THEN after Soluathius was once buried in Colmekill amongst his ancestors, Achaius the
Achaius created king of Scotland.
son of king Ethfine (a man highlie renowmed for his earnest zeale to iustice and vpright dealing) was aduanced to the gouernance of the realme: who for that by his former conuersation
amongst the nobilitie, he perfectlie vnderstood what grudge and secret hatred remained in their
harts, one wishing anothers destruction; he foresaw what danger the common-wealth stood
in, if the same were not by some good meanes qualified : and thervpon calling them togither,
He maketh the nobilitie to agrée.
he handled the matter with such wisedome and dexteritie, that before their departure
from him, all the roots of former displeasures being vtterlie extirped and auoided, they
were made friends on ech side, and promised in his presence so to continue. Thus hauing
laid the foundation of a quiet state amongst his subiects, now in the beginning of his reigne,
hée was at point to haue had no small warres with the Irishmen: for a number of them being
arriued in Cantire, were there slaine by them of the westerne Iles, which vpon request of the
inhabitants of that countrie were come to aid them against those Irishmen.
This losse the rulers of the Irish nation purposed in all hast to reuenge vpon them of the
Iles. But Achaius hearing thereof, sent ouer an ambassage vnto them, to haue the matter
taken vp before anie further force were vsed: alledging how there was no cause wherfore
warres should be mooued for such a matter, where the occasion had béene giuen but by a sort
of rouers on either side, without commandement or warrant obteined from anie of their superiors. Howbeit the nobles of Ireland (for there was no king amongest them at that time as it
The Irishmen will reuenge.
chanced) mooued altogither with indignation for the slaughter of their countrimen, made a direct
answer, that they would suerlie be reuenged of the reproch which they had receiued, before they
would common of anie peace. And therefore whilest the Scotish ambassadors returned out
of Ireland with this answer, a great number of them in ships and craiers passed ouer into Ila,
Irishmen take a preie in Ila.
where getting togither a great preie, and fraughting their vessels therewith, as they were returning homewards, they were soonke by force of tempest, so that neither ship nor man returned to bring tidings home how they had sped in Scotland.
The stout stomachs of the Irish lords and rulers being well qualified with this mischance,
Irishmen doo séeke peace.
they were glad to séeke for peace shortlie after vnto Achaius. Those also that were sent
ouer to treat of the same, found him at Enuerlochthée; where hauing declared their message,
& confessed how iustlie they had béene punished by the righteous iudgement of almightie
God, for the wrongfull attempting of the warres against them that had not deserued it :
Achaius answered, how the Irish nation was so stubborne, that they knew not how to vse
reason, except they were throughlie scourged: and therefore had the righteous God taken
iust reuenge vpon them, to the example of other, for their contumacie, in moouing warres
against them that had so earnestlie sought for peace. Neuerthelesse, setting apart all iniuries
past, as well new as old, to shew himselfe to be the follower of Christ, who in so manic passages
had praised, commended, and set foorth vnto vs peace and tranquillitie, he was contented to
grant them peace, which now they sued for. Thus was the peace renewed betwixt the Scotish and Irish nations, to the no lesse comfort of the Scots themselues, than of the Irishmen,
as those that had learned now by experience and triall (hauing inioied peace a good season)
how much the same was to be preferred before cruell warres.
In this meane time, Charles surnamed the great, as then reigning in France, and
Carolus Magnus in league with the Scots.
vnderstanding how the Englishmen did not onelie by dailie rouing disquiet the seas, to the great
danger of all such merchants and other as trauelled alongst the coasts of France and Germanie; but also now and then comming on land vpon the French dominions, did manie notable
displeasures to his subiects: he thought good by the aduise of his péeres to conclude a league
(if it were possible) with the Scots and Picts, with this article amongst the residue: That so oft
as the Englishmen should attempt any enterprise or inuasion into France, the Scots and Picts
should be readie streightwaies to inuade them here at home; and when they should make
anie warres against the Scots or Picts, then the Frenchmen should take vpon them to inuade
the west parts of England.
There were sent therefore from Charles vnto Achaius certeine ambassadors to bring this
Ambassadors sent into Scotland.
matter to passe, who arriuing in Scotland, and comming to the kings presence, declared effectuallie the summe of their message, shewing that the conclusion of such a league should
bee no lesse to the wealth of the Frenchmen, than of the Scots (considering Englishmen to be
a people most desirous of all other to get into their hands other mens goods and possessions)
for thereby they might be somewhat restreined from such bold and iniurious enterprises, as
they dailie tooke in hand against their christian neighbors : but it should make most of all
(say they) for the aduancement of the whole christian common-wealth, whereas otherwise
through their insolent dooings, such force as was alreadie prepared against the Saracens (the
common enimies of the christians) should be called backe, therewith to kéepe off the said Englishmen, to the great danger of those parts of christendome, vpon which the Saracens then
bordered as neighbors.
This message being heard with good deliberation by such as were present, the ambassadors
The ambassadors are honorablie interteined.
themselues being honorable personages, and graue of countenance, were receiued most louinglie of the king, and lodged in his owne palace, hauing all the cheere and honorable interteinment that might be deuised : but touching their message, there were sundrie disputations
amongst the nobles, whether the concluding of such a league as they required, were expedient for the Scotish common-wealth or not. And for that the matter seemed to be doutfull, the
king thought it necessarie to haue the aduise of his councell : and therevpon calling them togither, and appointing diuerse of them to go with the ambassadors on hunting, to shew them
some sport, whilest he consulted with the residue (bicause he would not haue them present)
he commanded one Colman, gouernor of Mar (a man of great authoritie amongst the Scotishmen for his approoued wisedome) to say first his mind touching the request of those French
ambassadors, who therevpon standing foorth, began as followeth.
"No man ought to maruell, I perceiue, king Achaius, if manie of this our nation be desirous to haue this league concluded with the Frenchmen, as they that are persuaded how nothing
can be better, nothing more profitable, more honorable, or more pleasant to almightie God,
than to ioine in league and friendship with a nation of greatest power and wealth in these daies,
of all other within the bounds of Europe : for by that meanes should the Scotish name be
highlie renowmed and spoken of through the whole world. But trulie these considerations
contenting so well at the first, are not so much to be regarded as the euiis which hereafter
may grow therevpon : for suerlie a naughtie and pernicious end of this determination shall
euidentlie teach vs (though too late) how farre we haue gone beside the way of reason in establishing this league, if we once consent to conclude the same. Is it anie other thing (I beséech you) to make a league, and to ioine in societie with the Frenchmen against our
An enimie at haud.
Friends farre off.
neighbors the Englishmen (whose friendship might be most expedient for vs) than euen to haue
from hencefoorth a neere and in maner a domesticall enimie at hand, whereas our supposed
friends shall be farre off from vs, and separated from our countrie by a great and large sea, at
whose plesure also we must make wars against our neighbors, and fight for other mens safegards, putting our bodies in hazard of death and wounding for their cause, which dwell nothing néere vs; yea & in their quarell to commit our kingdome, goods and liues vnto extreme
perill of vtter destruction ? I would thinke it good therefore to take better aduisement and
Good counsell of Colman.
deliberation herein, least whilest we séeke for vaine glorie and counterfeit honor, we doo not,
through prouoking the Englishmen our next neighbors, lose our owne liberties got with much
trauell by our elders, for the which they so often fought with the Britains, Romans, Picts, and
finallie with the Saxons. Can there be anie thing more pernicious vnto a frée nation, and
people borne in libertie, than to measure lawes of peace, chances of warre, and in fine libertie
it selfe, by the lust and pleasure of another nation, and so to enter (as it were) into bondage ?
For the auoiding whereof, not onelie men, but also all other liuing things are readie to fight,
euen to the vttermost. If the Frenchmen in the chiefest heat and most earnest brunt of the warre
(which we shall take in hand for their sake, according to the articles of the league) shall
chance to forsake vs, and conclude some manner of peace or league with our enimies,
leauing vs in all the whole danger; shall we haue anie iudge afore whome we maie bring
them to answer for their default, and by whose authoritie they may be constreined to see
vs satisfied for such losse and iniuries as we shall happily susteine at the Englishmens hands ?
Are we of that force and power to reuenge our wrongs vpon them, after we are vanquished
and in maner brought to vtter confusion by those warres which we shall enter into for
their cause ? If euer we be brought vnto that point (as God forbid we should) that through
want of substance, and decaie of force, the Frenchmen shall also vtterlie forsake vs, & that
thereby we shall not bée able to resist the English puissance: afore whome (I beséech you)
shall we accuse them for breaking of this league ? We shall dailie haue to doo with our
enimies after the conclusion of the league (if it be concluded at all) and but seldome times
with our friends. In the midst of our enimies we shall be still occasioned to practise for
our defense, where we haue a long way both by sea and land to passe ouer to our friends, in
case anie néed shall inforce vs therevnto: commodities are brought vs out of Spaine, France,
and Germanie, not such as we desire, but onelie such as the Englishmen doo permit.
Againe, when our merchants shall passe into France, what hauens shall we leaue them to
resort vnto in time of dangerous tempests, which often chance to all such as vse sailing ?
Either must they perish and be cast away through rage of seas, either else fall into the hands
of our enimies togither, with all their goods and fraught. What discommodities hereof
shall rise, your grace (most prudent prince) and you right circumspect councellors, doo
well inough perceiue. I therefore would thinke it expedient, that we should continue in
the former peace concluded with the Britains, Saxons, and Picts, according to the custome
of our late predecessors, who saw well inough what was most beneficiall for the wealth of
the Scotish nation, and not to couet a new amitie with an vnknowne people, hauing deserued little or nothing as yet at our hands (whose intent I cannot but haue in suspicion,
sith they séeke for amitie so farre off) except we shall manifestlie resolue with our selues
to imploie and ieopard both life and libertie for the safegard of the French, without regard
of our owne." ¶ Manie in that assemblie shewed themselues sore offended with Colmans
Colmans counsell is misliked.
woords, supposing the league with the Frenchmen to be both honorable and necessarie.
Then one Albian, a man of great nobilitie (whome the king had latelie before instituted
his lieutenant in the Iles) spake in this manner. "If it were possible that there might be
Albian his oration.
one sure and inuiolable consent amongst those foure people, which at this daie haue their
habitations within the bounds of Albion, or that the Englishmen knew what it were to stand
and abide by faith and promises made and giuen, we would not denie but that those considerations and aduises which Colman hath héere vttered, ought to be followed; bicause that
then there should be no occasion at all, why we should conclude anie league with anie
forren nation. But forsomuch as there was neuer man that found more vntruth and breach
The English Saxons breakers of promise.
of promise in anie nation, than hath béene found in these Saxons (the which hauing got
the rule in Albion, are now called Englishmen) as the Scots, Picts, and Britains haue by
triall sufficientlie prooued; I suppose it is euidentlie knowne vnto you, that either we must
of necessitie fight and stand at defense against the Englishmen, readie to assaile vs both with
open force and secret craft, either els iinke our selues with such alies and confederats, as
by their support we maie be the better able to withstand the malice of such vnfaithfull people.
Call ye this faith, or treason, I praie you ? The Saxons in times past being requested of the
Britains to aid them against their enimies, were most louinglie receiued, and highlie rewarded for their seruice : but they contrarilie in recompense of such kindnesse, shewed
themselues in steed of aiders, enimies ; in stéed of defenders, destroiers: turning their
weapons points against the Britains, by whome they had béene so sent for to their aid; and
now haue not onelie destroied a great number of them by fire and swoord, but also they
haue spoiled them of their kingdome & libertie. What league or truce haue they at anie
time kept (you your selues are not ignorant of this which I speake) where either they saw
occasion to vex their neighbors, or hoped to gaine anie thing by falsifieng their faiths, a
they that haue neuer béene ashamed so to doo, where hope to haue commodite (if I may
so call it) hath at anie hand béene offered. Into what sundrie and most miserable calamities
hath the trecherie of the Saxons brought the sillie Britains? How oftentimes haue they
broken the peace established with vs, and also with the Picts; euen when we least thought
vpon anie such thing ? Yea and that more is, amongst them selues at this season the Englishmen warre one against another, more with craftie traines than with open force, in such
wise that in Northumberland so manie kings, and so manie noble men haue béene traitorouslie
murthered and made awaie, that scarse may there be anie found that will take vpon him the
supreme gouernement of that countrie. It is not manie yéeres ago, since Oswin king of
To induce others to his purpose, he taketh the aduantage of casuall haps, charging the whole nation with the fault of a few particular persons.
that countrie was rid out of the waie through treason of Oswie that succeeded him in the
kingdome, and was after depriued both of life and kingdome by Osrike, whome Egbert desirous to reigne in his place, found meanes by traitorous practise to dispatch. Egbert was
slaine by Mollo, and Mollo by Alfred, which Alfred was after slaine by the guilefull craft
of Ethelbert. Neither had Ethelbert anie better successe in the end, for now of late betraied by his owne subiects, he was by them shamefullie slaine and murthered. Neither
with lesse traitorous shifts and deuises doo the Englishmen mainteine their warres in all
places where they are inhabiting within Albion. The reuerend fathers of the spiritualtie,
and other godlie men addicted to vertue, vnto whom the setting foorth of Gods woord
hath béene committed, wearie of and abhorring this wood madnesse, rage and wicked misdemeanor of that nation, haue left their bishoprikes, abbeies, monasteries, and cels, and from
thence haue remooued into forren regions. Therefore where the Englishmen doo absteine
at this present from making vs warres, it is not to be imputed to anie reuerence they haue
vnto faith, equitie, or respect of the league, which they haue made with vs, but onelie vnto
such ciuill sedition and discord, as now dooth reigne amongst them. Neither ought anie
of vs of right to doubt, but that when the same once ceasseth, they will immediatlic take
weapon in hand against vs, notwithstanding all leagues or couenants of peace confirmed to
the contrarie. To represse therefore and abate their subtill practises, I can find no readier
meane than to enter into friendship, and conclude a league with that people, which being
ioined with vs, may chastise such outragious furie of this wicked nation, as cause and oportunitie shall require. Fortune hath offred vnto vs a conuenient meane and occasion héerevnto. For héere be at this present the French kings ambassadors, offering that vnto vs,
which (being so great a benefit) we might scarse wish for. That is, they require to haue
vs to ioine in league against the Englishmen, with their king, whome France, Spaine, and
The Frenchmen in those daics possessed not onelie that part of Gallia, which we now call France, but also the most part of the countries now inhabited by the Dutchmen or Germans, namelie on this side the riuer Rhene.
no small part of Germanie doo acknowledge for their souereigne. Ought this to be despised
of men that haue their perfect senses? Ought the societie of the French nation to be refused of vs, inhabiting here in the vttermost parts of the earth, the same being fréelie offered
by them, vnto whom for their sincere faith both towards God and man, the large empire
of the world is granted ? So that if we shall thankfullie receiue this most notable benefit,
the same shall purchase vnto vs the friendship of the Spaniards, Frenchmen, Germans, and
all those nations which acknowledge king Charles for their head and souereigne lord. Héerevpon also frée passage for merchants shall be open, to passe to and fro vnto vs, with all kind
of merchandize and wares of traffike. I trust therefore that euerie one of you (so that he
weie the thing with himselfe throughlie) will easilie iudge that the friendship and societie of
the Frenchmen (verie puissant both by sea and land) and thereto of approoued faith and stedfastnesse in promise, ought more to be estéemed, and is more beneficiall to the Scotish commonwealth, than the vnstedfast promises and great disloialtie of the Saxons. To which of
you is it vnknowne that the English nation studieth no lesse to bring vs vnder the yoke
of seruitude, than they doo the Welshmen, if their force might answer directlie to their
wils ? Therefore if we desire to auoid the violent power of most cruell enimies, if we meane
to auoid their craftie practises, if we regard the christian religion, for the which the Frenchmen are continuallie in armor, if we set more by vertue and constancie than by
vnfaithfulnesse and breach of couenants and promises, if we labor for the glorie and honor of our
nation, if we couet to aduance our countrie, our owne rest, and quietnesse; and to be
briefe, if we passe vpon life and libertie, the most déerest things that may happen to man,
let vs with ioifull harts establish this league with the Frenchmen, and firmelie continue in the
same, vpon assured trust and confidence that it shall bring perpetuall commoditie and renowme to vs, both for the safegard of our realme, & restreint of the Englishmens vnlawfull
attempts and wrongfull iniuries, which héereafter they either shall or may at any time enterprise against vs." ¶ By this oration Albian drew the multitude easilie vnto his purpose.
Then Achaius vnderstanding how the minds of all his subiects were in manner wholie
inclined to the league, commanded all the companie to be there in the same place againe
the next day. And so breaking vp their assemblie for that time, the king made the French
ambassadors that night a costlie supper with a banket, and after hauing conference with his
The league with the Frenchmen agréed vpon.
nobles and lords of the councell, it was agréed by generall consent amongst them, that for
the solemne ratifieng of this league with king Charles, according as he had required, there
should go with his ambassadors at their returne the lord William the brother of king Achaius,
with foure other honorable and learned personages, being men of perfect knowledge and
skill, and such as were estéemed most meet for such a purpose. Also, that they should take
foure thousand men ouer with them to serue against the infidels and enimies of the christian
religion, where and in such sort as king Charles should appoint them.
Héerevpon the next day going first to church, and there making their common
The league is concluded.
supplications vnto almightie God, according to the rites and ancient customes, they after resorted
vnto the councell chamber, where Achaius opened and declared vnto the French ambassadors
all that was concluded by him, and other the estates of his realme, touching the message
which they had brought from king Charles. Who reioising (as should appéere) greatlie
héereat, gaue most hartie thanks vnto him, and to all the residue for their beneuolent wils
héerein shewed towards king Charles their maister, and all the French nation. After this,
remaining certeine daies with Achaius, who made them all the chéere that might be imagined,
they departed towards Hungus king of the Picts, vnto whome at their comming to his
Hungus king of the Picts.
presence they made the like request on their maisters behalfe, which they had made before vnto
It is said that Hungus gaue the Frenchmen most hartie thanks for their good wils, but
Hungus refuseth to conclude anie league with the Frenchmen.
The French ambassadors returne home.
yet he would not grant to conclude anie league with them at that time, for that (as he alledged) the matter being weightie and of great importance, required no small time to deliberate and take aduise for a full resolution therein. The ambassadors héerevpon returned
vnto Achaius without spéed of their purpose with Hungus, and the second moneth after, all
things being readie for their returne, and the passage of those that should go with them, the
lord William the kings brother, togither with the same ambassadors, & such foure persons
Claudius, Clement, Iohn Maesbell, Raban, Alcuine.
as the king had chosen foorth amongst all the learned clergie of his realme (whose names
were Clement, lohn, Raban, and Alcuine) and also hauing with him those foure thousand
men of war, which were at the first appointed to go with him, passed foorth towards France,
where he with all the whole companie landed within few daies after in safetie, according to
their owne wished desires. At their comming into France Charles the emperor receiued
The Scotishmen are honorablie receiued of Carolus the French king.
them in most gladsome wise, dooing them all the honor that might be deuised, and the
souldiers which were come to serue him vnder the leading of the foresaid William, he reteined in wages, vsing them after the same sort and rate as he did his owne naturall people
Shortlie after also at the request of the Scotish orators, according to the charter signed by
The league is published by heralds.
Achaius, and confirmed by consent of king Charles, the league betwixt the Frenchmen and
Sçots was solemnelie published by heralds at armes, according to the maner in those daies
vsed, the same to indure betwixt those two nations and their posterities for euer. The
chiefest articles comprised in this league were as followeth. [The amitie and confederation
The articles of the league.
betwixt the Frenchmen and Scots to be perpetuall and firme, to indure betwixt them and
the posterities of both nations for euer. The iniuries and warres which the Englishmen
should attempt against either nation, should be accounted as common to them both. The
Frenchmen being assailed by warres of the Englishmen, the Scots should send their aid of
souldiers, hauing their charges borne by the Frenchmen as well for furniture, as wages, and
all other things necessarie. The Frenchmen should contrariwise aid the Scots in time of
wars against the Englishmen at their owne proper costs and charges. Whatsoeuer he were,
priuat person or publike of these two confederat nations, that against either of them should
aid the Englishmen with armour, counsell, vittels, or in anie other maner of wise; the same
should be reputed for a traitor vnto both their princes and countries. Neither might either
of them conclude a peace, or take anie truce without the consent of the other. These were
the principall articles of the league, as then confirmed betwixt the Scots and Frenchmen, indited in Latine, and faire ingrossed in parchment, and reserued as a monument in both
realmes, for a witnesse vnto such as should come after of this friendship thus begun, as the
Scotish chronicles affirme.] And for further memorie of the thing, Achaius did augment
The armes of Scotland.
his armes, being a red lion in a field of gold, with a double trace seamed with floure delices,
signifieng thereby, that the lion from thence foorth should be defended by the aid of the
Frenchmen; & that the Scotish kings should valiantlie fight in defense of their countrie,
liberties, religion, and innocencie, which are represented by the lilles, or floure delices, as
heralds doo interpret it. The lord William, the said Clement, and Iohn, remained still with
king Charles, but Rabane & Alcuine returned into their countrie. In all such warres and
iournies as Charles afterwards made against anie of his enimies, the said lord William was a
The valiantnes of William.
chiefe dooer in the same, so that his fame and authoritie dailie grew in all places where he
came. His seruice stood king Charles in notable stead in his expeditions against the Saxons,
Hungarians, and other; but namelie his estimation in Italie was most highlie aduanced, at
what time the said Charles reedified the citie of Florence, appointing this William to be his
Florence is reedified.
William lieutenant of Tuscane.
lieutenant in Tuscan, and to haue the chiefe charge for the restoring of the said citie, which
he with such diligence applied, that within short time the same was not onelie fortified with
new wals, repared and replenished with great numbers of houses, churches, and other beautifull buildings, but also peopled and furnished with citizens, a great companie of nobles and
gentlemen being called thither out of euerie citie and towne thereabouts for that purpose.
The citie being thus restored to hir former estate and dignitie, through the bounteous
benefit of king Charles, and the diligent administration of his lieutenant the foresaid William,
the citizens to shew themselues thankefull, deuised for a perpetuall memorie to beare in their
armes a red lillie, resembling one of those which the kings of France giue, saue that it differed
The armes of Florence.
in colour, to testifie thereby, that their citie (after the destruction therof by the Goths) was
reedified and restored to the former dignitie, by the benefit of the Frenchmen. And to acknowledge the diligence herein of the lieutenant, they did institute publike plaies to be vsed
and celebrated euerie yéere, wherein with manie pompous ceremonies they crowne a lion.
And further that there should be kept vpon the charges of the treasurie within the citie
certeine lions (for the foresaid lord William gaue a lion for his cognisance) and therevpon
as the Scotish chronicles affirme, those beasts grew to be had in such honor amongest the
Lions kept at Florence.
Florentines. Thus this valiant capteine, the foresaid lord William, passing his time in notable
exercises, and woorthie feats of chiualrie vnder king Charles, is accounted in the number
of those twelue martiall warriours, which are called commonlie by the Scotishmen,
And for that he was continuallie occupied in warres, he was neuer maried, wherevpon
William vnmaried maketh Christ his heire.
Monasteries of Scotishmen in Germanie.
growing in age, and purposing to make Christ his heire, he builded diuers abbies and
monasteries both in Italie and Germanie, richlie indowing the same with lands and rents,
sufficient for the finding of such number of moonks, as he appointed to be in the said abbies,
wherein none might be admitted, according to the ancient ordinance by him deuised, except he were a Scotishman borne. In witnesse of which ordinance, there are sundrie of
these houses remaining in Almaine euen vnto this day, nothing changed from the first order
or institution. Before the accomplishment of these things, by the foresaid lord William,
brother (as is said) to the Scotish king Achaius, I find that the vniuersities of Paris and
The vniuersitie of Paris and Pauia.
Pauia were instituted by king Charles, chiefelie by the helpe and means of these two foreremembred Scotishmen, Iohn and Clement, insomuch that Clement was appointed chiefe
president of all the students at Paris, and Iohn of the other at Pauia.
But now to returne to the other dooings of Achaius, ye shall vnderstand, that about the
Adelstane entereth into Deira.
same time, or not much differing from the same, Adelstane the sonne of Ethelwoolfe king of
Westsaxons, taking vpon him the dominion of Kent, Eastsaxon, Mercia, and Northumberland (which Egbert his grandfather had receiued into his gouernement) desirous now to
inlarge his kingdome, entred into that part of the Pictish dominion, which ancientlie hight
Deira, and conteined the marches about Berwike, alledging how the same apperteined to
his kingdome of Northumberland, and had béene fraudulentlie taken from his ancestors by
the Picts: but forsomuch as there was a commotion raised the same time in Mercia, he was
called backe to appease it, and herevpon putting all to the fire and sword in Deira, sauing
Deira wasted by fire and sword.
such prisoners as he brought away with him, he returned. Hungus the Pictish king sore
stomaching this iniurious enterprise of the Englishmen, determined to reuenge the same in
all possible hast, and therefore made instant sute vnto Achaius (who had maried his sister)
Hungus aided with Scotishmen inuadeth Northumberland.
to haue his aid against them.
Achaius of his owne accord minding to doo the Englishmen a displeasure, sent foorthwith vnto Hungus to the number of ten thousand men. With which, and with his owne
power, king Hungus inuaded the borders of Northumberland, fetching from thence a great
bootie of goods and prisoners; but yet he forbare slaughter of men, and burning of houses,
He warred without slaughter and burning.
Athelstane pursueth Hungus.
for a reuerence which he had, as is supposed, towards the christian religion. Athelstane
being certified hereof, omitting his iournie into Mercia, turned all his power against the
Picts: and hearing that they were withdrawen into their countrie, he followed them so
néere at the héeles, that verie earlie in one morning he was vpon their backs where they
lodged by a brooke side, not passing two miles from Haddington, before they had anie
knowledge of his approch. Athelstane vpon a fierce courage, hauing thus found his enimies
according to his wished desire, and herewith comming vpon them in such order of battell,
as they had no waie foorth to escape without fight, he commanded a proclamation to be
Athelstane his cruell proclamation.
made by one of his heralds, that all the whole number of the Picts should passe by the edge
of the sword.
The Picts thus séeing their enimies at hand, and hearing this cruell commandement, were
The Picts are amazed.
woonderfullie amazed with the strangenesse of the thing, and oppressed so with feare, that
they wist not what might be best for them to doo. At length by commandement of Hungus
their king, they fell vnto fortifieng of their campe; but yet they quicklie perceiued how that
The Picts enter the campe.
it would not long preuaile them, considering that their enimies had gotten into their hands
not onelie the spoile which they had brought with them out of Northumberland, but also all
other their prouision, trusse, and baggage, which they had left in a field there adioining
vnto the side of their campe. Herevpon manie reasons were put foorth amougest them,
which way they might escape out of that present danger. In which meane time Athelstane
Athelstane dooth chalenge his enimies.
hauing brought his people into good order of battell, prouoked the Picts to come foorth of
their strength into the plaine field, there to trie their forces. But for that day no notable
thing was doone; the Picts kéeping themselues still within their campe.
In the night following, after sundrie consultations had amongest them, it was agréed
by generall consent, that the next day they should giue battell to the Englishmen. And
so herevpon preparing themselues for the purpose, euen vpon the breake of the day,
The Picts prepare themselues vnto battell.
forward they make towards their enimies with fierce willes, speciallie incouraged thereto by
the comfortable words of Hungus. The Englishmen halfe amazed at the hardie approch
and onset of the Picts, were not long able to susteine their sore impression; so that beginning somewhat to swarue, at length they were forced to flée vnto the place, where ye heard
The Englishmen are put to flight.
how they tooke the baggage and spoile of the Pictish campe: where they were beaten
downe in greater numbers than before, insomuch that such prisoners as they had before
taken of them that kept the said spoile, greatlie now to aduance the victorie of their fellowes, shewed more crueltie towards the Englishmen than anie of the rest, now that they
saw once how the victorie was inclined to the Pictish side.
In fine, such slaughter was made, that of the whole English host which was there assembled, there vnneth escaped flue hundred. Athelstane himselfe at the first was run through
Athelstane is slaine.
the bodie with a speare, and so died, giuing name to the place of the battell, which continueth euen vnto this daie, being called Athelstans foord. This victorie fell to the Picts by
miracle: for in the night season, as Hungus was laid downe to sléepe (after it was agreed
that they should giue battell) there appeared vnto him the apostle saint Andrew (as the tale
goeth) promising him and his people victorie against their enimies on the day next following;
and for an assured token thereof, he told him that there should appeare ouer the Pictish
host in the element such a fashioned crosse, as he sometime suffered vpon. Hungus
The crosse of saint Andrew.
awakened, and beholding the skie, saw the crosse, as the apostle had told him: wherevpon
calling his people togither, he not onelie shewed them the same sight, but also declared vnto
them what vision had appeared vi to him in his sléepe; willing them therefore to be of good
comfort, sith there was cause of such assured hope to haue assistance from aboue against
their cruell enimies.
The signe of the foresaid crosse was not onelie séene of the Picts and Scots being there
Saint Andrew the Scotishmens patrone.
with them in aid, to both their great comforts and gladnesse, but also of the Englishmen to
their no lesse discouragement, as they that vnderstood saint Andrew to be patrone and protector of the Scotish and Pictish nations. For it did put such a feare into their hearts, that
when they came to the point of ioining, their stomachs so failed them, that with small resistance they were easilie vanquished (as is said) and put to flight. For this so manifest
a miracle, after the battell was once ended, and the victorie obteined, Hungus repaired with
his people following him, vnto the church of that blessed man saint Regulus, now called
saint Andrewes, where they made their offerings with humble deuotion vnto the relickes of
the apostle, rendering thanks vnto him for their victorie with deuout praier after the accustomed maner. They vowed there also at the verie same time (as the fame goeth) that
from thencefoorth as well they as their posteritie in time of war should weare a crosse of
Why Scotishmen vse saint Andrews crosse in warfare.
saint Andrew for their badge and cognisance. Which ordinance continuallie after remained
with the Picts, and after their destruction and extermination with the Scots euen vnto our
time. The bodie of Athelstane was buried in the next church vnto the place where the
Athelstan his buriall.
field was fought, howbeit, some haue left in writing that his head was cut off from the bodie,
and brought to Inchgaruie, where being set vpon a stake, it was shewed to the people in
reproch of his iniurious enterprise.
Hungus the Pictish king to shew himselfe yet more mindfull of the due honoring of the
holie apostle, by whose aid he acknowledged himselfe to haue got the victorie aforesaid,
not onelie augmented his church with new bildings & néedfull reparations, but increased
Hungus repareth saint Andrews church.
the number of priests for the celebrating of diuine seruice; he also gaue manie rich and
costlie ornaments vnto the same, as chalices, cruets, basons, & such like. Moreouer, he
caused to be made the images of Christ and his 12 apostles of fine gold and siluer, which
Images of gold and siluer.
he bestowed there; with a case also of beaten gold, therein to inclose the relickes of saint
Andrew. And besides this, he ordeined that the spiritualtie should haue the tenths of all
Tenths to be giuen to the cleargie.
increase of goods: as of corne, cattels, herbage, and such like through his realme: and
further that spirituall persons should not be compelled to answere before anie temporall
iudge. But these beneficiall priuiledges the Pictish clergie did not long inioy. For
Feredeth taketh from the cleargie their priuileges.
And why not.
Priests to be tried afore secular iudges.
Feredeth that was the fourth, which reigned amongest the Picts after Hungus, tooke from them
all such gifts as this Hungus had giuen them, and further ordeined to the derogation of
their priuileges, that they should answere for secular crimes afore secular magistrats; and
that liuing vpon their former reuenues, souldiers & men of war should inioy the other which
Hungus had so fréelie bestowed vpon them.
The nobles of the land mainteined Feredeth in his dooings, reckoning all that spirituall
persons had to be but cast away, which was the cause (as some thought) that their kingdome
came into such ruine, as shortlie after followed. There be some chronicles that write how
these things, which are mentioned of Hungus, and Athelstane, chanced not altogither about
this season, but Hector Boetius followeth Veremond in most of his accounts, as the author
whom he taketh to be most certeine, as well for the account of the time as in the course of
the whole historie. And for that we meane not to presume wholie to derogat the same
Boetius his credit, we haue not much dissented from him, but rather followed him in most
places, leauing such doubts as may be woorthilie put foorth of that which he writeth, vnto
the consideration of the diligent reader, sith it is not our purpose to impugne, but rather
to report what we find written by others, except now and then by the way to admonish the
reader of some vnlikeliehoods (as the same dooth séeme to vs and others) and happilie not
without iust occasion.
But now to our purpose. As well Hungus king of Picts, as Achaius king of Scots, after
the ouerthrow and death of Athelstane, liued with their people in good quiet and rest: for the
Englishmen attempted nothing against the Scots and Picts afterwards, during the time of their
reignes. At length Achaius, after he had reigned 32 yeares, departed this life, in the yeare of
Achaius departeth out of this life.
our Lord 819, which was about the sixt yeare of Hungus his dominion ouer the Picts. His
bodie was buried in Colmekill, according to the maner of kings amongest his predecessors.
In the daies this of Achaius (beside Clement and others, of whome before ye haue heard) liued
bishop Geruadius a notable preacher in Murrey land, also bishop Glacian with Modan and
Medan two brethren, all doctors and men of singular knowledge, in respect whereof they were
had in great credit and estimation with the people.