Adelstane subdueth Constantins king of Scots, Howell king of Wales, and Wulferth king of Northwales, the Scots possesse a great part of the north countries, Adelstane conquereth the Scots for aiding Godfrie his enimie; a miracle declaring that the Scots ought to obey the king of England; king Adelstane banisheth his brother Edwin, be is for a conspiracit drowned in the sea, Adelstane repenteth him of his rigour (in respect of that misforiune) against his brother; Aulafe sometimes king of Northumberland inuadeth England, be disguiseth himselfe like a minstrell and surueieth the English campe vnsuspected, he is discouered after his departure, be assaileth the English campe, Adelstane being comforted with a miracle discomfiteth his enimies, be maketh them of Northwales his tributaries, he subdueth the Cornishmen, his death; the description of his person, his verlues, of what abbeis & monasteries be was founder, his estimation in forren realmes, what pretious presents were sent him from other princes and how he bestowed them; a remembrance of Guy the erle of Warwike.
The Xx. Chapter.
AFTER that king Adelstane had subdued them of Northumberland, he was aduertised, that not onelie Constantine king of Scots, but also Huduale or Howell K. of Wales went
about a priuie conspiracie against him. Herevpon with all conuenient spéed assembling his power, he went against them, and with like good fortune subdued the both, and also Vimer or Wulferth K. of Northwales, so that they were constreined to submit themselues vnto him, who shortlie after moued with pitie in considering their sudden fall, restored them all three
Matth. West. The noble saieng of king Adelstane.
to their former estates, but so as they should acknowledge themselues to gouerne vnder him, pronouncing withall this notable saieng, that More honorable it was to Make a king, than to be a king.
Ye must vnderstand, that (as it appeareth in the Scotish chronicles) the Scotishmen in time of wars that the Danes gaue the English nation, got a part of Cumberland and other the north countries into their possession, and so by reason of their néere adioining vnto the confines of the English kings, there chanced occasions of warre betwixt them, as well in the daies of king Edward, as of this Adelstane his soone, although in déed the Danes held the more part of the north countries, till that this Adelstane conquered the same out of their hand, and ioined it vnto other of his dominions, costreining as well the Danes
(of whome the more part of the inhabitants then consisted) as also the Englishmen, to obey him as their king and gouernour. Godfrie (as is said) being fled to the Scots, did so much preuaile there by earnest sute made to king Constantine, that he got a power of men, and entring with the same into Northumberland, besiged the citie of Duresme, soliciting the citizens to receiue him, which they would gladlie haue doone, if they had not perceiued how he was not of power able to resist the puissance of king Adelstane: and therefore
doubting to be punished for their offenses if they reuolted, they kept the enimiesout. King Adelstane being sore moued against the king of Scots, that thus aided his enimies, raised an armie, and went northward, purposing to reuenge that iniurie.
At his comming into Yorkshire, he turned out of the way, to visit the place where saint John of Beuerlie was buried, and there offered his knife, promising that if he returned with victorie, he would redéeme the same with a woorthie price: and so proceeded and went
forwards on his iournie, and entring Scotland, wasted the countrie by land vnto Dunfoader and Wertermore, and his nauie by sea destroied the coasts alongst the shore, euen to Catnesse,
The Scots subdued.
and so he brought the king of Scots and other his enimies to subiection at his pleasure, constreining the same K. of Scots to deliuer him his son in hostage.
Atoken shewed miraculouslie that the Scots ought to be subiect to the kings of England.
It is said, that being in his iournie néere vnto the towne of Dunbar, he praied vnto God, that at the instance of saint Iohn of beuerlie, it would please him to grant, that he might shew some open token, whereby it should appeare to all them that then liued, and should hereafter succéed, that the Scots ought to be subiect vnto the kings of England. Herewith, the the king with his sword smote vpon a great stone standing néere to the castle of Dunbar, and with the stroke, there appeared a clift in the same stone to the length of an elme, which remained to be shewed as a witnesse of that thing manie yeares after. At his comming backe to Beuerlie, he redéemed his knife with a large price, as before he had promised.
After this was Edwin the kings brother accused of some conspiracie by him begun against
Wil. Malm. Matt. Westm.
the king, wherevpon he was banished the land, and sent out in an old rotten vessell without
rower or mariner, onelie accompanied with one esquier, so that being lanched foorth from the shore, though despaire Edwin leapt into the sea, and drowned himselfe, but the esquier that was with him recouered his bodie, and brought it to land at Withsand besides Canturburie. But Iames Maier in the annales of Flanders saieth, that he was drowned by fortune of the seas in a small vessell, and being cast vp into a créeke on the coast of Picardie, was found by Adolfe earle of Bullongne that was his coosin germane, and honorablie buried by the same adolfe in the church of Bertine. In consideration of which déed of pietie and dutie of mindfull consanguimitie, the king of England both hartilie thanked earle Adolfe, and bestowed great gifts vpon the church where his brother was thus buried. For verelie
Repentance too late.
king Adelstane after his displeasure was asswaged, and hearing of this miserable end of his brother, sore repented himselfe of his rigour so extended towards him, in so much that he could neuer abide the man that had giuen the information against him, which was his cupbearer, so that on a time as the said cupbearer serued him at the table, and came towards him with a cup of wine, one of him feet chanced to slide, but he recouered himselfe with the helpe of the other foot, saieng, "One brothey yet hath holpen & succored the other:" which words cost him his life. For the king remembring that by his accusation he had lost his brother that might haue béene an aid to him, caused this said cupbearer to be straight put to death.
In this meane while, Aulafe the sonne of Sitherike, late king of Northumberland (who is
also named by writers to be king of the Irishmen, and of manie Nands) assembled a great power of Danes, Irishmen, Scots, and other people of the out Iles, and imbarked them in 615 ships and craiers, with the which he arriued in the mouth of Humber, and there comming on land, began to inuade the countrie. This Aulafe had maried the daughter of Constantine
king of Scots, by whose procurement, notwithstanding his late submission, Aulafe
tooke in hand this iournie. King Adelstane aduertised of his enimies arriuall, gathered his people, and with all conuenient spéed hasted towards them, and approching néerer vnto them, pitcht downe his field at a place called by some Brimesburie, by others Brimesford,
Hen. Hunt. Wil. Maim.
and also Brunaubright, and by the Scotish writers Browmingfield.
When knowledge hereof was had in the enimies campe, Aulafe enterprised a maruelous
Matth. West. Hector. Boel. Run. Higd. Aulafe disguised, comrueth to view the English camp.
exploit, for taking with him an harpe, he came into the English campe, offring himselfe disguised as a minstrell, to shew some part of his cunning in musicke vpon his instrument: and so being suffered to passe from tent to tent, and admitted also to plaie afore the king, surueied the whole state and order of the armie. This doone, he returned, meaning by a cammisado to set vpon the kings tent. But one that had scrued as a souldier sometime vnder Aulafe, chanced by marking his demeanour to know him, and after he was gone, vttered to the king what he knew. The king séemed to be displeased, in that he had not told him so much before Aulafs departure: but in excusing himselfe, the souldier said: "Ye must remember (if it like your grace) that the same faith which I haue giuen vnto you, I sometime owght vnto Aulafe, therfore if I should haue betraied him now, you might well stand in doubt least I should hereafter doo the like to you: but if you will follow mine aduise, remoue your tent, least happilie he assaile you vnwares." The king did so, and as it chanced in the night following, Aulafe came to assaile the English campe, and by
Aulafe assailcth the English eampe.
fortune comming to the place where the kings tent stood before, he found a bishop lodged, which with his companie was come the same day to the armie, and had pitcht vp his tent in that place from whence the king was remoned: and so was the same bishop, and most part of his men there slaine, which slaughter executed, Aulafe passed forward, and came to the kings tent, who in this meane time, by reason of the alarum raised, was got vp, and taking to him his sword in that sudden fright, by chance it fell out of the scabbard, so
that he could not find it, but calling to God and S. Aldelme (as saith Polychron.) his sword was restored to the scabbard againe. The king comforted with that miracle, boldlie preased foorth vpon his enimies, and so valiantlie resisted them, that in the end he put them to flight, and chased them all that morning and day following, so that he slue of them an
Wil. Malm. The enimies discomfited.
huge number. Some haue written, that Constantine king of Scots was slaine at this ouerthrow, and fiue other small kings or rulers, with 12 dukes, and welnéere all the armie of those strange nations which Aulafe had gathered togither. But the Scotish chronicles affirme, that Constantine was not there himselfe, but sent his sonne Malcolme, which yet escaped sore hurt and wounded from the battell, as in the same chronicles ye may sée more at large.
When K. Adelstane had thus vanquished his enimies in the north parties of England, he went against them of Northwales, whose rulers and princes he caused to come before him at Hereford, and there handled them in such sort, that they couenanted to pay him yeerlie
Tribute. The Cornish men subdued.
in lieu of a tribute 20 pounds of gold, 300 pounds of siluer, and 25 head of neate, with hawks and hownds a certeine number. After this, he subdued the Cornishmen: and whereas till those daies they inhabited the citie of Excester, mingled amongest the Englishmen, so that the one nation was as strong within that citie as the other, he rid them quite out of the
same, and repared the walles, and fortified them with ditches and turrets as the maner then was, and so remoued the Cornish men further into the west parts of the countrie, that
he made Tamer water to be the confines betwéene the Englishmen and them. Finallie the
Simon Dun. The decease of king Adelstane.
noble prince king adelstane departed out of this world, the 26 day of October, after he had reigned the tearme of 16 yeares. His bodie was buried at Malmesburie.
The description of king Adelstane.
He was of such a stature, as exceeded not the common sort of men, stooping somewhat, and yellowe haired, for his valiancie ioined with courtesie beloued of all men, yet sharpe against rebels, and of inuincible constancie: his great deuotion toward the church appeared in the building, adorning & indowing of monasteries and abbeis. He built one at Wilton within the diocesse of Salisburie, and an other at Michelnie in Summersetshire. But besides these foundations, there were few famous monasteries within this land, but that he adorned the same either with some new péece of building, iewels, bookes, or portion of lands. He
Wolstan archbishop of Yorke. His estimation in foraine realmes.
had in excéeding fauour Wolstan archbishop of Yorke that liued in his daies, for whose sake he greatlie inriched that bishoprike. His fame spread ouer all the parties of Europe, so that sundrie princes thought themselues happie if they might haue his friendship, either by affinitie or otherwise: by meanes whereof, he bestowed his sisters so highlie in mariage as before ye haue heard. He receiued manie noble and rich presents from diuers princes, as from Hugh king of France, horsses and sundrie rich iewels, with certeine relikes: as Constantines sword, in the hilt whereof was set one of the nailes wherewith Christ was fastened to the crosse, the speare of Charles the great, which was thought to be the same wherewith the side of our sauiour was pearced, the banner of saint Maurice, with a part of the holie crosse, and likewise a part of the thorned crowne; yet Mandeuile saw the one halfe of this crowne in France, and the other at Constantinople, almost 400 yeares after this time, as he writeth. Of these iewels king Adelstane gaue part to the abbie of saint Swithon at Winchester, and part to the abbie of Malmesburie. Moreouer, the king of Norwaie sent vnto him a goodlie ship of fine woorkmanship, with gilt sterne and purple sailes, furnished round about the decke within with a rowe of gilt pauises. ¶ In the daies
of this Adelstane reigned that right worthie Guy earle of Warwike, who (as some writers haue recorded) fought with a mightie giant of the Danes in a singular combat, and vanquished him.