eBooksRead.com books search new books
Polydore Vergil.

Polydore Vergil's English history, from an early translation preserved among the mss. of the old royal library in the British museum online

. (page 13 of 30)
Online LibraryPolydore VergilPolydore Vergil's English history, from an early translation preserved among the mss. of the old royal library in the British museum → online text (page 13 of 30)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook
possessed, distributed the same emonge them, as wee shall here-
after make rehersall ; which thing was not ordered bie common
cowncell or assente, but as everie manne being moste of mighte
woulde lay clame to enie parte, soe did hee institute his imperie.
And to the Britons which hadd escaped the sackinge and demo-
lition of their contrie was surrendred a portion of the Ilonde,
bowndinge westeward, which the Englishemen afterwarde termed
Wales, and the people Wallshemenn, bie reason the Germanians,
as I sayd in the firste booke of this volume, doe call all foriners
which have a divers language Walsmen, that is to say, aliens or
straungers, of the which sorte thei, havin engroched the whole
type of the region, accounted those Brittons which weare the
survivers of the progenie. I will not alltogether use silence how
David busshop of Meneva, a litell beefore the excision of the
contrie, throughe the singuler sanctimonie of his livinge, as well
alive as deadd was notorius in miracles, and as yet is. At this



Digitized by



Google



THB THIRD BOOK. 125

time Constantine, kinge of Scottes, whome we recited beefore as
a fiautor of the Brittishe afiayres^ died withowte issew; after
whome succeeded Congallus, his nephew on his brother's side.
These kinges ensewed^ Goranus^ a stowte manne, Eugenius the
thirde, Convallus, Anitillus Aydanus, Cbennethus, Eugenius the
fowrthe^ for the fowrthe, Donwaldus Maldvinus, Eugenius the
£fte^ Eugenius the vj. and Ambercletus. These menu did endevor
nothing more then continuallie to make warre on the Pictes^ and
emonge the reste especiaUie Ambercletus^ whoe in the ende
perished in those battayles. I suppose they didd forsee in there
imagination how the one in conclusion wold destroye the other^ as
in the end indeade it camme to passe.



Digitized by



Google



126



THE PREFACE OF THE IIIJ. BOOKE.



Wb have aboove expressed the deades and exploits of the
Britons unto the comming of Ceesar into the Ilonde, written as
indifferentlie worthie the credit ; the residue allso^ beeing serched
forthe with no small travayle, I have hetherto layde abrode
accordinge to trathe as thinggs which I have glened owte of goodd
authors : and so bie writinge I am comme to the destruction of
the Brittishe kingdom, founded on littell principels, yeat af terward,
when it was growne to great perfection and midestie, and esta-
blished with artilerie, lawse, relUgion, and counoell, at the lengthe
it came to mine, even as in aundent times the mightie dominions
of the Assirians, Medes, Persians, Macedonians, and Romans,
camme to desolation ; suche is the fickel nature, and propensitee
to deathe, bothe of menne and humune afiayres. Yeat the force
of nature, leaste it showlde apeare to injurius is this, that of how
muche it beereeveth us in one place, soe muche is it woonte to
yealde and repaye in an other, rendering like for like, or somtimes
in more ample wise. Troye, as is well knowne, was raced and
consumed, yeat the Troyans which escaped bylded Alba, of Alba
sprange that puissant Rome. Even so, after the overthrowe of
the Britons, leaste the riolme showlde seme destitute of fraunchise
and imperie, the dominion of the Engleshemen, as a fresshe burden
and ofspringe of nature, beeganne therin, and bie litel and littel
aspired to great welthe and opulencie. But the Englishe princes



Digitized by



Google



PREFACE OP BOOK IV. 127

from the b^nninge partinge the kingdom beetweene them, and
after that noe manne being contente with his owne limites and
bowndes, whilest everie one was over careful for his owne kingdom,
they fell into civile contention, which thinge indeade was not soe
great a detrement as a wonderus good toome unto them, a thing
marvaylus to be toUde, in so miche that a manne wolde easlie
beeleeve that the cheefe piers, while thei skowrged one an other
with suche mutuall plagues, didd attempte nothinge ells but of a
littell soe to enlarge the common welthe, and to derive it to suche
absolute fourme as in conclusion most surelie it camme unto, for
at the lengthe the monarchic was devoluted to one onlie, whoe
encreased the same moste of all others, levinge it most safelie
fenced to the successors. Of these thinges I must nowe especialie
entreat, which I will earnestlie endeavor, and as trewlie I canne
perfourme; but before that, I will particulerlie expownde and
shewe the distribution of the Ilond beetweene the princes, and of
the vij. kinges, (for somtimes so manie weare there at one season),
strivinge and fightiiige together, to the entent that the reader in
suche an auncient matter may understande first of all what
borders everie of their kingdoms hadde, albeit they never hadd
certaine and determinat spaces or limites, bie cause the divers
chance and ende of battayle, as hereafter shall bee shewed, did
sometime farre enlarge theim, somtimes restraine them vend
narrowlie.



Digitized by



Google



128 HISTORY OF ENGLAND.

THE FOURTH BOOKE

OF POLIDOR VERGILL ON THE ENGLISHE HI8TORIE.



The Kentishe kingdom was the firste of all others ; for Hen-
gistus, as beefore wee declared^ possessed Kente, caUinge him selfe
kinge therof. This kingdom hadde on the east and sowthe side
the ocean sea, on the northe the river Thames^ on the weaste it
was limited by the Sowthe Saxons^ and finallie it conteined soe
mutche grownde in circuite as the dioceses of the Busshopps of
Cantwarburie and Rochestre comprehendethe at this daye. After
Hengistus succeaded his sonnes Osca and Otha, Hunericus aUso^
and Ethelbertus, being the v^^ from Engistus, a manne noe lesse
milde in innocentie, then noble in minde, and verie industrious as
towchinge warfare^ whoe^ after he had once attained quietnes in
forrein contries, in noe wise abiding the restines of ease, was the
first that moved warrs againste the princes of his owne nation :
wherebie he is reported to have enlarged his kingdome even to the
river Humber : nether didd hee seeme to doe it contrarie to the
lawe of armes, because the reallme newlie distracted from the
Britons semed even as then to lie voyde for suche as cowlde en <
joye it : and whoe soe cowlde defete others of enie portion semed
to have as good titell as the beste. This goodd prince (like unto
whome there were fewe in those dayse) to the perfect consumation
of his glorie wanted nothinge but the divine knowlege of the trewe
relligion, wherefore it happened bie the providence of AUmightie
Godde that hee espowsed a wife of Frenche line named Bertha, a
most Christian ladie, with whome emonge others camme an hoUie
bisshoppe called Lothardus, whoe bothe afterwarde usinge dayli^ the



Digitized by



Google



THE FOURTH BOOK. 129^

rightes of their relligion in the courte and paUace^ did beegin noe
doubte to lighten with the resplendent rayes and beames of celes-
tiall lighte the minde of this prince being overwhelmed in pro-
founde darcknes^ and trayned him to the discipline of the Ghos-
pell^ which at the lengthe hee embraced. Sainct Gregorie aboute
that time sent into Brittaine Augustine and Miletus, two monaches
of sownde livinge^ with divers others, who when they arrived in
Kente, thei were verie jentlie entertayned of Ethelbertus, being
now well instructed hie his wife and the hollie admonitions of
Lethardos that he showlde not abhorr the Christian name, hie the
preachinge and exhortations of the which menne hee first of all,
and consequentlie all the Englishe menne, as wee will shewe in
convenient place, didd wholie receave the opinion of our relligion.
This was the dgiij. yeare from the birthe of Christe. Augustine
was driven to the He in Kent called Tanet, which boundeth east*
warde, and is skarce ix. miles longe and ij. in breadthe lytic lesse,
but a fewe yeares since a littel arme of the water was so over-
commed wherebie it was disjoyned fro the next firme lande that
now a good peece of it is united and woonne to the soyle. Ther is
allso an other He at the entrie of the Thames not muche bi^er
termed Heppia. But as towching that poincte whie the Englishe
people were cheefelie made Christian hie the helpe of Gregori
Bisshop of Rome, it is lefte in memorie that this was the cause :
it cam so to passe that certaine bond children of Englond of ex-
cellent bewtie wear browght to Rome to be sowlde, whome when
Gregorius hadd scene, being then a secular preest, he is reported
greatlie to have mervayled at their witte and welfaverdnes, and as
hee was a manne of great sinceretee, soe did hee lament their
chaunce that soe goodlie a kinde of menn was ignorant in the trew
Godd; wherefore- afterward aspiringe to the busshopricke, hee pre-
ferred nothing in the world beefore the winninge of Englishemeim
to the societe of the Christian common welthe. Thus the relligion
of Christe was at the lengthe restored againe in the Ilond, which,
after that King Lucius hadde firste receaved the same, sometime

CAMD. soe. 8



Digitized by



Google



vl30 HISTORY OF ENGLAND.

4t beihge oppressed bie the Romains^ sometime bie the Saxons,
^idde onnlie remaine emonge the Brittons, that is to say, Walls-
men, albeit it was never but privatlie celebrated for feare of ty-
rants. Thus Augustine didde exceadinglie well deserve of relligion,
as one whoe astemed all daungers and discommoditees as trifles
in respecte of the salvation of manne^ and being made an arche-
bisshoppe^ perswaded with Gregorius that the see of the arche-
busshopp^ which from the firste receavinge of the Christian piete
imder the reigne of Lucius was allways at London^ mighte from
thence be translated to Cantaburie* Miletus, the companion of
Augustine^ was apointed Busshoppe of London dioces after the
transposinge of the archebusshopricke. Augustine forthewith^
after the disposition of this seat at Cantuarburie, dedicated unto
Christe the sumptuous temple which^ as the brute goethe, was
there erected of the Romtdnes to their prophane goddes, there
placinge the chayer of the busshop metropolitan. Likewise when
hee hadde confirmed the foundacion of the Christian relligion
emong the inhabitants of Kente, he consulted with Gregorius as
towchinge the promulgation of lawse^ whoe made these decrees :
that suche things as weare geeven for howsold stuffe^ parte therof
showlde be contributed to the busshoppe, wheareof he shoulde
maintaine an howse of hospitalitee^ an other parte to the other
preestes, the thirde to poore folke^ the fourthe for the reparacion
of churches, that divine service mighte be executed in the best
wise ; that sacrilege and churche robbers shoulde bee soe emestlie
punished that they might acknowlege their offence, and restore if
it weare possible the stowUne gooddes : that in the contracting of
matrimonie it shold bee lawfuU for the Englishemenn to marie
with the fowrthe degree of consanguinete and kinred> or at the
leastwise within the fifte^ for that is more certaine : that the Bu^
shopps which weare ordeined of Augustine should be consecrated
of three or fower Bisshopps ; besides this^ that Augustine him
selfe showld clayme no jurisdiction over the Frenche Bisshops ;
finallie^ that a woman great with childe^ beinge noe Christian,.



Digitized by



Google



THE FOURTH BOOK. 131

flhowlde be baptized, and after her deliveries according to the aun-
cient usage, after xxxiij. or xlvj. dayes shoulde be pourged, or enter
into the churche beefore if shee weare desierus. Not longe after
this Gregorius wrote letters unto Ethelbertus the Kinge greatlie
commendinge his sincere devotion in receavinge the woorde of
Godde, exhorting him to persevere in that hollie trade of life,
whearbie he mighte worthelie receive reward of Godde. But now
to the former purpose.

Moreover this noble Prince Ethelbertus, at the request of Au-
gustine, fownded a church to Sainct Peter and Powle the apostels,
adominge the same with large giftes, which after beecam the more
of renowne throwghe the sepulture of Augustine himselfe and the
Einges of Kente ; and another peculierlie to Saynct Powle at Lon-
don (which cittie a littell beefore hee hadde broughte under his
jurisdiction), and another hee dedicated to Sainct Andrew at Ro-
chester, gamishinge them bothe with bounteus liberalitie. Besides
these he dayle employed suche godlie woorckes, at the which time
Augustine, whoe hadd as it weare alltogether devoted himselfe to
the fortifieng and increase of relligion at home and abrode, fore-
seeinge that in shorte space hee shoulde bee unburdened of this
life, and fering leaste the sheepe which bie divine power he hadde
gathered in to the flocke shoulde straye into contagius and deadlie
pastures, beinge destitute of a sheepeherd, hee chose his compa-
nion Laurentius, a manne of noe lesse profounde leaminge than
excellent demainor, and commended his sheepe to himme, sainge
thus, or like to this : ^ 1 praye thee, O deare Laurentius, that
treadinge under thie feete all worldlie affaires, with prayenge and
preachinge, as it behoovethe a goodd bishoppe, that thow wilte
have singuler regarde to the salvation of those menu :' within
shorte time after, this hollie father disseased, the xv. yeare after the
beginninge of his residence there. His bodie restethe in the
churche of Sainct Peter and Powle, allbeit it was not as yet finished.
His soule joyfuUie no doubte ascended to Godd the Father, to
f eceave in heaven the reward of his travaile, as it is justle to bee



Digitized by



Google



132 HISTORY OF ENGLAND.

thought of all men, seenge that for the sake of this Augastine,
the veri apostel of the EngUshe people (for soe is hee termed of
Englishemenn), great woonders and grace is daylie shewed. Ethel-
bertus died the xxi. yeare after hee beecame Christian, and the
Ivi. yeare of his reigne, a manne sorelie at all times and of all
men greatlie to bee commended, espedallie of the better sorte,
bothe for the receaving of Christes reliigion and geevenge the same
to his people, and allso in that hee was wholie inclined to pietee,
for even to the yerie laste houre of his life his merites weare sin-
guler towarde the Christian common wealthe, of the which after
his deathe hee was not unworthelie ascribed emonge the sainctes.
His corps was caried to the churche of the apostells and there en-
terred, and at this daie is in miracles resplendent.

After that in this maturitee of years Ethelbertas was deceased, his
Sonne Eklbaldus, being the vj. from Hengistus, was created kinge, be-
ing as then but a yerie childe, whearbie, when he cam to his owne
swinge, hee casting beehinde his backe the howlsom precepts of his
father, gaye him selfe wholie to all yicius behayior, and firste of all
other thinges maried his steppe mother ; secondarilie hee soe re-
nownced the Christian reliigion, so dispised and persecuted the
same, that as a pestilence hee seemed to detest and abhorre it, inso-
mutche that it camme to passe that manie, what for thefeare of there
prince, what for there owne madnes, they chauiiged the yertaus
institution of their life ; notwithstandinge that the archebisshopp
Laurentius didd not cease from his accustomed exhortations to
the people as towchinge theire persisting in their former race, for
the which cause the kinge was wonderuslie mooyed at himme :
but the good prelate did longe suffer injuries pacientlie, but in the
ende, when he perceayed that hee did but leese his brethe and
laboure in preachinge and admonishinge, sithe the ranckeure of
this tyrante daylie encreased towardes the Christians, hee minded
to fieete into Fraunce, folowinge Miletus and Justus, two bus-
shops, whoe, as wee shall elswhear make rehersall, departed thi-
ther, beinge exiled bie the sonne of Sibertus Kinge of the E^t



Digitized by



Google




THE FOURTH BOOK. ^ ""^ J 33



Saxons. But while hee addressed him selfe to this jomie^ in his
vision it seemed to him that Saint Peeter greatlie reprehended and
punished him, in that hee, being unmindefull of the commandement
of Augustine, wolde for the feare of penalltee leave his flocke to
bee devoured of woolves ; with which thinge he was soe feared that,
sodainlie chaunginge his purpose, hee ceased from his enterprise ;
which thinge, when it was for certaintee intimated to Edbaldus,
being stirred with this divine matter, hee asked pardon of Lauren-
tius, and foorthewith disanullinge his filthie wedlocke, entred the
trew saving helthe and was baptized; he revoked Miletus and Jus-
tus, and soe refourmed his life that it was evidentlie tried that
his vitius yowthe was a pleasure unto him ; but the Londiners,
which served idowlls, wold in noe wise receave Miletus, and for
that reeson he made his abode in Kent, and not longe after, Lau-
rentius beinge deedd, he was consecrate archebusshop as third
from Augustine, whoe when he hadd wrought manie thinggs
worthie to be woondered at, the iiij. yeare after the begiuninge
of his residens, he passed from his mortall life into etemall.
After Miletus succeaded Justus, worthie of that appellation for his
justice. In the bisshopricke of London Cedas succeded Miletus,
the brother of Sainct Cedda or Chadde ; after Cedde, Winas ; after
Winas, Erchenwald, that righte hoUie father, who to the ende hee
mighte conferr all his substance to the communite and participation
of the relligius,hee founded two abbayse, one of monaches of thorder
of Sainct Benedicte, at Chertsey, a village in the countie of Surrye,
an other of noonnes at Barchinge, a village standing on the bancke
of the Thames estwarde vij. miles from London. But I will re-
tire to mie matter. In the meane while Edbaldus, when he was
becomm not muche inferior to his father in good deads and
sanctitee, died the xxv. yeare after the beginninge of his reigne,
whome everie mane bothe maye justlie and owghte to prayse and
honor exceadinglie, for bie how muche it was longer ere ever he
attained to the knowledge of the Scriptures, bie somuche didde
hee the more ardendie embrace the same, so that it was not



Digitized by



Google



134 HISTORY OF ENGLAND.

easie to be discried whoe better deserved of our relligion^ whether
his father^ in that he acknowleged and receaved it before him ;
or hee, in that hee redressed and renewed it being eche where
explosed and contemned*

Next unto him reyned his sonne Ei^ombertus, not muche unlike
to his father nether in loove towards his coontrie^ nether in devotion
towards Godd ; for he^ folowinge the example of his grandefather
and father^ made flatte with the grownde the chappels of the hethen
goddes which asyet weare remaininge, that vaine superstition mighte
bee clene eradicate and destroied^ for as longe as their weare enie
remainders of prophane temples dedicat to falls godds^ it was not
easie to withdrawe the hartes and mindes of men from the fana-
ticke worshippinge of idolls. Bie these goddlie factes it camme to
passe that xxv. years he administred peaceablie the kingdom which
he had regallie furnished with lawse and ordinances.

At this season died Justus the archebisshoppe of Canterburie^
after manie his goodlie woorckes for the beawtifienge of the region,
who a littell beefore hadd consecrated Paulinus Bushoppe of
Yorcke, the companion of him and Miletus sente longe before into
the Ilond bie Gregorius, unto whom he enjoyned this busines to
enstructe the people of Northe Humberlande in the Ghospell,
which, as it shallbee declared in an other place, hee didde verie
well and diligentlie. Not long before, Boniface the Bisshopp of
Rome hadde geeven power unto Justus to make Bisshops, as
Bedas witnessethe, and within a little after that Honorius beinge
Bishop of Rome sendinge his palle to Honorius Archebusshop of
Canterburie confirminge the same, and graun tinge that as often as
it showld happen the Archebisshopp of Canterburie or Yorcke to
bee deade and the sea voyde, hee tliat was the surviver showlde
consecrate him which was chosen in the other's place ; least if that
function shoulde be demaunded of the Busshoppe of Rome, or the
Frenche Archebisshops, relligion newlie sprong emong the Eng-
lishemenne might percase suffer detrement. Next unto Justus
succeded Honorius^ after him Theodatus, after Theodatus Theo*



Digitized by



Google



THE FOURTH BOOK. 135

doms the Tij. from Augustine, whoe at his verie first takinge his
office called a congregation of busshops and preests, wherein
•wreare made divers decrees to all orders of menn veri conducible
to the blessed leadinge of their lives. The cheefe of theire acts
and injunctions Bedas reciteth in the iiijth booke and vth chapiter
of his Ecclesiasticall Historic, whereof it is the lesse requisite that
I showlde entreat. After the death of Ercombertus, his sonne
Egbertus attained the regall crowne, of whome there is noe notable
deade in minde by reason of the shortnes of his time : somme
there are that have lefte in writinge that bie the meanes and
woorckinge of Egbertus, his uncles, two moste hoUie menne^
Ethelbertus and Ethelbrittus, were put to deathe, whose bodies
weare buried in the abbaye of Ramsie. Notwithstandinge that
it is crediblie thought that Egbertus didd sore fore thincke
liimme of this detestable facte, yeat veangeance was taken
on his Sonne Lotharius, accordinge to the divine oracle in
Exodus, the 34 chapter: visiting the iniquitie of fathers on
their sonnes to the thirde and fourthe generation. This manne
havinge layde an evel foundacion in the goveminge of the reallme,
within shorte space, bie the procurement of Edricus, the sonne of
Ethelbertus, (whoes restles rage pricked him to the revengement
of his father's deathe,) he fell into civile dissention, in the which,
emonge the Kentishemen, who in sodaine uprore rose agaynst
himme, hee was sore wownded, and shortly died under the
handes of the leches and surgeons. Under the reigne of Lotha-
rius the Archbisshop Theodorus called another convent of man!
busshops, wherin the estate of relligion and orders of priesthoode
were newlie sifted and redressed, for not beefore that time hadd
die Englishe churche receaved those former hoUie sinods and
counsels kepte amonge the Greekes, wherin manie hereses weare
abolished owt of the Christian Churche.

After Lotharius, Edricus, the sonne of Ethelbertus, was made
kinge, whoe being wrapped in domesticall contention, wherof him-
selfe was author, two years beinge skarcelie accomplished, hee was



Digitized by



Google



136 HISTORY OF ENGLAND.

of his owne subjects stripped from the imperie, and beereeved of his
life ; which thinge beinge once blowne abrode^ Cedowalla, kinge of
the weste partes^ beetweene whome and theKentishe menn was ever
deadlie hatred, accompanied with his brother Molo, sodaynlie in-
vaded the Kentisshe territories and, without resistance, made great
spoyle, wastinge all that hee coulde reache, buminge in rage againste
all men. The Kentisshe menne, feeling themselves wownded with
suche sodaine discommoditees, hie necessitee constrayned to aban-
don all feare, ranne upon theire enemies with suche a bande as thei
coulde gather in that distresse. The westeme menne, not able tc
susteyne their violent incursion, but levinge behinde them a great
parte of their bootie^ ran awaye, forsaking Molo in the middest of
his enemies. Molo, beinge destitute of his fellawshipp, fledd, and
hidd himselfe in the next vile cotage, whome his enemies pursew-
ing, caste fier into it and stifeled him. Thus the inhabitants of
Kente beinge delivered from this present perill, makinge noe deli-
beration or provision for these things, strove emonge themselves
for the creation of their kinge. Whilest manie were desierus of
the kingdom, Vithredus, the other son of Egbertus, when bi dili-
gence hee hadd extinguished envie, and hadd reconciled the next
borderers with monnie, with the great hope of his cittizens he was
made kinge, beinge the xi. from Hengistus. At this season Theo-
dorus the Archebusshopp yealded upp his life, in whose place was
instituted on Brithowaldus, first of the Englishe busshopps, (for
the others wear all Italians,) beinge the eighte in order of the
bisshopps. Withredus beinge an approoved good manne, and
verie desierus of quietnes, when he understoode that Ina, the
westeme kinge, prepared to make warre against himm, he procured
his frindeshippe with a great somme of monnie. And when hee
hadd thus obtened peace he fuUie fixed his minde on godlines,
havinge Oodde's true relligion in great price, and fumishinge the
realme with hollsomm decrees, and finallie, that nothing mighte
bee wantinge to the unfeyned felidtee, (that which menne accounte
noe small matter,) hee begott iij. sonnes, not unlike to himme



Digitized by



Google



TIIR FOURTH nOOK. IS?



Online LibraryPolydore VergilPolydore Vergil's English history, from an early translation preserved among the mss. of the old royal library in the British museum → online text (page 13 of 30)
Using the text of ebook Polydore Vergil's English history, from an early translation preserved among the mss. of the old royal library in the British museum by Polydore Vergil active link like:
read the ebook Polydore Vergil's English history, from an early translation preserved among the mss. of the old royal library in the British museum is obligatory.

Leave us your feedback | Links exchange | RSS feed 

Online library ebooksread.com © 2007-2014