1000-06
A.D. 1000 . This year the king went into Cumberland, and nearly
laid waste the whole of it with his army, whilst his navy sailed
about Chester with the design of co-operating with his land-
forces; but, finding it impracticable, they ravaged Anglesey.
The hostile fleet was this summer turned towards the kingdom of
Richard.

A.D. 1001 . This year there was great commotion in England in
consequence of an invasion by the Danes, who spread terror and
devastation wheresoever they went, plundering and burning and
desolating the country with such rapidity, that they advanced in
one march as far as the town of Alton; where the people of
Hampshire came against them, and fought with them. There was
slain Ethelwerd, high-steward of the king, and Leofric of
Whitchurch, and Leofwin, high-steward of the king, and Wulfhere,
a bishop's thane, and Godwin of Worthy, son of Bishop Elfsy; and
of all the men who were engaged with them eighty-one. Of the
Danes there was slain a much greater number, though they remained
in possession of the field of battle. Thence they proceeded
westward, until they came into Devonshire; where Paley came to
meet them with the ships which he was able to collect; for he had
shaken off his allegiance to King Ethelred, against all the vows
of truth and fidelity which he had given him, as well as the
presents which the king had bestowed on him in houses and gold
and silver. And they burned Teignton, and also many other goodly
towns that we cannot name; and then peace was there concluded
with them. And they proceeded thence towards Exmouth, so that
they marched at once till they came to Pin-hoo; where Cole, high-
steward of the king, and Edsy, reve of the king, came against
them with the army that they could collect. But they were there
put to flight, and there were many slain, and the Danes had
possession of the field of battle. And the next morning they
burned the village of Pin-hoo, and of Clist, and also many goodly
towns that we cannot name. Then they returned eastward again,
till they came to the Isle of Wight. The next morning they
burned the town of Waltham, and many other small towns; soon
after which the people treated with them, and they made peace.

((A.D. 1001 . This year the army came to Exmouth, and then went
up to the town, and there continued fighting stoutly; but they
were very strenuously resisted. Then went they through the land,
and did all as was their wont; destroyed and burnt. Then was
collected a vast force of the people of Devon and of the people
of Somerset, and they then came together at Pen. And so soon as
they joined battle, then the people gave way: and there they made
great slaughter, and then they rode over the land, and their last
incursion was ever worse than the one before: and then they
brought much booty with them to their ships. And thence they
went into the Isle of Wight, and there they roved about, even as
they themselves would, and nothing withstood them: nor any fleet
by sea durst meet them; nor land force either, went they ever so
far up. Then was it in every wise a heavy time, because they
never ceased from their evil doings.))

A.D. 1002 . This year the king and his council agreed that
tribute should be given to the fleet, and peace made with them,
with the provision that they should desist from their mischief.
Then sent the king to the fleet Alderman Leofsy, who at the
king's word and his council made peace with them, on condition
that they received food and tribute; which they accepted, and a
tribute was paid of 24,000 pounds. In the meantime Alderman
Leofsy slew Eafy, high-steward of the king; and the king banished
him from the land. Then, in the same Lent, came the Lady Elfgive
Emma, Richard's daughter, to this land. And in the same summer
died Archbishop Eadulf; and also, in the same year the king gave
an order to slay all the Danes that were in England. This was
accordingly done on the mass-day of St. Brice; because it was
told the king, that they would beshrew him of his life, and
afterwards all his council, and then have his kingdom without any
resistance.

A.D. 1003 . This year was Exeter demolished, through the French
churl Hugh, whom the lady had appointed her steward there. And
the army destroyed the town withal, and took there much spoil.
In the same year came the army up into Wiltshire. Then was
collected a very great force, from Wiltshire and from Hampshire;
which was soon ready on their march against the enemy: and
Alderman Elfric should have led them on; but he brought forth his
old tricks, and as soon as they were so near, that either army
looked on the other, then he pretended sickness, and began to
retch, saying he was sick; and so betrayed the people that he
should have led: as it is said, "When the leader is sick the
whole army is hindered." When Sweyne saw that they were not
ready, and that they all retreated, then led he his army into
Wilton; and they plundered and burned the town. Then went he to
Sarum; and thence back to the sea, where he knew his ships were.

A.D. 1004 . This year came Sweyne with his fleet to Norwich,
plundering and burning the whole town. Then Ulfkytel agreed with
the council in East-Anglia, that it were better to purchase peace
with the enemy, ere they did too much harm on the land; for that
they had come unawares, and he had not had time to gather his
force. Then, under the truce that should have been between them,
stole the army up from their ships, and bent their course to
Thetford. When Ulfkytel understood that, then sent he an order
to hew the ships in pieces; but they frustrated his design. Then
he gathered his forces, as secretly as he could. The enemy came
to Thetford within three weeks after they had plundered Norwich;
and, remaining there one night, they spoiled and burned the town;
but, in the morning, as they were proceeding to their ships, came
Ulfkytel with his army, and said that they must there come to
close quarters. And, accordingly, the two armies met together;
and much slaughter was made on both sides. There were many of
the veterans of the East-Angles slain; but, if the main army had
been there, the enemy had never returned to their ships. As they
said themselves, that they never met with worse hand-play in
England than Ulfkytel brought them.

A.D. 1005 . This year died Archbishop Elfric; and Bishop Elfeah
succeeded him in the archbishopric. This year was the great
famine in England so severe that no man ere remembered such. The
fleet this year went from this land to Denmark, and took but a
short respite, before they came again.

A.D. 1006 . This year Elfeah was consecrated Archbishop; Bishop
Britwald succeeded to the see of Wiltshire; Wulfgeat was deprived
of all his property; (51) Wulfeah and Ufgeat were deprived of
sight; Alderman Elfelm was slain; and Bishop Kenulf (52) departed
this life. Then, over midsummer, came the Danish fleet to
Sandwich, and did as they were wont; they barrowed and burned and
slew as they went. Then the king ordered out all the population
from Wessex and from Mercia; and they lay out all the harvest
under arms against the enemy; but it availed nothing more than it
had often done before. For all this the enemy went wheresoever
they would; and the expedition did the people more harm than
either any internal or external force could do. When winter
approached, then went the army home; and the enemy retired after
Martinmas to their quarters in the Isle of Wight, and provided
themselves everywhere there with what they wanted. Then, about
midwinter, they went to their ready farm, throughout Hampshire
into Berkshire, to Reading. And they did according to their
custom, -- they lighted their camp-beacons as they advanced.
Thence they marched to Wallingford, which they entirely
destroyed, and passed one night at Cholsey. They then turned
along Ashdown to Cuckamsley-hill, and there awaited better cheer;
for it was often said, that if they sought Cuckamsley, they would
never get to the sea. But they went another way homeward. Then
was their army collected at Kennet; and they came to battle
there, and soon put the English force to flight; and afterwards
carried their spoil to the sea. There might the people of
Winchester see the rank and iniquitous foe, as they passed by
their gates to the sea, fetching their meat and plunder over an
extent of fifty miles from sea. Then was the king gone over the
Thames into Shropshire; and there he fixed his abode during
midwinter. Meanwhile, so great was the fear of the enemy, that
no man could think or devise how to drive them from the land, or
hold this territory against them; for they had terribly marked
each shire in Wessex with fire and devastation. Then the king
began to consult seriously with his council, what they all
thought most advisable for defending this land, ere it was
utterly undone. Then advised the king and his council for the
advantage of all the nation, though they were all loth to do it,
that they needs must bribe the enemy with a tribute. The king
then sent to the army, and ordered it to be made known to them,
that his desire was, that there should be peace between them, and
that tribute and provision should be given them. And they
accepted the terms; and they were provisioned throughout England.

((A.D. 1006 . This year Elphege was consecrated archbishop [of
Canterbury].))

Notes:

(51) See a more full and circumstantial account of these events,
with some variation of names, in Florence of Worcester.
(52) The successor of Elfeah, or Alphege, in the see of
Winchester, on the translation of the latter to the
archiepiscopal see of Canterbury.

Chronicle Years: 980-99
Chronicle Years: 1007-13


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