The Britains of Calenderwood assalt the Romans upon aduantage, bloudie battels fought betwixt them, great numbers slaine on both sides, the villanous dealing of certeine Dutch souldiers against their capteins and fellowes in armes, the miserie that they were driuen, vnto by famine to eate one another, a sharpe conflict betweene te Romans and Britains, with the losse of manie a mans life, and effusion of much bloud.
The Xvij. Chapter.
THE Britains that inhabited in those daies about the parts of Calenderwood, perceiuing
in what danger they were to be vtterlie subdued, assembled themselues togither, in purpose to trie the fortune of battell: whereof Agricola being aduertised, marched foorth with his armie diuided in three battels, so that the enimies doubting to trie the matter in open field, espied their time in the night, and with all their whole puissance set vpon one of the Romane legions, which they knew to be most féeble and weake, trusting by a camisado to distresse the same: and first sleaing the watch, they entred the campe, where the said legion laie, and finding the souldiers in great disorder, betwixt sléepe and feare, began the fight euen within the campe.
Agricola had knowledge of their purposed intent, and therefore with all speed hasted foorth to come to the succours of his people, sending first his light horssemen, and certeine light armed footmen to assaile the enimies on their backs, and shortlie after approched with his whole puissance, so that the Romane standards beginning to appéere in sight by the light of the daie that then began to spring, the Britains were sore discouraged, and the Romans renewing their force, fiercelie preassed vpon them, so that euen in the entrie of the campe, there was a sore conflict, till at length the Britains were put to flight and chased, so that if the mareshes and woods had not saued them from the pursute of the of te Romans, there had beene an end made of the whole warre euen by that one daies worke. But the Britains escaping as well as they might, and reputing the victorie to haue chanced not by the valiancie of the Romane soldiers, but by occasion, and the prudent policie of their capteine, were nothing abashed with that their present losse, but prepared to put their youth againe into armour: and therevpon they remooued their wiues and children into safe places, and then assembling the chiefest gouernours togither, concluded a league amongst themselues, ech to aid other, confirming their articles with dooing of sacrifice (as the manner in those daies was.)
The same summer, a band of such Dutch or Germaine souldiers as had béene leuied in
The seuenth yéere.
Germanie & sent ouer into Britaine to the aid of the Romans, attempted a great and woonderfull act, in sleaing their capteine, and such other of the Romane souldiers which were appointed to haue the training and leading of them, as officers and instructors to them in the feats of warre: and when they had committed that murther, they got into thrée pinesses, and became rouers on the coasts of Britaine, and incountring with diuerse of the Britains that were readie to defend their countrie from spoile, oftentimes they got the vpper hand of them, and now and then they were chased awaie, insomuch that in the end they were brought to such extremitie for want of vittels, that they did eate such amongst them as were the weakest, and after, such as the lot touched, being indifferentlie cast amongst them: and so being caried about the coasts of Britaine, & losing their vessels through want of skill to gouerne them, they were reputed for robbers, and therevpon were apprehended, first by the Suabeners, and shortlie after by the Frizers, the which sold diuerse of them to the Romans and other, whereby the true vnderstanding of their aduentures came certeinlie to light.
The eight yéere of Agricola his gouernment.
In summer next following, Agricola with his armie came to the mounteine of Granziben where he vnderstood that his enimies were incamped, to the number of 30 thousand and aboue, and dailie there came to them more companie of the British youth, and such aged persons also as were lustie and in strength, able to weld weapon and beare armour.
Galgagus whome the Scot. name Gald and will néeds haue him a Scotish man.
Amongst the capteins the chiefest was one Galgagus whom the Scotish chronicles name Gald. This man as chiefteine and head capteine of all the Britains there assembled, made to them a pithie oration, to incourage them to fight manfullie, and likewise did Agricola to him his people: which being ended, the armies on both sides were put in order of battell. Agricola placed 8 thousand footmen of strangers which he had there in aid with him in the midst, appointing thrée thousand horssemen to stand on the sides of them as wings. The Romane legions stood at their backs in stéed of a bulworke. The Britains were imbattelled in such order, that their fore ward stood in the plaine ground, and the other on the side of an hill, as though they had risen on heigth one ranke aboue another. The
midst of the field was couered with their charrets and horssemen. Agricola doubting by the huge multitude of enimies, least his people should be assailed not onlie afront, but also vpon euerie side the battels, he caused the ranks so to place themselues, as their battels might stretch farre further in bredth than otherwise the order of warre required: but he tooke this to be a good remedie against such inconuenience as might haue followed, if the enimie by the narrownesse of the fronts of his battels should haue hemmed them in on ech side.
This done, and hauing conceiued good hope of victorie, he alighted on foot, and putting his horsse from him, he stood before the standards as one not caring for anie danger that might happen. At the first they bestowed their shot and darts fréelie on both sides. The Britains aswell with constant manhood, as skilfull practise, with broad swords and little round bucklers auoided and beat from them the arrowes and darts that came from their enimies, and therewithall paid them home againe with their shot and darts, so that the Romans were néere hand oppressed therewith, bicause they came so thicke in their faces,
till at length Agricola caused thrée cohorts of Hollanders, & two of Lukeners to presse forward, & ioine with them at hand-strokes, so as the matter might come to be tried with the edge of the swoord, which thing as to them (being inured with that kind of fight) it stood greatlie with their aduantage, so to the Britains it was verie dangerous, that were to defend themselues with their mightie huge swoords and small bucklers. Also by reason their swoords were broad at the ends, and pointlesse, they auailed little to hurt the armed enimie. Wherevpon when the Hollanders came to ioine with them, they made fowle worke in sleaing and wounding them in most horrible wise.
The horssemen also that made resistance they pulled from their horsses, and began to clime the hill vpon the Britains. The other bands desirous to match their fellowes in helping
to atchiue the victorie, followed the Hollanders, and beat downe the Britains where they might approch to them: manie were ouerrun and left halfe dead, and some not once touched with anie weapon, were likewise ouerpressed, such hast the Romans made to follow vpon the Britains. Whilest the British horssemen fled, their charets ioined themselues with their footmen, and restoring the battell, put the Romans in such feare, that they were at a sudden stay: but the charets being troubled with prease of enimies, & vnéeuennesse of the ground, they could not worke their feat to anie purpose, neither had that fight anie resemblance of a battell of horssemen, when ech one so encumbred other, that they had no roome to stirre themselues. The charets oftentimes wanting their guiders were caried awaie with the horsses, that being put in feare with the noise and stur, ran hither and thither, bearing downe one another, and whomsoeuer else they met withall.
Now the Britains that kept the top of the hils, and had not yet fought at all, despising the small number of the Romans, began to come downewards and to cast about, that they might set vpon the backs of their enimies, in hope so to make an end of the battell, and to win the victorie: but Agricola doubting no lesse, but that some such thing would come to passe, had aforehand foreséene the danger, and hauing reserued foure wings of horssemen for such sudden chances, sent them foorth against those Britains, the which horssemen with full randon charging vpon them as they rashlie came forwards, quicklie disordered them and put them all to flight, and so that purposed deuise and policie of the Britains turned to their owne hinderance. For their horssemen by their capteins appointment trauersing ouerthwart by the fronts of them that fought, set vpon that battell of the Britains which they found before them. Then in those open and plaine places a greeuous & heauie sight it was to behold, how they pursued, wounded, and tooke. their enimies: and as they were aduised of other to slea those that they had before taken, to the end they might ouertake the other, there was nothing but fléeing, taking, and chasing, slaughter, spilling of bloud, scattering of weapons, grunting and groning of men and horsses that lay on the ground, gasping for breath, & readie to die.
The Britains now and then as they saw their aduantage, namelie when they approched néere to the woods, gathered themselues togither, and set vpon the Romans as they followed vnaduisedlie, and further (through ignorance of the places) than stood with their suertie, insomuch that if Agricola had not prouided remedie, and sent foorth mightie bands of light armed men both on foot and horssebacke to close in the enimies, and also to beat the wood, some greater losse would haue followed through too much boldnes of them that too rashlie pursued vpon the Britains: who when they beheld the Romans thus to follow them in whole troops and good order of battell, they slipt awaie and tooke the n to flight, ech one seeking to saue himselfe, and kept not togither in plumps as before they had doone, The night made an end of the chase which the Romans had followed till they were throughlie wearied. There were slaine of the Britains that day 10000, and of the Romans
Ten thousand Britains slaine. Aulus Atticus slaine.
340, among whom Aulus Atticus a capteine of one of the cohorts or bands of footmen was one, who being mounted on horssebacke (through his owne too much youthfull courage, and fierce vnrulines of his horsse) was caried into the middle throng of his enimies, and there slaine.