M. (Paul) Rapin de Thoyras.

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in the Year 426 to 4Z7 (5).

The Picls and Scots, who lived in ftrict Union after the
Coronation of Fergus, began their Hoftilities againft the
Britons with more Confidence than ever, when they heard
of the Departure of the Reman Forces. The Wall of St-
-jerus lately repaired, is attacked afrefh, and abandon'd at laft,
being defended only by Britons little ufed to War. After

p dc, 1. 1.

C. 12.

which, the northern People made large Breaches in feyetaJ
Places, that it might be r.o Oblucle to their future [ncuf-
fions into their Enemies Country. About this Tipie Fergm
dies as he is returning to Ireland, leaving hi> \0ung601l
Eugen'us II a Minor, under the Regency of Graham Ins
Grandfather by his Mother's Side.

The Weaknefs of the Britons was then fo great, that 7 " '-Britons
defpairing to refill their Enemies, they abandon'd part <A~\ *.""." 1 "" t
their Country, and retired more Southward. Whereupon Cc.,nt,y.
the Picls and Scots, grown mote bold by their Advantages,
form new Projects, and think of Means to drive the Britons
entirely out of the Ifland. To this end they refoive to
fend for Colonies from Ireland and the adjacent Ifles, to
people the Lands forfaken by the Britons, as well as thole
they hope to take from them hereafter. But Greha?n pre-
vents, by his Authority, the Execution of this Project,
fearing the Return of the Romans, and the making Scotland
the Scene of the War. It may be, he was not altogether
ignorant of the fad Condition then of the Roman Empire ;
but knew not how low it was ; and therefore, thought fit to Crrtra Re-
oppofe the Defigns of the Scots, and prefer a folid Peace, ,'" /s " : "
with fome real, tho' not great, Advantages, toa War which, ,','""' \
as he imagined, might be attended with dangerous Conk- tic Briton*
quences. A Peace then was offer'd to the Britons upon ho-
norable Terms, and by them gladly accepted. By the
Treaty the Wall of Scverus was to be the common Boun-
dary of the two Nations. But for this Advantage the Bri-
tons were obliged to pay a confiderablc Sum ot Money.
The Scots thinking this Peace not advantageous enough,
loudly murmur'd at it ; but Greham took care to fee it *>b-
ferv'd during his Admiuiftration.

As foon as Eugenius II was of Age to take the Reins of Eu-niu- n.
the Government into his own Hands, he refolved to b«afe|%^
a Treaty, which his Subjects had protelled againft. HsJ^,^, tbe
knew the Romans were not in condition to allift Britain, T,cay-
and the Opportunity appeared too favourable to be negle&ed.
Purfuant to this Refolution, he fends Ambafladors to the
Britons, and haughtily demands all the Lands poffefs'd by
the Scots before the late Treaty. The Chief of the Britons,
furpriz'd at this unexpected Demand, convene a general
Aflemblv to confider of an Anfwer to the King of Scotland.
The Majority of the Affembly, provok'd at the ttaughti- Dif-ntiom
nefs of their Neighbors, and knowing they only wanted an '■'" "S ,bc
Excufe to renew the War, were of opinion to reject their r '
Demand. " It is eafy (fay they) to perceive the Scots
" will not be fatisfied hereafter with their prefent Demands.
" Their Aim is only to have an Entrance into the Coun-
" try, that they may with lefs Difficulty become Mafters of
" the whole ; and it will be an eafier Task to prevent
" them from entering, than to drive them out when ore;
" they are fettled. In fhort, fince a War is unavoidable,
" it will be very imprudent to grant what they demand,
" under colour of preferving a Peace which cannot iaft
" long." Others not fo warm, knowing the extreme
Weaknefs of the Nation, were of another Mind. They
were for finding fome Expedient to fatisfv the Scots, and
avoid if poifible, a War which muft prove fatal to the Bri-
tons. " They defire the Affembly to confider what pro-
" digious Numbers of Soldiers were drawn out of the
" Ifland by the Romans to fupply their Armies abroad ;
" how many Ma^imus carried with him that were fettled
" in Gaul; and laftly how the Country was drain'd of all
" that could bear Arms by Conjlantine. To this they add,
" the Weaknefs of the Nation was but too viiible in their
" late War with the Scots, when their frequent Deieats
" obliged them to abandon the very Lands now demanded,
" the.PoileiTion of which was entirely owing to the Gene-
" rofity of Greham ; it is therefore better tor the Britons
" to give up freely what they cannot keep, than for the
" fake of that, ta run the risk of lofing their All."

Tho' thefe Reafons were very weighty, they were over- A Wm it
rul'd by the violent Party, and Conan one of the wifeft ''J : ' V '' L -
and moft powerful of the Nation, for dwelling too long
upon the Advantages of Peace, was deem'd a Traitor, and
torn in pieces by them. After that none daring to oppofe
it, the Ambafladors were fent back with an iniuking An-
fwer. This hafty Refolution was followed with a War 77. ■ Britons
more deftructive to the Britons than their former ones, and * rt «■»«•
which entirely weaken'd them by the Lofs of fourteen or
fifteen thoufand Men in one fingle Battle. Reduc"J to Ex-
tremity, they have nocourfe left but to fue in a fiippliant
manner for that Peace they fo haughtily refufed. They ob- 31 . ohtei*
tain it indeed, but upon very hard Terms. By the new ' * '•
Treaty, they are oblig'd to give up all the Country north

(1) In the Year 404. or 405. Rapin.

(il In 404. ,.r 405 muoriA mad; a Treaty with Alaric, who retfr'd into Illj-ia, from whence he returned in 409 er 410, an 1 th~n t \v s he t k
R.r:e. Rapin.

(3) Northern People from Scytbia about the Lake Mceais an-J River Tarseiis oi Gothic Original, and call'd Vandali from the Word WanitUn to tsardsr
as row, became they often chrnjed their Places of Ab.de. At laft they fix'd near the C ills ol th Baltic Sea t. iv.irds Ccntay. which fn m t ra i . a
call'd I'jndaha. Thsjbcai were cf the fame Original, fo nam'd from the Word Schiciictt, of the fame Impirt v.iti Wa deli it. They pofleli'd I
Part ol Germany h -yond the Danube, now cill'd H-aabia. Brady, p 37.

(4) Th- Alani were teatcd not far from the Head cf the River Tamil er D.n. li:i.
(jj Stilli-irjlctt thinks it was in the Year 41S. Rafin.

K of

Book I.





c. 23.

Cildas, n.
6. 21, 25.
Bedc, 1. 1.
c. 15.

of the Humber, of which the Pitts and Scots as waging
War in common, take pofleflion (1).

The extremeWeaknefs of the Britons will not be thought
ftrange, if it be confidered in the firft Place, they were not
ufed to War. The Romans, who had long been Mailers
of the Ifland, never fuffered them to exercife their Arms;
it being their Cuftom always to employ foreign Troops in
their Conquefts. For this reafon the Soldiers levied in
Britain were fent into other Provinces, from whence they
never return'd. Thefe Levies were fo numerous that there
were twelve confiderable Bodies of Britons in the Roman
Armies difperfed in the feveral Provinces of the Empire,
and always recruited from Britain. In the next place,
MaximuszTx&ConJlanUnc led fuch great Armies from thence,
as almoft drain'd the Ifland of Men fit to bear Arms. In
fine, if to this be added the late Loffes fuftained by the
Britons after the Departure of the Romans, it is no Wonder
they became fo eafy a Prey to their Enemies.
in From this Time to the coming in of the Saxons, the Hi-
tbeHifecry </ft ry of Britain is verv confufed, by reafon of the Difagree-
*" " J * ment of the Writers, which makes it very difficult to dif-
cover the Truth, and much more fo to fix all the Dates.
What can be gathered with any certainty is, that the Bri-
tons elected feveral Kings, whofe Actions are unknown ;
and that thefe Kings were eftablifh'd, and afterwards kill'd
or dethron'd, according to the Humour and Intereil of the
leading Men. Probably too, feveral Kings reign'd at the
fame time in different Provinces, and by their Difcord and
Wars contributed to the weakening one another. To com-
plete their Misfortunes, Britain was afflicted with a cruel
Famine, which rag'd alfo in moll Parts of the World.
This terrible Scourge render'd the Country a^ite defolate,
People dying with Hunger by thoufands. In this extreme
Diftrefs, Multitudes of poor Wretches, to fave their Lives,
fly into Annorica, where great part of Maximums Army
was already fettled. Others, rather than ftarve with Hun-
ger, threw themfelves upon the Picls and Scots. Amidft
thefe Defolations, the northern People, their irreconcileable
Enemies, taking Advantage of their Misfortunes, break
the Treaty, and paffing the Humber, ravage the Country
in a mercilefs manner.

The miferable State of the Britons forces them to apply
once more to the Romans for Affiftance. They fend upon this
i?,j US ' , Occafion, a very moving Letter to /Etius then in Gaul{ 2).
IV e know not (lay they) which way to turn us. I he Bar-
barians drive us to the Sea, and the Sea forces us back to the
Barbarians ; between which we have only the choice of tivo
Deaths, either to be fwallnvcd up by the Waves, or butcher d
by the Sword. /Etius was then preparing to repulfe Attila,
who was entered Gaul with an Army of eighty thoufand
Men , and therefore not being in condition to grant their
Requeft, fent them word that the Affairs of the Empire
would not fuffer him to affift them, neither were they to
depend upon him (3). So mortifying an Anfwer threw
the miferable Britons into the utmoft Coniternation, not
knowing what Meafures to take, to free themfelves from
their unfortunate Circumftances. In this Diftrefs, it is
judged proper by the chief Men of the Nation to call a
General Affembly, and confider of fome poffible Remedy
for their Calamities, which daily increale. They agreed
Thty chufi aat laft to chufe a Monarch (4) as the only Expedient to fave
Mrnaitb. them from Deftruction, in expectation, that when united
under one Head, their Divifions would ceafe, and their

Enemies be more ftrongly refitted. But the Difcord that
reign'd among the principal Members of the State, pre-
vented the good Effects of this Expedient. Several Great
Men, having fortified themfelves in diverfe Parts, acted
like Sovereigns. All thefe petty Tyrants, jealous of one (7™, D-j-

another, far from owning the Monarch elect, fought onlv cr '' ani
tr. J (l. n „ u;~. : J— ?_ 1 L_r-_ • l- ■'_.. ° r ■> CmMo*

' Cmfiif"


Tic Britons
Letter to

to.deftroy him, in order to be chofen in his room.° It „
therefore impoflible for thefe Monarchs to fubfift long, finCeBritoL
not being agreeable to all, the Male-contents joined toge-
ther for their Deftruction : Thus the Britons, whilft they
endeavour to unite themfelves under one Head, are plung'd
the deeper into Anarchy and Confufion.

We know not the Names of any of thefe Monarchs 'till Vortigern
Vortigern, Count or King of the Dunmonij (5), elected m\ k: ' d "'
the Year 445. This Prince, as he was the moll powerful '' 1
and ambitious, could never brook a Supeiior, and there-
fore was all along a profefs'd Enemy to the preceding
Monarchs, and contributed to their Ruin. Nay, 'tis a£
firmed by Hiftorians, that he affaffinated his Ptedecdfor to
make room for himfelf. Thofe that imagine Conjians Son
of Conjiantine kill'd at the Siege of Vicnne, to be his im-
mediate Predeceffor, are certainly miftaken, fince there
was at Ieaft forty Years fpace between the Death of Covjlaru
and the Predion of Vortigern (6).

The new Monarch was by no means qualified to re-;;
ftore the Affairs of the Britons. As he attain'd to the" ■•"■
fupreme Dignity by Artifice and Cabal, he wholly bent
his Thoughts to maintain himfelf in the Throne by the
fame wicked Methods, regardlefs of the general Welfare of
his Subjects. He was moreover of a cruel and avaritious Malm. I. r.
Temper, addicted to many Vices ; and fo lewd, that he c -~-
debauch'd his own Daughter, by flattering her with Hopes
of being a Queen (7). Mean while there was a Necef- »
fity to think of repulfing the Enemies, and Vortigern knew"""" 1 "' tam
himfelf incapable of fuch an Undertaking, though he had •
been chofen for that very purpofe. But what troubled and'/"-' •>•■'•■
perplex'd him moft, was, his being fo little belov'd by
the People, and the continual Fear of being dethron'd
The Examples of the Monarchs his Predeceffors being Nenniu «
never out of his Mind, he was apprehenfive the fame Courfe
would be taken with him, fince he was fo little able to
anfwer the good Opinion conceiv'd of him when rais'd to
the Throne. Living thus in equal Dread of the Enemies
of the State and of his own Subjects, he fancied he had de-
vifed an Expedient to free himfelf from the Danger of the
one, and Plots of the other. But as he could not put his^ cam a
Defign in practife without the Confentofthe Britons, he G "" w -
calls a General- A ffembly, and makes a long Speech, before ^""^
he comes to the Point. " He defcribes in a ftro'ng and»'/"/'^
" lively Manner the extreme Mifery of the Nation ■ Ac-" "" '**
" cufes the Romans of being the fole Caufe. of the Mif- 1 TZtLf
•' fortunes of the Britons, by draining the Ifland of all her G Ida,, ™\.
" Youth fit to bear Arms, and then leaving her to the Bedt "> l '•
" Infults of her Neighbours. He enlarges upon the <*reat C ' IJ "
" Loffes fuftained fince by the Britons, and the manifeft
" Danger of being either driven out of their Country, or
" utterly deftroy'd, by reafon of their Weaknefs. For
" his part, he is always ready to hazard his Life for the
" Service of the Nation : but confidering the few Troops
" in his Power, and the little Union between the principal
" Members of the State, he has no Hopes that his weak
" Endeavours will be able to refcue his Subjects from their
" prefent Calamities. In this melancholy State of Affairs,

(1) Frcm Severus's Wall to the Humber is eighty Miles. Rapin.

(2) The Bntons calling, in their Letter, Mints Conml, hath made fome call this Fact in queftion, becauie his Name is not found in the Roman Fafli -
but, as Mr. Selden obferves, the Name of Ccnful was frequently given to illuftrious Perfons, tho' they were not actually Conj'uls. Nut. on Poly-Olb. p. 84* '

(3) As this is the laft mention of the Romans, it may not be amifs to give a brief Account of the Legions that came into the Ifland. Julius C&far
brought with him the firft time the feventh, and tenth his favorite Legion. In his fecond Defcent he brought five Legions, but which they were except the fe-
venth, is unknown. All thefe return'd the fame Year they came. Under Claudius came four Legions (with their proper Auxiliaries, making an Army of
about Fifty Thoufand Men) namely the feennd, the ninth, the fourteenth and the twentieth. The fecond called Legio fecunda Augufla came hither under
the Command ot Vejpafian, and continued here to the very laft. They were cencern'd in building the Roman Wall in Scotland, as appears from the Infcriptions.
Their umal Quarters were at Caerleon, tho' they were removed from thence at laft, being plac'd at Rutup& jn the Notttia, where they are call'd Levi*
fecunda Britannica five Secunda, i. e. Thofe of the fecond Legion, as the Quintani, Quarta-decumani, Sec. are thofe of the fifth and fourteenth in laatus,
Ptolemy places this Legion at Ifca Dumnoniorum, or Exeter, which might be miftaken for Ifca Silurum 01 Caer-leon. The ninth was cut in pieces by Bcadnea •
it was recruited with two thuufand Soldiers, and eight auxiliary Cohorts, but attack 'd again, as being the weakeft, by the Caledonians. After which beine
no more heard of, it was cither broke or incorporated with the fixth Legion brought over by Hadrian. It is fuppos'd to have been fhtioned at York 'where
an Infcription was found with thefe Words, Legio nana Vi&rix. The fourteenth was the tnly Legion, fays Tacitus s that together with the VexiUarii of the
twentieth (that is, fix hundred fele£t Men of a Legion) was entirely engag'd in the Battle with Boadtcea's Army. This Legion was recalled by Nero
order'd back by VttdHus, and fent for again by Vtfcnjian\ after which they feem never to have return'd to Britain any more. As they left Britain
before the Humour of erecting Infcripticns, it is no Wonder thty are not mention'd in any. The twentieth is thus expre'is'd in the Roman Infcriptions
J. E G. XX. V. V. That is, Legio Vicejima P'alcns (or Valeria) Viclrix. The ftated Quarters of this Legion was Deva ur tFeJt-Cbcfter, which pro-
bably was therefore honour'd with the Name of a Colony, as in one of Gtta's Coins with this Legend, COLONI A DIVAN A LEGIO XX
V I C T R I X. This Legion was with the fecond employ 'd in building the Reman Forts and Walls. It does not appear v. hen they left Britain B
thefe four Legion?, there came with Hadrian the fixth, ufually thus exprcls'd, LEG. VI. V. P. F. that is, Legio Sexta Vietrix Pia Fide/is. This Le -
gion was a leng Time in Britain. They are frequently mention'd in the Infcriptions on Severus's Wall. Their ftated Quarters were at York 1 1 m
what has been faid it appears, that for twenty five Years (from Claudius's Invafion, till the fourteenth was recall'd by Neru and afterwards by Vcfpqfian}
there were four Legions in Britain. From the ficft Year of Vejpajxan to Hadrians Reign, only three ; and from Hadrian\ time (when the fixth came over) to
the loweft Empire, there were ftill but three ; the ninth being broken or incorporated with the fixth. The Reader may fee a large Account ot' the'e
Things in HorJJey. B. I. c. 6.

(4.) By Monarch here is to be underftood, cne fuperior to the other Heads, or Kings, on whom they were in fome Mcafure dependent. See Selden 2rA
Mahjbury. Rapin.

(5) Inhabitants of Devon and Cornwal. Rowland thinks Danmonium is the true Word for Comival, and Dunmonium for Dcuonfiire, or the Britijh Dy
fueint. ThzCcrniJb write and pronounce (d) as (2). He derives both thefe Words from Mon y fignifying the utmoft or fartkeft.

(6) Aljord and others place Vortigern" % Election between 430 and 436. The common Opinion is followed here, which appears to be moft probable. Rati n.

(7) Tnis Storv ot Vzrtigcrnz Inceft feems altogether unlikely. At Ieaft, the Diakgue between Vertigem and St. Geiman, and his being cendemn'd in a
great Council of Clergy and Laity, in which St. German prefided, is certainly falfe, that Saint being dead a Year before the Saxcns arrived in Britain.
And indeed, when is it that he mould commit this Crime? Not before he married Ro-wena, for Nennius places it afterwards; noi could it well be durin<*
the time of his Marriage with her, fince, as the fame Author relates, fhe continued his Wife Jong after, when he was taken Prifoner by Hengjfc, and it is
very ftrange he mould fall in Lcve with his own Daughter,, when he. had another Wife, whom he is laid to Jove ib well, rhp'. hv was divorVd irom hit
fcrft for her lake. See Tyrrel, Vol. I. p. 127, 128*

N'- 2. Vol. I,



ne histo kr of England.

Vol. I.

« he fees but one way to fave his Country from the De-
" ftructions fhe is threaten'd with, and That is, to call
" in to their Affiftance a Nation, that by their vidorious
" Arms were fettled in Germany, upon the Lands of the
" Romans . Then tells them, he means the Saxons ; ad-
" dine, they have indeed done fome Damage to the Bri-
" tons byrtheir Pyrades, but are now ready to repair it
" with Advantage ; fince they can free them from the
" continual Irruptions of the Pi Sis and Scots. This Peo-
" pie, being parted from Britain by a fmall Arm of the
" Sea only, can be as fpeedy with their Aid as their prel-
" fine Occafions require: they are already grown formi-
" dable to the northern Nations, and by the Arrival of
" fome of their Troops the Britons will quickly be in con-
*' dition to refill their Enemies, and perhaps repay them
" in their own Coin." He concludes with representing,
" the thing will hardly admit of Debate; the Britons
" cannot be without a foreign Aid, and none but the
" Saxons are in condition to give them Affiftance."

Hh Propfal The Fears all were feiz'd with, and the Hopes of frill
•'• enjoying their native Country, and recovering their loft
. t lt ' Eftates, and no doubt the Defire of Revenge, confpired to
a joyful Reception of Fortigern'sFiopohl. But when they
came to confider of the Terms to be ofTer'd the Saxons,
great Debates arofe. The Monarch, whofe fecret Pur-
pofe was to ftrengthen himfelf as well againft his own
Subjects as foreign Enemies, mov'd, the allotting them fome
Province, that their own Intereft might induce them to
wage War more heartily and vigoroufly. But as no Lands
could be afligned them but what belong'd to fome of the
Affembly, it was no eafy Matter to agree on this Point.
tt, i,;.-.f At length, after great Difputes, it was refolved that the
Thanct is "Saxons fhould have the Ifle of Thanet in Kent, as being a
" proper Place to land their Forces, and convenient for them
whenever they wanted to return into their own Country.
It was farther agreed, that the Saxon Soldiers fhould be al-
lowed Pay, which fhould be fettled by Agreement on both
Anbijfadm Sides. After this Refolution, Ambafl'adors were appointed
art Turned to to negotiate the Affair in Germany. Voriigern, pleas'd
with having carried his Point without incurruig Siifpicion,
Vort?gern'i imagin'd himfelf out of the Reach of all Danger. But fee
JV/.-J. /.,-«« }j 0W blind and fhort-iighted is human Wifdom ! This very
foul tttbt Exi5e( ]j cnt by the diredion of divine Providence, prov'd

L'untry. *-" r ' / . . x\ ■

his own and the Nation s Ruin.

But before I proceed to the Effects of this pernicious
Advice, it will be neceilary to give a more particular Ac-
count of thefe Saxons, who are to be the chief Subject of
our Hiftory. They were fo little known before their
coming into Britain, and what is faid of their Original fo
uncertain, that 'tis no wonder this Subject is but very
flightly touch'd upon by the Generality of the Englijh
Hiftorians. Some barely fay, the Saxons were called in to
the Affiftance of Britain, without any farther Addition
concerning them. Others fay only, the Saxons were a
German People, without mentioning the Parts they inha-
bited. Some again add, they were Pyrates from the
Cimbrian Cherfonefus, that came and fettled on the Coafts
of the German Ocean. But as thefe Coafts are of a vaft
Extent, we are not much the wifer for that. In fhort,
the moft probable Account I can gather from the feveral
Authors that have writ of this People, is as follows.

About this Time the Romans began to extend their Con-
■ ..u, qucfts into Germany, the Inhabitants of the Cimbrian Cher-
and tb i< fonefus, now called 'Jutland, leaving their Country, ad-
' '" vanced towards the South. They poffefs'd themfelves at
ShcrTngham. firft of the northern Parts of Germany, and doubtlefs fpent
fome Years in fettling themfelves in thofe Quarters. But
as the Romans had not yet penetrated fo far, and we have
no antient Hiftories of the northern Countries, nor even of
the weftern, but what the Romans have left us, there is little
known of the firft Irruptions made by the northern People
into Germany. The Cimbri continually pufhing their Con-
quefts to the Southward, and the Romans advancing to the
Northward, they at laft approach'd one another. Then
it was that the Romans had Opportunity to learn in fome
meafure, the State of thefe hitherto unknown Nations.
Their Hiftorians however fpeak very contufedly of them,
giving fometimes different Names to the fame People, and
lbmetimes the fame Name to different Nations. The Cim-
bri that came from the Cimbrian Cherfonefus, were divided
into three Bands, one taking the Name of Suevi, another
Tcmiits of Francs, and a third of Saxons. Some will have the
i- j. Francs to be a Branch of the Suevi. However that be,
thefe three Nations, continually advancing Southwards,
came at length to the Frontiers of the Roman Empire ; the
Suevi towards Italy, the Francs to the South- Weft, to-
wards the C'oaft of Belgic-Gaul, and the Saxons to the

Weft, towards the German Ocean. The Suevi efpecially

were fo terrible to the antient Germans, that they looked

upon them as a Match for the Immortal Gods, as Cafar fays Cs( : '•+■

in his Commentaries. As for the Francs, they are known u in = Ul *

to have over-run the whole Province of Gaul, and founded

the noble and ancient Kingdom of France.

The Saxons poffeffed themfelves of thofe Tracts of
Land lying between the Rhine and the Elbe. Their Ter-
ritories bounded on the Weft by the German Ocean, ex-
tended Eaftward to the Borders of Thuringen. Confe-
quently they were Matters of Saxony, TVeJlphalia, and all

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