and Picts. And at the length were forced to send their Ambassadors with Letters
lamentable Supplications to Rome; requiring Aid and Succour from thence, upon
Promise of their continual Fealty; so that the Romans would rescue them out of
Hands of their Enemies. Hereupon the Romans sent unto them a Legion, which
coming into this Island, and encountering with the Enemies, overthrew a great
of them, and drove the rest out of the Frontiers of the Country; and so setting
Britains at Liberty, conselled them to make a Wall, extending all along between
Seas; which might be of Force to keep out their evil Neighbours; and then
home with great Triumph. But the Britains wanting Masons, builded that Wall not
Stone, as they were advised, but made it of Turf; and that so slender, that it
or nothing at all for their Defence. And the Enemy perceiving that the Roman
was returned home, forthwith arrived out of their Boats, invaded the Borders,
overcame the Country, (and as it were) bare down all that was before them.
The Britains make a Turf Wall against them;
unskilful of building with Stone.
Whereupon Ambassadors were speedily dispatched to Rome, lamentably beseeching
that they would not suffer their miserable Country to be utterly destroyed.
another Legion was sent; which coming upon a sudden, made a great Slaughter of
Enemy, and chaced him home even to his own Country. These Romans, at their
Departure, told the Britains plainly, that it was not for their Ease or Leisure,
upon them any more such long and laborious Journeys for their Defence: And
bade them practice the Use of Armour and Weapons, and learn to withstand their
Enemies; whom nothing else did make so strong, as their faint Hearts and
And forsomuch as they thought that it would be no small Help and Encouragement
their Tributary Friends, whom they were now forced to forsake, they builded for
a Wall of hard Stone from the West Sea to the East Sea, directly along by those
which were made here and there to keep out the Enemies, in the selfsame Place
Severus the Emperor had before cast his Trench; the Britains also putting to
helping Hands, as Labourers. This Wall they built Eight Foot thick in Breadth,
Twelve Foot in Height, right as it were by a Line, from East to West; as the
thereof remaining in many Places till this Day do make appear.
The Britains send Ambassadors to Rome for
The Romans make the Britains a Stone Wall between
them and the Scots.
The Ruins thereof remaining.
Which Work thus perfected, they [the Romans] give the People strait Charge to
well to themselves: They teach them to handle their Weapons, and they instruct
Warlike Feats. And left by the Seaside, Southwards, where their Ships lay at
the Enemy should come on Land, they made up sundry Bulwarks, each somewhat
distant from the other; and so bade them farewel, as minding no more to return.
happened in the Days of the Emperor Theodosius the younger, almost Five hundred
Years after the first Arrival of the Romans here, about the Year after Christ's
The Romans leave Britain in the Year 434.
The Britains after this, continuing a lingring and doubtful War with the Scots
made choice of Vortiger to be their King and Leader: which Man, as saith
was neither valorous of Courage, nor wise of Counsel, but wholly given over to
unlawful Lusts of his Flesh. The People likewise, in short time, being grown to
Quietness, gave themselves to Gluttony and Drunkenness, Pride and Contention,
and such other Vices, casting from them the Yoke of Christ. In the mean Season
bitter Plague fell among them, consuming in short time such a Multitude, that
were not sufficient to bury the Dead. And yet the Remnant re-
mained so hardened in Sin, that neither the Death of their Friends, nor Fear of
Danger, could cure the Mortality of their Souls. Whereupon a greater Stroke of
Vengeance ensued upon the whole sinful Nation. For being now again infested
their old Neighbours, the Scots and Picts, they consult with their King
send for the Saxons.
The Britains addicted to Intemperance and
Affilicted with a great Plague and other
Their wicked Lives.
Who shortly after arrived here in Britain. Where, saith Bede, they were
Friends. But, as it proved, they minded to destroy the Country as Enemies. For
that they had driven out the Scots and Picts, they also drave the Britains, some
Seas, some into the West Mountains of Wales and Cornwal; and divided the Country
into divers Kingdoms amongst themselves. These Saxons were likewise (as the
Britons were) ignorant of the Architecture, or Building with Stone, until the
Christ DCLXXX. For then it is affirmed, that Benet, Abbot of Wirral, Master to
Reverend Bede, first brought Masons and Workmen in Stone into this Island among
Saxons. He, I say, brought hither Artificers of Stone-houses, Painters and
Arts before that time unto the Saxons unknown: who before that Time used but
Entrance of the Saxons into Britain.
Who drive them into the Mountains.
These, as the Britains, ignorant in building with
Masons brought first into Britain by Benet,
And to this accordeth Polychronicon, who saith, Then had ye Wooden Churches;
Wooden Chalices, and Golden Priests: but since Golden Chalices, and Wooden
And to knit up this Argument, King Edgar, in his Charter to the Abby of
Dated the Year of Christ DCCCCLXXIV, hath Words to this Effect; All the
Monasteries in my Realm, to the outward Sight, are nothing but worm-eaten and
Timber, and Boards, and, that worse is, within they are almost empty and void of
Wooden Churches, Wooden Chalices in Britain at
first; but Golden Priests.
Monasteries of rotten Timber.
Thus much must be said for Walling, not only in respect of this City, but
of the first Practice of building Walls within the Realm. Now to return to our
to relate how the Walls thereof have been since their Foundation preserved;
and repaired: Taking first into our Consideration, the Name whereby this City
strengthned with Walls and Gates) is called, whereof we have said something
Trinovant, or Trinobant (as Cæsar hath it) is since by Tacitus, Ptolomeus,
Antoninus, called Londinium, and Longidinium: of Ammianus, Lundinum, and
Augusta; who calleth it an antient City of our Britains, * Lundain: of the
Lundoncaster, Lundonberig, Lundonwic: of Strangers, Londra and Loondras: of the
Inhabitants, London. Whereof you may read a more large and learned Discourse,
how it took its Name, in that Work of my loving Friend Mr. Camden, now
Clarentiaulx, which is called Britannia.
The ancient Name of London.
Camden's Britannia, Middlesex.
This City of London, having been destroyed and burnt by the Danes, and other
Enemies, about the Year of Christ DCCCXXXIX, was by Alfred King of the West-
Saxons, in the Year DCCCLXXXVI, repaired and honourably restored, and made
again habitable: Who also committed the Custody thereof unto his Son-in-Law
Ethelred, Earl of Mercia, unto whom before he had given his Daughter Ethelfled.
that this City was strongly Walled may appear by divers Accidents, whereof I
K. Alfred rebuilds the City.
London, now strongly walled.
William of Malmsbury hath, That about the Year of Christ DCCCXCIV, the Londoners
shut up their Gates, and defended their King Ethelred, [or Ætheldred]
Walls against the
* Londonium Vetus Oppidum. Lib. 27. c. 8.
Suetonius Paulinus Londinium perrexit, cognomento quidem Coloniæ, non insigne, sed Copia
Negotiatorum & Commeatuum maximè celebre. Annal. 14. c. 33. J. S.