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juvenis strenuissimiis de regio genere Geuissorum, qiium exsiilaret a patria
sua, interfecit regem .^dilualch, ac provinciam illam sseva csede ac de-
populatioue attrivit : sed uiox ex^^ulsus est a ducibus regis, Bercthuno
et Andhuno, qui deinceps regnum provinciaj teuuerunt : qviorum prior
postea ab eodem Caedualla, quum esset rex Geiiissorum, occisus est, et
provincia graviore servitio subacta."


688, and held it, as the Chronicles say, thirty-seven winters,
till his abdication in 726. An examination of his reign
naturally suggests four chief subjects for inquiry ; his
descent and succession to the Crown ; his wars foreign
and domestic ; his legislation ; his ecclesiastical founda-
tions. I will go on to speak of each of these in ordei'.

The succession of Ine to the West-Saxon Kingdom is
not a little obscure. The Chronicles simply have the
formal phrase that he " feng to Westseaxna rice,'" without
any explanation of the circumstances. But they supply
us with a pedigree which shows that, though Ine came
of the royal stock of Ceawlin, Cerdic, and Woden, he
was not the descendant of any of the Kings who reigned
immediately before him, just as he was not the forefather
of any of the Kings who reigned after him. Baeda too
introduces him vaguely as one of the royal house ; and, in
recording his abdication, the only fact about Ine besides
his accession which he does record, he adds, no less vaguely,
that he gave over his kingdom to those who were younger
than himself.* Ine thus in a manner stands by himself
in the list of West-Saxon Kings. He has no direct pre-
decessor and no direct successor. There can be no doubt
that he came in by that mixture of election and hereditary
right, that choice by the nation out of a particular family,
which formed the general law of the old Teutonic com-
munities, and to which the political condition of Wessex
gave special scope. The West- Saxon state was far from
being a centralized or in any way closely united body, but it
was not, like Mercia and, in a less degree, Northumberland
and East-Anglia, a mere collection of small principalities

* Hist. Eccl. V. 7. "Successit in regnum Ini de stirpe regia, qui
quum triginta et septem aimis imperium tenuisset gentis illius et, ipse,
relicto regno ac juvenioribus commendato," &c., &c.



of various origin, gathered together, whether b}'^ conquest or
persuasion, under one dominant chief. There was a national
and a family unity in the West- Saxon state from the be-
ginning. There were many Kings, but there was always
— save perhaps during that strange time after the death
of Sexburh — one head King. And the head King and the
lesser Kings alike seem all to have come of the one line of
Cerdic. Each district, as it was conquered from the Welsh,
seems to have become a new principality, the apanage of
some member of the royal house. That is to say, the
West-Saxon policy in these earlier times, when we have
to infer a policy from scattered and incidental notices,
was much the same as it was in the better known
times after the days of Ecgberht, when West-Saxon
-S^thelings were set to reign as subordinate Kings over
Kent and Sussex. Thus, when Eadvvine invaded Wessex
to avenge his wrongs on Cwichelm, five Kings of the
West-Saxons, fighting no doubt under the banner of their
kinsman and superior King, died in the battle against him.*
It marks perhaps a certain advance in the ideas at once
of royal power and of national unity when, a little later,
we find the subordinate princes no longer distinctly spoken
of as Kings, but bearing the lowlier title of Suhreyulus or
Under-King. I will nut here, while specially examining the
life of Ine, stop to discuss that strange period in our West-
Saxon history, those twelve years between the death of
Cenwealh and the accession of Ceadwalla, when, according
to Breda, the Under-Kings succeeded for a while in getting
rid of the central monarchy altogether.f The Chronicles,
it is well known, give a regular succession of sovereigns

* Chron. Petrib. 628. "And he tha for on West-Seaxam mid fyrde,
and afylde thser v. ciningas."

t See Norman Conquest, i. 580.


during this time — I must not say of Kings, for the first of
them is the Queen Sexburh, the one recorded instance of a
female ruler till we come to the Empress Matilda in the
twelfth century. Florence of Worcester was puzzled at
the contradiction in his time. I am no less puzzled now,
and Dr. Guest has not carried on his discourses on early
English history far enough to help me. But one thing
is important for our purpose. Whether the Kings
mentioned in the interval were really Kings over all
Wessex, or only some of the Under-Kings spoken of by
Basda, it is certain that all the Kings of this period
sprang fi'om the one house of Cerdic, and yet that
no two in succession sprang from the same branch of
that house. Cenwealh, according to the story, was suc-
ceeded by his widow Sexburh ;* then came either Ccnfus
or his son iEscwine, sprung, like Cenwealh, from Cutha the
son of Cynric, but not from the same son of Cutha.t
Then the succession goes back to the former branch in the
person of Centwine the brother of Cenwealh. Then came
Ceadwalla, under whom at all events the national unity was
restored.^ In him the Crown passes from the line of Cutha
back again to the line of Ceawlin, and under Ine we find it
still in the line of Ceawlin, but in another branch of that

* All tlie Chronicles are distinct as to Sexburgli's reign of a year and
they are followed by Florence, Henry of Huntingdon and all the later
writers, but it is hard to force this and the story in Bajda into agreement.

t The Chronicles (674) give the pedigree. ' ' Her f eng .Slscwine to rice on
Westseaxum, se wiesCenf using; CenfusCenferthing;Cenferth Cuthgilsingj
Cuthgils Ceolwulting ; Ceolwulf Cynricing; Cynric Cerdiciug." But
Florence had evidently seen an account in which Cenfus himself and
not his son was made to succeed; " Deinde Cenfus duobus annis
secundum dicta regis ^Elfredi, juxta vero Chronicam Anglicam, filius
ejus .^scwinus fere tribus annis regnavit."

X Bseda IV. 12. " Devictis atque amotis subregiilis, Caedualla
suscepit imperium."


line.* And so the changes go on through the eighth century,
till, in the person of Ecgberht, the crown of Wessex, and all
that the crown of Wessex was to grow into, was fixed for
ever in the descendants, not of Ine himself but of his brother
Ingild.t Of all the intermediate Kings, ^thelings, and
pretenders whom we read of between Ine and Ecgberht,
each is said to have been sprung of the line of Cerdic, and
to have been a kinsman of the King who reigned before him.
In several cases the King who succeeds is spoken of as an
Under-King or the son of an Under-King,J but in no
case does the son succeed to the father or even the brother
to the brother. The inference to my mind at least is clear.
Within the one West-Saxon kingdom there were several
principalities held by Under-Kings of the royal house,
any one of whom, or any other member of the royal
house, it was open to the nation at large to choose to the
central kingship. In some cases the language of our
authorities might lead us to suspect that Kings were
chosen during; the lifetime of their fathers. In the most

* Chronicles 685. " Ceadwalla wses Cenbrilitmg; Cenbrilit Ceadding;
CeaddaCuthing; Cutha Ceawlining; CeawlinCynricing;CyiiricCerdicing. "
Cenbrilit the father of Ceadwalla would seem to be the person whose
death is recorded in the Chronicles in the year 66] with the title of
Cyning. In Florence he appears distinctly as ' ' Cenbryht subregulus,
Ceaulini scilicet regis pronepos, et pater Ceadwallae regis."

t Chronicles, 855. ^thelwulf waes Ecgbrihting ; Ecgbriht Ealh-
munding ; Ealhmund Eafing ; Eafa Eopping ; Eoppa Ingilding ;
Ingild wees Ines brothur Westseaxna cyninges."

J In the genealogy in Florence, Ine himseK is ' ' filius subreguli Cenredi,
abnepotis Regis Ceaulini." yEthelheard is "de prosapia Cerdici Regis,
cui propinquns suus Cuthredus successit." Sigeberht is "lilius Sigerici
subreguli ;" his brother Cyneheard is " clito ; " Cynewulf and Beorhtric
are both " de prosapia Cerdici Regis oriundus," and Ecgberht is " filius
Alhmundi subreguli.-' In the Chronicles we read of "m£ege," and in
Henry of Huntingdon of "cognatus," but I doubt whether the fact of
several Kings being sons of " subreguli," "undercjmingas," come out so
clearly clsewho'e.


illustrious case, and that which most nearly concerns us,
we know that it was so. Ine, the son of the Under-King
Cenred, was called to the head kingship during his father's
life-time. And it is plain that such a choice in no way
displaced or supplanted the elder prince, nor does it
seem to have been contrary to his wishes. That Ine
succeeded Ceadwalla, that Ine was the son of Cenred, we
learn from all our Chronicles and genealogies ; but that
Ine was chosen King in the life-time of his father, and
that the King continued to trust and honour his father the
Under-King as the first among his counsellors, we learn
only from the preamble of Ine's own Laws. There we read
how Ine King of the West-Saxons puts forth his Laws
" with thought and with lore of Cenred his father and
Hedde his Bishop and Eorcenwold his Bishop, with all his
Ealdormen and the eldest Witan of his people and eke of a
mickle coming together of God's servants."*

Ine then was, beyond all doubt, the son of an Under-
King Cenred, who survived his son's election to the
supreme kingship.f He was the son of Cenred, the son

* Laws of Ine, Thorpe, Laws and Institutes i. 152. ScLmid. 20.
' ' Ic Ine, mid Godes gif e Westseaxena Kyning, mid getheahte and mid
lare Cenredes mines faeder and Heddes mines biscepes and Eorcenwoldes
mines biscepes, mid eallum minum ealdormonnum and tha^m ieldstan
witnm minre theSde, and eac micelre gesomnunge Godes tlie6wa." I
bardly know wbat to make of the charter of Nothelm of Sussex in Cod.
])ipl. V. 36, bearing date 692, where, among other signatures, we read
"Ego Coenredus Rex West-Saxonum consensi et subscripsi. Ego Ine
consensi et propria manu subscripsi.'" This seems very strange, but
Mr. Kemble does not mark it as spurious. See also Palgrave, English
Commonwealth, ii. cclxxiv. Mon. Ang. vi. 1163.

t Two pedigrees of Ine are given in the Chronicles, one in 688, when
his accession is recorded. ' ' Thonne wses se Ine Cenreding ; Cenred
Ceolwalding ; Ceolwald waes Cynegilses brothur and tha wseron Cuthwines
suna Ceaulinges ; Ceauliu Cynricing ; Cynric Cer dicing." The other is
in 856 gives the descent of ^-Ethelwulf from Adam. The two of course
coincide in the generations between Ingild and Cerdic. Cutha however

14 PAPEliS, ETC.

of Ceolwald, the son of Cutha, tlie son of Cuthwine, the
son of Ceawlin, the son of Cynric, the son of Cerdic.
He had a brother Ingild, the forefather of Ecgberht, and
thereby of all the later West-Saxon Kings.* His two
sisters Cwenburh and Cuthburh, were, like so many
daughters of Old-English Kings, enrolled among the saints. f
Of these two Cuthburh has won for herself a high place
in West-Saxon hagiology. After being for some while
the wife of Ealdfrith King of the Northumbrians, she left

is inserted between Ceolwald and Cuthwine, and some of the manuscripts
strangely insert Creoda between Cynric and Cerdic. WUliam of Malmes-
bury (Gest. Reg. i. 35) describes Ine as " Chinegisli ex patre Cuthbaldo
pronepos " which — the names Ceolwald and Cuthbald being evidently
confounded — agrees with the entry under 688, only one cannot help
fancying that William ts as thinking of the King Cynegils. But in the
Gesta Pontificum (191) he gives Ine altogether a wrong father, Cissa ;
and again in 354, in quoting the charter of Baldred of which I
shall have to speak again, he adds " Subscripserunt his duabus cartis
Hedda episcopus Wintoniensis, Kentuuinus rex, Cissa pater Inae postea
regis." But the description of Cissa is an inference of his own, as in
the Charter itself (Cod. Dipl. i. 32) the signature is simply " signum
manus Cisi." All this shows that there was some obscurity about Ine's
pedigree, and the whole falls in with the singular description of Ine
given by his own friend and kinsman Ealdhelm ;

" Tertius accepit sceptrum regnator opiraum
Quem clamant In incerto cognomine gentes,
Qui nunc imperium Saxonum jure gubernat."

* William of Malmesbury (Gest. Pont. v. 188) refutes the story which
made Saint Ealdhelm a nejjhew of Ine through a brother Kenteu, a
name by which we may perhaps imderstand Centwine. "Ferunt
quidam, incertum unde id assumpserint, fuisse nepotem Inse regis West-
Saxonum ex fratre Kenten. Nobis pro vero arrogare non libuit, quod
videtur magis opinioni quadrare volaticse quam veritati historicse.
Siquidem ex cronicis constet, quod Ina nuUem fratrem praeter Inigildum

habuerit, qui paucis ante ipsum annis decessit Qui eniai

legit manualem librum regis Elfredi, repperiet Kenten, beati Aldhelmi
patrem, non fuisse regis Inae germanum, sed arctissima necessitudme
consanguineum. ' '

t The two sisters are mentioned in the Chronicles when the death of
Ingild is recorded in 717 or 718. "Her Ingild Ines brother forthferde,
and heora swystor waeron Cwenbui-h and Cuthburh and seo Cuthburh
arserde that lif set Winburnan, and heo wfes forgifen Ealdferthe
Nordanhymbra kinge, and hie be him lifgcndum hie gedicldan."


him. and became Abbess at Wimborne, and, after her
church had been changed to a foundation of secular
canons, she still remained its patron saint, and her head,
enclosed in silver, was the great object of local reverence
down to tiie time of Henry the Eighth. The wife of Ine
bore the name of ^thelburh. She was herself of the
royal house, and her brother ^thelheard, who succeeded
Ine in the kingdom,* is spoken of as a kinsman of bis
predecessor.f We have however no means of tracing
the pedigree of ^thelheard and ^thelburh to the com-
mon stock. A guess however may perhaps be allowed.
It is about this time that the element j^thel, which was to
form part of some of the most famous names in West-
Saxon genealogy, first begins to appear in the family
nomenclature of the West-Saxon house. -liEthelheard,
after his accession, found a rival in an ^theling named
Oswald, who is described as the son of ^thelbald, the
son of Cynebald, the son of Cuthwine, the son of Ceawlin.J
We may be pretty sure that ^Ethelheard, and ^thelburh
also, belonged to the branch of the family in which we can
trace the beginning of this change in the family nomen-

* I know of no direct evidence for making ^thelheard and ^tlielburh
brother and sister, except the spurious Charter of Ine to Glastonbury
where he is made to sign as " ^thilhard frater Eeginae." Will. Malmes.
de Antiq. Glaston. Gale. ii. 312. Cod. Dipl. i. 89. But for such a
matter as this, a spurious Charter of early date — that is, earlier than
William of Malmesbury — is some evidence, when it is not contradicted
by anything better. Lappenberg accepts iEthelheard as ^thelburh's
brother without hesitation.

+ William of Malmesbury (Gesta Regum i. 38) calls ^thelheard
" In® consanguineus " and, in those manuscripts which contain the story
of ^thelburh and the pigs, she ajjpears as ' ' f emina sane regii generis et
animi," so in Henry of Huntingdon (M. H. B. 725 A.) ^thelheard is
Ine's "cognatus."

J Chronicles, 728. "Oswald waes ^thelbalding; .^thelbald Cyne-
balding; Cynebald Cuthwining; Cuthwine Ceawlining."


clature. Of Queen -^thelburh, whose name very nearly
concerns Taunton, we shall hear again in the course of our
story. But it would seem that her marriage was childless ;
at least no sons or daughters of Ine and u3Ethelburh find
their way into history or genealogy.

Of the circumstances of the election of Ine we know
nothing. But the influence which a King undoubtedly
possessed in recommending a successor to the choice of
the Witan would have still greater force when the King
into whose place that successor had to step was still living,
and might perhaps make his abdication conditional on the
choice of a successor whom he approved. We may
therefore set it down as almost certain that Ine was
chosen at the recommendation of Ceadwalla. And the
zeal with which we shall see that Ine took up the blood-
feud of Ceadwalla looks the same way. Again, the im-
portance which ^thelburh holds throughout the reign of
her husband, and the accession of her brother at his death,
seem to point to a special connexion between Ine and that
branch of the family to which his wife belonged. On the
other hand, we find Ine opposed by -^thelings of uncertain
descent, Cynewulf and Eadbriht. I throw it out as a
conjecture for whatever it may be worth that the suc-
cessive elections of Ceadwalla, Ine, and ^thelheard point
to a combined effort of the descendants of Ceawlin per-
mantly to win back the Crown for their branch of the
family, which had been shut out from the succession ever
since the successful rebellion of Ceol against Ceawlin him-
self in 592 .* Ceadwalla had at one time been banished, and

* See the Chronicles, 592, which entries become more clear in the
genealogy of Florence of Worcester. " Contra quern Ceol, filius fratris
sui Cuthwlfi, quern ante biennium regem sub se fecerat, immerito re-
bellavit, regnoque expellens, loco ejus quinque annis regnavit."


yet during his banishment he had been powerful enough
to wage war in Sussex and to overthrow and slay the
King yl^^thelwealh.* And several of our accounts point to
a belief that Ceadwalla came to the Crown during the
lifetime of Centwine, through an abdication, whether willing
or constrained.! And may I add yet another conjecture?
It was under the other branch of the family, the descen-
dants of Cutha, that Christianity had made its way into
Wessex. Can we in this way account for the strange fact
of the unbaptized state of Ceadwalla? Had the descen-
dants of Ceawlin remained heathens, and was the religious
zeal of Ine, like the fiercer religious zeal of Ceadwalla,
preeminently the zeal of a new convert ?

Some little light may perhaps be thrown on the election
and marriage of Ine by a very wild legend, but a legend
which plainly had its birth in our own part of England.
I mean the story preserved in the "Ilistoriola dePrimordiis
Episcopatus Somersetensis,'^ printed in Mr. Hunter's
Ecclesiastical Documents. The whole condition of Wessex

* See tlie extract from Bteda above, p. 8.
t The passages on this subject are collected by Lappenberg, p. 253 of
the original German, i. 258 of Thorpe's Translation. The most distinct
passage is that in William of Malmsbury. G est. Pont, v. 205, ' ' Eodem
tempore Kentuuinus rex Westsaxonum morbo et senio gravis, Ceduallam,
regii generis juveuem, successorem decreverat. Is ergo, quamvis nee
adhuc rex nee Christianus, spe tamen regnum anticipabat, baptismum
creednlitate ambiebat." He quotes another passage from Ealdhelm,
saying how Entwinus — which doubtless should be Centwiuus —
" Eexit regnum plures feliciter annos.
Donee conversus cellam migi'avit in almam.
Juste petit superas merites splendentibus areas;
Post nunc successit bello famosus et armis
Rex Ccedwalla potens regni possessor ut hseres."
This is indirectly confirmed by the words of the Chronicle, 685. ' ' Her
Ceadwalla ongann sefter rice winnan. " On the other hand Henry of
Huntingdon, M. H. B. 722 A., malles Caedwalla succeed on the death
of Centwine; " Centwino igitur Occidentalium Saxonum rege defuncto,
Caedwalla post eum regnans. "



and of England, and of every person who plays a part in
the story, is utterly misconceived. By an idea borrowed
from the tenth or eleventh century, England is described as
being under two Kings, one reigning to the south of the
Humber, the other to the north of it. This latter, it may
be hoped, to make the division at all equal, was able to
make his supremacy felt as far as the Orkneys. The southern
King dies, leaving no heir ; an interregnum full of all evil
follows. The Bishops and great men meet in London to
choose a King ; but first, like the Hebrews of old, they con-
sult the Lord. By what means the divine oracle was given
we are not told, but its purport was that they were to make
him King who bore the name of /na, the name being
written according to the later corruption. Men are sent
through all parts of the land to find some one called Ina.
Some go as far as Devonshire and Cornwall, but all in
vain ; so, full of weariness, they turn their faces again
towards London. But on the way they pass by Somerton.
There they chance to hear a churl as he tills his field shout
loudly for Ina to bring his father's oxen. They ask his
meaning, and he explains that Ina is the son of his partner.
The youth presently shows himself, a tall, strong, young
man of a goodly countenance, in whom they at once hail
the King for whom they were searching. They wish to
take him with them at once ; but his fiither and his neigh-
bours will not let him go till they have received pledges
that Ina shall suffer no harm. This done, Ina is led to
London to the assembled great men of the realm. All
men admire him; he is at once chosen King with one
consent and is consecrated by the Bishops.

Presently the King of the. North dies, leaving an only
daughter Adelburh as his heiress. Ina conceives the idea of
marrying her, and so joining the two kingdoms into one


state, to which is given the Imperial name o^ Monarchy. Mr.
Hunter assigns the Avork to the time of Henry the Second ;
to me I confess that this part of the story suggests the
time of Edward the First and the schemes for a peaceful
union of England and Scotland by a marriage. Ina makes
his proposals by messengers, but Adelburh scorns the son of
a churl. He then goes himself, without revealing his rank,
but passing himself off as a messenger from King Ina. His
suit is again refused ; but he tarries in the Queen's court,
and one day, at a great feast, he acts as her cupbearer.
His beauty, now displayed to advantage in his rich official
robes, makes an impression, too deep an impression, on the
heart of Adelburh. He now declares who he is, and he no
longer meets with a refusal. He goes home and sends mes-
sengers in proper form to demand her ; she comes ; the
two are married at Wells, and Adelburh procures that that
town shall be given to Bishop Daniel, who removes his
episcopal chair thither from Congresbury.

I need not stop to point out how wild all this is as a
description of anything that happened in Britain in the
seventh century. It is not hard to see the bits from the
histories, real or legendary, of Saul and David and our
own Alfred and God wine which have been worked up
into the story. And I hope there is no need to point out
that no faith is to be given to stories about Bishops of
Congresbury, or even about Bishops of Wells at any time
before Eadward the Elder. But, as usual, some grains of
wheat may be picked up among the chaff. One point is
perhaps ti'ifling, but is none the less characteristic. The
legend preserves the notion of Ine being a rare name, a
name for the bearer of \\ hich men had to seek far and wide.
Now the name is certainly very rare ; as far as I can re-
member, it is unique. Then the story of Ine^s lowly


birth is, as we know, utterly false ; Ine was no cliurra
son, but an ^theling ; but the story that a King was a
churl's son could have been spread abroad only about a
King whose accession had something about it that was
strange and unexpected, and who stood far away from the
most obvious line of succession. This exactly fits the case
of Ine. It chimes in with the remark of William of
Malmesbury that, although Ine was of royal descent, yet
he was chosen less on account of his birth than on account
of his personal qualities.* Then the story of Ine being
found near Somerton, though no doubt a creation of local
vanity, is a creation not altogether without some ground-
work. It fits in with the many other hints in history and
tradition which connect Ine more closely with our
shire than with any other part of his kingdom. All these
hints taken together may perhaps suggest the conjecture
that the land of the Sumorsaetas was the part of Wessex
which Ine's fi\ther Cenred governed as Under-King. Then
the story of the marriage of Ine and ^thelburh, wild as
it is, fits in well with the various hints which we have as

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