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Edward succeedeth his father Alured in regiment, he is disqureted by his brother Adelwold a man of a defield life, he flieth to the Danes and is of them receiued, king Edwards prouision against the irruptions and forraies of the Danes, Adelwold with a nauie of Danes entreth Eastangles, the Essex men submit themselues, he inuadeth Mercia, and maketh great wast, the Kentishmens disobedience preiudiciall to themselues, they and the Danes haue a great conflict, hing Edward concludeth a truce with them, he maketh a great slaughter of them by his Westsaxons and Mercians, what lands came to king Edward by the death of Edred duke of Mercia, he recouereth diuers places out of the Danes hands, and giueth them manie a foile, what castels he builded, he inuadeth Eastangles, putteth Ericke a Danish king therof to flight, his owne subiects murther him for his crueltie, his kingdome returneth to the right of king Edward with other lands by him thereto annexed, his sister Elfleda gouerned the countrie of Mercia during hir life.

The Xvij. Chapter.

EDWARD THE ELDER. AFTER the deceasse of Alured, his sonne Edward surnamed the elder began his reigne ouer the more part of England, in the yeare of our Lord 901, which was in the second yeare 901. of the emperor Lewes, in the eight yeare of the reigne of Charles surnamed Simplex king of France, and about the eight yeare of Donald king of Scotland. He was consecrated after the maner of other kings his ancestors by Athelred the archbishop of Canturburie. This Edward was not so learned as his father, but in princelie power more high and honorable, for he ioined the kingdome of Eastangles and Mercia with other vnto his dominion, as after shall be shewed, and vanquished the Danes, Scots, and Welshmen, to his great glorie and high commendation.

In the beginning of his reigne he was disquieted by his brother Adelwold, which tooke the Winborne towne of Winborne besides Bath, and maried a nun there, whome he had defloured, & attempted manie things against his brother. Wherevpon the king came to Bath, and though Adelwold shewed a countenance as if he would haue abidden the chance of warre within Hen, Hunt. Adelwold fléeth to the Danes. Will. Malm. Winborne, yet he stole awaie in the right, and fled into Northumberland, where he was ioifullie receiued of the Danes. The king tooke his wife being left behind, and restored hir to the house from whence she was taken. ¶ Some haue written, that this Adelwold or Ethelwold was not brother vnto king Edward, but his vncles sonne.

After this, king Edward prouiding for the suertie of his subiects against the forraies, which the Danes vsed to make, fortified diuers cities and townes, and stuffed them with great garrisons The English nation practised in wars, go commonlie awaie with the victorie. of souldiers, to defend the inhabitants, and to expell the enimies. And suerlie the Englishmen were so invred with warres in those daies, that the people being aduertised of the inuasion of the enimies in anie part of their countrie, would assemble oftentimes without knowledge of king or capteine, and setting vpon the enimies, went commonlie awaie with victorie, by reason that they ouermatched them both in number and practise. So were the enimies despised of the English souldiers, and laughed to scorne of the king for their foolish attempts. Hen. Hunl. Yet in the third yeare of king Edwards reigne, Adelwold his brother came with a nauie of Danes into the parties of the Eastangles, and euen at the first the Essex men yeelded themselues Essex yéelded to Adelwold. vnto him. In the yéere following he inuaded the countrie of Mercia with a great armie, Ran. Higd. wasting and spoiling the same vnto Crikelade, and there passing ouer the Thames, rode foorth till he came to Basingstoke, or (as some bookes haue) Brittenden, harieng the countrie on each Brittenden. side, and so returned backe vnto Eastangles with greatioy and triumph.

King Edward awakened héerewith assembled his people, and followed the enimies, wasting Hen. Hunt. all the countries betwixt the riuer of Ouse and saint Edmunds ditch. And when he should returne, he gaue commandement that no man should staie behind him, but come backe togither for doubt to be forelaid by the enimies. The Kentishmen notwithstanding this ordinance The Kentishmen disobeying the kings commandement, are surprised by the enimies. Adelwold king Edwards brother. and commandement, remained behind, although the king sent seuen messengers for them. The Danes awaiting their aduantage, came togither, and fiercelie fought with the Kentishmen, which a long time valiantlie defended themselues. But in the end the Danes obteined the victorie, although they lost more people there than the Kentishmen did: and amongst other, there were slaine the foresaid Adelwold, and diuerse of the chiefe capteins amongst the Danes. Likewise of the English side, there died two dukes, Siwolfe & Singlem or Sigbelme, with sundrie other men of name, both temporall and also spirituall lords and abbats. In the fift yéere of his reigne, king Edward concluded a truce with the Danes of Eastangle and Northumberland at Itingford. But in the yéere following, he sent an armie against them of Northumberland, which slue manie of the Danes, and tooke great booties both of people and Fortie daies saith Simon Dun. cattell, remaining in the countrie the space of fiue weekes.

The yéere next insuing, the Danes with a great armie entered into Mercis, to rob & spcile the countrie, against whome king Edward sent a mightie host, assembled togither of the Westsaxons & them of Mercia, which set vpon the Danes, as they were returning homeward, and slue of them an huge multitude, togither with their chiefe capteins and leaders, as king Halden, and king Eolwils, earle Vter, earle Scurfa, and diuerse other. In the yéere 912, or (as Hen. Hunt. Simon Dunel. saith) 908, the duke of Mercia Edred or Etheldred departed this life, and then king Edward seized into his hands the cities of London and Oxford, and all that part of Mercia which he held. But afterwards he suffered his sister Elfleda to inioy the most part thereof, except the said cities of London and Oxford, which he still reteined in his owne hand. This Elfleda was wife to the said duke Edred or Etheldred, as before you haue heard: of whose woorthie acts more shall be said heereafter.

In the ninth yéere of his reigne, king Edward built a castell at Hertford, and likewise he builded a towne in Essex at Wightham, and lay himselfe in the meane time at Maldon, otherwise Wighthem. Meauldum, bringing a great part of the countrie vnder his subiection, which before was subiect to the Danes. In the yéere following, the armie of the Danes departed from Northampton and Chester in breach of the former truce, and slue a great number of men at Chester, or ther L , as thinks. Dig Hochnerton in Oxfordshire. And shortlie after their returne home, an other companie of them went foorth, and came to Leighton, where the people of the countrie being assembled togither, fought with them & put them to flight, taking from them all the spoile which they had got, and also their horsses.

In the 11 yéere of king Edward, a fleet of Danes compassed about the west parts, & came to the mouth of Seuerne, and so tooke preies in Wales: they also tooke prisoner a Welsh bishop named Camelgaret, at Irchenfield, whome they led to their ships: but king Edward Irchenfield. redéemed him out of their hands, paieng them fortie pounds for his ransome. After that the armie of Danes went foorth to spoile the countrie about Irchenfield, but the people of Chester, Hereford, and other townes and countries thereabout assembled togither, and giuing battell to the enimies, put them to flight, and slue one of their noble men called earle Danes discomsted. Rehald, and Geolcil the brother of earle Vter, with a great part of their armie, & draue the residue into a castell, which they besieged till the Danes within it gaue hostages, and couenanted to depart out of the kings land. The king caused the coasts about Seuerne to be watched, that they should not breake into his countrie: but yet they stale twise into the borders: neuerthelesse they were chased and slaine as manie as could not swim, and so get to their ships. The Ile of Stepen. Deomedun. Danes saile into Ireland. Then they remained in the Ile of Stepen, in great miserie for lacke of vittels, bicause they could not go abroad to get anie. At length they departed into North wales, and from thence sailed into Ireland.

The same yéere king Edward came to Buckingham with an armie, and there taried a whole moneth, building two castels, the one vpon the one side of the water of Ouse, and the other Turketillus an earle. vpon the other side of the same riuer. He also subdued Turketillus an earle of the Danes that dwelt in that countrie, with all the residue of the noble men and barons of the shires of Bedford and Northampton. In the 12 yéere of king Edwards reigne, the Kentishmen and Danes fought togither at Holme: but wheither partie had the victorie, writers haue not declared. Simon Dun. Simon Dunelm. speaketh of a battell which the citizens of Canturburie fought against a number of Danish rouers at Holme, where the Danes were put to flight, but that should be (as he noteth) 8 yéeres before this supposed time, as in the yéere 904, which was about the third yéere of king Edwards reigne.

Anno 911. Simon Dun. After this, other of the Danes assembled themselues togither, and in Staffordshire at a place called Tottenhall fought with the Englishmen, and after great slaughter made on both parties, the Danes were ouercome: and so likewise were they shortlie after at Woodfield or Wodenfield. And thus king Edward put the Danes to the woorse in each place commonlie where he came, and hearing that those in Northumberland ment to breake the peace: he inuaded Polydor Ericks king of Eastangles. the countrie, and so afflicted the same, that the Danes which were inhabitants there, gladlie continued in rest and peace. But in this meane time, Ericke the king of those Danes which held the countrie of Eastangle, was about to procure new warre, and to allure other of the Danes to ioine with him against the Englishmen, that with common agréement they might set vpon the English nation, and vtterlie subdue them.

King Edward hauing intelligence héereof, purposed to preuent him, and therevpon entering King Edward inuadeth the countrie of the Eastangles. with an armie into his countrie, cruellie wasted and spoiled the same. King Ericke hauing alreadie his people in armor through displeasure conceiued heereof, and desire to be reuenged, hasted foorth to incounter his enimies: and so they met in the field, and fiercelie assailed Ericke put to flight. ech other. But as the battell was rashlie begun on king Ericks side, so was the end verie harmefull to him: for with small adoo, after great losse on both sides, he was vanquished and put to flight.

After his comming home, bicause of his great ouerthrow and fowle discomfiture he began to gouerne his people with more rigor & sharper dealing than before time he had vsed. Whereby he proucked the malice of the Eastangles so highlie against him, that they fell vpon him and murthered him: yet did they not gaine so much hereby as they looked to haue doone: for shortlie after, they being brought low, and not able to defend their countrie, were compelled to The kingdom of the Eastangles subdued by K. Edward. submit themselues vnto king Edward. and so was that kingdome ioined vnto the other dominions of the same king Edward, who shortlie after annexed the kingdome of Mercia vnto other of his dominions, immediatlie vpon the death of his sister Elfleda, whom he permitted to rule that land all hir life.

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