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CONSTANTINE.

AFTER Donald the fift, there succéeded in rule of the realme Constantine the third of
Constantine the third. 903. King Edward sent an herald with defiance. that name, the sonne of Ethus the swift, beginning his reigne in the yeere after the incarnation 903. He was more apt for ciuill gouernement, than for the ordering of warlike affaires. King Edward that latelie succéeded Alured in rule ouer the Englishmen being ware thereof, sent vnto him an herald at armes, commanding him to restore vnto his subiects the Englishmen, the countries of Northumberland, Cumberland, & Westmerland (which the Scotish king Gregorie had in times past by occasion of the troublesome season taken from the right owners by force) either else to looke for warres at his hands within fortie daies after this summons.

Constantine heerevnto answered, that if king Edward were minded to make him wars for The answer of king Constantine. those lands which he held by rightfull title, he with his people would be readie to defend themselues, hoping in the almightie God that he would turne the punishment on them that vniustlie had piked the quarrell. Héerevpon insued manie rodes and forraies betwixt the Forewarnings of war. Englishmen and Scots, made (as occasion serued) into ech others countrie, with diuers skirmishes and light bickerings for twelue moneths space togither, without anie notable incounter of their maine powers. In which meane time the Danes increased in puissance, more than was thought requisite for the suertie either of the Englishmen or Scots, which mooued king Edward by persuasion of his nobles, to make meanes vnto Constantine to haue the peace renewed: wherevnto Constantine lightlie agreed : so that the league was The peace was renewed and the league confirmed. confirmed againe with the former articles betwixt the English and Scotish nations.

Shortlie after also the warre was renewed betwixt the Englishmen and Danes, and a peace againe confirmed by conclusion of a mariage betwixt Sithrike king of Northumberland, and Beatrice daughter of king Edward, till at length Sithrike was poisoned by his wife the said Beatrice: and then bicause Aualassus (whome the English writers name Aulafe) and Godfrie, the sonnes of Sithrike, put the same Beatrice to death, hir father king Edward mooued warre against them, and in foughten field discomfited them, but was slaine in that battell The Danes were discomfited. himselfe (as Hector Boetius saith.) But for the further truth of this matter, ye may read more in the historie of England.

The Danes being certified, that king Edward was thus slaine, conceiued such hope of The Danes conceiue hope of good succes. good successe after to come, that albeit they were at this time vanquished, they immediatlie made new preparation for the warre, and first of all Aualassus the one of the two brethren before mentioned, sent vnto Constantine the Scotish king, to allure him to ioine with them The Scots ouer false to the Englishmen. The Scots and Danes confederate themselues togither. Malcolme is made chiefe generall of the armie. He is created also heire apparant. The earle of Cumberland heire apparant to the king of Scots. The Scots and Danes ioine their powers togither. They begin a cruell warre. against the Englishmen, which with great gifts and large promises he easilie brought to passe, the league notwithstanding which remained betwixt the English and Scotish nations. Héerevpon both the Scots and Danes made the greatest prouision that might be, thinking verelie to subdue the Englishmen, and to bring them to vtter destruction.

Malcolme sonne to king Donald was appointed by king Constantine to haue the leading of the Scotish armie, conteining the number of twentie thousand men. The same Malcolme also at the same time was created heire apparant of the realme, hauing Cumberland assigned vnto him for the maintenance of his estate. And euen then it was ordeined, that he which should succéed to the crowne after the kings deceasse, should euer inioy that prouince. Malcolme ioining his power with Aualassus and Godfrie (who had assembled in like manner a mightie host of Danes) they all togither brake into the English confines, sparing no kind of crueltie that might be deuised, murthering the people without anie pitie or compassion in all places where they came, to the intent that the Englishmen mooued with the slaughter of their kinsfolks and friends, should come foorth into the field to giue battell, supposing they should not be able to withstand the force of the Danes and Scotishmen now ioined in one armie togithe.

But the more vilanie they shewed in their dooings, the sooner were they punished for the same. For Atheistane the base sonne of king Edward (whome the Englishmen had chosen Athelstane base sonne vnto king Edward. Athelstane came against the Scots. 937. to succéed in gouernement of their kingdome after his fathers deceasse) with all spéed sought to be reuenged of such iniurious dooings. Wherevpon getting togither an armie, he incountred with them at a place called Broningfield, or Brunenburgh, in Iuly, in the yeere 937, where the English at the first of purpose gaue somthing backe, as though they had fled: which manner when the Danes and Scots beheld, supposing the Englishmen had fled in déed, they began to pursue amaine, leauing their order of battell, ech of them striuing The Scots and Danes out of order. who might be the formost.

The Englishmen (according to the order appointed to them by their capteins) suddenlie fell into arraie againe, and fiercelie returning vpon their enimies, did beat them downe in The Scots and Danes ouerthrowne. The nobilitie went to wracke. great numbers, & so atchiued a most triumphant victorie. There died in this mortall battell manie thousands of Danes and Scotishmen, but chieflie the Scotish nobilitie bought the bargaine most déere, who choosing rather to die in the field than to suffer rebuke by dishonorable flight, it came so to passe that few of them escaped. There died on that side (as some write) 20000 men in this battell, togither with Wilfert king of the Guentes, Hanwall king of Britains, and seuen dukes that came to helpe the Scots and Danes. Atheistane by good Athelstane tooke Northumberland. aduise following the victorie, entred into Northumberland, and finding the countrie dispurueied of men of warre, he easilie made a full conquest therof, hauing all the holds and fortresses deliuered into his hands.

Then without further delaie he passed into Westmerland, and after into Cumberland, where Westmerland and Cumberland recouered. the inhabitants of both those regions bare-footed and bare-headed, in token of most humble submission, yéelded themselues vnto him, promising from thencefoorth to continue his faithfull subiects. In the meane time Malcolme being sore wounded in the battell, escaped; Malcolme escaped his hurts. yet with great danger, and in an horsse-litter was conueied home into his countrie, where he declared to king Constantine the whole circumstance of the ouerthrow and losse of his countries aforesaid. Wherevpon Constantine caused a councell to be called at Abirnethie, A councell called by Constantine. where he perceiued how sore his realme was inféebled through lacke of such of the nobilitie as were lost in the last battell, by reason the residue that were left, seemed through want of yéeres, neither able by counsell nor by force to defend the realme, so as he vtterlie despaired either to be of power to beate backe the enimies, or to gouerne his realme in such politike sort as he would haue wished. And therefore, to rid himselfe of all such cares and troubles, and withall despising all such worldlie pompe as might withdraw him from diuine contemplation (wherevnto he was partlie bent) he gaue ouer his kinglie estate, and Constantine becommeth a canon. 943. became a canon within the abbeie of saint Andrewes amongst the couent there.

This was in the yéere of our Sauiour 943, and in the fortith yéere of his owne reigne (as Hector Boetius saith:) but if he did thus forsake the world, and entred into religion immediatlie after the battell fought at Broningfield or Brunenburgh (for so we find it named by Matth. West. some writers) then must it needes be before this supposed time alledged by the same Boetius, for that battell was fought anno 937, as the best approoued amongst our English writers doo report, so that it should rather séeme that Constantine refused in déed to deale with the gouernement of the realme, about the same yéere of our Lord 937, or shortlie after; and that Malcolme gouerned as regent and not as king whilest Constantine liued, who departed this life (after he had continued in the abbeie of saint Andrewes a certeine time) in the foresaid yéere 943, falling in the fortie yéere after he first began to reigne. He was first buried 943. Constantine died. in the church there amongst the bishops, but afterwards he was taken vp and translated vnto Colmekill, where he had a toome set ouer him, as was conuenient for the memorie of his name.

In the 36 yéere of his reigne there were two monstrous creatures borne in Albion, the A monster. one amongst the Danes being an hermaphrodyte, that is to say, a child with both sexes, hauing the head like a swine, the brest standing foorth more in resemblance than the common shape of man, a fat bellie, with féete like a goose, legs like a man, full of bristels, and a verie euill fauored thing to behold. The other was borne in Northumberland, onelie An other monster. hauing a mans sex, with one whole bellie from the nauill downe, but aboue the same diuided with two brests creasted or compassed ridge-wise, and not broad like to the shape of man: beside this it had foure armes and two heads. And euen as from the nauill vpwards it was thus diuided into two bodies, so did it appeare there was two contrarie wils or desires in the Two contrarie willes in this monster. same, euer lusting contrarilie, as when the one did sléepe, the other would wake; when the one required to haue meat, the other passed for none at all. Oftentimes would they chide and brall togither, insomuch that at length they fell so far at variance, that they did beat and rent either other verie pitifullie with their nailes. At length the one with long sickenesse wearing away and finallie deceassing, the other was not able to abide the gréeuous One part died before the other. Bloud issued out of an hill. smell of the dead carcase, but immediatlie after died also.

About the same time there issued foorth a founteine of bloud out of the side of a mounteine in Galloway, and flowed in great abundance for the space of seuen daies togither, so that all the riuers therabout (whereof there is great store in that countrie) had their waters mixed with bloud, and so running into the sea, caused the same to séeme bloudie certeine miles distant from the shore. These prodigious sights put men in great feare, for that What was ment by these woonders. diuinours did interpret the same to signifie some great bloudshed to fall vpon the Scots shortlie after. They were also the better beléeued, for that within a while after, that great ouerthrow happened at Broningfield, as before is specified.

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