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Title: Chronicles 1 (of 6): The Historie of England 5 (of 8) - The Fift Booke of the Historie of England.
Author: Holinshed, Raphael
Language: English
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       *       *       *       *       *

_Constantinus at the generall sute of the Britains vndertaketh to
gouerne this Iland, he is crowned king, his three sonnes, he is
traitorouslie slaine of a Pict, Constantius the eldest sonne of
Constantine hauing bene a monke is created king, the ambitious & slie
practises of duke Vortigerne to aspire to the gouernment, he procureth
certeine Picts and Scots to kill the king who had reteined them for
the gard of his person, his craftie deuises and deepe dissimulation
vnder the pretense of innocencie, he winneth the peoples harts, and is
chosen their king._


Having ended our former booke with the end of the Romane power ouer
this Iland, wherein the state of the Iland vnder them is at full
described; it remaineth now that we procéed to declare, in what state
they were after the Romans had refused to gouerne them anie longer.
Wherefore we will addresse our selues to saie somewhat touching the
succession of the British kings, as their histories make mention.

[Sidenote: CONSTANTINUS. _Gal. Mon._ _Matt. Westm._]
Constantinus the brother of Aldroenus king of little Britaine, at
the sute and earnest request of the archbishop of London, made in name
of all the Britains in the Ile of great Britaine, was sent into the
same Ile by his said brother Aldroenus vpon couenants ratified in
manner as before is recited, and brought with him a conuenient power,
landing with the same at Totnesse in Deuonshire. Immediatlie after his
[Sidenote: _Caxton_ saith 12000. but _Gal._ and others say
but 2000.]
c[=o]ming on land, he gathered to him a great power of Britains,
which before his landing were hid in diuerse places of the Ile. Then
went he foorth with them, and gaue battell to the enimies, whom he
vanquished: & slue that tyrannicall king Guanius there in the field
[Sidenote: The British historie disagreeth from the Scotish.]
(as some bookes haue.) Howbeit, this agréeth not with the Scotish
writers, which affirme that they got the field, but yet lost their
king named Dongard (as in their historie ye maie read.)

But to procéed as our writers report the matter. When the Britains had
thus ouercome their enimies, they conueied their capteine the said
Constantine vnto Cicester, and there in fulfilling their promise and
couenant made to his brother, crowned him king of great Britaine,
in the yéere of our Lord 433, which was about the fift yéere of the
emperour Valentinianus the second, and third yéere of Clodius king
[Sidenote: _Matth. West._ saith 435.]
of the Frankners after called Frenchmen, which then began to settle
themselues in Gallia, whereby the name of that countrie was afterwards
changed and called France. Constantine being thus established king,
ruled the land well and noblie, and defended it from all inuasion of
enimies during his life. He begat of his wife thrée sonnes (as the
British historie affirmeth) Constantius, Aurelius Ambrosius, and Vter
surnamed named Pendragon. The eldest, bicause he perceiued him to be
but dull of wit, and not verie toward, he made a moonke, placing him
within the abbie of Amphibalus in Winchester.

[Sidenote: In a groue of bushes as _Gal._ saith. _Matth. West._
_Beda_. _Orosius_. _Blondus_.]
Finallie this Constantine, after he had reigned ten yéeres, was
traitorouslie slaine one day in his owne chamber (as some write) by a
Pict, who was in such fauor with him, that he might at all times haue
frée accesse to him at his pleasure. Neither the Romane writers,
nor Beda, make anie mention of this Constantine: but of the other
Constantine they write, which immediatlie after the vsurper Gratian
was dispatched out of the way (as before ye haue heard) was aduanced
to the rule of this land, and title of emperour, onelie in hope of his
name, and for no other respect of towardnesse in him, afore time
being but a meane souldier, without anie degrée of honour. The same
Constantine (as writers record) going ouer into Gallia, adorned his
sonne Constantius with the title and dignitie of Cesar, the which
before was a moonke, and finallie as well the one as the other were
slaine, the father at Arles by earle Constantius, that was sent
against him by the emperour Honorius; and the sonne at Vienna (as
before ye haue heard) by one of his owne court called Gerontius (as in
the Italian historie ye may sée more at large.) This chanced about the
yeere of our Lord 415.
[Sidenote: 415.]

¶ This haue we thought good to repeat in this place, for that some may
suppose that this Constantine is the same that our writers take to be
the brother of Aldroenus king of little Britaine, as the circumstance
of the time and other things to be considered may giue them occasion
to thinke, for that there is not so much credit to be yéelded to them
that haue written the British histories, but that in some part men may
with iust cause doubt of sundrie matters conteined in the same: and
therfore haue we in this booke béene the more diligent to shew what
the Romans and other forreine writers haue registred in their bookes
of histories touching the affaires of Britaine, that the reader may be
the better satisfied in the truth. But now to returne to the
sequele of the historie as we find the same written by the British

[Sidenote: This Vortigerne was duke of the Geuisses and Cornewall, as
_Rad. Cestr._ reporteth. _Gal. Mon._]
After that Constantine was murthered (as before ye haue heard) one
Vortigerus, or Vortigernus, a man of great authoritie amongst the
Britains, wrought so with the residue of the British nobilitie,
that Constantius the eldest sonne of their king the fore-remembred
Constantine, was taken out of the abbie of Winchester where he
remained, and was streightwaies created king, as lawfull inheritour to
his father.

Ye haue heard how Constantius was made a moonke in his fathers life
time, bicause he was thought to be too soft and childish in wit, to
haue anie publike rule committed to his hands: but for that cause
speciallie did Vortigerne séeke t'aduance him, to the end that the
king being not able to gouerne of himselfe, he might haue the chiefest
swaie, and so rule all things as it were vnder him, preparing thereby
a way for himselfe to atteine at length to the kingdome as by that
which followed was more apparentlie perceiued.

[Sidenote: CONSTANTIUS. _Matt. West._ saith 445.]
This Constantius then the sonne of Constantine, by the helpe (as
before ye haue heard) of Vortigerne, was made king of Britaine, in the
yere of our Lord 443. But Constantius bare but the name of king: for
Vortigerne abusing his innocencie and simple discretion to order
things as was requisite, had all the rule of the land, and did what
pleased him. Wherevpon first, where there had béene a league concluded
betwixt the Britains, Scots and Picts, in the daies of the late king
Constantine, Vortigerne caused the same league to be renewed, &
[Sidenote: _Hector Boet._]
waged an hundred Picts, and as manie Scots to be attendant as a gard
vpon the kings person, diuers of the which (corrupting them with faire
[Sidenote: Constantius murthered.]
promises) he procured by subtile meanes in the end to murther the
king, and immediatlie vpon the deed doone, he caused the murtherers to
be strangled, that they should not afterwards disclose by whose
[Sidenote: The subtile dealing of Vortigerne.]
procurement they did that déed. Then caused he all the residue of the
Scots and Picts to be apprehended, and as it had béene vpon a zeale
to sée the death of Constantius seuerelie punished, he framed such
inditements and accusations against them, that chieflie by his meanes
(as appeared) the giltlesse persons were condemned and hanged,
the multitude of the British people béeing woonderfullie pleased
therewith, and giuing great commendations to Vortigerne for that déed.
Thus Constantius was made awaie in maner as before ye haue heard,
after he had reigned (as most writers affirme) the space of fiue

After his death was knowne, those that had the bringing vp and
[Sidenote: Aurelius Ambrosius. Vter Pendragon.]
custodie of his two yoonger brethren, Aurelius Ambrose, and
Vter Pendragon, mistrusting the wicked intent of Vortigerne, whose
dissimulation and mischieuous meaning by some great likelihoods they
suspected, with all spéed got them to the sea, and fled into litle
Britaine, there kéeping them till it pleased God otherwise to prouide
for them. But Vortigerne could so well dissemble his craftie workings,
and with such conueiance and cloked maner could shadow and colour the
matter, that most men thought and iudged him verie innocent and void
of euill meaning: insomuch that he obteined the fauour of the people
so greatlie, that he was reputed for the onelie staie and defender of
the common wealth. Herevpon it came to passe, that when the councell
was assembled to elect a new king, for so much as the other sonnes of
[Sidenote: Vortigerne chosen king of Britaine.]
king Constantine were not of age sufficient to rule, Vortigerne
himselfe was chosen, diuers of the nobles (whom he had procured
thereto) giuing their voices to this his preferment, as to one best
deseruing the same in their opinion and judgement. This Vortigerne,
as by indirect meanes and sinister procéedings he aspired to the
regiment, hauing no title therevnto, otherwise than as blind fortune
vouchsafed him the preferment: so when he was possessed, but not
interessed in the same, he vncased the crooked conditions which he had
couertlie concealed, and in the end (as by the sequele you shall sée)
did pull shame and infamie vpon himselfe.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Vortigerne furnisheth the tower with a garrison, he bewraieth his
crueltie, Aurelius and Pendragon brethren to the late king Constantius
flie into Britaine Armorike, what common abuses and sinnes did
vniuersally concurre with a plentifull yeere, the Scots and Picts
reuenge the death of their countrimen, Vortigerne is in doubt of his
estate, the Britains send for succour to the Saxons, they come vnder
the conduct of Hengist and Horsus two brethren, where they are
assigned to be seated, they vanquish the Scots, disagreement in
writers touching the Saxons first comming into this Iland._


[Sidenote: VORTIGERNE. 446.]
Vortigerne, by such diuelish meanes and vnconscionable practises
(as you heare) stealing away the hearts of the people, was chosen
and made king of Britaine, in the yéere of our Lord 446, in the 3
consulship of Aetius, 1197 of Rome, 4 of the 305 Olympiad, 4112 of the
world, the dominicall letter going by F, the prime by 10, which fell
about the 21 yéere of the emperour Valentinianus, the same yéere that
Meroneus began to reigne ouer the Frenchmen. Before he was made king,
he was earle or duke of the Geuisses, a people which held that part of
Britaine where afterwards the west Saxons inhabited. Now when he
[Sidenote; _Hector Boet._]
had with treason, fraud, and great deceit at length obteined that for
the which he had long looked, he first of all furnished the tower of
London with a strong garrison of men of warre.

Then studieng to aduance such onelie as he knew to be his speciall
[Sidenote: 415.]
friends and fauourers, he sought by all meanes how to oppresse
other, of whose good will he had neuer so litle mistrust, and namelie
those that were affectionate towards the linage of Constantine he
hated deadlie, and deuised by secret meanes which way he might best
destroy them. But these his practises being at the first perceiued,
caused such as had the gouernance of the two yoong gentlemen with
[Sidenote: _Fabian_.]
all spéed to get them ouer (as ye haue heard) into Britaine Armorike,
there to remaine out of danger with their vncle the king of that land.
Diuers of the Britains also, that knew themselues to be in Vortigerne
his displeasure, sailed ouer dailie vnto them, which thing brought
Vortigerne into great doubt and feare of his estate.

[Sidenote: _Gyldas_. Plentie of wealth accompanied with store of
It chanced also the same time, that there was great plentie of
corne, & store of fruit, the like wherof had not béene seene in manie
yéeres before, and therevpon insued riot, strife, lecherie, and other
vices verie heinous, & yet accounted as then for small or rather none
offenses at all. These abuses & great enormities reigned not onelie in
the temporaltie, but also in the spiritualtie and chéefe rulers in the
same: so that euerie man turned the point of his speare (euen as he
had consented of purpose) against the true and innocent person. The
commons also gaue themselues to voluptuous lust, drunkennesse, and
idle loitering, whereof followed fighting, contention, enuie, and much
debate. Of this plentie therefore insued great pride, and of this
abundance no lesse hautinesse of mind, wherevpon followed great
wickednesse, lacke of good gouernement and sober temperancie, and in
the necke of these as a iust punishment, death and mortalitie, so that
in some countries scarse the quicke sufficed to burie the dead.

[Sidenote: Scots and Picts inuade the Britains.]
And for an augmentation of more mischéefe, the Scots and Picts
hearing how their countrimen through the false suggestion of
Vortigerne, had bene wrongfullie and most cruellie put to death at
London, began with fire & sword to make sharpe & cruell warre against
the Britains, wasting their countrie, spoiling and burning their
townes, and giuing them the ouerthrow in a pitcht field, as in the
Scotish historie more plainlie appeareth. To be bréefe, the Britains
were brought into such danger and miserie, that they knew not what way
to take for remedie in such present perill, likelie to be ouerrun and
vtterlie vanquished of their enimies. In the meane time Vortigerne
not onelie troubled with these imminent euils, but fearing also the
returne of the two brethren, Aurelius Ambrose, and Vter Pendragon,
began to consider of the state of things, and estéeming it most sure
to worke by aduise, called togither the principall lords and chéefe
men of the realme to haue their counsell and opinion, how to procéed
in such a weightie businesse: and so debating the matter with them,
measured both his owne force, and also the force of his enimies,
and according to the condition and state of the time, diligentlie
considered and searched out what remedie was to be had and prouided.

[Sidenote: _Gyldas_. _Wil. Malm._ _Beda_. The Saxons sent for. 10000
hath _Hector Boet._ _Gyldas_ and _Beda_ mention onelie but of
3 plates or gallies, but _Hector Boet_. hath 30.]
At length after they had throughlie pondered all things, the more
part of the nobles with the king also were of this mind, that there
could be no better way deuised, than to send into Germanie for the
Saxons to come to their aid: the which Saxons in that season were
highlie renowmed for their valiancie in armes, and manifold aduentures
heretofore atchiued. And so forthwith messengers were dispatched into
Germanie, the which with monie, gifts, and promises, might procure the
Saxons to come to the aid of the Britains against the Scots and Picts.
The Saxons glad of this message, as people desirous of intertainment
to serue in warres, choosing forth a picked companie of lustie yoong
men vnder the leading of two brethren Hingist and Horsus, got them
aboord into certeine vessels appointed for the purpose, and so with
all spéed directed their course towards great Britaine.

[Sidenote: 449.]
This was in the yeare of our Lord 449, and in the second yeare
of Vortigerns reigne, as the most autentike writers both British
and English séeme to gather, although the Scotish writers, and
[Sidenote: _Wil. Malm._]
namelie, Hector Boetius doo varie herein, touching the iust account of
yeares, as to the perusers of the writings aswell of the one as the
other may appeare. But others take it to be in the 4 yéere of his
reigne: whereto Beda séemeth to agrée, who noteth it in the same yeare
that Martianus the emperour began to rule the empire, which was (as
appeareth by the consularie table) in the consulship of Protogenes and
Austerius, and third yeere of Meroneus king of France.

These Saxons thus arriuing in Britaine, were courteouslie receiued, &
hartilie welcomed of king Vortigerne, who assigned to them places in
Kent to inhabit, and foorthwith led them against the Scots and Picts,
which were entred into Britaine, wasting & destroieng the countrie
before them. Héerevpon comming to ioine in battell, there was a sore
fight betwixt the parties for a while. But at length when the Saxons
called to their remembrance that the same was the day which should
either purchase to them an euerlasting name of manhood by
[Sidenote: Scots vanquished by the Saxons.]
victorie, or else of reproch by repulse, began to renew the fight with
such violence, that the enimies not able to abide their fierce charge,
were scattered and beaten downe on ech side with great slaughter.

The king hauing gotten this victorie, highlie rewarded the strangers
[Sidenote: _Henrie Hunt._]
according to their well deseruings, as by whose prowesse he had
thus vanquished his enimies, which (as some write) were come as farre
as Stamford, and vsed at that time to fight with long darts and
speares, whereas the Saxons fought onelie with long swords and axes.

[Sidenote: _Gal. Mon._]
¶ Some haue written that the Saxons were not sent for, but came by
chance into the Ile, and the occasion to be this. There was an ancient
custome among the English Saxons a people in Germanie, as was also at
the first among other nations, that when the multitude of them was so
increased, that the countrie was not able to susteine and find them,
by commandement of their princes, they should choose out by lots a
number of yoong and able personages fit for the warrs, which should go
foorth to séeke them new habitations: and so it chanced to these, that
they came into great Britaine, and promised to serue the king for
wages in his warres.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Hengistus the Saxon shooteth at the crowne and scepter of the
kingdome by craftie and subtile practises, a great number of forren
people arriue in Britaine for the augmentation of his power, of the
faire ladie Rowen his daughter, whereof Wednesdaie and Fridaie tooke
their name, of the Iutes, Saxons, and Angles, Vortigerne being
inflamed with the loue of Hengists daughter forsaketh his owne wife
and marrieth hir, Vortigerne giueth Hengist all Kent, the Saxons come
ouer by heaps to inhabit the land, the British nobilitie moue the
king to auoid them, he is depriued of his kingdome, the miserable
destruction made by the Saxons in this land, skirmishes betwixt them
and the Britains._


[Sidenote: Hengist purposeth at the first to conquere the
Now Hengistus, being a man of great wit, rare policie, and high
wisedome, vnderstanding the kings mind, who wholie trusted to the
valiancie of the Saxons, & herewithall perceiuing the fruitfulnesse
of the countrie, presentlie began to consider with himselfe, by what
wiles and craft he might by little little settle heere, and obteine
a kingdome in the Ile, and so establish the same to him and his for

[Sidenote: _Polydor_.]
Therefore first he endeuored with all speed possible to fense that
part of the countrie, which was giuen him and his people, and to
inlarge and furnish it with garisons appointed in places most
conuenient. After this he did what he could to persuade the king, that
a great power of men might be brought ouer out of Germanie, that the
[Side note: _Wil. Malm._ 18 Foists or plates saie the
Scotish writers, and 5000 men in the same. The Saxons call
these vessels Ceoles, or Kéeles, and our old histories
land being fortified with such strength, the enimies might be put
in feare, and his subiects holden in rest. The king not foreséeing the
hap that was to come, did not despise this counsell tending to the
destruction of his kingdome, and so was more aid sent for into
Germanie: wherevpon now at this second time there arriued héere 16
vessels fraught with people, and at the same time came the ladie
Rowen or Ronix (daughter to Hengist) a maid of excellent beautie and
comelinesse, able to delight the eies of them that should behold
hir, and speciallie to win the heart of Vortigerne with the dart of
concupiscence, wherevnto he was of nature much inclined, and that did
Hengist well perceiue.

[Sidenote: The _Vitæ_ or _Iutæ_ are called Ibitri.
_Alex. Now._]
There came ouer into this land at that time, and soone after, thrée
maner of people of the Germane nation, as Saxons, Vitæ or Iutes, and
Angles, ouer the which the said Hengist and Horse being brethren, were
capteines & rulers, men of right noble parentage in their countrie,
as descended of that ancient, prince Woden, of whom the English
Saxon kings doo for the more part fetch their pedegrée, as lineallie
descended from him, vnto whome also the English people (falselie
[Sidenote: Wednesdaie, and Fridaie, whereof they came.]
reputing him for a god) consecrated the fourth daie of the wéeke, as
they did the sixt to his wife Frea: so that the same daies tooke name
of them, the one being called Wodensdaie, and the other Freadaie,
which woords after in continuance of time by corruption of spéech were
somewhat altered, though not much, as from Wodensdaie, to Wednesdaie,
[Sidenote: _Beda_.]
and from Freadaie to Fridaie. The foresaid Woden was father to
Vecta, the father of Wergistus that was father to the foresaid
Hengistus and Horsus.

But now to rehearse further touching those thrée people which at this
time came ouer into Britaine out of Germanie. Of the Vites or Iutes
(as Beda recordeth) are the Kentishmen descended, and the people of
the Ile of Wight, with those also that inhabit ouer against the same
Ile. Of the Saxons came the east, the south, & the west Saxons.
Moreouer, of the Angles proceéded the east Angles, the middle Angles
or Mercies, and the Northerne men. That these Angles were a people
[Sidenote: _Cor. Tacitus_.]
of Germanie, it appeareth also by Cornelius Tacitus, who called them
Anglij, which word is of thrée syllables (as Polydor saith:) but some
write it Angli, with two syllables. And that these Angli, or Anglij
were of no small force and authoritie in Germanie before their comming
into this land, maie appeare, in that they are numbred amongst the
twelue nations there, which had lawes and ancient ordinances apart by
themselues, according to the which the state of their common wealth
was gouerned, they being the same and one people with the Thuringers,
as in the title of the old Thuringers lawes we find recorded, which is
thus: "Lex Angliorum & Werinorum, hoc est Thuringorum," The law of the
Angles and Werinians that is to saie the Thuringers, which Thuringers
are a people in Saxonie, as in the description of that countrie it
maie appeare.

[Sidenote: _Polydor_. Rowen, or Ronowen Hengists daughter.]
But now to the matter. Hengist perceiuing that his people were
highlie in Vortigernes fauour, began to handle him craftilie, deuising
by what means he might bring him in loue with his daughter Ronix, or
Rowen, or Ronowen (as some write) which he beléeued well would easilie
[Sidenote: _Wil. Malm._]
be brought to passe, bicause he vnderstood that the king was much
giuen to sensuall lust, which is the thing that often blindeth wise
mens vnderstanding, and maketh them to dote, and to lose their perfect
wits: yea, and oftentimes bringeth them to destruction, though by such
pleasant poison they féele no bitter taste, till they be brought to
the extreame point of confusion in déed.

[Sidenote: _Gal. Mon._]
A great supper therefore was prepared by Hengist, at the which
it pleased the king to be present, and appointed his daughter, when
euerie man began to be somewhat merrie with drinke, to bring in a cup
of gold full of good and pleasant wine, and to present it to the king,
saieng; Wassail. Which she did in such comelie and decent maner, as
she that knew how to doo it well inough, so as the king maruelled
greatlie thereat, and not vnderstanding what she ment by that
salutation, demanded what it signified. To whom it was answered by
[Sidenote: Wassail, what it signifieth.]
Hengist, that she wished him well, and the meaning of it was, that he
should drinke after hir, ioining thereto this answer, Drinke haile.
Wherevpon the king (as he was informed) tooke the cup at the damsels
hand, and dranke.

Finallie, this yoong ladie behaued hir selfe with such pleasant
woords, comelie countenance, and amiable grace, that the king beheld
hir so long, till he felt himselfe so farre in loue with hir person,
that he burned in continuall desire to inioy the same: insomuch that
[Sidenote: _Polydor_. _Fabian_.]
shortlie after he forsooke his owne wife, by the which he had
thrée sonnes, named Vortimerus, Catagrinus, and Pascentius, and
required of Hengist to haue his daughter, the said Rowen, or Ronowen
in mariage. Hengist at the first séemed strange to grant to his
request, and excused the matter, for that his daughter was not of
estate and dignitie méet to be matched with his maiestie. But at
[Sidenote: _Wil. Malm._]
length as it had béene halfe against his will he consented, and so
the mariage was concluded & solemnized, all Kent being assigned vnto
Hengist in reward, the which countrie was before that time gouerned by
one Guorongus (though not with most equall Justice) which Guorongus
was subiect vnto Vortigerne, as all other the potentats of the Ile

This mariage and liberalite of the king towards the strangers
much offended the minds of his subiects, and hastened the finall
destruction of the land. For the Saxons now vnderstanding the
affinitie had betwixt the king and Hengist, came so fast ouer to
inhabit héere, that it was woonder to consider in how short a time
such a multitude could come togither: so that bicause of their great
number and approoued puissance in warres, they began to be a terrour
[Sidenote: _Wil. Malm._]
to the former inhabitants the Britains. But Hengist being no lesse
politike in counsell than valiant in armes, abusing the kings lacke of
discretion, to serue his owne turne, persuaded him to call out
[Sidenote: _Gal._ saith he was Hengists sonne, and Ebusa
his vncles sonne. Occa and Ebusa leaders of Saxons.]
of Germanie his brother Occa and his sonne named Ebusa, being men of
great valure, to the end that as Hengist defended the land in the
south part: so might they kéepe backe the Scots in the north.

Héerevpon by the kings consent, they came with a power out of
Germanie, and coasting about the land, they sailed to the Iles of
Orknie, and sore vexed the people there, and likewise the Scots and
Picts also, and finallie arriued in the north parts of the realme, now
called Northumberland, where they setled themselues at that present,
[Sidenote: _Wil. Malm._ _de Regib._]
and so continued there euer after: but none of them taking vpon
him the title of king, till about 99 yéeres after their first comming
into that countrie, but in the meane time remaining as subiects vnto
the Saxon kings of Kent. After their arriuall in that prouince, they
oftentimes fought with the old inhabitants there, and ouercame them,
chasing away such as made resistance, and appeased the residue by
receiuing them vnder allegiance.

[Sidenote: _Fabian_. The great numbers of strangers
suspected to the Britains.]
When the nobles of Britaine saw and perceiued in what danger the
land stood, by the dailie repaire of the huge number of Saxons into
the same, they first consulted togither, and after resorting to the
king, mooued him that some order might be taken for the auoiding of
them, or the more part of them, least they should with their power and
great multitude vtterlie oppresse the British nation. But all was in
vaine, for Vortigerne so estéemed and highlie fauoured the Saxons, and
namelie by reason of the great loue which he bare to his wife, that he
little regarded his owne nation, no nor yet anie thing estéemed his
[Sidenote: Vortigerne depriued.]
owne naturall kinsmen and chiefe friends, by reason whereof the
Britains in fine depriued him of all kinglie honour, after that he had
reigned 16 yéeres, and in his steed crowned his sonne Vortimer.

[Sidenote: _Gyldas_. _Beda_. _H. Hunt._]
Gyldas and Beda make no mention of Vortimer, but declare that
after the Saxons were receiued into this land, there was a couenant
made betwixt them and the Britains, that the Saxons should defend the
countrie from the inuasion of enimies by their knightlie force: and
that in consideration therof, the Britains should find them prouision
of vittels: wherewith they held them contented for a time. But
afterwards they began to pike quarrels, as though they were not
sufficientlie furnished of their due proportion of vittels,
threatening that if they were not prouided more largelie thereof, they
would surelie spoile the countrie. So that without deferring of
[Sidenote: The miserable destruction made by the Saxons in
this land.]
time, they performed their woords with effect of deeds, beginning
in the east part of the Ile, & with fire and swoord passed foorth,
wasting and destroieng the countrie, till they came to the vttermost
part of the west: so that from sea to sea, the land was wasted and
destroied in such cruell and outragious manner, that neither citie,
towne, nor church was regarded, but all committed to the fire: the
priests slaine and murthered euen afore the altars, and the prelats
with the people without anie reuerence of their estate or degrée
dispatched with fire and swoord, most lamentablie to behold.

Manie of the Britains séeing the demeanour of the Saxons, fled to
the mounteins, of the which diuers being apprehended, were cruellie
slaine, and other were glad to come foorth and yeeld themselues to
eternall bondage, for to haue reléefe of meate and drinke to asswage
their extremitie of hunger. Some other got them out of the realme into
strange lands, so to saue themselues; and others abiding still in
their countrie, kept them within the thicke woods and craggie rocks,
whither they were fled, liuing there a poore wretched life, in great
feare and vnquietnesse of mind.

But after that the Saxons were departed and withdrawne to their
houses, the Britains began to take courage to them againe, issuing
foorth of those places where they had lien hid, and with one consent
calling for aid at Gods hand, that they might be preserued from vtter
destruction, they began vnder the conduct of their leader Aurelius
Ambrose, to prouoke the Saxons to battell, and by the helpe of God
they obteined victorie, according to their owne desires. And from
thence foorth, one while the Britains, and an other while the Saxons
were victors. So that in this British people, God (according to his
accustomed maner) as it were present Israell, tried them from time to
time, whether they loued him or no, vntill the yeare of the
[Sidenote: So _Gyldas_ was borne in the yeare of our Lord
siege of Badon hill, where afterwards no small slaughter was made of
the enimies: which chanced the same yeare in the which Gyldas was
borne (as he himselfe witnesseth) being about the 44 yeare after the
comming of the Saxons into Britaine.

Thus haue Gyldas & Beda (following by likelihood the authoritie of the
same Gyldas) written of these first warres begun betwéene the Saxons
and Britains. But now to go foorth with the historie, according to the
order of our chronicles, as we doo find recorded touching the doings
of Vortimer that was elected king (as ye haue heard) to gouerne in
place of his father Vortigerne.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Vortimer is created king in the roome of his father Vortigerne, he
giueth the Saxons sore and sharpe battels, a combat fought betweene
Catigerne the brother of Vortimer and, Horsus the brother of Hengist,
wherein they were both slaine, the Britains driue the Saxons into the
Ile of Tenet, Rowen the daughter of Hengist procureth Vortimer to be
poisoned, the Saxons returne into Germanie as some writers report,
they ioine with the Scots and Picts against the Britains and discomfit


[Sidenote: VORTIMER. 464. _Fabian_. _Galf. Mon._ _Matt. West._
saith 454.]
This Vortimer being eldest sonne to Vortigerne, by the common
assent of the Britains was made king of Britaine, in the yeare of our
Lord 464, which was in the fourth yeare of the emperour Leo the fift,
and about the sixt yeare of Childericus king of France, as our common
account runneth, which is far disagréeing from that whereof W. Harison
dooth speake in his chronologie, who noteth Vortigerne to be deposed
in the 8 after his exaltation to the crowne, 454 of Christ, and 5
currant after the comming of the Saxons, which concurreth with the
4420 of the world, and 8 of Meroneus, as by his chronologie dooth more
at large appear.

But to procéed, Vortimer being thus aduanced to the gouernment of the
realme, in all hast made sore warre against the Saxons, and gaue vnto
them a great battell vpon the riuer of Derwent, where he had of
[Sidenote: The riuer of Derwent.]
them the vpper hand. And the second time he fought with them at a
[Sidenote: Epiford.]
place called Epiford, or Aglisthrop, in the which incounter Catagrine
or Catigernus the brother of Vortimer, and Horsus the brother of
Hengist, after a long combat betwixt them two, either of them slue
other: but the Britains obteined the field (as saith the British
[Sidenote: The Ile of Tenet.]
historie.) The third battell Vortimer fought with them néere to the
sea side, where also the Britains chased the Saxons, & droue them into
[Sidenote: _Hen. Hunt._ Colemoore.]
the Ile of Tenet. The fourth battell was stricken néere to a moore
called Colemoore, the which was sore fought by the Saxons, and long
continued with great danger to the Britains, because the foresaid
moore inclosed a part of their host so stronglie, that the Britains
could not approch to them, being beaten off with the enimies shot,
albeit in the end the Saxons were put to flight, & manie of them
drowned and swallowed vp in the same moore. Beside these foure
[Sidenote: _Fabian_. Tetford in Norfolke. Colchester.]
principall battels, Vortimer had diuers other conflicts with the
Saxons, as in Kent and at Tetford in Norfolke, also néere to
Colchester in Essex: for he left not till he had bereft them of the
more part of all such possessions as before time they had got, so that
they were constrained to kéepe them within the Ile of Tenet, where he
oftentimes assailed them with such ships as he then had. When Ronowen
the daughter of Hengist perceiued the great losse that the Saxons
sustained by the martiall prowesse of Vortimer, she found means that
within a while the said Vortimer was poisoned, after he had ruled the
Britains by the space of 6 or 7 yeares and od moneths.

¶ By the British historie it should séeme, that Vortimer before his
death handled the Saxons so hardlie, kéeping them besieged within the
Ile of Tenet, till at length they were constrained to sue for licence
to depart home into Germanie in safetie: and the better to bring this
to pas, they sent Vortigerne, (whome they had kept still with them
in all these battels) vnto his sonne Vortimer, to be a meane for the
obteining of their sute. But whilest this treatie was in hand, they
got them into their ships, and leauing their wiues and children behind
them, returned into Germanie. Thus far Gal. Mon. But how vnlikelie
this is to be true, I will not make anie further discourse, but onelie
refer euerie man to that which in old autentike historiographers
[Sidenote: _Will. Malmes._]
of the English nation is found recorded, as in Will. Malmes. Henr.
Hunt, Marianus, and others: vnto whome in these matters concerning
the dooings betwixt the Saxons and Britains, we maie vndoubtedlie and
safelie giue most credit.

William Malmes. writing of this Vortimer, or Guortigerne, and of the
warres which he had against the Saxons, varieth in a maner altogether
from Geffrey of Monmouth, as by his words here following ye maie
perceiue. Guortimer, the sonne of Vortimer (saith he) thinking not
good long to dissemble the matter, for that he saw himselfe and his
countriemen the Britains preuented by the craft of the English Saxons,
set his full purpose to driue them out of the realme, and kindled
his father to the like attempt. He therefore being the author and
procurer, seuen yeares after their first comming into this land, the
[Sidenote: Hengist had the victorie in this battell saith
_Ra. Mig._, Horse and Catigene slaine.]
league was broken, and by the space of 20 yeares they fought
oftentimes togither in manie light incounters, but foure times they
fought puissance against puissance in open field: in the first battell
they departed with like fortune, whilest the one part, that is to
meane, the Saxons lost their capteine Horse that was brother to
Hengist, and the Britains lost Catigerne an other of Vortigerns

[Sidenote: 458.]
In the ether battels, when the Englishmen went euer awaie with the
vpper hand, at length a peace was concluded, Guortimer being taken out
of this world by course of fatall death, the which much differing
from the soft and milde nature of his father, right noblie would haue
gouerned the realme, if God had suffered him to haue liued. But these
battels which Vortimer gaue to the Saxons (as before is mentioned)
should appeare by that which some writers haue recorded, to haue
chanced before the supposed time of Vortimers or Guortimers atteining
to the crowne, about the 6 or 7 yeare after the first comming of the
Saxons into this realme with Hengist. And hereto W. Harison giueth his
[Sidenote: _Polydor_.]
consent, referring the mutuall slaughter of Horsus and Catigerne
to the 6 years of Martianus, & 455 of Christ. Howbeit Polydor Virgil
saith, that Vortimer succéeded his father, and that after his fathers
deceasse the English Saxons, of whome there was a great number then
in the Ile, comming ouer dailie like swarmes of bées, and hauing in
possession not onelie Kent, but also the north parts of the realme
towards Scotland, togither with a great part of the west countrie,
thought it now a fit time to attempt the fortune of warre: and first
therefore concluding a league with the Scots and Picts, vpon the
sudden they turned their weapons points against the Britains, and most
cruellie pursued them, as though they had receiued some great iniurie
at their hands, and no benefit at all. The Britains were maruelouslie
abashed herewith, perceiuing that they should haue to doo with
Hengist, a capteine of so high renowme, and also with their ancient
enimies the Scots and Picts, thus all at one time, and that there was
no remedie but either they must fight or else become slaues. Wherefore
at length, dread of bondage stirred vp manhood in them, so that they
assembled togither, and boldlie began to resist their enimies on ech
[Sidenote: The Britains discomfited by the Scots.]
side: but being too weake, they were easilie discomfited and
put to flight, so that all hope of defense by force of armes being
vtterlie taken awaie, as men in despaire to preuaile against their
enimies, they fled as shéepe scattered abroad, some following one
capteine and some another, getting them into desart places, woods and
maresh grounds, and moreouer left such townes and fortresses as were
of no notable strength, as a preie vnto their enimies.

Thus saith Polydor Virgil of the first breaking of the warres betwixt
the Saxons and the Britains, which chanced not (as should appeare by
that which he writeth thereof) till after the death of Vortigerne.
Howbeit he denieth not that Hengist at his first comming got seates
for him and his people within the countie of Kent, and there began to
[Sidenote: _Sigebertus_.]
inhabit. This ought not to be forgotten, that king Vortimer (as
Sigebertus hath written) restored the Christian religion after he had
vanquished the Saxons, in such places where the same was decaied by
the enimies inuasion, whose drift was not onelie to ouerrun the land
with violence, but also to erect their owne laws and liberties without
regard of clemencie.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Vortigerne is restored to his regiment, in what place he abode during
the time of his sonnes reigne, Hengist with his Saxons re-enter the
land, the Saxons and Britains are appointed to meet on Salisburie
plaine, the priuie treason of Hengist and his power whereby the
Britains were slaine like sheepe, the manhood of Edol earle of
Glocester, Vortigerne is taken prisoner, Hengist is in possession of
three prouinces of this land, a description of Kent._


[Sidenote: 471. _Matth. West._ saith 461.]
After all these bloudie broiles and tempestuous tumults ended,
Vortigerne was restored and set againe into the kingdome of Britaine,
in the yeare of our Lord 471. All the time of his sonnes reigne, he
had remained in the parties now called Wales, where (as some write)
in that meane time he builded a strong castle called Generon, or
Guaneren, in the west side of Wales nere to the riuer of Guana, vpon
a mounteine called Cloaricus, which some referre to be builded in his
second returne into Wales, as shall be shewed hereafter. And it is so
much the more likelie, for that an old chronicle, which Fabian had
sight of, affirmeth, that Vortigerne was kept vnder the rule of
certeine gouernors to him appointed in the towne of Caerlegion, and
[Sidenote: Caerleon Arwiske.]
behaued himselfe in such commendable sort towards his sonne, in aiding
him with his counsell, and otherwise in the meane season whilest his
sonne reigned, that the Britains by reason thereof began so to fauour
him, that after the death of Vortimer they made him king againe.

Shortlie after that Vortigerne was restored to the rule of the
[Sidenote: _Matth. West._ saith 4000. He might easilie returne,
for except I be deceiued he was neuer driuen out after he had once set
foot within this Ile.]
kingdom, Hengist aduertised therof returned into the land with
a mightie armie of Saxons, whereof Vortigerne being admonished,
assembled his Britains, and with all speed made towards him. When
Hengist had knowledge of the huge host of the Britains that was
comming against him, he required to come to a communication with
Vortigerne, which request was granted, so that it was concluded, that
on Maie day a certeine number of Britains, and as manie of the Saxons
should meet togither vpon the plaine of Salisburie. Hengist hauing
deuised a new kind of treason, when the day of their appointed méeting
was come, caused euerie one of his allowed number secretlie to put
into his hose a long knife (where it was ordeined that no man should
bring anie weapon with him at all) and that at the verie instant when
[Sidenote: Nempt your sexes, what if it were messes.]
this watchword should be vttered by him, "Nempt your sexes," then
should euerie of them plucke out his knife, and slea the Britaine that
chanced to be next to him, except the same should be Vortigerne, whom
he willed to be apprehended, but not slaine.

At the day assigned, the king with his appointed number or traine
of the Britains, mistrusting nothing lesse than anie such maner of
vnfaithfull dealing, came vnto the place in order before prescribed,
without armor or weapon, where he found Hengist readie with his
Saxons, the which receiued the king with amiable countenance and
in most louing sort: but after they were a little entred into
communication, Hengist meaning to accomplish his deuised purpose, gaue
the watchword, immediatlie wherevpon the Saxons drew out their kniues,
[Sidenote: There died of the nobles of Britaine 460 as _Gal._ saith.]
and suddenlie fell on the Britains, and slue them as shéepe being
fallen within the danger of woolues. For the Britains had no weapons
to defend themselues, except anie of them by his strength and manhood
got the knife of his enimie.

[Sidenote: _Ran. Cestren._ _Fabian_.]
Amongst other of the Britains, there was one Edol earle of
Glocester, or (as other say) Chester, which got a stake out of an
hedge, or else where, and with the same so defended himselfe and laid
about him, that he slue 17 of the Saxons, and escaped to the towne of
[Sidenote: _Gal._ saith 70, _Matth. West._ _Ran. Cestren._]
Ambrie, now called Salisburie, and so saued his owne life. Vortiger
was taken and kept as prisoner by Hengist, till he was constreined to
deliuer vnto Hengist thrée prouinces or countries of this realme, that
is to say, Kent & Essex, or as some write, that part where the south
Saxons after did inhabit, as Sussex and other: the third was the
countrie where the Estangles planted themselues, which was in Norfolke
and Suffolke. Then Hengist being in possession of those thrée
prouinces, suffered Vortigerne to depart, & to be at his libertie.

[Sidenote: _Wil. Malm._]
¶ William Malmesburie writeth somewhat otherwise of this taking
of Vortigerne, during whose reigne, after the deceasse of his sonne
Vortimer, nothing was attempted against the Saxons, but in the meane
time Hengist by colorable craft procured his sonne in law Vortigerne
to come to a banket at his house, with three hundred other Britains,
and when he had made them well and warme with often quaffing and
emptieng of cups, and of purpose touched euerie of them with one
bitter tawnt or other, they first fell to multiplieng of malicious
words, and after to blowes that the Britains were slaine, euerie
mothers sonne so yéelding vp their ghosts euen amongst their pots. The
king himselfe was taken, and to redéeme himselfe out of prison, gaue
to the Saxons thrée prouinces, and so escaped out of bondage.

Thus by what meane soeuer it came to passe, truth it is (as all
writers agrée) that Hengist got possession of Kent, and of other
countries in this realme, and began to reigne there as absolute
[Sidenote: 476.]
lord & gouernor, in the yéere of our Lord (as some write) 476, about
the fift yéere of Vortigerns last reigne: but after other, which take
the beginning of this kingdome of Kent to be when Hengist had first
gift therof, the same kingdome began in the yéere 455, and conteined
the countrie that stretcheth from the east Ocean vnto the riuer of
[Sidenote: Kingdome of Kent.]
Thames, hauing on the southeast Southerie, and vpon the west
London, vpon the northeast the riuer of Thames aforesaid, and the
countrie of Essex.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The heptarchie or seuen kingdoms of this land, Hengist causeth
Britaine to be peopled with Saxons, the decaie of Christian religion,
the Pelagians with their hereticall and false doctrine infect the
Britains, a synod summoned in Gallia for the redresse thereof, the
Scots assist the Britains against the Saxons, who renew their league
with the Picts, Germane and Lupus two bishops of Germanie procure the
British armie to be newlie christened, the terror that the Britains
vnder bishop Germans fortunate conduct draue into the Saxons by the
outcrie of Alleluia, and got the victorie, bishop Germane departeth
out of the land, and to redresse the Pelagian heresie commeth againe
at the clergies request, he confirmeth his doctrine by a miracle,
banisheth the Pelagians out of the land, the death of Germane, murther
requited with murther._


Hengist and all other the Saxon kings which ruled (as after shall
appeare) in seuen parts of this realme, are called by writers
_Reguli,_ that is, little kings or rulers of some small dominion: so
that Hengist is counted a little king, who when he had got into his
hands the foresaid thrée prouinces, he caused more Saxons to come
into Britaine, and bestowed them in places abroad in the countrie, by
reason whereof the christian religion greatlie decaied within the
[Sidenote: The decay of christian religion.]
land, for the Saxons being pagans, did what they could to extinguish
the faith of Christ, and to plant againe in all places their
heathenish religion, and woorshipping of false gods: and not onelie
hereby was the true faith of the Christians brought in danger dailie
to decaie, but also the erronious opinions of the Pelagians greatlie
preuailed here amongst the Britains, by meanes of such vnsound
preachers as in that troublesome season did set forth false doctrine
amongst the people, without all maner of reprehension.

[Sidenote: _Beda_.]
Certeine yéeres before the comming of the Saxons, that heresie
began to spread within this land verie much, by the lewd industrie of
one Leporius Agricola, the sonne of Seuerus Sulpitius (as Bale saith)
a bishop of that lore. But Pelagius the author of this heresie was
borne in Wales, and held opinion that a man might obteine saluation by
his owne frée will and merit, and without assistance of grace, as he
that was borne without originall sinne, &c.

This erronious doctrine being taught therefore, and mainteined in this
troublesome time of warres with the Saxons, sore disquieted the godlie
minded men amongst the Britains, who not meaning to receiue it,
[Sidenote: _Beda_.]
nor yet able well to confute the craftie and wicked persuasions vsed
by the professors thereof, thought good to send ouer into Gallia,
requiring of the bishops there, that some godlie and profound learned
men might be sent ouer from thence into this land, to defend the cause
of the true doctrine against the naughtie teachers of so blasphemous
an error. Whervpon the bishops of Gallia sore lamenting the miserable
state of the Britains, and desirous to relieue their present néed,
speciallie in that case of religion, called a synod, and therein
[Sidenote: A synod called in Gallia.]
taking counsell to consider who were most méet to be sent, it was
[Sidenote: Germanus and Lupus.]
decéed by all their consents in the end, that one Germane the
bishop of Auxerre, and Lupus bishop of Trois should passe ouer
into Britaine to confirme the Christians there in the faith of the
celestiall grace. And so those two vertuous learned men taking their
iournie, finallie arriued in Britaine, though not without some danger
by sea, through stormes & rage of winds, stirred (as hath beene
thought of the superstitious) by the malice of wicked spirits, who
purposed to haue hindered their procéedings in this their good and
well purposed iournie. After they were come ouer, they did so much
good with conuincing the wicked arguments of the aduersaries of the
truth, by the inuincible power of the woord of God, and holinesse of
life, that those which were in the wrong waie, were soone brought into
the right path againe.

[Sidenote: _Beda_. Palladius. Constantine king of Scots.]
About the same time also, one Palladius was sent from Celestinus
bishop of Rome, vnto the Scots, to instruct them in the faith of
Christ, and to purge them from the heresie of the said Pelagius. This
Palladius exhorted Constantinus the king of Scots, that in no wise
he should aid the Saxons being infidels against the Britains: whose
exhortation tooke so good effect, that the said Constantinus did
not onelie forbeare to assist the Saxons, but contrarilie holpe the
Britains in their warres against them, which thing did mainteine the
state of the Britains for a time from falling into vtter ruine and
decaie. In the meane time, the Saxons renewed their league with
[Sidenote: _H. Hunt._ _Beda_.]
the Picts, so that their powers being ioined togither, they began
afresh to make sore warres vpon the Britains, who of necessitie were
constreined to assemble an armie, & mistrusting their owne strength,
required aid of the two bishops, Germane and Lupus, who hasting
forward with all speed came into the armie, bringing with them no
small hope of good lucke to all the Britains there being assembled.
This was doone in Kent.

Now such was the diligence of the bishops, that the people (being
instructed with continuall preaching) in renouncing the error of the
Pelagians, earnestlie came by troops to receiue the grace of God
offred in baptisme, so that on Easter day which then insued, the
more part of the armie was baptised, and so went foorth against the
[Sidenote: The armie of the Britains newlie christened.]
enimies, who hearing thereof, made hast towards the Britains; in
hope to ouercome them at pleasure. But their approch being knowne,
bishop Germane tooke vpon him the leading of the British host, and
ouer against the passage thorough the which the enimies were appointed
to come, he chose foorth a faire vallie inclosed with high mounteins,
and within the same he placed his new washed armie. And when he
saw the enimies now at hand, he commanded that euerie man with one
generall voice should answer him, crieng alowd the same crie that he
should begin. So that euen as the enimies were readie to giue the
charge vpon the Britains, supposing that they should haue taken them
at vnwares, and before anie warning had béen giuen, suddenlie bishop
[Sidenote: Alleluia.]
Germane and the priests with a lowd and shrill voice called
_Alleluia,_ thrice: and therewith all the multitudes of the Britains
with one voice cried the same crie, with such a lowd shout, that the
Saxons were therewith so amazed and astonied (the echo from the rocks
and hils adjoining, redoubling in such wise the crie) that they
thought not onelie the rocks and clifs had fallen vpon them, but that
euen the skie it selfe had broken in péeces and come tumbling downe
vpon their heads: héerewith therefore throwing awaie their weapons,
they tooke them to their féet, and glad was he that might get to be
formost in running awaie. Manie of them for hast were drowned in a
riuer which they had to passe. Polydor taketh that riuer to be Trent.
The Britains hauing thus vanquished their enimies, gathered the spoile
at good leasure, & gaue God thanks for the victorie thus got without
bloud, for the which the holie bishops also triumphed as best became
them. Now after they had setled all things in good quiet within the
Ile, as was thought expedient, they returned into Gallia or France,
from whence they came (as is before rehearsed.)

[Sidenote: _Matth. West._ 448.]
By one author it should appéere that this battell was woone
against the Scots and Picts, about the yéere of our Lord 448, a little
before the comming of the Saxons into this land vnder Hengist, in
which yéere Germane first came hither to wéed out the heresie of
Pelagius, as by the same author more at large is affirmed. Howbeit,
some chronographers alledge out of Prosper & other, and note the first
comming of Germane to haue béene in the 429 yéere of Christ, and vnder
the consulship of Florentius and Dionysius. And this should séeme to
agrée with the truth, for that after some, the foresaid Germane should
die at Rauenna, about the yéere of our Lord 450, as Vincentius
noteth, which was the verie yeere of the comming of the Saxons:
notwithstanding, when or wheresoeuer he died, it was not long after
his returne into Gallia, vpon his first iournie made hither into this
land, who no sooner obteined the victorie before mentioned, but
woord was brought againe vnto him, that eftsoones the heresie of the
Pelagians was spread abroad in Britaine, and therefore all the priests
or cleargie made request to him that it might stand with his pleasure
to come ouer againe, and defend the cause of true religion which he
had before confirmed.

[Sidenote: Germane returneth againe into Britaine.]
Héerevpon bishop Germane granted so to doo, and therefore taking
with him one Seuerus (that was disciple vnto Lupus, and ordeined
at that time bishop of Triers) tooke the sea, and came againe into
Britaine, where he found the multitude of the people stedfast in the
same beliefe wherein he had left them, & perceiued the fault to rest
in a few: wherevpon inquiring out the authors, he condemned them to
exile (as it is written) and with a manifest miracle by restoring a
yoong man that was lame (as they saie) vnto the right vse of his
lims, he confirmed his doctrine. Then followed preaching to persuade
amendment of errors, and by the generall consent of all men, the
authors of the wicked doctrine being banished the land, were deliuered
vnto bishop Germane and to his fellow Seuerus, to conueie them away in
their companie vnto the parties beyond the seas, that the region might
so be deliuered of further danger, and they receiue the benefit of due

By this meanes it came to passe, that the true faith continued in
Britaine sound and perfect a long time after. Things being thus set
in good order, those holie men returned into their countries, the
forenamed bishop Germane went to Rauenna to sue for peace to be
granted vnto the people of Britaine Armorike, where being receiued of
the emperor Valentinian and his mother Placida in most reuerend maner,
he departed in that citie out of this transitorie life, to the
[Sidenote: Anno 450, as _Vincentius_ noteth, _lib. 20. ca. 15_.]
eternall ioies of heauen. His bodie was afterwards conueied to the
citie of Auxerre, where he had béene bishop with great opinion of
holines for his sincere doctrine and pure and innocent life. Shortlie
[Sidenote: The emperour Valentinian slaine.]
after was the emperour Valentinian slaine by the friends of that
noble man named Aetius, whome he had before caused to be put to death.

¶ By this it maie appéere, that bishop Germane came into this realme
[Sidenote: 454.]
both the first and second time, whilest as well Hengist, as also
Vortigerne were liuing: for the said Valentinian was murthered about
the yeere of our Lord 454, where the said kings liued and reigned long
after that time, as maie appéere both before and after in this present

       *       *       *       *       *

_What part of the realme the Saxons possessed, Vortigerne buildeth
a castell in Wales for his safetie, Aurelius and Vter both brethren
returne into Britaine, they assalt the vsurper Vortigerne, and with
wildfire burne both him, his people, his fort, and all the furniture
in the same, Vortigerne committeth incest with his owne daughter,
feined and ridiculous woonders of S. Germane, a sheepherd made a


Now will we returne to Vortigerne, of whome we read in the British
historie, that after the Saxons had constreined him to deliuer into
their hands a great part of the south and east parts of the realme, so
that they had in possession London, Yorke, Lincolne, & Winchester,
[Sidenote: _Galfrid._]
with other cities & townes, he not onelie fearing their puissance,
but also the returne of Aurelius Ambrosius, and his brother Vter
Pendragon, withdrew him into Wales, where he began to build a
[Sidenote: _Caxton_. _Fabian_. _Polychron._]
strong castell vpon a mounteine called Breigh, or after other Cloaric,
néere to the riuer of Guana, which is in the west side of Wales in
a place within the compasse of the same hill called Generon or
[Sidenote: Mount Erix he calleth it in one place of his booke.]
Gueineren. Of the building of this castell, and of the hinderance
in erecting the same, with the monstrous birth of Merlin and his
knowledge in prophesieng, the British histories tell a long processe,
the which in Caxton, and in Galfrides bookes is also set foorth, as
there ye maie sée: but for that the same séemeth not of such credit as
deserueth to be registred in anie sound historie, we haue with silence
passed it ouer.

[Sidenote: Aurelius and Vter brethren returne into Britaine.]
Whilest Vortigerne was busied in building of this castell, the two
foresaid brethren Aurelius and Vter prepared a nauie of ships, and an
armie of men, by helpe of such their kinsmen and fréends as they found
in Britaine Armorike, and so passed the sea, and landed at Totnesse:
whereof when the Britains were aduertised, the which were scattered
abroad and seuered in diuers parties and countries, they drew vnto the
said two brethren with all spéed that might be. When Aurelius and
his brother Vter perceiued that they were sufficientlie furnished of
people, they marched foorth towards Wales against Vortigerne, who
[Sidenote: Vortigerne burnt to death. Wild fire not yet inuented as
some think.]
hauing knowledge of their approch, had fortified his castell verie
strongly with men, munition and vittels, but yet all auailed him
nothing, for in the end after his enimies had giuen diuers assaults to
the said castell, they found meanes with wild fire to burne it downe
to the earth, and so consumed it by fire togither with the king, and
all other that were within it.

Thus did Vortigerne end his life (as in the British historie is
recorded.) Much euill is reported of him by the same historie, and
also by other writers, and among other things it is written, that he
should lie by his owne daughter, and of hir beget a sonne, in hope
[Sidenote: _Polychron._ A feined tale of S. Germane.
A caluish narration.]
that kings should come of him, and therefore he was excommunicated
by S. Germane. It is also said, that when the same S. Germane came
into Britaine (as before ye haue heard) this Vortigerne on a time
should denie the same S. Germane harbour: but one that kept the kings
heards of cattell receiued him into his house, and lodged him, and
slue a calfe for his supper, which calfe after supper was ended, S.
Germane restored againe to life: and on the morrow by the ordinance of
God, he caused Vortigerne to be deposed from his kinglie estate,
and tooke the heardman and made him king. But Ranulfe Hig. in his
"Polychronicon," alledging Gyldas for his author, saith that this
chanced to a king that ruled in Powsey, whose name was Bulie, and not
to Vortigerne: so that the successors of that Bulie reigning in that
side of Wales, came of the linage of the same heardman.

[Sidenote: _H. Hunt._]
Moreouer it hath beene said (as one writer recordeth) that when
Vortigerne refused to heare the preaching of saint Germane, and fled
from him as he would haue instructed him, one night there fell fire
from heauen vpon the castell wherein the king was lodged, and so the
king being destroied with the fall of the house and the fire togither,
was neuer after séene.

¶ But these are fables, and therfore I passe them ouer, hoping that it
shall suffice to shew here with what stuffe our old historiographers
haue farced vp their huge volumes, not so much regarding the credit of
an historie, as satisfieng the vanitie of their owne fond fantasies,
studieng with a pretended skilfulnesse to cast glorious colours vpon
lies, that the readers (whom they presupposed either ignorant or
credulous) would be led away with a flowing streme of woords void of
reason and common sense. Which kind of men knew not (belike) that the
nature of an historie, (defined to be _Rei verè gestæ memoria_) will
not beare the burthen or lode of a lie, sith the same is too heauie:
otherwise they would haue deposed matters conspiring with the truth.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Aurelius Ambrosius the brother to Constantius created king of
Britaine, he incountereth with the Saxons, Hengist their generall is
beheaded, Occa his sonne submitteth himselfe to Aurelius, he putteth
all the Saxons out of the land, repaireth places decaied, and
restoreth religion, the memorable monument of the stones that are
so much spoken of on Salisburie plaine, the exploits of Pascentius
Vortigerns yongest sonne, Aurelius lieth sicke, Vter goeth against
Pascentius and giueth him the ouerthrow, Aurelius is poisoned of a
counterfet moonke, the place of his buriall, Polydor Virgils report of
the acts and deeds of Aurelius against the Saxons, Hengist is slaine,
Osca and Occa his two sonnes make a fowle spoile if the west part of
the land, Vortimer dieth, the disagreement of writers touching matters
interchangeablie passed betwene the Britains and Saxons._


Aurelius Ambrose, the second sonne of king Constantine, brother to
Constantius, and murthered by the treason of Vortigerne (as before ye
haue heard) was made king of Britaine in the yéere of our Lord 481,
[Sidenote: _Matt. West._ saith 466.]
which was about the third yéere of the reigne of the emperour Zeno,
and the 23 of Childericus king of France, Odocer king of the Herulians
then vsurping the gouernment of Italie. When this Aurelius Ambrosius
had dispatched Vortigerne, and was now established king of the
Britains, he made towards Yorke, and passing the riuer of Humber,
[Sidenote: _Gal. Mon._]
incountred with the Saxons at a place called Maesbell, and ouerthrew
them in a strong battell, from the which as Hengist was fléeing to
[Sidenote: Hengist taken and beheaded.]
haue saued himselfe, he was taken by Edoll earle of Glocester, or
(as some say) Chester, and by him led to Conningsborrow, where he was
beheaded by the counsell of Eldad then bishop of Colchester.

[Sidenote: _Matth. West._]
Howbeit there be some that write, how that Hengist was taken at
another battell fought vpon the riuer of Dune, in the yéere of our
Lord 489, and not in the chase of the battell which was fought at
Maesbell in the yéere 487, as the same authors doo alledge. Occa
[Sidenote: Occa.]
the son of Hengist by flight escaped to Yorke, and being there
besieged, at length was constreined to yéeld himselfe to Aurelius:
who dealing fauourablie with him, assigned vnto him and other of
the Saxons a countrie bordering neere to the Scots, which (as some
affirme) was Galloway, where the said Occa and the Saxons began to
inhabit. Then did Aurelius Ambrosius put the Saxons out of all other
parts of the land, & repaired such cities, townes and also churches,
as by them had beene destroied or defaced, and placed againe priests,
and such other as should attend on the ministerie and seruice of God
in the same churches.

Also for a perpetuall memorie of those Britains that were slaine on
the plaine of Salisburie by the treason of Hengist, he caused stones
to be fetched out of Ireland, and to be set vp in the same place
[Sidenote: Stoneheng.]
where that slaughter was committed, and called the place Stoneheng,
which name continueth vnto this day. Fiftéene thousand men (as Galfrid
[Sidenote: _Gal. Mon._]
saith) were sent for those stones, vnder the leading of Vter
Pendragon the kings brother, who giuing battell vnto Gillomanus king
of Ireland that went about to resist the Britains, and would not
permit them to fetch away the same stones out of his countrie,
discomfited him and his people, and so (maugre his hart) brought the
stones away with him.

Shortlie after, Pascentius that was Vortigerns yoongest sonne, and
had escaped into Ireland (when Aurelius Ambrosius came into Britaine)
returned with a great power of strange nations, and tooke the citie of
Meneuia in Wales, afterwards called saint Dauids, and did much hurt
in the countrie with fire and swoord. At which time the same Aurelius
Ambrosius lay sicke at Winchester, and being not able to go foorth
himselfe, desired his brother Vter Pendragon to assemble an armie
of Britains, and to go against Pascentius and his adherents. Vter,
according to his brothers request, gathering his people, went foorth,
and incountering with the enimies gaue them the ouerthrow, slue
Pascentius and Gillomare or Gilloman king of Ireland, that was come
ouer with him in aid against the Britains.

[Sidenote: _Hector Boet._]
In the meane while, a Saxon or some other stranger, whose name was
Eopa or Copa, not long before procured thereto by Pascentius, fained
himselfe to be a Britaine, and for a colour counterfeiting himselfe a
moonke, and to haue great knowledge in physicke, was admitted to
[Sidenote: _Fabian. _]
minister as it were medicins to Aurelius: but in stead of that which
should haue brought him health, he gaue him poison, whreof he died
shortlie after at Winchester aforesaid, when he had reigned after most
accord of writers nintéene yéeres: his bodie was conueied to Stoneheng
and there buried. ¶ Thus find we in the British and common English
histories of the dooings of Aurelius Ambrosius, who (as ye haue hard)
makes him a Britaine borne, and descended of the bloud of the ancient
Britains, But Gyldas and Beda report him to be a Romane by descent, as
before is mentioned.

[Sidenote: _Polydor_.]
Polydor Virgil writeth in this sort of the victorious acts
atchiued by the foresaid Aurelius Ambrosius. Then (saith he) the
Saxons hauing alreadie gotten the whole rule of the Ile, practised
their outragious cruelties speciallie against the princes of the
Britains, to the end that the said princes being ouercome and
destroied, they might with more ease obteine possession of the whole
Ile, which thing they onlie sought. But the fauour of almightie God
was not wanting to the miserable Britains in that great necessitie.
For behold, Aurelius Ambrosius was at hand, who had no sooner caused
the trumpet to sound to armor, but euerie man for himselfe prepared
and repaired vnto him, praieng & beseeching him to helpe to defend
them, and that it might stand with his pleasure to go foorth with them
against the enimies in all speed.

Thus an armie being assembled, Aurelius Ambrosius went against them,
and valiantlie assailed them, so that within the space of a few daies
they fought thrée battels with great fiercenesse on both sides, in
triall of their high displeasures and vttermost forces, in which at
length the Britains put the Saxons to flight, Horsus the brother
of Hengist being slaine with a great number of his people. But yet
notwithstanding the enimies rage was little abated hereby, for within
a few daies after receiuing out of Germanie a new supplie of men, they
brake foorth vpon the Britains with great confidence of victorie.
Aurelius Ambrosius was no sooner aduertised thereof, but that without
delaie he set forward towards Yorke, from whence the enimies should
come, and hearing by the way that Hengist was incamped about seuen &
twentie miles distant from that citie, néere to the banke of a riuer
at this day called Dune, in the place where Doncaster now standeth, he
returned out of his waie, and marched towards that place, and the next
day set on the enimie and vanquished him, Hengist at the first
[Sidenote: Hengist is slaine.]
méeting of the battell being slaine, with a great number of the
Germans. The fame of this victorie (saith Polydor) is had in memorie
with the inhabitants of those parties euen vnto this day, which
victorie did sore diminish the power of the Saxons, insomuch that they
began now to thinke it should be more for their profit to sit in rest
with that dishonour, than to make anie new warres to their great
disaduantage and likelihood of present losse.

Hengist left behind him two sonnes, Osca and Occa, which as men most
sorowfull for the ouerthrow of late receiued, assembled such power as
they could togither, and remooued therewith towards the west part of
the Ile, supposing it to be better for them to draw that way foorth,
than to returne into Kent, where they thought was alreadie a
sufficient number of their people to resist the Britains on that side.
Now therefore when they came into the west parts of the land, they
wasted the countrie, burnt villages, and absteined from no maner
of crueltie that might be shewed. These things being reported vnto
Aurelius Ambrosius, he straightwaies hasted thither to resist those
enimies, and so giuing them battell, eftsoones discomfited them:
[Sidenote: Aurelius dieth of a wound.]
but he himselfe receiuing a wound, died thereof within a few daies
after. The English Saxons hauing thus susteined so manie losses within
a few moneths togither, were contented to be quiet now that the
Britains stirred nothing against them, by reason they were brought
into some trouble by the death of such a noble capteine as they had
[Sidenote: Vortimer departeth this life.]
now lost. In the meane time Vortimer died, whome Vter surnamed
Pendragon succéeded.

Thus hath Polydor written of the forsaid Aurelius Ambrosius, not
naming him to be king of Britaine, and differing in déed in sundrie
points in this behalfe from diuerse ancient writers of the English
histories: for where he attributeth the victorie to the Britains in
the battell fought, wherein Horsus the brother of Hengist was slaine,
by the report of Polychronicon, and others, the Saxons had the
[Sidenote:_Wil. Malm._]
victorie in that reincounter: and William of Malmesburie saith, that
they departed from that batell with equall fortune, the Saxons losing
[Sidenote: Katigerne.]
their capteine Horsus, and the Britains their capteine Katigerne
(as before ye haue heard.) But there is such contrarietie in writers
touching the dooings betwixt the Britains and Saxons in those daies,
as well in account of yéeres, as in report of things doone, that
setting affection aside, hard it is to iudge to which part a man
should giue credit.

For Fabian and other authors write, that Aurelius Ambrosius began his
[Sidenote: 458.]
reigne ouer the Britains about the yéere of our Lord 481, and
Horsus was slaine about the yéere 458, during the reigne of Vortimer,
as aboue is mentioned, so that it cannot stand with the truth of the
British histories (the which Fabian followeth) that Horsus was slaine
by Aurelius Ambrosius, if according to the same histories he returned
not into Britaine, till the time there supposed. But diuerse such
maner of contrarieties shall ye find, in perusing of those writers
that haue written the chronicles of the Britains and Saxons, the which
in euerie point to recite, would be too tedious and combersome a
matter, and therefore we are forced to passe the same ouer, not
knowing how to bring them to anie iust accord for the satisfieng of
all mens minds, speciallie the curious, which may with diligent search
satisfie themselues happilie much better, than anie other shall be
able to doo in vttering his opinion neuer so much at large, and
agréeable to a truth. This therefore haue we thought good as it were
by the waie to touch what diuerse authors doo write, leauing it so
to euerie mans iudgement to construe thereof, as his affection
leadeth him. We find in the writings of those that haue registred the
dooings of these times, that Aurelius hauing vanquished the Saxons,
restored churches to the furtherance of the christian religion, which
[Sidenote:_Matth. West._saith 488.]
by the inuasion of the Saxons was greatlie decaied in diuerse
parts of Britaine, and this chanced in the daies of the emperour
Theodosius the yoonger.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The beginning of the kingdome of the Southsaxons commonlie called
Sussex, the Britains with their rulers giue battell to Ella the Saxon
& his three sonnes, disagreement betweene the English and British
chronographers about the battels fought by Hengist and his death,
the beginning of the Kentish kingdome, a battell fought betweene
the Britains and Saxons, the first are conquered, the last are


[Sidenote: Ella entred this land as _Matt. West._ saith ann. 477.]
In the time of the foresaid Aurelius Ambrosius, one Ella a Saxon
with his 3 sonnes Cymen, Plettinger and Cissa, came out of Germanie
with thrée ships, and landed in the south parts of Britaine and being
incountred with a power of Britains at a place called Cuneueshore,
discomfited them, and chased them vnto a wood then called
Andredescester, and so tooke that countrie, and inhabited there with
his people the Saxons which he brought with him, and made himselfe
king and lord thereof, in somuch that afterwards the same countrie was
[Sidenote: The kingdom of the Southsaxons dooth begin.]
named the kingdome of the Southsaxons, which had for limits on the
east side Kent, on the south the sea and Ile of Wight, on the west
Hamshire, and on the north part Southerie. This kingdome (after some)
began vnder the foresaid Ella, about the 32 yeere after the first
comming of the Saxons into this land, which by following that account,
[Sidenote: 482.]
should be about the second yéere of the reigne of Aurelius
Ambrosius, and about the yéere of our Lord 482. But other write, that
it did begin about the 30 yéere after the first comming of Hengist,
which should be two yéeres sooner.

William Harison differing from all other, noteth it to begin in the
fourth yéere after the death of Hengist, 4458 of the world, 2 of the
317 Olympiad, 1248 of Rome, 492 of Christ, and 43 after the comming
of the Saxons: his woords are these. Ella erected the kingdome of the
Southsaxons, in the 15 after his arriuall, and reigned 32 yéeres, the
chiefe citie of his kingdome also was Chichester, and after he had
inioied the same his kingdome a while, he ouerthrew the citie called
Andredescester, which as then was taken for one of the most famous
in all the south side of England. ¶ For my part I thinke my dutie
discharged, if I shew the opinions of the writers: for if I should
therto ad mine owne, I should but increase coniectures, whereof
alreadie we haue superfluous store. To procéed thereforr as I find.

About the ninth yéere after the comming of Ella, the Britains
perceiuing that he with his Saxons still inlarged the bounds of his
lordship by entring further into the land, assembled themselues
togither vnder their kings and rulers, and gaue battell to Ella and
his sonnes at Mecredesbourne, where they departed with doubtfull
victorie, the armies on both sides being sore diminished, and so
returned to their homes. Ella after this battell sent into his
countrie for more aid.

But now touching Hengist, who as ye haue heard, reigned as king in the
prouince of Kent, the writers of the English kings varie somewhat from
the British histories, both in report of the battels by him fought
against the Britains, and also for the maner of his death: as thus.
After that Vortimer was dead, who departed this life (as some write)
[Sidenote: _Polychron._]
in the first yéere of the emperor Leo, surnamed the great, and
first of that name that gouerned the empire, who began to rule in
[Sidenote: 457.]
the yéere of our Lord 457, we find that Hengist and his sonne Occa or
[Sidenote: _Henrie Hunt._ _Wil. Malm._ Creiford. Britains ouerthrowne.]
Osca gathered their people togither that were before sparkled, and
hauing also receiued new aid out of Germanie, fought with the Britains
at a place called Crekenford, where were slaine of the Britains foure
dukes or capteins, and foure thousand of other men, the residue were
chased by Hengist out of Kent vnto London, so that they neuer returned
afterwards againe into Kent: thus the kingdome of Kent began vnder
Hengist the twelfe yéere after the comming of the Saxons into
Britaine, and Hengist reigned in Kent after this (as the same writers
agree) foure and twentie yéeres.

[Sidenote: _Polychron._]
It is remembred that those Germans which latelie were come ouer to
the aid of Hengist, being chosen men, mightie and strong of bodie,
with their axes and swoords made great slaughter of the Britains in
that battell at Crekenford or Creiford, which Britains were ranged
[Sidenote: _Hen. Hunt._]
in foure battels vnder their aforesaid foure dukes or capteins, and
were (as before is mentioned) slaine in the same battell. About the
sixt yéere of the said emperor Leo, which was in the 17 yéere after
[Sidenote: Wipets field _Matt. West._ This battell was fought anno 473.
as the same _Mat. West._ noteth.]
the comming of the Saxons, Hengist and his sonne Occa or Osca fought
at Wipets field in Kent, néere to a place called Tong with the
Britains, and slue of them twelue dukes or capteins, & on the part
of the Saxons was slaine beside common souldiers but onlie one
[Sidenote: Wipet. _H. Hunt._ ]
capteine called Wipet, of whom the place after that daie tooke name.

This victorie was nothing plesant to the Saxons, by reason of the
great losse which they susteined, as well by the death of the said
Wipet, as of a great number of others: and so of a long time neither
did the Saxons enter into the confines of the Britains, nor the
Britains presumed to come into Kent. But whilest outward wars ceassed
among the Britains, they exercised ciuill battell, falling togither by
the eares among themselues, one striuing against another. Finallié,
Hengist departed this life by course of nature, in the 39 yéere after
[Sidenote: Fortie Yéeres saith _H. Hunt_]
his first comming into Britaine, hauing procéeded in his businesse
[Sidenote: By this it is euident that he was not driuen out of the
land after he had once set foot within it. _Matt. West._]
no lesse with craft and guile than with force and strength,
following therewith his natiue crueltie, so that he rather did all
things with rigour than with gentlenesse. After him succéeded a sonne
whom he left behind him, who being attentiue rather to defend than to
inlarge his kingdome, neuer set foot out of his fathers bounds, during
the space of 24 yéeres, in the which he reigned.

[Sidenote: _H. Hunt._ The citie of Andredescester]
About thrée yéeres after the deceasse of Hengist, a new supplie
of men of warre came out of Germanie vnto the aid of Ella king
of Sussex, who hauing his power increased, besieged the citie of
Andredescester, which was verie strong and well furnished with men
and all things necessarie. The Britains also assembling togither in
companies, greatlie annoied the Saxons as they lay there at siege,
laieng ambushes to destroie such as went abroad, and ceassing not to
giue alarums to the campe in the night season: and the Saxons could no
sooner prepare them selues to giue the assalt, but the Britains
were readie to assaile them on the backs, till at length the Saxons
diuiding themselues into two companies, appointed the one to giue the
assalt, and the other to incounter with the armie of the Britains
without, and so finallie by that meanes preuailed, tooke the citie,
and destroied man, woman and child. Neither so contented, they did
also vtterlie race the said citie, so as it was neuer after that daie
builded or reedified againe.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The east Angles kingdome beginneth, the arriuall of Cerdic and Kenric
with fiue ships of warre in this land, he putteth the Britains to
flight, the west Saxons kingdom begineth, Vter Pendragon made king
of Britaine, the etymon of his name, he taketh Occa and Osca the two
sonnes of Hengist prisoners, how Hector Boetius varieth from other
chronographers in the relation of things concerning Pendragon, he
falleth in loue with the duke of Cornewalls wife, killeth him, and
marieth hir. Occa and Osca escape out of prison, they freshlie assault
the Britains, they are both slaine in a foughten field, the Saxons
send and looke for aid out of Germanie, Pendragon is poisoned._


[Sidenote: The kingdome of the east Angles began not till Aurelius
Conanus reigned. 561.]
Moreouer, in the daies of the afore-named Auralius Ambrosius,
about the yeare of our Lord 561, the kingdome of the east Angles began
vnder a Saxon named Uffa. This same kingdome conteined Northfolke and
Suffolke, hauing on the east and north parts the sea, on the northwest
Cambridgeshire, and on the west saint Edmunds ditch with a part of
Hertfordshire, and on the southside lieth Essex. At the first it was
called Vffines dominion, and the kings that reigned, or the people
that inhabited there, were at the first named Vffines, but at length
they were called east Angles.

[Sidenote: CERDIC.]
Fvrthermore, about the yeare of our Lord 495, and in the eight
[Sidenote: _Wil. Malm._]
[Sidenote: 495.]
yeare after that Hengist was dead, one Cerdicus and his sonne
Kenricus came out of Gerrmanie with fiue ships, and landed at a
place called Cerdicshore, which as some thinke is called Yermouth in
[Sidenote: _Fabian_. _Polychron._]
Northfolke. He was at the first receiued with battell by the
Britains, but being an old skilfull warriour, he easilie beate
[Sidenote: _Wil. Malm._]
backe and repelled the inconstant multitude of his enimies, and caused
them to flée: by which good successe he procured both vndoubted
assurance to himselfe for the time to come, and to the inhabitants
good and perfect quietnes. For they thinking good neuer after to
prouoke him more by resistance, submitted themselues to his pleasure:
but yet did not he then giue himselfe to slouthfull rest, but rather
extending his often atchiued victories on ech side, in the 24 yeare
after his comming into this land, he obteined the rule of the west
parts thereof, and gouerned there as king, so that the kingdome of the
west Saxons began vnder the said Cerdicus in the 519 of Christ, as
after shall be shewed.

[Sidenote: 529.]
¶ Thus ye maie sée, that Aurelius Ambrosius did succéed
Vortigerne, and reigned in the time supposed by the British histories,
as before is alledged, the land euen in his daies was full of trouble,
and the old inhabitants the Britains sore vexed by the Saxons that
entred the same, so that the Britains were dailie hampered, and
brought vnder subiection to the valiant Saxons, or else driuen to
remooue further off, and to giue place to the victors. But now
to procéed with the succession of the British kings, as in their
histories we find them registred, which I deliuer such as I find, but
not such as I doo wish, being written with no such colour of credit as
we maie safelie put foorth the same for an vndoubted truth.

[Sidenote: _Matth. West._ noteth. 500.]
After that Aurelius Ambrosius was dead, his brother Vter Pendragon
(whome some call Aurelius Vterius Ambrosianus) was made king in
the yeare of our Lord 500, in the seuenth yeare of the emperour
Anastasius, and in the sixtéenth yeare of Clodoueus king of the
Frenchmen. The cause why he was surnamed Pendragon, was, for that
Merline the great prophet likened him to a dragons head, that at the
time of his natiuitie maruelouslie appeared in the firmament at the
corner of a blasing star, as is reported. But others supposed he was
so called of his wisedome and serpentine subtiltie, or for that he
gaue the dragons head in his banner. This Vter, hearing that the
Saxons with their capteins Occa or Otta the sonne of Hengist, and his
brother Osca had besieged the citie of Yorke, hasted thither, and
giuing them battell, discomfited their power, and tooke the said Occa
and Osca prisoners.

[Sidenote: _Hector Boet._]
From this varieth Hector Boetius in his chronicle of Scotland,
writing of these dooings in Britaine: for he affirmeth, that the
counterfeit moonke, which poisoned Aurelius Ambrosius, was suborned
and sent to woorke that feat by Occa, and not by his brother
Pascentius: and further, that about the selfesame time of Aurelius
his death, his brother Vter Pendragon lay in Wales, not as yet fullie
recouered of a sore sicknesse, wherewith of late he had béene much
vexed. Yet the lords of Britaine after the buriall of Aurelius
Ambrosius, came vnto him and crowned him king: and though he was not
able to go against the Saxons (which as then by reason of Aurelius
Ambrosius his death were verie busie, and more earnest in pursuing the
warre than before) yet an armie was prepared and sent foorth with all
conuenient spéed vnder the leading of one Nathaliod, a man neither of
anie great ancient house, nor yet of skill in warlike affaires.

The noble men were nothing pleased herewith, as misliking altogither
the lacke of discretion in their new king, & doubted sore, least in
time to come he would haue more delight to aduance the men of base
degrée, than such as were descended of noble parentage. Yet because
they would not put the state of the common wealth in danger through
anie mutinie, they agréed to go foorth with him in that iournie. Occa
had aduertisement giuen him by certeine letters sent to him from some
close friends amongest the Britains of the whole matter: and therefore
in hope of the better spéed, he hasted foorth to incounter the
Britains, and so the whole armie comming within sight of the other,
they prepared to the battell, and shortlie after buckling togither,
the Britains were soone discomfited, by reason that one of their
chiefest capteins called Gothlois disdaining to be at the appointment
of Nathaliod, got him vp to the next hill with the next battell which
he led, leauing the other Britains in all the danger: which they
séeing began by & by to flée. There died no great number of the
Britains, except those that were killed in the fight: for Occa
mistrusting what Gothlois meant by his withdrawing aside, would not
suffer the Saxons to follow the chase, but in the night following
Gothlois got him awaie, and rested not till he was out of danger. Occa
then perceiuing himselfe to haue the vpper hand, sent an herald vnto
king Vter with a certeine message, threatning destruction to him and
to his people, if he refused to doo that which he should appoint.

Vter perceiuing what disloialtie rested in the harts of his owne
subiects, agréed that the matter might be committed to eight graue and
wise councellors, foure Britains and foure Saxons, which might haue
full power to make an end of all controuersies and variances depending
betwixt the two nations. Occa was likewise contented therewith,
wherevpon were named on either part foure persons, of such wisedome,
knowledge and experience, as were thought meetest for the ordering of
such a weightie matter. So that by the arbitrement, award and doome of
those eight persons authorised thereto, a league was concluded vpon
certeine articles of agreement, amongst the which the chiefest was,
that the Saxons from thencefoorth should quietlie inioy all that part
of Britaine which lieth fore against the Almaine seas, the same to be
called euer after Engistlaund, and all the residue should remaine to
the Britains as their owne rightfull and ancient inheritance. Thus far
Hector Boetius.

But now to returne vnto Vter according to that we find in the British
histories, and to procéed after our owne historians; we find, that
when he had vanquished the Saxons and taken their two chiefeteins
prisoners, in processe of time he fell in loue with a verie beautifull
[Sidenote: Gorolus duke of Cornewall.]
ladie called Igwarne or Igerna, wife to one Gorolus or Gorlois
duke of Cornewall, the which duke he slue at length néere to his owne
castell called Diuulioc in Cornewall, to the end that he might inioy
the said ladie, whome he afterwards maried, and begot on hir that
noble knight Arthur, and a daughter named Amie or Anna. Occa and Osca
escaping also out of prison assembled eftsoones a power of Saxons, and
made warre against the Britains, whereof Vter hauing aduertisement
prepared to resist them, and finallie went himselfe in person
[Sidenote: _Harding_.]
against them, and at saint Albans (as some write) gaue them battell,
and slue them both in the field.

By that which Polydor Virgil writeth, it should séeme that Germane the
bishop of Auxerre came into Britaine in the daies of this Vter, by
whose presence the Britains had victorie against the Saxons (as before
ye haue heard) after which victorie both rested from troubling either
other for a time. The Saxons as it were astonied with that present
miracle, & the Britains not following their good successe, shortlie
after fell at discord amongst themselues, which finallie brought them
to vtter decaie, as after shall appeare. But the Saxons desirous to
spoile the Britains of the whole possession of that part of the Ile
[Sidenote: Badon hill.]
which they held, whereas they accounted the cities and townes of
small strength to be defended, they got them to an high mounteine
called Badon hill, which Polydor supposeth to be Blackamore that lieth
néere to the water of Theise, which diuideth the bishoprike of Durham
from Yorkeshire, hauing at the mouth thereof an hauen méet to receiue
such ships as come out of Germanie, from whence the Saxons looked for
aid, hauing alreadie sent thither for the same.

The Britains being thereof aduertised, made hast towards the place,
and besieged it on euerie side. They also laie the sea coasts full of
souldiers, to kéepe such of the enimies from landing as should come
out of Germanie. The Saxons kept themselues for a certeine space aloft
vpon the high ground, but in the end constreined through want of
vittels, they came downe with their armie in order of battell to the
next plaines, and offering to fight, the battell was anon begun, which
continued from the morning till far in the day, with such slaughter,
that the earth on euerie side flowed with bloud: but the Saxons
susteined the greater losse, their capteins Occa and Osca being both
slaine, so that the Britains might séeme quite deliuered of all danger
of those enimies: but the fatall destinie could not be auoided, as
hereafter may appeare. And thus was the slaughter made of the Saxons
[Sidenote: _Gyldas_.]
at Badon hill, whereof Gyldas maketh mention, and chanced the same
yeare that he was borne, which was in the 44 yeare after the first
[Sidenote: 492.]
comming of the Saxons into this land, the yeare of Grace 492, & 15

[Sidenote: The decease of Vter Pendragon.]
About the same time Vter departed out of this life (saith Polydor)
so that this account agréeth nothing with the common account of those
authors, whome Fabian and other haue followed. For either we must
presuppose, that Vter reigned before the time appointed to him by the
said authors, either else that the siege of Badon hill was before
he began to reigne, as it should séeme in déed by that which Wil.
Malmesburie writeth thereof, as hereafter shall be also shewed.
Finallie (according to the agréement of the English writers) Vter
Pendragon died by poison, when he had gouerned this land by the full
[Sidenote: Stoneheng. Chorea Gigantum.]
terme of 16 years, & was after buried by his brother Aurelius
at Stoneheng, otherwise called _Chorea Gigantnm_, leauing his sonne
Arthur to succéed him. ¶ Here ye must note that the Scotish chronicles
declare, that in all the warres for the more part wherein the Britains
obteined victorie against the Saxons, the Scots aided them in the same
warres, and so likewise did the Picts, but the same chronicles doo not
onelie varie from the British writers in account of yeares, but also
in the order of things doone, as in the same chronicles more plainelie
may appeare, & namelie in the discourse of the accidents which chanced
during the reigne of this Vter. For whereas the British histories,
as ye haue heard, attribute great praise vnto the same Vter for his
victories atchiued against the Saxons and their king Occa, whome he
slue in battell, and obteined a great victorie, the Scotish writers
make other report, affirming in deed that by the presence of bishop
Germane he obteined victorie in one battell against them: but
shortlie after the Britains fought againe with the Saxons, and were
discomfited, although Occa in following the chase ouer rashlie chanced
to be slaine: after whose deceasse the Saxons ordeined his sonne named
also Occa to succéed in his place, who to make himselfe strong against
all his enimies, sent into Germanie for one Colgerne, the which with
a great power of Dutchmen came ouer into this our Britaine, and
conquered by Occas appointment the countrie of Northumberland, situate
betwéene Tine and Tweed, as in the Scotish chronicles may further

Also this is to be remembred, that the victorie which was got against
the Saxons by the Britains, at what time Germane bishop of Auxerre
was present: Hector Boetius affirmeth (by authoritie of Veremond that
wrote the Scotish chronicles) to haue chanced the second time of his
comming ouer into this land, where Beda auoucheth it to be at his
first being heere. Againe the same Boetius writeth, that the same
victorie chanced in the daies of Vter Pendragon. Which can not be, if
it be true that Beda writeth, touching the time of the death of the
said Germane: for where he departed this life before the yeare of our
Lord 459, as aboue is said, Vter Pendragon began not his reigne till
the yeare of our Lord 500 or as the same Hector Boetius saith 503, so
that bishop Germane was dead long before that Vter began to reigne.

In déed some writers haue noted, that the third battell which Vortimer
fought against the Saxons, was the same wherein S. Germane was
present, and procured the victorie with the crie of _Alleluia_, as
before ye haue heard. Which seemeth to be more agréeable to truth, and
to stand also with that which holie Beda hath written, touching the
time of the being héere of the said Germane, than the opinion of
other, which afirme that it was in the time of the reigne of Vter.
The like is to be found in the residue of Hector Boetius his booke,
touching the time speciallie of the reignes of the British kings that
gouerned Britaine about that season. For as he affirmeth, Aurelius
Ambrosius began his reigne in the yeare of our Lord 498, and ruled but
seuen yeares, and then succéeded Vter, which reigned 18 yeares, and
departed this life in the yeare of our Lord 521.

¶ Notwithstanding the premisses, here is to be remembred, that
whatsoeuer the British writers haue recorded touching the victories
of this Vter had against the Saxons, and how that Osca the sonne of
Hengist should be slaine in battell by him and his power: in those
[Sidenote: Osca. 34 saith _Henrie Hunt._ in corrupted copies.]
old writers which haue registred the acts of the English Saxon kings
we find no such matter, but rather that after the deceasse of Hengist,
his sonne Osca or Occa reigned in Kent 24 yeares, defending his
kingdome onelie, and not séeking to inlarge it (as before is touched.)
After whose death his sonne Oth, and Irmenrike sonne to the same Oth
succéeded, more resembling their father than their grandfather or
great grandfather. To their reignes are assigned fiftie and three
yeares by the chronicles: but whether they reigned iointlie togither,
or seuerallie & apart either after other, it is not certeinlie

       *       *       *       *       *

_Porth the Saxon arriueth at Portesmouth, warre betweene Nazaleod
king of the Britains and the Saxons, the Britains are ouerthrowen and
slaine, the kingdome of the west Saxons beginneth, the compasse or
continent thereof, the meanes whereby it was inlarged._


[Sidenote: Porth entred this land about the yeare of our Lord 501 as
_Matth. West._ noteth.]
Now will we breefelie discourse vpon the incidents which first
happened during the reigne of Vter Pendragon. We find that one Porth a
Saxon with his two sons Megla and Beda came on land at Portesmouth in
Sussex, about the beginning of the said Vters reigne, and slue a noble
yoong man of the Britains, and manie other of the meaner sort with
[Sidenote: _Harison_ supposeth the riuer to be called Ports, as for
the word mouth, is the fall of anie fresh riuer into the sea.]
him. Of this Porth the towne & hauen of Portesmouth tooke the name,
as some haue thought. Moreouer, about 40 yeares after the comming of
the Saxons into this land with their leader Hengist, one Nazaleod, a
mightie king amongst the Britains, assembled all the power he could
make to fight with Certicus king of the Westsaxons, who vnderstanding
of the great power of his enimies, required aid of Osca king of Kent,
also of Elle king of Sussex, and of Porth and his sonnes which were
latelie before arriued as ye haue heard. Certicus being then furnished
with a conuenient armie, diuided the same into two battels, reseruing
the one to himselfe, and the other he appointed to his sonne Kenrike.
King Nazaleod perceiuing that the wing which Certicus led, was of more
strength than the other which Kenrike gouerned, he set first vpon
Certicus, thinking that if he might distresse that part of the enimies
armie, he should easilie ouercome the other. Herevpon he gaue such a
fierce charge vpon that wing, that by verie force he opened the same,
and so ouerthrew the Saxons on that side, making great slaughter of
them as they were scattered. Which maner of dealing when Kenrike
[Sidenote: The Britaines ouerthrowne. _Matth. West._ _Henr. Hunt._]
saw, he made forward with all spéed to succour his father, and rushing
in amongst the Britains on their backs, he brake their armie in
péeces, and slue their king Nazaleod, and withall put his people to
flight. There died of the Britains that daie 5000 men, and the residue
[Sidenote: Stuff and Wightgar. _Matth. West._ noteth the yeare of
their arrivall to be 514.]
escaped by fléeing as well as they might. In the sixt yeare after
this battell, Stuff and Wightgar that were nephues to Certicus, came
with thrée ships, and landed at Certicesford, and ouerthrew a number
of Britains that came against them in order of battell, and so by the
comming of those his nephues being valiant and hardie capteins, the
part of Certicus became much stronger. Abut the same time Elle king of
the Southsaxons departed this life, after whome succéeded his sonne
Cissa, of whome we find little left in writing to be made account of.

[Sidenote: Henr. Hunt. Britains ouerthrowne by the Saxons.]
About the yeare of our Lord 519, and in the yeare after the
comming of the Saxons 71, which was in the 26 yeare of the emperour
Anastasius, the Britains fought with Certicus and his sonne Kenrike
at Certicesford, where the capteins of the Britains stood to it
manfullie: but in the end they were discomfited, and great slaughter
was made there of them by the Saxons, and greater had béene, if the
night comming on had not parted them, and so manie were saued.

[Sidenote: The kingdom of Westsaxons.]
From that day forward Certicus was reputed & taken for king of
Westsaxons, & so began the same kingdome at that time, which was (as
W. Harison noteth) in the yéere of Christ 519, after the building of
Rome 1270, of the world 4485, of the comming of the Saxons 70, of
Iustinus Anicius emperour of the east, the first and third of the
renowmed prince Patricius Arthurus then reigning ouer the Britains.
The said kingdome also conteined the countries of Wiltshire,
Summersetshire, Barkeshire, Dorsetshire, and Cornewall, hauing on the
east Hamshire, on the north the riuer of Thames, and on the south and
west the Ocean sea. Howbeit, at the first the kings of the Westsaxons
had not so large dominions, but they dailie wan ground vpon the
Britains, and so in the end by inlarging their confines, they came to
inioy all the foresaid countries, and the whole at the last.

[Sidenote: Certicesford.]
In the ninth yéere of the reigne of Certicus, he eftsoones fought
with the Saxons at Certicesford aforesaid, where great slaughter
was made on both parts. This Certicesford was in times past called
Nazaleoy of the late remembred Nazaleod king of the Britains. About
this season at sundrie times diuers great companies of the Saxons
came ouer into Britaine out of Germanie, and got possession of the
countries of Mercia and Eastangle: but as yet those of Mercia had no
one king that gouerned them, but were vnder certeine noble men that
got possession of diuers parts in that countrie, by means wherof great
warres and manie incounters insued, with a common waste of land both
arable and habitable, whiles each one being ambitiouslie minded, &
heaping to themselues such powers as they were able to make, by swoord
and bloudshed chose rather to haue their fortune decided, than by
reason to suppresse the rage of their vnrulie affections. For such is
the nature of men in gouernement, whether they be interessed to it
by succession, or possessed of it by vsurpation, or placed in it by
lawfull constitution, (vnlesse they be guided by some supernaturall
influence of diuine conceit) if they be more than one, they cannot
away with equalitie, for regiment admitteth no companion: but euerie
one séeketh to aduance himselfe to a singularitie of honour, wherein
he will not (to die for it) participate with another, which maie
easilie be obserued in this our historicall discourse.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The beginning of the kingdome of the Eastsaxons, what it conteined,
of Arthur king of Britaine, his twelue victories ouer the Saxons
against whome he mainteined continuall warre, why the Scots and Picts
enuied him his roialtie and empire, a league betwixt Arthur and Loth
king of the Picts, Howell king of little Britaine aideth Arthur
against Cheldrike king of Germanie, who taking the ouerthrow, is
slaine by the duke of Cornewall, the Picts are discomfited, the
Irishmen with their king put to flight, and the Scots subdued, Arthurs
sundrie conquests against diuers people, the vanitie of the British
writers noted._


[Sidenote: ERCHENWIN. The kingdom of the Eastsaxons.]
In those daies also the kingdome of the Eastsaxons began, the
chéefe citie whereof was London. It contained in effect so much as
at this present belongeth to the diocesse of London. One Erchenwin a
Saxon was the first king thereof, the which was sonne to one Offa, the
sixt in lineall descent from one Saxnot, from whom the kings of that
countrie fetched their originall. Harison noteth the exact yéere of
the erection of the kingdome of the Eastsaxons to begin with the end
of the eight of Cerdicus king of the Westsaxons, that is, the 527 of
Christ, and 78 after the comming of the Saxons. In the 13 yéere of the
reigne of Cerdicus, he with his sonne Kenrike, and other of the
Saxon capteins fought with the Britains in the Ile of Wight at
Witgarsbridge, where they slue a great number of Britains, and so
conquered the Ile, the which about four yéeres after was giuen by
Cerdicus vnto his nephues Stuffe and Witgar.

[Sidenote: ARTHUR.]
After the deceasse of Vter Pendragon (as we doo find in the British
histories) his sonne Arthur, a yoong towardlie gentleman, of the age
of 15 yéeres or thereabouts, began his reigne ouer the Britains in
[Sidenote: 516.]
[Sidenote: _Matth. West._ hath noted 518.]
the yéere of our Lord 516, or as Matt. Westmin. saith 517, in the
28 yéere of the emperour Anastasius, and in the third yéere of the
reignes of Childebert, Clothare, Clodamire, and Theodorike, brethren
that were kings of the Frenchmen. Of this Arthur manie things are
written beyond credit, for that there is no ancient author of
authoritie that confirmeth the same: but surelie as may be thought he
was some woorthie man, and by all likelihood a great enimie to the
Saxons, by reason whereof the Welshmen which are the verie Britains in
déed, haue him in famous remembrance. He fought (as the common report
goeth of him) 12 notable battels against the Saxons, & in euerie of
them went away with the victorie, but yet he could not driue them
quite out of the land, but that they kept still the countries which
they had in possession, as Kent, Sutherie, Norfolke, and others:
howbeit some writers testifie, that they held these countries as
tributaries to Arthur.

But truth it is (as diuers authors agrée) that he held continuall
warre against them, and also against the Picts, the which were allied
with the Saxons: for as in the Scotish histories is conteined, euen
at the first beginning of his reigne, the two kings of the Scots and
Picts séemed to enuie his aduancement to the crowne of Britaine,
bicause they had maried the two sisters of the two brethren, Aurelius
Ambrosius, and Vter Pendragon, that is to say, Loth king of Picts had
married Anne their eldest sister, and Conran king of Scots had in
mariage Alda their yoonger sister, so that bicause Arthur was begotten
out of wedlocke, they thought it stood with more reason, that the
kingdome of the Britains should haue descended vnto the sisters
sonnes, rather than to a bastard, namelie Loth the Pictish king, which
had issue by his wife Anna, sore repined at the matter.

Wherefore at the first, when he saw that by suit he could not
preuaile, he ioined in league with the Saxons, and aiding them against
Arthur, lost many of his men of warre being ouerthrowne in battell,
which he had sent vnto the succours of Colgerne the Saxon prince that
ruled as then in the north parts. But finallie a league was concluded
betwixt Arthur and the foresaid Loth king of Picts, vpon certeine
conditions, as in the Scotish historie is expressed, where ye may read
the same, with many other things touching the acts of Arthur, somewhat
in other order than our writers haue recorded.

¶ The British authors declare, that Arthur (immediatlie after he had
receiued the crowne of Dubright bishop of Caerleon) went with his
power of Britains against the Saxons of Northumberland, which had to
their capteine (as before is said) one Colgrime or Colgerne, whome
Arthur discomfited and chased into the citie of Yorke, within which
[Sidenote: Yorke besieged.]
place Arthur besieged him, till at length the same Colgrime
escaped out of the citie, & leauing it in charge with his brother
[Sidenote: Cheldrike commeth in aid of Colgrime. _Matt. Westm._ saith
but 700.]
called Bladulfe, passed ouer into Germanie vnto Cheldrike king of that
countrie, of whom he obteined succor, so that the said Cheldrike made
prouision of men and ships, and came himselfe ouer into Scotland,
hauing in his companie fiftéene hundred sailes one with an other.

When Arthur was aduertised thereof, he raised his siege, and withdrew
to London, sending letters with all speed vnto Howell king of little
Britaine in France, that was his sisters sonne, requiring of him
[Sidenote: Howell king of Britaine commeth ouer in aid of Arthur.]
in most earnest wise his aid. Howell incontinentlie assembled his
people, to the number of fifteene thousand men, and taking the sea,
landed with them at Southhampton, where Arthur was readie to receiue
him with great ioy and gladnesse. From thence they drew northwards,
where both the hosts of Arthur and Howell being assembled togither,
marched forward to Lincolne, which citie Cheldrike did as then
[Sidenote: Cheldrike ouerthrowne in battell.]
besiege. Here Arthur and Howell assailed the Saxons with great
force & no lesse manhood, and at length after great slaughter made of
the enimies, they obteined the victorie, and chased Cheldrike (with
the residue of the Saxons that were left aliue) vnto a wood, where
they compassed them about within the same, in such wise, that in the
ende they were constreined to yéeld themselues, with condition that
they might be suffered to depart on foot to their ships, and so auoid
the land, leauing their horsse, armour, and other furniture vnto the

Héerevpon the Britains taking good hostages for assurance, permitted
the Saxons to go their waies, and so Cheldrike and his people got them
to their ships, in purpose to returne into their countrie: but being
on the sea, they were forced by wind to change their course, and
comming on the coasts of the west parts of Britaine, they arriued
at Totnesse, and contrarie to the couenanted articles of their last
composition with Arthur, inuaded the countrie anew, and taking such
armour as they could find, marched foorth in robbing and spoiling the
people, till they came to Bath, which towne the Britains kept and
defended against them, not suffering them by anie meanes to enter
there, wherevpon the Saxons inuironed it with a strong siege.
[Sidenote: Bath besieged.]
Arthur informed heereof, with all spéed hasted thither, and giuing the
enimies battell, slue the most part of Cheldrikes men.

[Sidenote: The Saxons (sic) ouerthrow Colgrime and Bladulfe.]
There were slaine both Colgrime and Bladulfe, howbeit Cheldrike
himselfe fled out of the field towards his ships, but being pursued
by Cador earle of Cornwall (that had with him ten thousand men) by
Arthurs appointment, he was ouertaken and in flight slaine with all
[Sidenote: Cheldrike slaine by Cador duke of Cornwall.]
his people. Arthur himselfe returned from this battell foughten at
[Sidenote: K. Howell besieged by the Scots.]
Bath with all speed towards the marshes of Scotland, for that he
had receiued aduertisement, how the Scots had besieged Howell K. of
Britaine there, as he lay sicke. Also when Cador had accomplished his
enterprise and slaine Cheldrike, he returned with as much spéed as was
possible towards Arthur, & found him in Scotland, where he rescued
Howell, and afterwards pursued the Scots which fled before him by

[Sidenote: Guillomer.]
About the same time, one Guillomer king of Ireland arriued in
Scotland with a mightie power of Irishmen (neere the place where
Arthur lodged) to helpe the Scots against the Britains: wherevpon
Arthur turning his forces towards the same Guillomer, vanquished him,
and chased him into Ireland. This doone, he continued in pursute of
the Scots, till he caused them to sue for pardon, and to submit them
selues wholie to him, and so receiuing them to mercie, & taking homage
of them, he returned to Yorke, and shortlie after tooke to wife
[Sidenote: Guenhera.]
one Guenhera a right beautifull ladie, that was néere kinswoman to
Cador earle of Cornwall.

[Sidenote: _W. Harison_. 525.]
In the yéere following, which some note to be 525, he went into
Ireland, and discomfiting king Guillomer in battell, he constreined
him to yéeld, and to acknowledge by dooing his fealtie to hold the
realme of Ireland of him. It is further remembred in those British
[Sidenote: Gothland.]
histories, that he subdued Gothland and Iseland, with all the
Iles in and about those seas. Also that he ouercame the Romans in the
countrie about Paris, with their capteine Lucius, and wasted the most
part of all France, and slue in singular combats certeine giants that
were of passing force and hugenesse of stature. And if he had not
béene reuoked and called home to resist his coosen Mordred, that was
sonne to Loth king of Pightland that rebelled in his countrie, he had
passed to Rome, intending to make himselfe emperor, and afterward to
vanquish the other emperor, who then ruled the empire. ¶ But for so
much as there is not anie approoued author who dooth speake of anie
such dooings, the Britains are thought to haue registered méere fables
in sted of true matters, vpon a vaine desire to aduance more than
reason would, this Arthur their noble champion, as the Frenchmen haue
doone their Rouland, and diuerse others.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Arthur is resisted by Mordred the usurper from arriuing in his owne
land, they ioine battell, Gawaine is slaine and his death lamented
by Arthur, Mordred taketh flight, he in slaine, and Arthur mortallie
wounded, his death, the place of his buriall, his bodie digged vp, his
bignesse coniecturable by his bones, a crosse found in his toome with
an inscription therevpon, his wife Guenhera buried with him, a rare
report of hir haire, Iohn Lelands epitaph in memorie of prince


King Arthur at his returne into Britaine, found that Mordred had
[Sidenote: Rather Cerdicke as _Leland_ thinketh.]
caused himselfe to be made king, & hauing alied himselfe with
Cheldrike a Saxon (not him whome Galfride, as ye haue heard, supposeth
to haue béene wounded & slaine before) was readie to resist his
landing, so that before he could come on land, he lost manie of his
men: but yet at length he repelled the enimies, and so tooke land at
Sandwich, where he first arriued, and ioining in battell with his
enimies, he discomfited them, but not without great losse of his
people: speciallie he sore lamented the death of Gawaine the brother
of Mordred, which like a faithfull gentleman, regarding more his
honour and loiall truth than néerenesse of bloud and coosenage, chose
rather to fight in the quarrell of his liege king and louing maister,
than to take part with his naturall brother in an vniust cause, and so
there in the battell was slaine, togither also with Angusseli, to whom
Arthur afore time had committed the gouernment of Scotland. Mordred
fled from this battell, and getting ships sailed westward, and
[Sidenote: Gawaine buried at Douer.]
finallie landed in Cornwall. King Arthur caused the corps of Gawaine
to be buried at Douer (as some hold opinion:) but William Malmesburie
supposeth, he was buried in Wales, as after shall be shewed. The dead
bodie of Angussell was conueied into Scotland, and was there buried.
When that Arthur had put his enimies to flight, and had knowledge into
what parts Mordred was withdrawne, with all spéed he reinforced his
armie with new supplies of souldiers called out of diuerse parties,
and with his whole puissance hasted forward, not resting till he came
néere to the place where Mordred was incamped, with such an armie
as he could assemble togither out of all parties where he had anie
friends. ¶ Héere (as it appéereth by Iohn Leland, in his booke
intituled, "The assertion of Arthur") it may be douted in what place
Mordred was incamped: but Geffrey of Monmouth sheweth, that after
Arthur had discomfited Mordred in Kent at the first landing, it
chanced so that Mordred escaped and fled to Winchester, whither Arthur
followed him, and there giuing him battell the second time, did also
put him to flight. And following him from thence, fought eftsoones
with him at a place called Camblane, or Kemelene in Cornwall, or (as
some authors haue) néere vnto Glastenburie.

[Sidenote: _Richard Turner_.]
This battell was fought to such proofe, that finallie Mordred was
slaine, with the more part of his whole armie, and Arthur receiuing
diuers mortall wounds died of the same shortlie after, when he had
reigned ouer the Britains by the tearme of 26 yéeres. His corps was
buried at Glastenburie aforesaid, in the churchyard, betwixt two
pillers: where it was found in the daies of king Henrie the second,
about the yeere of our Lord 1191, which was in the last yéere of the
reigne of the same Henrie, more than six hundred yéeres after the
buriall thereof. He was laid 16 foot déepe vnder ground, for doubt
that his enimies the Saxons should haue found him. But those that
digged the ground there to find his bodie, after they had entered
about seuen foot déepe into the earth, they found a mightie broad
stone with a leaden crosse fastened to that part which laie downewards
toward the corps, conteining this inscription:

  "Hîc iacet sepultus inclytus rex Arthurius in insula Aualoniæ."

This inscription was grauen on that side of the crosse which was next
to the stone: so that till the crosse was taken from the stone, it was
vnséene. His bodie was found, not inclosed within a toome of marble or
other stone curiouslie wrought, but within a great trée made hollowe
for the nonce like a trunke, the which being found and digged vp, was
opened, and therein were found the kings bones, of such maruellous
bignesse, that the shinbone of his leg being set on the ground,
reached vp to the middle thigh of a verie tall man: as a moonke of
that abbeie hath written, which did liue in those daies, and saw it.
¶ But Gyraldus Cambrensis (who also liued in those daies, and spake
with the abbat of the place, by whom the bones of this Arthur were
then found) affirmeth, that by report of the same abbat, he learned,
that the shinbone of the said Arthur being set vp by the leg of a
verie tall man (the which the abbat shewed to the same Gyraldus) came
aboue the knée of the same man the length of three fingers breadth,
which is a great deale more likelie than the other. Furthermore the
skull of his head was of a woonderfull largenesse, so that the space
of his forehead betwixt his two eies was a span broad. There appéered
in his head the signes and prints of ten wounds or more: all the which
were growne into one wem, except onelie that whereof it should séeme
he died, which being greater than the residue, appéered verie plaine.
Also in opening the toome of his wife quéene Gueneuer, that was buried
with him, they found the tresses of hir haire whole and perfect, and
finelie platted, of colour like to the buruished gold, which being
touched, immediatlie fell to dust. The abbat, which then was
[Sidenote: _Henricus Blecensis_ seu _Soliacensis_. _Io. Leland_.]
gouernour of the house, was named Stephan, or Henrie de Blois,
otherwise de Sullie, nephue to king Henrie the second (by whose
commandement he had serched for the graue of Arthur) translated the
bones as well of him as of quéene Gueneuer, being so found, into the
great church, and there buried them in a faire double toome of marble,
laieng the bodie of the king at the head of the toome, and the bodie
[Sidenote: _Dauid Pow._ _pag._ 238, 239.]
of the quéene at his féet towards the west part. ¶ The writer of
the historie of Cambria now called Wales saith, that the bones of the
said Arthur, and Gueneuer his wife were found in the Ile of Aualon
(that is, the Ile of Alpes) without the abbeie of Glastenbury,
fiftéene féet within the ground, & that his graue was found by the
meanes of a Bardh, whome the king heard at Penbroke singing the acts
of prince Arthur, and the place of his buriall.

_Iohn Leland in his booke intituled Assertio Arthuri, hath for the
woorthie memorie of so noble a prince, honored him with a learned
epitaph, as heere followeth._

  Saxonicas toties qui fudit Marte cruento
  _Who vanquisht Saxon troops so oft, with battels bloudie broiles,_
  Turmas, & peperit spolijs sibi nomen opimis,
  _And purchast to himselfe a name with warlike wealthie spoiles,_
  Fulmineo toties Pictos qui contudit ense,
  _Who hath with shiuering shining swoord, the Picts so oft dismaid,_
  Imposuítque iugum Scoti ceruicibus ingens:
  _And eke vnweldie seruile yoke on necke of Scots hath laid:_
  Qui tumidos Gallos, Germanos quíque feroces
  _Who Frenchmen puft with pride, and who the Germans fierce in fight_
  Perculit, & Dacos bello confregit aperto:
  _Discomfited, and danted Danes with maine and martiall might:_
  Denique Mordredum è medio qui sustulit illud
  _Who of that murdring Mordred did the vitall breath expell,_
  Monstrum, horrendum, ingens, dirum, sæuúmque tyrannum,
  _That monster grislie, lothsome, huge, that diresome tyrant fell,_
  Hoc iacet extinctus monumento Arthurius alto,
  _Heere liuelesse Arthur lies intoomd, within this statelie hearse,_
  Militiæ clarum decus, & virtutis alumnus:
  _Of chiualrie the bright renowme, and vertues nursling fearse:_
  Gloria nunc cuius terram circumuolat omnem,
  _Whose glorie great now ouer all the world dooth compasse flie,_
  Aetherijque petit sublimia tecta Tonantis.
  _And of the airie thunder skales the loftie building hie_.
  Vos igitur gentis proles generosa Britannæ,
  _Therefore you noble progenie of Britaine line and race,_
  Induperatori ter magno assurgite vestro,
  _Arise vnto your emperour great, of thrice renowmed grace,_
  Et tumulo sacro roseas inferte corollas,
  _And cast vpon his sacred toome the roseall garlands gaie,_
  Officij testes redolentia munera vestri.
  _That fragrant smell may witnesse well, your duties you displaie_.

¶ These verses I haue the more willinglie inserted, for that I had
the same deliuered to me turned into English by maister Nicholas
Roscarocke, both right aptlie yeelding the sense, and also properlie
answering the Latine, verse for verse.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Vpon what occasion the graue of king Arthur was sought for, the
follie of such discouered as beleeued that he should returne and
reigne againe as king in Britaine, whether it be a fiction or a
veritie that there was such an Arthur or no; discordance among writers
about the place of Gawains buriall and Arthurs death; of queene
Gueneuer the wife of king Arthur, hir beautie and dishonest life,
great disagreement among writers touching Arthur and his wiues to the
impeachment of the historie, of his life and death._


The occasion that mooued king Henrie the second to cause his nephue
the foresaid abbat to search for the graue of king Arthur, was, for
that he vnderstood by a Welsh minstrell or Bardh (as they call him)
that could sing manie histories in the Welsh language of the acts of
the ancient Britains, that in the forsaid churchyard at Glastenburie,
betwixt the said two pillers the bodie of Arthur was to be found
sixtéene foot déepe vnder the ground. Gyraldus Cambrensis affirmeth,
that the trée in the which Arthurs bodie was found so inclosed, was an
oke, but other suppose that it was an alder trée, bicause that in the
same place a great number of that kind of trées doo grow, and also
for that it is not vnknowne, that an alder lieng vnder ground where
moisture is, will long continue without rotting.

¶ By the finding thus of the bodie of Arthur buried (as before ye haue
[Sidenote: As for example in a caue néere a water called pond
perilous at Salisburie, where he and his knights should sléepe armed,
till an other knight should be borne that should come and awake them.
_Will. Malmes. lib. 1. de regibus Ang._]
heard) such as hitherto beleeued that he was not dead, but conueied
awaie by the fairies into some pleasant place, where he should remaine
for a time, and then to returne againe, and reigne in as great
authoritie as euer he did before, might well perceiue themselues
deceiued in crediting so vaine a fable. But yet (where it might
otherwise be doubted, whether anie such Arthur was at all, as the
British histories mention, bicause neither Gyldas nor Beda in their
woorks speake anie thing of him) it may appéere, the circumstances
considered, that suerly such one there was of that name, hardie and
valiant in armes, though not in diuerse points so famous as some
writers paint him out. William Malmesburie a writer of good credit and
authoritie amongst the learned, hath these woords in his first booke
intituled "De regibus Anglorum," saieng: "But he being dead [meaning
Vortimer] the force of the Britains waxed féeble, their decaied
hope went backward apace: and euen then suerlie had they gon to
destruction, if Ambrosius (who alone of the Romans remained yet aliue,
and was king after Vortigerne) had not kept vnder and staied the
loftie barbarous people, that is to say the Saxons, by the notable aid
and assistance of the valiant Arthur."

This is the same Arthur, of whom the trifling tales of the Britains
euen to this day fantasticallie doo descant and report woonders: but
woorthie was he doubtlesse, of whom feined fables should not haue so
dreamed, but rather that true histories might haue set foorth his
woorthie praises, as he that did for a long season susteine and hold
vp his countrie that was readie to go to vtter ruine and decaie,
incouraging the bold harts of the Britains vnto the warre, and
finallie in the siege of Badon hill, he set vpon nine hundred of the
enimies, and with incredible slaughter did put them all to flight. On
the contrarie part, the English Saxons, although they were tossed with
sundrie haps of fortune, yet still they renewed their bands with new
supplies of their countriemen that came out of Germanie, and so with
bolder courage assailed their enimies, and by little and little
causing them to giue place, spread themselues ouer the whole Ile. For
although there were manie battels, in the which sometime the Saxons
and sometime the Britains got the better, yet the greater number of
Saxons that were slaine, the greater number of them still came ouer to
the succour of their countriemen, being called in and sent for out of
euerie quarter about them.

[Sidenote: Gawaine where he is buried.]
Héere is also to be noted, that where the British historie
declareth, that Gawaine or Gallowine being slaine in the battell
fought betwixt Arthur and Mordred in Kent, was buried at Douer, so
that his bones remained there to be shewed a long time after: yet by
[Sidenote: _Wil. Malm. lib. 3. de regib._]
that which the foresaid William Malmesburie writeth in the third
booke of his volume intituled "De regibus Anglorum," the contrarie
maie séeme true: his woords are these. "Then (saith he) in the
prouince of Wales, which is called Rosse, the sepulture of Gallowine
was found, who was nephue to Arthur by his sister, not going out of
kind from so woorthie an vncle. He reigned in that part of Britaine
which vnto this day is called Walwichia, a knight for his high
prowesse most highlie renowmed, but expelled out of his kingdome by
the brother and nephue of Hengist, of whome in the first booke we haue
made mention, first requiting his banishment with great detriment and
losse to those his enimies, wherein he was partaker by iust desert
of his vncles woorthie praise, for that he staied (for a great manie
yéeres) the destruction of his countrie, which was now running
headlong into vtter ruine and decaie. But Arthurs graue no where
appéereth: yet the others toome (as I haue said) was found in the
daies of William the conqueror, king of England, vpon the sea side,
and conteined in length fouretéene foot, where he was (as some say)
wounded by his enimies, and cast vp by shipwracke. But other
write, that he was slaine at a publike feast or banket by his owne
countriemen." Thus saith William Malmesburie.

¶ But heere you must consider, that the said Malmesburie departed this
life about the beginning of the reigne of king Henrie the second,
certeine yéers before the bones of Arthur were found (as ye haue
heard.) But omitting this point as néedles to be controuerssed, &
letting all dissonant opinions of writers passe, as a matter of no
such moment that we should néed to sticke therein as in a glewpot;
we will procéed in the residue of such collections as we find
necessarilie pertinent to the continuation of this historie; and now
we will say somewhat of quéene Guenhera or Guenouer, the wife of the
foresaid king Arthur.

Some iudge that she tooke hir name of hir excellent beautie, bicause
Guinne or Guenne in the Welsh toong signifieth faire, so that she was
named Guennere or rather Guenlhean, euen (as you would say) the faire
or beautifull Elenor or Helen. She was brought vp in the house of one
Cador earle of Cornewall before Arthur maried hir: and as it appeareth
by writers, she was euill reported of, as noted of incontinencie &
breach of faith to hir husband, in maner as for the more part women of
excellent beautie hardlie escape the venemous blast of euill toongs,
and the sharpe assaults of the followers of Venus. The British
historie affirmeth, that she did not onelie abuse hir selfe by
vnlawfull companie with Mordred, but that also in Arthurs absence she
consented to take him to husband. It is likewise found recorded by
an old writer, that Arthur besieged on a time the marishes néere to
Glastenburie, for displeasure that he bare to a certeine lord called
Melua, who had rauished Gueneuer, and led hir into those marishes, and
there did kéepe hir. Hir corps notwithstanding (as before is recited)
was interred togither with Arthurs, so that it is thought she liued
not long after his deceasse.

Arthur had two wiues (as Gyraldus Cambrensis affirmeth) of which the
latter (saith he) was buried with him, and hir bones found with his in
one sepulchre, but yet so diuided, that two parts of the toome towards
the head were appointed to receiue the bones of the man, and the third
part towards the féet conteined the womans bones, apart by themselues.
Here is to be remembred, that Hector Boetius writeth otherwise of the
death of Arthur than before in this booke is mentioned, & also that
Gueneuer being taking prisoner by the Picts, was conueied into
Scotland, where finallie she died, and was there buried in Angus, as
in the Scotish chronicles further appeareth. And this may be true, if
he had thrée sundrie wiues, each of them bearing the name of
Gueneuer, as sir Iohn Price dooth auouch that he had. Now bicause
of contrarietie in writers touching the great acts atchiued by this
Arthur, and also for that some difference there is amongst them, about
the time in which he should reigne, manie haue doubted of the whole
historie which of him is written (as before ye haue heard.) ¶ But
others there be of a constant beléefe, who hold it for a grounded
truth, that such a prince there was; and among all other a late
[Sidenote: _Dauid Pow. pag. 238, 239_.]
writer, who falling into necessarie mention of prince Arthur,
frameth a spéech apologeticall in his and their behalfe that were
princes of the British bloud, discharging a short but yet a sharpe
inuectiue against William Paruus, Polydor Virgil, and their complices,
whom he accuseth of lieng toongs, enuious detraction, malicious
slander, reprochfull and venemous language, wilfull ignorance, dogged
enuie, and cankerd minds; for that they speake vnreuerentlie and
contrarie to the knowne truth concerning those thrisenoble princes.
Which defensitiue he would not haue deposed, but that he takes the
monuments of their memories for vndoubted verities.

The British histories and also the Scotish chronicles doo agrée, that
he liued in the daies of the emperour Iustinian, about the fiftéenth
yéere of whose reigne he died, which was in the yéere of our Lord
[Sidenote: 542.]
542, as diuerse doo affirme. Howbeit some write farther from all
likelihood, that he was about the time of the emperor Zeno, who began
[Sidenote: _Aurea historia. I. Leland_.]
his reigne about the yéere of our Lord 474. The writer of the
booke intituled "Aurea historia" affirmeth, that in the tenth yéere
of Cerdicus king of Westsaxons, Arthur the warriour rose against the
Britains. Also Diouionensis writeth, that Cerdicus fighting oftentimes
with Arthur, if he were ouercome in one moneth, he arose in an other
moneth more fierce and strong to giue battell than before. At length
Arthur wearied with irkesomnes, after the twelfth yéere of the comming
of Cerdicus, gaue vnto him vpon his homage doone and fealtie receiued,
[Sidenote: Westsaxon.]
the shires of Southampton and Somerset, the which countries
Cerdicius named Westsaxon. This Cerdicius or Cerdicius came into
Britaine about the yéere of our Lord 495. In the 24 yere after his
comming hither, that is to say, about the yéere of your Lord 519, he
began his reigne ouer the Westsaxons, and gouerned them as king by the
space of 15 yéeres, as before ye haue heard. But to follow the course
of our chronicles accordinglie as we haue begun, we must allow of
their accounts herein as in other places, and so procéed.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The decaie of christian religion and receiuing of the Pelagian
heresie in Britaine by what meanes they were procured and by whom
redressed: Constantine succeedeth Arthur in the kingdome, ciuill warre
about succession to the crowne, the chalengers are pursued and
slaine, Constantine is vnkindlie killed of his kinsman, a bitter and
reprochfull inuectiue of Gyldas against the British rulers of his
time, and namelie against Constantine, Conan that slue Constantine
reigneth in Britaine, his vertues and vices, his two yeeres regiment,
the seuere reprehensions of Gyldas uttered against Conan, discouering
the course of his life, and a secret prophesie of his death._


In this meane while that the realme was disquieted with sore &
continuall warres betwixt the Britains and Saxons (as before ye haue
heard) the christian religion was not onelie abolished in places where
the Saxons got habitations, but also among the Britains the right
[Sidenote: The heresie of the Pelagians reuiued, _Hist. Mag._]
faith was brought into danger, by the remnant of the Pelagian heresie,
[Sidenote: Dubritius & Dauid lerned bishops.]
which began againe to be broched by diuers naughtie persons. But
Dubritius that was first bishop of Landaffe, and after archbishop of
Caerleon Arwiske, and his successour Dauid, with other learned men
earnestlie both by preaching and writing defended the contrarie cause,
to the confuting of those errors, and restablishing of the truth.

[Sidenote: CONSTANTINE.]
After the death of Arthur, his coosine Constantine the sonne
[Sidenote: 542.]
of Cador, duke or earle of Cornewall began his reigne ouer the
Britains, in the yere of our Lord 542, which was about the 15 yéere of
the emperour Iustinianus almost ended, the 29 of Childebert king
of France, and the first yéere well néere complet of the reigne of
[Sidenote: _Galfrid_. _Matth. West._]
Totilas king of the Goths in Italie. Arthur when he perceiued that
he shuld die, ordeined this Constantine to succéed him, and so by the
consent of the more part of the Britains he was crowned king: but the
sonnes of Mordred sore repined thereat, as they that claimed the rule
of the land by iust title and claime of inheritance to them from their
[Sidenote: Ciuill warre.]
father descended. Herevpon followed ciuill warre, so that diuers
battels were striken betwéene them and in the end the two brethren
were constreined to withdraw for refuge, the one to London, and the
other to Winchester: but Constantine pursuing them, first came to
Winchester, and by force entered the citie, and slue the one brother
that was fled thither within the church of saint Amphibalus: and after
comming to London, entered that citie also, and finding the other
brother within a church there, slue him in like maner as he had doone
the other. And so hauing dispatched his aduersaries, he thought to
haue purchased to himselfe safetie: but shortlie after, his owne
[Sidenote: Aurelius Conanus. Constantine slaine.]
kinsman, one Aurelius Conanus arrered warre against him, who ioining
with him in battell slue him in the field, after he had reigned foure
yéeres. His bodie was conueied to Stonheng, and there buried beside
[Sidenote: _Gyldas_.]
his ancestour Vter Pendragon. Of this Constantine that seemeth
to be ment, which Gyldas writeth in his booke intituled "De excidio
Britanniæ," where inueieng against the rulers of the Britains in his
time, he writeth thus: "Britaine hath kings, but the same be tyrants;
iudges it hath, but they be wicked, oftentimes péeling and harming the
innocent people, reuenging and defending, but whom? such as be guiltie
persons and robbers; hauing manie wiues, but yet breaking wedlocke;
oftentimes swearing, and yet forswearing themselues; vowing, and for
the more part lieng; warring, but mainteining ciuill & vniust warres;
pursuing indéed théeues that are abroad in the countrie, and yet not
onelie cherishing those that sit euen at table with them, but also
highlie rewarding them: giuing almesse largelie, but on the other part
heaping vp a mightie mount of sinnes; sitting in the seat of sentence,
but seldome séeking the rule of righteous iudgement; despising the
innocent and humble persons, and exalting so farre as in them lieth,
euen vp to the heauens, most bloudie and proud murtherers, théeues and
adulterers, yea the verie professed enimies of God; if he would so
permit: kéeping manie in prison, whome they oppresse, in loding them
with irons, through craft rather to serue their owne purpose, than for
anie gilt of the persons so imprisoned: taking solemne oths before
the altars, and shortlie after, despising the same altars as vile and
filthie stones.

"Of this hainous and wicked offense Constantine the tyrannicall whelpe
of the lionesse of Deuonshire is not ignorant, who this yeare, after
the receiuing of his dreadfull oth, whereby he bound himselfe that in
no wise he should hurt his subjects (God first, and then his oth,
with the companie of saints, and his mother being there present)
did notwithstanding in the reuerent laps of the two mothers, as the
church, and their carnall mother, vnder the coule of the holie abbat,
deuoure with sword and speare in stead of téeth, the tender sides,
yea and the entrailes of two children of noble and kinglie race, and
likewise of their two gouernours, yea and that (as I said) amongest
the sacred altars: the armies of which persons so slaine, not
stretched foorth to defend themselues with weapons (the which few in
those daies handled more valiantlie than they) but stretched foorth (I
saie) to God and to his altar in the day of iudgement, shall set vp
the reuerent ensignes of their patience and faith at the gates of the
citie of Christ, which so haue couered the seat of the celestiall
sacrifice, as it were with the red mantle of their cluttered bloud.

"These things he did not after anie good déeds doone by him deseruing
praise: for manie yeares before, ouercome with the often and
changeable filths of adulterie, & forsaking his lawfull wife contrarie
to the lawes of God, &c: he now brought foorth this crime of quelling
his owne kinsmen, and violating the church, but neither being loosed
from the snares of his former euills, he increaseth the new with the
old." ¶ Thus in effect hath Gyldas written of this Constantine, with
more: for turning his tale to him, he reproueth him of his faults, and
counselleth him to repent.

[Sidenote: CONANUS.]
After that Aurelius Conanus had slaine the foresad Constantine, as
in the British histories is mentioned, the same Conan was made king
[Sidenote: 546.]
of Britaine in the yeare of our Lord 546, in the 20 yeare of
Iustinianus, and in the 33 of the reigne of Childebert king of the
Frenchmen. This Aurelius Conanus (as is recorded by some writers) was
of a noble heart, frée and liberall, but giuen much to the maintenance
of strife and discord amongst his people, light of credit, and namelie
had an open eare to receiue and heare the reports of such as accused
other. Moreouer he was noted of crueltie, as he that tooke his vncle,
who of right should haue béene king, and kept him in prison, and not
so satisfied slue in tyrannous maner the two sons of his said vncle:
But God would not suffer him long to inioy the rule of the land in
[Sidenote: _Matth. West._ writeth that he reigned 30. yeares.]
such vniust dealing, for he died after he had reigned the space of two
yeares, and left a sonne behind him called Vortiporus, which succéeded
him in the kingdome, as authors doo record. Of this Aurelius Conanus
Gyldas writeth, calling vnto him after he had made an end with his
predecessor Constantine, saieng in this wise: "And thou lions whelpe,
as saith the prophet, Aurelius Conanus what doost thou? Art thou
not swallowed vp in the filthie mire of murthering thy kinsmen, of
committing fornications and adulteries like to the other before
mentioned, if not more deadlie, as it were with the waues and surges
of the drenching seas ouerwhelming thée with hir vnmercifull rage?
Dooest thou not in hating the peace of thy countrie as a deadlie
serpent, and thirsting after ciuill wars and spoiles (oftentimes
vniustlie gotten) shut vp against thy soule the gates of celestiall
peace and refreshment? Thou being left alone as a withering trée in
the middle of a field, call to remembrance (I praie thée) the vaine
youthfull fantasie and ouertimelie death of thy fathers and thy
brethren. Shalt thou being set apart, and chosen foorth of all thy
linage for thy godlie deserts, be reserued to liue an hundred yeares,
or remaine on earth till thou be as old as Methusalem? No no." And
after these reprehensions, with further threatnings of Gods vengeance,
he exhorted him to amendment of life, and so proceedeth to talke
with Vortiporus, whome he nameth the king, or rather the tyrant of
Southwales, as after shall be rehearsed.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The beginning of the kingdome of Brenitia, of whome the king of
Kent, Mertia, and west Saxons descended, Ida the Saxon commended, the
originall of the kingdome of Deira, the circuit and bounds therof, of
Ella the gouernour of the same, when the partition of the kingdome
of Northumberland chanced; Vortiporus reigneth ouer the Britains, he
vanquisheth the Saxons; Gyldas sharplie reprooueth Vortiporus for
manie greeuous offenses, and exhorteth him to amendement._


[Sidenote: IDA. 547.]
In the yeare of the Lord 547, which was about the first yeare of
the reigne of Aurelius Conanus, the kingdome of Brenitia began vnder a
Saxon ruler there callèd Ida, & descended of Woden. For where the said
Woden had thrée sonnes, Weldecius, Withlegris, and Beldecius; of
[Sidenote: _H. Hunt._ The kingdom of Brenitia began.]
the first, the kings of Kent were lineallie extracted: of the second,
the kings of Mertia: and of the third sonne came the kings of
Westsaxon, and also of him was this Ida descended, being the ninth in
lineall succession from the said Beldecius and the tenth from Woden.
The same Ida was vndoubtedlie a right noble personage, and changed
first that dukedome into a kingdome; where before that time the Saxons
that ruled there, were subiects vnto the kings of Kent. Whether he
tooke vpon him of his owne accord to vsurpe the kinglie title and
roiall authoritie, or whether that the same was giuen to him by
consent of other, the certeintie appeareth not. But sure it is,
that he being a woorthie prince, did not degenerate from his noble
ancestors inuincible in warre abroad and at home, qualifieng his
kinglie seueritie with a naturall kind of courteous humanitie. The
bounds of his kingdome called (as is said) Brenitia, began in the
south at the riuer of Tine, and ended in the north at the Forth in
Scotland, in the British toong called Werd.

[Sidenote: ELLA 561. The beginning of the kingdom of Deria.]
About the same time, or rather about 14 yeares after, one Ella a
Saxon also reigned as king in Deira, which kingdome began at the said
riuer of Tine in the north, & ended at the riuer of Humber toward the
south. These two kingdomes were sometime gouerned by two seuerall
kings, and afterwards at other times they were ioined in one, and
gouerned by one onelie king, and named the kingdome of Northumberland,
which in processe of time was much inlarged, so that it included the
shires of Yorke, Notingham, Darbie, Lancaster, the bishoprike of
Durham, Copland, and other countries betwixt the east and the west
[Sidenote: The riuer of Mersie.]
seas, euen vnto the riuer of Mersie. The foresaid Ella was sonne
to Iffus, being descended from Woden, as the 12 in succession from
him, though not by right line as William Malmesburie hath noted. Ida
(as the same Malmesburie dooth testifie) reigned 14 yeares.

Now Ella who was successor to Ida (as he saith) reigned thirtie
[Sidenote: _Matth. West._]
yeares, and verie valiantlie inlarged his kingdome. But one author
writeth how Ida reigned but 12 yeares, and that he builded the castell
of Bamburge, first fensing it with pales, and after with a wall of
[Sidenote: _Hen. Hunt._]
stone. The same Ida had by his wife six sonnes, begotten in lawfull
[Sidenote: _Matt. West._]
bed, Ada, Ebric, Theodoric, Athelric, Osmer, and Theofred.
Moreouer he begat of certeine concubines (which he kept) six bastard
sonnes, Oga, Aleric, Ettha, Osbale, Segor, and Segother. These came
altogither into this land, and arriued at Flemesburke with fortie
ships, as Matthæus Westmonasteriensis hath recorded. The partition of
the kingdome of Northumberland chanced after the deceasse of Ida, as
the same author signifieth: for Ada the sonne of the foresaid Ida
succéeded his father in the kingdome of Brenitia, reigning therein
seuen yeares: and Ella the sonne of Histria, a most valiant duke,
began to gouerne Deira, as both the said Matth. Westm. and others doo

[Sidenote: VORTIPORUS. _Matt. West._ noteth 578.]
Vortiporus the sonne of Aurelius Conanus succéeded his father, and
began to reigne ouer the Britains, in the yéere of our Lord 576, in
the 11, yeare of the emperour Flauius Anicius Iustinus, in the fourth
yeare of the reigne of Childeric king of France, and in the fourth
yeare of Clephis the Gothish king in Italie. This Vortiporus
vanquished the Saxons in batttell, as the British histories make
mention, and valiantlie defended his land and subiects the Britains,
from the danger of them and other their allies. In the time of this
kings reigne, the foresaid Ella began to rule in the south part of
the kingdome of Northumberland called Deira, as before is mentioned,
according to the account of some authors, who also take this
Vortiporus to begin his reigne in the yeare 548. After that Vortiporus
[Sidenote: _Matt. West._ noteth 3 yeares.]
had ruled the Britans the space of 4 yeares, he departed this
life, and left no issue behind him to succéed him in the kingdom.

Against this Vortiporus Gyldas also whetting his toong, beginneth with
him thus: "And why standest thou as one starke amazed? Thou (I say)
Vortiporus the tyrant of Southwales, like to the panther in maner and
wickednesse diuerslie spotted as it were with manie colors, with thy
hoarie head in thy throne, full of deceits, crafts and wiles, and
defiled euen from the lowest part of thy bodie to the crowne of thy
head, with diuers & sundrie murthers committed on thine owne kin, and
filthie adulteries, thus proouing a naughtie sonne of a good king, as
Manasses was to Ezechias. How chanceth it that the violent streames
of sinnes which thou swallowest vp like pleasant wine, or rather
art deuoured of them, (the end of thy life by little and little now
drawing néere) can not yet satisfie the? What meanest thou that with
fornication of all euills, as it were the full heape, thine owne wife
being put away, thou by hir honest death dooest oppresse thy soule
with a certeine burthen that can not be auoided, of thine vnshamefast
daughter? Consume not (I pray thée) the residue of thy daies to the
offense of God, &c." These and the like woords vttered he, exhorting
him to repentance, with admonitions taken out of the scriptures both
for his comfort and warning.

¶ If the circumstance of this that Gyldas writeth of Vortiporus be
marked, it may be perceiued, that Geffrey of Monmouth, and also
Matthew of Westminster, the author of the floures of histories, are
deceiued, in that they take him to be the sonne of Aurelius Conanus:
and rather it may be gathered, that not onlie the same Aurelius
Conanus and Vortiporus, but also Constantinus, yea & Cuneglasus, and
Maglocunus, of the which he also intreateth (as partlie shall be
hereafter touched) liued and reigned all at one time in seuerall parts
of this Ile, and not as monarchs of the whole British nation, but as
rulers each of them in his quarter, after the maner as the state of
Ireland hath béene in times past before the countrie came vnder the
English subiection, if my coniecture herein doo not deceiue me.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Malgo reigneth ouer the Britains, the noble qualities wherewith he
was beautified by his filthie sinnes are blemished, Gyldas reproueth
Cuneglasus for making warre against God and man, and this Malgo for
his manifold offenses, the vile iniquities wherevnto the British
rulers were inclined, the valiantnesse of Kenrike king of the
Westsaxons, his victories against diuers people his enimies,
succession in the gouemment of the Westsaxons, Northumberland, and
Kentish Saxons; the first battell that was fought betwixt the Saxons
in this Iland, Cheuling with his Westsaxons encounter with the
Britains and get the vpper hand, three kings of the Britains slaine,
and their people spoiled of their lands, goods and liues._


[Sidenote: MALGO. 580. _Matth. West._ hath noted 581.]
After the deceasse of Vortiporus, Malgo the nephue of Aurelius
Conanus (as some write) was made king of Britaine, & began his reigne
ouer the Britaines, in the yéere of our Lord 580, in the fiftéenth
yéere of the emperour Iustinian, and in the 37 yéere of the reigne of
Childerike king of the Frenchmen. This Malgo is reported to haue béene
[Sidenote: _Gal. Mon._]
the comeliest gentleman in beautie and shape of personage that was
to be found in those daies amongst all the Britains, and therewith of
a bold and hardie courage. He manfullie defended the country which he
had in gouernance from the malice of the Saxons, and subdued the out
Iles, as Orkenie and others. But notwithstanding the noble qualities
with the which his person was adorned, yet he spotted them all with
the filthie sinne of Sodomie, so that he fell into the hatred of
almightie God, and being pursued of the Saxons, receiued manie
ouerthrowes at their hands, as by the report of the English writers is
gathered more at large. Finallie, when he had reigned fiue yéeres and
od moneths, he departed this life.

[Sidenote: _Matt. Westm._ counteth not past fiue yeres to his reigne
through other affirme that he reigned 35 yéeres.]
It séemeth that this Malgo is named by Gyldas, Maglocunus, the
which Gyldas (before he speaketh of him) inueieth against one
Cuneglasus, whome he reprooueth, for that he warred both against God
and man: against God with grieuous sinnes, as namelie adulterie, in
forsaking the companie of his lawfull wife, and kéeping to concubine
a sister of hirs, that had professed chastitie: & against man with
materiall armor and weapons, which he vsed to the destruction of his
owne countrimen, with whom he kept warres, and not against the enimies
of the common wealth.

From Cuneglasus he commeth to the foresaid Maglocunus, whome he nameth
the dragon of the Iles, and the expeller of manie tyrants, not onelie
out of their kingdoms, but also out of life, the last of whom he
treateth (as he himselfe saith) but the first in all mischéefe &
euill, greater than manie in power, and likewise in malice: verie
liberall in giuing, but more plentifull in sinne, strong and valiant
in arms, but stronger in destruction of his owne soule. And so
procéeding, chargeth him with the sinne of the Sodomits, & sore
blameth him, for that where it had pleased God to make him higher than
all other dukes of Britaine in kingdome and degrée, he did not shew
himselfe better, but contrarilie far woorse than they both in maners
and conditions. He declareth also a little after, that this Maglocune
in his yoong yéeres slue in battell his vncle being king, with the
most valiant souldiers in maner that he had. Also that where the
said Maglocune tooke vpon him the profession of a moonke, he after
renounced the same, and became a woorsse liuer than euer he was
before, abandoning his wife, and kéeping his brothers sonnes wife,
while hir husband yet liued.

Thus by that which Gyldas writeth of the kings and rulers of the
Britains, which liued in his daies, ye may perceiue that they were
giuen to all manner of wickednesse, and namelie to ciuill dissention,
rapine, adulterie, and fornication: so that it may be thought, that
GOD stirred vp the Saxons to be a scourge to them, and to worke his
iust vengeance vpon them for their wickednesses and abhominable
offenses dailie c[=o]mitted against his diuine maiestie, so that we
find recorded by writers, how that the Saxons in diuers conflicts
against the Britains had the better, and also tooke from them diuers
townes, as alreadie partly hath beene and also hereafter shall be

It is furthermore to be remembred, that about the 14 yeere of the
[Sidenote: 559. _Hen Hunt._]
Britaine king Conanus his reigne, which was about the end of the
yere of Christ 559, Kenrike king of the Westsaxons, departed this
life, after he had reigned xxv. yéeres complet. This Kenrike was a
victorious prince, and fought diuers battels against the Britains. In
the 18 yeere of his reigne which was the 551 of Christ, we find that
he fought against them, being come at that time vnto Salisburie, and
after great slaughter made on both parts, at length the victorie
remained with the Saxons, and the Britains were chased. Againe in the
two and twentith yéere of his reigne, and 555 yéere of Christ, the
same Kenrike and his sonne Cheuling fought with a great power of
Britains at Branburie.

The Britains were diuided into nine companies, three in the fore ward,
thrée in the battell, and thrée in the rere ward, with their horssemen
and archers, after the maner of the Romans. The Saxons being ranged in
one entire battell, valiantlie assailed them, and notwithstanding the
shot of the Britains, yet they brought the matter to the triall
of handblowes, till at length by the comming on of the night, the
victorie remained doubtfull: and no maruell is to be made therof
(saith Henrie archdeacon of Huntington) sith the Saxons were men of
huge stature, great force & valiant courage. The same yéere that
Kenrike deceassed, Ida the king of Northumberland also died: he was
(as ye haue heard) a right valiant prince, & inlarged the dominion of
the Saxons greatlie, he ouercame Loth king of the Picts in battell,
and Corran king of Scots.

[Sidenote: 560. _Hen Hunt._]
Also about the yéere of Christ 560, Conanus (as yet gouerning the
Britains) Irmenrike king of Kent departed this life, of whome ye haue
heard before, & Ethelbert his sonne succéeded him 52 yéeres. Then
after that the foresaid thrée princes were dead (as before ye
haue heard) they had that succéeded them in their estates as here
followeth. After Kenrike, his sonne Ceaulinus or Cheuling succéeded in
gouernement of the Westsaxons: and after Ida, one Ella or Alla reigned
in Northumberland: after Irmenrike followed his sonne Ethelbert in
rule ouer the Kentish Saxons.

This Ethelbert, in processe of time grew to be a mightie prince, but
yet in the begining of his reigne he had but sorie successe against
some of his enimies: for hauing to doo with the foresaid Cheuling
[Sidenote: _Hen. Hunt._ Aliàs Wiphanduae.]
king of Westsaxons, he was of him ouercome in battell at Wilbasdowne,
where he lost two of his dukes or cheefe capteins, beside other
people. This was the first battell that was fought betwixt the Saxons,
one against another within this land, after their first comming into
the same. And this chanced in the yere of our Lord 567, being the
second yéere of the emperour Iustinus.

[Sidenote: 570. CUTHA. Aileburie.]
About the yéere 570, Cutha the brother of king Cheuling fought with
the Britains at Bedford, vanquished them, & tooke from them 4 townes,
[Sidenote: 581.]
Liganbrough, Eglesbrough or Ailesburie, Besington, and Euesham.
Also about the yéere of our Lord 581, the foresaid king Cheuling
incountered with the Britains at a place called Diorth, and obteining
the vpper hand, tooke from them the cities of Bath, Glocester, and
Cirencester. At this battell fought at Diorth, were present thrée
kings of the Britains, whose names were these: Coinmagill, Candidan,
and Farimnagill, which were slaine there through the permission of
almightie God as then refusing his people, the which through their
heinous sinnes and great wickednesses, had most gréeuouslie offended
his high and diuine maiestie, as by Gyldas it may euidentlie appeare.
For they had declined from the lawes of the Lord, and were become
abhominable in his sight, euen from the prince to the poore man, from
the priest to the Leuit, so that not one estate among them walked
vprightlie, but contrarie to dutie was gone astray, by reason whereof
the righteous God had giuen them ouer as a prey to their enimies.

[Sidenote: His brother as _Matt. West._ saith.]
Also in the latter end of Malgos daies or about the first beginning of
the reigne of his successor Careticus, Cheuling and his sonne Cutwine
fought with the Britains at a place called Fechanley or Fedanley,
[Sidenote: _H. Hunt._]
or (as some bookes haue) Frithenlie, where Cutwine was slaine, & the
Englishmen chased: but yet Cheuling repairing his armie, wan the
victorie, and chasing the Britains, tooke from them manie countries,
[Sidenote: _Matt. West._]
and wan great riches by the spoile. But Matth. West. saith, that
the victorie aboad with the Britains, and that the Saxons were chased
quite out of the field. The Scotish writers record, that their king
Aidan (who is noted to haue béene the 49 successiuelie possessing the
regiment of that land, partlie with griefe of hart for the death of
Columba a graue and wise gentleman, whome he tenderlie loued, and
partlie with age [for he was growne horieheaded, and had reigned 34
yéeres] ended his life) was there in aid of the Britains, and Brudeus
king of the Picts (betwixt whom and the said Aidan a sore battell was
fought) in aid of the Saxons: but the same writers name the place
Deglaston, where this battell was made, and the forces of both sides
by a sharpe incounter tried.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The begining of the kingdome of Mercia, the bounds of the same, the
heptarchie or seuen regiments of the Saxons, how they grew to that
perfection, and by whom they were reduced and drawne into a monarchie;
Careticus is created king of Britaine, the Saxons take occasion by
the ciuill dissentions of the Britains to make a full conquest of the
land, they procure forren power to further them in their enterprise,
Gurmundus king of the Africans arriueth in Britaine, the British king
is driuen to his hard shifts, the politike practise of Gurmundus in
taking Chichester & setting the towne on fire, he deliuereth the whole
land in possession to the Saxons, the English and Saxon kings put
Careticus to flight, the Britains haue onelie three prouinces left
of all their countrie which before they inhabited, their religion,
church, and commonwealth is in decaie, they are gouerned by three
kings, Cheulings death is conspired of his owne subiects._


About the same time also, and 585 of Christ, the kingdome of Mercia
[Sidenote: CRIDA. _H. Hunt._ This kingdome began in the yéere 585,
as _Matt. Westm._ saith. _Ran. Cest._]
began vnder one Crida, who was descended from Woden, and the tenth
from him by lineall extraction. The bounds of this kingdome were of
great distance, hauing on the east the sea vnto Humber, and so on the
north the said riuer of Humber, and after the riuer of Mercia, which
falleth into the west sea at the corner of Wirhall, and so comming
about to the riuer of Dee that passeth by Chester, the same riuer
bounded it on the west from Wales, and likewise Seuerne vp to Bristow:
on the south it had the riuer of Thames, till it came almost to
London. And in this sort it contained Lincolneshire, Notingamshire,
Derbishire, Chesshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Glocestershire,
Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertefordshire, Bedfordshire,
Huntingtonshire, Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, and Warwikeshire.

¶ Thus haue ye heard how the Saxons in processe of time remoouing the
Britains out of their seats, dailie wan ground of them, till at length
they got possession of the best part of this Ile, and erected within
the same seuen kingdoms, which were gouerned by seuen seuerall kings,
who continued vntill the kings of Westsaxon brought them all at length
into one monarchie, as after shall appéere. Matth. Westmin. reckoneth
eight kingdoms as thus; The kingdom of Kent, the kingdom of Sussex,
the kingdom of Essex, the kingdom of Eastangle, the kingdom of Mercia,
the kingdom of Westsex, and the kingdom of Northumberland, which
was diuided into two kingdoms, that is to say, into Deira and into
Bernicia: wherevnto W. Harison addeth the ninth in the first part of
his chronologie, and calleth it Wales.

[Sidenote: CARETICUS.]
After that Malgo or Maglocune was departed this life, one
Careticus, or (as some write him) Caretius, was made king of the
Britains, and began his reigne in the yéere of our Lord 586, which
[Sidenote: 586.]
was in the third yéere of the emperour Mauricius, and thirtéenth of
Chilperike king of France. This Careticus was a nourisher of ciuill
warre and dissention amongst his owne people the Britains, so that
he was hated both of God and man, as writers testifie. The Saxons
vnderstanding that the Britains were not of one mind, but diuided in
partakings, so as one was readie to deuoure an other, thought it good
time for them to aduance their conquests, and ceassed not to pursue
the Britains by force and continuall warre, till they had
[Sidenote: _Gal. Mon._ See more of this Gurmundus in Ireland.
_Ranulf. Cest._]
constreined them for refuge to withdraw into Wales. And as some haue
written, the Saxons meaning to make a full conquest of the land, sent
ouer into Ireland, requiring one Gurmundus a king of the Affricans to
come ouer into Britaine to helpe them against the Britains.

This Gurmundus appointing his brother Turgesius to pursue the conquest
of Ireland, came and arriued heere in Britaine, making such cruell
warre in aid of the Saxons against the Britains, that Careticus was
constreined to kéepe him within the citie of Chicester or Cirencester,
and was there besieged, and at length by continuall assalts and
skirmishes, when he had lost manie of his men, he was glad to forsake
that citie, and fled into Wales. This Gurmundus tooke Cirencester or
Chichester, and destroied it in most cruell maner. Some write, that
he tooke this citie by a policie of warre, in binding to the féet of
sparrowes which his people had caught, certeine clewes of thred or
matches, finelie wrought & tempered with matter readie to take fire,
so that the sparrowes being suffered to go out of hand, flue into the
towne to lodge themselues within their neasts which they had made in
stacks of corne, and eues of houses, so that the towne was thereby
set on fire, and then the Britains issuing foorth, fought with their
enimies, and were ouercome and discomfited.

But whilest the battell continued, Careticus stale away, and got him
into Wales. After this, the foresaid Gurmundus destroied this land
throughout in pitifull wise, and then deliuered it in possession to
the Saxons, the which thankfullie receiued it: and because they were
descended of those that first came ouer with Hengist, they changed the
name of the land, and called it Hengistland, accordinglie as the
same Hengist had in times past ordeined: the which name after for
shortnesse of spéech was somewhat altered, and so lastlie called
England, and the people Englishmen. But rather it may be thought, that
sith a great part of those people which came ouer into this land out
of Germanie with the said Hengist, and other capteins, were of
those Englishmen which inhabited Germanie, about the parts of
[Sidenote: _Matt. West._]
Thoringhen, they called this land England, after their name, when they
had first got habitation within it: and so both the land and people
tooke name of them, being called _Angli_, a long time before they
entered into this Ile, (as before is shewed out of Cornelius Tacitus
and others.) But now to returne where we left.

[Sidenote: It should séeme that this historie of Gurmundus is but some
fained tale except it may be that he was some Dane, Norwegian or
Of this Gurmundus the old English writers make no mention, nor
also anie ancient authors of forren parties: and yet saith the British
booke, that after he had conquered this land, and giuen it to the
Saxons, he passed ouer into France, and there destroied much of that
land, as an enimie to the faith of Christ. For which consideration he
was the more readie to come to the aid of the Saxons, who as yet had
not receiued the christian faith, but warred against the Britains, as
well to destroie the faith of Christ within this land, as to establish
to themselues continuall habitations in the same. There be, that
omitting to make mention of Gurmundus, write thus of the expelling
of the Britains out of this land at that time, when with their king
Careticus they got them into Wales.

[Sidenote: 586.]
[Sidenote: _Matt. West._]
In the yéere of Grace 586, Careticus a louer of ciuill
warre succéeded Malgo an enimie to God and to the Britains, whose
inconstancie when the English and Saxon kings perceiued, with one
consent they rose against him, and after manie battels chased him from
citie to citie, till at length incountering with him in a pight field,
they droue him beyond Seuerne into Wales. Héerevpon clerks and priests
were driuen out of their places with bright swoords brandishing in
all parts, and fire crackling in churches, wherewith the same were
consumed. The remnant of the Britains therefore withdrew into the west
parts of the land, that is to say, into Cornwall, and into Wales, out
of which countries they oftentimes brake out, and made insurrections
vpon the Saxons, the which in maner aforsaid got possession of the
chiefest parts of the land, leauing to the Britains onlie three
prouinces, that is to say, Cornwall, Southwales, and Northwales, which
countries were not easie to be woone, by reason of the thicke woods
inuironed with déepe mareshes and waters, and full of high craggie
rocks and mounteins.

The English and Saxon kings hauing thus remooued the Britains,
inlarged the bounds of their dominions. There reigned in that season
within this land, beside the Britaine kings, eight kings of the
English and Saxon nations, as Ethelbert in Kent, Cissa in Sussex,
Ceauline in Westsex, Creda or Crida in Mercia, Erkenwine in Essex,
Titila in Estangle, Elle in Deira, and Alfrid in Bernicia. In this
sort the Britains lost the possession of the more part of their
ancient seats, and the faith of Christ thereby was greatlie decaied:
for the churches were destroied; and the archbishops of Caerleon
Arwiske, London and Yorke withdrew togither with their cleargie into
the mounteins and woods within Wales, taking with them the reliks of
saints, doubting the same should be destroied by the enimies, and
themselues put to death if they should abide in their old habitations.
Manie also fled into Britaine Armorike with a great fléete of ships,
so that the whole church or congregation (as ye may call it) of the
two prouinces, Loegria and Northumberland, was left desolate in that
season, to the great hinderance and decaie of the christian religion.
Careticus was driuen into Wales (as before is rehearsed) about the
second or third yéere of his reigne, and there continued with his
Britains, the which ceassed not to indamage the Saxons from time to
time as occasion still serued.

But here is to be noted, that the Britains being thus remoued into
Wales and Cornwall, were gouerned afterwards by thrée kings, or rather
tyrants, the which ceased not with ciuill warre to seeke others
[Sidenote: _Wil. Malm._]
destruction, till finallie (as saith the British booke) they became
all subiect vnto Cadwallo, whome Beda nameth Cedwallo. In the meane
time, Ceaulinus or Cheuling king of the Westsaxons, through his
owne misgouernance and tyrannie, which towards his latter daies he
practised, did procure not onelie the Britains, but also his owne
subiects to conspire his death, so that ioining in battell with his
aduersaries at Wodensdic, in the 33 yeare of his reigne, his armie was
discomfited, and he himselfe constreined to depart into exile, and
shortlie after ended his life before he could find meanes to be

¶ So that we haue here a mirror or liuelie view of a tyrant and
a king, wherein there is no lesse ods in the manner of their
gouernement, than there is repugnance in their names, or difference in
their states. For he seeth but little into the knowledge of toongs,
that vnderstandeth not what the office of a king should be, by
the composition of his name, the same sounding in Gréeke [Gréek:
_básileus_], which being resolued is in effect [Gréek: _básis
láo_], that is, the foundation or stay of the people; from which
qualitie when he resulteth, he maketh shipwracke of that goodlie
title, and degenerateth into a tyrant, than the which violent and
inforced gouernement as there is none more perillous, so is it of
all other the least in continuance: this is prooued by historicall
obseruation through the course of this historie.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Ceolric reigneth ouer the Westsaxons, the Saxons and Britains
incounter, Ethelbert king of Kent subdueth the Englishsaxons, he is
maried to the French kings daughter vpon cautions of religion, the
king imbraceth the gospell, Augustine the moonke and others were sent
into this Ile to preach the christian faith, the occasion that moued
Gregorie the great to send him, buieng and selling of boies, the
Englishmen called Angli commended, Ethelbert causeth Augustine and his
fellowes to come before him, they preach to the king and his
traine, he granteth them a conuenient seat and competent reliefe in
Canturburie, the maner of their going thither and their behauiour
there, the king and his people receiue the christian faith, and are


[Sidenote: CELRIC.]
Now after Cheuling, his nephue Celricus or Ceolric that was sonne
vnto Cutwine, the sonne of the foresaid Cheuling, reigned as king ouer
the Westsaxons fiue yeares & fiue moneths. In like manner the same
yeare died Ella or Alla king of Northumberland, after whome succéeded
Ethelricus the sonne of Ida, and reigned but fiue yeares, being a man
well growne in yeares before he came to be king. About thrée yeeres
after this, the Saxons & Britains fought a battell at Wodenesbourne,
where the Britains being ranged in good order, the Saxons set vpon
them boldlie indéed, but disorderedlie, so that the victorie remained
with the Britains. The Saxons the more valiant they had shewed
themselues in battell, before that time, so much the more slow and
vntowardlie did they shew themselues now in running awaie to saue
themselues, so that an huge number of them were slaine. Also about
[Sidenote: 594.]
the same time died Crida king of Mercia 594, after whome his sonne
Wibbas or Wipha succeeded. And after the deceasse of Ethelric, one
Edelbert or Edelfride surnamed the wild, succéeded in gouernement of
the Northumbers. But to returne to our purpose.

Ethelbert king of Kent, not discouraged with the euill chance which
[Sidenote: _Beda_. _Will. Malmes._]
happened in the beginning, but rather occasioned thereby to learne
more experience in feats of warre, prooued so perfect a maister
therein, that in processe of time he subdued by force of armes all
those English Saxons which lay betwixt the bounds of his countrie, and
the riuer of Humber. Also to haue friendship in forraine parts, he
procured a wife for himselfe of the French nation, named the ladie
Bertha, being king Cheriberts daughter of France; but with condition,
that he should permit hir to continue and vse the rites and lawes of
christian faith and religion, and to haue a bishop whose name was
Luidhard, appointed to come and remaine with hir here in this land for
hir better instruction in the lawes of the Lord. So that they two with
other of the French nation that came ouer with them remaining in the
court, and vsing to serue God in praiers and otherwise, according to
the custome of the christian religion, began vndoubtedlie to giue
light to the kings mind as yet darkned with the clouds of paganisme,
so as the bright beames of the celestiall cléerenes of vnderstanding
remooued the thicke mists of his vnbeléefe in tract of time, and
prepared his heart to the receiuing of the gospell, which after by
heauenlie prouidence was preached to him, by occasion, and in maner as

[Sidenote: _Beda_. _Matth. West._ saith 596. 47 saith the same author.]
In the yeare of our Lord 596, which was about the 14 yeare of the
reigne of the emperour Mauricius, and after the comming of the English
Saxons into this land, about an 147 yeares almost complet, the bishop
of Rome, Gregorie the first of that name, and surnamed Magnus, sent
Augustinus a moonke, with certeine other learned men into this Ile to
preach the christian faith vnto the English Saxons, which nation as
yet had not receiued the gospell. And here we hold it necessarie to
shew how it is recorded by diuer writers, that the first occasion
whereby Gregorie was mooued thus to send Augustine into this land,
rose by this meanes.

[Sidenote: _Beda_. _Will. Malmes._]
It chanced (whilest the same Gregorie was as yet but archdeacon of
the see of Rome) certeine yoong boies were brought thither to bee
sold out of Northumberland, according to the accustomable vse of that
countrie, in somuch that as we haue in our time séene (saith W. Mal.)
the people of that prouince haue not yet doubted to sell awaie their
néere kinsfolke for a small price. When those children which at
that time were brought from thence to Rome, had by reason of their
excellent beauties and comelie shape of lims and bodie, turned
[Sidenote: _Vita Gregorii. magni._]
the eies in maner of all the citizens to the beholding of them, it
fortuned that Gregorie also came amongst other to behold them, and
when he considered and well viewed their faire skins, their swéet
visages, and beautifull bushes of their bright and yeallow heares, he
demanded out of what region or land they came? Vnto whome answere was
made, that they were brought out of Britaine, the inhabitants of which
countrie were of the like beautifull aspect. Then he asked whether the
men of that countrie were christians, or as yet intangled with blind
heathenish errors? Wherevnto it was answered, that they were not
christened, but followed the religion of the Gentiles. Whereat
Gregorie fetching a déepe sigh, said: Ah, alas that the author of
darkenesse dooth as yet possesse men of so brightsome countenances,
and that with the grace of such faire shining visages, they beare
about minds void of inward grace.

"Moreouer he demanded by what name the people were called, whereto
answere was made, that they were called Angli, that is to say
Englishmen. Right woorthilie (saith he) for they haue angels faces,
and such as ought to be made fellow-heires with angels in heauen. Then
asked he the name of the prouince from whence they were brought, and
it was told him they were of Deira. It is well (said he) they are to
be deliuered "De ira dei," that is to say, from the ire and wrath of
God, and called to the mercie of Christ our Lord. What name (said he)
hath the king of that prouince? Wherevnto answere was made that he was
called Alla, wherevpon alluding to that name, he said, Alleluia
ought to be soong in those parts to the praise and honor of God the

[Sidenote: Pelagius the second. _Will. Malmes._]
Herevpon comming to Benedict the first of that name (as then bishop
of Rome) he required him that some learned men might be sent into
England to preach the gospell vnto the Englishmen, offering himselfe
to be one of the number. But though Benedict was contented to grant
[Sidenote: Pelagius.]
his request, yet the Romans had him in such estimation, that they
would not consent that he should depart so farre from the citie, so
that by them he was at that time staied of that his godlie purpose.
Howbeit when he came to be bishop, he thought to performe it though
not by himselfe, yet by other: and so Augustine and his fellowes were
sent by him about it (as before is said.) By the way, as they were
[Sidenote: M. Fox.]
passing in their iournie, such a sudden feare entred into their
hearts, that (as some write) they returned all. Others write, that
Augustine was sent backe to Gregorie, to sue that they might be
released of that voiage so dangerous and vncerteine amongst such
a barbarous people, whose language they neither knew, nor whose
rudenesse they were able to resist. Then Gregorie with pithie
perswasions confirming and comforting him, sent him againe with
letters vnto the bishop of Arles, willing him to helpe and aid the
said Austine and his companie in all what so euer his néede required.
Also other letters he directed by the foresaid Austine vnto his
fellowes, exhorting them to go forward boldlie in the Lords woorke, as
by the tenor of the said epistle here following may appeare.

  "_Gregorie the seruant of Gods servants, to the seruants of our Lord._

"For as much as it is better not to take good things in hand, than
after they be begun, to thinke to reuolt backe from the same againe,
therefore now you may not nor cannot (dere children) but with
all feruent studie and labour must needs go forward in that good
businesse, which thorough the helpe of God you haue well begun.
Neither let the wearisomnesse of your iournie, nor the slanderous
toongs of men appall you, but that with all instance and feruencie ye
proceed and accomplish the thing which the Lord hath ordeined you to
take in hand, knowing that your great trauell shall be recompensed
with reward of greater glorie hereafter to come. Therefore as we send
here Austine to you againe, whome also we haue ordeined to be your
gouernour, so doo you humblie obey him in all things, knowing that it
shall be profitable for your soules what soeuer at his admonition ye
shall doo. Almightie God with his grace defend you, and grant me to
see in the eternall countrie the fruit of your labours, though heere I
cannot labour in the same fellowship with you togither. The Lord God
keepe you safe most deere and welbeloued children. Dated the tenth
before the kalends of August, in the reigne of our souereigne lord
Mauricius most vertuous emperor, the fourtenth of his empire."

Thus emboldned and comforted through the good woords and wholesome
exhortation of Gregorie, they set forward againe, and spéeding foorth
their iournie, first arriued at the Ile of Thanet in Kent in the
moneth of Iulie, being in number about fortie persons, of the which
diuerse were interpretors, whome they brought with them out of France.
These they sent vnto king Ethelbert, signifieng the occasion of their
comming, who hearing the messengers within a few daies after, went
into that Ile, and there abroad out of anie house sat downe, and
caused Augustine and his fellowes to come before him, for he would
not come vnder anie roofe with them, sore doubting to be bewitched by
them, being persuaded that they were practised in nigromancie. But
they comming to him, not by the power of the diuell (as they said) but
by the might and power of almightie God, bearing in stéed of a
[Sidenote: The seuenfold letanies of S. Gregorie were not yet deuised.]
banner a crosse of siluer, and an image of our Lord and Sauiour
painted in a table, and thereto singing the letanies, made
intercession vnto the Lord for the euerlasting preseruation of
themselues, and of all them for whome and to whome they came.

Now when they being set downe by commandement of the king, had
preached the woord of life to him, and to all those that came thither
with him, he made them this answer, that their woords and promises
were good: but for as much as the same were new & vncerteine to him
that had béen brought vp in the contrarie doctrine, he could not
rashlie assent to their admonitions, & leaue that beléefe which he and
the English nation had so long a time obserued and kept: but (said he)
because ye haue trauelled farre, to the intent to make vs partakers
of those things which ye beléeue to be most true and perfect, we
will thus much graunt vnto you, that ye shall be receiued into this
countrie, and haue harbrough, with all things sufficient found vnto
you for your maintenance and sustentation: neither will we hinder
you, but that ye may by preaching associat and ioine as manie of our
subiects as you can vnto your law and beléefe. They had therefore
assigned vnto them a place to lodge in within the citie of
Canturburie, which was the head citie of all his dominion. It is said
that as they approched the citie according to their maner, they had a
crosse borne before them, with an image of our Lord Iesus Christ, and
they followed, singing this letanie, "Deprecamur te Domine in omni
misericordia tua, vt auferatur furor tuus & ira tua à ciuitate ista &
de domo sancta tua, quoniam peccauimus: Alleluia." _That is to say_,
We beseech thee Ô Lord in all thy mercie that thy furie and wrath
may be taken from this citie, and from thy holie house, for we haue
sinned. Praise be to thee Ô Lord.--After they were receiued into
[Sidenote: _Beda_. _Matth. West._]
Canturburie, they began to follow the trade of life which the apostles
vsed in the primitiue church, that is to say, exercising themselues in
continuall praier, watching, and preaching to as manie as they could,
despising all worldlie things, as not belonging to them, receiuing
onelie of them (whome they taught) things necessarie for the
sustenance of their life, & liuing in all points according to the
doctrine which they set forth, hauing their minds readie to suffer in
patience all aduersities what so euer, yea and death it selfe, for the
[Sidenote: The christian faith receiued of the Englishmen.]
confirming of that which they now preached. Herevpon, manie of the
English people beléeued and were baptised, hauing in great reuerence
the simplicitie of those men, and the swéetenesse of their heauenlie
doctrine. There was a church néere to the citie on the east part
thereof dedicated to the honor of saint Martine, and builded of old
time whilest the Romans as yet inhabited Britaine, in the which the
quéene, being (as we haue said) a christian, vsed to make hir praiers.
To this church Austine and his fellowes at their first comming
accustomed to resort, and there to sing, to praie, to saie masse,
to preach and to baptise, till at length the king being conuerted,
granted them licence to preach in euerie place, and to build and
restore churches where they thought good. After that the king being
persuaded by their doctrine, good examples giuing, and diuers miracles
shewed, was once baptised, the people in great numbers began to
giue eare vnto the preaching of the gospell, and renouncing their
[Sidenote: _Lib. 7, cap. 26_.]
heathenish beléefe, became christians, in so much that as Gregorie
remembreth, there were baptised ten thousand persons in one day,
being the feast of the natiuitie of our Sauiour 597, and the first

[Sidenote: _Polychron._]
¶ Some write how this should chance toward the latter end of
Augustines daies, after he was admitted to preach the gospell amongst
them that inhabited about Yorke (as some write) which affirme, that
the said number of ten thousand was baptised in the riuer of Suale,
which (as W. Harison saith) cannot be verified, because of the
indiction and death of Gregorie. But to procéed.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Religion is not to be inforced but perswaded and preached, Augustine
is made archbishop of England, Gregorie informeth Augustine of
certeine ordinances to be made and obserued in the new English church,
as the reuenewes of the church to be diuided into foure parts, of
liturgie, of mariage, of ecclesiasticall discipline and ordeining of
bishops: trifling questions objected by Augustine to Gregorie, fellow
helpers are sent ouer to assist. Augustine in his ministerie, he
receiueth his pall, reformation must be doone by little and little,
not to glorie in miracles, the effect of Gregories letters to K.
Ethelbert after his conuersion to christianitie._


[Sidenote: _Beda. lib._ 1. _cap._ 26. and 27.]
King Ethelbert reioised at the conuersion of his people, howbeit
he would not force anie man to be baptised, but onelie shewed by his
behauiour, that he fauored those that beléeued more than other, as
fellow citizens with him of the heauenlie kingdome: for he learned of
them that had instructed him in the faith, that the obedience due to
Christ ought not to be inforced, but to come of good will. Moreouer he
prouided for Augustine and his fellowes a conuenient place for their
habitation within the citie of Canturburie, and further gaue them
[Sidenote: Augustine ordeined archbishop of the English nation.]
necessarie reuenewes in possession for their maintenance. After that
the faith of Christ was thus receiued of the English men, Augustine
went into France, and there of the archbishop of Arles named Etherius
was ordeined archbishop of the English nation, according to the order
prescribed by Gregorie before the departure of the said Augustine from

[Sidenote: Laurence a priest.]
After his returne into Britaine, he sent Laurence a priest, and
Péeter a moonke vnto Rome, to giue knowledge vnto Gregorie the bishop,
how the Englishmen had receiued the faith, and that he was ordeined
archbishop of the land, according to that he had commanded, if the
woorke prospered vnder his hand as it had doone. He also required to
haue Gregories aduice touching certéine ordinances to be made and
obserued in the new church of England. Wherevpon Gregorie, sending
backe the messengers, wrote an answere vnto all his demands. And first
touching the conuersation of archbishops with the clergie, and in
what sort the church goods ought to be imploied, he declared that the
[Sidenote: The reuenewes of the church to be diuided into 4. parts.]
ancient custome of the apostolike see was to giue commandement
vnto bishops ordeined, that the profits and reuenewes of their
benefices ought to be diuided into foure parts, whereof the first
should be appointed to the bishop and his familie for the maintenance
of hospitalitie: the second should be assigned to the clergie: the
third giuen to the poore: and the fourth imploied vpon repairing of

[Sidenote: Liturgie.]
And whereas in the church of Rome one custome in saieng masse
[Sidenote: Church seruice.]
or the liturgie was obserued, and another custome in France;
concerning such church seruice, Gregorie aduised Austine that if he
found anie thing either in the church of Rome, either in the church of
France, or in anie other church which might most please the almightie
God, he should diligentlie choose it out, and instruct the church of
England (now being new) according to that forme which he should gather
foorth of the said churches: for the things are not loued for the
[Sidenote: Such as did steale.]
places sake, but the places for the things sake. Also for punishing of
such as had stolen things out of churches, so néere as might be, the
offender should be chastised in charitie, so as he might know his
fault, and (if it were possible) restore the thing taken away.

[Sidenote: Mariages.]
And touching degrées in mariage, Englishmen might take to their
wiues, women that touched them in the third and fourth degrée without
reprehension, and if any vnlawfull mariages were found amongst the
Englishmen, as if the sonne had maried the fathers wife, or the
brother the brothers wife, they ought to be warned in anie wise to
absteine, and vnderstand it to be a gréeuous sinne: yet should they
not for that thing be depriued of the communion of the bodie and bloud
of our Lord, least those things might séeme to be punished in them
wherein they had offended (before their conuersion to the christian
[Sidenote: Discipline of the church.]
faith) by ignorance; for at this season the church (saith he)
correcteth some things of a feruent earnestnesse, suffreth some
things of a gentle mildnes, and dissembleth some things of a prudent
consideration, and so beareth and winketh at the same, that oftentimes
the euill which she abhorreth by such bearing and dissembling, is
restrained and reformed.

[Sidenote: Ordeining of bishops.]
Moreouer touching the ordeining of bishops, he would they should
be so placed, that the distance of place might not be a let, but that
when a bishop should be consecrated, there might be thrée or foure
present. Also touching the bishops of France, he willed Augustine in
no wise to intermeddle with them, otherwise than by exhortation
and good admonition to be giuen, but not to presume anie thing by
authoritie, sith the archbishop of Arles had receiued the pall in
times past, whose authoritie he might not diminish, least he should
séeme to put his sickle into another mans haruest. But as for the
bishops of Britaine, he committed them vnto him, that the vnlearned
might be taught, the weake with wholesome persuasions
[Sidenote: Women with child.]
strengthened, and the froward by authoritie reformed. Moreouer, that a
woman with child might be baptised, and she that was deliuered after
33 daies of a manchild, and after 46 daies of a womanchild, should be
purified, but yet might she enter the church before, if she would.
[Sidenote: Matters in question about trifles.]

    The residue of Augustines demands consisted in these points, to wit:

    1 Within what space a child should be christened after it was borne,
  for doubt to be preuented by death?

    2 Within what time a man might companie with his wife after she was
  brought to bed?

    3 Whether a woman, hauing hir floures, might enter the church, or
  receiue the communion?

    4 Whether a man hauing had companie with his wife, might enter the
  church, or receiue the communion before he was washed with water?

    5 Whether after pollusion by night in dreames, a man might receiue
  the communion: or if he were a priest, whether he might say masse?

To these questions Gregorie maketh answere at full in the booke and
place before cited, which for bréefenesse we passe ouer. He sent also
at that time with the messengers aforesaid, at their returne into
England, diuers learned men to helpe Augustine in the haruest of
[Sidenote: Assistance to Augustine. The pall.]
the Lord. The names of the chiefest were these, Melitus, Iustus,
Paulinus, and Ruffinianus. He sent allso the pall, which is the
ornament of an archbishop, with vessels and apparell which should be
vsed in churches by the archbishop and other ministers. He sent also
with the pall other letters to Augustine, to let him vnderstand what
number of bishops he would haue him to ordeine within this land.
Also after that Melitus, and the other before mentioned persons were
departed from Rome, he sent a letter vnto the same Melitus, being yet
on his way toward Britaine, touching further matter concerning the
[Sidenote: Bearing with them that had newlie receiued the faith,
whereof superstition grew and increased.]
churches of England, wherein he confesseth that manie things are
permitted to be vsed of the people latelie brought from the errors
of gentilitie, in keeping feasts on the dedication daies, which haue
resemblance with the old superstitious rites of the Pagan religion.
For to hard and obstinate minds (saith he) it is not possible to cut
away all things at once, for he that coueteth to the highest place,
goeth vp by steps and not by leaps.

[Sidenote: Miracles.]
At the same time Gregorie did send letters vnto Augustine touching
the miracles, which by report he vnderstood were shewed by the same
Augustine, counselling him in no wise to glorie in the same, but
rather in reioising to feare, and consider that God gaue him the gift
to worke such signes for the wealth of them to whom he was sent to
preach the gospell: he aduised him therefore to beware of vaine-glorie
and presumption, for the disciples of the truth (saith he) haue no
ioy, but onlie that which is common with all men, of which there is no
end, for not euerie one that is elect worketh miracles, but euerie of
the elect haue their names written in heauen. These letters, with the
other which Gregorie sent at this time vnto Augustine, were dated the
tenth day of the kalends of Iulie, in the yéere of our Lord 602, which
was the 19 yeere of the emperour Mauricius. Moreouer he sent most
[Sidenote: 602.]
courteous letters by these messengers to king Ethelbert, in the
which he greatlie commended him, in that he had receiued the christian
faith, and exhorted him to continue in that most holie state of life,
whereby he might worthilie looke for reward at the hands of almightie

       *       *       *       *       *

_What reparations and foundations Augustine finished for clergimen to
the supportation of the church, the building of Paules in London and
saint Peters in Westminster vncerteine, a prouinciall councell called
by Augustine, he restoreth a blind man to his sight, the Britains are
hardlie weaned from their old custome of beliefe, an heremits opinion
of Augustine, he requireth three things to be obserued of the
Britains, he ordeineth bishops at London and Rochester; Sabert
reigneth ouer the Eastsaxons, Augustine dieth and is buried._


Thus farre we haue waded in the forme and maner of conuerting the
English nation to christianitie, by the labours of Augustine and his
coadiutors: now therefore (that we may orderlie procéed) it remaineth
that we say somewhat of the acts and déeds of the said Augustine; of
whom we read, that after he was established archbishop, and had his
[Sidenote: _Beda_.]
sée appointed him at Canturburie, he restored another church in
that citie which had béene erected there in times past by certeine of
the Romans that were christians, and did dedicate the same now to
the honour of Christ our Sauiour. He also began the foundation of a
monasterie without that citie, standing toward the east, in the which
by his exhortation, king Ethelbert built a church euen from the
ground, which was dedicated vnto the holie apostles Peter and Paule,
in the which the bodie of the said Augustine was buried, and likewise
the bodies of all the archbishops of Canturburie and kings of Kent
[Sidenote: One Peter was the first Abbat.]
a long time after. This abbie was called saint Austins after his
name, one Peter being the first abbat thereof. The church there was
not consecrated by Augustine, but by his successor Laurence, after he
was dead.

Moreouer, king Ethelbert at the motion of Augustine built a church in
the citie of London (which he latelie had conquered) and dedicated it
vnto saint Paule; but whether he builded or restored this church of
saint Paule it may be doubted, for there be diuers opinions of the
building thereof. Some haue written that it was first builded by king
[Sidenote: _Ran. Higd._]
Lud (as before is mentioned.) Other againe write, that it was
builded afterward by Sigebert king of the Eastsaxons. Also king
Ethelbert builded the church of saint Andrews in Rochester. It is
likewise remembred by writers, that the same king Ethelbert procured a
[Sidenote: _Beda_.]
citizen of London to build a church to S. Peter without the citie
of London toward the west, in a place then called Thorney, that is to
say, the Ile of thorns, and now called Westminster: though others
[Sidenote: _Ran. Higd._ Westminster church builded.]
haue written that it was built by Lucias king of Britaine, or rather
by Sibert king of the Eastsaxons. This church was either newlie built,
or greatlie inlarged by king Edward surnamed the Confessor, and after
that, the third Henrie king of England did make there a beautifull
monasterie, and verie richlie indowed the same with great possessions
and sumptuous iewels. The place was ouergrowne with vnderwoods, as
thornes and brambles, before that the church was begun to be builded
there in this king Ethelberts daies. ¶ Thus the faith of Christ being
once begun to be receiued of the English men, tooke woonderfull
increase within a short time.

[Sidenote: _Ran. Cest._ _Beda_. _Sigebertus_. _ann.19 Mauricij
imperatoris_. A synod. Ausines oke. _Galfrid. lib.8. cap.4_.]
In the meane season by the helpe of king Ethelbert, Augustine caused
a councell to be called at a place in the confines of the Westsaxons,
which place long after was called Austines oke, where he procured the
bishops or doctors of the prouinces of the Britains to come before him.
Among the Britains or the Welshmen, christianitie as yet remained in
force, which from the apostles time had neuer failed in that nation.
When Augustine came into this land, he found in their prouinces seuen
bishops sées, and an archbishops sée, wherein sat verie godlie & right
religious prelats, and manie abbats, in the which the Lords flocke kept
their right order: but because they differed in obseruing the feast of
[Sidenote: _Beda lib.2. ca.2._]
Easter, and other rites from the vse of the Romane church, Augustine
thought it necessarie to mooue them to agrée with him in vnitie of the
same, but after long disputation and reasoning of those matters, they
could not be induced to giue their assent in that behalfe. Augustine to
prooue his opinion good, wrought a miracle in restoring sight to one of
the Saxon nation that was blind.

The Britains that were present, mooued with this miracle, confessed
that it was the right waie of iustice and righteousnesse which
Augustine taught; but yet they said that they might not forsake their
ancient customs without consent and licence of their nation. Wherevpon
[Sidenote: Another synod.]
they required another synod to be holden, whereat a greater number
of them might be present. This being granted, there came (as it is
reported) seuen bishops of the Britains, and a great number of
[Sidenote: The monasterie of Bangor. Abbat Dionoth.]
learned men, speciallie of the famous monasterie of Bangor, whereof
in those daies one Dionoth was abbat, who as they went towards that
councell, came first to a certeine wise man, which liued amongst them
an heremits life, and asked his aduise, whether they ought to forsake
their traditions at the preaching of Augustine or not: who made this
answer; "If he be the man of God, follow him." Then said they; "How
[Sidenote: The answer of a godlie man touching Austine the
Englishmens apostle.]
shall we prooue whether he be so or not?" Then said he: "The Lord
saith, Take vp my yoke and learne of me, for I am méeke & humble in
hart: if Augustine be humble and meeke in hart, it is to be beléeued
that he also beareth the yoke of Christ, and offereth it to you to
beare; but if he be not méeke but proud, it is certeine that he is
not of GOD, nor his woord to be regarded." "And how shall we sée and
perceiue that (said they?)" "Find meanes (said he) that he maie first
come to the place of the synod with those of his side, and if he arise
to receiue you at your comming, then know that he is the seruant of
God, and obey him; but if he despise you, and arise not towards you,
whereas you be more in number, let him be despised of you."

They did as he commanded, and it chanced, that when they came, they
found Augustine sitting in his chaire: whome when they beheld,
straightwaies they conceiued indignation, and noting him of pride,
laboured to reprooue all his saiengs. He told them that they vsed
[Sidenote: Thrée things required by Augustine of the Britains
to be observed.]
manie things contrarie to the custom of the vniuersall church,
and yet if in thrée things they would obeie him, that is to say,
in kéeping the feast of Easter in due time, in ministring baptisme
according to the custome of the Romane church, & in preaching to the
Englishmen the woord of life with him & his fellowes, then would he be
contented to suffer all other things patientlie which they did, though
the same were contrarie to the maners and customs of the Romane
iurisdiction. But they flatlie denied to doo anie of those things,
and gaue a plaine answer that they would not receiue him for their
archbishop: for laieng their heads togither, thus they thought, If he
refuse now to arise vnto vs, how much the more will he contemne vs
if we should become subiect to him? Vnto whom (as it is said)
[Sidenote: Augustine threatneth.]
Augustine in threatening wise told them afore hand, that if they would
not receiue peace with their brethren, they should receiue warre of
the enimies; & if they would not preach to the Englishmen the waie of
life, they should suffer punishment by death at the hands of them:
which thing in deed after came to passe, as in place conuenient
[Sidenote: 604. Bishops ordeined at London and Rochester.]
shall be expressed. After this in the yéere of our Lord 604, the
archbishop Augustine ordeined two bishops, that is to say, Melitus at
London, that he might preach the woord of God to the Eastsaxons, which
were diuided from them of Kent by the riuer of Thames, and Iustus in
the citie of Rochester within the limits of Kent.

[Sidenote: SABERT.]
At that time Sabert reigned ouer the Eastsaxons, but he was
subiect vnto Ethelbert king of Kent, whose nephue he was also by his
sister Ricula that was married vnto king Sledda that succéeded after
Erchenwine the first king of the Eastsaxons, and begat on hir this
Sabert that receiued the faith. After that Augustine had ordeined
Melitus to be bishop of London, as before is said, king Ethelbert
builded (as some write) the church of saint Paule within the same
citie, where the same Melitus and his successors might keepe their
sée. And also for the like purpose he builded the church of saint
Andrew the apostle at Rochester, that Iustus and his successors might
haue their sée in that place, according to Augustines institution:
he bestowed great gifts vpon both those churches, endowing them with
lands and possessions verie bountifullie, to the vse of them that
should be attendant in the same with the bishops.

[Sidenote: _Ran. Cestren._]
Finallie, Augustine after he had gouerned as archbishop the church
of Canturburie by the space of 12 yéeres currant, departed this life
the fiue and twentieth of Maie, and was buried first without the citie
néere to the church of the apostles Peter and Paule (whereof mention
is made before) bicause the same church as yet was not finished nor
dedicated; but after it was dedicated, his bodie was brought into the
church, and reuerentlie buried in the north Ile there. He ordeined in
his life time Laarence to be his successor in the sée of Canturburie,
of whome ye shall heare hereafter. ¶ Thus haue ye heard in what maner
the Englishmen were first brought from the worshipping of false gods,
and baptised in the name of the liuing God by the foresaid Augustine
(as we find in Beda and other writers.) Now we will returne to other
dooings chancing in the meane time amongst the people of this Ile.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Ceowlfe or Ceoloulph gouerneth the Westsaxons, Ceorlus king of
Mercia, Edelfride king of the Northumbers, and Edan king of the Scots
ioine in battell, Edan is discomfited, Edelfride subdueth the citizens
of Chester, the deuout moonks of Bangor praie for safetie from the
swoord of the enimie, twelue hundred of them are slaine, Edelfride
entreth the citie of Chester, the Britains assembling their power
vnder three capteins incounter with Edelfride, slaie manie of his
souldiers, and put him to flight, warres betweene Edelfride and
Redwald king of the Eastangles about Edwine the sonne of king Elle,
Edelfride is slaine, Ceowlfe king of the Westsaxons dieth._


[Sidenote: _Matth. West._ saith 34.]
After the deceasse of Chelricus king of the Westsaxons, we find
that Ceowlfe or Ceoloulph succéeded in gouernment of that kingdome,
and reigned twelue yéeres. He began his reigne (as should appéere
[Sidenote: _Matth. West._ saith 607.]
by some writers) about the yeere of our Lord 597, and spent his time
for the more part in warres, not giuing place to idlenesse, but
séeking either to defend or inlarge the confines of his dominion. He
was the sonne of Cutha, which was the sonne of Kenrike, which was the
sonne of Certike. After Wibba or Wipha king of Mercia (who, nothing
inferiour to his father, did not onelie defend his kingdome, but
also inlarge it, by subduing the Britains on ech side) one Ceorlus
[Sidenote: Ceorlus king of Mercia.]
succéeded in that kingdome, being not his sonne but his kinsman.
This Ceorlus began his reigne about the yéere of our Lord 594, as
[Sidenote: 594.]
Matth. West. recordeth.

[Sidenote: _Beda._ Edelferd.]
Ye haue heard that Edelferd, which otherwise is called also by
writers Edelfride, surnamed the wild, gouerned still the Northumbers,
which Edelferd did more damage to the Britains than anie one other
king of the English nation. None of them destroied their countries
more than he did: neither did anie prince make more of the Britains
tributaries, or inhabited more of their countries with English people
than he. Héerevpon Edan king of those Scots which inhabited Britaine,
being therewith mooued to see Edelfride prosper thus in his conquests,
came against him with a mightie armie: but ioining in battell with
Edelfride and his power, at a place called Degsastane, or Degsastone,
or Deglaston, he lost the most part of his people, and with the
residue that were left aliue, he escaped by flight. This was a
sore foughten battell, with much bloudshed on both parties. For
notwithstanding that the victorie remained with the Northumbers,
Theobaldus the brother of Edelferd was slaine, with all that part of
the English host which he gouerned: and it was fought in the
[Sidenote: 603.]
yéere of our Lord 603, in the 19 yeere of the reigne of the foresaid
Edelferd, and in the sixt yéere of Ceowlfe king of the Westsaxons, and
[Sidenote: _Henr. Hunt._]
in the first yéere of the emperor Phocas, or rather in the last yéere
[Sidenote: _Beda lib. 1. cap._ 34.]
of his predecessor Mauricius. From that day, till the daies of Beda,
not one of the Scotish kings durst presume to enter into Britaine
[Sidenote: _Wil. Malm._ Sée in Scotland.]
againe to giue battell against the English nation, as Beda himselfe
writeth. But the Scotish writers make other report of this matter,
as in the historie of Scotland ye maie find recorded.

The Britains that dwelt about Chester, through their stoutnesse
prouoked the aforesaid Edelferd king of the Northumbers vnto warre:
wherevpon to tame their loftie stomachs, he assembled an armie & came
forward to besiege the citie of Chester, then called of the Britains
[Sidenote: Chester as yet in possession of the Britains.
_I. Leland_. _Wil. Malm._]
Carleon ardour deué. The citizens coueting rather to suffer all
things than a siege, and hauing a trust in their great multitude of
people, came foorth to giue batell abroad in the fields, whome he
compassing about with ambushes, got within his danger, and easilie

[Sidenote: _Beda_.]
It chanced that he had espied before the battell ioined (as Beda
saith) where a great number of the British priests were got aside
into a place somewhat out of danger, that they might there make their
intercession to God for the good spéed of their people, being then
readie to giue battell to the Northumbers. Manie of them were of that
[Sidenote: The number of moonks in the monasterie of Bangor.]
famous monasterie of Bangor, in the which it is said, that there
was such a number of moonks, that where they were diuided into seuen
seuerall parts, with their seuerall gouernors appointed to haue rule
ouer them, euerie of those parts conteined at the least thrée hundred
persons, the which liued altogither by the labour of their hands.
Manie therefore of those moonks hauing kept a solemne fast for thrée
daies togither, were come to the armie with other to make praier,
[Sidenote: Brocmale.]
hauing for their defender one Brocmale or Broemael, earle (or consull
as some call him) of Chester, which should preserue them (being giuen
to praier) from the edge of the enimies swoord.

King Edelferd hauing (as is said) espied these men, asked what they
were, and what their intent was; and being informed of the whole
circumstance and cause of their being there, he said; "Then if they
call to their God for his assistance against vs, suerlie though they
beare no armour, yet doo they fight against vs, being busied in praier
[Sidenote: The Britains discomfited & slaine.]
for our destruction." Wherevpon he commanded the first onset to be
giuen them, and after slue downe the residue of the British armie, not
without great losse of his owne people. Of those moonks and priests
which came to praie (as before is mentioned) there died at that
battell about the number of 12 hundred, so that fiftie of them onelie
escaped by flight. Brocmale, or Broemael at the first approch of the
enimies, turning his backe with his companie, left them (whom he
should haue defended) to be murthered through the enimies swoord. Thus
was the prophesie of Augustine fulfilled, though he was long before
departed this life (as Beda saith.)

[Sidenote: _Henr. Hunt._]
¶ Héere is to be noted, if this battell was fought in the seuenth
yéere of Ceowlfe king of Westsaxon (as some haue written) and that
Augustine liued 12 yéeres after his entrance into the gouernment of
the sée of Canturburie (as some write) it is euident that he liued
foure yéeres after this slaughter made of the British priests and
moonks by Edelferd (as before is recited.) For Ceowlfe began his
reigne (as before is mentioned) about the yéere of our Lord 596,
and in the seuenth yeere of his reigne the battell was fought at
[Sidenote: _W. Harison_.]
Degsastane betwixt the English & the Scots, which chanced in
the yéere of our Lord 604, as Beda himselfe recordeth. A late
chronographer running vpon this matter, and preciselie setting downe
his collection, saith that Athelbright, or Edelfride, K. of the
Northumbers, & Ethelbert K. of Kent, hauing Augustine in their
companie, in the eight yéere after his arriuall, made warre vpon
such Britains as refused to obserue the canons of the late councell
mentioned 603, and killed 1200 moonks of the monasterie of Bangor,
which laboured earnestlie, and in the sweat of their browes, thereby
to get their liuings, &c. Verelie Galf. Mon. writeth, that Ethelbert
king of Kent (after he saw the Britains to disdaine and denie their
subiection vnto Augustine, by whome he was conuerted to the christian
[Sidenote: _Acts and monuments, pag. 160_]
faith) stirred vp Edelferd king of the Northumbers to warre
against the Britains. But heereof Maister Fox doubteth, and therefore
saith, that of vncerteine things he hath nothing certeinlie to saie,
much lesse to iudge. But now to the matter where we left.

After that king Edelferd had made slaughter of the Britains (as before
is rehearsed) he entred the citie of Chester, and from thence marched
towards Bangor. The Britains in the meane time had assembled
[Sidenote: Blederike duke of Cornwall, Margadud king of
Southwales, Cadwane k. of Northwales.]
their power vnder thrée capteins, that is to say, Blederike duke
of Cornewall, Margadud king of Southwales, and Cadwane king of
Northwales. These ioining in battell with Edelferd, slue 10066 of his
souldiers, and constreined him to flée out of the field for safegard
of his life, after he had receiued manie wounds. On the part of
[Sidenote: _Galf. Mon._]
the Britains the forsaid Blederike, which was chiefe capteine of the
field in that battell, chanced to be slaine. Thus saith Gal. Mon.

But the ancient writers of the English kings (as Beda, William
Malmesburie, and Henrie Huntington), make no mention of this last
battell and victorie obteined by the Britains in maner as aboue is
expressed in Galfrids booke. But contrarilie we find, that Edelferd
hauing such good successe in his businesse abroad as he could wish,
[Sidenote: Edwine the sonne of king Alla banished.]
vpon purpose to auoid danger at home, banished Edwine the sonne of
Alla or Elle, a yoong gentleman of great towardnesse, latelie come to
the kingdome of the Northumbers by the death of his father. But this
Edwine in time of his exile, being long tossed from place to place,
and finding no stedfast friendship now in time of his aduersitie, at
length came to Redwald, that was king at that time of the Eastangles,
the third from Vffa, and successor to Titullus, which Titullus did
[Sidenote: 592.]
succéed next after the said Vffa, the first king of Eastangles
[Sidenote: Edelferd.]
(as before is mentioned.) This Redwald did verie honourablie
interteine Edwine, insomuch that Edelferd being informed thereof, was
highlie displeased, and sent ambassadors vnto Redwald, to require him
either to deliuer Edwine into his hands, or else if he refused so to
doo, to declare and denounce vnto him open warres.

Redwald incouraged by his wife (that counselled him in no wise to
betraie his friend, to whome he had giuen his faith, for the menaces
of his enimie) assembled foorthwith an armie, and at the sudden
comming vpon Edelferd, assaulted him yer he could haue time to
[Sidenote: 542.]
assemble his people togither. But yet the said Edelferd, though he was
[Sidenote: _H. Hunt._]
beset and brought in danger at vnwares, died not vnreuenged: for
putting himselfe in defense with such power as he could then get
togither, he boldlie incountred the enimies, and giuing battell, slue
[Sidenote: Ethelferd slaine.]
Remerius the sonne of Redwald, and after was slaine himselfe,
hauing reigned ouer the Northumbers about 22 yéeres. This battell was
fought néere to the water of Idle.

The said Edelferd had issue by his wife Acca, the daughter of Alla,
and sister to Edwine, two sonnes, Oswald being about two yéeres of
age, and Oswin about foure yéeres, the which (their father being
[Sidenote: _Hen. Hunt._ _Matt. West._ saith 34.]
thus slaine) were by helpe of their gouernours conueied awaie into
Scotland with all spéed that might be made. Ceowlfe king of the
Westsaxons, after he had reigned the space of 12 yeeres, departed this
life, who in his time had mainteined great warre against manie
[Sidenote: The Southsaxons susteine the greater losse.]
of his neighbours, the which for briefenesse I passe ouer. One great
battell he fought against them of Sussex, in which the armies on
both sides sustained great damage, but the greater losse fell to the

       *       *       *       *       *

_Cinegiscus and his sonne Richelinus reigne iointlie ouer the
Westsaxons, they fight with the Britains; the indeuour of Laurence
archbishop of Cantrburie in setting religion at large, and seeking a
vniformitie in catholike orders, he and his fellow-bishops write to
the cleargie of Britaine and Scotland for a reformation, Melitus
bishop of London goeth to Rome, the cause why, and what he brought at
his returns from pope Boniface._


[Sidenote: CINEGISCUS.]
After the foresaid Ceowlfe reigned Cinegiscus, or Kingils, which
was the sonne of Ceola, which was the sonne of Cutha or Cutwin, which
was the sonne of Kenricke, which was the sonne of king Certicke. In
the fourth yéere of his reigne, he receiued into fellowship with him
[Sidenote: _Wil. Malm._ saith that Onichelinus was the brother of
in gouernance of the kingdome his sonne Richelinus, or Onichelinus,
and so they reigned iointlie togither in great loue and concord (a
thing seldome séene or heard of.) They fought with the Britains
[Sidenote: Beandune or Beanton.]
at Beandune, where at the first approch of the battels togither,
the Britains fled, but too late, for there died of them that were
ouertaken 2062.

[Sidenote: _Beda lib. 2 cap. 4_.]
In this meane time, Laurence archbishop of Canturburie, who
succéeded next after Augustine, admitted thereto by him in his life
time (as before is said) did his indeuour to augment and bring to
perfection the church of England, the foundation whereof was latelie
laid by his predecessor the foresaid Augustine: who studied not onelie
for the increase of this new church, which was gathered of the English
people, but also he was busie to imploie his pastorlike cure vpon the
people that were of the old inhabitants of Britaine, and likewise of
the Scots that remained in Ireland. For when he had learned that the
Scots there, in semblable wise as the Britains in their countrie,
led not their liues in manie points according to the ecclesiasticall
rules, as well in obseruing the feast of Easter contrarie to the vse
of the Romane church, as in other things, he wrote vnto those Scots
letters exhortatorie, requiring them most instantlie to an vnitie of
catholike orders as might be agréeable with the church of Christ,
spred and dispersed through the world. These letters were not written
onelie in his owne name, but iointlie togither in the name of the
bishops Melitius and Iustus, (as followeth.)

"_To our deare brethren the bishops and abbats through all Scotland,
Laurence, Melitus and Iustus bishops, the seruants of the seruants of
God wish health._

"Whereas the apostolike see (according to hir maner) had sent vs to
preach vnto the heathen people in these west parts, as otherwise
throgh the world, and that it chanced to vs to enter into this Ile
which is called Britaine, before we knew & vnderstood the state of
things, we had in great reuerence both the Scots & Britains, which
beléeued, bicause (as we tooke the matter) they walked according to
the custome of the vniuersall church: but after we had knowledge of
the Britains, we iudged the Scots to be better. But we haue learned
by bishop Daganus comming into this Ile, and by Columbanus the
abbat comming into France, that the Scots nothing differ in their
conuersation from the Britains: for bishop Daganus comming vnto vs,
would neither eat with vs, no nor yet come within the house where we
did eat."

The said Laurence also with his fellow-bishops, did write to the
Britains other letters woorthie of his degrée, dooing what he could
to confirme them in the vnitie of the Romane church: but it profited
litle, as appeareth by that which Beda writeth. About the same time
Melitus the bishop of London went to Rome, to common with pope
Boniface, for necessarie causes touching the church of England, and
was present at a synod holden by the same pope at that season, for
ordinances to be made touching the state of religious men, and sate in
the same synod, that with subscribing he might also by his authoritie
confirme that which was there orderlie decréed. This synod was holden
the third kalends of March, in the last yéere of the emperour Phocas,
which was about the yeere after the birth of our Sauiour 610. Melitus
at his returne brought with him from the pope, decrees commanded by
the said pope to be obserued in the English church, with letters also
directed to archbishop Laurence, and to king Ethelbert.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Cadwan is made king of the Britains in the citie of Chester, he
leuieth a power against Ethelfred king of the Northumbers, couenants
of peace passe betwixt them vpon condition, the death of Ethelbert
king of Kent, where he and his wife were buried, of his lawes; Eadbald
succeedeth Ethelbert in the Kentish kingdome, his lewd and vnholie
life, he is an enimie to religion; he is plagued with madnesse; Hebert
king of the Eastsaxons dieth, his three sonnes refuse to be baptised,
they fall to idolatrie and hate the professours of the truth, their
irreligious talke and vndutifull behauiour to bishop Melitus, he and
his fellow Iustus passe ouer into France, the three sonnes of Hebert
are slaine of the Westsaxons in battell, the Estsaxons by their
idolatrie prouoke archbishop Laurence to forsake the land, he is
warned in a vision to tarie, whereof he certifieth king Eadbald, who
furthering christianitie, sendeth for Melitus and Iustus, the one is
restored to his see, the other reiected, Melitus dieth, Iustus is made
archbishop of Canturburie, the christian faith increaseth._


[Sidenote: CADWAN king of Britaine]
After that the Britains had c[=o]tinued about the space almost of
24 yéeres without anie one speciall gouernour, being led by sundrie
rulers, euer sithens that Careticus was constreined to flée ouer
Seuerne, and fought oftentimes not onelie against the Saxons, but also
[Sidenote: 613]
one of them against another, at length in the yéere of our Lord
613, they assembled in the citie of Chester, and there elected Cadwan
that before was ruler of Northwales, to haue the souereigne rule &
gouernement ouer all their nation, and so the said Cadwan began to
reigne as king of Britaine in the said yéere 613. But some authors
say, that this was in the yéere 609, in which yéere Careticus the
British king departed this life. And then after his deceasse the
Britains or Welshmen (whether we shall call them) chose Cadwan to
gouerne them in the foresaid yéere 609, which was in the 7 yéere
of the emperour Phocas, and the 21 of the second Lotharius king of
France, and in the 13 yéere of Kilwoolfe king of the Westsaxons.

This Cadwan being established king, shortlie after assembled a
power of Britains, and went against the foresaid Ethelfred king of
Northumberland, who being thereof aduertised, did associate to him the
most part of the Saxon princes, and came foorth with his armie to méet
Cadwan in the field. Herevpon as they were readie to haue tried the
matter by battell, certeine of their friends trauelled so betwixt them
for peace, that in the end they brought them to agréement, so that
[Sidenote: _Gal. Mon._]
Ethelfred should kéepe in quiet possession those his countries beyond
the riuer of Humber, and Cadwan should hold all that which of right
belonged to the Britains on the southside of the same riuer. This
couenant with other touching their agréement was confirmed with oths
solemnelie taken, and pledges therewith deliuered, so that afterwards
they continued in good and quiet peace, without vexing one an other.

What chanced afterward to Ethelfred, ye haue before heard rehersed,
which for that it soundeth more like to a truth than that which
followeth in the British booke, we omit to make further rehersall,
passing forward to other dooings which fell in the meane season,
whilest this Cadwan had gouernement of the Britains, reigning as king
[Sidenote: _Iohn Hard._]
ouer them the tearme of 22 or (as some say) but 13 yéeres, and
finallie was slaine by the Northumbers, as before hath béene, and also
after shall be shewed.

In the 8 yéere after that Cadwan began to reigne, Ethelbert king
of Kent departed this life, in the 21 yéere after the comming of
Augustine with his fellowes to preach the faith of Christ here in this
realme: and after that Ethelbert had reigned ouer the prouince of Kent
the tearme of 56 yéeres (as Beda saith, but there are that haue noted
[Sidenote: _Wil. Malm._ _Beda li. 2. cap. 5_.]
thrée yéers lesse) he departed this world, as aboue is signified,
in the yeere of our Lord 617, on the 24 day of Februarie, and was
buried in the Ile of saint Martine, within the church of the apostles
Peter and Paule, without the citie of Canturburie, where his wife
quéene Bartha was also buried, and the foresaid archbishop Augustine
that first conuerted him to the faith.

Amongst other things, this king Ethelbert with the aduise of his
councell ordeined diuers lawes and statutes, according to the which
decrées of iudgements should passe: those decrées he caused to be
written in the English toong, which remained and were in force vnto
the daies of Beda, as he declareth. And first it was expressed in
those lawes, what amends he should make that stole anie thing that
belonged to the church, to the bishop, or to anie ecclesiasticall
person, willing by all means to defend them whose doctrine he had

[Sidenote: EADBALD.]
After the deceasse of Etthelbert, his sonne Eadbald succéeded in
the gouernment of his kingdome of Kent, the which was a great hinderer
of the increase of the new church amongst the Englishmen in those
parties: for he did not onelie refuse to be baptised himselfe, but
also vsed such kind of fornication, as hath not béene heard (as the
apostle saith) amongst the Gentiles, for he tooke to wife his mother
in law, that had béene wife to his father. By which two euill
[Sidenote: The princes example occasion of euill.]
examples, manie tooke occasion to returne to their heathenish
religion, the which whilest his father reigned, either for the prince
his pleasure, or for feare to offend him, did professe the christian
faith. But Eadbald escaped not woorthie punishment to him sent from
the liuing God for his euill deserts, insomuch that he was vexed with
a certeine kind of madnesse, and taken with an vncleane spirit.

The foresaid storme or vnquiet troubling of the christian
congregation, was afterwards greatlie increased also by the death of
Sabert or Sebert king of the Eastsaxons, who was conuerted to the
faith of Christ, and baptized by Melitus bishop of London (as
before is mentioned) & departing this life to go to a better in the
blissefull kingdome of heauen, he left behind him thrée sonnes as true
successours in the estate of his earthlie kingdome, which sonnes
[Sidenote: _Ran. Cest._ _Beda li. 2. cap. 5_. Serred, Seward, and
Sigebert, the sonnes of Sabert.]
likewise refused to be baptised. Their names were Serred, Seward, &
Sigebert, men of an ill mind, & such as in whome no vertue remained,
no feare of God, nor anie respect of religion, but speciallie hating
the professours of the christian faith. For after their father was
dead, they began to fall to their old idolatrie, which in his life
time they séemed to haue giuen ouer, insomuch that now they openlie
worshipped idols, and gaue libertie to their subiects to do the like.

And when the bishop Melitus, at the solemnizing of masse in the
church, distributed the eucharisticall bread vnto the people, they
asked him (as it is said) wherfore he did not deliuer of that bright
white bread vnto them also, as well as he had béene accustomed to doo
to their father Saba (for so they vsed to call him.) Vnto whome the
bishop made this answer: "If you will be washed in that wholesome
fountaine, wherein your father was washed, ye may be partakers of that
holie bread whereof he was partaker, but if you despise the washpoole
of life, ye may by no meanes tast the bread of saluation." But they
offended herewith, replied in this wise: "We will not enter into that
fountaine, for we know we haue no néed thereof: but yet neuerthelesse
we will be refreshed with that bread."

After this, when they had beene earnestlie and manie times told, that
vnlesse they would be baptised, they might not be partakers of the
sacred oblation: at length in great displeasure they told him, that if
he would not consent vnto them in so small a matter, there should be
no place for him within the bounds of their dominion, and so he was
constrained to depart. Wherevpon he being expelled, resorted into
Kent, there to take aduise with his fellow-bishops, Laurence and
Iustus, what was to be doone in this so weightie a matter. Who
finallie resolued vpon this point, that it should be better for them
to returne into their countrie, where with frée minds they might serue
almightie God, rather than to remaine amongest people that rebelled
against the faith, without hope to doo good amongest them. Wherefore
Melitus and Iustus did depart first, and went ouer into France,
minding there to abide till they might sée what the end would be. But
shortlie after, those brethren the kings of Essex, which had expelled
their bishop in maner aboue said, suffered woorthilie for their wicked
dooings. For going forth to battell against the Westsaxons, they were
[Sidenote: The sonne of king Sebert slaine.]
ouerthrowen and slaine altogither with all their armie, by the two
kings Kinigils and Quichelme. But neuerthelesse, albeit the authors of
the mischiefe were thus taken awaie, yet the people of that countrie
would not be reduced againe from their diuelish woorshipping of
false gods, being eftsoones fallen thereto in that season by the
incouragement and perilous example of their rulers. Wherefore the
archbishop Laurence was in mind also to follow his fellowes Melitus
and Iustus: but when he minded to set forward, he was warned in a
dreame, and cruellie scourged (as hath béene reported by the apostle
saint Peter, who reprooued him) for that he would so vncharitablie
forsake his flocke, & leaue it in danger without a shepherd to kéepe
the woolfe from the fold.

The archbishop imboldned by this vision, and also repenting him of his
determination, came to king Eadbald, and shewed to him his stripes,
and the maner of his dreame. The king being herewith put in great
feare, renounced his heathenish worshipping of idols, and was
baptised, and as much as in him laie, from thenceforth succoured the
congregation of the christians, and aduanced the church to his power.
He sent also into France, and called home the bishops Melitus and
Iustus, so that Iustus was restored to his sée of Rochester.

But the Eastsaxons would not receiue Melitus to his sée at London,
but continued in their wicked mawmetrie, in obeieng a bishop of their
pagan law, whom they had erected for that purpose. Neither was king
Eadbald of that authoritie and power in those parties, as his father
was before, whereby he might constreine them to receiue their lawfull
bishop. But suerlie the said king Eadbald with his people, after he
was once conuerted againe, gaue himselfe wholie to obeie the lawes of
GOD, and amongt other déeds of godlie zeale, he builded a church
[Sidenote: _Beda lib. 2_.]
to our ladie at Canturburie, within the monasterie of saint Peter,
afterwards called saint Agnes. This church was consecrated by Melitus,
who after the death of Laurence succéeded in gouernance of the
archbishops sée of Canturburie. After Melitus, who departed this
[Sidenote: _Beda. lib. 2. ca. 8_.]
life in the yeare of our Lord 624, Iustus that before was bishop
of Rochester, was made archbishop of Canturburie, and ordeined one
Romanus to the sée of Rochester. About that time, the people of the
north parts beyond Humber receiued the faith, by occasion (as after
shall appéere.)

       *       *       *       *       *

_Edwin reigneth ouer the Northumbers, his great power and reputation,
a marriage betweene him and Ethelburga the sister of king Eadbald vpon
religious couenants, the traitorous attempts of murtherous Eumerus
against him, his wife Ethelburga is deliuered of a daughter, he
assalteth the Westsaxons, and discomfiteth them, Boniface the fift
writeth to him to desist from his idolatrie, and to his ladie to
persist in true christianitie; the vision of Edwin when he was a
banished man in the court of Redwald king of the Eastangles, whereby
he was informed of his great exaltation and conuersion to christian


Ye haue heard how Edelfred the king of Northumberland was slaine in
battell neere to the water of Idel by Redwald king of the Eastangles,
in fauour of Edwin whom the said Edelfred had confined out of his
dominion, 24 yéeres before. The foresaid Redwald therefore hauing
obteined that victorie, found meanes to place Edwin in gouernement of
that kingdome of the Northumbers, hauing a title thereto as sonne
[Sidenote: EDWIN. _Beda. lib. 2. ca. 5_.]
to Alla or Elle, sometime king of Northumberland. This Edwin prooued
a right valiant prince, & grew to be of more power than anie other
king in the daies of the English nation: not onelie ruling ouer a
great part of the countries inhabited with English men, but also with
Britains, who inhabited not onelie in Wales, but in part of Chesshire,
Lancashire, Cumberland, and alongst by the west sea-coast in Galloway,
and so foorth euen vnto Dunbritaine in Scotland: which I haue thought
good to note, that it may appeare in what countries Cadwallo bare
rule, of whome so often mention is made in this part of the historie.
But as concerning Edwin, his reputation was such, as not onelie the
English men, Britains and Scots, but also the Iles of Orknie, and
[Sidenote: _W. Malm._ taketh Meuania to be Anglesey.]
those of Man, and others the west Iles of ancient time called Meuaniæ,
had him in reuerence, and feared his mightie power, so as they durst
not attempt anie exploit to offend him.

It chanced that shortlie after, king Redwald had aduanced him to the
kingdom of Northumberland, to wit, about 6 yeares, the same Redwald
deceassed, which made greatlie for the more augmentation of Edwins
power. For the people of the Eastangles, which (whilest Edwin remained
amongst them as a banished man) had conceiued a good opinion of him
for his approoued valiancie and noble courage, offered themselues to
[Sidenote: Carpwaldus.]
be wholie at his commandement. But Edwin suffering Carpwald or
Erpwald the sonne of Redwald to inioie the bare title and name of the
king of that countrie, ruled all things at his owne will and pleasure.
Neither was there anie prouince within Britaine that did not obeie
him, or was not readie to doo him seruice (the kingdome of Kent onelie
excepted) for he suffered the Kentishmen to liue in quiet, because
he began to haue a liking to the sister of king Eadbald, namelie the
ladie Ethelburga, otherwise called Tate or Tace.

[Sidenote: _Beda. lib. 2. cap. 9_.]
He made request therefore by sending ambassadours to hir brother,
to haue the said ladie in marriage, and at length obteined hir, with
condition that she being a christian woman, might not onelie vse the
christian religion, but also that all those, whether men or women,
priests or ministers, which came with hir, might haue licence to doo
the same, without trouble or impeachment of anie maner of person.
Herevpon she being sent vnto him, there was appointed to go with hir
[Sidenote: _Matth. West._ _Beda. lib. 2. cap. 9_.]
(besides manie other) one Pauline, which was consecrated bishop by
[Sidenote: 625.]
the archbishop Iustus the 21 of Iulie, in the yeare of our Lord 625,
who at his comming into Northumberland thus in companie with
Ethelburga, trauelled earnestlie in his office, both to preserue hir
and such christians in the faith of Christ, as were appointed to giue
their attendance on hir, least they should chance to fall: and also
sought to win some of the Pagans (if it were possible) vnto the same
faith, though at the first he little profited in that matter.

In the yeare following, there came a murtherer vnto the court of king
Edwin, as then soiourning in a palace which stood vpon the side of the
riuer of Dorwent, being sent from Quichelme king of the Westsaxons, to
the intent to murther Edwin, because he had of late sore damnified the
countries of the Westsaxons. This murtherer was called Eumerus, &
[Sidenote: Other say an axe, as _Matth. West._]
caried vnder his coate a shost double edged woodknife inuenomed of
purpose, that if the king being but a little hurt therewith, should
not die of the wound, yet he should not escape the danger of the
[Sidenote: Emmerus.]
poison. This Eumerus on Easter mondaie came to the king, and making
foorth to him as it had béene to haue declared some message from his
maister, when he had espied his time, drew his weapon, and offered to
strike the king. But one of the kings seruants named Lilla, perceiuing
this, stept betwixt the king and the blow. Howbeit the murtherer set
the stripe forward with such force, that the knife running through
the bodie of Lilla wounded also the king a little: and before this
murtherer could be beaten downe, he slue another of the kings
seruants, a knight that attended vpon him, called Fordher.

[Sidenote: Eaufled borne.]
The same night Ethelburga was deliuered of a daughter named
Eaufled, for the which when king Edwin gaue thanks vnto his gods, in
the presence of bishop Pauline, the bishop did admonish him, rather to
giue thanks vnto the true and onelie God, by whose goodnesse it came
to passe that the queene was safelie and without danger deliuered. The
king giuing good eare vnto the bishops wholesome admonition, promised
at that present to become a Christian, if he might reuenge his
injuries receiued at the hands of the Westsaxons. And to assure
Pauline that his promise should take place, he gaue vnto him his new
borne daughter to be made holie to the Lord, that is to say, baptised.
The bishop receiuing hir, on Whitsundaie next following baptised hir,
with twelue other of the kings houshold, she being the first of
the English Northumbers that was so washed in the founteine of

In the meane time K. Edwin being recouered of his hurt, assembled an
armie, and went against the Westsaxons, with whome incountring in
battell, he either slue or brought to his subiection all them that
had conspired his death, and so returned as a conquerour into his
countrie. But yet he delaied time in performance of his promise to
become a Christian: howbeit he had left his dooing of sacrifice to
idols, euer since he made promise to be baptised. He was a sage
prince, and before he would alter his religion, he politikelie
thought good to heare matters touching both his old religion, and the
Christian religion throughlie examined.

Now whilest he thus hoong in doubt vnto whether part he should
[Sidenote: _Beda. lib. 2, cap. 10_.]
incline, there came letters to him from pope Boniface the fift of
that name, exhorting him by sundrie kinds of gentle perswasions, to
turne to the worshipping of the true and liuing God, and to renounce
worshipping of mawmets and idols. The pope wrote also to quéene
[Sidenote: _Beda. lib. 2, cap. 11_.]
Ethelburga, praieng hir to continue in hir good purpose, and by
all meanes possible to doo what might be doone for the conuerting of
hir husband vnto the faith of Christ. But the thing that most mooued
[Sidenote: A vision.]
the king, was a vision which sometime he had while he remained
as a banished man in the court of Redwald king of the Eastangles, as

[Sidenote: _Beda. cap._ 12.]
After that king Ethelfred was informed that the foresaid Redwald
had receiued Edwin, he ceased not by his ambassadours to moue Redwald
either to deliuer Edwin into his hands, or to make him awaie. At
length by often sending, & promises made of large summes of monie,
mixed with threatnings, he obteined a grant of his sute, so that
it was determined that Edwin should either be murthered, or else
deliuered into his enimies hands. One of Edwins friends hauing
intelligence hereof, in the night season came to Edwins chamber, and
leading him abroad, told him the whole practise, and what was purposed
against him, offering to helpe him out of the countrie, if he would so
[Sidenote: The honorable consideration of Edwin.]
aduenture to escape. Edwin being woonderouslie amazed, thanked his
friend, but refused to depart the countrie, sith he had no iust cause
outwardlie giuen to play such a slipper part, choosing rather to
ieopard his life with honour, than to giue men cause to thinke that he
had first broken promise with such a prince as Redwald was, to whome
he had giuen his faith.

Herevpon his friend departing from him, left him sitting without the
doores: where after he had reuolued manie things in his mind, and
thought long vpon this matter, at length he perceiued one to come
towards him vnknowne, and in strange apparell, séeming to him in
euerie point a stranger, at which sight (for that he could not imagine
who it should be) Edwin was much afraid: but the man comming to him
saluted him, and asked of him what he made there at that time of the
night when other were at rest. Edwin on the other part asked what he
had to doo therewith, and whether he vsed to lie abroad in the night,
or within house? Who answering said; Thinke not Edwin that I am
ignorant of thy heauinesse, of thy watchings, and this thy solitarie
sitting here without doores. For I know who thou art, wherefore thou
art thus pensiue, and what euils thou fearest to be towards thée at
hand. But tell me, what wouldest thou giue him, that could deliuer
thée out of this heauinesse, and perswade Redwald that he should
neither doo thée hurt, nor deliuer thée to thine enimies? Here with
when Edwin said that he would gladlie giue all that in him might lie
to such a one in reward: The other said; What wouldst thou giue then,
if he should promise in good sooth that (all thine enimies being
destroied) thou shouldest be king, and that thou shouldest passe in
power all the kings which haue reigned in the English nation before
thy time? Edwin being better come to himselfe by such demandes, did
not sticke to promise that he would requite his friendship with
woorthie thanks.

Then replied he to his words and said; If he that shall prophesie to
thée this good hap to come, shall also be able to informe thee in such
counsell for thy health and life, as neuer anie of thy forefathers or
kinsfolke yet haue heard, wouldest thou obey him, and also consent
to receiue his wholesome aduertisement? Wherevnto without further
deliberation Edwin promised, that he would in all points follow the
instruction of him that should deliuer him out of so manie and great
calamities, and bring him to the rule of a kingdome. Which answere
being got, this person that thus talked with him, laid his hand vpon
his head, saieng: When this therefore shall chance to thée, be not
forgetfull of this time, nor of this communication, and those things
that thou now dooest promise, sée thou performe. And therewith he
vanished awaie. So that Edwin might well perceiue it was no man but a
vision that thus had appeared vnto him.

[¶ This vnaccustomed course it pleased God to vse for the conuersion
of the king (to whose example it was no doubt but the people and
inferiour sort would generallie be conformed) who otherwise had
continued in paganisme and blind ignorance both of Gods truth and true
christianitie. And it maie be that there was in him, as in other kings
his predecessors, a settled perswasion in gentilish error, so that
neither by admonition nor preaching (though the same had procéeded
from the mouth of one allotted to that ministerie) he was to be
reuoked from the infidelitie and misbeléefe wherein he was nuzzeled
and trained vp. For it is the nature of all men, to be addicted to the
obseruation of such rites and customes as haue béene established and
left in force by their progenitors, and sooner to stand vnto a desire
and earnest purpose of adding somewhat to their elders corrupt
constitutions, and irreligious course of conuersation, than to
be inclinable to anie article or point tending to innouation: so
inflexible is the posteritie to swarue from the traditions of
antiquitie, stand the same vpon neuer so grosse and palpable

Edwin still reioising in the foresaid comfortable talke, but
thoughtfull in mind what he should be, or from whence he came that had
talked in this sort with him; behold his friend returned that first
had brought him foorth of his chamber, and declared vnto him good
newes, how the king by perswasion of the quéene had altered his
determination, and minded to mainteine his quarell to the vttermost of
his power: and so he did in déed. For with all diligence he raised
an armie, and went against Ethelfrid, vanquished him in battell, and
placed Edwin in the kingdome (as before ye haue heard.)

       *       *       *       *       *

_King Edwin is put in mind of his vision by Pauline who sawe the
same in spirit, he is licenced to preach the gospell, bishop Coifi
destroieth the idols, Edwin and his people receiue the Christian
faith, his two sonnes Osfride and Eadfride become conuerts, Redwald
king of the Eastangles is baptised, he serueth God and the diuell,
Sibert receiueth the faith, Felix bishop of Burgongne commeth ouer to
Honorius archbishop of Canturburie, he preacheth to the Eastangles,
the Northumbers and Lincolnshiremen are conuerted manie are baptised
in the riuer of Trent; king Edwins iustice how effectuall and
commendable, his care for the common-wealth, his prouidence for the
refection of trauellers, pope Honorius confirmeth Pauline archbishop
of Yorke, the tenor of his letters touching the mutuall election of
the archbishop of Canturburie and Yorke, if either of them happened to
suruiue other, his letters to the Scots touching the keeping of Easter
and avoiding the Pelagian heresie, Cadwallo king of Britaine rebelleth
against Edwin, Penda king of Mercia enuieth his good estate, Cadwallo
and Penda inuade Northumberland, Edwin and his sonne Osfride are
slaine, Penda putteth his other sonne Eadfride cruellie to death._


Notwithstanding the former vision, king Edwin deferred time yer he
would receiue the Christian faith, in somuch that Pauline vpon a daie
came vnto him as he sat musing what he were best to doo, and laid his
hand vpon his head, asking him if he knew that signe. Whereat when the
king would haue fallen downe at his féet, he lifted him vp, and as it
were in familiar wise thus said vnto him: "Behold, by the assistance
of Gods fauour thou hast escaped the hands of thine enimies, whome
thou stoodst in feare of: behold through his bountious liberalitie,
thou hast obteined the kingdome which thou diddest desire, remember
then that thou delaie no time to performe the third thing that
thou diddest promise, in receiuing his faith, and kéeping his
commandements, which deliuering thée from worldlie aduersities, hath
thus aduanced thée to the honor of a king: and if from henceforth thou
wilt obey his will, which by my mouth hée setteth and preacheth to
thée and others, he will deliuer thée from euerlasting torments, and
make thée partaker with him in his celestiall kingdome." It is to be
thought that the vision which the king had in times past receiued, was
in spirit reuealed vnto Pauline, wherevpon without delaie of time, he
put him in remembrance of it in maner as aboue is mentioned.

The king hauing heard his words, answered, that he would and ought to
receiue the faith which he taught, but first he would conferre with
his nobles, and if they would agrée to doo the like, then would they
be baptised altogither at one time. Pauline satisfied herewith,
[Sidenote: Edwin consulteth with his nobles.]
Edwin did as he had promised, calling togither the wisest men of his
realme, and of them asked the question what they thought of this
diuinitie, which was preached vnto them by Pauline, vnto whome
[Sidenote: The answere of an heathen bishop.]
his chiefe bishop named Coifi, incontinentlie made this answer; that
Suerlie the religion which they had hitherto followed was nothing
worth. "For saith he, there is none of thy people that hath more
reuerentlie woorshipped our gods than I haue doone, and yet be there
manie that haue receiued far greater benefits at thy hands than I haue
doone: and therefore if our gods were of anie power, then would they
rather helpe me to high honor and dignitie than others. Therefore if
it maie be found that this new religion is better & more auailable
than our old, let vs with spéed imbrace the same."

Finallie, when other of the kings councell & men of high authoritie
gaue their consents, that this doctrine which Pauline taught ought to
be receiued, if therein appeered more certeintie of saluation than
could be found in the other: at length the king gaue licence to
[Sidenote: Pauline licenced to preach the gospell.]
Pauline openlie to preach the gospell, and renouncing his worshipping
of false gods, professed the Christian faith. And when he demanded of
his bishop Coifi who should first deface the altars of their idols,
and the tabernacles wherewith they were compassed about? He answered,
that himselfe would doo it. "For what is more méet (saith he) than
that I, which thorough foolishnesse haue worshipped them, should now
for example sake destroie the same, thorough wisedome giuen me from
the true and liuing God?" And streightwaies throwing awaie the
superstition of vanitie, required armour and weapon of the king, with
a stoned horsse, vpon the which he being mounted, rode foorth to
destroie the idols.

This was a strange sight to the people: for it was not lawfull for the
bishop of their law to put on armour, or to ride on anie beast, except
it were a mare. He hauing therefore a swoord gird to him, tooke a
speare in his hand, and riding on the kings horsse, went to the place
where the idols stood. The common people that beheld him had thought
he had béene starke mad, and out of his wits: but he without longer
deliberation, incontinentlie vpon his comming to the temple, began
to deface the same, and in contempt threw his speare against it, &
reioising greatlie in the knowledge of the worshipping of the true
God, commanded his companie to destroie & burne downe the same
temple with all the altars. This place where the idols were sometime
worshipped was not farre from Yorke, towards the east part of the
riuer of Derwent, and is called Gotmundin Gaham, where the foresaid
bishop by the inspiration of God defaced and destroied those altars,
which he himselfe had hallowed.

[Sidenote: King Edwin with his people receive the christian faith.
_Beda. lib. 2. cap. 14_. 627.]
King Edwin therefore with all the nobilitie, and a great number of
his people, receiued the faith and were baptised, in the yéere of our
Lord 627, in the tenth yéere of his reigne, and about the 178 yéere
after the first comming of the Englishmen into this land. He was
baptised at Yorke on Easter daie (which fell that yéere the day before
the Ides of Aprill) in the church of S. Peter the apostle, which he
had caused to be erected and built vp of timber vpon the sudden for
that purpose, and afterwards began the foundation of the same church
in stone-woorke of a larger compasse, comprehending within it that
oratorie which he had first caused to be built: but before he could
finish the woorke, he was slaine (as after shall be shewed) leauing
it to be performed of his successor Oswald.

Pauline continued from thencefoorth during the kings life, which
was six yéeres after, in preaching the gospell in that prouince,
conuerting an innumerable number of people to the faith of Christ,
among whom were Osfride and Eadfride the two sonnes of Edwin, whom he
begot in time of his banishment of his wife Quinburga, the daughter
of Cearlus king of Mercia. Also afterwards he begot children on his
second wife Ethelburga, that is to say, a sonne called Edilhimus,
[Sidenote: Ediltrudis.]
and a daughter named Ediltrudis, and another sonne called Bustfrea, of
the which the two first died in their cradels, and were buried in the
church at Yorke. To be briefe: by the kings assistance & fauour shewed
vnto Pauline in the woorke of the Lord, great multitudes of people
dailie receiued the faith, and were baptised of Pauline in manie
places, but speciallie in the riuer of Gleuie within the prouince of
Bernicia, and also in Swale in the prouince of Deira: for as yet in
the beginning thus of the church in those countries, no temples or
fonts could be builded or erected in so short a time.

Of such great zeale was Edwin (as it is reported) towards the setting
[Sidenote: This chanced in the yéere 632, as _Matt. West._ saith.]
foorth of Gods truth, that he persuaded Carpwald the sonne of Redwald
king of the Eastangles to abandon the superstitious worshipping of
idols, and to receiue the faith of Christ with all his whole prouince.
[Sidenote: Redwald king of Eastangles baptised.]
His father Redwald was baptised in Kent long before this time, but in
vaine: for returning home, through counsell of his wife and other
wicked persons, he was seduced, and being turned from the sincere
puritie of faith, his last dooings were woorse than his first, so
[Sidenote: Redwald would serve God and the diuell.]
that according to the maner of the old Samaritans, he would séeme
both to serue the true God and his false gods, (whom before time he
had serued) and in one selfe church had at one time both the
sacraments of Christ ministred at one altar, and sacrifice made vnto
diuels at another.

But Carpwald within a while after he had receiued the faith, was
slaine by one of his owne countrimen that was an ethnike, called
Richbert, and then after his death, that prouince for the tearme
[Sidenote: Sibert or Sigibert.]
of thrée yeeres was wrapped eftsoones in errour, till Sibert or
Sigibert, the brother of Carpwald, a most christian prince, and verie
well learned, obteined the rule of that kingdome, who whilest he liued
a banished man in France during his brothers life time, was baptised
there, and became a christian: and when he came to be king, he caused
all his prouince to be partaker of the same fountaine of life, wherein
he had beene dipped himselfe.

Vnto this godlie purpose also, a bishop of the parties of Burgoigne
named Felix was a great furtherer, who comming ouer vnto the
archbishop of Canturburie Honorius that was successor vnto Iustus, and
declaring vnto him his earnest desire, was sent by the same archbishop
to preach the woord of life vnto the Eastangles, which he did with
such good successe, that he conuerted the whole countrie to the faith
of Iesus Christ, and placed the sée of his bishoprike at Dunwich,
[Sidenote: A bishop ordained at Dunwhich. _Beda lib 1. cap. 16._]
ending the course of his life there in peace after he had continued in
that his bishoplike office the space of 17 yéeres. Moreouer Pauline,
after that he had conuerted the Northumbers, preached the woord of God
vnto them of Lindsey, which is a part of Lincolnshire: and first he
persuaded one Blecca the gouernour of the citie of Lincolne to
[Sidenote: This chanced in the yéere 628, as _Matth. West_ saith.]
turne vnto Christ, togither with all his familie. In that citie he
also builded a church of stone woorke. Thus Pauline trauelled in the
woorke of the Lord, the same being greatlie furthered by the helpe of
Edwin, in whose presence he baptised a great number of people in the
riuer of Trent, néere to a towne, which in the old English toong was
called _Tio vulfingacester_. This Pauline had with him a deacon named
Iames, the which shewed himselfe verie diligent in the ministerie, and
profited greatlie therein.

But now to returne to king Edwin, who was a prince verelie of woorthie
fame, and for the politike ordering of his countries and obseruing of
iustice, deserued highlie to be commended: for in his time all robbers
by the high waie were so banished out of his dominions, that a woman
[Sidenote: _Wil. Malm._]
with hir new borne child alone, without other companie, might haue
trauelled from sea to sea, and not haue incountred with anie creature
that durst once haue offered hir iniurie. He was also verie carefull
for the aduancement of the commoditie & common wealth of his people,
[Sidenote:_ Math. West. Beda lib 2. cap. 16_]
insomuch that where there were any swéet and cleare water-springs, he
caused postes to be set vp, and iron dishes to be fastened thereto
with chaines, that waifaring men might haue the same readie at hand
to drinke with: and there was none so hardie as to touch the same but
for that vse. He vsed wheresoeuer he went within the cities or
elsewhere abroad, to haue a banner borne before him, in token of
iustice to be ministred by his roiall authoritie.

In the meane season, pope Honorius the fift, hearing that the
Northumbers had receiued the faith (as before is mentioned) at the
preaching of Pauline, sent vnto the said Pauline the pall, confirming
him archbishop in the sée of Yorke. He sent also letters of
[Sidenote: _Beda lib 2. cap. 17_.]
exhortation vnto king Edwin, to kindle him the more with fatherlie
aduise to continue and procéed in the waie of vnderstanding, into
the which he was entered. At the same time also, bicause Iustus the
archbishop of Canturburie was dead, and one Honorius elected to that
sée, pope Honorius sent to the said elect archbishop of Canturburie
[Sidenote: A decrée concerning the archbishops of Canturburie and Yorke]
his pall, with letters, wherein was conteined a decrée by him
made, that when either the archbishop of Canturburie or Yorke chanced
to depart this life, he that suruiued should haue authoritie to
ordeine another in place of him that was deceassed, that they should
not néed to wearie themselues with going to Rome, being so farre
distant from them. The copie of which letter is registred in the
ecclesiasticall historie of Beda, bearing date the third Ides of Iune,
[Sidenote: 633.]
in the yéere of our Lord 633. The same pope sent letters also
to the Scotish people, exhorting them to celebrate the feast of
[Sidenote: The feast of Easter]
Easter in such due time as other churches of the christian world
[Sidenote: The heresie of the Pelagians]
obserued. And also bicause the heresie of the Pelagians began to
renew againe amongst them (as he was informed) he admonished them to
beware thereof, and by all meanes to auoid it. For he knew that to the
office of a pastor it is necessarilie incident, not onelie to exhort,
teach, and shew his sheepe the waies to a christian life, but also
stronglie to withstand all such vniust meanes, as might hinder their
procéeding in the truth of religion. For as poison is vnto the bodie,
that is heresie vnto veritie. And as the bodie by poison is disabled
from all naturall faculties, and vtterlie extinguished, vnlesse by
present meanes the force thereof be vanquished: so truth and veritie
by errors and heresies is manie times choked and recouereth, but neuer

But now that the kingdome of Northumberland flourished (as before is
partlie touched) in happie state vnder the prosperous reigne of Edwin,
at length, after he had gouerned it the space of 17 yeeres,
[Sidenote: Cadwallin, or Cadwallo king of Britaine.]
Cadwalline, or Cadwallo, king of Britaine, who succeeded Cadwane, as
Gal. Mon. saith, rebelled against him. For so it commeth to passe,
that nothing can be so sure confirmed by mans power, but the same
by the like power may be againe destroied. Penda king of Mercia
[Sidenote: Penda king of Mercia.]
enuieng the prosperous procéedings of Edwin, procured Cadwallo to
mooue this rebellion against Edwin: and ioining his power with
Cadwallo, they inuaded the countrie of Northumberland iointlie
togither. Edwin heereof aduertised, gathered his people, & came to
incounter them, so that both armies met at a place called Hatfield,
[Sidenote: King Edwin slaine. _Matth. West._]
where was fought a verie sore and bloudie battell. But in the end
Edwin was slaine with one of his sonnes named Osfride, and his armie
beaten downe and dispersed. Also there was slaine on Edwins part,
Eodbald king of Orkenie. Moreouer there was an other of Edwins sonnes
named Eadfride constreined of necessitie to giue himselfe into the
hands of Penda, and was after by him cruellie put to death, contrarie
to his promised faith in king Oswalds daies that succéeded Edwin.
Thus did king Edwin end his life in that battell, fought at Hatfield
aforesaid, on the fourth ides of October, in the yere of our Lord 633,
he being then about the age of 47 yéeres and vpwards.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The crueltie of Penda and Cadwallo after their victorie, the Britains
make no account of religion, Archbishop Pauline with queen Ethelburga
flie out of Northumberland into Kent, honorable personages accompanie
him thither, Romanus bishop of Rochester drowned, Pauline vndertaketh
the charge of that see; Osrilie is king of Deira, and Eaufride king of
Bernicia, both kings become apostatas, and fall fr[=o] christianitie
to paganisme, then are both slaine within lesse than a yeeres space;
Oswald is created king of Northumberland, his chiefs practise in feats
of armes, Cadwallo king of Britaine hath him in contempt, Oswalds
superstitious deuotion and intercession to God against his enimies;
both kings ioine battell; Cadwallo is slaine, Penda king of Mercia his
notable vertues linked with foule vices, he maketh warre on whome he
will without exception._


Cadwallo and Penda haumg obteined the victorie aforsaid, vsed it most
cruellie. For one of the capteins was a pagan, and the other wanting
all ciuilitie, shewed himselfe more cruell than anie pagan could haue
doone. So that Penda being a worshipper of false gods with his people
of Mercia, and Cadwallo hauing no respect to the Christian religion
[Sidenote: The crueltie of Penda and Cadwallo.]
which latelie was begun amongst the Northumbers, made hauocke in
all places where they came, not sparing man, woman nor child: and so
continued in their furious outrage a long time in passing through
the countrie, to the great decay and calamitie of the Christian
congregations in those parties. And still the christian Britains were
lesse mercifull than Penda his heathenish souldiers. For euen vnto the
daies of Beda (as he affirmeth) the Britains made no account of the
faith or religion of the Englishmen, nor would communicate with them
more than with the pagans, bicause they differed in rites from their
accustomed traditions.

[Sidenote: The archbishop Pauline flieth into Kent.]
When the countrie of the Northumbers was brought into this
miserable case by the enimies inuasion, the archbishop Pauline taking
with him the quéene Ethelburga, whom he had brought thither, returned
now againe with hir by water into Kent, where he was receiued of the
archbishop Honorius, and king Eadbald. He came thither in the conduct
of one Bassus a valiant man of warre, hauing with him Eaufred the
daughter, and Vulfrea the sonne of Edwin, & also Iffi the sonne of
Osfride Edwins sonne, whom their mother after for feare of the kings
Edbold and Oswold did send into France where they died. The church
of Rochester at that time was destitute of a bishop, by the death of
Romanus, who being sent to Rome vnto pope Honorius, was drowned by
the way in the Italian seas. Wherevpon at the request of archbishop
Honorius, and king Eadbald, Pauline tooke vpon him the charge of that
sée, and held it till he died.

[Sidenote: _Beda_. _lib. 3. ca. 1_. OSRIKE KING OF DEIRA.]
After it was knowne that Edwin was slaine in battell (as before ye
haue heard) Osrike the sonne of his vncle Elfrike tooke vpon him the
rule of the kingdome of Deira, which had receiued the sacrament of
baptisme by the preaching and vertuous instruction of Pauline. But
[Sidenote: Eaufrid king of Bernicia.]
the other kingdome of Northumberland called Bernicia, Eaufride the son
of Edelferd or Edelfride, tooke vpon him to gouerne. This Eaufride
during the time of Edwins reigne, had continued in Scotland, and there
being conuerted to the Christian faith was baptised. But both these
princes, after they had obteined possession of their earthlie
kingdoms, did forget the care of the heauenlie kingdome, so that they
returned to their old kind of idolatrie. But almightie God did not
long suffer this their vnthankefulnesse without iust punishment: for
first in the next summer, when Osrike had rashlie besieged Cadwallo
king of the Britains, within a certeine towne, Cadwallo brake foorth
vpon him, and finding him vnprouided to make resistance, slue him
[Sidenote: The two kings of Northumberland slaine.]
with all his armie. Now after this, whilest Cadwallo not like a
conqueror gouerned the prouinces of the Northumbers, but like a tyrant
wasted and destroied them, in sleaing the people in tragicall maner,
he also slue Eaufride, the which with twelue men of warre came
vndiscréetlie vnto him to sue for peace: and thus within lesse than
twelue moneths space both these runagate kings were dispatched.

[Sidenote: OSWALD began his reigne in the yeare 635. _Beda_. _lib.3.
Then Oswald the sonne of Edelfred, and brother to the foresaid
Eaufride was created king of the Northumbers, the sixt in number from
Ida. This Oswald after that his father was slaine, liued as a banished
person a long time within Scotland, where he was baptised, and
professed the Christian religion, and passed the flower of his youth
in good exercises, both of mind & bodie. Amongst other things he
practised the vnderstanding of warlike knowledge, minding so to vse it
as it might stand him in stead to defend himselfe from iniurie of
the enimies that should prouoke him, and not otherwise. Herevp[=o]
Cadwallo king of the Britains made in maner no account of him: for
by reason that he had atchiued such great victories against the
Englishmen, and hauing slaine their two kings (as before is expressed)
he ceassed not to proceed in his tyrannicall dooings, reputing the
English people for slouthfull, and not apt to the warre, boasting
that he was borne to their destruction. Thus being set vp in pride of
courage, he feared no perils, but boldlie (without considering at
all the skilfull knowledge which Oswald had sufficientlie learned in
feates of war) tooke vpon him to assaile the foresaid Oswald, that had
brought an armie against him, and was encamped in a plaine field néere
vnto the wall which the Romans had builded in times past against the
inuasion of Scots and Picts.

Cadwallo streight prouoked Oswald to trie the matter by battell, but
Oswald forbare the first day, and caused a crosse to be erected in the
same place where he was incamped, in full hope that it should be an
ensigne or trophie of his victorie, causing all souldiers to make
their praiers to God, that in time of such necessitie it might please
him to succour them that worship him. It is said, that the crosse
being made, and the hole digged wherein it should be set, he tooke the
crosse in his owne hands, and putting the foot thereof into that hole,
so held it till his souldiers had filled the hole, and rammed it vp:
and then caused all the souldiers to knéele downe vpon their knées,
and to make intercession to the true and liuing God for his assistance
against the proud enimie, with whom they should fight in a iust
quarell for the preseruation of their people and countrie.

After this, on the next morning he boldlie gaue battell to his
enimies, so that a sore and cruell fight insued betwixt them. At
length Oswald perceiued that the Britains began somwhat to faint, and
therfore caused his people to renew their force, and more lustilie
to preasse forward, so that first he put that most cruell enimie to
flight, and after pursuing the chase ouertooke him, and slue him
[Sidenote: _Beda_. _Wil. Malm._]
with the most part of all his huge and mightie armie, at a place
called Denisborne, but the place where he caused the crosse to be
erected he named Heuenfield. Thus Cadwallo the most cruell enimie of
the English name ended his life: he was terrible both in nature and
countenance, for the which cause they say the Britains did afterwards
set vp his image, that the same might be a terror to the enimies when
they should behold it.

¶ But here is to be remembred by the British historie of Gal. Mon.
it should appeare that Cadwallo was not slaine at all, but reigned
victoriouslie for the space of 48 yéeres, and then departed this life,
as in place afterwards it shall appéere. But for that the contrarietie
in writers in such points may sooner be perceiued than reformed, to
the satisfieng of mens fansies which are variable, we will leaue
euerie man to his libertie to thinke as séemeth him good, noting now
and then the diuersitie of such writers, as occasion serueth.

[Sidenote: PENDA. 636.]
Penda the sonne of Wilba succéeded in the gouernement of the
kingdome of Mercia after Ciarlus, and began his reigne in the yéere of
our Lord 636. He was fiftie yéeres of age before he came to be king,
and reigned 30 yeres, he was a prince right hardie and aduenturous,
not fearing to ieopard his person in place of danger, assured and
readie of remembrance in time of greatest perill. His bodie could not
be ouercome with anie trauell, nor his mind vanquished with greatnesse
of businesse. But these his vertues were matched with notable vices,
as first with such bitternesse of maners as had not béene heard of,
crueltie of nature, lacke of courtesie, great vnstedfastnesse in
performing of woord and promise, and of vnmeasurable hatred toward the
christian religion.

Now vpon confidence in these his great vertues and vices from that
time he was made king (as though the whole Ile had bene due to him) he
thought not good to let anie occasion passe that was offered to make
war, as wel against his friends & confederats, as also against his
owne sworne enimies. Part of his dooings ye haue heard, and more shall
appeare hereafter. ¶ Of the kings of the Eastsaxons & Eastangles ye
haue heard before: of whom in places conuenient ye shall find further
mention also, and so likewise of the kings of the Southsaxons: but
bicause their kingdom continued not past fiue successions, litle
remembrance of them is made by writers.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Cadwallo king of Britain, diuers deeds of his as the British writers
haue recorded them, wherevpon discord arose betweene Cadwallo & Edwin,
who for two yeres space were linked in friendship, Cadwallo vanquisht,
his flight, of Pelitus the Spanish wizard, Cadwallo ouerthroweth Penda
and his power besieging Excester, he arreareth battell against the
Northumbers, and killeth Edwin their king, he seeketh to expell the
Saxons out of the land, Penda slaieth Oswald, whose brother and
successor Osunus by gifts and submission obteineth peace, whom Penda
spitefullie attempting to kill is killed himselfe, Cadwallo dieth, a
brasen image on horssebacke set vp in his memoriall, saint Martins at
Ludgate builded._


Cadwallo or Cadwalline, (for we find him so named) began his
[Sidenote: 635.]
reigne ouer the Britains, in the yéere of our Lord 635, in the
yéere of the reigne of the emperour Heracleus 35, and in the 13 yere
of Dagobert K. of France. Of this man ye haue heard partlie before
touching his dealings and warres against the Northumbers, and other of
the English nation: but forsomuch as diuers other things are reported
of him by the British writers, we haue thought good in this place to
rehearse the same in part, as in Gal. Mon. we find writen, leauing the
credit still with the author, sith the truth thereof may be the more
suspected, bicause other authors of good authoritie, as Beda, Henrie
Huntington, William Malmesburie, and others séeme greatlie to disagrée
from him herein. But thus it is written.

[Sidenote: Edwin was not sonne to Ethelfred, but to Alla, or Elle, as
in other places plainlie appeareth.]
This Cadwallo and Edwin the sonne of Ethelfred, as Galfride saith,
were brought vp in France, being sent thither vnto Salomon king of
Britaine, by king Cadwane, when they were verie yoong. Now after their
returne into this land, when they were made kings, Cadwallo of the
Britains, & Edwin of the Northumbers, there continued for the space
of two yéeres great friendship betwixt them, till at length Edwin
required of Cadwallo that he might weare a crowne, and celebrate
appointed solemnities within his dominion of Northumberland, as well
as Cadwallo did in his countrie. Cadwallo taking aduice in this
matter, at length by persuasion of his nephue Brian, denied to grant
vnto Edwin his request, wherewith Edwin tooke such displeasure, that
he sent woord vnto Cadwallo, that he would be crowned without his
leaue or licence, sith he would not willinglie grant it. Wherto
Cadwallo answered, that if he so did, he would cut off his head vnder
his diademe, if he presumed to weare anie within the confines of
Britaine. Hereof discord arising betwixt these two princes, they began
to make fierce and cruell warre either of them against the other,
[Sidenote: Cadwallo vanquished by Edwin. Cadwallo flieth the land.]
and at length ioining in batell with their maine forces, Cadwallo
lost the field, with many thousands of his men, and being chased fled
into Scotland, and from thence got ouer into Ireland, and finally
passed the seas into Britaine Armorike, where, of his coosin king
Salomon he was courteouslie receiued, and at length obteined of him
10000 men to go with him backe into his countrie, to assist him in
recouerie of his lands & dominions, the which in the meane time were
cruellie spoiled, wasted and haried by king Edwin.

At the same time Brian the nephue of Cadwallo, whom he had sent into
Britaine as little before to slea a certeine wizard or southsaier,
whom king Edwin had gotten out of Spaine named Pelitus, that by
disclosing the purpose of Cadwallo vnto Edwin, greatlie hindered
Cadwallos enterprises, had fortified the citie of Excester, mening to
defend it till the comming of Cadwallo, wherevpon Penda king of Mercia
besieged that citie with a mightie army, purposing to take it, and
Brian within it. Cadwallo then aduertised hereof, immediatlie after
his arriuall hasted to Excester, and diuiding his people in 4 parts,
set vpon his enimies, tooke Penda, and ouerthrew his whole armie.
Penda hauing no other shift to escape, submitted himselfe wholie vnto
Cadwallo, promising to become his liegeman, to fight against the
Saxons in his quarrell. Penda being thus subdued, Cadwallo called his
nobles togither which had bene dispersed abroad a long season, & with
all spéed went against Edwin king of Northumberland, and slue him in
battell at Hatfield (as before is mentioned) with his son Osfride, and
Eodbold king of the Iles of Orknie, which was come thither to his aid.

¶ By this it should appeare, that Fabian hath gathered amisse in the
account of the reignes of the British kings: for it appeareth by Beda
and others, that Edwin was slaine in the yéere of our Lord 634.
[Sidenote: 634.]
And where Fabian (as before is said) attributeth that act & diuers
other vnto Cadwan the father of this Cadwallo: yet both Gal. Mon. and
Beda with the most part of all other writers signifie that it was done
by Cadwallo. Harding assigneth but 13 yéeres to the reigne of Cadwan,
and declareth that he died in the yéere of our Lord 616, in the which
(as he saith) Cadwallo began his reigne, which opinion of his séemeth
best to agrée with that which is written by other authors. But to
returne to the other dooings of Cadwallo, as we find them recorded
in the British storie. After he had got this victorie against the
Northumbers, he cruellie pursued the Saxons, as though he ment so
farre as in him lay, to destroie the whole race of them out of the
coasts of all Britaine: and sending Penda against king Oswald that
succéeded Edwin, though at the first Penda receiued the ouerthrow at
Heauenfield, yet afterwards Cadwallo himselfe highly displeased with
that chance, pursued Oswald, and fought with him at a place called
[Sidenote: Oswald slaine.]
Bourne, where Penda slue the said Oswald. Wherevpon his brother
Osunus succéeding in gouernment of the Northumbers, sought the fauour
of Cadwallo now ruling as king ouer all Britaine, and at length by
great gifts of gold and siluer, and vpon his humble submission,
[Sidenote: Oswie. _Matth. West._ 654.]
obteined peace, till at length vpon spite, Penda king of Mercia
obteined licence of Cadwallo to make warres against the said Osunus,
in the which (as it hapned) Penda himselfe was slaine. Then Cadwallo
after two yéeres granted that Vlfridus the sonne of Penda should
succeed in Mercia.

Thus Cadwallo ruled things at his appointment within this land. And
[Sidenote: 678.]
[Sidenote: _Matt. West._ saith 676.]
finallie when he had reigned 48 yéeres, he departed this life
the 22 of Nouember. His bodie being embalmed and dressed with swéet
confections, was put into a brasen image by maruelous art melted and
cast, which image being set on a brazen horsse of excellent beautie,
the Britains set vp aloft vpon the west gate of London called Ludgate,
in signe of his conquests, and for a terror to the Saxons. Moreouer
the church of S. Martin vnderneath the same gate, was by the Britains
then builded. Thus haue the Britains made mention of their valiant
prince Cadwallo, but diuerse thinke that much of this historie is
but fables, bicause of the manifest varieng both from Beda and other
autentike writers (as before I haue said.)

       *       *       *       *       *

_The true storie of the forenamed king Oswald, his desire to restore
christian religion, Cormans preaching taking small effect among the
Northumbers, persuadeth him to depart into his owne countrie, he
slandereth them before the Scotish clergie, Aidan a godlie man telleth
the cause of the peoples not profiting by Cormans preaching, Aidan
commeth into England to instruct the people in the faith, he varieth
in the obseruation of Easter from the English churches custome, the
Northumbers haue him & his doctrine in reuerence, Oswalds earnest
zeale to further religion by Aidans preaching and ministerie, 15000
baptised within 7 daies; Oswald hath the Britains, Scots, Picts,
& English at his commandement, his commendable deed of christian
charitie, the Westsaxons conuerted to the faith by the preaching
of Birinus, king Kinigils is baptised, he maketh Birinus bishop of
Dorcester, Penda king of Mercia maketh war against the christian
kings of the Westsaxons, both sides after a bloudie battell fall
to agrement, Ercombert the first English king that destroied idols
throughout the whole land, he ordeineth Lent; why English men became
moonks, and English women nunnes in monasteries beyond the seas; why
Penda king of Mercia enuieth vertuous king Oswald, he is assaulted,
slaine in battell, and canonized a saint after his death._


Now will we (after all these differing discourses of the British
chronologers) approch and draw as néere as we can to the truth of the
historie touching Oswald king of the Northumbers, of whom we find,
[Sidenote: Oswald meaneth to be thankefull to God for his benefits.
_Beda li. 3. cap. 3. 5. 6._ _Hector Boet._]
that after he had tasted of Gods high fauour extended to himwards, in
vanquishing his enimies, as one minding to be thankefull therefore,
he was desirous to restore the christian faith through his whole
kingdome, sore lamenting the decay thereof within the same, and
therefore euen in the beginning of his reigne, he sent vnto Donwald
the Scotish king (with whome he had béene brought vp in the time of
his banishment the space of 18 yéeres) requiring him to haue some
learned Scotishman sent vnto him, skilfull in preaching the word of
life, that with godly sermons and wholesome instructions, he might
conuert the people of Northumberland vnto the true and liuing God,
promising to interteine him with such prouision as apperteined.

[Sidenote: Corman.]
At his instance, there was sent vnto him one Corman, a clerke
singularlie well learned, and of great grauitie in behauiour: but for
that he wanted such facilitie, and plaine vtterance by waie of gentle
persuading, as is requisite in him that shall instruct the simple,
onelie setting foorth in his sermons high mysteries, and matters of
such profound knowledge, as the verie learned might scarselie perceiue
the perfect sense and meaning of his talke, his trauell came to small
effect, so that after a yéeres remaining there, he returned into his
countrie, declaring amongst his brethren of the cleargie, that the
people of Northumberland was a froward, stubborne and stiffe-harted
generation, whose minds he could not frame by anie good meanes of
persuasion to receiue the christian faith: so that he iudged it lost
labour to spend more time amongst them, being so vnthankfull and
intractable a people, as no good might be doone vnto them.

Amongst other learned and vertuous prelats of the Scots, there chanced
[Sidenote: Aidan.]
one to be there present at the same time called Aidan, a man of so
perfect life, that (as Beda writeth) he taught no otherwise than he
liued, hauing no regard to the cares of this world, but whatsoeuer
was giuen him by kings or men of wealth and riches, that he fréelie
bestowed vpon the poore, exhorting other to doo the like. This Aidan
hearing Cormans woords, perceiued anon that the fault was not so much
in the people as in the teacher, and therefore declared, that (as he
thought) although it were so that the people of Northumberland gaue
no such attentiue eare vnto the preaching of that reuerend prelate
Corman, as his godlie expectation was they should haue doone, yet
might it be that his vttering of ouer manie mysticall articles amongst
them, farre aboue the capacitie of the vnderstanding of simple men,
was the cause why they so lightlie regarded his diuine instructions,
[Sidenote: S. Paules counsell.]
whereas if he had (according to the counsell of Saint Paule) at
the first ministred vnto their tender vnderstandings, onelie milke,
without harder nourishments, he might happilie haue woone a farre
greater number of them vnto the receiuing of the faith, and so haue
framed them by little and little to haue digested stronger food.
And therefore he thought it necessarie in discharge of their duties
towards God, and to satisfie the earnest zeale of king Oswald,
that some one amongst them might be appointed to go againe into
Northumberland, to trie by procéeding in this maner afore alledged,
what profit would thereof insue.

The bishops hearing the opinion of Aidan, and therewith knowing
Cormans maner of preaching, iudged the matter to be as Aidan had
declared, and therevpon not onelie allowed his woords, but also willed
him to take the iournie vpon him, sith they knew none so able with
[Sidenote: Aidan commeth into England to preach the gospell.]
effect to accomplish their wished desires in that behalfe. Aidan,
for that he would not seeme to refuse to take that in hand which he
himselfe had motioned, was contented to satisfie their request, and so
set forward towards Northumberland, and comming thither, was ioifullie
receiued of king Oswald, who appointed him the Ile of Lindesfarne,
wherein to place the see of his new bishoprike.

[Sidenote: _Beda li. 3 ca. 3_. _Hector Boet._]
This Aidan in one point varied from the vse of the new begun church
of England, that is to say, touching the time of obseruing the feast
of Easter, in like maner as all the bishops of the Scots and Picts
inhabiting within Britaine in those daies did, following therein (as
they tooke it) the doctrine of the holie and praise-woorthie father
Anatholius. But the Scots that inhabited the south parts of Ireland,
alreadie were agréed to obserue that feast, according to the rules of
the church of Rome. Howbeit Aidan being thus come into Northumberland,
applied himselfe so earnestlie in praier and preaching, that the
people had him within short while in woonderfull estimation, chiefelie
for that he tempered his preachings with such swéet and pleasant
matter, that all men had a great desire to heare him, insomuch that
sometime he was glad to preach abroad in churchyards, bicause the
audience was more than could haue roome in the church.

One thing was a great hinderance to him, that he had not the perfect
knowledge of the Saxon toong. But Oswald himselfe was a great helpe to
[Sidenote: _Beda_. Oswald an interpretor to the preacher.]
him in that matter, who being desirous of nothing so much, as to
haue the faith of Christ rooted in the harts of his subiects, vsed as
an interpreter to report vnto the people in their Saxon toong, such
whole sermons as Aidan vttered in his mother toong. For Oswald hauing
béene brought vp (as ye haue hard) in Scotland during the time of
his banishment, was as readie in the Scotish, as he was in the Saxon
toong. The people then seeing the kings earnest desire in furthering
the doctrine set foorth by Aidan, were the more inclined to heare it:
so that it was a maruellous matter to note, what numbers of people
dailie offred themselues to be baptised, insomuch that within the
[Sidenote: _Hector Boet._]
space of seuen daies (as is left in writing) he christened 15 thousand
persons, of the which no small part forsaking the world, betooke
themselues to a solitarie kind of life.

Thus by his earnest trauell in continuall preaching and setting foorth
the gospell in that countrie, it came to passe in the end, that the
faith was generallie receiued of all the people, and such zeale to
aduance the glorie of the christian religion dailie increased amongst
[Sidenote: Oswalds zeale to aduance religion.]
them, that no where could be found greater. Heerevpon were no small
number of churches built in all places abroad in those parties by
procurement of the king, all men liberallie consenting (according to
the rate of their substance) to be contributorie towards the charges.
By this meanes the kingdome of the Northumbers flourished, as well
[Sidenote: _Beda lib. 5. ca. 6_.]
in fame of increase in religion, as also in ciuill policie and
prudent ordinances: insomuch that (as Beda writeth) Oswald
[Sidenote: Oswald had in estimation with his neighbours.]
atteined to such power, that all the nations and prouinces within
Britaine, which were diuided into foure toongs (that is to say)
Britains, Picts, Scots, and Englishmen, were at his commandement. But
yet he was not lifted vp in anie pride or presumption, but shewed
himselfe maruellous courteous and gentle, and verie liberall to poore
people and strangers.

It is said, that he being set at the table vpon an Ester day, & hauing
bishop Aidan at diner then with him, his almoner came in as the bishop
was about to say grace, and declared to the king that there was a
great multitude of poore folks set before the gates to looke for the
kings almes. The king héerewith tooke a siluer dish, which was set
on the table before him with meate, & commanded the same meate
streightwaies to be distributed amongst the poore, & the dish broken
into small péeces, and diuided amongst them: for which act he was
highlie commended of the bishop, as he well deserued. By the good
policie and diligent trauell of this king, the prouinces of Deira and
Bernicia, which hitherto had béene at variance, were brought to peace
and made one.

[Sidenote: _Beda lib. 3. ca. 7_. Birinus conuerteth the Westsaxons
to the christian faith.]
About the same time, the Westsaxons were conuerted to the christian
faith, by the preaching of one Birinus a bishop, who came into this
land at the exhortation of pope Honorius, to set foorth the gospell
vnto those people which as yet were not baptised. By whose diligent
[Sidenote: Kinigils king of Westsaxon becommeth a christian. _Polydor_.]
trauell in the Lords haruest, Kingils or Kinigils, one of the kings
of that countrie receiued the faith, and was baptised about the fiue
& twentith yéere of his reigne. K. Oswald that should haue had his
daughter in mariage, was present the same time, who first yer he
became a sonne in law, was made a godfather vnto Kinigils (that
should be his father in law) by receiuing him at the fontstone, in
that his second birth of regeneration. To this Birinus, who was an
Italian, king Kinigils (now that he was become a conuert or christian)
[Sidenote: Dorcester ordeined a bishops sée.]
appointed and assigned the citie of Dorcester, situat by the
Thames, distant from Oxford about seuen miles, to be the sée of his
bishoprike, where he procured churches to be built, and by his earnest
trauell & setting foorth the woord of life, conuerted much people to
the right beliefe. In the yéere following, Quichelmus the other king
of the Westsaxons, and sonne to Kinigils was also christened, and died
the same yéere, and so Cinigilsus or Kinigils reigned alone.

[Sidenote: _Henr. Hunt._]
In this meane while Penda king of Mercia that succéeded next after
[Sidenote: This chancéd in the yéere 620, as _Matth. West._ saith.]
Ciarlus, being a man giuen to séeke trouble in one place or other,
leauied warre against the kings of Westsaxon, Kinigils and Quichelmus,
the which gathering their power, gaue him battell at Cirenchester,
where both the parties fought it out to the vttermost, as though
they had forsworne to giue place one to another, insomuch that they
continued in fight and making of cruell slaughter till the night
parted them in sunder. And in the morning, when they saw that if they
shuld buckle togither againe, the one part should vtterlie destroie
the other, they fell to agréement in moderating ech others demands.

[Sidenote: 640. _Beda lib. 3. cap. 7_. _Matth. West._]
After this, in the yéere of our Lord 640, Eadbald king of Kent
departed this life, after he had reigned 24 yéeres, leauing his
kingdome to his sonne Ercombert. This Ercombert was the first of the
English kings, which tooke order for the vtter destroieng of all idols
[Sidenote: Lent first ordeined to be kept in England.]
throughout his whole kingdome. He also by his roiall authoritie
commanded the fast of fortie daies in the Lent season to be kept and
obserued, appointing woorthie and competent punishment against the
[Sidenote: Segburga. Aimoinus.]
transgressors of that commandement. He had by his wife Segburga, that
was daughter vnto Anna king of the Eastangles, a daughter named
Eartongatha, a professed nunne within the monasterie of Briege or
Cala in France: for in those daies, bicause there were not manie
monasteries builded within this land, a great number of Englishmen,
that tooke vpon them the profession of a religious life, got them ouer
vnto abbeies in France, and there professed themselues moonks: and
manie there were which sent their daughters ouer to be professed
nuns within the nunneries there, and speciallie at Briege, Cala, and
Andelie: amongst other, there were Sedrike the lawfull daughter, and
Edelburgh the bastard daughter of the said king Anna, both which in
processe of time were made abbesses of the said monasterie of Briege.

Ye haue heard alreadie, how Oswald king of Northumberland bare
himselfe in all points like a most woorthie prince, not ceasing to
releeue the necessitie of the poore, aduancing the good, and
reforming the euill, whereby he wan to himselfe excéeding praise and
commendation of all good men, and still his fame increased for
his vertuous dooings; namelie, for the ardent zeale he had to the
aduancing of the christian faith. Herevpon Penda king of Mercia,
enuieng the prosperous procéedings of Oswald, as he that could neuer
abide the good report of other mens well-dooings, began to imagine how
[Sidenote: Penda inuadeth the Northumbers. _Beda. lib. 3. cap. 9_.]
to destroie him, and to conquere his kingdome, that he might ioine it
to his owne. At length he inuaded his countrie by open warre, met
with him in the field at a place called Maserfield, and there in
[Sidenote: King Oswald slaine. _Matt. Westm._ saith 644.]
sharpe and cruell fight Oswald was slaine on the fift day of
August, in the yeare of our Lord 642, and in the 38 yeare of his age,
after he had reigned the tearme of eight or nine yeares after
some, which account that yeare vnto his reigne, in the which his
predecessors Osrike and Eaufride reigned, whome they number not
amongest kings, because of their wicked apostasie and renouncing of
the faith which before they had professed. Such was the end of that
vertuous prince king Oswald, being cruellie slaine by that wicked
tyrant Penda. Afterwards, for the opinion conceiued of his holinesse,
the foresaid Oswald was canonized a saint, and had in great worship
[Sidenote: _Will. Malmes._]
of the people, being the first of the English nation that approoued
his vertue by miracles shewed after his departure out of this life.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Oswie succeedeth Oswald in the kingdome of Northumberland, he is sore
vexed by Penda, Oswie and Oswin are partners in gouernement, they fall
at strife, Oswin is betræied into the hands of Oswie and slaine, a
commendation of his personage and goodlie qualities, bishop Aidan
dieth; Cenwalch king of the Westsaxons, Penda maketh warre against him
for putting away his wife, his flight, he becommeth a christian and
recouereth his kingdome, Bishop Agilbert commeth into Westsaxon, and
afterwards departing (upon occasion) is made bishop of Paris, Wini
buieth the bishoprike of London; Sigibert king of the Eastangles, the
vniuersitie of Cambridge founded by him, he resigneth his kingdome and
becometh a moonke, he and his kinsman Egric are slaine in a skirmish
against Penda king of Mercia._


[Sidenote: OSWIE King of Northumberland. _Beda li. 3. ca. 14_.]
After that king Oswald was slaine, his brother Oswie (being
about 30 yeares of age) tooke vpon him the rule of the kingdome of
Northumberland, gouerning the same with great trouble for the space of
28 yeares, being sore vexed by the foresaid Penda king of Mercia
and his people, which as yet were pagans. In the first yeare of his
[Sidenote: 644.]
reigne, which was in the yeare of our Lord 644. Pauline the bishop
of Rochester which had beene also archbishop of Yorke departed this
life, and then one Thamar an Englishman of the parties of Kent
was ordeined bishop of Rochester by Honorius the archbishop of
Canturburie. King Oswie had one Oswin partener with him in gouernment
of the Northumbers in the first beginning of his reigne, which
[Sidenote: Bernicia.]
was sonne to Osrike, so that Oswie gouerned in Bernicia, and Oswin in
Deira, continuing in perfect friendship for a season, till at length,
through the counsell of wicked persons, that coueted nothing so much
as to sowe discord and variance betwixt princes, they fell at debate,
and so began to make warres one against an other, so that finallie
when they were at point to haue tried their quarrell in open battell,
Oswin perceiuing that he had not an armie of sufficient force to
incounter with Oswie, brake vp his campe at Wilfaresdowne, ten mile by
west the towne of Cataracton, and after withdrew himselfe onelie with
one seruant named Condhere vnto the house of earle Hunwald, whome
he tooke to haue béene his trustie friend: but contrarie to his
expectation, the said Hunwald did betraie him vnto Oswie, who by his
captaine Edelwine slue the said Oswin and his seruant the forsaid
Condhere, in a place called Ingethling, the 13 kalends of September,
[Sidenote: 651.]
in the ninth yeare of his reigne, which was after the birth of our
Sauiour 651.

This Oswin was a goodlie gentleman of person, tall, and beautifull,
and verie gentle of spéech, ciuill in manners, and verie liberall both
to high & low, so that he was beloued of all. Such a one he was, to
be breefe, as bishop Aidan gessed that he should not long continue
in life, for that the Northumbers were not woorthie of so good and
vertuous a gouernour. Such humblenesse and obedience he perceiued to
rest in him towards the law of the Lord, in taking that which was told
him for his better instruction in good part, that he said, he neuer
saw before that time an humble king. The same Aidan liued not past
12 daies after the death of the said Oswin, whome he so much loued,
departing this world the last daie of August, in the seuenteenth yeare
after he was ordeined bishop. His bodie was buried in the Ile of
Lindesferne. After Aidan, one Finan was made bishop in his place, a
Scotishman also, and of the Ile of Hui, from whence his predecessor
the foresaid Aidan came, being first a man of religion professed in
the monasterie there (as some writers doo report.)

[Sidenote: CENWALCH. _Henr. Hunt._ 643.]
In the meane time, after that Kinigils or Cinigilsus king of the
Westsaxons had reigned 31 yeares, he departed this life Anno 643,
leauing his kingdome to his sonne Cenwalch or Chenwald, who held the
same kingdome the tearme of 30 yeares, or 31 (as some write) in
[Sidenote: _Ran. Higd._]
manner as his father had doone before him. In the third, or (as others
saie) in the fift yeare of his reigne, Penda king of Mercia made
sharpe warre against him, because he had put awaie his wife the sister
of the said Penda, and in this warre Chenwald was ouercome in battell,
& driuen out of his countrie, so that he fled vnto Anna king of the
Eastangles, with whome he remained the space of a yeare, or (as other
say) thrée yeares, to his great good hap: for before he was growen
to be an enimie to the christian religion, but now by the wholesome
admonitions and sharpe rebukes of king Anna, he became a christian,
and receiued his wife againe into his companie, according to the
prescript of Gods law, and (to be bréefe) in all things shewed
himselfe a new man, imbracing vertue, & auoiding vice, so that
shortlie after (through the helpe of God) he recouered againe his

[Sidenote: Agilbertus a bishop.]
Now when he was established in the same, there came a bishop named
Agilbertus out of Ireland, a Frenchman borne (but hauing remained in
Ireland a long time) to reade the scriptures. This Agilbert comming
into the prouince of the Westsaxons, was gladlie receiued of king
Chenwald, at whose desire he tooke vpon him to exercise the roome of
a bishop there: but afterwards, when the said king admitted another
bishop named Wini, which had béene ordeined in France, and knew the
toong better than Agilbert, as he that was borne in England: Agilbert
offended, for that the king had admitted him without making him of
anie counsell therein, returned into France, and there was made bishop
of Paris: within a few yeares after, the foresaid Wini was expelled
also by king Chenwald, who got him into Mercia vnto king Vulfhere, of
whome he bought the bishoprike of London, which he held during his
life, and so the countrie of Westsaxon remained long without a bishop,
till at length the said Agilbert at the request of king Chenwald sent
to him Elutherius that was his nephue.

[Sidenote: SIGIBERT.]
Ye haue heard that after Carpwald, his brother Sigibert succéeded
in rule of the Eastangles, a man of great vertue and woorthinesse, who
whilest he remained in France as a banished man, being constrained to
flée his countrie vpon displeasure that king Redwald bare him, was
baptised there, and after returning into his countrie, and obteining
[Sidenote: _Beda lib. 3. cap. 4_]
at length the kingdome, those things which he had séene well ordered
in France, he studied to follow the example of the same at home, and
herevpon considering with himselfe that nothing could more aduance the
state of the common-wealth of his countrie than learning & knowledge
in the toongs, began the foundation of certeine schooles, and namelie
[Sidenote: The vniuersitié of Cambridge founded by king Sigibert.]
at Cambridge, where children might haue places where to be instructed
and brought vp in learning vnder appointed teachers, that there might
be greater numbers of learned men trained vp than before time had
béene within this land, to the furtherance of true religion and vertue.

So that England hath good cause to haue in thankfull remembrance this
noble prince king Sigibert, for all those hir learned men which haue
bin brought vp & come foorth of that famous vniuersitie of Cambridge,
the first foundation or rather renouation whereof was thus begun
[Sidenote: _Bate_ saith 636.]
by him about the yeare of our Lord 630. At length when this worthie
king began to grow in age, he considered with himselfe how hard a
matter, and how painefull an office it was to gouerne a realme as
apperteined to the dutie of a good king, wherevpon he determined to
leaue the charge thereof to other of more conuenient yéeres, and to
[Sidenote: Sigibert resigneth his kingdome to Egricus.]
liue from thencefoorth a priuat kind of life, and so resigning the
administration vnto his kinsman Egricus, he became a moonke, and led
the rest of his life in a certeine abbeie.

Shortlie after it so came to passe that Penda king of Mercia (that
cruell ethnike tyrant) made sore warres vpon Egricus, whervpon
the people of Eastangles compelled Sigibert to come foorth of his
monasterie, & to go with them into the field against Penda. Sigibert
being thus constreined against his will, would not put on armour or
beare anie other kind of weapon, than onelie a wand in his hand in
steed of a scepter, and so the armie of the Eastangles in hope of
good spéed by the presence of Sigibert, ioined in battell with their
enimies, but the Eastangles were finallie vanquished, and the more
[Sidenote: Sigibert and Egricus slaine. 652.]
part of them slaine, togither with Sigibert and his coosen Egricus
their king. This happened in the yere after the birth of our Sauiour
(as some haue noted) 652.

[Sidenote: _Baleus_. _Beda lib. 3 cap_. 19. Fuersus.]
In the daies whilest Sigibert as yet ruled the Eastangles, there
came out of Ireland a deuout person named Furseus, who comming into
the countrie of the Eastangles, was gladlie receiued of king Sigibert,
by whose helpe afterwards he builded the abbeie of Cumbreburge, in the
which Sigibert (as some haue written) when he renounced his kingdome,
was professed a moonke. Of this Furseus manie things are written, the
which for briefenesse we ouerpasse. After that Felix the bishop of the
Eastangles was dead, one Thomas was ordeined in his place, who after
he had béene bishop fiue yéeres, died, and then one Beretgils was
ordeined in his roome by Honorius the archbishop of Canturburie. The
said Honorius himselfe when he had run the race of his naturall life,
deceassed also the last of September in the yéere of our Lord 653.
[Sidenote: 653.]

       *       *       *       *       *

_Anna king of Eastangles is slaine by Penda king of Mercia, his
brother succeeding him is slaine also by Oswie king of Northumberland,
the Mercians or Middleangles receiue the faith vnder vertuous Peda
their prince, he requesteth Alchfled the king of Northumberlands
daughter in mariage, he is baptised by bishop Finnan, by whose meanes
the Eastsaxons imbraced christian religion vnder Sigibert their king,
he is murthered of two brethren that were his kinsmen vpon a conceiued
hatred against him for his good and christian life, how dangerous it
is to keepe companie with an excommunicate person, the authoritie of a


[Sidenote: Anna. _Will Malmes._]
After Egricus succeeded Anna the sonne of Enus in the kingdome of
Eastangle, and is likewise slaine by Penda king of Mercia, with the
most part of his armie, as he gaue battell vnto the said Penda that
inuaded his countrie. He left behind him manie children, but his
[Sidenote: Edelhere K. of Eastangle.]
brother Edelhere succéeded him in gouernment of the kingdome, who was
slaine by Oswie the king of Northumberland, togither with the foresaid
Penda, and woorthilie, sith he would aid that tyrant which had slaine
his kinsman and his brother that were predecessors with him in his
kingdome. After this, when the sée of Canturburie had béene vacant by
[Sidenote: Deus dedit.]
the space of one whole yéere and six moneths, one Deus dedit of
the countrie of the Westsaxons, was elected and consecrated by Ithamar
the bishop of Rochester, on the 7 kalends of Aprill. He gouerned the
church of Canturburie by the tearme of nine yéeres, foure moneths,
and two daies. When he was departed this life, the foresaid Ithamar
consecrated for him one Damianus of the countrie of Sussex.

[Sidenote: _Beda hist. eccle. lib. 3. cap._ 21. 653.]
About this time, the people of Mercia commonlie called Middleangles,
[Sidenote: Peda or Peada king of Middleangles.]
receiued the christian faith vnder their king named Peda or Peada,
the sonne of Penda king of Mercia, who being a towardlie yoong
gentleman, and woorthie to haue the guiding of a kingdome, his father
Penda aduanced him to the rule of that kingdome of the Middleangles
during his owne life. [¶ Héere maie you note, that the kingdome of the
Middleangles was one, and the kingdome of Mercia another, though most
commonlie the same were gouerned by one king.] This yoong Peda came to
Oswie king of Northumberland, requiring of him to haue his daughter
Alchfled in mariage: but when he was informed that he might not haue
hir except he would become a christian, then vpon hearing the gospell
preached, with the promise of the celestiall ioies and immortalitie,
by the resurrection of the flesh in the life to come, he said that
whether he had king Oswies daughter to wife or not, he would suerlie
be baptised, and chieflie he was persuaded therevnto by his kinsman
Alchfrid, who had in mariage his sister the daughter of Penda name

[Sidenote: Ad murum.]
Wherefore he was baptised by bishop Finnan, with all those which
came thither with him at a place called At the wall, and taking with
him foure priests which were thought méete to teach and baptise his
people, he returned with great ioy into his owne countrie. The names
of those priests were as followeth, Cedda, Adda, Betti, and Diuna,
of the which, the last was a Scot by nation, and the other were
Englishmen. These priests comming into the prouince of the
Middleangles, preached the woord, and were well heard, so that dailie
a great number of the nobilitie & communaltie renouncing the filthie
dregs of idolatrie, were christned. Neither did king Penda forbid the
preaching of the gospell within his prouince of Mercia, but rather
hated and despised those whome he knew to haue professed themselues
[Sidenote: The saieng of king Penda.]
christians, and yet shewed not the woorks of faith, saieng, that
"Those were wretches and not to be regarded, which would not obeie
their God in whome they beléeued." This alteration of things began,
about two yéeres before the death of king Penda.

[Sidenote: _Beda lib. 3. cap._ 22.]
About the same time, the Eastsaxons at the instance of Oswie
king of Northumberland, receiued eftsoones the faith which they had
renounced, when they banished their bishop Melitus.

Melitus. Ye haue heard that Serred, Siward, and Sigibert brethren, and
the sonnes of king Sabert (which brethren occasioned the reuolting of
that prouince from the faith of Christ) were slaine in battell by the
kings of Westsaxon, after whome succéeded Sigibert surnamed the little
sonne to the middlemost brother Siward, as some write. This Sigibert
the litle left the kingdome to an other Sigibert that was sonne to one
Sigebald the brother of king Sabert, which second Sigibert reigned as
king in that prouince of the Eastsaxons, being a most especiall friend
of king Oswie, so that oftentimes he repaired into Northumberland to
visit him, whervpon king Oswie ceassed not most earnestlie at times
conuenient to exhort him to receiue the faith of Iesus Christ, and in
the end by such effectuall persuasions as he vsed, Sigibert gaue
[Sidenote: King Sigibert receiued the faith.]
credit to his woords, and so being conuerted, receiued the sacrament
of baptisme by the hands of bishop Finnan, at the kings house called,
At the wall, so named, bicause it was built néere to the wall which
the Romans had made ouerthwart the Ile, as is often before remembred,
being twelue miles distant from the east sea.

[Sidenote: This was about the yéere 649, as _Matth. West._ hath noted.]
King Sigibert hauing now receiued the Christian faith, when he
should returne into his countrie, required king Oswie to appoint him
certeine instructors and teachers which might conuert his people to
the faith of Christ. King Oswie desirous to satisfie his request, sent
[Sidenote: Cedda.]
vnto the prouince of the Middleangles, calling from thence that
vertuous man Cedda, and assigning vnto him another priest to be his
associat, sent them vnto the prouince of the Eastsaxons, there to
preach the christian faith vnto the people. And when they had preached
& taught through the whole countrie, to the great increase and
inlarging of the church of Christ, it chanced on a time that Cedda
returned home into Northumberland to conferre of certeine things with
bishop Finnan which kept his sée at Lindesferne, where vnderstanding
[Sidenote: Ced or Cedda bishop of the Eastsaxons.]
by Cedda the great fruits which it had pleased God to prosper
vnder his hands, in aduancing the faith among the Eastsaxons, he
called to him two other bishops, and there ordeined the foresaid Cedda
bishop of the Eastsaxons.

Héerevpon, the same Cedda returned vnto his cure, went forward with
more authoritie to performe the woorke of the Lord, & building
churches in diuerse places, ordeined priests and deacons which might
helpe him in preaching, and in the ministerie of baptising, speciallie
[Sidenote: Tilberie.]
in the citie of Ithancester vpon the riuer of Pent, and likewise
in Tileburge on the riuer of Thames. Whilest Ced was thus busie to the
great comfort and ioy of the king and all his people, in the setting
forward of the christian religion with great increase dailie
procéeding, it chanced thorough the instigation of the deuill, the
common enimie of mankind, that king Sigibert was murthered by two of
his owne kinsmen who were brethren, the which when they were examined
of the cause that should mooue them to that wicked fact, they had
nothing to alledge, but that they did it bicause they had conceiued an
hatred against the king, for that he was too fauourable towards his
enimies, and would with great mildnesse of mind forgiue iniuries
committed against him: such was the kings fault for the which he was
murthered, bicause he obserued the commandements of the gospell with a
deuout hart.

Notwithstanding, in this his innocent death, his offense was punished,
wherein he had suerlie transgressed the lawes of the church. For
whereas one of them which slue him kept a wife, whome he had
vnlawfullie maried, and refused to put hir away at the bishops
admonition, he was by the bishop excommunicated, and all other of the
christian congregation commanded to absteine from his companie. This
notwithstanding, the king being desired of him came to his house to a
banket, and in his comming from thence met with the bishop, whome when
the king beheld, he waxed afraid, and alighted from his horsse, and
fell downe at his féet, beséeching him of pardon for his offense. The
bishop, which also was on horssebacke likewise alighted, and touching
the king with his rod which he had in his hand, as one something
[Sidenote: The authoritie of a bishop.]
displeased, and protesting as in the authoritie of a bishop, spake
these words; "Bicause (saith he) thou wouldst not absteine from
entring the house of that wicked person being accurssed, thou shalt
die in the same house:" and so it came to passe.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Suidhelme king of the Eastsaxons, he is baptised, the bishoplike
exercises of Ced in his natiue countrie of Northumberland; Ediswald K.
of Deira reuerenceth him, the kings deuout mind to further and inlarge
religion; the maner of consecrating a place appointed for a holie vse;
the old order of fasting in Lent, bishop Ced dieth; warre betweene
Oswie and Penda, Oswie maketh a vow to dedicate his daughter a
perpetuall virgine to God if he got the victorie, he obteineth his
request and performeth his vow, she liueth, dieth, and is buried in a
monasterie, the benefit insuing Oswies conquest ouer his enimies, the
first second and third bishops of Mercia, the victorious proceeding of
king Oswie; prince Peado his kinsman murthered of his wife._


[Sidenote: SUIDHELME. _Beda lib. 3. cap. 22_. _Matt. West_]
After Sigbert succeeded Suidhelme in the kingdome of the
Eastsaxons, he was the son of Sexbald, and baptised of Ced in the
prouince of the Eastangles, at a place of the kings there called
Rendlessham. Ediswald king of the Eastangles (the brother of king
Anna) was his godfather at the fontstone. Ced the bishop of the
[Sidenote: _Beda_ lib.3. cap.23.]
Eastsaxons vsed oftentimes to visit his countrie of Northumberland
where he was borne, and by preaching exhorted the people to godlie
life. Whervpon it chanced that king Ediswald the son of king Oswald
which reigned in the parties of Deira, mooued with the fame of his
vertuous trade of liuing, had him in great reuerence: and therefore
vpon a good zeale and great deuotion, willed him to choose foorth some
plot of ground where he might build a monasterie, in the which the
king himselfe and others might praie, heare sermons the oftener, and
haue place where to burie the dead. The bishop consenting to the kings
mind, at length espied a place amongst high and desert mounteins,
where he began the foundation of a monasterie, afterwards called

Wherefore meaning first of all to purge the place with praier &
fasting, he asked leaue of the king that he might remaine there all
the Lent, which was at hand, and so continuing in that place for
[Sidenote: The maner of the old fast.]
that time, fasted euerie daie (sundaie excepted) from the morning
vntill euening, according to the maner, nor receiued anie thing then
but onlie a little bread, and a hens eg, with a little milke mixt with
water: for he said that this was the custome of them of whome he had
learned the forme of his regular order, that they should consecrate
those places vnto the Lord with praier and fasting, which they latelie
had receiued to make in the same either church or monasterie.

And when there remained ten daies of Lent yet to come, he was sent for
to the king: wherefore he appointed a brother which he had, being also
a priest named Cimbill, to supplie his roome, that his begun religious
woorke should not be hindered for the kings businesse. Now when the
time was accomplished, he ordeined a monasterie there, appointing the
[Sidenote: Lindisferne holie Iland.]
moonks of the same to liue after the rules of them of Lindesferne
where he was brought vp. Finallie this bishop Ced comming vnto this
monasterie afterwards by chance in time of a sicknesse, died there,
and left that monasterie to the gouernance of another brother which
he had named Ceadda, that was after a bishop, as afterwards shall
be shewed. There were foure brethren of them, and all priests, Ced,
Cimbill, Ceulin, and Ceadda, of the which Ced and Ceadda were bishops,
as before is said.

[Sidenote: _Beda. lib. 3. cap. 24_.]
About the same time, Oswie king of Northumberland was sore
oppressed by the warres of Penda king of Mercia, so that he made great
offers of high gifts, and great rewards vnto the said Penda for
peace, but Penda refused the same, as he that meant vtterlie to haue
[Sidenote: War betwéene king Oswie & king Penda.]
destroied the whole nation of Oswies people, so that Oswie turning
himselfe to seeke helpe at the hands of the almightie, said: If the
pagan refuse to receiue the gifts which we offer, let us make offer
vnto him that knoweth how to accept them: and so binding himselfe by
vow, promised that if he might obtein victorie, he would offer his
daughter to be dedicate to the Lord in perpetuall virginitie: and
further would giue twelue manors, lordships or farmes to the building
of monasteries: and so with a small armie he put himselfe in hazard of

It is said that Penda had thirtie companies of men of warre, furnished
with thirtie noble capteins or coronels, against whome came Oswie with
his sonne Alchfrid, hauing but a small armie, but confirmed yet with
hope in Christ Iesus. His other son Ecgfrid remained in hostage at
that time with quéene Cinnise. Edilwald the sonne of Oswald that
gouerned Deira, & ought to haue aided Oswie, was on the part of Penda
against his countrie, and against his vncle, but in time of the fight
he withdrew himselfe aside, to behold what chance would follow. The
[Sidenote: The victorie of the Northumbers.]
battell being begun, the thirtie pagan capteins were ouerthrowne
and put to flight, and those that came to aid Penda were almost all
slaine, among whome was Edilhere king of the Eastangles, that reigned
after his brother Anna, and was the procurer of this warre. This
battell was fought néere to the water of Inwet, the which being risen
as then by reason of great raine, drowned more of the enimies than
died of the Northumbers swoords.

After that Oswie had obteined this victorie, he performed promise in
bestowing his daughter to the profession of virginitie, and also gaue
the twelue manors, whereof six were in Deira, and six in Bernicia,
[Sidenote: Elfled.]
containing euerie of them ten housholds a péece. Elfled also king
[Sidenote: Herteshey saith _Matt. West._ Hilda.]
Oswies daughter was professed in the monasterie of Herthew, where one
Hilda was abbesse, which Hilda purchasing a lordship of ten housholds
in Streanshall, now called Whitbie, builded a monasterie there, in the
which first the said Elfled was a nouice, and after a ruler, till at
length being of the age of fortie yéeres she departed this life, and
was buried there, and so likewise was hir mother Eufled, and hir
grandfather Edwin, with manie other high estates within the church of
saint Peter the apostle. The victorie aboue mentioned got by king
[Sidenote: Loides.]
Oswie in the countrie of Loides on the 17 kalends of December, & in
the thirtenth yéere of his reigne, happened to the great commoditie
and gaine of both the people, for by the same he deliuered his
countrie of Northumberland from the cruell destruction made in the
same by the pagan people of Mercia, and conuerted those pagans
themselues, and the countries néere adioining to them wholie vnto the
faith of Iesus Christ.

[Sidenote: The first bishop of Mercia.]
The first bishop in the prouince of Mercia, and also of Lindesferne
and the Middleangles was one Diuma, who died amongst the Middleangles.
The second was Cellach, the which leauing his bishoprike returned into
Scotland, for they were both of the nation of the Scots. The third was
an Englishman named Trumhere, but instructed and ordeined of the Scots.
He was abbat of the monasterie of Ingethlingum, being builded in that
place where king Oswin was slaine (as before is mentioned.) For quéene
Eufled that was his kinswoman got of hir husband king Oswie a place
there for the foresaid Trumhere to build that abbeie vpon.

[Sidenote: The victorious procéeding of king Oswie.]
King Oswie hauing slaine king Penda, gouerned the people of
Mercia, and also other of the south prouinces, & subdued a great part
of the Pictish nation to the English dominion. About the same time
king Oswie gaue vnto Peada the son of king Penda (bicause he was his
[Sidenote: Southmercia.]
kinsman) the countrie of the Southmercies, conteining 5000 housholds,
[Sidenote: Northmercia. 659.]
and separated from the Northmercies by the riuer Trent. The countrie
of the Northmercies conteined in those daies 7000 housholds. But
Peada in the next spring was wickedlie murthered through the treason
of his wicked wife (as was said) in the feast of Easter.
[Sidenote: _Matt. West._]

       *       *       *       *       *

_The dukes of Mercia rebell against Oswie, recouer their owne bounds,
and create Wulfhere their king; Cenwald king of the Westsaxons
fighteth with the Britaines and preuaileth, he is vanquished by
Wulfhere; Adelwold king of Sussex hath the Ile of Wight giuen him, and
why; succession of Edelher, Edelwald, and Aldulfe in the kingdome
of Eastangles; Colman a Scot first made bishop of Northumberland,
controuersie about the obseruation of Easter, about bald crownes or
shauing the haire, superstition punished by God, Ceadda bishop of
Yorke, his course of life and diligence in his office commended;
Egbert king of Kent, the see of Canturburie void, the preferment
thereto refused, Theodore a moonke supplieth the roome at the popes
appointment, all the English clergie obey him as their head, his
visitation and reformation, singing vsed in churches, Theodore and
Adrian woorthilie praised, English men happie, glasiers first brought
into this Iland._


[Sidenote: _Beda. lib. 3. cap. 24_.]
After three yeeres were complet, next ensuing the death of king
Penda, the dukes of the countrie of Mercia, Immin, Eaba, and Eadbert
rebelled against king Oswie, aduancing one Wulfhere a yoong gentleman
the sonne of Peda, and brother to Peada, whom they had kept in secret
to be their king, and expelling the lieutenants of king Oswie, they
recouered both their owne confines and libertie withall, and so liuing
in fréedome with their owne naturall king the foresaid Vulfhere, they
also continued with glad hearts in seruice of the celestiall king our
God and Sauior.

[Sidenote: VULFHERE. _Beda. lib. 3. cap. 24_.]
This Vulfhere gouerned the Mercies seuentéene yeares, the which
Mercies (during the reigne of the said Vulfhere) had foure bishops
successiuelie gouerning the church of that prouince one after another,
as the aboue mentioned Trumhere, Iaroman, Ceadda, and Winfrid, as
hereafter shall more at large appeare.

[Sidenote: _Henr. Hunt._ _Matt. West._]
About the beginning of king Vulfheres reigne, that is to say, in the
seuentéenth yeare of the reigne of Chenwald king of the Westsaxons,
the same Chenwald fought with the Britains at Pennum, where the
Britains being assembled in great number, proudlie incountred with the
Englishmen, and at the first put them to the woorst, but when the
Englishmen would in no wise giue ouer, but did sticke to their tackle,
at length the Britains were put to flight, so that the posteritie of
[Sidenote: The Britains put to flight by Chenwald.]
Brute receiued that day an incurable wound. But within thrée yeares
after, that is, in the ninetéenth yeare of the reigne of the said
Chenwald, he had not the like lucke in battell against the foresaid
[Sidenote: Chenwald vanquished by Vulfhere.]
Vulfhere king of Mercia, as he had before against the Britains, for
the said Vulfhere vanquishing him in the field, passed through this
[Sidenote: Adelwold of Sussex.]
countrie with a great armie vnto the Ile of Wight, which he conquered,
and deliuered it vnto Adelwold king of Sussex, as a gift at that time,
when he receiued him at the fontstone after he had conuerted him to
the faith. He gaue vnto Adelwold that Ile, to the end he should cause
the people there to receiue the faith and religion of Christ. Now
after that Edelhere king of Eastangles was slaine, as before is
mentioned, his brother Edelwald succéeded him in that kingdome,
reigning as king thereof by the space of nine yeares. Then after
Edelwald succéeded Aldulfe the son of Edelhere in gouernment of that
kingdome, and reigned 25 yeares.

[Sidenote: _Beda. lib. 3. cap. 24_.]
After Finan bishop of the Northumbers that held his see at
[Sidenote: Colman ordeined bishop.]
Lindesferne, as Aidan did before him, one Colman was ordeined
bishop, a Scot borne, and an earnest obseruer of the customes vsed
amongest them of his nation, so that when the controuersie began to
[Sidenote: _Beda. lib. 3. cap. 25_.]
be reuiued for the holding of the feast of Easter, he would by no
meanes yéeld to them that would haue perswaded him to haue followed
the rite of the Romane church. There was a great disputation kept
about this matter, and other things, as shauing or cutting of heares,
and such like in the monasterie of Whitbie, at the which king Oswie
and his sonne Alcfrid were present, where Colman for his part alledged
the custome of Iohn the euangelist, and of Anatholius; and the
contrarie side brought in proofe of their opinion, the custome of
Peter and Paule. At length, when bishop Colman perceiued that his
[Sidenote: Controuersie about shauing of crownes. _Cap. 6_.]
doctrine was not so much regarded, as he thought of reason it
ought to haue béene, he returned into Scotland with those, which
taking part with him, refused to obserue the feast of Easter according
to the custome of the church of Rome, nor would haue their crownes
[Sidenote: 664.]
shauen, about which point no small reasoning had béene kept. This
disputation was holden in the yeare of our Lord 664, and in the yeare
of the reigne of king Oswie 22, and 30 yeare after the Scotishmen
began first to beare the office of bishops within Northumberland,
which was (as W. Harison saith) 624. For Aidan gouerned 17 yeares,
Finan 10 yeares, & Colman 3 yeares. After that Colman was returned
[Sidenote: Tuda ordeined bishop.]
into his countrie, one Tuda that had béene brought vp amongest the
Southerne Scots, and ordeined bishop by them, succéeded in his roome,
hauing his crowne shauen, and obseruing the feast of Easter according
to the custome of the prouince and rite of the Romane church.
[Sidenote: _Cap. 27_.]
¶ The same yeare, there chanced a great eclipse of the sunne, the third
[Sidenote: An eclipse. Punishment of God for yelding to superstition.]
of Maie about 10 of the clocke in the day. A great dearth and
mortalitie insued, both in all the parties of this our Britaine, and
likewise in Ireland. Amongest other, the foresaid bishop Tuda died,
and was buried in the abbeie of Pegnalech. After this Tuda, succéeded
[Sidenote: Wilfrid bishop.]
in gouernement of the church of Lindesferne, otherwise called Holie
Iland, one Wilfrid, which was sent by king Alcfrid into France, to be
ordeined there.

About the same time king Oswie, the father of king Alcfrid, mooued
[Sidenote: _Cap. 28_.]
with the good example of his sonne, sent Ceadda, the brother of
Ced sometime bishop of the Eastsaxons into Kent, to be ordeined bishop
of Yorke, but at his comming into Kent he found that Deus dedit the
archbishop of Canturburie was dead, and none other as yet ordeined
[Sidenote: Ceadda ordeined archbishop of Yorke.]
in his place, so that Ceadda repaired into the prouince of the
Westsaxons, where he was ordeined by bishop Wini, who tooke two other
bishops of the British nation vnto him to be his associats, which vsed
to obserue the feast of Easter contrarie to the custome of the Romane
church. But there was no other shift, sith none other bishop was then
canonicallie ordeined in the prouince of the Westsaxons in those
daies, this Wini onlie excepted, and therefore was he constreined to
take such as he might get and prouide.

After that Ceadda was thus ordeined, he began forthwith to follow the
true rules of the church, liued right chastlie, shewed himselfe humble
and continent, applied his studie to reading, and trauelled abroad
on foot and not on horssebacke through the countries, townes, and
villages, to preach the word of God. He was the disciple of Aidan, and
coueted by his example, and also by the example of Ced, to instruct
his hearers with the like dooings & maners as he had knowen them to
doo. Wilfrid also being consecrated bishop, and returned into England,
indeuored to plant the orders of the Romane church in the churches
of England, whereby it came to passe, that the Scots which inhabited
amongst the Englishmen, were constreined either to follow the same, or
else to returne into their owne countrie.

[Sidenote: EGBERT king of Kent.]
In this meane time, king Ercombert being departed this life, after
he had gouerned the Kentishmen by the space of twentie yeares, his
sonne Egbert succéeded him in the kingdome, and reigned nine yeares.
There is little remembrance of his dooings, which in that short time
were not much notable, except ye will ascribe the comming into this
land of the archbishop Theodorus, and the abbat Adrian vnto his
glorie, which chanced in his time. For in the yeare of the great
eclipse and sore mortalitie that insued, it chanced that both king
Ercombert, & the archbishop Deus dedit departed this life, so that the
[Sidenote: _Beda. lib. 3. cap. 9_.]
see of Canturburie was void a certeine time, in so much that king
Egbert, who succéeded his father Ercombert, togither with king
[Sidenote: Wighart.]
Oswie, did send one Wighart a priest of good reputation for his
excellent knowledge in the scriptures, vnto Rome, with great gifts
and rich vessels of gold and siluer, to be presented vnto the pope,
requiring him that he would ordeine the foresaid Wighart archbishop
of Canturburie, to haue rule of the English church. But this Wighart
comming vnto Rome, and declaring his message vnto Vitalianus then
gouerning the church of Rome, immediatlie after he died of the
pestilence (that then reigned in that citie) with all those that came
with him.

[Sidenote: _Beda. lib. 4 cap. 1_. Adrian.]
The pope then taking aduice whome he might ordeine vnto the sée of
Canturburie, being thus destitute of an archbishop, appointed a moonke
named Adrian to take that office vpon him, but Adrian excused himselfe
as not sufficient for such a roome, and required the pope to appoint
one Andrew a moonke also, wherevnto the pope consented. But when
Andrew was preuented by death, eftsoones Adrian should haue béene made
archbishop, but that he named one Theodore an other moonke that abode
as then in Rome, but was borne in the citie of Tharsus in Cilicia,
verie well learned both in the Gréeke and Latine, and being of
reuerend yeares, as of 76. This Theodore by the presentment of
Adrian, was appointed to be ordeined archbishop of Canturburie, with
condition, that Adrian should neuerthelesse attend vpon him into
England, both for that he had béene twise before this time in France,
and so knew the coasts; and againe, for that he might assist him in
all things, and looke well to the matter, that Theodore should not
bring into the church of England anie rite or custome of the Gréekes,
contrarie to the vse of the Romane church. Theodore being first
ordeined subdeacon, tarried foure moneths till his heare was growen,
that he might haue his crowne shauen after the maner of Peter. For he
was rounded or shauen after the maner of the East church, which was as
they persuaded themselues, according to the vse of saint Paule the
[Sidenote: Theodore ordeined archbishop of Canturburie. 668.]
apostle. And so at length was this Theodore ordeined archbishop of
Canturburie by pope Vitalianus in the yeare of our Lord 668, the sixt
kalends of June, and with Adrian sent into Britaine.

These with their retinue came to France, and being come thither,
shortlie after king Egbert had knowledge thereof: wherevpon with all
conuenient spéed he sent ouer one of his nobles named Redfrid to bring
the archbishop into England, and so he did: but Adrian was staied for
a time, because he was suspected to haue had some commission from the
emperour to haue practised with the Englishmen, for the disquieting
of the realme of France. Howbeit, after it was perceiued that this
suspicion was grounded on no truth, he was also suffered to follow the
archbishop, and so comming vnto Canturburie, he was made abbat of the
monasterie of saint Augustines. The archbishop Theodore came thus
vnto his church of Canturburie in the second yeare after his
consecration, about the second kalends of June, being sundaie. He
gouerned the same church also 21 yeares and 16 daies, and was the
first archbishop to whome all the churches of England did acknowledge
their obeisance.

Being accompanied with the foresaid Adrian, he visited all the parts
of this land, ordeined bishops and ministers in churches where he
thought conuenient, and reformed the same churches as séemed to him
néedfull, as well in other things which he misliked, as also in
[Sidenote: _Ran. Cest. Matth. West._]
causing them to obserue the feast of Easter, according to the right
[Sidenote: _Beda_.]
and vsage of the church of Rome. Ceadda that was bishop of Yorke,
because he was not lawfullie ordeined, as he himselfe confessed, was
remoued from the sée of Yorke, and Wilfrid was therevnto restored, so
that Ceadda (though he were not disgraded of his degrée of bishop)
liued yet a priuat kind of life, till he was admitted bishop of
Mercia, as after shall be shewed. Also whereas before time there was
in maner no singing in the English churches, except it were in Kent,
[Sidenote: Singing in churches brought in vse.]
now they began in euerie church to vse singing of diuine seruice
after the rite of the church of Rome. The archbishop Theodore finding
the church of Rochester void by the death of the last bishop named
[Sidenote: Putta bishop of Rochester.]
Damian, ordeined one Putta a simple man in worldlie matters, but well
instructed in ecclesiasticall discipline, and namelie well séene in
song and musicke to be vsed in the church after the maner as he had
learned of pope Grogories disciples.

[Sidenote: The worthie praise of Theodore and Adrian.]
To be bréefe, the archbishop Theodore, and the abbat Adrian
deserued great commendation in this, that whereas they were notablie
well learned themselues in the Greeke and the Latine toongs, and also
had good knowledge as well in the liberall arts, as in the scripture,
they tooke great paines to traine vp scholers in knowledge of the
[Sidenote: Englishmen happy and why.]
same, so that the Englishmen had not seene more happie times
than in those daies, hauing as then kings of great puissance, so as
strangers stood in feare of them; and againe, those that coueted
learning, had instructors at hand to teach them, by reason whereof
[Sidenote: _Beda_.]
diuers being giuen to studie, prooued excellent both in knowledge
of the Gréeke and Latine. There came in companie of the said
[Sidenote: Benedict or Benet surnamed Biscop.]
archbishop from Rome, an English man named Benedict Biscop, which had
taken vpon him the habit of a moonke in Italie, and now returning into
his countrie, builded two abbeis, the one named Wiremouth, because it
was placed at the mouth of the riuer of Wire, and the other Girwie,
distant from Wiremouth about fiue miles, and from the towne of
[Sidenote: 670.]
Newcastle foure miles, situated neere to the mouth of Tine.
Wiremouth was built in the yeare 670, and Girwie in the yeare 673.
There were a 600 moonks found in those two houses, and gouerned
[Sidenote: Glasiers first brought into England. _Ran. Cest._]
vnder one abbat. The said Benedict was the first that brought
glasiers, painters, and other such curious craftsmen into England. He
went fiue times to Rome, and came againe.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Sighere and Sebbie associats reigne ouer the Eastsaxons, the one
falleth from, the other cleaueth to the faith, Vulfhere king of Mercia
sendeth bishop Iaroman to redresss that apostasie of the prince and
the people, Cead bishop of Mercia, the king of that countrie hath him
in hie reputation, Egfrid king of Northumberland, a synod of bishops
holden at Herford, articles propounded out of the canons by Theodore
archbishop of Canturburie, Bisi unable to discharge his episcopall
office, a remedie therefore; Kenwalke of a very euill prince becometh
a verie good ruler, his wife gouerneth the kingdome after his death,
Escuius succeedeth hir in the roome, of Thunnir a murtherer
king Egberts principall vicegerent, bishop Winfrid deposed for
disobedience, Sebbie king of the Eastsaxons a professed moonke, his


About the same time, after that Suidhelme king of the Eastsaxons was
dead, Sighere the son of Sigbert the little, and Sebbie the son of
Suward succéeded him in gouernement of that kingdome, albeit they
[Sidenote: _Beda. lib. 3. cap. 30_.]
were subiect vnto Vulfhere the king of Mercia. Sighere in that time,
when the great mortalitie reigned, renounced the faith of Christ, with
that part of the people which he had in gouernement, for both the same
Sighere and others of his chiefest lords, and also part of his commons
louing this life, and not regarding the life to come, began to repaire
their idolish churches, and fell to the worshipping of idols, as
though thereby they should haue beene defended from that mortalitie.
But his associat Sebbie with great deuotion continued stedfast in the
faith which he had receiued.

King Vulfhere being informed of Seghers apostasie, and how the people
[Sidenote: Bishop Iaruman or Iaroman.]
in his part of the prouince of Eastsaxons were departed from the
faith, sent thither bishop Iaruman or Iaroman, that was successour
vnto Trumhere, which vsed such diligence and godlie meanes, that he
reduced the said king and all his people vnto the right beliefe, so
as the idolish synagogs were destroied, and the idols also with their
altars quite beaten downe, the Christian churches againe set open, and
the name of Christ eftsoones called vpon amongest the people, coueting
now rather to die in him with hope of resurrection in the world to
come, than to liue in the seruice of idols, spotted with the filth
of errors and false beleefe. And thus when bishop Iaroman had
accomplished the thing for the which he was sent, he returned into

After this, when the said Iaroman was departed this life, king
Vulfhere sent vnto the archbishop Theodorus, requiring him to prouide
the prouince of the Mercies of a new bishop. Theodorus not minding
to ordeine anie new bishop at that time, required Oswie king of
Northumberland, that Bishop Cead might come into Mercia to exercise
the office of bishop there. This Cead liued as it were a priuat life
at that time in his monasterie of Lestingham, for Wilfrid held the
bishoprike of Yorke, extending his authoritie ouer all Northumberland
& amongest the Picts also, so farre as king Oswies dominion stretched.
Therefore Cead hauing licence to go into Mercia, was gladlie receiued
of king Vulfhere, and well enterteined, in so much that the said
king gaue vnto him lands and possessions conteining 50 families
or housholds to build a monasterie in a certeine place within the
countrie of Lindsey called Etbearne. But the sée of his bishoprike was
assigned to him at Lichfield in Staffordshire, where he made him a
house néere to the church, in the which he with 7 or 8 other of his
brethren in religion vsed in an oratorie there to praie and reade,
so often as they had leasure from labour and businesse of the world.
Finallie, after he had gouerned the church of Mercia by the space of
two yeares and an halfe, he departed this life, hauing 7 daies warning
giuen him (as it is reported) from aboue, before he should die, after
a miraculous maner, which because in the iudgement of the most it may
séeme méere fabulous, we will omit and passe ouer. His bodie was first
buried in the church of our ladie, but after that the church of saint
Peter the apostle were builded, his bones were translated into the

[Sidenote: 671. _Matth. West._]
In the yeare of our Lord 671, which was the second yeare after
that Theodorus the archbishop came into this land, Oswie king of
Northumberland was attacked with a grieuous sicknesse, and died
thereof the 15 kalends of March, in the 58 yeare of his age, after
[Sidenote: EGFRID. _Beda. lib. 4. cap 5_. _Matth. West._ 673.]
he had reigned 28 yeares complet. After Oswie, his sonne Egfrid
succéeded in rule of the kingdome of Northumberland, in the third
yeare of whose reigne, that is to say, in the yeare of our Lord 673,
Theodorus the archbishop of Canturburie kept a synod at Herford, the
first session whereof began the 24 of September, all the bishops of
this land being present either in person or by their deputies, as
[Sidenote: A synod holden at Herford.]
Bisi bishop of Estangle, Wilfrid of Northumberland by his deputie
Putta bishop of Rochester, Eleutherius bishop of Westsaxon, and
Wilfrid bishop of Mercia. In the presence of these prelats, the
[Sidenote: Articles proponed by Theodore.]
archbishop shewed a booke, wherein he had noted ten chapters or
articles taken out of the booke of the canons, requiring that the same
might be receiued.

  1 The first chapter was, that the feast of Easter should be kept on
  the sundaie following the fourtéenth day of the first moneth.

  2 The second, that no bishop should intermedle in an others diocesse,
  but be contented with the cure of his flocke committed to him.

  3 The third, that no bishop should disquiet in anie thing anie
  monasterie consecrated to God, nor take by violence anie goods that
  belonged vnto the same.

  4 The fourth, that bishops being moonks should not go from
  monasterie to monasterie, except by sufferance and permission of
  their abbats, & should continue in the same obedience wherein they
  stood before.

  5 The fift, that none of the cleargie should depart from his bishop
  to run into anie other diocesse, nor comming from anie other place
  should be admitted, except he brought letters of testimonie with
  him. But if anie such chanced to be receiued, if he refused to
  returne, being sent for home, both he and his receiuer should be

  6 The sixt, that bishops and other of the cleargie being strangers
  shold hold them content with the benefit of hospitalitie, & should
  not take in hand anie priestlie office, without licence of the
  bishop, in whose diocesse he chanced so to be remaining.

  7 The seuenth, that twice in the yeare a synod should be kept, but
  because of diuers impediments herein, it was thought good to them
  all, that in the kalends of August a synod should be kept once in
  the yeare, at a certeine place called Cloofeshough.

  8 The eighth chapter was, that no one bishop should by ambition
  séeke to be preferred aboue another, but that euerie one should
  know the time and order of his consecration.

  9 The ninth, that as the number of the christians increased, so
  should there be more bishops ordeined.

  10 The tenth was touching mariages, that none should contract
  matrimonie with anie person, but with such as it should be
  lawfull for him by the orders of the church: none should match
  with their kinsfolke, no man should forsake his wife, except
  (as the gospell teacheth) for cause of fornication. But if anie
  man did put awaie his wife which he had lawfullie married, if
  he would be accounted a true Christian, he might not be coopled
  with an other, but so remaine, or else be reconciled to his owne

These articles, being intreated of and concluded, were confirmed
with the subscribing of all their hands, so as all those that did
go against the same, should be disgraded of their priesthood, and
separated from the companie of them all.

[Sidenote: Bisi bishop of the Eastangles.]
The forsaid Bisi that was bishop of the Eastangles, and present at
this synod, was sucessor unto Bonifacius, which Bonifacius held that
sée 17 yéeres, and then departing this life, Bisi was made bishop of
that prouince, and ordeined by the archbishop Theodore. This Bisi at
length was so visited with sicknesse, that he was not able to exercise
the ministration, so that two bishops were then & there elected and
consecrated for him, the one named Aecci, and the other Baldwin.

[Sidenote: 872. (sic, should read 672.)]
In this meane while, that is, about the yéere of our Lord 872(sic),
or in the beginning of 873(sic), as Harison noteth, Kenwalch king of
the Westsaxons departed this life, after he had reigned 30 yéeres.
[Sidenote: _Matth. West._ de reg. lib. 1.]
This Kenwalch was such a prince, as in the beginning he was to be
compared with the woorst kind of rulers, but in the middest and later
end of his reigne, to be matched with the best. His godlie zeale borne
towards the aduancing of the christian religion well appéered in the
building of the church at Winchester, where the bishops sée of all
that prouince was then placed. His wife Segburga ruled the kingdome of
Westsaxons after him, a woman of stoutnesse inough to haue atchiued
acts of woorthie remembrance, but being preuented by death yer she had
reigned one whole yéere, she could not shew anie full proofe of hir
noble courage. I remember that Matth. West. maketh other report
heereof, declaring that the nobilitie remooued hir from the
gouernment. But I rather follow William Malmesburie in this matter.

[Sidenote: Escuinus. _Will Malmes._]
To procéed, after Segburga was departed this life, or deposed (if
you will néeds haue it so) Escuinus or Elcuinus, whose grandfather
called Cuthgislo, the brother of K. Kinigils, succéeding in gouernment
of the Westsaxons, reigned about the space of two yéeres: and after
his deceasse, one Centiuinus or Centwine tooke vpon him the rule, and
continued therein the space of nine yeeres. But Beda saith that these
two ruled at one time, and diuided the kingdom betwixt them.
[Sidenote: _Hen. Hunt._]
Elcuinus fought against Vulfhere king of Mercia, a great number of men
being slaine on both parties, though Vulfhere yet had after a maner
the vpper hand, as some haue written.

[Sidenote: _Beda lib. & ca. supr. dict._]
In the same yéere that the synod was holden at Herford, that is to
say, in the yéere of our Lord 673, Egbert the king of Kent departed
this life in Iulie, and left the kingdome to his brother Lothaire,
[Sidenote: Io. Lothaire.]
which held the same eleuen yéeres, & seuen moneths. Some haue written
[Sidenote: _Wil. Malm. Beda. de reg. lib. 1_.]
that king Egbert by the suggestion of one Thunnir, who had the
chiefe rule of the kingdome vnder him, suffered the same Thunnir in
lamentable maner to kill the two innocent sonnes of Ermenredus the
brother of king Ercombert, that was father vnto King Egbert, for
[Sidenote: Thunnir. A vile murther.]
doubt least they being towardlie yoong gentlemen, might in time grow
so into fauour with the people, that it should be easie for them to
depriue both Egbert, and his issue of the kingdome. Also, that they
were priuilie put to death, and secretlie buried at the first, but the
place of their buriall immediatlie being shewed after a miraculous
maner, their bodies long after in the daies of king Egilred the sonne
of king Edgar, were taken vp, & conueied vnto Ramsey, and there
buried. And although Egbert being giltie of the death of those his
coosens, did sore repent him, for that he vnderstood they died
giltlesse, yet his brother Lothaire was thought to be punished for
that offense, as after shall be shewed.

[Sidenote: Bishop Winfrid deposed.]
Winfrid bishop of the Mercies, for his disobedience in some point
[Sidenote: Sexvulfe ordeined bishop of the Mercies. 685, as
Matth. Westm. saith, Bishop Erkenwald.]
was depriued by archbishop Theodore, and one Sexvulfe that was the
builder and also the abbat of the monasterie Meidhamsted, otherwise
called Peterborough, was ordeined and consecrated in his place. About
the same time, Erkenwald was ordeined bishop of the Eastsaxons, and
appointed to hold his sée in the citie of London. This Erkenwald was
reputed to be a man of great holinesse and vertue. Before he was made
bishop, he builded two abbeies, the one of moonks at Chertsey in
Southerie, where he himselfe was abbat, and the other of nuns at
[Sidenote: Ethelburga.]
Berking, within the prouince of the Eastsaxons, where he placed
his sister Ethelburga, a woman also highlie estéemed for hir
[Sidenote: _Iohn Capgraue_.]
deuout kind of life. She was first brought vp and instructed in the
rules of hir profession by one Hildelitha a nun of the parties beyond
the seas, whome Erkenwald procured to come ouer for that purpose.

[Sidenote: Waldhere. Sebbie king of Eastsaxons.
_Beda. lib. 4. cap._ 16.]
After Erkenwald, one Waldhere was made bishop of London, in whose
daies Sebbie king of the Eastsaxons, after he had reigned thirtie
yéeres, being now vexed with a gréeuous sicknesse, professed himselfe
a moonke: which thing he would haue doone long before, if his wife had
not kept him backe. He died shortlie after within the citie of London,
[Sidenote: _Wil. Malm_.]
and was buried in the church of saint Paule. King Sighere, which in
the beginning reigned with him, and gouerned a part of the Eastsaxons,
was departed this life before, so that in his latter time, the
foresaid Sebbie had the gouernment of the whole prouince of the
[Sidenote: 675.]
Eastsaxons, and left the same to his sonnes Sighard and Sewfred.
About the yéere of our Lord 675, Vulfhere king of Mercia departed this
life, after he had reigned (as some say) 19 yéeres, but (as other
affirme) he reigned but 17 yéeres. Howbeit they which reckon 19,
include the time that passed after the slaughter of Penda, wherein
Oswie and Peada held the aforesaid kingdome.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Edilred king of Mercia inuadeth the kingdome of Kent, and maketh
great waste without resistance of Lothaire the king thereof, Putta
of a bishop becommeth a poore curat and teacheth musicke, Wilfred
deposed from his bishoprike by king Egfrid vpon displeasure, he
preacheth the gospell in Sussex by the licence of king Edilwalke,
no raine in Sussex for the space of three yeeres, the woord and
sacraments bring blessings with them; bishop Wilfrid the first teacher
to catch fish with nets, the people haue him in great reuerence, a
great and bloudie battell betweene Egfrid & king Edilred, they are
reconciled by the meanes of archbishop Theodore; a synod holden at
Hatfield, the clergie subscribe to certeine articles, of Hilda the
famous abbesse of Whitbie_.


[Sidenote: EDILRED.]
After Vulfhere, his brother Edilred or Ethelred succéeded in
gouernment of the kingdome of Mercia. This Edilred inuaded the
kingdome of Kent with a mightie armie, in the yéere of our Lord
[Sidenote: 677. _Hen. Hunt_.]
677, destroieng the countrie afore him, not sparing churches nor
abbeies, but spoiling the same without respect, as well as other
common places. King Lothaire durst not appéere in the field to giue
him battell, so that Edilred went thorough the countrie, destroied
the citie of Rochester, and with great riches gotten by the spoile he
returned home. Putta the bishop of Rochester, after that his church
was spoiled and defaced by the enimies, went to Sexvulfe bishop of
Mercia, and there obteining of him a small cure, and a portion of
ground, remained in that countrie, not once labouring to restore his
church of Rochester to the former state, but went about in Mercia to
teach song, and instruct such as would learne musicke, wheresoeuer he
was required, or could get intertainment.

Heerevpon the archbishop Theodore consecrated one William bishop
of Rochester in place of Putta, and after, when the said William
constreined by pouertie, left that church, Theodore placed one
[Sidenote: 678.]
Gebmound in his stéed. In the yéere of our Lord 678, in the moneth of
[Sidenote: A blasing star. _Matth. West_. _Beda. lib. 4 ca. 12._
Bishop Wifrid banished.]
August, a blasing starre appéered, with a long bright beame like
to a piller. It was séene euerie morning for the space of thrée
moneths togither. The same Egfrid king of Northumberland, banished
bishop Wilfrid vpon displeasure taken with him, out of his sée, and
then were two bishops ordeined in his place, to gouerne the church of
[Sidenote: Hagustald. Hexham. Eadhidus. Lindesferne. Holie Iland.]
the Northumbers, the one named Bosa at Yorke, and the other called
Eata at Hagustald or Lindesferne. Also one Eadhidus was ordeined about
the same time bishop of Lindsey, the which prouince king Egfrid had of
late conquered and taken from Vulfhere the late king of Mercia, whome
he ouercame in battell, and droue him out of that countrie. The
said thrée bishops were consecrated at Yorke by the archbishop of
Canturburie Theodorus, the which within thrée yéeres after ordained
two bishops more in that prouince of the Northumbers, that is to
say, Tumbert at Hagustald, Eata that was appointed to remaine at
Lindesferne, & Trumuine was ordeined to haue the cure of the prouince
of those Picts which as then were vnder the English dominion. Also
bicause Edilred king of Mercia recouered the countrie of Lindsey, and
[Sidenote: The church of Rippon.]
ioined it to his dominion, bishop Eadhedus comming from thence,
was appointed to gouerne the church of Rippon.

After that bishop Wilfrid was expelled out of his diocesse and
prouince of the Northumbers, he went to Rome, and returning from
thence, came into the kingdome of the Southsaxons, the which
conteining seuen thousand housholds or families, as yet was not
[Sidenote: Wilfrid by licence of king Edilwalke preacheth the gospel
to them of Sussex.]
conuerted to the christian faith. Wherefore the said Wilfrid began
there to preach the gospell with licence of king Edilwalke, who (as
before is mentioned) was conuerted and baptised in Mercia by the
procurement of king Wolfher, that then became his godfather, and gaue
him at the same time the Ile of Wight, and the prouince of the people
ancientlie called Meanuari, which he had woon from the Westsaxons.
Bishop Wilfrid then by king Edilwalke his furtherance and helpe
baptised the chiefest lords and gentlemen of that prouince. But
certein priests baptised the residue of the people, either then or in
the time following.

[Sidenote: Lacke of raine.]
¶ It chanced that for the space of thrée yéeres (as it is said)
before the comming thither of bishop Wilfrid, there had fallen no
raine from the aire within that prouince of the Southsaxons, so that
the people were brought into great miserie by reson of famine, which
through want of necessarie fruits of the earth sore afflicted the
whole countrie, insomuch that no small numbers threw themselues
hedlong into the sea, despairing of life in such lacke of necessarie
vittels. But as God would, the same day that Wilfrid began to minister
the sacrament of baptisme, there came downe swéet and plentifull
showers of raine, so watering the earth, that thereby great store
of all fruits plentifullie tooke root, and yéelded full increase in
growth, to the great comfort and reliefe of all the people, which
before were in maner starued and lost through want of food.

[Sidenote: Catching of fish with nets.]
Bishop Wilfrid also taught them in that countrie the maner how to
catch fish with nets, where before that time, they had no great skill
in anie kind of fishing, except it were in catching éeles. Hereby the
said bishop grew there in great estimation with the people, so that
his words were the better credited amongst them, for that through him
they receiued so great benefits, God by such meanes working in the
peoples hearts a desire to come to the vnderstanding of his lawes. The
king also gaue vnto Wilfrid a place called Sealesew, compassed about
on each side (except on the west halfe) with the sea, conteining 87
housholds or families, where he built an abbeie, and baptised all
his tenants there, amounting to the number of 250 bondmen and
[Sidenote: Bondmen made trulie free.]
bondwomen, whome he made frée both in bodie and soule: for he did
not onelie baptise them, but also infranchised them of all bodilie
seruitude and bondage.

In this meane while manie things happened in other parts of this land,
and first in the yeere after the appéering of the blasing starre
before mentioned, a mightie battell was fought betwixt the said Egfrid
and Edilred king of Mercia, néere to the riuer of Trent, where Alswine
the brother of king Egfrid was slaine, with manie other of the
Northumbers, so that king Egfrid was constreined to returne home with
losse. The archbishop of Canturburie Theodorus perceiuing that great
warre and effusion of bloud was like to follow therevpon, trauelled so
in the matter betwixt them, that they were made friends, and Egfrid
had a péece of monie in recompense of his losses. The foresaid
[Sidenote: 679.]
battell was fought in the yéere of our Lord 679, and in the yeere
following, that is to say, in the yéere of our Lord 680, which
[Sidenote: 680.]
was also in the tenth yéere of the reigne of Egfrid king of
Northumberland, the sixt yéere of Edelred king of Mercia, the 17 of
Aldvulfe king of Eastangles, and in the 7 of Lother king of Kent.

[Sidenote: A synod at Hatfield.]
The archbishop of Canturburie Theodorus held another synod at
[Sidenote: Articles subscribed.]
Hatfield, about the 15 kalends of October, in the which all the
clergie there present subscribed to certeine articles touching the
beléefe of the trinitie of persons, in vnitie of the Godhead of the
like substance, and also of the same vnitie in trinitie, according to
the true faith of the church of God. Moreouer, they acknowledged
by the like subscription, the fiue generall councels, of Nice,
of Constantinople the first, of Ephesus, of Calcedon, and of
Constantinople the second, with the synod also holden at Rome in
the daies of Martin bishop of Rome about the yéere of the emperour
Constantine. At this synod holden at Hatfield, was present one Iohn
the archchanter of S. Peters church at Rome, sent into this land of
purpose to bring from hence a certificat vnto pope Agatho of the
agréement of the English church in matters of faith, with other
churches of the christian world: but the foresaid archchanter died by
the way in France, as he returned homewards, and was buried at Towers
in Towraine.

[Sidenote: _Bale_. The abbesse Hilda. _Beda_.]
The same yéere that famous woman Hilda abbesse of Whitbie departed
this life, or (as other say) fiue yéeres after, hauing first beene
deteined long with gréeuous sickenesse. She was the daughter of one
Herrericus the nephue of king Edwin, and conuerted to the faith of
Christ at the preaching of bishop Pauline, and afterwards instructed
by bishop Aidan, she professed hirselfe a nun, applieng hir whole
studie to the reading of the scriptures, to praier, & other godlie
exercises. She builded the abbeie of Whitbie, wherein were placed both
men and women, with such an equalitie in all things, that there was
[Sidenote: _Bale_. _Ran. Cest._ _Matth. West._ _Beda_.]
no rich person amongst them, nor anie that wanted things necessarie.
She departed this life on the 15 kalends of December, being 66 yéeres
of age. As some haue written she argued stoutlie on bishop Colmans
part, at the disputation holden in the monasterie of Whitbie, in the
[Sidenote: _Henrie Hunt._]
yéere of Grace 664, whereof ye haue heard before. About the yéere of
our Lord 682, that is to say, in the seuenth yere of Centwine or
Centiuinus king of Westsaxons, the same Centwine fought with the
[Sidenote: The Britains discomfited.]
Britains, and ouercame them in battell, pursuing them with fire and
sword vnto the sea side.

¶ Thus (at this time as also at diuerse other times) they were
discomfited and put to flight, being a people allotted and shared out
as it were to suffer many an ouerthrow, and abide manie a sharpe and
shamefull repulse at the hands of their enimies, who conuerted the
distresse of that people to their profit, and tooke pleasure in the
extreamitie of the miseries wherein they were plunged, as may be
obserued by the pitifull alteration of their state vnder diuers
gouernours, and speciallie vnder the Danish dominion, who kept them in
[Sidenote: _Gorop. in Gota danica lib. 7. pag. 759_.]
no lesse vile seruitude than Pharao did the Hebrues at the making of
bricke & chopping of straw. So that some thinke this land to be
corruptlie named Britania, but ought rather to be called Bridania,
that is, _Libera Dania, siue regio in qua Dani liberè viuant_, for
they liued as lords in the land, & did (for the time being) what they
listed. But of this matter more shall be spoken hereafter in place

       *       *       *       *       *

_Cadwallader king of Britaine, the people are brought into great
miserie, and he forced to flee the land, he dieth at Rome, the British
writers noted of error, Ceadwalla king of the Westsaxons, the kingdome
is diuided; the valorous mind of Ceadwalla, he is forced to forsake
his countrie, he vanquisheth and killeth Edilwalke king of the
Westsaxons, his returne into his kingdome with reuenge vpon Berthun
duke of Sussex and other his heauie friends, his vow if he might
conquer the Ile of Wight, his bountifull offer to bishop Wilfrid,
the Ile of Wight receiueth the faith; Ceadwalla inuadeth Kent, of a
barbarous warriour he becommeth a religious christian, his vertues,
his death and buriall at Rome; Egfrid king of Northumberland inuadeth
Ireland, he is slaine by Brudeus king of the Picts; the neglect of
good counsell is dangerous; Etheldreda a wife and a widow (hauing
vowed chastitie) liued a virgine 12 yeeres with hir husband Egfride,
she was called saint Auderie of Elie._


[Sidenote: CADWALLADER.]
But now to returne vnto that which is found in the British
histories, by the tenor wherof it should appeare, that when their king
Cadwallo was dead, his son Cadwallader succéeded him in gouernement
[Sidenote: 676 saith _Matth. West._]
of the Britains, in the yéere of our Lord 678, which was about the 10
yéere of the emperour Constantius Paganotus, and in the 13 yéere of
[Sidenote: _Galfrid._]
the reigne of Childericus king of France. This Cadwallader, being
the sonne of Cadwallo, was begot by him of the halfe sister of Penda
king of Mercia, for one father begot them both, but of two sundrie
mothers, for she had to mother a ladie descended of the noble blood of
the Westsaxons, and was maried vnto Cadwallo when the peace was made
betwixt him and hir brother the said Penda. After that Cadwallader had
reigned the space of 12 yéers (as Geffrey of Monmouth saith) or (as
others write) but 3 yéeres, the Britains were brought into such
miserie through ciuill discord, and also by such great and extreme
[Sidenote: Cadwallader constreined to forsake the land.]
famine as then reigned through all the land, that Cadwallader was
constreined with the chéefest part of his people to forsake their
natiue countrie, and by sea to get them ouer into Britaine Armorike,
there to séeke reliefe by vittels for the sustentation of their
languishing bodies.

¶ Long processe is made by the British writers of this departure of
Cadwallader, & of the Britains out of this land, and how Cadwallader
was about to haue returned againe, but that he was admonished by a
dreame to the contrarie, the which bicause it séemeth but fabulous, we
passe ouer. At length he went to Rome, and there was confirmed in
the christian religion by pope Sergius, where shortlie after he fell
sicke, and died the 12 kalends of May, in the yeere of our Lord
[Sidenote: 689.]
689. But herein appeareth the error of the British writers in taking
one for another, by reason of resemblance of names, for where
Ceadwalla king of the Westsaxons about that time mooued of a religious
deuotion, after he was conuerted to the faith, went vnto Rome, and was
there baptised, or else confirmed of the foresaid pope Sergius, and
shortlie after departed this life in that citie in the foresaid yéere
of 689 or therabouts. The Welshmen count him to be their Cadwallader:
which to be true is verie vnlike by that which may be gathered out of
the learned writings of diuers good and approoued authors.

[Sidenote: CEADWALLA. _Wil. Malm._ _Beda_.]
This Ceadwalla king of the Westsaxons succeeded after Centwine
or Centiuinus, which Centwine reigned nine yéeres, though it should
appeare by that which is written by authors of good credit, that
during two of those yéeres at the least, the kingdome of Westsaxons
was diuided betwixt him and Elcuinus or Escuinus, so that he should
not reigne past seuen yeeres alone.

[Sidenote: _Wil. Malm._ _Ranulf. Cest._]
But now to Ceadwalla, whome some take to be all one with
Cadwallader, we find that he was lineallie descended from Cutha or
Cutwine, the brother of Ceauline or Keuling king of Westsaxons, as
sonne to Kenbert or Kenbright that was sonne to Ceadda the sonne of
the foresaid Cutha or Cutwin. Thus being extract of the noble house of
the kings of Westsaxons, he prooued in his youth a personage of great
towardnesse, and such a one as no small hope was of him conceiued: he
would let no occasion passe wherein he might exercise his force,
to shew proofe of his high valiancie, so that in the end with his
woorthie attempts shewed therein, he purchased to himselfe the enuie
of those that ruled in his countrie, by reason whereof he was
[Sidenote: Ceadwalla driuen to depart out of his countrie.]
banished in a conspiracie made against him. Wherevpon he tooke
occasion as it were in reuenge of such vnthankfulnesse to withdraw
out of his countrie, leading with him all the principall youth of the
same, the which either pitieng his present estate, or mooued with
pleasure taken in his valiant dooings, followed him at his going into

The first brunt of his furious attempts after he was out of his
countrie, Edilwalke the king of the Southsaxons tasted, who in defense
of himselfe comming to trie battell with Ceadwalla, was slaine with
the most part of all his armie. Ceadwalla then perceiuing the valiant
courages of his souldiers, filled with good hope of this happie
atchiued victorie, returned with good and prosperous spéed into his
owne countrie, and that yer he was looked for, and earnestlie pursuing
his aduersaries, droue them out of the kingdome, and taking vpon him
to rule the same as king, reigned two yéeres, during the which he
atchiued diuers notable enterprises.

[Sidenote: _Beda lib. 4. cap. 15_.]
And first, whereas Berthun and Authun dukes of Sussex & subiects
vnto the late king Edilwalke, had both expelled him out of that
countrie, after he had slaine the said Edilwalke, and also taken vpon
them the rule of that kingdome, hauing now atteined to the gouernement
[Sidenote: Berthun a duke of Sussex slaine.]
of the Westsaxons, he inuaded the countrie of Sussex againe, and
slue Berthun in battell, bringing that countrie into more bondage than
before. He also set vpon the Ile of Wight, and well-néere destroied
all the inhabitants, meaning to inhabit it with his owne people.
[Sidenote: Caedwalla his vow. The Ile of Wight conquered.]
Hee bound himselfe also by vow, although as yet he was not baptised,
that if he might conquer it, he would giue a fourth part thereof vnto
the Lord. And in performance of that vow, he offered vnto bishop
Wilfride (who then chanced to be present) when he had taken that Ile,
so much therof as conteined 300 housholds or families, where the
whole consisted in 1200 housholds. Wilfrid receiuing thankefullie
the gift, deliuered the same vnto one of his clearks named Bernewine
that was his sisters sonne, appointing to him also a priest named
Hildila, the which should minister the word and the sacrament of
baptisme vnto all those that would receiue the same. Thus was the
[Sidenote: The Ile of Wight receiueth the faith.]
Ile of Wight brought to the faith of Christ last of all other the
parties of this our Britaine, after that the same faith had failed
here by the comming of the Saxons.

Moreouer, king Ceadwalla inuaded the kingdome of Kent, where he lost
his brother Mollo, as after shall appéere, but yet he reuenged his
death with great slaughter made of the inhabitants in that countrie.
Finallie, this worthie prince Ceadwalla, turning himselfe from the
desire of warre and bloudshed, became right courteous, gentle and
liberall towards all men, so that ye could not haue wished more
vertuous manners to rest in one as yet not christened. And shortlie
after, willing to be admitted into the fellowship of the christians
(of whose religion he had taken good tast) he went to Rome, where of
pope Sergius he was baptised, and named Peter, and shortlie after
surprised with sickenesse, he died, and was buried there within
[Sidenote: 689.]
the church of saint Peter in the yeere of our Lord 689.

[Sidenote: _Beda lib. 4. cap. 26_. Ireland inuaded by the Northumbers.]
In the meane while, that is to say, in the yeere of our Lord 684,
Egfride king of Northumberland sent an armie vnder the guiding of a
capteine named Bertus into Ireland, the which wasted that countrie,
sparing neither church nor monasterie, sore indamaging the people of
that countrie, which had euer beene friends vnto the English nation,
and deserued nothing lesse than so to be inuaded and spoiled at their
hands. The Irish men defended themselues to their power, beséeching
God with manie a salt teare, that he would reuenge their cause in
punishing of such extreme iniuries. And though cursers may not inherit
the kingdome of heauen, yet they ceased not to curse, hoping the
sooner that those which with good cause were thus accursed,
should woorthilie be punished for their offenses by God, & so
[Sidenote: King Egfride slain by Brudeus king of the Picts.]
(peraduenture) it fell out. For in the yeere following, the said
Egfride had lead an armie into Pictland against Brudeus king of
the Picts, and being trained into straits within hils and craggie
mounteins, he was slaine with the most part of all his armie, in the
yeere of his age 40, and of his reigne 15, vpon the 13 kalends of

There were diuers of Egfrides friends, and namelie Cutberd (whome he
had aduanced the same yéere vnto the bishops sée of Lindesferne)
that aduised him in no wise, either to haue taken this warre in hand
against the Picts, or the other against them of Ireland, but he would
not be counselled, the punishment appointed for his sinnes being such,
that he might not giue eare to his faithfull friends that aduised him
for the best. From that time foorth, the hope and power of the
[Sidenote: These Britains were those vndouttedlie y't dwelt in the
northwest parts of this Ile, and is not ment onlie by them of Wales.]
English people began to decaie. For not onelie the Picts recouered
that part of their countrie which the Englishmen had held before in
their possession, but also the Scots that inhabited within this Ile,
and likewise some part of the Britains tooke vpon them libertie, which
they kept and mainteined a long time after, as Beda confesseth.

Egfride died without issue, & left no children behind him. He had
to wife one Ethelreda or Etheldrida, daughter vnto Anna king of the
Eastangles, which liued with hir husband the forsaid Egfride twelue
yéeres in perfect virginitie (as is supposed) contrarie to the purpose
of hir husband, if he might haue persuaded hir to the contrarie, but
[Sidenote: Ethelreda.]
finallie he was contented that she should kéepe hir first vow of
chastitie which she had made. She was both widow and virgine when he
maried hir, being first coupled in wedlocke with one Eunbert a noble
[Sidenote: Giruij.]
man, and a ruler in the south parts of the countrie, where the
people called Giruij inhabited, which is the same where the fennes
lie in the confines of Lincolnshire, Norffolke, Huntingtonshire, &
Cambridgeshire, howbeit he liued with hir but a small while. After she
had obteined licence to depart from the court, she got hir first into
Coldingham abbeie, and there was professed a nun. Then she went to
Elie, and there restored the monasterie, and was made abbesse of the
place, in the which after she had gouerned seuen yeeres, she departed
this life, and was there buried. This same was she which commonlie is
called saint Audrie of Elie, had in great reuerence for the opinion
conceiued of hir great vertue and puritie of life.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Alfride (the bastard) king of Northumberland, his life and death,
Iohn archbishop of Canturburie resigneth his see, Lother king of Kent
dieth of a wound, Edrike getteth the regiment thereof but not without
bloudshed, Ceadwalla wasteth Kent being at strife in it selfe,
his brother Mollo burned to death; Withred made king of Kent, he
vanquisheth his enimies, Inas king of Westsaxons is made his friend,
Suebhard and Nidred vsurpers of the Kentish kingdome, the age and
death of Theodore archbishop of Canturburie, Brightwald the first
archbishop of the English nation; the end of the British regiment, and
how long the greatest part of this Iland was vnder their gouernement._


After that king Egfride was slaine (as before is mentioned) his
[Sidenote: ALFRIDE. 685.]
brother Alfride was made king of Northumberland. This Alfride was
the bastard sonne of king Oswie, and in his brothers daies (either
willinglie, or by violent means constreined) he liued as a banished
man in Ireland, where applieng himselfe to studie, he became an
excellent philosopher. And therfore being iudged to be better able to
haue the rule of a kingdome, he was receiued by the Northumbers, and
made king, gouerning his subiects the space of 20 yeares and more,
with great wisedome and policie, but not with such large bounds as his
ancestors had doone: for the Picts (as before is mentioned) had
cut off one péece of the north part of the ancient limits of that
kingdome. About the 13 yeare of his reigne, that is to say, in the
[Sidenote: 698.]
yeare of our Lord 698, one of his capteins named earle Berthred,
or Bertus, was slaine in battell by the Picts, whose confins he had as
then inuaded. The curse of the Irish men, whose countrie in the
[Sidenote: _Matt. West._]
daies of king Egfrid he had cruellie wasted (as before is mentioned)
was thought at this time to take place. Finallie king Alfride, after
he had reigned 20 yeares & od months, departed this life, in the yeare
[Sidenote: 705. _Beda_.]
of our Lord 705.

In the beginning of king Alfrids daies, Eata the bishop of Hexham
being dead, one Iohn a man of great holinesse was admitted bishop, and
after that, bishop Wilfrid was restored, when he had remained a
[Sidenote: Iohn archbishop of Yorke.]
long time in exile. The said Iohn was remoued to the church of Yorke,
the same being then void by the death of the archbishop Bosa. At
[Sidenote: He resigneth his sée.]
length the foresaid Iohn wearied with the cares of publike
affaires resigned his sée, and got him to Beuerley, where he liued a
solitarie life for the space of foure yeares, and then died, about
[Sidenote: 721.]
the yeare of our Lord 721, king Osrike as then reigning in
Northumberland. He continued bishop for the space of 24 yeares, and
builded a church, and founded a colledge of priests at Beuerley
aforsaid, in which church he lieth buried.

[Sidenote: 686 saith _Matt. West._]
[Sidenote: Lother king of Kent dieth of a wound.]
The same yeare, or in the yeare after that king Egfrid was slaine,
Lother king of Kent departed this life, the 8 Ides of Februarie, of
a wound by him receiued in a battell which he fought against the
Southsaxons, the which came in aid of Edrike, that was sonne vnto his
brother Egbert, and had mainteined warre against his vncle the said
Lother, euen from the beginning of his reigne, till finallie he was
now in the said battell striken thorough the bodie with a dart, and
so died thereof, after he had reigned 11 yeares, and seuen moneths.
It was thought that he was disquieted with continuall warres and
troubles, and finallie brought to his end before the naturall course
of his time, for a punishment of his wicked consent giuen to the
[Sidenote: _Wil. Malm._]
putting to death of his cousins Ethelbert & Ethelbrit, as appeared,
[Sidenote: _Capgraue_ saith, their sister.]
in that when they were reported to be martyrs, because it was knowen
they died innocentlie, he mocked them and made but a iest at it,
although his brother in acknowledging his fault, repented him thereof,
and gaue in recompense to their mother a part of the Ile of Thanet to
the building of a monasterie.

[Sidenote: EDRICKE.]
The foresaid Edricke (after Lother was dead) got the dominion of Kent,
and ruled as king thereof, but not without ciuill warre, insomuch that
before he had reigned the full terme of two yeares, he was slaine in
the same warre. Then Ceadwalla king of the Westsaxons being thereof
aduertised, supposing the time now to be come that would serue his
purpose, as one still coueting to worke the Kentishmen all the
displeasure he could, entred with an armie into their countrie, and
began to waste and spoile the same on ech side, till finallie the
Kentishmen assembled themselues togither, gaue battell to their
enimies, and put them to flight. Mollo brother to Ceadwalla was driuen
from his companie, and constrained to take an house for his refuge:
[Sidenote: Mollo brother to king Ceadwalla burnt to death.]
but his enimies that pursued him set fire thereon, and burned both
the house and Mollo within it to ashes. Yet did not Ceadwalla
herewith depart out of the countrie, but to wreake his wrath, and to
reuenge the griefe which he tooke for the death of his brother, he
wasted and destroied a great part of Kent yer he returned home, and
left (as it were) an occasion to his successor also to pursue the
quarell with reuenging. Wherein we sée the cankerd nature of man,
speciallie in a case of wrong or displeasure; which we are so far
from tollerating & forgiuing, that if with tooth and naile we be
not permitted to take vengeance, our hearts will breake with a full
conceit of wrath. But the law of nature teacheth vs otherwise to be
affected, namelie,

  ------per te nulli vnquam iniuria fiat,
  Sed verbis alijsque modis fuge lædere quenquam,
  Quod tibi nolles, alijs fecisse caueto,
  Quódque tibi velles, alijs præstare studeto;
  Hæc est naturæ lex optima, quam nisi ad vnguem
  Seruabis, non ipse Deo (mihi crede) placebis,
  Póstque obitum infoelix non aurea sydera adibis.

Which lesson taught by nature, and commanded of God, if these men had
followed (as they minded nothing lesse in the fier of their furie)
they would haue béene content with a competent reuenge, and not in
such outragious maner with fier and sword haue afflicted one another,
nor (which is more than tigerlike crueltie) haue ministred occasion to
posterities to reuenge wrongs giuen and taken of their ancestors. But
we will let this passe without further discourse, meaning hereafter in
due place to declare the processe.

The Kentishmen being destitute of a king, after that diuers had
coueted the place, and sought to atteine thereto, as well by force as
otherwise, to the great disquieting of that prouince for the space
of 6 yeares togither, at length in the 7 yeare after Edricks death,
Withred an other of the sonnes of king Egbert, hauing with diligent
[Sidenote: Withred is made king of Kent.]
trauell ouercome enuie at home, & with monie redéemed peace abaoad
(sic), was with great hope conceiued of his worthinesse made king of
Kent, the 11 of Nouember, & 205 after the death of Hengist, he reigned
33 yeares, not deceiuing his subiects of their good conceiued opinion
of him: for ouercomming all his aduersaries which were readie to leuie
ciuill warre against him, he also purchased peace of Inas king of the
Westsaxons, which ment to haue made him warre, till with monie he was
made his friend.

[Sidenote: _Hen. Hunt._ _Beda. lib. 5_. Suebhard and Nidred kings by
vsurpation and not by succession, as _Henr. Hunt._ writeth.]
A little before that Withred was confirmed in the kingdome of
Kent, there reigned two kings in that countrie, Suebhard and Nidred,
or rather the same Withred, if the printed copie of Bedas booke
intituled "Ecclesiastica historia gentis Anglorum" haue not that name
corrupted: for where he sheweth that the archbishop Theodorus being of
the age of 88 yeares, departed this life in the yeare of our Lord 690,
in the next chapter he declareth, that in the yeare 692, the first
daie of Iulie one Brightwald was chosen to succéed in the archbishops
sée of Canturburie, Withredus and Suebhardus as then reigning in Kent:
but whether Withredus gouerned as then with Suebhardus, or that
some other named Nidred, it forceth not: for certeine it is by the
agréement of other writers, that till Withred obteined the whole rule,
there was great strife and contention moued about the gouernement, and
[Sidenote: Brightwald the first archbishop of the English nation.]
diuers there were that sought and fought for it. But this ought to
be noted, that the forenamed Brightwald was the eight archbishop
in number, and first of the English nation that sat in the sée of
Canturburie: for the other seuen that were predecessors to him, were
strangers borne, and sent hither from Rome.

¶ Here endeth the line and gouernement of the Britains, now called
Welshmen, which tooke that name of their duke or leader Wallo or
Gallo; or else of a queene of Wales named Gales or Wales. But
howsoeuer that name fell first vnto them, now they are called
Welshmen, which sometime were called Britains or Brutons, and
descended first of the Troians, and after of Brute, and lastlie of
Mulmucius Dunwallo: albeit they were mingled with sundrie other
nations, as Romans, Picts, &c. And now they be called English that in
their beginning were named Saxons or Angles. To conclude therefore
with this gouernement, so manie times intercepted by forren power, it
appeareth by course of histories treating of these matters, that the
last yeare of Cadwallader was the yeare of our Lord 686, which makes
the yere of the world 4647. So that (as Fabian saith) the Britains had
the greater part of this land in rule (reckoning from Brute till this
time) 1822 yeares. Which terme being expired, the whole dominion of
this realme was Saxonish.

_Thus farre the interrupted regiment of the Britains, ending at the
fift booke._

[Transcriber's note: The following words appear to be typos, but were
left as they appeared in this book.

  whreof => whereof (chapter 8, para. 5)
  buruished => burnished (chapter 13, para. 3)
  shost => short (chapter 25, para. 4)
  Grogories => Gregories (chapter 33, para. 10)
  abaoad => abroad (chapter 37, para. 6)]

  by little little => little by little (chapter 3, para. 1)

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