M. (Paul) Rapin de Thoyras.

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rity. Having ravaged Northumberland, he laid fiege to
Bamborougb, a ftrong Town built by Ida, where meeting
with more refiftance than he expected, he refolved to re-
duce it to afhes. To that end, having laid under the walls
a great quantity of Wood, he fet fire to it as foon as the
wind favoured his defign. But hardly was the fire lighted,
when the wind came about and blew the flame directly
into his Camp, by which the befiegers were great Suf-
ferers. This Stratagem failing, he raifed the Siege, and
quitting Northumberland carried the War into Eajl-Anglia.
Penda's retreat affording the Northumbrians a little refpite,
the Bernicians place Ofwy, Brother of Ofwald, upon the
Throne ; and the next year Ofwin, Son of Ofric flain by
Cadwalh, was crowned King of De'ira.

to fatisfy his Enemy, is forced at laft to take up arms in his
own defence. Ofwin was a mild and peaceable Prince, cio.
more devout than brave, and tho' drawn into the war pure- G. Malm.
ly by neceffity, yet for all that he could not conquer his ' ,- c - " y
Scruples. He verily believed, the fhedding his Subjects
blood in his quarrel, was the greateft of Sins, and therefore
withdrawing privately from his army, he retired to a certain
Earl's Houfejj), whom he fuppofed to be his beft Friend,
with defign to betake himfelf from thence to fome Mo-
naftery. But before he could put his project in execution, 6ci.
his treacherous Friend betrayed him to Ofwy, who order- Bed,.-, /. 3.
ed him to be inhumanly murdered, in expectation of ' c i z "s,' 4 Anr.
ing his Kingdom with the greater eafe. This barbarous H.r.t.ned.
Action did not however procure him the Advantage he
hoped for. The People of Deira exafperated againft him,
and dreading to fall under the dominion of fo cruel a
Prince, immediately fet Adelwalt, Son of Ofwald his Bro-
ther, upon the Throne, who was better able to defend
himfelf than his Predeceffor. Some time after, Ofwy
touched with remorfe, founded a Monaftery in the very
place where Ofwin was murdered (4.), flattering himfelt
lie fhould atone for his crime by this flight Penance.


/. V

Bede, /. 3
c 16.



Sa*. Ann,

6 + o


in Bernicia.


in Deira.

Ofvy thought he was very unjuftly dealt with, in
ng deprived of part of his Brother's Dominions ; bu

ing deprived of part of his Brother's Dominions ; but as
lie dreaded another Invafion from Penda, it was no proper
Seafon to do himfelf juftice. As long therefore as he was
under that apprehenfion, he lived in a good underftanding
with the King of De'ira. But the moment he fees Penda
engaged in other wars, he afferts his claim to De'ira, and
picks a quarrel with Ofwin ; who, after trying feveral ways


jlill in Bernicia.



in De'ira.

It was hardly poflible for Ofwy and Adehvalt, tho' very
near relations, to live in a good underftanding. Ofwy ftill
preferved his claim to the Kingdom of Deira, and Adel-
ivalt could not be ignorant of it. Confequently it was his
intereft, not only to fufpect his Uncle's Defigns, but even
to put it out of his power, if poflible, from giving him
any difturbance. For this reafon, he readily liftened to
the propofal of a League with the Kings of Mercia and
Eajl-Anglia, againft Ofwy. Penda, tho' feventy eight years
old, was the Author of this League. Ofwy being informed
of it, did all that lay in his Power to divert the impending
Storm, even to the offering Money to Penda, to bribe
him to defift from his Enterprize. But nothing could ap-
peafe that Prince, the irreconcileable Enemy of the Nor-
thumbrians, who feeing himfelf fupportcd by the Armies of
Eajl-Anglia and De'ira, believed, he had now a favourable
opportunity to gratify his Paffion. Ofwy therefore found, e
he was obliged to ftand alone againft thefe three Enemies, c. Maim,
whofe united Forces could not but infpire him with fome'- •• < r -4*
dread. In this prefling neceffity, he made a vow to found
a dozen Monafteries, and make his Daughter a Nun, if
God would give him the Victory. To this vow it is that
Hiftorians afcribe the Succefs, God was pleafed to vouchfafe
him in this War.

Whilft the two armies were advancing towards one an-
other, Adelwalt formed new Projects. He confidered, ta
which fide foever the Victory inclined, it would prove
equally dangerous to him, fince he had the fame reafon to
fear his being deprived of his Dominions by Penda as by
Ofvy : And therefore he refolved to fave his own Troops,
and ftand neuter during the Battle, that he might be in
condition to defend himfelf againft the Conqueror. When
the two Armies came in fight, Penda, who had not dived
into Adelwalt's defign, boldly attacked the King of Bernicia,
not doubting of being feconded by the Deirians and Eajl-
Anglians. But when the Mercians faw Adelwalt draw oft*
his Troops, their ardor abated, and thinking they were be-
trayed, began to give ground. Mean while, the Kings of
Mercia and Eajl-Anglia did their utmoft to revive the Cou-
rage of the frighted Troops. But being both flain in en-
deavouring to renew the fight, their Army was put to rout.
This Battle was fought in Yorkjhire on the banks of the Art, Bede ' * "•
and the place was afterwards called IVinwidficld '(5).

After this Victory, Ofwy, without lofs of time, marched
into Mercia, and became mafter of that Kingdom, which
he enjoyed but three years. In that Interval, the Monarchy,
vacant ever fince the death of Ofwald his Brother, was
conferred upon him. Penda was properly the only Prince
that could juftly pretend to it, but withal the moft dange-
rous to be intruded with it.

Ofwy held Mercia by right of Conqueft, whilft the Sons
of Penda were forced to feek for refuge among their Friends.
Their misfortune would doubtlefs have been of longer con-
tinuance, had not the rigorous proceeding of Ofwy's Of-
ficers compelled the Mercians to take up Arms. They
concerted their meafures fo well, that when Ofwy lead ex-
pected it, the Northumbrians were on a fudden driven out

(1) Bute fays, the Cattle was fought at Dcnifcsfarna, (fuppos'd to be Di/flon) and relates many very incredible and fuperftitious Miracles concerning this
Place and the Crofs erected by Ofwald, whofe chief merit with the Monks, was his introducing M:nktry with the Chriftian Religion, which makes the
Story of the Crofs to be cenfidtr'd as a monkifh Fiction, as well as the Name of Heirvin-fcld.

(2.) In ishi:.fjl.>in, thtn cali'd Maflrfic/d, "Tis incredible to think how many miracles were afcribed to him after his death by his Friends the Monks j
particularly the Wonders perferm'd by his Right-hand, which Bide fays, was prefen'd unarrupt in t-he Church of Peterbcrvugk in his time. It feemft
he Icr.t one d.iy a large Silver Diih, full of meat to fome poor People to his Gate, ordering the Difh to be broken in pieces, and diihibuted among
them. Whcrcup n A:dm taking him by the Right-hand, laid, Let this band nernr carruft. Which (fay the Monks) atoordingJj haff»n'd.

(3! Hj is c.iil'd by Bcde, E<irl Uunivald. Brompton fays, he was betray 'd by one Ccndcbtrr, a Soldier, f. 78?.

(4; In^etttingcm, according to Side, I. 13. c. 14, 24; afterwards Tiding Priory in T*rkjknt. Lam*. Tip. Oil,

\il That r>, Tbt Field of CiBeiy, now Ltldu Camden,

3 of

Book III.

The Kingdom ^Northumberland.

of Mercia, and Wufyhcr, Son of Penda, plac'd on the

A few Years after, Ofwy, in fome meafure repair'd this
Lofs, by the acquilition of Di •"re, upon the Death of
Adehualt, who died without Heirs. Thus Northumberland
was once more united into one Kingdom.

OSWY ahnc.

This Re-union however did not hold long. Ofzvy'n ten-
der afte&ion for his natural Son Alfred, indue 'd him to di-
vide Northumberland again, and make him King of Deha,
tho' contrary to the People's Inclination.


in Bernicia.

in De'.ra.


The Pitts and IVclfb having had time to fecure their
Conquefts before Alfred was fettled in his Throne, it was
not poffible for him, after Egfrtd's death, to recover them
out of their Hands. All he could do, was to defend, and
that with great difficulty, the reft of his Dominions from the
frequent attacks of his Neighbours. The Monarchy of the
Anglo-Saxons went to the Kings of Weffex.

Alfred ended his days in 705, having reigned twenty
years after his Reftoration. He left his Son Ofred to fuc-
ceed him at eight years of Age, under the Guardianfhip of a
Lord nam'd Brithric.

O S R E D.



Bcde, 1.4*


Am Sax.

FJ.i. Wij.

Ofwy, after he had reigned twentv-eight years, died in
670 (1). The beginning of his Reign was dillurb'd with
Wars, but his good Fortune prevaiPd at laft, and procur'd
him fome Quiet. Bede, for reafons taken Notice of in
the Hiftory of the Church, ranks him among the molt il-
luftrious Kings of the Heptarchy, and loads him with
praifes, tho' his Reputation was very much fullied by the
Murder of Ofwin. By Anfieda, Daughter of Edwin, he
had two Sons and three Daughters. Egfrid his Son fuc-
ceeded him both in his Kingdom, and in the Monarchy of
the Anglo-Saxons. The Demons, upon Ofwy's death, re-
volted againft Alfred, and put themfelves under the Domi-
nion of Egfrid, who thereby became King of all Northum-
berland. Alfred retir'd into Ireland, where he applied him-
felf chiefly to his Studies, in expectation of a favourable
Opportunity to recover his Dominions.

EGFRID ahnc.

«7°- Egfrid, tho' he came to the Crown young, foon made
f ^'"^himfelf both efteem'd and fear'd. The Pitts invading
of. " his Territories, were defeated feveral times, and fore'd in
the end to purchafe a Peace with part of their Country.
Wulpher, King of Mercia, thought likewife to make fome
Conquefts in Northumberland ; but before the end of the
War, was very glad to preferve his own Dominions.
Egfrid's good Succefs in the beginning of his Reign, pro-
cur'd him the dignity of Monarch, which his P'ather en-
joy'd before him.
«»4- In the Year 684. he fends an Army into Ireland for the

ttfL " Conqueft of that Wand, under the Conduct of Bertfrid,
whofe Cruelties to the Iri/h, efpecially in not fparing their
very Churches and Monafteries, caufe the Enterprize to mif-
carry. The Iri/h recovering out of their firft Surprize, de-
fend themfelves fo well, that Bertfrid is fore'd to return
home with his almoft ruin'd Army.

Egfrid not being able to gain any thing from that Quar-
ter, refolves to enlarge his bounds towards the North, and
to that end carries his Arms into the Country of the Pitts,
Who little expected an Invafion. For which reafon, they
betake themfelves to their Morafles and Fens, to avoid the
firft Attacks of their Enemies. Egfrid was fo unwife as to
follow them, and lead his Men into unknown Defiles, which
he could not get clear of. Whereupon, the Pitts, who
were perfeftly acquainted with the Country, harafs'd his
hunger-ftarv'd Troops in fuch a manner, that he loft above
half his Army. And at laft, to open a Paflage, he was
fore'd to come to a very unequal Engagement, wherein he
loft his Life, in the fortieth year of his Age, and fifteenth
of his Reign.

Egfrid was twice married ; Adelfrida his firft Wife,
Daughter of Annas King of the Eajl- Angles, and Widow
of Thombert an Englijh Lord, is faid to remain a Virgin,
tho' (he had two Husbands, and at laft to be entirely patted
from Egfrid. She founded a Monaftery at Ely, and was the
firft Abbefs hcrfelf. She was reverene'd in England by the
Name of St. Auldry.

The Death of Egfrid, and lofs of his Army, were ex-
tremely prejudicial to the Kingdom of Northumberland,
which from that time never recovered its former Luftre.
The Pitts improv'd their Vidlory by the Conqueft of part
of Bernicia, which lay convenient for them. The Weljh,
on the other hand, pofTefs'd themfelves of the two Pro-
vinces, that formerly compos'd the Kingdom of Areclute,
and out of them erected the Kingdoms of Lenox and Cum-
berland; the firft of which was taken from them fome
years after.

Egfrid leaving no IfTue, the Northumbrians recall'd
Alfred from Ireland, and crown'd him King of both
Kingdoms, which from thenceforward remain'd always

The Minorities of Princes being generally attended withe. Malm.
Troubles, it happen'd in the beginning of This, that Edulph, 1 5- <•"
a certain Lord of the Country, taking advantage of Ofred'a s ^'' A „ n ,
youth, made an attempt upon the Crown. A powerful Milmft.
Party having own'd him for King, Ofred and his Guardian
were obliged to retire to Bamborough-Cajile, where they Were
immediately befieged by Edulph. The length of the
Siege giving Brithric time to look about him, and his
Friends an opportunity of rifing in favour of their law-
ful King, Edulph found himfelf deferted on a fudden,
and fore'd to raife the Siege in confufion and hurry.
Whereupon, Brithric improving this happy Turn, fallied Beie, I. <.
out in purfuit of the Ufurper, and taking him Prifoner, Flor - wi s-
ordered him to be beheaded, about two Months after his

When Ofred came of age, and was mafter of himfelf, Flor. Wigi
he fell into a wicked and lewd Courfe of Life ; but efpe-
cially he had little or no regard for the Monks, which was
look'd upon Then as the height of Impiety. He made no
fcruple, as 'tis pretended, to debauch the Nuns, and even
to force them, when fair means would not prevail. Tho'
this Imputation cannot be faid to be certainly true, yet
the Effects of it were great. After Alfred, Ofwy's natural
Son, came to the Crown, all the Baftards of the Kings, or
their Defcendants, imagin'd they had the fame right to
afpire to the Throne. This prov'd the occafion of many
Troubles in the Kingdom. Cenred and Ofric, defcendants
of Ogga, natural Son of Ida, feeing Ofred was neither
efteem'd nor belov'd, form'd a Party againft him, which
was abetted to the utmoft of their Power by the Regular
and Secular Clergy, whofe intereft it was to have a new 7 l6 -
Sovereign. This Party became at length fo ftrong, as to j ', c al ™"
be able to give Ofred Battle, wherein he was flain, in theH. Hunt.
nineteenth year of his Age, and eleventh of his Reign,'- *•
Cenred, the principal Author of the Revolt, was his Suc-


This Prince died in the fecond year of his Reign, and 716,
Ofric that affifted him in obtaining the Crown, mounted the
Throne after him.

O S R I C.

He reign'd eleven years, without doing any thing remark- „,g.
able, and left his Crown to his Coufin Ceolulph, Sax. Aon,



This Prince turning Monk, in the feventh or eighth 730.
year of his Reign, pafs'd the refidue of his days in the
Monaftery of Lindilfarn. Edbert afcended the Throne
after him.


The Coronation of Edbert was immediately follow'd by ,.„,
an InvafiOn of the Pitts in the northern Frontiers. This G. Maim.
War obliging him to march all his Forces towards the!; 1 ./ -3 '
North, the King of Mercia, taking advantage of their di- 1, 4 .
ftance, fell upon the fouthern parts of Northumberland^ and
carried off a great Booty. 7+ °'

Edbert, towards the end of his Reign, having made a 756.
League with Ocnguffa King of the Pitts, recover'd the City Malmfo.
o( Areclute {z)^ Capital of the Kingdom of Lenox, taken s .d"^^,

by the Weljh in the Reign of Alfred. Dcovama, General
or Prince of the Weljh, endeavouring to relieve Areclute,
was defeated by the confederate Kings. Shortly after,
Edbert retir'd into a Monaftery leaving his Crown to his
Son Ofulph.

(1) And was buried in Whitby Monaftery in Yirilhirt, call'd in Saxon Slnanrjhejl. founded ky his Daughtw ElfiJi. Main. p. 20. Scie, i.
J. c. 24.
(*) Or Alcuith, the fame with Dunbi ittottt


5 2


Vol. I.

Sax. Aim.


S. Dunelm.

Sax Ann.
S Dunelm

H. Hunt,


R. de Hov

C. Malm.

that very much exafperated his Enemies againft- him. He
put Ofred his Predeceffor to death,' who, tho' a Monk,
made him uneafy (i): And then difpatch'd out of the way
Alphas and Alfzvin, Sons of the good King Alfwald.

During this Reign, the Danes made a defcent into Nor- 794-
thumberland, and burnt Lindhfarn Monaftery. Allur'd by
the booty, taken in this firft Expedition, they came again
next year, and pillaged Tinmouth Monaftery, founded by
King Egfrid. Ethclred, by the afliftance of his Father-in- 795.
law, Ufa King of Maria, prevented them from carrying
their Ravages any farther, and drove them back to their
Ships, where almoft all of them perifh'd in a fudden and
violent ftorm on the Englifn Coaft.

After Ethclrcd was recall'd, his cruel and revengeful
temper very much inflam'd the enmity of the oppofite Fa-
ction towards him. Mean while, regardlefs of the mur-
murs of his Enemies, he thought only of glutting his Re-
venge, and eftablifhing himfelf in his Throne, by the
death or banifhrnent of thofe he moft fear'd. At length,
attempting to fend Ardulph, one of the principal Lords of
the Country, into exile, he gave the contrary Party an oc-
cafion to rebel. After the civil War had lafted two years, 796.
the Malecontents, finding they had taken a tedious, and S:m ' " u "

■ 1 r 1 - w • » t . • , ne m. Rog.

uncertain way to get rid of their King, caus d him to be Huv.
affaffinated. However his Faction was ftill powerful e-
nough to place Osbald, one of their own Party, on the

Charles the Great, Ethelred's Friend, was Co incens'd Alcum.
with the Northumbrians, that he was going to proclaim E P
war againft them, as appears in Alcuin's Letter, on this ^ M * ]ra -


Ofulph was affafiinated in the firft year of his Reign ; and
Motlon-Adelwald, though not of the Blood-royal, was rais'd
to the Throne.


Mollon-Adekvahrs Election was a frefh occ.ifion of fun-
dry Calamities that afflicted Northumberland, and prov'd in
the end the deftruction of the Kingdom. The Northum-
brians having been guilty of the error of placing on the
Throne a King not of the Royal Family, all the Great
Men thought themfelves entitled to the Crown, as well as
the Princes of the Blood. Hence thofe many Factions, that
ended at laft in the entire lo(s of the publick Liberty. Some
of the Nobles finding Motion had rais'd himfelf to the
Throne by help of a powerful Party, believ'd it allowable
for them to do the fame. Ofwy, one of thefe Lords, led
the way, but death freed the King from this Competitor.
Afterwards, Alcred, defcended from Ida by Alaric, one of
his natural Sons, following the example of Ofivy, and fe-
cretly confpiring againft Mollon, found means to infnare
him and put him to death ; after which he was crown'd in
his Head.


Motions Faction, that was very much humbled by his
death, having in time recover'd the fuperiority they had loft,
Alcred was fore'd to fly to the King of the Picls, for fear
of falling into the hands of his Enemies. As foon as he
was gone, Ethelred, Son of Mollon, was plac'd on the
Throne by his Father's Party.


As Ethelred had been rais'd to the Crown by the intereft
of his Faction, he judg'd the beft way to fix himfelf in the
Throne, would be by the death or banifhrnent of the Heads
of the contrary Party. Accordingly, three of the prin-
pal oppofers of his Election were put to death, for forg'd or
flight Crimes. But this method, inftead of having the ex-
pected Effect, ferv'd only to haften the plots of his Ene-
mies, whom the death of the three innocent Lords fur-
nifh'd with a plaufible pretence to take up Arms. In a
fhort time, they were able to bring into the Field an Army,
that gave the King fome Uneafinefs. The King however
fending his beft Troops againft them under the Command
of a General entirely devoted to his Service, was in hopes
of fpeedily reducing them to obedience. But his Army was
overthrown by the Rebels. This Defeat, which was foon
follow'd by a fecond, threw himfelf into fuch an ill Situation,
that he was oblig'd to fly for refuge to fome of the neigh-
bouring Kingdoms. Upon his retiring, Alfwald, Son of
Ofulph, and Grand fon of Egbert, was plac'd on the Throne
by the victorious Party.


Alfwald I. reigned eleven years with great Juftice and
Moderation. But however, it did not prevent his being
afTaffinated by one of the contrary Faction. He was ho-
noured by his Followers as a Saint after his death.


Ofred, Son of King Alcred, was chofen in his room,
who, very unlike his Predeceflbr, became fo contemptible,
that he was confin'd to a Monaftery the firft year of his
Reign. Etbelred's Party was deeply concern'd in depofing
Ofred, and had intereft enough to recall and place him again
on the Throne, after fifteen years exile.

ETHELRED rejlored.

Ethelred began his new Reign with two acts of Cruelty,

k^lh^ifiFiZlTl 3 ,fJ'°X J " by ' J h \° f f, TT u° m h!s M ™^ into « i,e - From whcnce bei "S **»** ° v " *Y h ™ °<" his Party,
foppofa. y * ' " y E ""' r " i ini ** t0 dMth - *' D '""' m - P- '"• *"* P- +°5- S » ** h = w " "» Monk, iiJEjt'i

occafion, to Offa King of Mercia.


Whilft people were intent upon the publick rejoicings at 796-
the election of the new King, the oppofite Party laid their
meafures fo well, that Ofbald was dethron'd, twenty-
feven days after his Election, and Ardulph chofen in his

A R D U L P H.

The Divifions that prevail'd in Northumberland, ftill con- 79 6 .
tinued to rend that unfortunate Kingdom. Ardulph was
fupported in the Throne only by one of the Factions that
was then the moft powerful. But this did not hinder the
other Party from frequently attempting to get uppermoft.
Alcred, formerly King oi Northumberland, left a Son nam'd
Alcmund, who was head of this Party. This Prince begin- s; jj°£ u _
ning to grow formidable, Ardulph put him to death, judg- nekn. °
ing it neceifary to facrifice him to his Safety. His death
being look'd upon by his Friends as a Martrydom, Alcmund
was rank'd in the Number of tbeSaints. But this was not
all that follow'd upon his death. It afforded the King's
enemies a pretence to rife in arms, and fet Alaric, a Lord,
at their head. But this General being vanquiftYd, and flain
in battle, the Male-contents remain'd quiet for fome time,
in expectation of a more favourable opportunity. And in-
deed, the face of Affairs was quickly chang'd. For the
oppofite party became at length fo powerful, that the King
was glad to efcape out of his Enemies hands, by flying to
the Court of Charles the Great, where the Englijh were
always welcome.


After the Retreat of Ardulph, Alfwaldll. who had chae'd 80*.
him away, was plac'd on the Throne, and reigning about
two years, by his Death left the Crown to Andred.

A N D R E D.

In AndrecTs Reign it was that Northumberland fubmitted % l9 .
to the dominion of Ecbert, King o( IVeJfex, who put an
end to the Heptarchy.


Book III.

The Kingdom of MERCIA.



Hiftory of the Kingdom of MERC I A*



I ■ i


H E Kingdom of Mercla was bounded on the
iVor//> by the Humbcr, by which it was fepa-
rated from Northumberland; on the Weft by
the Severn, beyond which were the Britons or
Z/ 7 ^ ; on the South by the Thames, by which it was
parted from the Kingdoms of Kent, Sujfex and IVeffex ;
on the Eaft by the Kingdoms of Effex and Eajl-Anglia.
Thus Mercia was guarded on three Sides by three large
Rivers that ran into the Sea, and ferved for Boundaries
to all the other Kingdoms. Hence the Name, Mercia,
from the Saxon Word, Mere, fignifying a Bound, and
not, as fome fancy, from an imaginary River called Mer-
cia. The Inhabitants of this Kingdom are fometimes
termed by Hiftorians, Mcditerranei Angli, or the Mid-land
Englijh, and fometimes South- Humbrians, as being South
of the Humbcr ; but the molt common Name is that of
Mercians. The principal Cities of Mercia were Lincoln,
Nottingham, Warwick, Lc'icejlcr, Coventry, Lichfield, Nor-
thampton, IVorcc/ler, Glocejler, Derby, Chejler, Shrewsbury,
Stafford, Oxford, Brijiol. Of all the Kingdoms of the
Heptarchy this was the fined: and moft conliderable. Its
greateft length was a hundred and fixty Miles, and its great-
eft breadth about one hundred.

C R I D A, firft King of Mercia, arrived in England
in 584. He was crown'd the fame or the following Year,
and died in 594 (1).


After Crida's Death, Ethclbcrt, King of Kent, and Mo-
narch of the Anglo-Saxons, made himfelf Mafter of Mercia,
and kept it fome time, as will be related in the Hiftory of

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