M. (Paul) Rapin de Thoyras.

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all he could to divert the King from his purpofe ; but his
Artifices were all in vain, and ferved only to confirm
the King the more in his Resolution. All he could obtain,
was Leave to go before, on pretence of preparing for
the King's reception. As foon as he came home, he
threw himfelf at his Lady's feet, and Confeffing what he
had done for the fake of poflefling her, conjur'd her to ufe
all her endeavours to conceal her Charms from the amo-
rous King. Elfrida promifed him whatever he defired,
but was bent however to break her Word. No fooner
was he gone to meet the King, but file fet off her natural
Beauty with all the Art fhe was miftrefs of. 'Fhe event
anfwered her expectation. The moment Edgar caft his
eyes on her, he fell defperately in love, and from that
inftant was refolved to make her his own. The better to
effect his defign, he pretended to fee nothing extraordinary
in Elfrida's Beauty ; at which the Husband was over-
joyed. Accordingly he took his Leave of her with a
leeming indifference, but at the fame time in his Heart
raged Love and Revenge ; which of all the PaiTions raife
the moft violent emotions in the Soul of Man. Quickly
after, he ordered Ethclwold to go for Northumberland, on
pretence of fome urgent Affairs. But the unfortunate
Earl never performed his Journey. He was found dead
in a Wood, where he was thought at firft to be murdered
by Robbers. But people's Eyes were foon opened, when
they faw that the King, inftead of making inquiry after
the Murderers, married the Widow. Some fay, that
Edgar flew Ethclwold with his own hand at a hunting
Match (4).

After what has been faid, it is eafy to fee, there was a
great mixture of good and bad Qualities in this Prince,
and that the Commendations given him, are in many
refpects carried too far. This was the eft'ecl of the Pre-
judice of the Monks in his favour, for his fo vigorous
efpoufing their Caufe. This Prejudice was fo great that
one o{ them makes no fcruple to fay, Edgar was to the
Englijh, what Romulus was to the Romans, Cyrus to the
Perftans, Alexander to the Macedonians, Arfaccs to the
Parthians, and Charlcmain to the French. But one plainly
perceives, this Encomium raifes his Character too high,
fince he came infinitely fhort of the great Men he is com-
pared with. Accordingly, After-Ages lefs prepoffefied in
his favour, have ranked him among more fuitable Com-
pany, in a much lower clafs. Very judicious Hiftorians
have taken him from among the Saints, where his Flat-
terers placed him, and have not fcrupled to rank him in
the number of the vileft of Princes (5). This Notion of
him may be grounded on what is related of Canutus the
Great, who upon mention of the Sanclity cfEditha, Ed-
gar's Daughter, faid, He could never believe it pojfible for the
Daughter of fo wicked a Father to be a Saint. This leaves
room to fufpecT, the Monkifh Hiftorians have palled over
in filence feveral of Edgar's Actions, which would have
made us conceive a very different Idea of their Hero,
from what they have given us.

Edgar reigned fixteen Years from the death of his Brother
Edwy. He died in 97 ;, in the thirty fecond Year of his
Age, leaving two Sons and a Daughter. Edward, hiseldeft
Son, was born of a Concubine, or at leaft of a very doubt-



S. Dunelm.

p. 9 c 9 .


Otjtb ar.i

(1) F.dcar in the&zxms Annah, Anno 9^9, is faid ro have ordered zWTkaret to be hid wafte. Biomptcn fays, it was for infulting his Laws. M. H'tJIm;n~
flcr affirms, it was for (eizing and plundering feme Turk Mercbartl that touched upon the llUnd.
(21 Malnnbury owns, ihat he was reported to have been Lajcivious and Cruel, p. 59.
(3) Wiljrida

(4.) Malmibury fays, he took Etbehvtld into a Wocd (Hamjjood Fortft) upon pretence of Hunt : ng, and killed him there with his Lance
Son ot th.s Nobleman happening to come in at this Accident, and vie

The Youth replkd calmly, that

..„ the dead B. dy of his Father, the King fternly alkeJ him, Hem bt
hatfeever pleated the Ring, ought not to be difplcajuig to him. This courtly Anlwer, on lb moving an

nly, mat wnatliever pleated tne rs.ing, ougnt not to De aiipjcanng ro mm. 1 nis courtly ^vniwcr, on 10 moving .,u
prized the King, and r,ave him a Itrcng ArYec^ion tor the young Man ever after. Eljuda buUt a Nunnery in the place where her Husband was
2. dc Gift. Rig. .'/■: .

(5) Dr. Bum;: in his Preface to the Hiftcry of the Reformation, places Edgar in the fame Clais with BmilbMiai Lft. Rapt,

The natural
'ik\i lie Gamt?
Occafion, lur-
llain. hla'.rr.A.

N\ 6. Vol. I,





Vol. I.

ful Marriage* Ethclrcd, his yotmgeft, was the Son of the
beautiful Elfrida. Editha his Daughter by his firft Mif-
trefs paffed her days in a Nunnery, and after her Death
was honour'd with the Title of Saint ( i ).

Ed«ar had too well deferved of Them, who looked
upon themfelvesas authorized to reward their Votaries with
a Saint/hip, not to have a place in the Calendar. But as
there are no other Proofs of his SanElity during his Life,
but his Affec~tion to the Monh, and his founding Mona-
fteries (z), it is pretended, he gave more fubftantial ones

after his Death. It was reported, when his Body was
taken out of the Coffin, to be put into a ftately Shrine,
it was as frefh as when he refign'd his laft Breath. It
was further affirmed, that the Shrine being made too fhort,
tho' he was very little of Stature (3), and fome Body da-
ring to fever his Head from his Body, the Biood gufh'd
out in great abundance. After fuch convincing Proofs as
thefe of the Sanility of this Prince, his Body was placed
near the High Altar of Glajfenbury Church, where it was
faid to work afterwards feveral Miracles.

1. 2. c. S.

13. EDWARD II. the Martyr.

Diffenjiom a

account uf tb,


Sax. Ann.

1. 2. c. 9.
S- Dunelm


TP O N Edgar's Deceafe, they who had with the People to believe that Heaven interpos'd in the Af-

impatience born the great Power of the fair,

Monks, thought it a fair Opportunity to reduce In one of thefe Councils held at Winchejler, the rca- Mimcla in

them to their primitive ftate. Elfer, Duke of jority being againft the Monks, they would have infallibly ^^ r '/' i '

Afcrcia, their fwom Enemy, (4), turn'd them out of all the
. Benefices they poflefs'd in that Province, and replac'd
the Seculars in their room. Some other Lords did the
like in other places. But the Duke of Eajl-Anglia (;),
and feveral other great Men, firmly adher'd to Dunjian
and his Party. This diverfity of opinion, on account
of the Monks, caus'd fuch Heart-burnings among the

Blows. The Breach ftill grew wider, when they came
to chufe a Succeffor to the deceas'd King. That Prince
had left two Sons who had both their Adherents, though
their Age would not permit them to profecute their ref-
peclive Titles to the Crown. Many believ'd it was de-
volved to Ethclrcd, pretending there was a Flaw in Ed-
ward's Birth, and that his Mother was never lawfully
married to Edgar. But Dwijlan and all the Bifhops were
for Edward, pleading his being nam'd his Succeffor by
Edgar in his laft Will and Teftament. To this was ad-
ded another and no lefs poweiful Motive to them that
efpoufed his Intereft, namely, their Expectation of go-
verning the Kingdom under this young Prince, which
they could not hope for, if they plac'd his Brother on the
Throne, becaufe his Mother Elfrida did not feem much
inclined to be guided by their Counfels.

In the mean time Ethclred's Party being moft nume-
rous, Edzvard was in danger of being excluded, if Dun-
jian his Supporter did not find means to break their Mea-
fures. As he faw himfelf favour'd by the People from
s. Dundm. their high Conceit of his Sanctity, he made ufe of their


crczvr.s Ed-
ward ^v his
&iun Autho-


The Cmtejl

heticcen the
ftie/is and
the Monkz
is revived.


afoul 11.

loft their Caufe, if, on a fudden, a Crucifix that hung M
aloft in the Room had not pronoune'd thefe Words with c. 9.
an audible Voice ; It Jlian't be done, it fljan't be done : You E,drn "'-
have decided the Matter well hitherto, and would be to blame
to change. Aftonifh'd at this Oracle, the moft obftinate
came in and voted for the Monks.

Another time at an Affembly in the fame place, Dun-
thai they were upon the point of coming to Jlan us'd all his Endeavours to have one Elphegus a Monk

chofen Dean of that Church; but the People were for
having that Dignity conferr'd on a fecular Prieft. The
Conteft ran fo high, that there was like to be a Sedition
which might have been of dangerous confequence. But
St. Andrew the Apoftle on a fudden revealing to St. Dun-
jian in the audience of all the People, that the Monk
ought to be elected, he was immediately inftall'd. Thefe
and feveral other Miracles, too many to be inferted here,
not being however fufficient to unite all Men in favour
of the Monks, there was one at laft that flopped the
Mouths of their moft ftrenuous Oppofers.

Dunjian had called a Council at Calne in IFilf/hire, to gy8.
decree that the Monks Ihould keep poffeffion of their Be- A 'emark-
nefices. This was one of thofe mixt Councils fpoken ofj'/ 1 "" 1 ''"
hereafter, where the King and all the Nobility werec/c/cXj
prefent, as well as the Bifhops and Abbots. Probably S a *. Ann.
the Affair would have been decided againft the Monks, H u llmsb ',i
confidering the great number of their Oppofers in this
Affembly. But whilft they were warmly difputing on
both fides, the floor of the Room happened to break Eadrner -
under the Company, and crufn'd feveral to Death. The
Beam on which Dunjian s Chair was plac'd, was the
only one that did not give way, fo that he came off
unhurt (7), whilft fcarce a Man befides himfelf in
this numerous Affembly efcap'd being either kill'd or
bruis'd. This was fufficient to convince the People, the
Monks were the Favourites of Heaven, fince their Head
and Protector was fo wonderfully preferv'd. There were
fome malicious People however, who infinuated that Dun-

Inclination to execute his Defigns. In the midft of the
pubiick Debates which of the two Princes fhould fucceed,
Durjlan fuddenly rifing up, and taking Prince Edward
by the hand, leads him towards the Church, attended
by the other Bifhops and a great crowd of People. As
foon as he comes there, he anoints the young Prince
King, without regarding the Oppofition of the contrary
Party. The Noblqfc bemoan'd their falling once more
under the Government of that imperious Prelate. But as Jlan prevented the King, contrary to cuftom, from being

they faw the People ready to fupport him, they were for
ced to fubmit.

Edward was but fourteen Years old when he began to
reign under the Guardianfhip of Dunjian, who immedi-
ately took all the Power into his hands. As foon as he
was fix'd in the Regency, he us'd all poffible Endeavours
to keep the Monks in poffeffion of the Benefices, they
had acquir'd in the laft Reign, and made ufe of the King's
Authority to that end. But he met with greater oppo-
lition than he imagin'd. As the King was but a Minor,
the Orders given in his name were not fo readily complied
with. Dunjian affembled feveral Councils about this Af-
fair (6). But perhaps his Endeavours would have all
prov'd ineffectual, if by means of feveral Miracles, which
were never wanting upon occafion, he had not brought


in the Council that Day. After this feafonable Accident
the Monks were left unmolefted ; whether the miraculous
prefervation of Dunjian had made an Impreffion upon the
minds of his Enemies, or their moft potent Oppofers pe-
rifh'd in their Fall.

Befides thefe Ecclefiaftical Matters, we find nothing
remarkable in the Reign of Edward, but his tragical fitt'rmgiad
Death in 979, four Years after he afcended the Throne. ^eflSng
The Story is thus related by the greateft part of Hif- s. lX " Ann
torians. Edward paffing one Day, as he was return- Malm,
ing from hunting, near Corf-Cajlle, (8), where his Mo- '" 2 ' '• 9*
ther-in-law Elfrida refided with her Son Ethdred, rid off
from lu's Company in order to pay her a vifit. Elfrida
being told the King was at the gate, ran to receive him,
and urg'd him very earneftly to unlight, and come in to

f 1 ) By EJfleda (whether his Wift or Concubine is uncertain) he had Edivard who fucceeded him. Moved, p. 426-

tllmb. p. 60 And by Elfrida, E..ri Ordgai \ Daughter, he had Edmund, who died in his Infancy in 971.' and Etbelnd. i*i. Ann.

-By Wilfrich, a Nun, he had

(1 It is cbltrvcd that his building fo many Monajtines (torty eight, lavs Ingulf hut, p. 45.) proved one great Occafion of the Danes conquering England;
for !y thcle nnans he exhauflcd the Tnafury, and gave gi eat Pirticns ol Lands lor the Maintenance of the Monks, who refilled his Son Ethtlred Aliiftanci:
according t" h s Neccffity. Brady, p. 122.

(3) Thi>' Edgar as to his Pcrfn was both low and (lender, yet was he fo well proportioned, that he is faid to contend often with fuch as were thought
ftrongeft in his Court; and difliked nctliing more than that they lhou:d ipare him out of Refpeft, or Fear of hurting him.

(4) And liberal others ot the great Men. -S\ Dunelm. p. 160.

(-) Ethlhvin. He, and Others, affembled an Army, and protected the Monafleries in Eaft-Amlia. S. Dur.ilm. p. 160.

16) Particularly one in 977 at fdrdihg, in Eajl-Anglia. fays o'. Dunelm. p. 160. and Chw. Mailrafi, p. 161. in w Kittling or Catlidg, in Cambridgc-
Jhire Camd.) The Sax. Ann. call the Place Kyntlinpt/ne, which is fuppoicd to be Kyrlington in Oxfirdjbire. Tyrrcl, p. ib. Another of thcle ivr'ds
v. . held at Ambrejbury. Fl.-r. Wore.

(7) i' '■ ",. '■ fa] , heiaved himklrby taking hold ofa Beam. p. ;;-.

(S ; In the llhnd Purbcct in Dorfcljbirt. This Caftlc is a confiderable Piece of Antiquity ; the Foundation whereof is not cleared by Hiftory. After
the ftrength and lately . f the Rclm began to c. nfift in Catties, this was one of the moll principal belonging to the Crown. It was replied by Henry VII.
and m the Civil Wars was a Cartifon for the King, defended by the Owner, Lord Chief Jultice Bank. Catr.d. AM. it D.r\t.

re frefh

Book IV.

The State of the C h u r c U.

lii s


fcfrefh hirhfelf. But as the King's Defign was only to
pay his Rcfpefts to his Mother-in-law as he went by her
Caltle, lie only delircd a Glafc of Wine to drink her
Health. Whether Elfrida had already form'd a Defign
of deftroying the King, to make way for her Son to the
Crown, or that favourable Opportunity put the thought
in her head, the young King had no (boner lilted the
Glafs to his mouth, but a Ruffian ftabb'd him in the Back
with a Dagger ( i ). Perceiving himfclf wounded, he fet
fpurs to his Horfe, which foon carried him out of fight.
But not being able to keep his Saddle by reafon of the
Lofs of Blood, he fell off his Horfe. To complete his
Misfortunes, his Foot hung in the Stirrup, and by that
means he was dragged a good way before his Horfe ftop-
ed, juft by a poor blind Woman's Houfe that flood in the
road. To this Houfe, the People fent after him by El-
frida tracing him by his Blood, found him dead, and his
Body miferably torn. Elfrida imagining fhe could con-
ceal this horrid Deed, known only to her Domefticks,
ordered the Corps to be thrown into a Well. But it was
found there a few days after, and carried to JVarham(z),
from whence it was removed to Shaftsbury, and laid in a
Monaffery founded by KingAlfrcd. It is pretended to have
worked many Miracles there ; that a blind Man was re-
stored to his Sight, and a Cripple to his Limbs, by only
touching the Body. The poor Woman alio, in whole

Houfe his Body lay one night, is faid to be cured by his
Interceffion ; and the Well into which he was thiown,
endued with the virtue of healing fcveral forts of Diftem-
pers. In fine, it is reported that Elfrida, curious to know
herfelf the truth of thefe Miracles, rcfolved to go to the
place, but her Horfe, in fpite of all her Endeavours, would
not ftir one Step forward. With fuch Prodigies as thefe
do the Hiftories of thofe Times abound. Thus far is
certain, Elfrida, willing to atone for her Crime, founded
two Nunneries, one at Ambresbury (3), and another at
Whorivel near Andover. In this laft fhe fhut herfelf up, M->!n»fc.
in order to do Penance the rcfidue of her days. She is
faid to have frequently covered her Body all over with lit-
tle Croffes to keep off the Devil, whom fhe had but too
much reafon to fear.

I do not know upon what foundation Edward was
made both a Saint and a Martyr, unlefs it was pretended^
he was murdered out of Revenge for his great Affection to
Dunfian and the Monks. Indeed that was fufficient then
to procure him thefe glorious Titles. It is certain, in
thofe days all the Favourers of the Monks pafs'd for fo
many Saints, and their Enemies for the Objects of God's
Wrath. However this be, the young Prince, whofe Reign
I have gone through, is generally known by the Name of
Edward the Martyr (4).


STATE of the Church of England,


Union of the Seven Kingdoms, to the End of the Reign

of E d w a r d the Martyr.


e of th


H E continual Wars in England during the
hundred and fifty Years we have juft run
through, were no lefs fatal to the Church than
the State. They produced an extreme Corrup-
tion of Manners, and a profound Ignorance all over the
Kingdom. The Deftruction of the Churches and Mona-
flcriss, the plundering what was defigned for their Subfift-
ence, and the Neceffity of defending themfelves againft
the Danes, and being wholly employed in the Exercife
of Arms, turned Multitudes from the Study of Religion.
It is no wonder therefore, if during fuch troublefome times,
we meet with very few Materials for an Ecclefiajlical Hi-
flory. To this may be added, the greateft part of the Mo-
naileries, where the Memoirs of what paffed in Church
and State were laid up, having been demolifhed, the Hif-
torians who have wrote of thofe times, were deprived of
that afiiftance. The Reader therefore muft expccl: to
find but few remarkable Events relating to Religon, but
lew Councils to inform us of the Dodtrine and Faith of
the Church of England, and but very few learned Men,
whofe Writings might afford us fome light. It will be
necelfary however to relate the principal Circumftances
tranfmitted down to us, as they will be of fcrvice in clear-
ing the Events of future and more happy times.

During the reign of Egbert, nothing happened in the
Church worth notice. Ethelwulph's Reign furnifhes us
with a Subject, which, though mentioned clfewhere, it will
not be amifs to fpeak a little more largely of in this place ;

I mean the Grant of the Tithes,

The Charter rune

« I, E THELWUL P H, by the Grace of God Ethd-
" King of the Wejl-Saxons, &c. with the Advice of the wuI P h ''
" Bifhops, Earls, and all other Perfons of Diftinaion in lungO.
" my Dominions, have, for the Health of my Soul, the
" Good of my People, and the Profperity of my Kino -
" dom taken the prudent and fe.rviceable Refolution of
" granting the tenth part of the Lands throughout my
" whole Kingdom, to the Church and Minifters of Reli-
" gion to be enjoyed by them, with all the Privileges of
" a free Tenure, and difcharged from all Services due to
" the Crown, and all other Incumbrances incident to
" Lay-Fees. The Grant has been made by us to the
" Church, in honour of Jefus Chrifl, the Blefed Virgin,
" and All Saints, and out of regard to the Pafchal Solem-
" nity, and that Almighty God might vouchfafe his Blef-
" fing to us and our Pofterity."

Dated at the Palace of Wilton, in the Year 854, In-
dication the fecond, at the Feajl of Eafter.

The Terms, Date and Subfcriptions of this Charter, Rrmar t, „
have induced feveral learned Men to believe it fpurious. tb» China.
But without entering into the Controverfy, I fhall con-
tent myfelf with obferving, that long before this Char-
ter, the Clergy of England claimed a right to the Tithes,
if they were not already in actual Poffeffion of them.

(1) Kniglton fays, that Elfrida herfelf (tabbed him. /•. 2313.

(z) in Dorfetjhire. Part of his Body was buried in Lex or Le'fs Monastery, (perhaps Lecminfler) near Harford; and the other part at Abingtm. Knighton,
p. 2314.. and H-gden. p. 269. •

( 3)_In Wilt/bat, lo called from Jmbrofms, who built here a Monaftery for three hundred Monks, to pray for the Souls of the Britifr Noblemen (lain by
flmgip. The Tomb of ^i/«ur, Arthur's Wife, was found here within this laft Century, and this lnlcription on the Wall in mally Cold Letters, R. G.A. C.
Boo. The Antiquity of which is very lufpicious, fince (he mult have out- lived Arthur fifty Years; and befides, (he is faid by Hiftorians of Credit to have
been buried at G/.ij/enbyry. Queen Elfrida's Nunnery is famous for Queen Eleanor's being a Nun there ; and alio Miry Daughter to Edward I. with thir-
teen Noblemen's Daughters, were veiled here on Ajj'umption Diy, p. 1285. Cirr.tL Add. to Wilt.

(+) K'ng Edward s Martyrdom was kept on three leveral Dj>s; on the Day he was murdered, and at the two removes of his Body. See Manyr. Engl.
iS of MS«i, and F,h. and June 20. He has likewife the Honour of (landing in the Reman Martyrtlcgy, Marti) 1%. where Birtniui takes Ngtice of a
Letter in Po[e Innocent V's Re^JIcr, for the keeping St. Edwaid's FeJIival, Coll, L j.




Vol. I.

Remarks on

This is evident from the feventecnth Canon of the Coun-
cil of Calcuith, held in 785, where we find they urged the
payment of Tithes from the Law of Mofes. It is true,
King Ethelwuiph might have a mind to confirm tile Rights
of the Clergy, by granting them a Charter for the fame.
But in that cafe, it is fomething ftrange he fhould pafs over
in filence the Divine Right of Tithes, on which the
Clergy chiefly inhited. If this Charter therefore is not
to be confidered as a Forgery, it feems at lead to be of
very doubtful Authority. Add to this, that by the tenth
part of the Lands muft neceiTarily be meant the tenth part
of the Profits ; which muft be owned to be a very forced
Interpretation, efpecially in a primordial Act, fuch as
this ( 1 ).

In the Reigns of Ethelbald, EtbMert and Ethelred I,
we have nothing relating to the Church, but the Deftruc-
tion of the Monasteries, and the pathetick Defcriptions
made by the Hiflorians, of the Danijb P'ury exercifed upon
the Monks. This they chiefly infift upon, as being, in
their Opinion, the molt material hiftorical Events. They
particularly lament the three famous Monaftcries of Cray-
land, Ely and Medejhamjied, whofe Monks were all maf-
facred, and the Libraries burnt (2).

The pretended Martyrdom of Edmund King of Eaft-
Anglia would require our notice, had it not been fpoken
ofelfewhere (3). I call it pretended, becaufc it does not
appear, this Prince loft his Life in any of thofe Caufes
which make the Sufferer a Martyr. Otherwife, we muft
fay that there were in England as many Martyrs as there
were Chriftians put to death by the Danes. However,
he ftands in the Calendar with that Title, and Miracles
were affirmed to be frequently wrought at his Tomb
during feveral Ages (4).

Tho' I have amply infifted on every thing relating to
the Reign of Alfred, it will not be improper to remind the
Reader of two things, which may be of ufe hereafter.
The firft is, the Ruin of the Monaftcries; which was fo
great, there was not a Monk left in England, being all
flain by the Danes, or foiced to fly out of the Kingdom.
Some of them perhaps took other Profeffions when they
faw the lofs of their Revenues had deprived them of their
Subfiftence. As foon as Alfred was rid of the Danes, he
built Monafteries, and furnifhed them with foreign Monks,
there being none to be found in the Kingdom. It will
feem ftrange, no doubt, that he fhould chufe to be at the
charge of new Monafteries, rather than repair the old,
whofe Walls, for the molt part, were (till remaining.
But it muft be obferved, the Secular Clergy had taken
poffeflion of them, and lived there in common under the
Direction of an Arch-Prieft. It is plain, Alfred (aw fome
Inconveniency in diflodging them.

The other thing I would put the Reader in mind of, is,
the arofs Ignorance the Englifli were fallen into during the
War with the Danes. We have already ken in the~Life
of Alfred, how that Prince himfelf complained of it; and

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