Alfride (the bastard) king of Northumberland, his life and death, Iohn archbishop of Canturburie resigneth his see, Lother king of Kent dieth of a wound, Edrike getteth the regiment thereof but not without bloudshed, Ceadwalla wasteth Kent being at strife in it selfe, his brother Mollo burned to death; Withred made king of Kent, he vanquisheth his enimies, Inas king of Westsaxons is made his friend, Suebhard and Nidred vsurpers of the Kentish kingdome, the age and death of Theodore archbishop of Canturburie, Brightwald the first archbishop of the English nation; the end of the British regiment, and how long the greatest part of this Iland was vnder their gouernement.
The Xxxvij. Chapter.
AFTER that king Egfride was slaine (as before is mentioned) his brother Alfride was made king of Northumberland. This Alfride was the bastard sonne of king Oswie, and in his
brothers daies (either willinglie, or by violent means constreined) he lined as a banished man
in Ireland, where applieng himselfe to studie, he became an excellent philosopher. And therfore being iudged to be better able to haue the rule of a kingdome, he was receiued by the Northumbers, and made king, gouerning his subiects the space of 20 yeares and more, with Treat wisedome and policie, but not with such large bounds as his ancestors had doone: for the Picts (as before is mentioned) had cut off one péece of the north part of the ancient limits of that kingdome. About the 13 yeare of his reigne, that is to say, in the yeare of our Lord 698, one of his capteins named earle Berthred, or Bertus, was slaine in battell by the
Picts, whose confins he had as then inuaded, The curse of the Irish men, whose countrie in the daies of king Egfrid he had cruellie wasted (as before is mentioned) was thought at
this time to take place. Finallie king Alfride, after he had reigned 20 yeares & od months,
departed this life, in the yeare of our Lord 705.
In the beginning of king Alfrids daies, Eata the bishop of Hexham being dead, one Iohn a man of great holinesse was admitted bishop, and after that, bishop Wilfrid was restored,
Iohn archbishop of Yorke.
when he had remained a long time in exile. The said Iohn was remoued to the church of Yorke, the same being then void by the death of the archbishop Bosa. At length the foresaid
He resigneth his see.
Iohn wearied with the cares of publike affaires resigned his sée, and got him to Beuerley, where he liued a solitarie life for the space of foure yeares, and then died, about the yeare of
our Lord 721, king Osrike as then reigning in Northumberland. He continued bishop for the space of 24 yeares, and builded a church and founded a colledge of priests at Beuerley aforsaid, in which church he lieth buried.
686 saith Matt. West. Lother king of Kent dieth of a wound.
The same yeare, or in the yeare after that king Egfrid was slaine, Lother king of Kent departed this life, the 8 Ides of Februarie, of a wound by him receiued in a battell which he fought against the Southsaxons, the which came in aid of Edrike, that was sonne vnto his brother Egbert, and had mainteined warre against his vncle the said Lother, euen from the beginning of his reigne, till finallie he was now in the said battell striken thorough the bodie with a dart, and so died thereof, after he had reigned 11 yeares, and seuen moneths. It was thought that he was disquieted with continuall warres and troubles, and finallie brought to his end before the naturall course of his time, for a punishment of his wicked consent giuen to
the putting to death of his cousins Ethelbert & Ethelbrit, as appeared, in that when they were
Capgraue. saith, their sister.
reported to be martyrs, because it was knowen they died innocentlie, he mocked them and made but a iest at it, although his brother in acknowledging his fault, repented him thereof, and gaue in recompense to their mother a part of the Ile of Thanet to the building of a monasterie.
THE foresaid Edricke (after Lother was dead) got the dominion of Kent, and ruled as king thereof, but not without ciuill warre, insomuch that before he had reigned the full terme of two yeares, he was slaine in the same warre. Then Ceadwalla king of the Westsaxons being thereof aduertised, supposing the time now to be come that would serue his purpose, as one still coueting to worke the Kentishmen all the displeasure he could, entred with an armie into their countrie, and began to waste and spoile the same on ech side, till finallie the Kentishmen assembled themselues togither, gaue battell to their enimies, and put them to flight. Mollo brother to Ceadwalla was driuen from his companie, and constrained to take an house
Mollo brother to king Ceadwalla burnt to death.
for his refuge: but his enimies that pursued him set fire thereon, and burned both the house and Mollo within it to ashes. Yet did not Ceadwalla herewith depart out of the countrie, but to wreake his wrath, and to reuenge the griefe which he tooke for the death of his brother, he wasted and destroied a great part of Kent yer he returned home, and left (as it were) an occasion to his successor also to pursue the quarell with reuenging. Wherein we sée the cankerd nature of man, speciallie in a case of wrong or displeasure; which we are so far from tollerating & forgiuing, that if with tooth and naile we be not permitted to take vengeance, our hearts will breake with a full conceit of wrath. But the law of nature teacheth vs otherwise to be affected, namelie,
------ per te nulli vnquam iniuria fiat,
Sed verbis alijsque modis fuge lædere quenquam,
Quod tibi nolles, alijs fecisse caueto,
Quódque tibi velles, alijs præstare studeto;
Hæc est naturæ lex optima, quam nisi ad vnguem
Seruabis, non ipse Deo (mihi crede) placebis,
Póstque obitum infœlix non aurea sydera adibis.
Which lesson taught by nature, and commanded of God, if these men had followed (as they minded nothing lesse in the fier of their furie) they would haue béene content with a competent reuenge, and not in such outragious maner with fier and sword haue afflicted one another, nor (which is more than tigerlike crueltie) haue ministred occasion to posterities to reuenge wrongs giuen and taken of their ancestors. But we will let this passe without further discourse, meaning hereafter in due place to declare the processe.
The Kentishmen being destitute of a king, after that diuers had coueted the place, and sought to atteine thereto, as well by force as otherwise, to the great disquieting of that prouince for the space of 6 yeares togither, at length in the 7 yeare after Edricks death, Withred an other of the sonnes of king Egbert, hauing with diligent trauell ouercome enuie at home, & with monie redeémed peace abaoad, was with great hope conceiued of his worthinesse made
Withred is made king of Kent.
king of Kent, the 11 of Nouember, & 205 after the death of Hengist, he reigned 33 yeares, not deceiuing his subiects of their good conceiued opinion of him: for ouercomming all his aduersaries which were readie to leuie ciuill warre against him, he also purchased peace of Inas king of the Westsaxons, which ment to haue made him warre, till with monie he was made his friend.
A little before that Withred was confirmed in the kingdome of Kent, there reigned two
Hen. Hunt. Beda. lib. 5. Suebhard and Nidred kings by vsurpation and not by succession, as Henr. Hant. writeth.
kings in that countrie, Suebhard and Nidred, or rather the same Withred, if the printed copie of Bedas booke intituled "Ecclesiastica historia gentis Anglorum" haue not that name corrupted: for where he sheweth that the archbishop Theodorus being of the age of 88 yeares, departed this life in the yeare of our Lord 690, in the next chapter he declareth, that in the yeare 692, the first date of Iulie one Brightwald was chosen to succéed in the archbishops sée of Canturburie, Withredus and Suebhardus as then reigning in Kent: but whether Withredus gouerned as then with Suebhardus, or that some other named Nidred, it forceth not: for certeine it is by the agréement of other writers, that till Withred obteined the whole rule, there was great strife and contention moued about the gouernement, and diuers there were that sought and fought for it. But this ought to be noted, that the forenamed Brightwald
Brightwald the first archbishop of the English nation.
was the eight archbishop in number, and first of the English nation that sat in the sée of Canturburie: for the other seuen that were predecessors to him, were strangers borne, and sent hither from Rome.
¶ Here endeth the line and gouernement of the Britains, now called Welshmen, which tooke that name of their duke or leader Wallo or Gailo; or else of a queene of Wales named Gales or Wales. But howsoeuer that name fell first vnto them, now they are called Welshmen, which sometime were called Britains or Brutons, and descended first of the Troians, and after of Brute, and lastlie of Muimucius Dunwallo: albeit they were mingled with sundrie other nations, as Romans, Picts, &c. And now they be called English that in their beginning were named Saxons or Angles. To conclude therefore with this gouernement, so manie times intercepted by forren power, it appeareth by course of histories treating of these matters, that the last yeare of Cadwallader was the yeare of our Lord 686, which makes the yere of the world 4647. So that (as Fabian saith) the Britains had the greater part of this land in rule (reckoning from Brute till this time) 1822 yeares. Which terme being expired, the whole dominion of this realme was Saxonish.
Thus farre the interrupted regiment of the Britains, ending at the fift booke.