbridge by Severn; and there wrought a work. Then rode the king's army
westward after the enemy. And the men of London fetched the ships; and all
that they could not lead away they broke up; but all that were worthy of
capture they brought into the port of London. And the Danes procured an
asylum for their wives among the East-Angles, ere they went out of the fort.
During the winter they abode at Quatbridge. That was about three years
since they came hither over sea into the mouth of the Limne.
A.D. 897. In the summer of this year went the army, some into East-Anglia,
and some into Northumbria; and those that were penniless got themselves
ships, and went south over sea to the Seine. The enemy had not, thank God.
entirely destroyed the English nation; but they were much more weakened in
these three years by the disease of cattle, and most of all of men; so that
many of the mightiest of the king's thanes. that were in the land, died
within the three years. Of these. one was Swithulf Bishop of Rochester,
Ceolmund alderman in Kent, Bertulf alderman in Essex, Wulfred alderman in
Hampshire, Elhard Bishop of Dorchester, Eadulf a king's thane in Sussex,
Bernuff governor of Winchester, and Egulf the king's horse-thane; and many
also with them; though I have named only the men of the highest rank. This
same year the plunderers in East-Anglia and Northumbria greatly harassed the
land of the West-Saxons by piracies on the southern coast, but most of all
by the esks which they built many years before. Then King Alfred gave
orders for building long ships against the esks, which were full-nigh twice
as long as the others. Some had sixty oars, some more; and they were both
swifter and steadier, and also higher than the others. They were not shaped
either after the Frisian or the Danish model, but so as he himself thought
that they might be most serviceable. Then, at a certain turn of this same
year, came six of their ships to the Isle of Wight; and going into
Devonshire, they did much mischief both there and everywhere on the
seacoast. Then commanded the king his men to go out against them with nine
of the new ships, and prevent their escape by the mouth of the river to the
outer sea. Then came they out against them with three ships, and three
others were standing upwards above the mouth on dry land: for the men were
gone off upon shore. Of the first three ships they took two at the mouth
outwards, and slew the men; the third veered off, but all the men were slain
except five; and they too were severely wounded. Then came onward those who
manned the other ships, which were also very uneasily situated. Three were
stationed on that side of the deep where the Danish ships were aground,
whilst the others were all on the opposite side; so that none of them could
join the rest; for the water had ebbed many furlongs from them. Then went
the Danes from their three ships to those other three that were on their
side, be-ebbed; and there they then fought. There were slain Lucomon, the
king's reve, and Wulfheard, a Frieslander; Ebb, a Frieslander, and Ethelere,
a Frieslander; and Ethelferth, the king's neat-herd; and of all the men,
Frieslanders and English, sixty-two; of the Danes a hundred and twenty. The
tide, however, reached the Danish ships ere the Christians could shove
theirs out; whereupon they rowed them out; but they were so crippled, that
they could not row them beyond the coast of Sussex: there two of them the
sea drove ashore; and the crew were led to Winchester to the king, who
ordered them to be hanged. The men who escaped in the single ship came to
East-Anglia, severely wounded. This same year were lost no less than twenty
ships, and the men withal, on the southern coast. Wulfric, the king's
horse-thane, who was also viceroy of Wales, died the same year.
A.D. 898. This year died Ethelm, alderman of Wiltshire, nine nights before
midsummer; and Heahstan, who was Bishop of London.
A.D. 901. This year died ALFRED, the son of Ethelwulf, six nights before
the mass of All Saints. He was king over all the English nation, except
that part that was under the power of the Danes. He held the government one
year and a half less than thirty winters; and then Edward his son took to
the government. Then Prince Ethelwald, the son of his paternal uncle, rode
against the towns of Winburn and of Twineham, without leave of the king and
his council. Then rode the king with his army; so that he encamped the same
night at Badbury near Winburn; and Ethelwald remained within the town with
the men that were under him, and had all the gates shut upon him, saying,
that he would either there live or there die. But in the meantime he stole
away in the night, and sought the army in Northumberland. The king gave
orders to ride after him; but they were not able to overtake him. The
Danes, however, received him as their king. They then rode after the wife
that Ethelwald had taken without the king's leave, and against the command
of the bishops; for she was formerly consecrated a nun. In this year also
died Ethered, who was alderman of Devonshire, four weeks before King Alfred.
A.D. 902. This year was the great fight at the Holme between the men of
Kent and the Danes.
A.D. 902. This year Elswitha died.
A.D. 903. This year died Alderman Ethelwulf, the brother of Elhswitha,
mother of King Edward; and Virgilius abbot of the Scots; and Grimbald the
mass-priest; on the eighth day of July. This same year was consecrated the
new minster at Winchester, on St. Judoc's advent.
A.D. 904. This year came Ethelwald hither over sea with all the fleet that
he could get, and he was submitted to in Essex. This year the moon was
A.D. 905. This year Ethelwald enticed the army in East-Anglia to rebellion;
so that they overran all the land of Mercia, until they came to Cricklade,
where they forded the Thames; and having seized, either in Bradon or
thereabout, all that they could lay their hands upon, they went homeward
again. King Edward went after, as soon as he could gather his army, and
overran all their land between the foss and the Ouse quite to the fens
northward. Then being desirous of returning thence, he issued an order
through the whole army, that they should all go out at once. But the
Kentish men remained behind, contrary to his order, though he had sent seven
messengers to them. Whereupon the army surrounded them, and there they
fought. There fell Aldermen Siwulf and Sigelm; Eadwold, the king's thane;
Abbot Kenwulf; Sigebriht, the son of Siwulf; Eadwald, the son of Acca; and
many also with them; though I have named the most considerable. On the
Danish side were slain Eohric their king, and Prince Ethelwald, who had
enticed them to the war. Byrtsige, the son of Prince Brihtnoth; Governor
Ysop; Governor Oskytel; and very many also with them that we now cannot
name. And there was on either hand much slaughter made; but of the Danes
there were more slain, though they remained masters of the field. Ealswitha
died this same year; and a comet appeared on the thirteenth day before the
calends of November.
A.D. 906. This year King Edward, from necessity, concluded a peace both
with the army of East-Anglia and of North-humbria.
A.D. 907. This year died Alfred, who was governor of Bath. The same year
was concluded the peace at Hitchingford, as King Edward decreed, both with
the Danes of East-Anglia, and those of Northumberland; and Chester was
A.D. 909. This year died Denulf, who was Bishop of Winchester; and the body
of St. Oswald was translated from Bardney into Mercia.
A.D. 910. This year Frithestan took to the bishopric of Winchester; and
Asser died soon after, who was Bishop o[ Sherborne. The same year King
Edward sent an army both from Wessex and Mercia, which very much harassed
the northern army by their attacks on men and property of every kind. They
slew many of the Danes, and remained in the country five weeks. This year
the Angles and the Danes fought at Tootenhall; and the Angles had the
victory. The same year Ethelfleda built the fortress at Bramsbury.
A.D. 910. This year the army of the Angles and of the Danes fought at
Tootenhall. And Ethelred, ealdor of the Mercians, died; and King Edward
took possession of London, and of Oxford, and of all the lands which owed
obedience thereto. And a great fleet came hither from the south, from the
Lidwiccas (Brittany), and greatly ravaged by the Severn; but they were,
afterwards, almost all perished.
A.D. 911. This year the army in Northumberland broke the truce, and
despised every right that Edward and his son demanded of them; and plundered
the land of the Mercians. The king had gathered together about a hundred
ships, and was then in Kent while the ships were sailing along sea by the
south-east to meet him. The army therefore supposed that the greatest part
of his force was in the ships, and that they might go, without being
attacked, where that ever they would. When the king learned on enquiry that
they were gone out on plunder, he sent his army both from Wessex and Mercia;
and they came up with the rear of the enemy as he was on his way homeward,
and there fought with him and put him to flight, and slew many thousands of
his men. There fell King Eowils, and King Healfden; Earls Ohter and Scurf;
Governors Agmund, Othulf, and Benesing; Anlaf the Swarthy, and Governor
Thunferth; Osferth the collector, and Governor Guthferth.
A.D. 911. Then the next year after this died Ethelred, lord of the
A.D. 912. This year died Ethered, alderman of Mercia; and King Edward took
to London, and to Oxford, and to all the lands that thereunto belonged.
This year also came Ethelfleda, lady of the Mercians, on the holy eve called
the invention of the holy cross, to Shergate, and built the fortress there,
and the same year that at Bridgenorth.
A.D. 913. This year, about Martinmas, King Edward had the northern fortress
built at Hertford, betwixt the Memer, and the Benwic, and the Lea. After
this, in the summer, betwixt gang-days and midsummer, went King Edward with
some of his force into Essex, to Maldon; and encamped there the while that
men built and fortified the town of Witham. And many of the people
submitted to him, who were before under the power of the Danes. And some of
his force, meanwhile, built the fortress at Hertford on the south side of
the Lea. This year by the permission of God went Ethelfleda, lady of
Mercia, with all the Mercians to Tamworth; and built the fort there in the
fore-part of the summer; and before Lammas that at Stafford: in the next
year that at Eddesbury, in the beginning of the summer; and the same year,
late in the autumn, that at Warwick. Then in the following year was built,
after mid-winter, that at Chirbury and that at Warburton; and the same year
before mid-winter that at Runkorn.
A.D. 915. This year was Warwick built.
A.D. 916. This year was the innocent Abbot Egbert slain, before midsummer,
on the sixteenth day before the calends of July. The same day was the feast
of St. Ciricius the martyr, with his companions. And within three nights
sent Ethelfleda an army into Wales, and stormed Brecknock; and there took
the king's wife, with some four and thirty others.
A.D. 917. This year rode the army, after Easter, out of Northampton and
Leicester; and having broken the truce they slew many men at Hookerton and
thereabout. Then, very soon after this, as the others came home, they found
other troops that were riding out against Leighton. But the inhabitants
were aware of it; and having fought with them they put them into full
flight; and arrested all that they had taken, and also of their horses and
of their weapons a good deal.
A.D. 918. This year came a great naval armament over hither south from the
Lidwiccians; and two earls with it, Ohter and Rhoald. They went then west
about, till they entered the mouth of the Severn; and plundered in
North-Wales everywhere by the sea, where it then suited them; and took
Camlac the bishop in Archenfield, and led him with them to their ships; whom
King Edward afterwards released for forty pounds. After this went the army
all up; and would proceed yet on plunder against Archenfield; but the men of
Hertford met them, and of Glocester, and of the nighest towns; and fought
with them, and put them to flight; and they slew the Earl Rhoald, and the
brother of Ohter the other earl, and many of the army. And they drove them
into a park; and beset them there without, until they gave them hostages,
that they would depart from the realm of King Edward. And the king had
contrived that a guard should be set against them on the south side of
Severnmouth; west from Wales, eastward to the mouth of the Avon; so that
they durst nowhere seek that land on that side. Nevertheless, they eluded
them at night, by stealing up twice; at one time to the east of Watchet, and
at another time at Porlock. There was a great slaughter each time; so that
few of them came away, except those only who swam out to the ships. Then
sat they outward on an island, called the Flat-holms; till they were very
short of meat, and many men died of hunger, because they could not reach any
meat. Thence went they to Dimmet, and then out to Ireland. This was in
harvest. After this, in the same year, before Martinmas, went King Edward
to Buckingham with his army, and sat there four weeks, during which he built
the two forts on either side of the water, ere he departed thence. And Earl
Thurkytel sought him for his lord; and all the captains, and almost all the
first men that belonged to Bedford; and also many of those that belonged to
Northampton. This year Ethelfleda, lady of the Mercians, with the help of
God, before Laminas, conquered the town called Derby, with all that thereto
belonged; and there were also slain four of her thanes, that were most dear
to her, within the gates.
A.D. 918. But very shortly after they had become so, she died at Tamworth,
twelve days before midsummer, the eighth year of her having rule and right
lordship over the Mercians; and her body lies at Gloucester, within the east
porch of St. Peter's church.
A.D. 919. This year King Edward went with his army to Bedford, before
Martinmas, and conquered the town; and almost all the burgesses, who obeyed
him before, returned to him; and he sat there four weeks, and ordered the
town to be repaired on the south side of the water, ere he departed thence.
A.D. 919. This year also the daughter of Ethelred, lord of the Mercians,
was deprived of all dominion over the Mercians, and carried into Wessex,
three weeks before mid-winter; she was called Elfwina.