M. (Paul) Rapin de Thoyras.

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Vol. I.


i ■ , after of
; ■ .■ . • ul| li,
c*J b'i two



C. Malm.

I.J. C.2,

Ic d: Pontif

THELWULPH was extremely addicted to
Religion, both by Temper and Education. He
woutd willingly, if permitted, have fpent whole
Days together in converfation with the Monks,
the Danes were ranfacking his Kingdom in a
mercilefs manner. The Vidory of Okely procuring him
fome refpite from thefe formidable Enemies, he was at
liberty to follow his natural Inclination. He had two
Favourites who equally fhared his Affcftion and Confi-
dence. They were both Bifhops, but of very different
Charaaers. The firft named Swithin, Bifhop of Win-
chefter, was continually entertaining the King upon the
Vanity of all worldly Glory, and the Joys of Heaven.
The fecond, called Aljlan, Bifhop of Sherborn, was not
at all pleafcd with the King's giving himfelf up wholly to
his Devotions. He could "have wiflied he would have
exerted himfelf more vigoroufly in repulfing the Danes,
and emploved his time in making preparations againft their
next return. To that end he never ceafed animating him,

and every thing; capable of feeding his Delation. The
Englijh College (bunded by Ina and enlarged by OJfei, hav-
ing been burnt down [the Year before] he caufed it to
be rebuilt in a more magnificent manner than before ;
and defiring to endow the College with greater revenues p,ter-p nee
than his Predeceffors had done, extended the Tax of '•«"■' - r
Peter-Pence all over his Dominions, which till then had ^ r ^' n " d '
been levied only in Weffex and Mercia. He obliged him- Malmsb.
felf moreover to fend to Rome yearly the Sum of three
hundred Mancus's [or Marks] (5), two hundred whereof
were to be expended in Wax Tapers for the Churches of
St. Peter and St. Paul, and the remaining one hundred
for the Pope's private ufe. Thefe -are the Liberalities, thatsigon : u de
gave occafion to certain Hiftorians to affert, that Ethelwulph Reg. lul.
made his Kingdom tributary to the Holy See. But what
wrong ufes foever might be made of them in Time, it is
certain they were no more originally than charitable Do-
nations to the Churches and Englijh College.

Ethelwulph having fatisfied his Deviticn and Curiofity He

by laying before him the glorious Deeds of his Anceftors, by a twelve Months ftay at Rome, returned home through J^; 1 ;^ (

particularly thofe of his Father Egbert, in which he was
mod nearly concerned. He was not fatisfied with ftirnng
him up by lively Exhortations, butfurnifhed him alfo with
Money to haften his warlike Preparations.

Thefe two Prelates bore an abfolute fway over the King,
who was naturally of a flothful and indolent Temper. The
one had the afcendant in Peace, the other in War. Aljlan

France, where he married Judith, the Daughter ol Charles charft tl
the Bald (6), a young Princefs of twelve Years of Age (;). Eald.
This unfuitable as well as unfeafonable Match, he having 5: '- ';'"
already feveral Children, was made another pretence for
the Confpiracy forming againft him in England.

Whilft Ethelwulph was bufied at Rome in Adts of
Devotion, Aljlan Bifhop of Sherborn, formerly his Favou-

kept his ground a long while,' by reafon of the frequent rite, but fince the Iofs of his Credit, his Enemy, took

Invafions of the Danes, which robbed the King of great advantage of his abfence to feduce Ethelbald his eldeft Son,

part of the time he would have employed in his Devotions, byway of Revenge (8). This young Prince, being of Ethelbald

But as foon as he found he was like to enjoy fome Quiet, an evil Difpofition, was already very angry with his Fa- »»>« .<"

he was entirely guided by the Bifhop of Winchejier. This
Prelate, taking advantage of the King's religious Difpo-
fition, fo engroffed him to himfelf, that Aljlan, whofe
advice was not fo conformable to the King's Inclination,
found his credit by degrees to diminifh. Swithin, all in
all with the King, confirmed him more and more in his
A Gram of natural Biafs to a religious Life. Above all, he inftilled
•' ■ Tubs' u i n to him an extreme affeclion for the Church and Clergy,
'!" C \Z y ' wherein the main of Religion was then made to confift.
p Ti?. By his advice it was, that this Prince, as it is pretended,
Malmlb. o-ranted to the Church the Tithes of all his Dominions ( 1 ).
Huntmgd. fj; thert0 the revenues of the Church were not very con-
fiderable ; but by this new grant they were encreafed to
that degree, that Ethehvulph's fucceffors had frequent oc-
cafion to wifh, he had left the Clergy in their former State.
To this zeal for Religion it was owing alfo that he fent
to Rome his youngefTSon Alfred, then about five Years
of Aee. As he was very fond of this Child, he imagined
no doubt, the Pope's BleJJing would be ratified in Heaven,
and procure him great Happinefs. If we may believe
certain Hiftorians, Leo IV, did not only blefs the young

■it. j'Elfr.


Alfred fat
l, R. inc.
Fl. W,g.
All :.

ther, for not invefting him with the Kingdom of Kent g F '^i c ,
after Atheljlan's Death ; and therefore very readily clofed Afcr.
with Aljlan 's pernicious Counfels. The Prelate reprefent- ™- f^
ed to him, that Ethelwulph lived more like a Monk than u * m c ' 2>
a King, and by his negligence would, it was to be feared,
expofe his Kingdom to Dangers and Ruin ; that fince he
delighted fo much in converting with the Monks, it was
fit he fhould pafs the refidue of his Days in a Monaftery,
and leave his Kingdom to a Son, more capable than him-
felf of governing it. The young Prince, burning with
defire and impatience to enjoy the Crown, was fhaken
with this Difcourfe. As his Heart was not found, there
was no need of repeating it often in order to gain him.
The news of Ethelwulph's Marriage coming juft at that
very time, put the finifhing ftroke to the Matter He
thought he had reafon to fear that, if there fhould be any
Children by this fecond Marriage, they would be able to
difpute with him the fucceffion to the Crown, by help of
the King of France. Thefe confiderations moved him to
cabal with the Nobles how to prevent the King's return.
Aljlan, author of the Plot, did all that lay in his power



n' ::■■:■
S. Dunelm.

Piince, but gave him alfo the ceremony of the Royal to gain the Nobles and People to the Prince's Intereft,
Unclion (2). But this appears to have no foundation,
unlefs it is pretended the Pope knew by Revelation, that
Alfred fhould one Day come to the Crown, though the
youngeft of four Brothers. Befides, Alfred had not the
Title of King till long after, when the Crown was de-
volved to him by the Death of his three elder Brothers.
There are fome who, on fuppofition of this fame Unclion,
maintain that the Pope only anointed him with Chrij'm at
the ceremony of his Confirmation, which gave occafion
for fome to imagine that Alfred received the Royal Unclion
before-hand, becaufe he was one Day to afcend the Throne

of England (3).

Ethelwulph's great zeal for Religion would not let him
-be eafy, without the fatisfaction of paying a vifit to the

Pope in perfon, and receiving his Benediclion. As England

was then in profound Peace, he refolved upon going to

Rome, and accordingly did fo in 855 (4). At his arrival,

Leo gave him an honourable Reception, and in return

met with all the refpecSf. and fubmiffion that could be ex-
pected from fo devout a Prince. During his ftay at Rome,

lie diligently viflted the Churches, Chapels, Holy Relicks

and it was not long before he formsd a powerful Party
in his favour. Ethelwulph, informed of thefe Proceed- r& ts«g re-
vues, immediately left France, and arrived in England, '*""•
before his Son had taken ajl neceffary meafures ta hinder
his landing. However, Ethelbald purfued his Delign, and Ethelbald
openly declared his Intent to dethrone his Father. AsP" r f"< s !j:l
Ethelwulph had dignified his new Wife with the Title of SeId( . B '
J^iieen, in confederation of her illuftrious Birth, Ethelbald Tula of
made ufe of that pretence to give fome colour to his Revolt. // *" 5 '"'-
He alledged, that by the exprefs terms of the Law made^ M ' a .,,, '
upon the account of Brithric's Murder, the Jt'efl-Saxonsl ;• e ?.
were abfolved from their Oath of Allegiance to the King.
All things now tended to a Civil War, which could not
but prove fatal to England, fince, befides other Mifchiefs,
it would undoubtedly bring on frefh Invafions from the
Danes. But fome of the wifeft of the Nobility of both
Parties, forefeeing the Calamities that might enfue, by
their mediation endeavoured to bring matteis to an Ac-
commodation. Though right and juftice wete entirely
on the King's fide, yet he confented to peaceable Mea-
fures. But as he was old and eafy-natured, and his

(1) In the Laws of Iua and Offj, Tithes are fettled on the Clergy. But in all lilcelih od thefe Laws were not oMerved, or perhaps Etbeliaulpb extended
the Law all over England. Raph. This Charter is at length in the State of the Church. . .

(1) The Words of "the Hiftorians arc: La infantem ordinans ur.xit in Rigcm, & in flium adupticnu fibimct nciftaa anfimavit. S. Dumlm. p. lie.

vit. /Elfr. Sax. Huntingd. Sec

,-) This lame ycarSji, Earl Alcher with the Inhabitants of Kent, and Earl Jiuda wi th of Surrey, fought with an Army of Dana in the Ifle of
Tba.net; The Englijh got "at firft fome Advantage, but peat Numbers were killed and dl vned ca both Sid-s ; and the two Englijh Generals at length lo!t
their Lives. Sax. Ann. AJftr. S. D:ireJ;:i, p. "120. Huntingd. p. 34.8. Th; w- :. >i they wintered, for the rirlt time, in the Ilia of ibifcy.
Sax. .-!■•«■

(4.) Carrying his Son Aljrtd along with him. Ajfer. til. Alfr. p. 2.

(5) Jd'n Brampton is miflakcn in calling them three hundred Talents, p. S a. Rafin.

(6) bhc is called Lmtbcta in the Saxm dnnah. Rapin.

(7) This d.ics not appiar from our Eltglijb Hiftorians. R. Higden fay, 1 he n.anied her in the i:th year ol I Rl -n, p. 253. Etbthmlpb's hrlt
Wife was OJb:.r^a, the Daughter of Ojlae his Cup-bearer, who was d.....».- from Stuff and rVitbgar, Afftr. vit. Aif. f. 1.

(3) With them j. ined Emlpb Earl of Smurftt. Mahjb. p- 40.

J Son

Book IV.



Son highly tbreatnedhis oppofers, the Balance very much vifed him not to fign fo partial and unequal a 7 reatyj hut

inclined to Ethelbald's fide. By the Treaty, which was he would not hearken to them. He told them, he did not

managed by the Umpires, Etbelwulph was obliged to refign fct fo high a value on the Dominions allotted to his Son, as

to his Son the ancient Kingdom of IVeffex, and to fit down to purchafe them at the Price of a Civil War; and though

contented with that of Kent for himfelf, under which were it might be in his Power to recover them, yet his deatH

comprifed alfo Effex and Suffix. Some of his Courtiers ad- would foon put lus Son in pofleffion agaiii.

Ethelwulph in Kent. Ethelbald ill Wejfex.



*i>g°f ,

Ann. Fax

in Sanctis.

NE would th'mkEtbc/wulpb forefaw his death was
not far off, fince he out-liv'd this Partition but
two years, which he fpent in a manner worthy
of a Chriftian Prince, in doing acts of Charity,
adminiftring juftice to his Subjects, and endeavouring, by
the force of his Example, to induce them to lead Lives
confotmable to the Precepts of the Gofpel. Ethelbald, on
the contrary, depending upon many years to come, thought
only of fpending his days in licentioufnefs and debauchery.
The Saxon Annals tell us, that about this time, Edmund,
a youth of fifteen years of Age, was crowned King of Eajl-
Angl'ia. He was Son to Alcmund, a Prince of the Royal
Blood, who fled into Germany when Offd feized upon Eajl-
Auglia. It is not faid whether this was done with the con-
fent of Etbelwulph and Ethelbald, or whether taking advan-
tage of the diffenfion between the Father and Son, the Eajl-
Aug/ts refolved to have a King of their own. Edmund was
guided, during his Youth, by the advice of Bifhop Hum-
bert, who took care to form him to a virtuous Life, and
inftil into him Sentiments of Juftice and Equity of which
his Subjects reaped the benefit. I pafs over in filence all
theMiracles that are faid to attend his Birth, and {hall fpeak
elfewhere of his tragical end, honoured with the name of


Etbehvulph, finding death approaching, made his Will ( j )
wherein he difpofed of his dominions to Ethelbcrt his fecond .-.-
Son, and after his deceafe to Ethdrcd his third Son, and af-
ter him to Alfred his youngeft. I am not fure, whether it wa i
cuftomary then for the Flings to difpofe of their Dominions
by Will, or whether Etbelwulph was the firft that did fo.
However this be, it is certain Ethekvulph's Sons fucceedtd
one another by virtue of this Will. Wherein he alfo or- RTalinrt,
der'd his Heirs to maintain one poor Perfon for every Titbiti? M. Weil
in his Hereditary Lands. He died foon after in 857, ha- r
ving reigned twenty years (2), leaving behind him four Sons '
and one Daughter, who was married to Buthred King of
Mercia, and died at Pavia in 8S8. Ethelbald, eldeftSon of
Etbehvulph, being already in pofleffion of the Kingdom of
IVeffex, Ethelbert his Brother had only for his fhare Kent,
Effex, Surrey and Suffix, comprifed under the name of
The Kingdom of Kent. As for E their ed and Alfred, his
other Sons, they were at firft but ill provided for ; but
in the end they mounted the Throne alfo. Befides AthcT-
Jlan fpoken of before, fome give Ethelwulph another natu-
ral Son called Neot> who was afterwards ProfefTor at
Oxford. But I very much doubt whether Neot was his
Son. It is more likely he was only his Relation, of the
Blood-Royal of IVeffex,

3 . Ethelbald in Wejfex. Ethelbert in Kent.

THELBALD's Reign was remarkable neither
for any Event of Moment, nor for any Action of
his own, worth recording. All Hiftorians agree,
that he was a Prince of little Merit, and of an evil
Difpofition. He is faid by the Englijh Hiftorians to make
no fcruple of marrying Judith of France his Father's Wi-
dow. But the French Writers mention not this Marriage.
They tell us her Marriage with Ethelwulph not being con-
fummated by reafon of her Youth, (he returned to France,
from whence fhe was carried away by Baldwin Iron-hand
Earl of Flanders. Perhaps they knew nothing of her fe-
cond Marriage, or, it may be, did not think proper to
mention it, as reflecting, on the Family of Charles the

Great. Be this as it will, the Englijh Hiftorians fpeak
of it as certain. And one of them adds (4), Ethelbald
was brought to a Senfe of his Fault, by Swithin Bifhop of
Winchcjler, and underwent a fevere Penance for it. This
Penance, which probably confifted in fome Grants or Do-
nations to the Monafteries, made an Hiftorian (;) fay, „ .• •_
his Death which happened in 860, was exceedingly la- S60.
mented. He had reigned two Years in IVeffex during his
Father's Life, and about two Years and a half after his
Deceafe. Ethelbert his Brother, already in pofTeffion of
the Kingdom of Kent, fucceeding to IVeffex, by virtue of
their Father's Will re-united the two Kingdoms.



commendatoriam, fcribere imperavit Epiftolam-

-Affer. vit. Alf. p. 4.

(2) The Saxon Annah allow Etheltvulph to have reign'd but eighteen years, and yet tell us his Father began to reign in Sco, and that he reigned thirty-
fcven years feven months, and that Etbelwulph died in 8 57. Rapin. The Saxon Annah fay he reigned eighteen years and a half". He was buried at Winchefief
with his Father Egbert. Sax. Ann. AJfer. in the Life of Alfred, fays he was buried at Stemrugan ; and in his Annals, he calls the place Sttningham,
which Mr. Camden takes to be Stoning in Sajfex, p. 205.

(3) Here the Saxon Ann. inform us, that when the Pope heard of Ethekajulptis Death, he anointed Alfred King, and prefemed him to a Bifhop to be c^n-
firrmd, as his Father, when he lent him thither, had ordered, p. 77.

(4) Thomas Rudbournc in his Hiftory of Wineheftir M. and alio Mattbeio of IVeflminfler. Eut AJfer, who liv'd in thole days, lays no fuch thing.

(5) Huntingdon, who tells us he was buried at Shtrborn. Sen Sax. Ann. Malm/b. p. 42.



the H IS TO RT of ENGLA N D,

Vol. L


return to
Kng! ind.
Sax. Ann.



A"~*fJ"~^ HE Dunes, having left England for fome years un-
molefted, immediately after Ethelberfs Corona-
tion renew'd their Invafions (i). As they had
not been heard of for fome time, they were al-
moft forgotten, and confequently no preparations were
!„,„ made to repulfe their Attacks. This neglect gave them
efter. great advantajes, and helped them to penetrate as far as
II 'incheftir, the Metropolis of IVcjfex, which they reduced
to afhes. They would have proceeded to much greater

TA-v an

r d

Mifchiefs, had not Ofric and Ethelwulph, two Wejl-S.


Earls, with fome Troops drawn together in hafte, beat
them back to their Ships.
Dff. Another time they came in Autumn, and landed in the
Me of Tbanet, where they winter'd in order to begin their
Incurfions in the Spring. Ethelbert, very uneafy at their
being fo near him, but not knowing how to help it, offer'd

them a Sum of Money to go off" quietly (z). They ac-w* <•''<.
cepted of his offer; but when they had finger'd the Mo
ney, they rufhed into Kent and deftroyed all (3) with Fire
and Sword, Ethelbert not being in condition to be rcveng'd S x. Ann.
of them. However, having learnt by this Treachery, that*? '
nothing but Force could free him from his Enemies, he
fet about levying an Army, to intercept them in their re-
treat, and prevent them from carrying off their Booty.
The dread of thefe preparations made them embark with
their plunder fo haftily, that it was not poffible to hinder

Ethelbert's Reign, which lafted but fix years, affords lit-//, j ...
tie matter for Hiftory. He died in 866 (4), leaving two 8c6>
Sons, Adhelm and Ethel-ward, who did not fucceed him,
his younger Brother Ethelred afcending the Throne by vir-
tue of Elhelwulph's Will.


* HE Reign of Ethelred was fhort and trouble-
fome. From his Coronation to his Death, he had
one continued Conflict with the Danes. They
began with attacking Northumberland, which at
length they became Mafters of. They proceeded next to
Eajl-Anglia, which they alfo fubdued. And after extorting
Money from the Mercians, they enter'd Wejfex. Not-
withstanding the valour of Ethelred, and the many battles he
fought, he had the vexation at his Death to leave them in
the heart of his Kingdom, and in condition of foon com-
pleating the Conquelt of the whole. Thefe are the princi-
pal Events during this Reign, the moil remarkable Circum-
itances whereof I am going to relate.

The Authority referved by Egbert over the.Kingdoms of
Mercia, Eajl-Anglia, and Northumberland, trncHtnjoycd alfo
by his Son Ethelwulph, was now much weakened, by rea-
fon of the frequent Invafions of the Danes. Whiift the
Kings of JVeJfex were employed in the defence of their
own dominions, it was hardly poflible for them to think
of improving their Sovereignty over the three Kingdoms of
the Angles, to whom Egbert was willing to leave a fhadow
of Liberty. And therefore, by degrees, the Northumbrians,
tlmmbrians as moft remote from JVejfcx, had freed themfelves from
Servitude. The Factions that had long reign 'd among them
were tirown cooler, and fo far agreed at laft, as with una-
nimous confent to place Osbert on the Throne. This happy
Union would have reftored Northumberland to its ancient

I.Z. c.1.

•n •■

faakl off tl





fplendor, if an unexpected Accident had not revived their
- Dana DitTenfions, and plunged the Country into a gulph of re-
niedilefs Mifery. The occafion of thefe new Troubles,
which proved not only deilructive of Northumberland, but
fit.'. I to all England, was this (5).

Osbert, who kept his Court at York, returning one day

from hunting, had a mind to refrefh himfelf at the Houfe
of a certain Earl named Brucrn-Bocard, Guardian of the
Coafts againft the Irruptions of the Danes. The Earl hap-
pening to be from home, his Lady, to whofe charming
Beauty'was joined the moft engaging Behaviour, enter-
tained her Sovereign with the refpeet due to his Quality.
( 7, ravifh'd at the fight of fo much Beauty, became
in an Inftant defperately in Love with her, and refolved,
let the Confequence be what it would, to gratify his Paffion
without delay. Accordingly, on pretence of having fome
matters of Importance to communicate to her, in the Ab-
fence of the Earl, he led her infenfibly into a private Room,
wheie after feveral attempts to bring her to comply by fair
means, he fell at length to downright Force. Entreaties,

Tears, Cries, Reproaches, were ineffectual to put a flop
to his raging Paffion. After the commiffion of this infa-
mous Deed, he left the Countefs in th3t excefs of Grief
and Vexation, that it was not poffible for her to hide the
caufe from her Husband. So outragious an Affront is hard-
ly ever forgiven. Though Osbert was King, and Earl
Bruem his Subject, he relented fo highly this Injury, that
he refolved not to flick at any means to be revenged. He
had a great Intereft with the Northumbrians, and the bafe
Action of Osbert was naturally apt to alienate the minds of
his Subjects from him. Accordingly, by the management Ella cbtftn
of the Earl, the Bernicians in a little time revolted ; and K ]"f -J B - r "
looking upon Osbert as unworthy to govern them, elected J?^ 1 ' Ann
another King named Ella, whom they placed on the
Throne, with refolution to fupport him in it. Thus the
oldDivifions, which feemed to be quite extinguifhed, were
kindled afrefh ; and Northumberland once more divided
between two Kings and two Factions, who continually
aiming at each other's Deftruction, were but too fuccefs-
ful in their Endeavours.

A Civil War was the fatal confequence of this difcord.
The two Kings frequently ftrove to decide their Quarrel
by Arms ; but the equality of their Forces preventing
the fcale from inclining to either fide, they both main-
tained themfelves in the Throne. The injured Earl, one
would think, fhould have been fatisfied with Osbert's lo-
fing half his Dominions. But his revenge feemed to him
incomplete, whiift he faw him on the Throne of Delia.
•Mean while, deeming it very difficult to carry it any
farther, without a foreign Aid, he fatally refolved to go
and procure the Affiftance of the Danes. This was not
the firft time the like Injury had produced the like Effect.
Spain, under the Dominion of the Moors, felt at that
very time the mifchiefs an affair of this nature had occa-
fioned. As foon as the Earl arrived in Denmark, he \m-Earl Bruem
mediately applied to King Ivar [or Hinguar] (6), and'"" 1 '."'
giving him a particular Account of the diftracted State En "° an( j'
of Northumberland, intimated to him, that if he would
improve the prefent Junctuie, he might with eafe be-
come Matter of the Kingdom. Ivar very readily came
into an Enterprize, to which he was prompted by the
delire of Revenge as well as Ambition. Regnerus, his Fa-
ther, having been taken Prifoner in England, was thrown
into a Ditch full of Serpents, where he miferably psrifhed.
So barbarous a treatment having infpired Ivar with a fu-
rious hatred againft the Englijh, he embraced, without
hefitation, the prefent opportunity of being revenged.

fi) They landed at ; ' '.-. Malmsb p. 42. Huntiagd, p. 348.

(2. '' fa; . it \ is the Kentijh Men chat offcr'd thera Mcncy, and made a Peace with them.

(3) All the Eai rn Pan 1 I K :. Sax Am.
I And was burl I at - Malmsb. p. 4.2.

. 1 h * ■' , as the n Opinion, makes Oibcrfs ravifhing Earl En.-> Lady the oceafion of the Dana coming to Net -here is

alfij another rcai n giv n of that, ar.d the barbarous Murder of Edmund .-The Story goes, that Lodeortcb K.11 • going a Hawking in a H tat was

driven out at Sea by a Storm, and caft upon the Eng/ijh Coaft near Yarmouth. He was l'ciz'd and brought to Ed Court] -■, who

rinding him a greit Spottfman, was plcalcd with his Co mp any. Ber , the I cuiier, perceiving himfelf outdone in his own Bufineis by thi Granger,

drew him into a Wocd, on pretence of mowing him Gamg and barb. r'd him. Lcdebrocb's Dog, aim Palace, and being ted,

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