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Medieval and Classical Library

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

Part 3: A.D. 920 - 1014

Online Medieval and Classical Library Release #17

A.D. 920.  This year, before midsummer, went King Edward to
Maldon; and repaired and fortified the town, ere he departed
thence.  And the same year went Earl Thurkytel over sea to
Frankland with the men who would adhere to him, under the
protection and assistance of King Edward.  This year Ethelfleda
got into her power, with God's assistance, in the early part of
the year, without loss, the town of Leicester; and the greater
part of the army that belonged thereto submitted to her.  And the
Yorkists had also promised and confirmed, some by agreement and
some with oaths, that they would be in her interest.  But very
soon after they had done this, she departed, twelve nights before
midsummer, at Tamworth, the eighth year that she was holding the
government of the Mercians with right dominion; and her body
lieth at Glocester, in the east porch of St. Peter's church. 
This year also was the daughter of Ethered, lord of the Mercians,
deprived of all authority over the Mercians, and led into Wessex,
three weeks before midwinter.  Her name was Healfwina.

A.D. 921.  This year, before Easter, King Edward ordered his men
to go to the town of Towcester, and to rebuild it.  Then again,
after that, in the same year, during the gang-days, he ordered
the town of Wigmore to be repaired.  The same summer, betwixt
Lammas and midsummer, the army broke their parole from
Northampton and from Leicester; and went thence northward to
Towcester, and fought against the town all day, and thought that
they should break into it; but the people that were therein
defended it, till more aid came to them; and the enemy then
abandoned the town, and went away.  Then again, very soon after
this, they went out at night for plunder, and came upon men
unaware, and seized not a little, both in men and cattle, betwixt
Burnham-wood and Aylesbury.  At the same time went the army from
Huntington and East-Anglia, and constructed that work at
Ternsford; which they inhabited and fortified; and abandoned the
other at Huntingdon; and thought that they should thence oft with
war and contention recover a good deal of this land.  Thence they
advanced till they came to Bedford; where the men who were within
came out against them, and fought with them, and put them to
flight, and slew a good number of them.  Then again, after this,
a great army yet collected itself from East-Anglia and from
Mercia, and went to the town of Wigmore; which they besieged
without, and fought against long in the day; and took the cattle
about it; but the men defended the town, who were within; and the
enemy left the town, and went away.  After this, the same summer,
a large force collected itself in King Edward's dominions, from
the nighest towns that could go thither, and went to Temsford;
and they beset the town, and fought thereon; until they broke
into it, and slew the king, and Earl Toglos, and Earl Mann his
son, and his brother, and all them that were therein, and who
were resolved to defend it; and they took the others, and all
that was therein.  After this, a great force collected soon in
harvest, from Kent, from Surrey, from Essex, and everywhere from
the nighest towns; and went to Colchester, and beset the town,
and fought thereon till they took it, and slew all the people,
and seized all that was therein; except those men who escaped
therefrom over the wall.  After this again, this same harvest, a
great army collected itself from East-Anglia, both of the land-
forces and of the pirates, which they had enticed to their
assistance, and thought that they should wreak their vengeance.
They went to Maldon, and beset the town, and fought thereon,
until more aid came to the townsmen from without to help.  The
enemy then abandoned the town, and went from it.  And the men
went after, out of the town, and also those that came from
without to their aid; and put the army to flight, and slew many
hundreds of them, both of the pirates and of the others.  Soon
after this, the same harvest, went King Edward with the
West-Saxon army to Passham; and sat there the while that men
fortified the town of Towcester with a stone wall.  And there
returned to him Earl Thurferth, and the captains, and all the
army that belonged to Northampton northward to the Welland, and
sought him for their lord and protector.  When this division of
the army went home, then went another out, and marched to the
town of Huntingdon; and repaired and renewed it, where it was
broken down before, by command of King Edward.  And all the
people of the country that were left submitted to King Edward,
and sought his peace and protection.  After this, the same year,
before Martinmas, went King Edward with the West-Saxon army to
Colchester; and repaired and renewed the town, where it was
broken down before.  And much people turned to him. both in East-
Anglia and in Essex, that were before under the power of the
Danes.  And all the army in East-Anglia swore union with him;
that they would all that he would, and would protect all that he
protected, either by sea or land.  And the army that belonged to
Cambridge chose him separately for their lord and protector, and
confirmed the same with oaths, as he had advised.  This year King
Edward repaired the town of Gladmouth; and the same year King
Sihtric slew Neil his brother.

A.D. 922.  This year, betwixt gang-days and midsummer, went King
Edward with his army to Stamford, and ordered the town to be
fortified on the south side of the river.  And all the people
that belonged to the northern town submitted to him, and sought
him for their lord.  It was whilst he was tarrying there, that
Ethelfleda his sister died at Tamworth, twelve nights before
midsummer.  Then rode he to the borough of Tamworth; and all the
population in Mercia turned to him, who before were subject to
Ethelfleda. And the kings in North-Wales, Howel, and Cledauc,
and Jothwel, and all the people of North-Wales, sought him for
their lord.  Then went he thence to Nottingham, and secured that
borough, and ordered it to be repaired, and manned both with
English and with Danes.  And all the population turned to him,
that was settled in Mercia, both Danish and English.

A.D. 923.  This year went King Edward with an army, late in the
harvest, to Thelwall; and ordered the borough to be repaired, and
inhabited, and manned.  And he ordered another army also from the
population of Mercia, the while he sat there to go to Manchester
in Northumbria, to repair and to man it.  This year died
Archbishop Plegmund; and King Reynold won York.

A.D. 924.  This year, before midsummer, went King Edward with an
army to Nottingham; and ordered the town to be repaired on the
south side of the river, opposite the other, and the bridge over
the Trent betwixt the two towns.  Thence he went to Bakewell in
Peakland; and ordered a fort to be built as near as possible to
it, and manned.  And the King of Scotland, with all his people,
chose him as father and lord; as did Reynold, and the son of
Eadulf, and all that dwell in Northumbria, both English and
Danish, both Northmen and others; also the king of the
Strathclydwallians, and all his people.

((A.D. 924.  This year Edward was chosen for father and for lord
by the king of the Scots, and by the Scots, and King Reginald,
and by all the North-humbrians, and also the king of the
Strath-clyde Britons, and by all the Strath-clyde Britons.))

((A.D. 924.  This year King Edward died among the Mercians at
Farndon; and very shortly, about sixteen days after this, Elward
his son died at Oxford; and their bodies lie at Winchester.  And
Athelstan was chosen king by the Mercians, and consecrated at
Kingston.  And he gave his sister to Ofsae (Otho), son of the
king of the Old-Saxons.))

A.D. 925.  This year died King Edward at Farndon in Mercia; and
Elward his son died very soon after this, in Oxford.  Their
bodies lie at Winchester.  And Athelstan was chosen king in
Mercia, and consecrated at Kingston.  He gave his sister to Otho,
son of the king of the Old-Saxons.  St. Dunstan was now born; and
Wulfhelm took to the archbishopric in Canterbury.  This year King
Athelstan and Sihtric king of the Northumbrians came together at
Tamworth, the sixth day before the calends of February, and
Athelstan gave away his sister to him.

((A.D. 925.  This year Bishop Wulfhelm was consecrated.  And that
same year King Edward died.))

A.D. 926.  This year appeared fiery lights in the northern part
of the firmament; and Sihtric departed; and King Athelstan took
to the kingdom of Northumbria, and governed all the kings that
were in this island: -- First, Howel, King of West-Wales; and
Constantine, King of the Scots; and Owen, King of Monmouth; and
Aldred, the son of Eadulf, of Bamburgh.  And with covenants and
oaths they ratified their agreement in the place called Emmet, on
the fourth day before the ides of July; and renounced all
idolatry, and afterwards returned in peace.

A.D. 927.  This year King Athelstan expelled King Guthfrith; and
Archbishop Wulfhelm went to Rome.

A.D. 928.  William took to Normandy, and held it fifteen years.

((A.D. 931.  This year died Frithstan, Bishop of Winchester, and
Brinstan was blessed in his place.))

A.D. 932.  This year Burnstan was invested Bishop of Winchester
on the fourth day before the calends of June; and he held the
bishopric two years and a half.

A.D. 933.  This year died Bishop Frithestan; and Edwin the
atheling was drowned in the sea.

A.D. 934.  This year went King Athelstan into Scotland, both with
a land-force and a naval armament, and laid waste a great part of
it; and Bishop Burnstan died at Winchester at the feast of All

A.D. 935.  This year Bishop Elfheah took to the bishopric of

((A.D. 937.  This year King Athelstan and Edmund his brother led
a force to Brumby, and there fought against Anlaf; and, Christ
helping, had the victory: and they there slew five kings and
seven earls.))

A.D. 938. Here
          Athelstan king,
          of earls the lord,
          rewarder of heroes,
          and his brother eke,
          Edmund atheling,
          elder of ancient race,
          slew in the fight,
          with the edge of their swords,
          the foe at Brumby!
          The sons of Edward
          their board-walls clove,
          and hewed their banners,
          with the wrecks of their hammers.
          So were they taught
          by kindred zeal,
          that they at camp oft
          'gainst any robber
          their land should defend,
          their hoards and homes.
          Pursuing fell
          the Scottish clans;
          the men of the fleet
          in numbers fell;
          'midst the din of the field
          the warrior swate.
          Since the sun was up
          in morning-tide,
          gigantic light!
          glad over grounds,
          God's candle bright,
          eternal Lord! --
          'till the noble creature
          sat in the western main:
          there lay many
          of the Northern heroes
          under a shower of arrows,
          shot over shields;
          and Scotland's boast,
          a Scythian race,
          the mighty seed of Mars!
          With chosen troops,
          throughout the day,
          the West-Saxons fierce
          press'd on the loathed bands;
          hew'd down the fugitives,
          and scatter'd the rear,
          with strong mill-sharpen'd blades,
          The Mercians too
          the hard hand-play
          spared not to any
          of those that with Anlaf
          over the briny deep
          in the ship's bosom
          sought this land
          for the hardy fight.
          Five kings lay
          on the field of battle,
          in bloom of youth,
          pierced with swords.
          So seven eke
          of the earls of Anlaf;
          and of the ship's-crew
          unnumber'd crowds.
          There was dispersed
          the little band
          of hardy Scots,
          the dread of northern hordes;
          urged to the noisy deep
          by unrelenting fate!
          The king of the fleet
          with his slender craft
          escaped with his life
          on the felon flood; --
          and so too Constantine,
          the valiant chief,
          returned to the north
          in hasty flight.
          The hoary Hildrinc
          cared not to boast
          among his kindred.
          Here was his remnant
          of relations and friends
          slain with the sword
          in the crowded fight.
          His son too he left
          on the field of battle,
          mangled with wounds,
          young at the fight.
          The fair-hair'd youth
          had no reason to boast
          of the slaughtering strife.
          Nor old Inwood
          and Anlaf the more
          with the wrecks of their army
          could laugh and say,
          that they on the field
          of stern command
          better workmen were,
          in the conflict of banners,
          the clash of spears,
          the meeting of heroes,
          and the rustling of weapons,
          which they on the field
          of slaughter played
          with the sons of Edward.
          The northmen sail'd
          in their nailed ships,
          a dreary remnant,
          on the roaring sea;
          over deep water
          Dublin they sought,
          and Ireland's shores,
          in great disgrace.
          Such then the brothers
          both together
          king and atheling,
          sought their country,
          West-Saxon land,
          in right triumphant.
          They left behind them
          raw to devour,
          the sallow kite,
          the swarthy raven
          with horny nib,
          and the hoarse vultur,
          with the eagle swift
          to consume his prey;
          the greedy gos-hawk,
          and that grey beast
          the wolf of the weald.
          No slaughter yet
          was greater made
          e'er in this island,
          of people slain,
          before this same,
          with the edge of the sword;
          as the books inform us
          of the old historians;
          since hither came
          from the eastern shores
          the Angles and Saxons,
          over the broad sea,
          and Britain sought, --
          fierce battle-smiths,
          o'ercame the Welsh,
          most valiant earls,
          and gained the land.

A.D. 941.  This year King Athelstan died in Glocester, on the
sixth day before the calends of November, about forty-one
winters, bating one night, from the time when King Alfred died.
And Edmund Atheling took to the kingdom.  He was then eighteen
years old.  King Athelstan reigned fourteen years and ten weeks.
This year the Northumbrians abandoned their allegiance, and chose
Anlaf of Ireland for their king.

((A.D. 941.  This year King Edmund received King Anlaf at
baptism; and that same year, a good long space after, he received
King Reginald at the bishop's hands.))

A.D. 942. Here
          Edmund king,
          of Angles lord,
          protector of friends,
          author and framer
          of direful deeds.
          o'erran with speed
          the Mercian land.
          whete'er the course
          of Whitwell-spring,
          or Humber deep,
          The broad brim-stream,
          divides five towns.
          Leicester and Lincoln.
          Nottingham and Stamford,
          and Derby eke.
          In thraldom long
          to Norman Danes
          they bowed through need,
          and dragged the chains
          of heathen men;
          till, to his glory,
          great Edward's heir,
          Edmund the king,
          refuge of warriors,
          their fetters broke.

A.D. 943.  This year Anlaf stormed Tamworth; and much slaughter
was made on either hand; but the Danes had the victory, and led
away with them much plunder.  There was Wulfrun taken, in the
spoiling of the town.  This year King Edmund beset King Anlaf and
Archbishop Wulfstan in Leicester; and he might have conquered
them, were it not that they burst out of the town in the night.
After this Anlaf obtained the friendship of King Edmund, and King
Edmund then received King Anlaf in baptism; and he made him royal
presents.  And the same year, after some interval, he received
King Reynold at episcopal hands.  This year also died King Anlaf.

A.D. 944.  This year King Edmund reduced all the land of the
Northumbrians to his dominion, and expelled two kings, Anlaf the
son of Sihtric, and Reynold the son of Guthferth.

A.D. 945.  This year King Edmund overran all Cumberland; and let
it all to Malcolm king of the Scots, on the condition that he
became his ally, both by sea and land.

A.D. 946.  This year King Edmund died, on St. Augustine's mass
day.  That was widely known, how he ended his days: -- that Leof
stabbed him at Pucklechurch.  And Ethelfleda of Damerham,
daughter of Alderman Elgar, was then his queen.  And he reigned
six years and a half: and then succeeded to the kingdom Edred
Atheling his brother, who soon after reduced all the land of the
Northumbrians to his dominion; and the Scots gave him oaths, that
they would do all that he desired.

A.D. 947.  This year came King Edred to Tadden's-cliff; and there
Archbishop Wulfstan and all the council of the Northumbrians
bound themselves to an allegiance with the king.  And within a
little space they abandoned all, both allegiance and oaths.

A.D. 948.  This year King Edred overran all Northumberland;
because they had taken Eric for their king; and in the pursuit of
plunder was that large minster at Rippon set on fire, which St.
Wilferth built.  As the king returned homeward, he overtook the
enemy at York; but his main army was behind at Chesterford. 
There was great slaughter made; and the king was so wroth, that
he would fain return with his force, and lay waste the land
withal; but when the council of the Northumbrians understood
that, they then abandoned Eric, and compromised the deed with
King Edred.

A.D. 949.  This year came Anlaf Curran to the land of the

A.D. 951.  This year died Elfeah, Bishop of Winchester, on St.
Gregory's mass day.

A.D. 952.  This year the Northumbrians expelled King Anlaf, and
received Eric the son of Harold.  This year also King Edred
ordered Archbishop Wulfstan to be brought into prison at
Jedburgh; because he was oft bewrayed before the king: and the
same year the king ordered a great slaughter to be made in the
town of Thetford, in revenge of the abbot, whom they had formerly

A.D. 954.  This year the Northumbrians expelled Eric; and King
Edred took to the government of the Northumbrians.  This year
also Archbishop Wulfstan received a bishopric again at

A.D. 955.  This year died King Edred, on St. Clement's mass day,
at Frome.(41)  He reigned nine years and a half; and he rests in
the old minster.  Then succeeded Edwy, the son of King Edmund, to
the government of the West-Saxons; and Edgar Atheling, his
brother, succeeded to the government of the Mercians.  They were
the sons of King Edmund and of St. Elfgiva.

((A.D. 955.  And Edwy succeeded to the kingdom of the West-
Saxons, and Edgar his brother succeeded to the kingdom of the
Mercians: and they were the sons of King Edmund and of S.

A.D. 956.  This year died Wulfstan, Archbishop of York, on the
seventeenth day before the calends of January; and he was buried
at Oundle; and in the same year was Abbot Dunstan driven out of
this land over sea.

A.D. 958.  This year Archbishop Oda separated King Edwy and
Elfgiva; because they were too nearly related.

A.D. 959.  This year died King Edwy, on the calends of October;
and Edgar his brother took to the government of the West-Saxons,
Mercians, and Northumbrians.  He was then sixteen years old.  It
was in this year he sent after St. Dunstan, and gave him the
bishopric of Worcester; and afterwards the bishopric of London.
          In his days
          it prosper'd well;
          and God him gave,
          that he dwelt in peace
          the while that he lived.
          Whate'er he did,
          whate'er he plan'd,
          he earn'd his thrift.
          He also rear'd
          God's glory wide,
          and God's law lov'd,
          with peace to man,
          above the kings
          that went before
          in man's remembrance.
          God so him sped,
          that kings and earls
          to all his claims
          submissive bow'd;
          and to his will
          without a blow
          he wielded all
          as pleased himself.
          Esteem'd he was
          both far and wide
          in distant lands;
          because he prized
          the name of God,
          and God's law traced,
          God's glory rear'd,
          both far and wide,
          on every side.
          Wisely he sought
          in council oft
          his people's good,
          before his God,
          before the world.
          One misdeed he did,
          too much however,
          that foreign tastes
          he loved too much;
          and heathen modes
          into this land
          he brought too fast;
          outlandish men
          hither enticed;
          and to this earth
          attracted crowds
          of vicious men.
          But God him grant,
          that his good deeds
          be weightier far
          than his misdeeds,
          to his soul's redemption
          on the judgment-day.

A.D. 961.  This year departed Odo, the good archbishop, and St.
Dunstan took to the archbishopric.  This year also died Elfgar, a
relative of the king, in Devonshire; and his body lies at Wilton:
and King Sifferth killed himself; and his body lies at Wimborn.
This year there was a very great pestilence; when the great fever
was in London; and St. Paul's minster was consumed with fire, and
in the same year was afterwards restored.  In this year Athelmod.
the masspriest, went to Rome, and there died on the eighteenth
before the calends of September.

A.D. 963.  This year died Wulfstan, the deacon, on Childermass-
day; (42) and afterwards died Gyric, the mass-priest.  In the
same year took Abbot Athelwold to the bishopric of Winchester;
and he was consecrated on the vigil of St. Andrew, which happened
on a Sunday.  On the second year after he was consecrated, he
made many minsters; and drove out the clerks (43) from the
bishopric, because they would hold no rule, and set monks
therein.  He made there two abbacies; one of monks, another of
nuns.  That was all within Winchester.  Then came he afterwards
to King Edgar, and requested that he would give him all the
minsters that heathen men had before destroyed; for that he would
renew them.  This the king cheerfully granted; and the bishop
came then first to Ely, where St. Etheldritha lies, and ordered
the minster to be repaired; which he gave to a monk of his, whose
name was Britnoth, whom he consecrated abbot: and there he set
monks to serve God, where formerly were nuns.  He then bought
many villages of the king, and made it very rich.  Afterwards
came Bishop Athelwold to the minster called Medhamsted, which was
formerly ruined by heathen folk; but he found there nothing but
old walls, and wild woods.  In the old walls at length he found
hid writings which Abbot Hedda had formerly written; -- how King
Wulfhere and Ethelred his brother had wrought it, and how they
freed it against king and against bishop, and against all worldly
service; and how Pope Agatho confirmed it with his writ, as also
Archbishop Deusdedit.  He then ordered the minster to be rebuilt;
and set there an abbot, who was called Aldulf; and made monks,
where before was nothing.  He then came to the king, and let him
look at the writings which before were found; and the king then
answered and said: "I Edgar grant and give to-day, before God and
before Archbishop Dunstan, freedom to St. Peter's minster at
Medhamsted, from king and from bishop; and all the thorps that
thereto lie; that is, Eastfield, and Dodthorp, and Eye, and
Paston.  And so I free it, that no bishop have any jurisdiction
there, but the abbot of the minster alone.  And I give the town
called Oundle, with all that thereto lieth, called Eyot-hundred,
with market and toll; so freely, that neither king, nor bishop,
nor earl, nor sheriff, have there any jurisdiction; nor any man
but the abbot alone, and whom he may set thereto.  And I give to
Christ and St. Peter, and that too with the advice of Bishop
Athelwold, these lands; -- that is, Barrow, Warmington, Ashton,
Kettering, Castor, Eylesworth, Walton, Witherington, Eye, Thorp,
and a minster at Stamford.  These lands and al the others that
belong to the minster I bequeath clear; that is, with sack and
sock, toll and team, and infangthief; these privileges and all
others bequeath I clear to Christ and St. Peter.  And I give the
two parts of Whittlesey-mere, with waters and with wears and
fens; and so through Meerlade along to the water that is called
Nen; and so eastward to Kingsdelf.  And I will that there be a
market in the town itself, and that no other be betwixt Stamford
and Huntingdon.  And I will that thus be given the toll; --
first, from Whittlesey-mere to the king's toll of Norman-cross
hundred; then backward again from Whittlesey-mere through
Meerlade along to the Nen, and as that river runs to Crowland;
and from Crowland to Must, and from Must to Kingsdelf and to
Whittlesey-mere.  And I will that all the freedom, and all the
privileges, that my predecessors gave, should remain; and I write
and confirm this with the rood-token of Christ." (+) -- Then
answered Dunstan, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and said: "I
grant, that all the things that here are given and spoken, and
all the things that thy predecessors and mine have given, shall
remain firm; and whosoever breaketh it, then give I him God's
curse, and that of all saints, and of all hooded heads, and mine,
unless he come to repentance.  And I give expressly to St. Peter
my mass-hackle, and my stole, and my reef, to serve Christ."  "I
Oswald, Archbishop of York, confirm all these words through the
holy rood on which Christ was crucified." (+)  "I Bishop
Athelwold bless all that maintain this, and I excommunicate all
that break it, unless they come to repentance." -- Here was
Bishop Ellstan, Bishop Athulf, and Abbot Eskwy, and Abbot Osgar,
and Abbot Ethelgar, and Alderman Elfere; .Alderman Ethelwin,
Britnoth and Oslac aldermen, and many other rich men; and all
confirmed it and subscribed it with the cross of Christ. (+) 
This was done in the year after our Lord's Nativity 972, the
sixteenth year of this king.  Then bought the Abbot Aldulf lands
rich and many, and much endowed the minster withal; and was there
until Oswald, Archbishop of York, was dead; and then he was
chosen to be archbishop.  Soon after another abbot was chosen of
the same monastery, whose name was Kenulf, who was afterwards
Bishop of Winchester.  He first made the wall about the minster,
and gave it then the name of Peterborough, which before was
Medhamsted.  He was there till he was appointed Bishop of
Winchester, when another abbot was chosen of the same monastery,
whose name was Elfsy, who continued abbot fifty winters
afterwards.  It was he who took up St. Kyneburga and St.
Kyneswitha, that lay at Castor, and St. Tibba, that lay at
Ryhall; and brought them to Peterborough, and offered them all to
St. Peter in one day, and preserved them all the while he was

((A.D. 963.  This year, by King Edgar, St. Ethelwold was chosen
to the bishoprick at Winchester.  And the Archbishop of
Canterbury, St. Dunstan, consecrated him bishop on the first
Sunday of Advent; that was on the third before the kalends of

A.D. 964.  This year drove King Edgar the priests of Winchester
out of the old minster, and also out of the new minster; and from
Chertsey; and from Milton; and replaced them with monks.  And he
appointed Ethelgar abbot to the new minster, and Ordbert to
Chertsey, and Cyneward to Milton.

((A.D. 964.  This year were the canons driven out of the Old-
minster by King Edgar, and also from the New-minster, and from
Chertsey and from Milton; and he appointed thereto monks and
abbots: to the New-minster Ethelgar, to Chertsey Ordbert, to
Milton Cyneward.))

A.D. 965.  This year King Edgar took Elfrida for his queen, who
was daughter of Alderman Ordgar.

A.D. 966.  This year Thored, the son of Gunner, plundered
Westmorland; and the same year Oslac took to the aldermanship.

A.D. 969.  This year King Edgar ordered all Thanet-land to be

A.D. 970.  This year died Archbishop Oskytel; who was first
consecrated diocesan bishop at Dorchester, and afterwards it was
by the consent of King Edred and all his council that he was
consecrated Archbishop of York.  He was bishop two and twenty
winters; and he died on Alhallow-mas night, ten nights before
Martinmas, at Thame.  Abbot Thurkytel, his relative, carried the
bishop's body to Bedford, because he was the abbot there at that

A.D. 971.  This year died Edmund Atheling, and his body lies at

((A.D. 972.  This year Edgar the etheling was consecrated king at
Bath, on Pentecost's mass-day, on the fifth before the ides of
May, the thirteenth year since he had obtained the kingdom; and
he was then one less than thirty years of age.  And soon after
that, the king led all his ship-forces to Chester; and there came
to meet him six kings, and they all plighted their troth to him,
that they would be his fellow-workers by sea and by land.))

A.D. 973. Here was Edgar,
          of Angles lord,
          with courtly pomp
          hallow'd to king
          at Akemancester,
          the ancient city;
          whose modern sons,
          dwelling therein,
          have named her BATH.
          Much bliss was there
          by all enjoyed
          on that happy day,
          named Pentecost
          by men below.
          A crowd of priests,
          a throng of monks,
          I understand,
          in counsel sage,
          were gather'd there.
          Then were agone
          ten hundred winters
          of number'd years
          from the birth of Christ,
          the lofty king,
          guardian of light,
          save that thereto
          there yet was left
          of winter-tale,
          as writings say,
          seven and twenty.
          So near had run
          of the lord of triumphs
          a thousand years,
          when this was done.
          Nine and twenty
          hard winters there
          of irksome deeds
          had Edmund's son
          seen in the world,
          when this took place,
          and on the thirtieth
          was hallow'd king. (43)
Soon after this the king led all his marine force to Chester; and
there came to meet him six kings; and they all covenanted with
him, that they would be his allies by sea and by land.

A.D. 975. Here ended
          his earthly dreams
          Edgar, of Angles king;
          chose him other light,
          serene and lovely,
          spurning this frail abode,
          a life that mortals
          here call lean
          he quitted with disdain.
          July the month,
          by all agreed
          in this our land,
          whoever were
          in chronic lore
          correctly taught;
          the day the eighth,
          when Edgar young,
          rewarder of heroes,
          his life -- his throne -- resigned.
          Edward his son,
          unwaxen child,
          of earls the prince,
          succeeded then
          to England's throne.
          Of royal race
          ten nights before
          departed hence
          Cyneward the good --
          prelate of manners mild.
          Well known to me
          in Mercia then,
          how low on earth
          God's glory fell
          on every side:
          chaced from the land,
          his servants fled, --
          their wisdom scorned;
          much grief to him
          whose bosom glow'd
          with fervent love
          of great Creation's Lord!
          Neglected then
          the God of wonders,
          victor of victors,
          monarch of heaven, --
          his laws by man transgressed!
          Then too was driv'n
          Oslac beloved
          an exile far
          from his native land
          over the rolling waves, --
          over the ganet-bath,
          over the water-throng,
          the abode of the whale, --
          fair-hair'd hero,
          wise and eloquent,
          of home bereft!
          Then too was seen,
          high in the heavens,
          the star on his station,
          that far and wide
          wise men call --
          lovers of truth
          and heav'nly lore --
          "cometa" by name.
          Widely was spread
          God's vengeance then
          throughout the land,
          and famine scour'd the hills.
          May heaven's guardian,
          the glory of angels,
          avert these ills,
          and give us bliss again;
          that bliss to all
          abundance yields
          from earth's choice fruits,
          throughout this happy isle. (45)

((A.D. 975.  The eighth before the ides of July.
          Here Edgar died,
          ruler of Angles,
          West-Saxons' joy,
          and Mercians' protector.
          Known was it widely
          throughout many nations.
          "Thaet" offspring of Edmund,
          o'er the ganet's-bath,
               honoured far,
          Kings him widely
          bowed to the king,
          as was his due by kind.
          No fleet was so daring,
          nor army so strong,
          that 'mid the English nation
          took from him aught,
          the while that the noble king
          ruled on his throne.
And this year Edward, Edgar's son, succeeded to the kingdom; and
then soon, in the same year, during harvest, appeared "cometa"
the star; and then came in the following year a very great
famine, and very manifold commotions among the English people.
          In his days,
          for his youth,
          God's gainsayers
          God's law broke;
          Eldfere, ealdorman,
          and others many;
          and rule monastic quashed,
          and minsters dissolved,
          and monks drove out,
          and God's servants put down,
          whom Edgar, king, ordered erewhile
          the holy bishop
          Ethelwold to stablish;
          and widows they plundered,
          many times and oft:
          and many unrighteousnesses,
          and evil unjust-deeds
          arose up afterwards:
          and ever after that
          it greatly grew in evil.
And at that rime, also, was Oslac the great earl banished from

A.D. 976.  This year was the great famine in England.

A.D. 977.  This year was that great council at Kirtlington, (46)
after Easter; and there died Bishop Sideman a sudden death, on
the eleventh day before the calends of May.  He was Bishop of
Devonshire; and he wished that his resting-place should be at
Crediton, his episcopal residence; but King Edward and Archbishop
Dunstan ordered men to carry him to St. Mary's minster that is at
Abingdon.  And they did so; and he is moreover honourably buried
on the north side in St. Paul's porch.

A.D. 978. This year all the oldest counsellors of England fell at
Calne from an upper floor; but the holy Archbishop Dunstan stood
alone upon a beam.  Some were dreadfully bruised: and some did
not escape with life.  This year was King Edward slain, at
eventide, at Corfe-gate, on the fifteenth day before the calends
of April.  And he was buried at Wareham without any royal honour.
No worse deed than this was ever done by the English nation since
they first sought the land of Britain.  Men murdered him but God
has magnified him.  He was in life an earthly king -- he is now
after death a heavenly saint.  Him would not his earthly
relatives avenge -- but his heavenly father has avenged him
amply.  The earthly homicides would wipe out his memory from the
earth -- but the avenger above has spread his memory abroad in
heaven and in earth.  Those, Who would not before bow to his
living body, now bow on their knees to His dead bones.  Now we
may conclude, that the wisdom of men, and their meditations, and
their counsels, are as nought against the appointment of God.  In
this same year succeeded Ethelred Etheling, his brother, to the
government; and he was afterwards very readily, and with great
joy to the counsellors of England, consecrated king at Kingston.
In the same year also died Alfwold, who was Bishop of
Dorsetshire, and whose body lieth in the minster at Sherborn.

A.D. 979.  In this year was Ethelred consecrated king, on the
Sunday fortnight after Easter, at Kingston.  And there were at
his consecration two archbishops, and ten diocesan bishops.  This
same year was seen a bloody welkin oft-times in the likeness of
fire; and that was most apparent at midnight, and so in misty
beams was shown; but when it began to dawn, then it glided away.

((A.D. 979.  This year was King Edward slain at even-tide, at
Corfe-gate, on the fifteenth before the kalends of April, and
then was he buried at Wareham, without any kind of kingly
          There has not been 'mid Angles
          a worse deed done
          than this was,
          since they first
          Britain-land sought.
          Men him murdered,
          but God him glorified.
          He was in life
          an earthly king;
          he is now after death
          a heavenly saint.
          Him would not his earthly
          kinsmen avenge,
          but him hath his heavenly Father
          greatly avenged.
          The earthly murderers
          would his memory
          on earth blot out,
          but the lofty Avenger
          hath his memory
          in the heavens
          and on earth wide-spread.
          They who would not erewhile
          to his living
          body bow down,
          they now humbly
          on knees bend
          to his dead bones.
          Now we may understand
          that men's wisdom
          and their devices,
          and their councils,
          are like nought
          'gainst God's resolves.
This year Ethelred succeeded to the kingdom; and he was very
quickly after that, with much joy of the English witan,
consecrated king at Kingston.))

A.D. 980.  In this year was Ethelgar consecrated bishop, on the
sixth day before the nones of May, to the bishopric of Selsey;
and in the same year was Southampton plundered by a pirate-army,
and most of the population slain or imprisoned.  And the same
year was the Isle of Thanet overrun, and the county of Chester
was plundered by the pirate-army of the North.  In this year
Alderman Alfere fetched the body of the holy King Edward at
Wareham, and carried him with great solemnity to Shaftsbury.

A.D. 981.  In this year was St. Petroc's-stow plundered; and in
the same year was much harm done everywhere by the sea-coast,
both upon Devonshire and Wales.  And in the same year died
Elfstan, Bishop of Wiltshire; and his body lieth in the minster
at Abingdon; and Wulfgar then succeeded to the bishopric.  The
same year died Womare, Abbot of Ghent.

((A.D. 981.  This year came first the seven ships, and ravaged

A.D. 982.  In this year came up in Dorsetshire three ships of the
pirates, and plundered in Portland.  The same year London was
burned.  In the same year also died two aldermen, Ethelmer in
Hampshire, and Edwin in Sussex.  Ethelmer's body lieth in
Winchester, at New-minster, and Edwin's in the minster at
Abingdon.  The same year died two abbesses in Dorsetshire;
Herelufa at Shaftsbury, and Wulfwina at Wareham.  The same year
went Otho, emperor of the Romans, into Greece; and there met he a
great army of the Saracens, who came up from the sea, and would
have proceeded forthwith to plunder the Christian folk; but the
emperor fought with them.  And there was much slaughter made on
either side, but the emperor gained the field of battle.  He was
there, however, much harassed, ere he returned thence; and as he
went homeward, his brother's son died, who was also called Otho;
and he was the son of Leodulf Atheling.  This Leodulf was the son
of Otho the Elder and of the daughter of King Edward.

A.D. 983.  This year died Alderman Alfere, and Alfric succeeded
to the same eldership; and Pope Benedict also died.

A.D. 984.  This year died the benevolent Bishop of Winchester,
Athelwold, father of monks; and the consecration of the following
bishop, Elfheah, who by another name was called Godwin, was on
the fourteenth day before the calends of November; and he took
his seat on the episcopal bench on the mass-day of the two
apostles Simon and Jude, at Winchester.

A.D. 985.  This year was Alderman Alfric driven out of the land;
and in the same year was Edwin consecrated abbot of the minster
at Abingdon.

A.D. 986.  This year the king invaded the bishopric of Rochester;
and this year came first the great murrain of cattle in England.

A.D. 987.  This year was the port of Watchet plundered.

A.D. 988.  This year was Goda, the thane of Devonshire, slain;
and a great number with him: and Dunstan, the holy archbishop,
departed this life, and sought a heavenly one.  Bishop Ethelgar
succeeded him in the archbishopric; but he lived only a little
while after, namely, one year and three months.

A.D. 989.  This year died Abbot Edwin, and Abbot Wulfgar
succeeded to the abbacy.  Siric was this year invested
archbishop, and went afterwards to Rome after his pall.

A.D. 991.  This year was Ipswich plundered; and very soon
afterwards was Alderman Britnoth (47) slain at Maldon.  In this
same year it was resolved that tribute should be given, for the
first time, to the Danes, for the great terror they occasioned by
the sea-coast.  That was first 10,000 pounds.  The first who
advised this measure was Archbishop Siric.

A.D. 992.  This year the blessed Archbishop Oswald departed this
life, and sought a heavenly one; and in the same year died
Alderman Ethelwin.  Then the king and all his council resolved,
that all the ships that were of any account should be gathered
together at London; and the king committed the lead of the land-
force to Alderman Elfric, and Earl Thorod, and Bishop Elfstan,
and Bishop Escwy; that they should try if they could anywhere
without entrap the enemy.  Then sent Alderman Elfric, and gave
warning to the enemy; and on the night preceding the day of
battle he sculked away from the army, to his great disgrace.  The
enemy then escaped; except the crew of one ship, who were slain
on the spot.  Then met the enemy the ships from East-Anglia, and
from London; and there a great slaughter was made, and they took
the ship in which was the alderman, all armed and rigged.  Then,
after the death of Archbishop Oswald, succeeded Aldulf, Abbot of
Peterborough, to the sees of York and of Worcester; and Kenulf to
the abbacy of Peterborough.

((A.D. 992.  This year Oswald the blessed archbishop died, and
Abbot Eadulf succeeded to York and to Worcester.  And this year
the king and all his witan decreed that all the ships which were
worth anything should be gathered together at London, in order
that they might try if they could anywhere betrap the army from
without.  But Aelfric the ealdorman, one of those in whom the
king had most confidence, directed the army to be warned; and in
the night, as they should on the morrow have joined battle, the
selfsame Aelfric fled from the forces; and then the army

A.D. 993.  This year came Anlaf with three and ninety ships to
Staines, which he plundered without, and went thence to Sandwich.
Thence to Ipswich, which he laid waste; and so to Maidon, where
Alderman Britnoth came against him with his force, and fought
with him; and there they slew the alderman, and gained the field
of battle; whereupon peace was made with him, and the king
received him afterwards at episcopal hands by the advice of
Siric, Bishop of Canterbury, and Elfeah of Winchester.  This year
was Bamborough destroyed, and much spoil was there taken. 
Afterwards came the army to the mouth of the Humber; and there
did much evil both in Lindsey and in Northumbria.  Then was
collected a great force; but when the armies were to engage, then
the generals first commenced a flight; namely, Frene and Godwin
and Frithgist.  In this same year the king ordered Elfgar, son of
Alderman Elfric, to be punished with blindness.

((A.D. 993.  In this year came Olave with ninety-three ships to
Staines, and ravaged there about, and then went thence to
Sandwich, and so thence to Ipswich, and that all overran; and so
to Maldon.  And there Britnoth the ealdorman came against them
with his forces, and fought against them: and they there slew the
ealdorman, and had possession of the place of carnage.  And after
that peace was made with them; and him (Anlaf) the king
afterwards received at the bishop's hands, through the
instruction of Siric, bishop of the Kentish-men, and of Aelphege
of Winchester.))

A.D. 994.  This year died Archbishop Siric: and Elfric, Bishop of
Wiltshire, was chosen on Easter-day, at Amesbury, by King
Ethelred and all his council.  This year came Anlaf and Sweyne to
London, on the Nativity of St. Mary, with four and ninety-ships.
And they closely besieged the city, and would fain have set it on
fire; but they sustained more harm and evil than they ever
supposed that any citizens could inflict on them.  The holy
mother of God on that day in her mercy considered the citizens,
and ridded them of their enemies.  Thence they advanced, and
wrought the greatest evil that ever any army could do, in burning
and plundering and manslaughter, not only on the sea-coast in
Essex, but in Kent and in Sussex and in Hampshire.  Next they
took horse, and rode as wide as they would, and committed
unspeakable evil.  Then resolved the king and his council to send
to them, and offer them tribute and provision, on condition that
they desisted from plunder.  The terms they accepted; and the
whole army came to Southampton, and there fixed their winter-
quarters; where they were fed by all the subjects of the West-
Saxon kingdom.  And they gave them 16,000 pounds in money.  Then
sent the king; after King Anlaf Bishop Elfeah and Alderman
Ethelwerd; (48) and, hostages being left with the ships, they led
Anlaf with great pomp to the king at Andover.  And King Ethelred
received him at episcopal hands, and honoured him with royal
presents.  In return Anlaf promised, as he also performed, that
he never again would come in a hostile manner to England.

A.D. 995.  This year appeared the comet-star.

A.D. 996.  This year was Elfric consecrated archbishop at Christ
church. (49)

A.D. 997.  This year went the army about Devonshire into Severn-
mouth, and equally plundered the people of Cornwall, North-Wales,
(50) and Devon.  Then went they up at Watchet, and there much
evil wrought in burning and manslaughter.  Afterwards they
coasted back about Penwithstert on the south side, and, turning
into the mouth of the Tamer, went up till they came to Liddyford,
burning and slaying everything that they met.  Moreover, Ordulf's
minster at Tavistock they burned to the ground, and brought to
their ships incalculable plunder.  This year Archbishop Elfric
went to Rome after his staff.

A.D. 998.  This year coasted the army back eastward into the
mouth of the Frome, and went up everywhere, as widely as they
would, into Dorsetshire.  Often was an army collected against
them; but, as soon as they were about to come together, then were
they ever through something or other put to flight, and their
enemies always in the end had the victory.  Another time they lay
in the Isle of Wight, and fed themselves meanwhile from Hampshire
and Sussex.

A.D. 999.  This year came the army about again into the Thames,
and went up thence along the Medway to Rochester; where the
Kentish army came against them, and encountered them in a close
engagement; but, alas!  they too soon yielded and fled; because
they had not the aid that they should have had.  The Danes
therefore occupied the field of battle, and, taking horse, they
rode as wide as they would, spoiling and overrunning nearly all
West-Kent.  Then the king with his council determined to proceed
against them with sea and land forces; but as soon as the ships
were ready, then arose delay from day to day, which harassed the
miserable crew that lay on board; so that, always, the forwarder
it should have been, the later it was, from one time to another;
-- they still suffered the army of their enemies to increase; --
the Danes continually retreated from the sea-coast;-- and they
continually pursued them in vain.  Thus in the end these
expeditions both by sea and land served no other purpose but to
vex the people, to waste their treasure, and to strengthen their
enemies. "

A.D. 1000.  This year the king went into Cumberland, and nearly
laid waste the whole of it with his army, whilst his navy sailed
about Chester with the design of co-operating with his land-
forces; but, finding it impracticable, they ravaged Anglesey. 
The hostile fleet was this summer turned towards the kingdom of

A.D. 1001.  This year there was great commotion in England in
consequence of an invasion by the Danes, who spread terror and
devastation wheresoever they went, plundering and burning and
desolating the country with such rapidity, that they advanced in
one march as far as the town of Alton; where the people of
Hampshire came against them, and fought with them.  There was
slain Ethelwerd, high-steward of the king, and Leofric of
Whitchurch, and Leofwin, high-steward of the king, and Wulfhere,
a bishop's thane, and Godwin of Worthy, son of Bishop Elfsy; and
of all the men who were engaged with them eighty-one.  Of the
Danes there was slain a much greater number, though they remained
in possession of the field of battle.  Thence they proceeded
westward, until they came into Devonshire; where Paley came to
meet them with the ships which he was able to collect; for he had
shaken off his allegiance to King Ethelred, against all the vows
of truth and fidelity which he had given him, as well as the
presents which the king had bestowed on him in houses and gold
and silver.  And they burned Teignton, and also many other goodly
towns that we cannot name; and then peace was there concluded
with them.  And they proceeded thence towards Exmouth, so that
they marched at once till they came to Pin-hoo; where Cole, high-
steward of the king, and Edsy, reve of the king, came against
them with the army that they could collect.  But they were there
put to flight, and there were many slain, and the Danes had
possession of the field of battle.  And the next morning they
burned the village of Pin-hoo, and of Clist, and also many goodly
towns that we cannot name.  Then they returned eastward again,
till they came to the Isle of Wight.  The next morning they
burned the town of Waltham, and many other small towns; soon
after which the people treated with them, and they made peace.

((A.D. 1001.  This year the army came to Exmouth, and then went
up to the town, and there continued fighting stoutly; but they
were very strenuously resisted.  Then went they through the land,
and did all as was their wont; destroyed and burnt.  Then was
collected a vast force of the people of Devon and of the people
of Somerset, and they then came together at Pen.  And so soon as
they joined battle, then the people gave way: and there they made
great slaughter, and then they rode over the land, and their last
incursion was ever worse than the one before: and then they
brought much booty with them to their ships.  And thence they
went into the Isle of Wight, and there they roved about, even as
they themselves would, and nothing withstood them: nor any fleet
by sea durst meet them; nor land force either, went they ever so
far up.  Then was it in every wise a heavy time, because they
never ceased from their evil doings.))

A.D. 1002.  This year the king and his council agreed that
tribute should be given to the fleet, and peace made with them,
with the provision that they should desist from their mischief.
Then sent the king to the fleet Alderman Leofsy, who at the
king's word and his council made peace with them, on condition
that they received food and tribute; which they accepted, and a
tribute was paid of 24,000 pounds.  In the meantime Alderman
Leofsy slew Eafy, high-steward of the king; and the king banished
him from the land.  Then, in the same Lent, came the Lady Elfgive
Emma, Richard's daughter, to this land.  And in the same summer
died Archbishop Eadulf; and also, in the same year the king gave
an order to slay all the Danes that were in England.  This was
accordingly done on the mass-day of St. Brice; because it was
told the king, that they would beshrew him of his life, and
afterwards all his council, and then have his kingdom without any

A.D. 1003.  This year was Exeter demolished, through the French
churl Hugh, whom the lady had appointed her steward there.  And
the army destroyed the town withal, and took there much spoil. 
In the same year came the army up into Wiltshire.  Then was
collected a very great force, from Wiltshire and from Hampshire;
which was soon ready on their march against the enemy: and
Alderman Elfric should have led them on; but he brought forth his
old tricks, and as soon as they were so near, that either army
looked on the other, then he pretended sickness, and began to
retch, saying he was sick; and so betrayed the people that he
should have led: as it is said, "When the leader is sick the
whole army is hindered."  When Sweyne saw that they were not
ready, and that they all retreated, then led he his army into
Wilton; and they plundered and burned the town.  Then went he to
Sarum; and thence back to the sea, where he knew his ships were.

A.D. 1004.  This year came Sweyne with his fleet to Norwich,
plundering and burning the whole town.  Then Ulfkytel agreed with
the council in East-Anglia, that it were better to purchase peace
with the enemy, ere they did too much harm on the land; for that
they had come unawares, and he had not had time to gather his
force.  Then, under the truce that should have been between them,
stole the army up from their ships, and bent their course to
Thetford.  When Ulfkytel understood that, then sent he an order
to hew the ships in pieces; but they frustrated his design.  Then
he gathered his forces, as secretly as he could.  The enemy came
to Thetford within three weeks after they had plundered Norwich;
and, remaining there one night, they spoiled and burned the town;
but, in the morning, as they were proceeding to their ships, came
Ulfkytel with his army, and said that they must there come to
close quarters.  And, accordingly, the two armies met together;
and much slaughter was made on both sides.  There were many of
the veterans of the East-Angles slain; but, if the main army had
been there, the enemy had never returned to their ships.  As they
said themselves, that they never met with worse hand-play in
England than Ulfkytel brought them.

A.D. 1005.  This year died Archbishop Elfric; and Bishop Elfeah
succeeded him in the archbishopric.  This year was the great
famine in England so severe that no man ere remembered such.  The
fleet this year went from this land to Denmark, and took but a
short respite, before they came again.

A.D. 1006.  This year Elfeah was consecrated Archbishop; Bishop
Britwald succeeded to the see of Wiltshire; Wulfgeat was deprived
of all his property; (51) Wulfeah and Ufgeat were deprived of
sight; Alderman Elfelm was slain; and Bishop Kenulf (52) departed
this life.  Then, over midsummer, came the Danish fleet to
Sandwich, and did as they were wont; they barrowed and burned and
slew as they went.  Then the king ordered out all the population
from Wessex and from Mercia; and they lay out all the harvest
under arms against the enemy; but it availed nothing more than it
had often done before.  For all this the enemy went wheresoever
they would; and the expedition did the people more harm than
either any internal or external force could do.  When winter
approached, then went the army home; and the enemy retired after
Martinmas to their quarters in the Isle of Wight, and provided
themselves everywhere there with what they wanted.  Then, about
midwinter, they went to their ready farm, throughout Hampshire
into Berkshire, to Reading.  And they did according to their
custom, -- they lighted their camp-beacons as they advanced.
Thence they marched to Wallingford, which they entirely
destroyed, and passed one night at Cholsey.  They then turned
along Ashdown to Cuckamsley-hill, and there awaited better cheer;
for it was often said, that if they sought Cuckamsley, they would
never get to the sea.  But they went another way homeward.  Then
was their army collected at Kennet; and they came to battle
there, and soon put the English force to flight; and afterwards
carried their spoil to the sea.  There might the people of
Winchester see the rank and iniquitous foe, as they passed by
their gates to the sea, fetching their meat and plunder over an
extent of fifty miles from sea.  Then was the king gone over the
Thames into Shropshire; and there he fixed his abode during
midwinter.  Meanwhile, so great was the fear of the enemy, that
no man could think or devise how to drive them from the land, or
hold this territory against them; for they had terribly marked
each shire in Wessex with fire and devastation.  Then the king
began to consult seriously with his council, what they all
thought most advisable for defending this land, ere it was
utterly undone.  Then advised the king and his council for the
advantage of all the nation, though they were all loth to do it,
that they needs must bribe the enemy with a tribute.  The king
then sent to the army, and ordered it to be made known to them,
that his desire was, that there should be peace between them, and
that tribute and provision should be given them.  And they
accepted the terms; and they were provisioned throughout England.

((A.D. 1006.  This year Elphege was consecrated archbishop [of

A.D. 1007.  In this year was the tribute paid to the hostile
army; that was, 30,000 pounds.  In this year also was Edric
appointed alderman over all the kingdom of the Mercians.  This
year went Bishop Elfeah to Rome after his pall.

A.D. 1008.  This year bade the king that men should speedily
build ships over all England; that is, a man possessed of three
hundred and ten hides to provide on galley or skiff; and a man
possessed of eight hides only, to find a helmet and breastplate

A.D. 1009.  This year were the ships ready, that we before spoke
about; and there were so many of them as never were in England
before, in any king's days, as books tell us.  And they were all
transported together to Sandwich; that they should lie there, and
defend this land against any out-force.  But we have not yet had
the prosperity and the honour, that the naval armament should be
useful to this land, any more than it often before was.  It was
at this same time, or a little earlier, that Brihtric, brother of
Alderman Edric, bewrayed Wulnoth, the South-Saxon knight, father
of Earl Godwin, to the king; and he went into exile, and enticed 
the navy, till he had with him twenty ships; with which he 
plundered everywhere by the south coast, and wrought every kind
of mischief.  When it was told the navy that they might easily
seize him, if they would look about them, then took Brihtric with
him eighty ships; and thought that he should acquire for himself
much reputation, by getting Wulnoth into his hands alive or dead.
But, whilst they were proceeding thitherward, there came such a
wind against them, as no man remembered before; which beat and
tossed the ships, and drove them aground; whereupon Wulnoth soon
came, and burned them.  When this was known to the remaining
ships, where the king was, how the others fared, it was then as
if all were lost.  The king went home, with the aldermen and the
nobility; and thus lightly did they forsake the ships; whilst the
men that were in them rowed them back to London.  Thus lightly
did they suffer the labour of all the people to be in vain; nor
was the terror lessened, as all England hoped.  When this naval
expedition was thus ended, then came, soon after Lammas, the
formidable army of the enemy, called Thurkill's army, to
Sandwich; and soon they bent their march to Canterbury; which
city they would quickly have stormed, had they not rather desired
peace; and all the men of East-Kent made peace with the army, and
gave them 3,000 pounds for security.  The army soon after that
went about till they came to the Isle of Wight; and everywhere in
Sussex, and in Hampshire, and also in Berkshire, they plundered
and burned, as THEIR CUSTOM IS. (54)  Then ordered the king to
summon out all the population, that men might hold firm against 
them on every side; but nevertheless they marched as they
pleased.  On one occasion the king had begun his march before
them, as they proceeded to their ships, and all the people were
ready to fall upon them; but the plan was then frustrated through
Alderman Edric, AS IT EVER IS STILL.  Then after Martinmas they
went back again to Kent, and chose their winter-quarters on the
Thames; obtaining their provisions from Essex, and from the
shires that were next, on both sides of the Thames.  And oft they
fought against the city of London; but glory be to God, that it
yet standeth firm: and they ever there met with ill fare.  Then
after midwinter took they an excursion up through Chiltern, (55)
and so to Oxford; which city they burned, and plundered on both
sides of the Thames to their ships.  Being fore-warned that there
was an army gathered against them at London, they went over at
Staines; and thus were they in motion all the winter, and in
spring, appeared again in Kent, and repaired their ships.

A.D. 1010.  This year came the aforesaid army, after Easter, into
East Anglia; and went up at Ipswich, marching continually till
they came where they understood Ulfcytel was with his army.  This
was on the day called the first of the Ascension of our Lord. 
The East-Angles soon fled.  Cambridgeshire stood firm against
them.  There was slain Athelstan, the king's relative, and Oswy,
and his son, and Wulfric, son of Leofwin, and Edwy, brother of
Efy, and many other good thanes, and a multitude of the people.
Thurkytel Myrehead first began the flight; and the Danes remained
masters of the field of slaughter.  There were they horsed; and
afterwards took possession of East-Anglia, where they plundered
and burned three months; and then proceeded further into the wild
fens, slaying both men and cattle, and burning throughout the
fens.  Thetford also they burned, and Cambridge; and afterwards
went back southward into the Thames; and the horsemen rode
towards the ships.  Then went they west-ward into Oxfordshire,
and thence to Buckinghamshire, and so along the Ouse till they
came to Bedford, and so forth to Temsford, always burning as they
went.  Then returned they to their ships with their spoil, which
they apportioned to the ships.  When the king's army should have
gone out to meet them as they went up, then went they home; and
when they were in the east, then was the army detained in the
west; and when they were in the south, then was the army in the
north.  Then all the privy council were summoned before the king,
to consult how they might defend this country.  But, whatever was
advised, it stood not a month; and at length there was not a
chief that would collect an army, but each fled as he could: no
shire, moreover, would stand by another.  Before the feast-day of
St. Andrew came the enemy to Northampton, and soon burned the
town, and took as much spoil thereabout as they would; and then
returned over the Thames into Wessex, and so by Cannings-marsh,
burning all the way.  When they had gone as far as they would,
then came they by midwinter to their ships.

A.D. 1011.  This year sent the king and his council to the army,
and desired peace; promising them both tribute and provisions, on
condition that they ceased from plunder.  They had now overrun
East-Anglia [1], and Essex [2], and Middlesex [3], and
Oxfordshire [4], and Cambridgeshire [5], and Hertfordshire [6],
and Buckinghamshire [7], and Bedfordshire [8], and half of
Huntingdonshire [9], and much of Northamptonshire [10]; and, to
the south of the Thames, all Kent, and Sussex, and Hastings, and
Surrey, and Berkshire, and Hampshire, and much of Wiltshire.  All
these disasters befel us through bad counsels; that they would
not offer tribute in time, or fight with them; but, when they had
done most mischief, then entered they into peace and amity with
them.  And not the less for all this peace, and amity, and
tribute, they went everywhere in troops; plundering, and
spoiling, and slaying our miserable people.  In this year,
between the Nativity of St. Mary and Michaelmas, they beset
Canterbury, and entered therein through treachery; for Elfmar
delivered the city to them, whose life Archbishop Elfeah formerly
saved.  And there they seized Archbishop Elfeah, and Elfward the
king's steward, and Abbess Leofruna, (56) and Bishop Godwin; and
Abbot Elfmar they suffered to go away.  And they took therein all
the men, and husbands, and wives; and it was impossible for any
man to say how many they were; and in the city they continued
afterwards as long as they would.  And, when they had surveyed
all the city, they then returned to their ships, and led the
archbishop with them.
          Then was a captive
          he who before was
          of England head
          and Christendom; --
          there might be seen

          great wretchedness,
          where oft before
          great bliss was seen,
          in the fated city,
          whence first to us
          came Christendom,
          and bliss 'fore God
          and 'fore the world.
And the archbishop they kept with them until the time when they
martyred him.

A.D. 1012.  This year came Alderman Edric, and all the oldest
counsellors of England, clerk and laity, to London before Easter,
which was then on the ides of April; and there they abode, over
Easter, until all the tribute was paid, which was 48,000 pounds.
Then on the Saturday was the army much stirred against the
bishop; because he would not promise them any fee, and forbade
that any man should give anything for him.  They were also much
drunken; for there was wine brought them from the south.  Then
took they the bishop, and led him to their hustings, on the eve
of the Sunday after Easter, which was the thirteenth before the
calends of May; and there they then shamefully killed him.  They
overwhelmed him with bones and horns of oxen; and one of them
smote him with an axe-iron on the head; so that he sunk downwards
with the blow; and his holy blood fell on the earth, whilst his
sacred soul was sent to the realm of God.  The corpse in the
morning was carried to London; and the bishops, Ednoth and
Elfhun, and the citizens, received him with all honour, and
buried him in St. Paul's minster; where God now showeth this holy
martyr's miracles.  When the tribute was paid, and the peace-
oaths were sworn, then dispersed the army as widely as it was
before collected.  Then submitted to the king five and forty of
the ships of the enemy; and promised him, that they would defend
this land, and he should feed and clothe them.

A.D. 1013.  The year after that Archbishop Elfeah was martyred,
the king appointed Lifing to the archiepiscopal see of
Canterbury.  And in the same year, before the month August, came
King Sweyne with his fleet to Sandwich; and very soon went about
East-Anglia into the Humber-mouth, and so upward along the Trent,
until he came to Gainsborough.  Then soon submitted to him Earl
Utred, and all the Northumbrians, and all the people of Lindsey,
and afterwards the people of the Five Boroughs, and soon after
all the army to the north of Watling-street; and hostages were
given him from each shire.  When he understood that all the
people were subject to him, then ordered he that his army should
have provision and horses; and he then went southward with his
main army, committing his ships and the hostages to his son
Knute.  And after he came over Watling-street, they wrought the
greatest mischief that any army could do.  Then he went to
Oxford; and the population soon submitted, and gave hostages;
thence to Winchester, where they did the same.  Thence went they
eastward to London; and many of the party sunk in the Thames,
because they kept not to any bridge.  When he came to the city,
the population would not submit; but held their ground in full
fight against him, because therein was King Ethelred, and
Thurkill with him.  Then went King Sweyne thence to Wallingford;
and so over Thames westward to Bath, where he abode with his
army.  Thither came Alderman Ethelmar, and all the western thanes
with him, and all submitted to Sweyne, and gave hostages.  When
he had thus settled all, then went he northward to his ships; and
all the population fully received him, and considered him full
king.  The population of London also after this submitted to him,
and gave hostages; because they dreaded that he would undo them.
Then bade Sweyne full tribute and forage for his army during the
winter; and Thurkill bade the same for the army that lay at
Greenwich: besides this, they plundered as oft as they would. 
And when this nation could neither resist in the south nor in the
north, King Ethelred abode some while with the fleet that lay in
the Thames; and the lady (57) went afterwards over sea to her
brother Richard, accompanied by Elfsy, Abbot of Peterborough. 
The king sent Bishop Elfun with the ethelings, Edward and Alfred,
over sea; that he might instruct them.  Then went the king from
the fleet, about midwinter, to the Isle of Wight; and there abode
for the season; after which he went over sea to Richard, with
whom he abode till the time when Sweyne died.  Whilst the lady
was with her brother beyond sea, Elfsy, Abbot of Peterborough,
who was there with her, went to the abbey called Boneval, where
St. Florentine's body lay; and there found a miserable place, a
miserable abbot, and miserable monks: because they had been
plundered.  There he bought of the abbot, and of the monks, the
body of St. Florentine, all but the head, for 500 pounds; which,
on his return home, he offered to Christ and St. Peter.

A.D. 1014.  This year King Sweyne ended his days at Candlemas,
the third day before the nones of February; and the same year
Elfwy, Bishop of York, was consecrated in London, on the festival
of St. Juliana.  The fleet all chose Knute for king; whereupon
advised all the counsellors of England, clergy and laity, that
they should send after King Ethelred; saying, that no sovereign
was dearer to them than their natural lord, if he would govern
them better than he did before.  Then sent the king hither his
son Edward, with his messengers; who had orders to greet all his
people, saying that he would be their faithful lord -- would
better each of those things that they disliked -- and that each
of the things should be forgiven which had been either done or
said against him; provided they all unanimously, without
treachery, turned to him.  Then was full friendship established,
in word and in deed and in compact, on either side.  And every
Danish king they proclaimed an outlaw for ever from England. 
Then came King Ethelred home, in Lent, to his own people; and he
was gladly received by them all.  Meanwhile, after the death of
Sweyne, sat Knute with his army in Gainsborough until Easter; and
it was agreed between him and the people of Lindsey, that they
should supply him with horses, and afterwards go out all together
and plunder.  But King Ethelred with his full force came to
Lindsey before they were ready; and they plundered and burned,
and slew all the men that they could reach.  Knute, the son of
Sweyne, went out with his fleet (so were the wretched people
deluded by him), and proceeded southward until he came to
Sandwich.  There he landed the hostages that were given to his
father, and cut off their hands and ears and their noses. 
Besides all these evils, the king ordered a tribute to the army
that lay at Greenwich, of 21,000 pounds.  This year, on the eve
of St. Michael's day, came the great sea-flood, which spread wide
over this land, and ran so far up as it never did before,
overwhelming many towns, and an innumerable multitude of people.

(41) So I understand the word.  Gibson, from Wheloc, says -- "in
     aetatis vigore;" a fact contradicted by the statement of
     almost every historian.  Names of places seldom occur in old
     MSS. with capital initials.
(42) i.e. the feast of the Holy Innocents; a festival of great
(43) i.e. the secular clergy, who observed no rule; opposed to
     the regulars, or monks.
(44) This poetical effusion on the coronation, or rather
     consecration, of King Edgar, as well as the following on his
     death, appears to be imitated in Latin verse by Ethelwerd at
     the end of his curious chronicle.  This seems at least to
     prove that they were both written very near the time, as
     also the eulogy on his reign, inserted 959.
(45) The following passage from Cotton Tiberius B iv., relating
     to the accession of Edward the Martyr, should be added here
     --   In his days,
          On account of his youth,
          The opponents of God
          Broke through God's laws;
          Alfhere alderman,
          And others many;
          And marr'd monastic rules;
          Minsters they razed,
          And monks drove away,
          And put God's laws to flight --
          Laws that King Edgar
          Commanded the holy
          Saint Ethelwold bishop
          Firmly to settle --
          Widows they stript
          Oft and at random.
          Many breaches of right
          And many bad laws
          Have arisen since;
          And after-times
          Prove only worse.
          Then too was Oslac
          The mighty earl
          Hunted from England's shores.
(46) Florence of Worcester mentions three synods this year;
     Kyrtlinege, Calne, and Ambresbyrig.
(47) Vid. "Hist. Eliens." ii. 6.  He was a great benefactor to
     the church of Ely.
(48) This was probably the veteran historian of that name, who
     was killed in the severe encounter with the Danes at Alton
     (Aethelingadene) in the year 1001.
(49) i.e. at Canterbury.  He was chosen or nominated before, by
     King Ethelred and his council, at Amesbury: vid. an. 994.
     This notice of his consecration, which is confirmed by
     Florence of Worcester, is now first admitted into the text
     on the authority of three MSS.
(50) Not the present district so-called, but all that north of
     the Sea of Severn, as opposed to West-Wales, another name
     for Cornwall.
(51) See a more full and circumstantial account of these events,
     with some variation of names, in Florence of Worcester.
(52) The successor of Elfeah, or Alphege, in the see of
     Winchester, on the translation of the latter to the
     archiepiscopal see of Canterbury.
(53) This passage, though very important, is rather confused,
     from the Variations in the MSS.; so that it is difficult to
     ascertain the exact proportion of ships and armour which
     each person was to furnish. "Vid. Flor." an. 1008.
(54) These expressions in the present tense afford a strong proof
     that the original records of these transactions are nearly
     coeval with the transactions themselves.  Later MSS. use the
     past tense.
(55) i.e. the Chiltern Hills; from which the south-eastern part
     of Oxfordshire is called the Chiltern district.
(56) "Leofruna abbatissa". -- Flor.  The insertion of this
     quotation from Florence of Worcester is important, as it
     confirms the reading adopted in the text.  The abbreviation
     "abbt", instead of "abb", seems to mark the abbess.  She was
     the last abbess of St. Mildred's in the Isle of Thanet; not
     Canterbury, as Harpsfield and Lambard say.
(57) This was a title bestowed on the queen.
(58) The "seven" towns mentioned above are reduced here to
     "five"; probably because two had already submitted to the
     king on the death of the two thanes, Sigferth and Morcar.
     These five were, as originally, Leicester, Lincoln,
     Stamford, Nottingham, and Derby.  Vid. an. 942, 1013.