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; Osrike is king of Deira, and Eaufride king of Bernicia, both kings become apostatas, and fall frō christianitie to paganisme, they are both slaine within lesse than a yeeres space; Oswald is created king of Northumberland, his chiefe 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.
The Xxvii. Chapter.
CADWALLO and Penda hauing 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 alworshipper of false gods with his people of Mercia, and Cadwallo hauing no respect to the christian religion
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.
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 honorablie 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 Vulfrēa 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.
AFTER it was knomne that Edwin was slaine in battell (as before ye haue heard) Osrike
Beda lib. 3. ca. 1 OSRIKE KING OF DEIRA.
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 the other kingdome of Northumberland called Bernicia, Eaufride the son of Edelferd
Eaufrid king of Dernicia.
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 vnthankefuinesse 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 with all his armie. Now after this, whilest Cadwallo not like a
The two kings of Northumberland slaine.
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.
THEN Oswald the sonne of Edelfred, and brother to the foresaid Eaufride was created king
OSWALD began his reigne in the yeare 635. Beda. lib. 3. cap. 3.
of the Northumbers, the sixt in number from Ida. This Oswald after that his father was slaine, lined as a banished person a long time within Scotiand, 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. Herevpō 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
Beda. Wil. Malm.
ouertooke him, and slue him 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.
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 businesses. 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.