M. (Paul) Rapin de Thoyras.

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late King had fo much at heart, Edwy's Council thought
it not proper to pufh the affair any farther, left the People
fhould efpoufe the Abbot's Caufe. The founding and
repairing of Monafteries were at that time fuch facred
things, that there was no fpeaking againft them, without
being branded with the Name of impious and prophane.
And therefore the King's Council finding there was no at-
tacking Dunjlan on that head, without running fome risk,
took another Courfe to undermine his Credit, which was Main.b,


They made him alfo Te:y conlidcral'lc Prcfents. Ytwed. p. 413.
I WuWan, Arclibilbep of Tort, was taken into cuftody for abetting this 1

Vulflan Ardibi/hcp of York, was taken into cuftody tor abetting this Rebellion. But after he had been in Prifon fome time, Edred let him at
Liberty in refpeft to his Character. However, he is faid to take his Difgrace fo to heart, that it occafioned his Death foon after. Malmsb. ]. 2. Mat. IVeji.
Jay, he was imprifon'd for caufing fevcral of the Inhabitants of Thetfsrd to be put to Death, in revenge for their having murdered Abbot Alielrn, p. 189.

(3) He alio rebuilt Crcylar.d, and Abingdon Monafteries. Ingulf h. p. 41. The laft was founded by Inn, and had been deftrcyed by the Dams, SfteJ,
p. 34-6. Holtittgjb. Vol. I. p. 158.

(4) Some think this was a Contrivance of Dun/fan's, to keep the Treafure Edred had committed to his Truft. See Hoilinrjb. Vol. I- p. 158. Col. 2.

(5) He was buried in the old Minller at JVinebejitr. S. Dunelm. His Bones, with thofe of other Kings, are prelerved in a gilt CoiTer fixed upon the Wall,
In the fouth Side of th? Quire. Speed, p. 346.

(6) Buchanan fays, that by Great Britain is meant, that part of Britain lying on the South of Airian'% Wall, which the BHfns inhabited.

(7) He was fo extraordinary fair and comely, that he obtained the Sirname of Pantaius, or, The Fair, Etbelwrd, 1. 4. c 8< He was crowned- at
jQnfJhn by Od) Archbilhop of Canttrbu-y, S. Dmtlm. p. 157, Brsmp. p. 86 :■

z **

Book IV.

E D W Y ami EDGAR.


J. a. c. 7.

Sax. Ann.
S. Dunchn.

A« Infurrcc-

tion agatnjl


Edgar tcaiti


Sax. Ann.

S. Dunelm.


to reverfe whatever had been done in favour of the Monks.
Accordingly, the Monks were turned out of their Bene-
fices, and the fecular Priefts put in their room. By this
notable Proceeding, three things were intended: Firft,
to mortify Dunjian, which it muft do in a very fcnfible
maimer. Secondly, to leffen the People's Eftcem for him,
fince the pulling down what lie had fet up, was a clear
Kvidence, the Court had no very great Opinion of his
Sanctity. Befides, the rcltoring the Benefices to the fe-
cular Clergy, plainly intimated it was wrong to difpoflcf.
them. Laftly, as Dunjian and the Monks were in (1 1 let
Union. Their Difgrate could not but reflect upon him.
The Perfections of the molt cruel Tyrants againft the
Church, never extorted from the primitive Christians fuch
bitter Invectives, as this pretended Perfecution did from
the Monks. As they teprefent the matter, Religion was
never in fo great danger. The moll: pernicious Hcrcfies
were nothing in comparifon of what was then acted.
The Monks of Ma/msbury, who were the molt concern-
ed, made the greateft Noife of all, and for that reafon
were turned out of their Monaltery, which was given to
the fecular Priefts. Wiuiam of MalmsbUry upon this oc-
calion fays, that after it bad been inhabited by Monks two
bundled and /evenly Years, it was made a Stable of Clerks ( 1 )
Whether Dunjian ftirred up the Monks to make thefe
Complaints, or the charging him with it was made a Pre-
tence topunifh him, he was banifhed the Kingdom. Some
fay he voluntarily went into Exile, without any previous
Condemnation. However this be, he retired to a Monaltery
in Flanders (2), where he lived in expectation of being re-
called by fome favourable turn of Affairs.

Dunjlans, Enemies gloried in his Difgrace. The King
himfelf was highly delighted with being freed from a Man
whom he hated, and who, in the former Reign, had
fhown him Marks of Difrefpect. But he foon learnt how
dangerous fuch kind of Enemies are. He found, by fatal
Experience, there is no giving Offence to Eeclefa/lich with
Impunity, and to Saints leaft of all others. The Monks,
enraged to the laft degree for the Lofs of their Benefices,
cried down, to the utmoft of their power, the Adminiftra-
tion of the young King, whom they looked upon as the
principal Author of their Difgrace. By their Lies and
Calumnies which they every where fpread, they at length
perfuaded their Votaries, he was the moft impious of Men.
The Confequence of which was, that great Numbers of
Malcconientt appeared in Mercia, of whom Edgar, the
King's Brother, was declared Head and Protector. Per-

haps he was made to believe, by the Suggestions of the

Monks, that he would do God fervice in denoting his

wicked Brother : Or rather he ufed that Pretence to mount

the Throne, of which he had yet but a very d.'ftant Pro-

fpect. However this be, having fecured Mercia, he went 9.: 7.

into Northumberland and Eajl-Anglia, where he found the

Danes ready to join him. They dented pothing more

than to fee the Englijh involved in Trouble and Confu-

fion. This Infurrection was the more furprifiBg b 1 S iwt,

as he had, never given his People, much fefs his Brother,

any juft Caufe of Complaint, befides, he never imagined

the Monks could have Intcreft enough to raife (o great

Difturbances. However, it was but too true, and a, he

was taken unprepared, he was not in condition to cxtin-

guifh the Flame already kindled. In this Extremity, not Edwy </.//-

knowing how to recover what he had loft, he chofe to re- -■'" u f

duce himfelf to the folc Kingdom of U'.ffex, which con- Mmia '

tinned faithful to him, and deliver up all the reft.

In the mean time, the Rebels dreading to fall again Th ,:
under the Dominion of Edwy, came tu a resolution *&'W>
having a King of their own, whole Intereft would oblige
him to protect and defend them. But as they were a
mixture of Englijh and Danes, each Nation was defirous
the Choice mould fall on one of their Countrymen. The
Danes, to attain their Ends, endeavoured to make it be be-
lieved, that the only way to be fafe from Etkafz Attacks,
was to call in the Affiftance of Denmark. But in tiuth,
their Aim was only to carry the Election. The Engiiflt,
on the contrary, perceiving their Intent, did all thev could
tohaften the Election, reprefenting how fetal their prafent
Stateof AnaFffy might prove. But the moie forward the
Englifli appeared to be, the more full of Delays were the
Danes, who daily raifed frefli Obfiacles, in hopes there
would be a Neceflity at laft of (finding for Aid from Den-
mark. At length, after a year (pent in Debates, Edwy
making no Efforts for the Recovery of his Dominions, and
confequently the Affiftance of Denmark becoming unne-
cefTary, Prince Edgar was chofen with the Title of King q-q
of Mercia, by which was meant all the Country lying Ed^Mta*
ISoithottheTbames, except the ancient Kingdom of ElTex * '
To heighten the Merit of the new King, it was given out,' SfS2d»
that whilit the great Men were deliberating on the Choice Ch. Miiliw.
of a King, a Voice was heard from Heaven, commanding Kr,;i;hton-
them to eled Edgar. The Revelation was eafily fwal-
lowed by the People, at a time when it was the "eneral
Opinion, that every the leaft remarkable Event was attend-
ed by fome Miracle.

Edwy in Effex. Edgar in Mercia.



j | HIS Partition of England lafted not long. The

being deprived of the Kingdom of Mercia, and
the feeing the Monks triumphing over his Misfor-
959- -*- tunes, fat fo heavy upon Edwy's Mind, that he fell
into an excefs of Melancholy, which brought him to his
Grave, after he had reigned four Years and fome Monthsfj).
Vit. run- I f we Deueve the MonkiJIi Writers, Edwy was a very
flan. wicked Prince. Indeed, how was it poffible for a King

Malmsb. t jj at j;j not pl e afe them, to be reckoned otherwife ? How-
c-7 ' ever, when we examine all they fay to blacken his Repu-
tation, we find but One thing which can have any foun-
dation, and which after all has very much the Air of a
Fiction, or at leaft, is greatly aggravated. They fay,
he kept the Wife of one of his Courtiers for his Mijlrefs,
and on the very Day of the Coronation, whilft the great
Men were debating the Affairs of the Kingdom, he ab-
ruptly withdrew to the Apartment of this Woman, from
whence he was brought back by Dunjian, who alone had
the Boldnefs to reprimand him for this infamous Acti-
on (4). From that time, if we may believe them, the
King and his Miftrefs were fo incenfed againft this holy
Man, that they would have proceeded to the taking away
his Life, had he not prevented their wicked Defign by vo-
luntary Exile. But to give ftill a more convincing Proof

of the Diffolutenefs of Edwy, artd the Holinefs of Dunjian
they have vented a Thing which plainly fhows what Spirit
they were of. They fay, after Edwv's Death, his Soul Bremj*
being dragged into Hell by a Legion of Devils, one of them
was difpatched with the gcod News to Dun/Ian. But far
from rejoicing at it, the Saint prayed fo intenfely for the
Soul that was going to be eternally miferable, that God,
moved by his Zeal, matched it from the Devils, and tran-
slated it into Paradife. This laft Initance of the Animofi-
ty of the Monks againft Edwy, renders their charge of
Adultery very fufpicious, efpecially if we confider he was
not 3bove fourteen Years of Age when he afcended the
Throne. Moreover, there are Hiftorians who allure u< •
this pretended Miftrefs was his lawful Wife (5). However "
this be, we maybe certain Edwy might ha\e had one or
more Miftreffe, without all that Clamour againft him, had
he been a Favourer of the Monks. For they were not at
all offended at the Amours of his Brother Edgar, who
was much more guilty than he in that refpect. B'ut the
one was their Friend, and the other their Enemy. All
Hiftorians however have not been guilty of this Injuftice
to Edwy. Some have been more favourable to him, either Hunted.
paffing over in fflence thefe frivolous Accufations, or giv- '■ 5-
ing him the Commendation he deferved (6j.

(1) Malmeftmrienfe Ccenobium plus quam 270 annis a Monachis habitarum Clericorum flabulum fecit. Ma'm. 1.2. 07.

(2; o'. Dunelm. and Hm-ed. call it the Monaftery of Biandunum, or Blandinum, p. i i7 , 4:5. IhlUngp,. and B:ampt. fay, it was the Mcnaflcry of St.
Amande at Gant. p. S63. 159.

(3) He was buried at tVincbcftcr, in the new Monaftcry. Htmed. p. 425.

(4) Some, to make the matter worfe, lay, he kept not only the Daughter, whofc Name was Elgiua, but tie Mother too, and that he was on the Bed
between them both when Dunjian came to fetch him. M. Wcfl.

(5) Some fay (he was his Wife, but too near a-kin, and therefore, that Odj the Archbifhop Seconding Dunf.an, pot the King under the lelfer Excommunica-
tion, and branded Elgma in the Forehead with a hot Iron, and then banilhed her to Ireland. After her Return, his Heat againft her continuing, lie ham-
ftring'd her, fays Malmibitry j but Osbern lays it upon the Revolters. Vit. Dunft. 1. 2. H&ued.

(6) Huntingdon, who was no Party in the Quarrel, gives him a handfome Character, aod fays, the Country flourilhtd uadcr his Government, and fetrm
to lament he liv'd no longer. Hunt. ]. 5. p. 204,

N". 6. Vol. I,

D i




Vol. I.

12. EDGAR the Peaceable.


S^ualtttet nf
Sax. Ann.


Sax. Ann.

DWT dying without IlTue, his Brother Edgar

fucceeded him, and united the two Kingdoms

that were lately divided. Though he was not

above fixteen Years old, his great Genius and fo-

lid Judgment rendered him more capable of governing than

many other Princes of a more advanced Age. It cannot

he denied, there are fome Men born with fo good natural

Parts, that their Judgment is ripe before the ufual time.

Edgar was one of this number. If he had given proof

of his Ability in depriving his Brother of the half of his

Kingdom, he continued to do the fame when he came

to reign alone. He knew how to make himfelf obeyed by

his Subjects, and feared by his Enemies, two things that

undoubtedly demonftrate the great Capacity of a crowned


The firft thing Ed^ar did, after he was elected King of
Mcrcia, was to recall Duiijlan from Banifhment, and pro-
mote him to the See of Woreejler, then vacant (1). The
Suddennefs wherewith this Prelate was recalled, gives
room to fufpeel, he was, though abfent, concerned in the
Infurrection that placed Edgar on the Throne of Mercia.
His great Intereft at Court during this Prince's Reign,
ftrengthens this Sufpicion.
£dgar'i£mi/ The Reign of Edgar is chiefly remarkable for the con-
Pnpantiau tinual Peace the Kingdom enjoyed; from whence he was
"" firnamed the Peaceable. This uninterrupted Calm was ow-
ing neither to his Victories nor Slothfulnefs, but to his ex-
traordinary Preparations for his Defence, in cafe he ftiould
ever be engaged in a War. By this means he became fo
formidable, that no one durft venture to attack him. He
always kept a (landing Army in the northern Provinces,
as well for a Terror to the Kings of Scotland and Wales,
as to keep in awe his own Subjects, particularly the Danes.
This Precaution was fo much the more necelTary, as he
was very fcntible they were always ready to take advan-
tage of anv Troubles and Commotions in the State. His
own Experience had taught him fo much, fince by their
Affiflance it was, that he triumphed over his Brother. On
the other hand, to prevent the Invafions of the- foreign
Danes, who were no lefs to be feared, he took the moll
effectual Method. He is faid to have fitted out, great and
fmall, four thoufand Ships. Some have even raifed the
number to four thoufand eight hundred (2). It is proba-
ble, this tiling has been very much magnified : However,
it fhews at leaft the number of his Ships was extraordi-
nary. This numerous Fleet, being diftributed in all the


His prodigi-
ous Flat.
Flor. Wig.

throughout all England, a general Pardon for all part Of-
fences on condition each Criminal brought him by fuch a
time a certain number of Wolves-Tongues, in proportion
to his Crimes. Upon publifhing this Ac! of Grace, the
Wolves were hunted and deftroyed in fuch a manner, that
in three Years there was not one left in the Kingdom.

The other Plague that infefted England was no lefs grie- Edgar V
vous, it was another fort of Wolves, who, not fatisfied Swm 9 '•
with eating up Flocks and Herds, devoured Houfes and "■jCi'J 1 '"
Families. I mean the Magiftrates appointed in the Cities Malm*,
and Provinces to adminifter Juftice to the People. Thefe s - DunJm,
mercenary Judges, abufing the exorbitant Power Edgar's
Predeceftbrs had fuffered them to ufurp during the Wars,
were become intolerable to the Nation. Without any re-
gard to Law or Juftice, they confulted only their own In-
tereft. They who made them the largeft Prefents, were
fure to be favoured ; and though by that means the Poor
were moll oppreffed, the Rich were not entirely fcreened
from their partial Proceedings. Alfred the Great endea-
voured, by an extraordinary Act of Severity, to put a flop
to this Evil ; but the enfuing Wars prevented his Succeffors
from executing his Laws. Edgar, undertaking to reform
this Abufe, fet about it himfelf with great application. To
this end he took a Progrefs every Year through fome part
of the Kingdom, on purpofe to hear the Complaints that
were made againft thofe Judges who abufed their Autho-
ritry." 4 ' He was not fatisfied with infpecting himfelf into
their Mifdemeanors, but thought it farther necelTary to Ethelrei
redrefs them for the future, by making a Law, that R '« a11 -
every Judge convicted of giving Sentence contrary to the ^Bwmpt,
Laws, fhould be fined twenty fix Shillings (4), if he did
it ignorantly ; but if knowingly, fhould be cafhiered for
ever. It cannot be denied, that in this he acted as became
a great Prince, and that Subjects, who enjoy the double
Privilege, of being guarded againft In afions from abroad,
and Oppreffion at home, are perfectly happy. Such is
the State of the Englijh at this Day under the prefent Go-

' If Edgar was a Lover of Peace, it was not for want of Pnfof
Courage; That was never laid to his charge. There is Edgar'r being
a Story related of him, which, though it has the Air rjf *****? "
a Fiction, proves at leaft, he was reckoned a courageous ftJiS™
Prince. It is faid, that being informed, Keneth III. King Malmsb.
of Scotland had jefted on the Littlenefs of his Stature, he L :
fent for him to Court, and walking with him in a certain
Place where he had ordered two Swords to be hid, he bid


Ports of the Kingdom, and cruifing incefiantly round the ,.him take his Choice, telling him withal, he fhould fee if
Ifland, made the Py rates beware of making Defcents, and-jj he pleafed, what a little Man could do. Keneth as the

fuffered no Ship to come upon the Coaft unexamined.
Sax. Ann. Thefe Precautions produced the Effect intended by Edgar.
They prevented Invafions from abroad, and kept all quiet
at home, by cutting off all hopes of foreign Affiftance.
With, fuch an Army and Fleet, this Prince, without once
drawing his Sword, obliged the Kings of Wales, Ireland,
and the IJle of Man, to fwear Allegiance to him, and ac-
knowledge him for Sovereign. As a Proof of his Superi-
ority over the Kings his Neighbours, the EngUJli Hiftorians
relate a very extraordinary Fact, which, if true, fully
1 makes good what they allert. They tell us this Prince
keeping his Court at Chejler, and having a mind to go by
Water to the Monaftery of St. John Baptijl, was rowed
down the Dee in a Barge by eight Kings, himfelf fitting
at the Helm (3).

Edgar, not content with having fecured England from
all foreign Allaults, thought it necefiary, for the further
repofe of his Subjects, to free them from two domeftick
. Plagues, by which they were infefted. The one was a
horrible multitude of Wolves, which coming down in
droves from the Mountains in Wales, made fuch a terrible
Havock among their Flocks and Herds, that the Country
was in a continual Alarm. Hitherto they could find no
Remedy for this Evil: but Edgar bethought himfelf of an
Expedient, which quickly cleared the Country of them.
In the firft place he converted the Tribute of Gold, Silver,
and Cattle, paid him yearly by the IVeljh, into three hun-
dred Wolves-Heads. In the next place he published

Echar rew\
by tight

I. 2. c. 6.
S. Dlinelm.

9 6l.
He frees


Story goes, was fo far from accepting the Challenge, that
he threw himfelf at his feet and begged his Pardon. I ob-
ferve this Relation is very improbable. In the firft place,
it is generally referred to the beginning of Edgar's Reign ;
whereas Keneth III came not to the Crown of Scotland
till five or fix Years before that Prince's Death. In the fe-
cond place, the Character the Scutch Hiftorians give Keneth,
will not fuffer us to think him capable of fuch a piece of
Cowardice. Laftly, this Adventure feems to have been
confounded with one of the fame nature, between a King
of Scotland, and one of the Lords of his Court, related by

Edgar's noble Qualities, and the Tranquillity England Edgat J, ^,.
enjoyed during his Reign, render him, no doubt, very taebmem «
praife-worthy. But perhaps they would have been buried < h!M °" k *
in eternal Oblivion, had not his extraordinary Attachment bX"peat*
to the Monks engaged them to proclaim his Praifes, even to Fame.
an extravagant degree. His Bigotry to them, which pafs'd Mjlm f>>-
then for the moll fublime Virtue, was the principal reafon s'.Daneiro.
of the Commendations given him by Hiftorians, and of
his being honoured with the Title of Saint after his Death.
He is faid to have founded forty Monafteries ( 5 ), and re-
paired and beautified many more, particularly that of Glaf-
fenbury built by his Uncle Edred. In fhort, he was fo
very liberal to the Monks, that it was hardly in his power
to do more for them than he did. Ingulphus, in his Hiftory
of the Abby of Croyland (6) fays, that in the Reign of
Edgar, the Treafure of that Monaftery amounted to ten

(1) A great Council being held at Bradfird in Wilt/hire, Dunjlan was, by the general Confent of all there prefent, chofen Bifhop. Vit. Dunftem.

(z) S. Dunlm. and Chr. Mai/ra have three Thnul'anJ fix Hundred, f. 150, 160. IV. Thorn fays, the whole number was but three Hundred, which is meft
piubablr. See Stmv, p. S3. To miinuin the Charge of this Fleet, belides'the Contributions of his Subiccls, heenter'd into a Treaty at Ckeflcr with fix Kings,
who engag'd to aliift him b"th by Sea and Land. Sax. Ann. With this Fleet he ufed to fail round England every Year after Eafler. Fl,r. Il-\n. p. 607.

(3) Thefe might be the Kings of the leveral Kingdoms in Wales, of Angiefey, Man and Ireland. Some reckon among them Keneth I!i. of Scotland who
w... Vji1.i1 to Eduir for Cumberland, Hoved. Bapin. There was no fuch Man as Keneth cotemporary with Edgar. See AnderjW s Tabid. Thefe cigh:
Kings were Malcolm, King of Cumberland; Machis, Lord of thelites; and thefe fix Wcljh Princes, Dufral, Sijert, Bmud, Japo, Imhtll, Jevaf. 5. Du-
neltn. p. 1 ;q. Malmsb. p. 56. Bttmxpt. lyrrel, p. 8, 9.

(4) His Law (ays a hundred and twenty. See in Bro»:pt. Lex. S. And in Wilkinu
(^) Above forty eight. Ivgulpb. p. 45.

(6) H : obferves that in 974, in Edgar % Reign, one Sivarling a Monk of Crtyhr.d died in the hundred and forty fecond Year of his Age, another in the
hundred and fifteenth, which is the more remarkable, beuul'e. that Abby was fituated in a t'eiwy and watery place j& Linalajbire. p, 51,

■ thoufand

Book IV.

12. EDGARS Peaceable


Iter form
Hi Scbem

ef 1 ./ ■'.'< ■ ; » 1
,,, ....
iti ti . Bene-
Sax. Ann.

A" Account
tf him.
Osbnn vit.
C. Pontif.

Chunk and

made Abbot,

1. a. c. 8.


C. Pomif.

thoufand Pounds, befides Hoy-Vejfels, Shrines, Relicks, and
the like. This was a very great Sum, confidering that
Houfe had been rebuilt but thirty Years. Hence may be\
guefs'd the immenfe Riches of the Monafteries in thofe Days.
Edgar-, not content with being thus liberal to the Monks,
undertook to put them in poffeffion again of the Ec-
cleliaflical Benefices, which he performed with a high hand.
Dunjlan, whom he had made Archbifhop of Canterbury,
was the principal Author of this Project. This Prelate
was fo much in his Favour, that Ed/eel's Affection to him
was nothing in comparifon of Edgar's. As he made a
very confiderable Figure both in this and the following
Reign, it will not he improper to take a nearer View of
him. Befides he palled for a Saint of the firft Clafs, and
nothing can be added to the Praifes beftowed on him by

Dunjlan, Son of Herjlan, and Nephew of Atbclm
Archbifhop of Canterbury, was born at GlaJJenbury \n 92;.
He fpent his youthful Years with his Uncle the Archbifhop,
who took care to have him inftructed in all the Sciences,
as far as that Age of Ignorance would permit. He excel-
led particularly in Mufuk, Painting, and Engraving, in
which he took great delight all his Life. As foon as
he had finished his Studies, the Archbifhop recommended
him to King Athcijlan, who fent for him to Court, but
however gave him no Preferment. The Author of his
Life ( 1 ) pretends, the Courtiers envying his Virtue and
Learning, malicioufly reprcfented him to the King as a
diffolute and fcandalous Liver: Which the King believ-
ing, forbad him the Court, without examining the
Truth. Some time after the Archbifhop finding means to
undeceive the King, Dunjlan was reftored to Favour, and
prefented with fome Lands near Glaffinbury. Here he fpent
feveral Years in Retirement, with certain devout Men,
whom he had drawn thither, living with them a fort of
monaflick Life. Glajhn or GlaJJenbury was antiently a
fmall Church, founded, according to the vulgar Opinion,
by Jofeph of Arimathea, as hath been obferved elfewhere.
This Church having been deftroyed, Devy Bifhop of
St. David's built another in the fame Place. This being
alfo gone to ruin, was repaired by twelve Devout Perfons,
who coming from Armorica, fettled in this Place. Ina

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