M. (Paul) Rapin de Thoyras.

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goes away again. The Dog doing this feveral t;mes, made the King's w him, and thus were bicught to a Sight of the Corpfe B^n was tried for

the Murcher, and being round go ':' j cand 01 u to be pot inl 1 J * fackling or Pi vifi n.

fieMiad* the "gofid FoYtune-to be carried to the Danijb Shoar. TheB .... B 1 was d [..but;, kbrtcb. He told them,

that beire, caft en the Coafl of EaJtrAfigtia, It: 1 Ps O.ovr to >n which, Ivar anJ lailM for£.i'.'-

Anrtii, with a numerous Army, but were fere'd by bad Wi 1 h 1 into . Br^mpti.::. M. U\-j}. Ingulpb only lays, that tiiLy liew him upon

^cc nnt of the Faith of Chiilt, an ! ■ Country, p. 2+.

16) Pmtavux, in his Hiftory or !u nmirk, that Country : But Meurfim alfuies us, that this Prince was crown'd in S36,

wherein he agrees not in h.s Ci.....o j with the /' . i. . ins. Rsfi/t.


Book IV.



Jvar rrakcs
oDrjc nt on
S. Dunelm.

With this view he concerted with Earl Bruern all ne-
cellary meafures to put their defign in execution. In
the Spring he entered the Humber with a numerous Fleet,
which fpread a Terror all over England. He was con-
ducted by Bruern, and attended by his Brother Hubba,
the moft valiant Perfon of his Time. As the Northum-
brians had received no Intelligence of this Invafion, they
were in no readinefs to difpute his landing. So Ivtir with-
out any difficulty became matter of the northern fide of

Danes, though Fortune favoured him, wheieas his all was
at ftake in Cafe of a Defeat (5).

Ivar, from the time he arrived in England, had cruelly Sax. Ann.
ravaged all the Places wherever he came, particularly the s - Dunclm -
Monafteries, where the Englifi endeavoured to conceal 6E
the molt valuable Effects. It may eafily be conceived,
the idolatrous Danes had no great regard for the Nuns,
and that Multitudes of them were expofed to their bru-
tal Luft. We have a remarkable Story upon this Sub-

Oftcrt af-
files to Ell
for Aid.

g6 7 . the Humber^ (i).^From whence he marched directly (2) jeer.: The Abbefs of Coldingbam (6), upon the Approach \, Jt . w e rt.

of the DaniJI) Army, prevailed with her Nuns, to cut off Mmafiery ,f
their Nofes and Upper-Lips, in order to fcreen themfelves < ;l d : '".^ h:,m-
from the outrages they were threatened with. This no-
table Expedient, it is true, preferved their Honor, but
coft them their Lives. The Soldiers beholding, contra-
ry to their Expectations, fuch monftrous Vitages, fct
fire to the Monaitery, caufing them in the Flames to
compleat the Sacrifice of their Perfons, which they had
already begun offering to God.

Ivar not having all the Succefs he expected in Mereia, g 70-
turned his Arms another way, where in all likelihood Ivar fubka
he fhould meet with lefs Oppofition. He left Hubla his Ea «-An-
Brother in Northumberland, and embarking with the s '' a-
flower of his Troops, made a Defcent on Eajl-Anglia
(7), where Edmund was King, of whom I have already
fpoken. This young Prince, more ufed to Acts of De- Aflir.
votion, than to the exercife of Arms, having given the Annal.

to York, where Osbert was preparing an Army to oppofe

In this great extremity Osbert applied to Ella, though
his Enemy, for Affiftance. Ella, confeious of his cruel
Treatment of Ivar's Father, and dreading the Son's re-
venge, very willingly agreed to fufpend their private
Quarrel, and join their Forces againft the common Ene-
my. Accordingly, he proceeded with all poffible Expe-
dition to bring him a powerful Reinforcement. If Oj-
bert could have refolved to ftay in York till Ella's Arri-
\'al, who was upon the March, he would doubtlefs have
embarraffed the King of Denmark, who by that means
would have been forced to oppofe the Enemy in two Places
at once. But his great courage would not fuffer him to
take fo good a Refolution. Perhaps it was with regret
that he faw himfelf conftrained to have recourfe to his

Sax. Ann

Osbert de-

Encmy, or it may be, was afraid of fome Treachery

However this be, without expecting Ella's approach, he Danes Battle, was ealily overthrown and compelled to

fallied out of York, and attacked the Danes fo vigoroufly, fave himfelf by Flight. He thought of concealing himfelf

that they could hardly ftand the fhock, and were very in a Church, but being discovered, was brought before

near being put in diforder. But their obltinate refiftance Ivar at Hegilfdon (8). The Conqueror offered to leave him

having at length cooled the Ardour of their Enemies, in polfeffion of his Kingdom, provided he would acknew-

they preiled them in their turn, and compelled them at ledge him for Sovereign, and pay him Tribute. Edmund

laft to retire in confufion into the Town (3). Osbert in- refuting thefe Terms, Ivar ordered him to be tied to a

■£».'"*' taged to fee a certain Victory, as he thought, matched out Tree, and fhot at with Arrows, and then to have his

of his hands, ufed his utmoft endeavours to rally his Head cut off. Humbert Bifhop of the Eajl-Ano-les was

Troops, but was flain in the retreat with abundance of alfo put to Death by Ivar's Order. Edmund's Head beino-

hisMen. found fome time after, was interred with his Body at

This Victory having opened the Gates of York to the St, Edmund's Bury, fo called from him. Whilft the Ro-

Danes, they entered the Town to refrefh themfelves, man Catholiek Religion flourifhed in England, great Num
whilft Ella was advancing in hopes to repair the lofs oc-
cafioned by Osbert's Precipitation. Ivar having juft tri-

Hill. Dan,

Death of



Ivar enters
Sax. Ann.

bers of Miracles were pretended to be wrought at his

Tomb. I do not know by what accident his Corps An deTW.

umphed over one of the Kings, and not believing the came to be at Touloufe, where it is faid to be difcovered de b F -""e.

other to be more formidable, faved him fome trouble, by in 1667.

going to meet him. This Battle was no lefs bloody than
the firft, nor lefs fatal to the Etiglijl). Ella loft his Life,
and his Army was entirely routed. Some fay, this Prince
was not flain in the Battle ; but being taking Prifoner,
Ivar ordered him to be flead alive, in revenge for his
Father's Death. The Field of Battle was called ElleJ-
erojl, that is, Ella's Overthrow.

After thofe two fignal Victories, Ivar without any
difficulty, took poffeffion of all Northumberland. But
this not fatisfying his Ambition, he marched into Mereia,
plundering and ravaging without mercy, whatever came
in his way. Buthrcd King of Mereia, having had time
to prepare, had called to his affiftance Ethelred his Bro-
ther-in-law, who was come to join him with all the
Forces of JVeJTex. Ivar was now advanced as far as

Ivar being, thus Matter of Eaji-Anglia, appointed a irgulph.
Danifh CapfiMny one Godrim or Gothurn, Governor of it. Erompt.
Afterwards, having recalled his Brother Hubba from North-
umberland, to be near his Perfon, he made Egbert, by
birth an Englijliman, but entirely at his devotion, King of
that Kingdom.

The good fuccefs the Danes had met with, during g , r
this War, infpiring them with hopes of becoming Ma- i var /„,'
tiers of all England, they began to form new Projects. WdTex.
Ivar (9), having perfect Information of the State or' the^' A " n '
Ifland, found he muft begin with IVeJfex, in order to ac- "'
complifh. his defigns. F.e was in hopes, could he once
fubdue that Kingdom, the reft would follow of courfe.
On the other hand, he was fenlible that all his Conquefts
elfewhere would be unfecure, as long as the King of


Nottingham (4), in expectation to furprize the King of IVeJJex was in condition to affift his Neighbours. Thefe

tffijts. the

King of


Mereia ; but when he was informed Ethelred had joined
him, he ftopp'd fhort, being furprized to find his Forces
inferior to thofe of the Englijh Princes. The two Armies
flood near one another for fome time, expecting every
moment to engage. But the confequence of a Battle,
which in all likelihood would determine the Fate of
both fides, kept them in fufpence. At laft, having faced
one another a good while, they parted without fighting.
Buthrcd chofe rather to bribe the Enemy to retire, than
hazard a battle, the fuccefs whereof was doubtful. Be-
r'/T/"^ ^ es ' ^ e was f en "bl e tnere was nothing to be got by the

rf M:ncy.

(1) They came over the Autumn before, and wintered in Eaf-AngUa,

iayt the

Danes off

Confederations having determined him to attack Ethelredy

he embarked his Troops and failed for the Coaft of Wc[fex 9

where landing his Army, he advanced as far as Reading.

Ethelred^ who had forefeen his defign, marched his Army

towards that quarter, accompanied by Alfred his Brother.

It would be tedious, and perhaps impracticable, to relate

the particulars of this War (10). It is fufhcient to fay in Malmfb.

few words, that within the compafs of one Year, Ethelred I. *• c 3.

fought nine pitched Battles, and upon all occasions gave ^ ffcr Ann '

fignal proofs of his Courage and Conduct, tho' Fortune

did not always prove favourable. In the laft Battle, which

(Sax. Ann. AJJer. "jit. Alfr. S. Dunelm.) Entering into a Treaty with the

Eaji- Angles, they got Horles from them ; which put thim into a Capacity to over-run the neighbouring Counties. Huntingd. p. 348. Sax. Ann.

(z) By ail the Accounts of the ancient Hiftorians, it appears, that in the Spring of the Year 867, Zr/tfr marching from Eajl-Anglta, paffed the Humber,
and ravaged all the Country northwards, &c. See Sax. Ann. Hunttngd. S, Dunelm. Hcved. Flor. Wig. M. Wcflm. Sec.

(3) Into which the Englijh fhut themfelves upj but the Dana letting that City on fire, moft 01' the Englijh penliicd in the Flames. Malmfb. p. 42.

(4.) Where the Danes took up their Quarters, and wintered: Here they were befieged by the Englijh, but neither lide being very forward to come to an
Engagement, they firuck up a Peace- Sax. Am. Ajjer. Ingulph. Sec

(5) After the Cunclufion of the Peace, the Danes went back to York, where they remained oae Year. Sax. Ann. S. Dunelm. p. 124.

(6) A famous NiKinery in the County of Merck in Scotland.

(7) The Danes paffed through Mereia, and wintered at Thetford* Sax. Ann. Huntingd. p. 349. But the fullcft Account of this and other Matters
within th> Period, being given by Ingulph, it will not be improper to give an Abftraft of his Relation. In the Spring of the Year S69, the Danijh Army
putting out to Sea, Ltndtd at Huierftan, and deftroyed the whole Country, and Bardney Monaftcry in particular, killing every one of the Monks. Then,
about Muhuelmafs, they paffed into K'jitven, and there destroyed every thing that came in their way. About a Year alter, Earl Algar, and fome others,
alfembled an Army, and coming to an Engagement with the Heathens, defeated them, and flew three of their Kings [or Chiefs] but Algar himfelf was
foon after (lain. Whereupon the Dana continued their Ravages, and plundered and burnt the Monafteries of Croyland, Pcterburgb y and Ely i killing every
Perfon they met there. From thence palling into Eaft-Anglie, they cut off, with all his Forces, Earl Ulfketully who was come out againft them, and fo
t.-king puffeflion of that Kingdom, winter'd there. Ingulph. p. 14— *zj±. Brompt. p. 807.

(8) Now called Hoxon in Suffolk.

(g; Huntingdon calls the two Danijh Generals Eajieg and Aldaie, p. 349. The Sax. Ann. Bacfag. and Ilea IJ 'den,

(10) The Particulars, deliver'd by Huntingdon and The Saxon Annals, are as follows :—— The firft Battle in thefe Parts, between the Englijh and Danes,
(three Days after the coming uf thefe} was fought at Inglcfeld in Berkfhire\ in which the Englijh got the Victory. Sax Ann. Huntingd. p. 349. Four
Days after, there was another Fight at Reading, in which Ethelred and Alfred were overcome. But, four Days after, they defeated the Danes at Ajlcn
near fVallmgford\ and Bafreg, [(0 in the Originals] the two Sidroci, and feveral thoufands of Danes were then flain. A fortnight after, the Englijh were
beat at Bafwg in Hamjhire ; and again, two Months after, at Warden in Wiltjbire, in which laft Battle Ethelred received his death's wound. Sax, Ann*
Huntingd. p. 349. Spelmant Life of Alfred, p. 43.

After the B..ttlc of Bafmg t there urns * liclh Army gf Dana from beyond Sea, and joined thofe that were already in England, Ajft-. vit. Alfr* p. 7.

N-. J. Vol. I.


9 o


Ethelred ;



tte H I S T R T of E N G L A N D.

Vol. I.

A Ik i >;■
Alfr. Reb.
Cell. p<7.

was fought near Wlttlngham, he received a mortal
Wound,°whereof lie died in 872 (i)> after a reign of 'five
Years (2).

Ethelred feems not to be entirely free from blame, for
fufferin°- the Danes to over-run Northumberland and Eajl-
Anglia, without endeavouring to flop their progrefs. But
probably this Prince, furprized at the defeat of the two
Kin^s .)f Northumberland, and the fwift progrefs of Ivars
Arms, did not think himfelf in condition to repair the
misfortunes caufed by the diffenfions of the Northumbrians.
Befides, he did not care, doubtlefs, to expofe in the de-
fence cf Northumberland and Eajl-Anglia, the Forces he
forefaw he fhould want for the prefervation of his own
Kingdom. It may be farther faid in his Justification, that
the Terror, fpread over all England, put it out of his
Power perhaps, to difpofe of his Army as he could have
wifhed. This Terror was fo great, that it was no eafy
matter to prevail with the Englijh io march againft fo for-
midable Enemies, till compelled to it in their own ne-
ceffary defence.

Tho' Ethelred was noted for his great Bravery, yet his

Piety is faid to furpafs even his Valour. An Hiftorian
tells us, that being at Prayers on a Day of Battle (3), he
refolved not to move till the Service was over, tho' the
Fight was begun, and the Danes had fome Advantage.
He adds, God rewarded his Piety with a fignal Victory
that Day.

Ethelred left feveral Children, of whom Alfred, the great
Grandfather of Ethelwerd the Hiftorian, was one. Some
fav alfo he had a Daughter called Thyra, married to Tro-
ths VI. King of Denmark. Ethelred's Sons were deprived
of the Crown for the fame reafons the Sons of his elder
Brother Ethelbert was fet afide, I mean, Ethclwulph\
Will. After his death, Alfred his Brother was placed on
the Throne without any one's queftioning his Title.

During Ethelred's reign, the Danes demolifhed the fa- SevtraI3fc<
mous Monafteries of Croyland, Ely, Peterborough or Me- najkria it-
defliamjled, befides that of Coldingbam before mentioned.^"-'''''-
It is chiefly on the defcription of what befel the Abbies^"^^
that Hiftorians have enlarged, whilft doubtlefs, they omit-
ted Events more remarkable, and more worthy the notice
of a curious Reader.

6. ALFRED the Great.


the Ci tat.


LFRE D was no lefs infefted with the Danes
than his Predeceffor. This Prince, as well as
his Brother Ethelred, had frequent occafion of
exercifing his Valour, Firmnefs, and all the
other Virtues Heaven hath adorned him with. Their For-
tune however was different ; as Ethelred was never re-
duced to fo deplorable a Condition as Alfred, fo on the
other hand, he was never raifed to that height of Glory.
Divine Providence feems to have fhown in the Perfon of
Alfred, with what eafe God cafts down and fets up Princes,
according to his good Pleafure. This is what I am going
to fhow in the Life of Alfred, taking for my principal
Guide a celebrated Hiftorian, who has given an exact
account of his Actions.
The Stan of Ethelred had left the Affairs of his Kingdom in a deplo-
ttt Kingdom. ra ble Condition. The Danes, already matters of North-
umberland and Eajl-Anglia, were in the very heart of the
Kingdom of Wejfex. Notwithftanding the many Battles
Ethelred had fought with them, they were in poiTemon of
feveral Towns, and not only kept their footing in the
Country, but had reafon to hope they fhould foon go thro*
with the Conqueft of it. Alfred had fcarce been a Month
on the Throne (4), when he found himfelf obliged to take
the Field (5) againft thefe formidable Enemies, who were
advanced as far as Wilton (6). Thither it was that he
marched to attack them the firft time, after his Brother's
death (7). He flattered himfelf for fome time that Victory
would incline to his fide ; but the Scene changing on a fudden
in favour of the Danes, he was forced at length to leave them
mafters of the field of Battle. However, his lofs was not fo
confiderable, as to make him defpair of being revenged. As
the Danes had alfo loft abundance of Men, he laboured in-
ceffantly to put his Army in condition to give them Battle
again, before they fhould be reinforced. They were afto-
nifhed at his Expedition, and tho' victorious, fued for
'''Peace, finding they were unable to continue the War.
Aila*"" ** ow mucn f° ever Alfred confided in his Troops, who ap-
peared eager to engage, he thought proper to embrace the
prefent opportunity of getting rid of his Enemies, without
hazarding a fecond Battle. As they offered to march out
of his dominions, on condition he would moleft them in
no other part of England, he gladly accepted their offer,
looking upon it as very advantageous, in his prefent Cir-
cumftances. And indeed, this Treaty gave him time to
prepare againft a frelh Invafion, which he had all the rea-


The Battle
of Wilton,
Alfred is
TO rjitd.
Sax. Ann.

He make! a

fon in the World to expect. But had he been bent upon
engaging again and loft the day, his whole Kingdom would
infallibly have fallen into the hands of his Enemies.

The Danes quitting Wejfex retired to London (8), which
they had taken during the late War. Ivar was gone back 77* Danes
to Denmark having left the Command of the Army toius eu % Ma "*t
Brother Hubba, who being tied up from attacking Wejfex ff :u JJ t \f
turned his Arms againft Mercia. Buthrcd knowing he with Money ;
was unable to refift, fince Alfred was bound not to fend Sa *: Ann >
him any Succours (9), thought it his wifeft courfe to buy cr *
off the Danes with a fum of Money, and fave his Country
from their Depredations. Upon the receipt of the Money, %yt.
they marched towards Northumberland, defigning to take Sax. Ann.
up their Quarters with their Countrymen. But Provifi- A(r ' T -
ons running fhort, by reafon of the Devaftations then* - ,™,
felves had made there, they were under a fort of neceffity
to return into Mercia (10). Before they left Northumber-
land, they depofed Egbert whom they had placed on the
Throne, and put Ricfge, a Danijh Earl, in his room (11).
Buthred finding they were come again into his Dominions,
complained of their breach of Faith ; but without minding s. Dunelm*
his Complaints, they obliged him to give them another
confiderable fum to fave his Country from the Deftruction
it was threatened with. But no fooner was the Money
paid, but they fell to plundering and ravaging, and let
Buthred know that even his own Perfon was in Danger.
The fear of falling into their hands obliged him to aban- Butnred g :
don his Kingdom, and retire to Rome, where he fpent the hi: Canny,
refidue of his Days in the Englijh College. Mercia being "" J ■£<" "
thus left without a King, and Alfred under an obligation to A "™ r s _'
fend no Afliftance, the Danes without difficulty became Sax. Amu
mafters of that fpacious Kingdom. However, not to
frighten the Mercians too much, they fet over them for
King, Ceoluph one of Buthred's Domefticks. Tho' the. ■ .
new King was an Englijlmian, yet holding the Kingdom
in truft only, till his mafters mould otherwife difpofe of it,
he refolved to make ufe of his time to fill his Coffers : So
that the Mercians fuffered as much by the continual Ra-
pines and Extortion of their Countryman, as they would
perhaps have done by the hands of a Foreigner.

Tho' the Danes were mafters of Mercia, Eajl-Anglia, j, Di
and Northumberland, they were not yet contented. They mailer: of
could not forbear looking upon Weffex, which contained ''# E »s-
the other four Kingdoms, with a greedy Eye. But as s ' and "
they had always met there with Princes that difputed every

(1) The Sax. Ann. place his Death under the Year 8-1, after Eajler. Neither they, nor AJfer, Ingulpb, or 5. Dunelm. mention of what Death he

(it Ho lie buried at Winhurn in Dorfttjhlre, where this Infcription was formerly to be read on his Tomb: In hoc loco quiefcit Corpus S. Ethelredi
Regis Weft-Saxonum, Martyris, qui anno Domini DCCCLXXII. xxiii Aprilis per manus Danorum Paganorum ( ccubuit. Camb. Tim Inscription was taken
away in the late Civil Wars. Sec Spdtltan Life of Alfr. p. 43. Note. Some call this Epitaph in qutltion, and fay he died of the Plague which happened
;tt that time.

(3) The Battle of Afion iuft now mentioned. This thin; is alfo mention'd by S- Dunelm, p. J25, 126. Brontpt. p. 808, 809. Higden, p. 255.

(4) Sf:h-etr: fays, that Alfred (who had been crowned at Kane, as related above) was crowned a fecor.d time at Winchtfler. Life of Alfr. p. 45.

(5) He marched againft them with too few Forces, and that bore no manner of Proportion to thole of the Enemy ; which undoubtedly was the Caufe
of his overthrow. Ajjer. Ann. p. 164, S" vit. Alfr. p. 7. 5. Dur.e/m. p. 127.

(0) Brompttn fays IValton in Suffix, p. 3oo.

(7) Ethelwerd feems to intimate that Alfred was not in this Battle in Perfon, being bufird about his Brother's Funeral, I. 4. c. 3.
(3) Though London lay within the Precincls of the Kingdom of EjJ'ex, yet it was then in Subjeftien to Mercia, where it has continued ever fince as part
of Middlesex.

(9) AJ'er affirms, that Buthred applied to King Alfred for Succours; who accordingly fent him a very confiderable Army, that went and befieged the Dana
in Nottingham, and forced them to make Peace, njit. Alfr. p. 6.

(10) They wintered at Terltfty in Lincoln/hire; which, according to Spelman, was within the Kingdom of Northumbria. Spelman, p. 46. Sax. Ann.
Huntingd. The next Year, 874, they wintered at Hreopedun, or R.ptm in Dabyjhirt. Sax. Ann. AJfer. Huntingd. S. Dunehn. Ingulpb.

(11) 5. Dunelm. lays, that Riejigi reigned three Years, and was fuccecded by Egbert, p, 141;. See Hwtd. p. 417. and Cbnn. de Mai!-;:, p. 144.

2 inch

Book IV.

6. ALFRED the Gnat.


il.i!fj-r> ar-
rives n

Af'^r. v;C.

Huntin. J 5,

Tales War-

Alf-ed treat
ivitb Half-
den j
S. Dunelm.

•who breaks
the Truly.

Fl. Wig.

end bejieges



Tie II ar


inch of »round with them, they were forc'd to make an Al-
liance with Alfred, till a favorable opportunity prefented it-
felf of executing their defigns upon that Kingdom. Mean
while, they fell to manuring their Lands, and began to
confider the Country, they had fo often and fo terribly laid
wafte, as their own. England being thus divided between
the Englijh and Danes, Peace and Tranquillity feemed to
be going at laft to be reftored. The Danes appear'd fatis-
fied with their Lot, and Alfred thought himfelf happy in
the prefervation of his paternal Dominions. But the Ca-
lamities England was afflicted with, were far from being
at an end.

Whilft Alfred flatter'd himfelf with the enjoyment of
fome quiet, new troubles were preparing for him in Den-
mark. Halfden, a Danijli General, had fitted out a Fleet,
with which he came and made a defcent on Eajl-An-
glia ( 1 ). The Seafon being far advanced, he lay ftill all the
Winter, expecting the Spring in order to invade If 'effex.
The Arrival of Halfden with frefh Danijli Troops, ought
to have put Alfred upon his guard, fince it was but too
plain they were defigned againft him. However, trufting
to the Treaty he had lately made with the Danes, he re-
mained unconcern'd, of which Halfden did not fail to take
the Advantage. In the beginning of the Spring, he put
to Sea, and went and took by furprize JVarham-CaJlle (2),
the ftrongeft Place in all IVeJfex. The Engl/Jh hitherto
feemed not to know what fort of Enemies they had to deal
with. They confidered the Danijli Irruptions as a regular
War, wherein the whole Nation was concern'd. Accord-
ingly they imagin'd that a Treaty concluded with one
Band or Party, was obligatory to all the reft. But the
Danes had other Thoughts of thefe Matters. They en-
ter'd, with the confent of their Kings, into private Affbci-
ations to man out Fleets and go mares in what Booty they
could get in England and other Countries. For this reafon,

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