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Saxons, in the latter time of king Alfred, or in the beginning of Edward the
eldest ; and so was adjoined to the West Saxons, beginning in the year 586. It
endured for the space of 315 years, till about the latter end of Alfred, by whom
it was joined to the kingdom of the West Saxons. This kingdom stretched
out to Huntingdonshire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Worcester, Warwick,
Litchfield, Coventry, Chester, Derbyshire, StaSbrdshire, Shrewsbury, Oxford,
Buckingham, Dorchester, Lincoln, Leicester, etc.


The Kings of the East Saxons, with the Years of their Reign.

A n. Vcars Years

5G1 Erchwin, reigned 35 Switheline , 14

Sledda 17 Sigherius,sonof SigeberttheLittle."

604 Sebert, or Sigebert" 14 Sebbi, son of Seward, which was

Sexred, Seward, and Sigebert,' made a monk.

brethren (slain) Sigehard and Suefrid, brethrei\.... 8

Sigebert, the Little 23 Otta" 5

Sigehert, the Good,* or Sibert Selred, or Colred (slain) 33

(slain) Swithrcd

This Swithred was subdued unto Egbert, king of \\e%i Saxons, albeit London
remained under the Mercians to the time that they also were subdued to the
West Saxons. This kingdom began in the year 561, and so continued till tlie
time of Egbert. Some stories say it continued till the time of Edward son of
Alfred, about the coming of the Danes, and contained under it the lordship of
Middlesex and London. The metropolitan see of this province of Essex was
London, where the famous church of St. Paul was builded by Ethelbert king of
Kent, and Sebert king of Essex, whom Ethelbert had lately before turned to
Christ's faith ; whereof the first bishop was Mellitus, the second bishop was

(1) Under Ethelbald died Bede. Ethelbald gave, that all churches, should be free from all
exactions and public charges.

(2) This Bcriired, for his pride and stoutness toward his people, was by them deposed; and the
same year, by the just judgment of God, burned. — Histor. Cariens.

(3) Offa, causing or consenting to the death of good Ethelbert, king of the East Angles, peace-
ably coming to marry his daughter, for repentance caused the Peter-pence first to be given to
Home, and there did his penance.

(•I) This Kenelm, being seven years of age, was wickedly slain, after he had reigned six

(5) This Ludecane afler the second year of his reign, was slain of Egbert, king of the West
Saxons, by whom tlie rest of the Saxons were also subdued.

(6) This Sebert, nephew to Ethelbert king of Kent, among these kings was first christened by
Mellitus : he also made the church of Paul's.

(7) Sexred, Seward and Sigebert expelled ISfcllitus the bishop, because he would not mini-
ster to them the sacramental bread, they being not baptized. They were slain of Kinegils and
Quicheline his brother, by the just judgment of God, for they revolted again from their faith,
and expelled Mellitus bishop of London. , , j , , •

(8) This Sigebert the Good, or Sibert, much resorting to Osw>' king of Northumberland, by his
persuasion was brought to christian baptism, baptized of Finian, bishop, to whom Jilso was sent
Cedde with other ministers to preach and to baptize in his country. At last he was slain of his
men about him, using too much to spare his enemies, and to forgive their injuries that repented.

(9) This Sigherius and Sebbi first fell to idolatry ; then, through the means of Ulfer or Wolfer
king of Mcrcia, were reduced, and at last Sebbi became a monk.

(lo; OlTa, after he had reigned a while, became a monk at Koine.


Cedda, tlie third came in by simony, whose name was Wine.' After liim was The
Erkenwald, of whom writeth Bade, that he, being diseased in his legs so that lie Saxons.
could not go nor ride, yet would be carried about in a litter, to preach in his
diocese, etc. Although William of Malmesburj', writing of the bishops of
London in his book " De Vitis Pontificum," saith that Maurice, first the king's
chancellor, then bishop there, did first begin this so large and famous building
of the chin-ch of St. Paul in London ; which work after him Richard, his suc-
cessor, did prosecute, bestowing all the rents of his bishopric upon the same,
and yet was scarcely seen [to make any progress].^ Yet herein may be an-
swered peradventure, that the church builded before by king Ethelbert and king
Sigebert, might be overthrown by the Danes, and afterward was re-edified
by these bishops above mentioned.

The Kings of East Angles, with the Years of their Reign.

Years Years

UfFa, or Ulfa,3 reigned 30 Adelhere, or Adelrcd (slain) 2

Titulus, or Titila 13 Adelwold, or Ethelbald 9

Redwald* 12 Adulph 25

Erpwald, or Corpwalous (slain) ... 38 Elkwold 12

Sigebert, or Sibrect,^ first a monk Beorna 2G

(slain) 3 Ethelred (slain) 52

Egnic, or Egric (slain) 3 Ethelbright, or Ethelbert ^ (slain) 5

Anna (slain)5 3

After the sinful murder of Ethelbert, the kingdom of East Angles, during the
term of certain years, was in great trouble and desolation, under divers kings
and tyrants ; sometimes the king of Westsax, sometimes of Kent or of Mercia,
having dominion over them ; till the coming of St, Edmund, who was the last
king there ruling under the West Saxons.

St. Edmund (martyred) reigned 16 years.

After the death of St. Edmund, being slain of the infidel Danes, the kingdom
remained with the Danes fifty years, till at length Edward, king of the West
Saxons, expulsed the Danes, and joined it to his kingdom. It began about the
year of our Lord 5G1, and continued near about 350 years. Fabian numbereth
but twelve kings, but in others I find more.

The metropolitan see of this province of East Angles was first at a town called
Dunmoke, or Dunwich,^ which in times past hath been a famous and populous
town, with a mayor and four bailiffs, and also divers parish churches and hospi-
tals, whereunto great privileges by divers kings have been granted ; which
town is now fallen into ruin and decay, and more than half consumed by the
eating in of the sea, as also greatly impoverished by loss of the haven, which
heretofore hath flourished with divers tall ships belonging to the same (the
inhabitants thereof being not able of themselves to repair it without the help of
other good people) ; where the first bishop was Felix, a Burgundian, who sat
there fourteen years. After this, unto the time of Egbert king of Westsax, this
province was ever ruled by two bishops, whereof the one had his see at Dun-
moke, now called Dunwich ; the other at Hemaham,^ where ten sat one after
another. From thence it was translated to Thetford, where sat two bishops.
At last, by bishop Herbert it was removed to Norwich, where he erected a
monastery of monks.

(1) Malmesb. de Vitis Pont.

(2) Malmesbury's words are, " propemodum nihil efficere vlsus est." — Ed.

(3) Of this UfTa, the people of Norfolk were then called Uskins [or " Uffings." Higden.— Ed.]

(4) Redwald first was converted in Kent. Afterward through the wicked persuasions of his
■wife and others, he joined idolatry with Christianity. Notwithstanding his son Erpwald through
the means of Edwin king of Northumberland, was brought to the perfect faith of Christ, and
therein faithfully did continue.

(5) This Sigebert made himself a monk, and afterward brought out to fight against Penda with
a white stick in his hand, was slain in the field.

(6) The daughters of Anna were Sexburga, Ethelberta, and St. Etheldreda.

(7) This Ethelbert for his holiness and godly virtues is counted for a saint ; he, innocently
coming to Olfa king of Mercia, to marry with Althrid his daughter, by the sinister suspicion of
Offa, and wicked counsel of Kineswina his wife, was cruelly put to death in the house of OlTa.
For the which cause Offa, afterward repenting, went to Rome, where he made himself a monk.

(8) This Dunwich lieth upon the sea side, in Sulfolk.

(9) North Elmham, in Norfolk.— Ed.


The And thus standeth the order and race of the Saxon kings, reigning together

Saxons, •\vith the Britons in this realm. Now foUoweth tlie description of the British

kings, reigning with the Saxons in like manner.

Although the miserable Britons thus uere bereaved of their land,
by the cruel subtlety of the Saxons, yet were they not so driven out
or expelled, but that a certain kingdom remained among them in some
part of the land, namely about Cornwall, and the parts of Cambria,
which is divided in two parts, South Wales called Demctia, and
North Wales called Venedocia. The said Britons, moreover, through
the valiant acts of their kings, sometimes reigned also in other countries,
displacing the Saxons, and recovering again their own, sometimes
more, sometimes less, till the time of Carccius, when the Britons,
being deposed by Gormund (whose help they themselves sent for out
of Ireland against Carecius their wicked king), utterly lost their land
and kingdom ; being thence driven utterly into Wales and Cornwall,
A.D. 586. What the order of these kings was, what were their acts,
their names and times when they reigned, in this brief table under-
written is expressed. Wherein, first, is to be premonished that
Constantine the Second had three children, to Avit, Constans, who
■was made a monk in Winchester, and after made a king ; the second
was Aurelius Ambrosius ; the third was Uther Pendragon. This
being premised, we will now enter the description of our Table,
beginning with Vortigern.

A Table declaring the Kings of Britain which reigned together with
the Saxons, after their coming into their land.
Vortigern. Aurehus Ambrosius. Constantine III. Malgc.

Vortimer. Uther Pendragon. Aurehus Conanus. Carecius, or

Vortigern again. Arthur. Vortiporius. Careticus.

Here is to be understood that these British kings above mentioned
did not so reign here in this land from the time of Vortigern, that
they had the lull government over all the whole realm, but only over
parcels or parts, such as by force of arms they could cither hold or
win from the Saxons ; who, coming in daily, and growing upon
them, did so replenish the land with multitudes of them, that the
Britons at length were neither able to hold that Avhich they had, nor
to recover that which they lost ; leaving example to all ages and
What it countries, what it is first to let in foreign nations into their dominion,
insuange ^^t especially what it is for princes to join in marriage with infidels,
nations, ^g this Vortigcm did with Hengist's daughter, which was the mother
xiix'hm- of all this mischief; giving to the Saxons not only strength, but also
^*'^" occasion and courage to attempt that which they did. Neither was
this unconsidered before of the British lords and nobility, who, wor-
thily being therewith offended, justly deposed their king, and en-
throned Vortimer his son in his room. By the which Vortimer,
being a puissant prince, the Saxons were then repulsed, and driven
again into Germany, where they stayed a while till the death of
Vortimer, whom Rowena, daughter of Hengist, caused traitorously
to be poisoned. Then Vortigern being restored again to his king-
dom, tlirough the entreaty of Rowena his wife, sent into Germany
mumV again for Hengist, who, ellsoons making his return, came in with a
Hengist. jiavy of three hundred ships well appointed.*

(1) So says Hardyng in liis Chronicle : Hector lioethius says, "cum numerosa classe navium :"
but M.Wcstm. and Fordun say, " cum tribus inillibus armatorum sibi sociatis."— Ed.


The nobles of Britain, hearing this, prepared themselves on the The
contrary side in all forceabic wise to put them off. But Hengist, """^"
through Rowena his daughter, so laboured the king, excusing him-
self, and saying that he brought not the multitude to work any vio- oissem-
lence either against him or against his country, but only thinking ^""g^ ^^
that Vortimer had yet been alive, whom he minded to impugn for ^^^ sax-
the king's sake, and to take his part. And now, forsomuch as he cdve°the'
heareth of the death of Vortimer his enemy, he therefore committeth ^"'°"^-
both himself and his people to his disposition, to appoint how few or
how many of them he would, to remain within his land ; the rest
should return. And if it so pleased the king to appoint day and
place where they might meet and talk together of the matter, both
he and his would stand to such order as the king with his council
should appoint. With these fair words well contented, the king
and his nobles did assign to them both day and place, which was in
the town of Ambry,^ where he meant to talk with them ; adding this
condition withal, that each part should come without any manner of
weapon. Hengist, showing himself well agreed thereto, gave privy " Neme
intelligence to his side, that each man should carry with him secretly ces","the
in his hose a long knife, with their watch-word also given unto them, ^atch-
when they should draw their knives, wherewith every Saxon should The no.
(and so did) kill the Briton with whom he talked, as is above de- stVoyed^"
clared. The British lords being slain, the Saxons took Vortigern The kin?
the king and bound him ; for whose ransom they required to be de- ed"^°™
livcred to them the cities of London, York, Lincoln, Winchester, Jns*^ enter
with other the most strong holds within the land; which being to po^**^^-
them granted, they begin to make spoil and havoc of the British land,
nation, destroying the citizens, plucking down churches, killing up Bruons^"
the priests, burning the books of the holy Scripture, leaving nothing ^^J^^'^j.
undone that tyranny could work ; which was about the year of our the sax-
Lord 462. The king, seeing this miserable slaughter of the people, a.d.462.
fled into Wales.^

This while, Aurelius Ambrosius and Uther Pendragon, brethren
to king Constans above mentioned, whom Vortigern wickedly caused
to be killed, were in Little Britain.^ To whom the Britons sent
word, desiring their aid in helping their country. Aurelius, under-
standing the woful state of the realm, speedeth him over to satisfy
their desire, and to rescue (what in him was) their necessity ; who
at his first coming eftsoons being crowned for their king, seeketh out Aureiius
wicked Vortigern, the cause of all this trouble and murder of king ^ing of''
Constans, his brother. And finding him in Wales, in a strong tower Britain,
wherein he had immured himself, setteth him and his castle on fire, vortigern
That done, he moved his power against the Saxons, with whom and f"^;]^'^
with Elle, captain of the South Saxons (who then was newly come tower.
over), he had divers conflicts.

Our old English chronicles make record, that Horsa the brother Horsa
of Hengist was slain before in the time of Vortimer.'* The same also ^^'"'1,4
do record that this Hengist was taken prisoner in the field, fighting taken,
against Aurelius Ambrosius ; who then consulting with his nobles

(1) " Upon the playne of Ambrii, now called Salesbury." Fabian, pp. 66, edit. ISll. — Ed.

(2) Matt. Westmonast. p. 84, edit. Francof. 1601.— Ed.

(3) Armorica, called Little Britain and Bretagne from the settlement there of the British
refugees. — Ed. (4) At the battle of Aylesford, a.d. 4.')5. — Ed.



The and barons what was to be done with him, the bisliop of Gloucester,
called Eldad, standing up gave this counsel, saying, that if all men

of Eidld. would deliver him, yet he with his own hands Avould cut him in

GiouTes''^ pieces ; alleging the example of Samuel against Agag king of the

ter. Amalekites, taken by king Saul in the field, whom the said Samuel

caused to be cut in pieces. " Even so,'' saith he, " do you to this

Agag here ; that as he hath made many a woman widow, and without

children, so his mother may be made this day of him likewise." And

Hengist SO was Hcngist taken out of the city' by Eldol consul or mayor of

a! D^488! Gloucester, and there was beheaded, if truth or credit be to be given

to these our old British stories,- whereof I have nothing certainly to

pronounce, but that I may suspect the truth thereof; which was

about the year of our Lord 488.

Theun- A Certain ancient written history I have in Latin, compiled in the

ofourofd fourteenth year of king Richard IL, and by him caused to be written'

British as the title dcclareth ; which, because it bcareth no name of the


author, I call it by the name of him of whom I borrowed this book,
Avith many others likewise without name, " Historia Cariana." This
history recordeth, that Hengist died in Kent the two and thirtieth
year of his reign ; which if it be true, then is it false that he was
taken at Cuninburgh, and slain in the north. This Aurelius Am-
brosius before-mentioned is thought of Polydore Virgil, citing the
authority of Bede,^ to descend of the stock of the Romans ; which
as it is not impossible to be true, so this is certain by the full accord
of all our old written stories, that both the said Aurelius and his
Aurelius brother Uther Pendragon, being the sons of Constantine, brother to
sius.king. Audrocuus king of Little Britain, were nursed and brought up in
England in their tender age, and instructed by Guitelinus, archbishop
of London ; and, after the murder of Constans their elder brother,
were conveyed from hence to Little Britain ; whereby it is manifest
that they were born in this land ; and though their f;ither were a
Roman, as Polydore pretcndeth, yet likely it is that they were Britons
born, and had a l^riton to their mother."*
A. 0.497. After the death of Aurelius, who (as the story saith) was poisoned
by the crafty means of Pascentius son of Vortigern (suborning one
Uther under the weed of a monk to play the physician, and so to poison
go^n.''Bri- him), ucxt succcedcd his brother Uther, surnamed Pendragon, about
tishking. the year of our Lord 497, who, fighting against Osca^ and Eosa, took
them and brought them to London there to be kept ; but they,
breaking out of prison, returned into Germany for more aid. In
this mean time daily recourse was of Saxons, with great companies
coming out of Saxony, with whom the Britons had divers and sundry-
conflicts, sometimes winning, sometimes losing. Not long after,
Osca and Eosa, renewing their power in Germany, in all most speedy
to.Tsper- haste did return again and join with the other Saxons against the
by''"he'^ Britons. Here l)egan the state of miserable Britain more and more
Saxons, to dccay, while the idolatrous Saxons prevailed in number and

(1) York, according to some chronicles.— Ed.

(2) Ex Henr. Huntingtoncnsi, Galfrido, et Chronico quodam Cariensi. [Math. Westmonast.
p. y2, edit. Francof. 1601.— Ed.]

(.3) Bed. Ecc. Hist. lib. i. cap. 16.— Ed.
(!) Ex Historia Carian.^. [See Usher, Antiq. p. 241.— Ed.]

(5) Foxc liere reads Octa ; but as he means the same person whom he calls Osca, at p. 314, that
reading is here introduced. — Kd.


strength against the christian Britons ; oppressing the people, The
tlirowing down churches and monasteries, murdering the prelates, "'"'"*"
sparing neither age nor person, but wasting Christianity almost
through the whole realm. To these miseries it fell, moreover, that
Uther their king was sick, and could not come out : notwithstanding,
being grieved with the lamentable destruction of his people, he
caused his bed to be brought into the cam]), where God gave him
victory, Osca and Eosa there being slain. After this victory, in short
space Uther died of poison (as is said) put into a fountain, whereof a. D.sie.
the king was wont to drink ; about the year of our Lord 516.^

About which time and year came in Scupha and Whigarus, two
nephews of Cerdic king of West Saxons, with their companies, so
violently upon the Britons, that they of the west part of the realm
were not able to resist them. Then the merciful providence of Al-
mighty God raised up for them king Arthur, the son of Uther, who
was then crowned after him, and victoriously reigned. To this
Arthur the old British histories do ascribe twelve great victories
against the heathen Saxons ; whose notorious and famous conquests
mentioned in the British stories I leave as I find thera, referring The tales
them to the credit of their authors in whom they are found. Not- ^^,thuf.
withstanding, as I do not think contrary, but God, by the aforesaid
Arthur, gave to the Britons some stay and quietness during his life,
and certain of his successors ; so, touching certain of his great vic-
tories and conquests, not only over this land, but also over all
Europe, I judge them more fabulous, than that any credit should be
given unto them ; and more worthy to be joined with the Iliads of
Homer, than to have place in any ecclesiastical history. After
Arthur, the next king of the Britons was Oonstantine III. After him
Aurelius Conanus. Then Vortiporius ; after whom followed Malgo,
noted in stories to be a Sodomite. And after him the last king of Kings of
the Britons was Carecius, all given to civil war, execrable to God ^"'^'"•
and man ; who being chased out by the Britons themselves, the
land fell into possession of the Saxons, about the year of our Lord
586, by whom all the clergy and the christian ministers of the
Britons were then utterly driven out : insomuch that Theon, arch- The arch-
bishop of London, and Thadioc, archbishop of York, seeing their London,"'^
churches all Avasted, and parishes dispersed, with their carriages and ^^^^^°\
monuments, left their sees in Britain, and fled into Cambria, which into '
Ave noAv call Wales.^ Touching Avhich matter, and touching also the ^^^'"'
cause of this desolation and ruin of the Britons'' kingdom, the first
fountain and origin thereof partly before is declared ; Avhere Avas
showed in the time of Constantino the Great and Maximian, how
these noble princes, Avith others, achieving their venturous affairs in
other countries, took with them great multitudes and armies out of
Britain ; through the occasion Avhereof the land Avas greatly impaired,
and deprived of the most chief and principal nobles, being carried
aAvay to serve in foreign Avars, Avhich Avas no small cause Avhy the
realm of Britain (being so Avasted) was the less able to help itself
against their enemies.^ Although this Avas not the chief occasion,
but other causes there were greater, wherefore God by his just judg-

(1) Flor. Hist. [M. Westmonast. pp.96, 97, edit. IGOl.— Ed.]

(2) M. AVestra. ad ann. 586.— Ed. (3) See supra, p. 312.— Ed.

Y 2

the de-
of Bri


The nicnt sufForcil tliis plague and ovcrtlirow to fall upon that people ; as
°'^""^' here out of an old author, and partly out of Gildas, I have found it,
SO I thought to annex it in his own words, first in Latin/ then after-
ward Englishing the same, for the more credit of that which shall be
alleged, in tenor as followcth :

" The nobles of this realm following the princes and captains above named,
causes of the vulgar and rascal sort remained behind at home. Who, when they had
gotten the rooms and places of the nobles, advanced themselves above that
which their dignity required ; and through their abundance of riches, being
ain. surprised with pride, tiiey began to fall into such and so great fornication, as
Remem- was never heard of even among the Gentiles. And as Gildas the Historiogra-
berthe pj^^j. -witnesseth, not into this vice only, but also into all manner of wickedness
words of i , , ' . . ,. , ^' ■ 11 • 1 1 • 1 ■ ,

Gildas, whereto mans nature is mchned : and especially into that which is the over-
fisa Hist, throw of all good estate, the hatred of the truth, love of lies, embracing of evil
Canana'. j^gj^jj^j ^f goodness, regarding of mischief instead of virtue, receiving of the
devil as an angel of light. They anointed kings, not such as could well rule a
commonwealth, but those which exceeded all other in cruelty; and if any
might be perceived to be somewhat more humble or meek, or to be more in-
clined to favour the truth than the residue, him did every one hate and back-
bite as the overthrower and destroyer of Britain. All things, whether they
pleased or displeased God, they regarded alike. And not secular men only
did this, but also the congregation of the Lord, and their bishops and teachers,
without any difference at all. Therefore it is not to be marvelled that such
people, so degenerating and going out of kind, should lose that country which
they had after this manner defiled."

And thus much hitherto concerning the history of the Britons,

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