Edwin succeedeth Edred in the hingdome of England, his beastlie and incestuous carnalitle with a kinswoman of his on the verie day of his coronation, he is reproued of Dunstane and giueth ouer the gentlewomans companie, Dunstane is banished for rebuhing hing Edwin for his vnlawfull lust and lewd life, the diuell reioised at his exile, what reuenging mischiefs the king did for displeasure sahe against the said Dunstane in exile, the middle part of England rebelleth against king Edwin, and erecteth his brother Edgar in roiall roome ouer them, he taheth thought and dieth; Edgar succeedeth him, he is a fauourer of moonks, his prouision for defense of his realme, his policie and discretion in gouernment, what kings he bound by oth to be true unto him, eight princes row barge in signe of submission, the vicious inconueniences that grew among the Englishmen vpon his fauouring of the Danes, a restraint of excessiue quaffing; Dunstane is made bishop of Worcester and Ethelwold bishop of Winchester; iustice in Edgars time seuerelie executed, theft punished with death, a tribute of woolfs shins paid him out of Wales, and the benefit of that tribute.
The Xxiij. Chapter.
AFTER the deceasse of Edred, his nephue Edwin the eldest sonne of king Edmund was
made king of England, and began his reigne ouer the same in the yeere of our Lord, 955,
& in the 20 yéere of the emperor Otho the first, in the 28 and last yéer of the reigna of Lewes king of France, and about the twelfe yeere of Malcolme the first of that name, king of Scotland. He was consecrated at Kingston vpon Thames by Odo the archbishop of Canturburie. On the verie day of his coronation, as the lords were set in councell about weightie matters touching the gouernment of the realme, he rose from the place, gat him into a
Will Malmes. Polydur.
chamber with one of his néere kinswomen, and there had to doo with hir, without anie respect or regard had to his roiall estate and princelie dignitie. Dunstane latelie before named abbat of Glastenburie, did not onlie without feare of displeasure reprooue the K. for such shamefull abusing of his bodie, but also caused the archbishop of Canturburie to constreine him to forsake that woman whom vnlawfulie he kept.
There be that write, that there were two women both mother and dauaghter, whome king
Edward kept as concubines: for the mother being of noble parentage, sought to satisfie the kings lust, in hope that either he would take hir or hir daughter vnto wife. And therefore perceiuing that Dunstane was sore against such wanton pastime as the king vsed in their companie, she so wrought, that Dunstane was through hir earnest trauell banished the land,
Dunstane banished the realme.
This is also reported, that when he should depart the realme, the diuell was heard in the west end of the church, taking vp a great laughter after his roring maner, as though he should shew himselfe glad and ioifull at Dunstanes going into exile. But Dunstane perceiuing his
Dunstane séeth not the diuell.
behauiour, spake to him, and said: Well thou aduersarie, doo not so greatly reioise at the matter, for thou dooest not now so much reioise at my departure, but by Gods grace thou shalt be as sorrowfull for my returne.
Thus was Dunstane banished by king Edwine, so that he was compelled to passe ouer
Dunstane departed into exile.
into Flanders, where he remained for a time within a monasterie at Gant, finding much friendship at the hands of the gouernor of that countries Also the more to wreake his wrath, the king spoiled manie religious houses of their goods, and droue out the monks,
Wil. Malm. Edwine displaceth monks and putteth secular priests in their roomes.
placing secular priests in their roomes, as namelie at Malmesburie, where yet the house was not empaired, but rather inriched in lands, and ornaments by the kings liberalitie, and the industrious meanes of the same priests, which tooke vp the bones of saint Aldelme, and put the same into a shrine. At length the inhabitants of the middle part of England, euen from
Rebellion raised against king Edwine. Simon Dun.
Humber to Thames rebelled against him, and elected his brother Edgar to haue the gouernement ouer them, wherwith king Edwine tooke such griefe, for that he saw no meane at hand how to remnedie the matter, that shortlie after, when he had reigned somewhat more than
Edwin departeth this life.
foure yéeres, he died, and his bodie was buried at Winchester in the new abbeie.
EDGAR the second sonne of Edmund late king of England, after the docease of his elder brother the foresaid Edwine, began his reigne ouer this realme of England in the yeere of
our Lord God 959, in the 22 yéere of the emperour Orho the first, in the fourth yéere of the reigne of Lotharius king of France, 510 almost ended after the comming of the Saxons, 124 after the arriuall of the Danes, and in the last yéere of Malcohine king of Scotland. He
was crowned & consecrated at Bath, or (as some say) at Kingstone vpon Thames by Odo the archbishop of Cauturburie, being as then not past 16 yéeres of age, when he was thus admitted king. He was no lesse indued with commendable gifts of mind, than with strength
Edgar a fauorer of moonks.
and force of bodie. He was a great fauorer of moonks, and speciallie had Dunstane in high estimation. Aboue all things in this world he regarded peace, and studied dailie how to preserue the same, to the commoditie and aduancement of his subiects.
When he had established things in good quiet, and set an order in matters as seemed to
The diligent prouision of K. Edgur for defense of the realme.
him best for the peaceable gouernement of his people, he prepared a great nauie of ships, and diuiding them in thrée parts, he appointed euerie part to a quarter of the realme, to waft about the coast, that no forren enimie should approch the land, but that they might be incountered and put backe, before they could take land. And euerie yéere after Easter, he vsed to giue order, that his ships should assemble togither in their due places: and then would he with the east nauie saile to the west parts of his realme, and sending those ships backe, he would with the west nauie saile into the north parts; and with the north nauie come backe againe into the east. This custome he vsed, that he might scowre the seas of all pirats & theeues. In the winter season and spring time, he would ride through the prouinces of his realme, searching out how the iudges and great lords demeaned themselues in the administration of iustice, sharpelie punishing those that were found guiltie of extortion, or had done otherwise in anie point than dutie required. In all things he vsed such politike
discretion, that neither was he put in danger by treason of his subiects, nor molested by forren enimies.
He caused diuerse kings to bind themselues by oth to be true and faithfull vnto him, as
Kinadius or rather Induf king of Scotland, Malcolme king of Cumberland, Mascutius an
Kings of Welshmen.
archpirat, or (as we may call him) a maister rouer, and also all the kings of the Welshmen, as Duffnall, Girffith, Duvall, Iacob, and Iudithill, all which came to his, court, and by their solemne othes receiued, sware to be at his commandement. And for the more manifest testimonie
King Edgar roweth on the water of Dée.
therof, he hauing them with him at Chester, caused them to enter into a barge vpon the water of Dée, and placing himselfe in the forepart of the barge, at the helme, he caused those eight high princes to row the barge vp and downe the water, shewing thereby his princelie prerogatiue and roial magnificence, in that he might vse the seruice of so manie kings that were his subiects. And therevpon he said (as hath bin reported) that then might his successours account themselues kings of England, when they inioied such prerogatiue of high and supreme honor.
The fame of this noble prince was spred ouer all, as well on this side the sea as beyond, insomuch that great resort of strangers chanced in his daies, which came euer into this land to serue him, and to sée the state of his court, as Saxons and other, yea and also Danes,
Ran. Higd. King Edgar fauoureth Danes.
which became verie familiar with him. He fauored in déed the Danes (as hath béene said) more than stood with the commoditie of his subiects, for scarse was anie stréet in England,
English learned to quaffe of the Danes, Wil. Malm.
but Danes had their dwelling in the same among the Englishmen, whereby came great harme: for whereas the Danes by nature were great drinkers, the Englishmen by continuall conuersation with them learned the same vice. King Edgar to reforme in part such excessiue quaffing as then began to grow in vse, caused by the procurement of Dunstane, nailes to be set in cups of a certeine measure, marked for the purpose, that none should drinke more than
Englishmen learne other vices of strangers.
was assigned by such measured cups. Englishmen also learned of the Saxons, Flemings, and othler strangers, their peculiar kind of vices, as of the Saxons a disordered fiercenesse of mind, of the Flemings a féeble tendernesse of bodie: where before they reioised in their owne simplicities, and estéemed not the lewd and vnprofitable manners of strangers.
Dunstane was made bishop of Worcester, and had also the administration of the sée of London committed vnto him. He was in such fauor with the king, that he ruled most things at his pleasure. Ethelwold, which being first a moonke of Glastenburie, and after
Ethelwold made bishop of Winchester.
abbat of Abington, was likewise made bishop of Winchester, and might doo verie much with the king. Also Oswald, which had beene a moonke in the abbeie of Florie in France, and
after was made bishop of Worcester, and from thence remooued to the sée of Yorke, was highlie in fauor with this king, so that by these thrée prelates he was most counselled. Iustice
Moonks must néeds write much in praise of Edgar who had men of their cote in such estimatio.
in his daies was strictlie obserued, for although he were courteous and gentle towards his friends, yet was he sharpe and hard to offendors, so that no person of what estate or degree soeuer he was escaped worthie punishment, if he did transgresse the lawes and ordinances of the realme. There was no priuie theefe nor common robber that durst lay hands vpon other mens goods, but he might looke to make amends with losse of his life, if be were knowne to be giltie. For how might men that did offend, thinke to escape his hands, which deuised waies how to rid the countrie of all wild rauening beasts, that liued vpon sucking the bloud of others? For as it is said, he appointed Iudweall or Ludweall king of Wales to present him
A tribute iastituted of woolfskins.
with thrée hundred woolues yéerelie in name of a tribute, but after thrée yéeres space, there was not a woolfe to be found, and so that tribute ceased in the fourth yéere after it began to be paid.