of which yeares this kingdō of Northumberland, with the kingdomes also of the other Saxons besides, came al together into þe hādes of Egbert king of þe Westsaxōs and his progenie: which Monarchie began in the yeare of our Lorde. 827. and in the. 28. yeare of the reigne of the sayd Egbert: wherof more shall be sayd (Christ willing) hereafter. Of this troublesome and ragious tyme of Northumberland people, speaketh also the sayd learned mā Marginalia Alcuinus otherwise called AlbinusAlcuinus otherwyse called Albinus, in the same countrey borne: writing out of Fraunce into England, and complayning of the same in diuers his letters, as fyrst to Offa, where he thus wryteth. Ego paratus eram cum muneribus Charoli regis ad vos venire, et in patriā reuerti: Sed melius mihi visum est propter pacem gentis meæ in peregrinatione remanere, nesciens quid fecissem inter eos, vbi nullus securus esse, vel in salubri consilio proficere potest. Ecclesia sancta a Paganis vastata, altaria periurijs fædata, monasteria adulterijs violata, terra sanguine dominorum & principum fædata, &c. Marginalia The troubles of the kingdō of Northumberland described by Alcuinus.Moreouer the sayd Alcuinus wryting to the foresayd Edelred a litle aboue mentioned, after the same tenour reporteth: Ecce ecclesia sancti Cuthberti sacerdotū dei sanguine aspersa (omnibus spoliata ornamentis) locus, cūctis in Britānia venerabilior, Paganis gentibus datur ad deprædandum. Et vbi primum post decessum S. Cuthberti ab Eboraco, christiana religio in nostra gente sumpsit ex ordiū: ibi miseriæ et calamitatis cæpit initium, &c Item writing to Osbert a noble piere of the Mercians, complayning on the same maner saith: Regnum nostrum Northumbrorum pene perijt, propter intestinas dissentiones, & fallaces cōiurationes, &c.Item in an other place the sayd Alcuinus writing to Adalard Archbishop of Caunterbury, cōplayneth moreouer: Hoc dico propter flagellum, quod nuper accidit partibus insulæ nostræ, quæ prope trecentis & quadraginta annis a parentibus inhabitata est nostris. Legitur in libro Gildæ sapientissimi Britonum, quòd ijdem Britones propter auaritiam & rapinam principum propter iniquitatem & iniustitiam iudicum: propter desidiam prædicationis episcoporum: propter luxuriam & malos mores populi: patriam perdidere. Caueamus hæc eadem vitia nostris temporibus inolescere, quatenus benedictio diuina nobis patriam conseruet in prosperitate bona, quam nobis misericordissima pietate perdonare dignatus est, &c.[Back to Top]
Ex historia Mamesberiēsi.
How it rayned bloud in York.Ouer and besides, the same autor Alcuinus, wryting to the foresayd Edelred king of Northumberland, maketh record of a straunge sight which he himselfe did see the same tyme in þe citie of Yorke, to rayne bloud: wherof, hys wordes which he wrote concerning the same, to the sayd king Edelred be these. Quid significat pluuia sanguinis, quam quadragesimali tempore in Eboraca ciuitate, quæ caput est totius regni in ecclesia beati Petri principis apostolorum: vidimus de borealibus partibus domus, (sereno aere) de summitate minanter cadere? Nonne potest putari, a borealibus partibus venire sanguinē super terram? That is: what signifieth the raine of bloude, which in the tyme of Lent, in the citie of Yorke, the chief citie of that dominion, and in the churche of S. Peter, the chiefe of the Apostles, we our selues did see to fall from the churche toppe (the element being cleare) out of the North partes of the temple, &c. Marginalia An. 780
Brigthricus K. of Westsaxons.Thys wondrous sight testified by Mamesberiensis, is thought of Fabian to happen in the second yeare of the raigne of Brigthricus (as with the time doth well agree) which was the yeare of our Lorde. 780. and is thought of some expositers to betoken the comming of the Danes into this lande: which entred shortlye after, aboute. vij. yeares in the. ix. yeare of the raigne of Brigthricus, king of the Westsaxones. Which Brigthricus in defence therof, sente forth his steward of hys housholde with a small companye which shortlye was slayne: but by the strength of the sayd Brigthricus and the other Saxon kinges they were compelled to voyde the land for thattyme, which was an. 790. To thys Brigthricus king Offa, as is a foresayd, gaue hys daughter Marginalia Edelburga daughter to Offa, poisoned of her husbādEthelburga to wife, by whom he at length was impoysoned besides certain other of his nobles: vpon whom, þe said Queene, before him had practised the same wickednes. Who thē after that, fled ouer to Charles the great into Fraunce: where she being offered for her beautie to marry eyther to hym, or to hys sonne, because she chused rather hys son, marryed neyther the one nor yet the other: Marginalia Wickednes reuenged.but was thrust in a monasterye, where she then playing the harlot with a monke: was expulsed from thence, and ended her life in penurie and miserye.
In the meane tyme while this Edelberga was thus working her feates in England: Marginalia Irene.Irene Empresse of the Greekes, was as busie also for her parte at Constantinople. Who first through the meanes of Pope Adrian, toke vp the bodye of Constantine Emperour of Constantinople, her owne husbandes father. And when she had burned þe same, she caused þe ashes to be cast into the sea, because he disnulled images. Marginalia 784Afterward, raigning with her sonne Constantine the. 6: sonne to Leo the. 4. (whom also we declared before to be excommunicate for taking away images) being at dissension with hym: caused hym to be taken, and layd in prison. Who afterwarde through power of friends being restored to hys Empyre agayn, at laste she caused the same her owne sonne to be caste in prison: and his eyes to be put out so cruellye, that within short space after he dyed. Marginalia Images restored again by Irene at CōstantinopleAfter this the sayd Irene Empresse, with þe counsail of Therasius bishop of Constātinople: Marginalia The secōd councel of Nicea.held a councel at Nicea where it was decreed, that images shoulde agayne be restored to the church: which councel, after was repealed by an other councel holdē at Francford by Charles the great. At length she was deposed by Nicephorus (who raigned after) & was expulsed the Empyre: Marginalia The wickednes of Irene accordingly rewarded.who after the example of Edelburga aboue mencioned (condignly punished for her wickednes) ended likewyse her lyfe in muche penurie and miserie.[Back to Top]
About the time when the foresayd Brigthricus was impoisoned by Edelburga hys wife, dyed also king Offa: which was about the yeare of our Lord. 795. or as some say. 802. After which Offa (as is aforesayd) succeded Egfert: thē Kenulphus: after whō Marginalia Kenelmus king of Mercia innocently slayne.succeded Kenelmus his son, who in his yonger age was wickedly murthered by his sister Quindreda: & Askebertus, about the yeare of our Lord. 819. And in the churche of Wynchcombe was counted for an holy Martyr. Marginalia Celulphus or Ceolulph9, Bernulphus kings of MerciaAfter hym succeded hys vncle Ceolulphus, whom Bernulphus in the first yeare of hys reigne expulsed, and raigned in hys place. Who likewyse the thyrd yeare of his raigne was ouercome and expulsed by Egbert King of þe Westsaxons, & afterward slaine by the Eastangles. Marginalia The kingdome of Mercia ceaseth.And the kingdome of Mercia also ceased, and came into the hands of the Westsaxons.[Back to Top]
¶ Hetherto I haue brought, as thou seest (good reader) the confused & turbulent raignes of these. vij. Saxon kinges: who after the expulsion of the Britaines, ruled & raigned a sonder, in sundrye quarters of thys land together, vnto this present tyme of Egbert king of the Westsaxons. By whom it so pleased God, to beginne to reduce and vnite, al these scattered kingdoms, into one monarchicall forme of dominiō. Wherfore as in þe foresaid Egbert beginneth a new alteration of the cōmon wealth here in this land among the Saxons: so my purpose is (the Lord willing) with the same Egbert to enter a new beginning of my thyrd booke: after a briefe recapitulation first made of suche thinges, as in this second booke before, are to be collected & noted: especially touching þe monasteries builded: þe kings which haue entred the life & profession monastike: also queenes & queenes daughters, which the same time professed solitarye life in monasteries, which they or their aūcitors had erected.[Back to Top]