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.
The Tenth Chapter.
MOREOUER, in the daies of the afore-named Aurelius Ambrosius, about the yeare of our
The kingdome of the east Angles began not till Aurelius Conanus reigned.
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.
FVRTHERMORE, about the yeare of our Lord 495, and in the eight yeare after that Hengist
CERDIC. Wil. Malm.
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 Northfolke.
He was at the first receiued with battell by the Britains, but being an old skilfull warriour,
he easilie beate 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.
¶ 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.
Matth. West. noteth.
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.
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 fullierecouered of a sore sicknesse, wherewith of late hehad 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 ladie called Igwarne or Igerna, wife to one Gorolus or Gorlois duke of Cornewall, the which duke
Gorolus duke of Cornewall.
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 against them, and at saint Albans (as some write) gaue them battell, and slue them both in
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 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 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 comming of the Saxons into this land, the yeare of Grace 492, & 15
About the same time Vter departed out of this life (saith Polydor) so that this account
The decease of Vetr Pendragon.
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 tine 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 terme of 16 years, & was after buried by his brother Aurelius at Stoneheng, otherwise called Chorea Gigantum,
Stoncheng, Chorea Oigantum.
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 Picls, but the same chronicles dos not onelie varie from the British writers in account or 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, attribtute 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 appeare.
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 affirme 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
Osca. 34 Saith Henrie Hunt. in corrupted copies.
those 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 whethe they reigned iointlie togither, or seuerallie & apart either after other, it is not certeinlie perceiued.