1007-13
A.D. 1007 . In this year was the tribute paid to the hostile
army; that was, 30,000 pounds. In this year also was Edric
appointed alderman over all the kingdom of the Mercians.
This year went Bishop Elfeah to Rome after his pall.

A.D. 1008 . This year bade the king that men should speedily
build ships over all England; that is, a man possessed of three
hundred and ten hides to provide on galley or skiff; and a man
possessed of eight hides only, to find a helmet and breastplate(53).

A.D. 1009 . This year were the ships ready, that we before spoke
about; and there were so many of them as never were in England
before, in any king's days, as books tell us. And they were all
transported together to Sandwich; that they should lie there, and
defend this land against any out-force. But we have not yet had
the prosperity and the honour, that the naval armament should be
useful to this land, any more than it often before was. It was
at this same time, or a little earlier, that Brihtric, brother of
Alderman Edric, bewrayed Wulnoth, the South-Saxon knight, father
of Earl Godwin, to the king; and he went into exile, and enticed
the navy, till he had with him twenty ships; with which he
plundered everywhere by the south coast, and wrought every kind
of mischief. When it was told the navy that they might easily
seize him, if they would look about them, then took Brihtric with
him eighty ships; and thought that he should acquire for himself
much reputation, by getting Wulnoth into his hands alive or dead.
But, whilst they were proceeding thitherward, there came such a
wind against them, as no man remembered before; which beat and
tossed the ships, and drove them aground; whereupon Wulnoth soon
came, and burned them. When this was known to the remaining
ships, where the king was, how the others fared, it was then as
if all were lost. The king went home, with the aldermen and the
nobility; and thus lightly did they forsake the ships; whilst the
men that were in them rowed them back to London. Thus lightly
did they suffer the labour of all the people to be in vain; nor
was the terror lessened, as all England hoped. When this naval
expedition was thus ended, then came, soon after Lammas, the
formidable army of the enemy, called Thurkill's army, to
Sandwich; and soon they bent their march to Canterbury; which
city they would quickly have stormed, had they not rather desired
peace; and all the men of East-Kent made peace with the army, and
gave them 3,000 pounds for security. The army soon after that
went about till they came to the Isle of Wight; and everywhere in
Sussex, and in Hampshire, and also in Berkshire, they plundered
and burned, as their custom is. (54) Then ordered the king to
summon out all the population, that men might hold firm against
them on every side; but nevertheless they marched as they
pleased. On one occasion the king had begun his march before
them, as they proceeded to their ships, and all the people were
ready to fall upon them; but the plan was then frustrated through
Alderman Edric, AS IT EVER IS STILL. Then after Martinmas they
went back again to Kent, and chose their winter-quarters on the
Thames; obtaining their provisions from Essex, and from the
shires that were next, on both sides of the Thames. And oft they
fought against the city of London; but glory be to God, that it
yet standeth firm: and they ever there met with ill fare. Then
after midwinter took they an excursion up through Chiltern, (55)
and so to Oxford; which city they burned, and plundered on both
sides of the Thames to their ships. Being fore-warned that there
was an army gathered against them at London, they went over at
Staines; and thus were they in motion all the winter, and in
spring, appeared again in Kent, and repaired their ships.

A.D. 1010 . This year came the aforesaid army, after Easter, into
East Anglia; and went up at Ipswich, marching continually till
they came where they understood Ulfcytel was with his army. This
was on the day called the first of the Ascension of our Lord.
The East-Angles soon fled. Cambridgeshire stood firm against
them. There was slain Athelstan, the king's relative, and Oswy,
and his son, and Wulfric, son of Leofwin, and Edwy, brother of
Efy, and many other good thanes, and a multitude of the people.
Thurkytel Myrehead first began the flight; and the Danes remained
masters of the field of slaughter. There were they horsed; and
afterwards took possession of East-Anglia, where they plundered
and burned three months; and then proceeded further into the wild
fens, slaying both men and cattle, and burning throughout the
fens. Thetford also they burned, and Cambridge; and afterwards
went back southward into the Thames; and the horsemen rode
towards the ships. Then went they west-ward into Oxfordshire,
and thence to Buckinghamshire, and so along the Ouse till they
came to Bedford, and so forth to Temsford, always burning as they
went. Then returned they to their ships with their spoil, which
they apportioned to the ships. When the king's army should have
gone out to meet them as they went up, then went they home; and
when they were in the east, then was the army detained in the
west; and when they were in the south, then was the army in the
north. Then all the privy council were summoned before the king,
to consult how they might defend this country. But, whatever was
advised, it stood not a month; and at length there was not a
chief that would collect an army, but each fled as he could: no
shire, moreover, would stand by another. Before the feast-day of
St. Andrew came the enemy to Northampton, and soon burned the
town, and took as much spoil thereabout as they would; and then
returned over the Thames into Wessex, and so by Cannings-marsh,
burning all the way. When they had gone as far as they would,
then came they by midwinter to their ships.

A.D. 1011 . This year sent the king and his council to the army,
and desired peace; promising them both tribute and provisions, on
condition that they ceased from plunder. They had now overrun
East-Anglia [1], and Essex [2], and Middlesex [3], and
Oxfordshire [4], and Cambridgeshire [5], and Hertfordshire [6],
and Buckinghamshire [7], and Bedfordshire [8], and half of
Huntingdonshire [9], and much of Northamptonshire [10]; and, to
the south of the Thames, all Kent, and Sussex, and Hastings, and
Surrey, and Berkshire, and Hampshire, and much of Wiltshire. All
these disasters befel us through bad counsels; that they would
not offer tribute in time, or fight with them; but, when they had
done most mischief, then entered they into peace and amity with
them. And not the less for all this peace, and amity, and
tribute, they went everywhere in troops; plundering, and
spoiling, and slaying our miserable people. In this year,
between the Nativity of St. Mary and Michaelmas, they beset
Canterbury, and entered therein through treachery; for Elfmar
delivered the city to them, whose life Archbishop Elfeah formerly
saved. And there they seized Archbishop Elfeah, and Elfward the
king's steward, and Abbess Leofruna, (56) and Bishop Godwin; and
Abbot Elfmar they suffered to go away. And they took therein all
the men, and husbands, and wives; and it was impossible for any
man to say how many they were; and in the city they continued
afterwards as long as they would. And, when they had surveyed
all the city, they then returned to their ships, and led the
archbishop with them
Then was a captive
he who before was
of England head
and Christendom; --
there might be seen

great wretchedness,
where oft before
great bliss was seen,
in the fated city,
whence first to us
came Christendom,
and bliss 'fore God
and 'fore the world.
And the archbishop they kept with them until the time when they
martyred him.

A.D. 1012 . This year came Alderman Edric, and all the oldest
counsellors of England, clerk and laity, to London before Easter,
which was then on the ides of April; and there they abode, over
Easter, until all the tribute was paid, which was 48,000 pounds.
Then on the Saturday was the army much stirred against the
bishop; because he would not promise them any fee, and forbade
that any man should give anything for him. They were also much
drunken; for there was wine brought them from the south. Then
took they the bishop, and led him to their hustings, on the eve
of the Sunday after Easter, which was the thirteenth before the
calends of May; and there they then shamefully killed him. They
overwhelmed him with bones and horns of oxen; and one of them
smote him with an axe-iron on the head; so that he sunk downwards
with the blow; and his holy blood fell on the earth, whilst his
sacred soul was sent to the realm of God. The corpse in the
morning was carried to London; and the bishops, Ednoth and
Elfhun, and the citizens, received him with all honour, and
buried him in St. Paul's minster; where God now showeth this holy
martyr's miracles. When the tribute was paid, and the peace-
oaths were sworn, then dispersed the army as widely as it was
before collected. Then submitted to the king five and forty of
the ships of the enemy; and promised him, that they would defend
this land, and he should feed and clothe them.

A.D. 1013 . The year after that Archbishop Elfeah was martyred,
the king appointed Lifing to the archiepiscopal see of
Canterbury. And in the same year, before the month August, came
King Sweyne with his fleet to Sandwich; and very soon went about
East-Anglia into the Humber-mouth, and so upward along the Trent,
until he came to Gainsborough. Then soon submitted to him Earl
Utred, and all the Northumbrians, and all the people of Lindsey,
and afterwards the people of the Five Boroughs, and soon after
all the army to the north of Watling-street; and hostages were
given him from each shire. When he understood that all the
people were subject to him, then ordered he that his army should
have provision and horses; and he then went southward with his
main army, committing his ships and the hostages to his son
Knute. And after he came over Watling-street, they wrought the
greatest mischief that any army could do. Then he went to
Oxford; and the population soon submitted, and gave hostages;
thence to Winchester, where they did the same. Thence went they
eastward to London; and many of the party sunk in the Thames,
because they kept not to any bridge. When he came to the city,
the population would not submit; but held their ground in full
fight against him, because therein was King Ethelred, and
Thurkill with him. Then went King Sweyne thence to Wallingford;
and so over Thames westward to Bath, where he abode with his
army. Thither came Alderman Ethelmar, and all the western thanes
with him, and all submitted to Sweyne, and gave hostages. When
he had thus settled all, then went he northward to his ships; and
all the population fully received him, and considered him full
king. The population of London also after this submitted to him,
and gave hostages; because they dreaded that he would undo them.
Then bade Sweyne full tribute and forage for his army during the
winter; and Thurkill bade the same for the army that lay at
Greenwich: besides this, they plundered as oft as they would.
And when this nation could neither resist in the south nor in the
north, King Ethelred abode some while with the fleet that lay in
the Thames; and the lady (57) went afterwards over sea to her
brother Richard, accompanied by Elfsy, Abbot of Peterborough.
The king sent Bishop Elfun with the ethelings, Edward and Alfred,
over sea; that he might instruct them. Then went the king from
the fleet, about midwinter, to the Isle of Wight; and there abode
for the season; after which he went over sea to Richard, with
whom he abode till the time when Sweyne died. Whilst the lady
was with her brother beyond sea, Elfsy, Abbot of Peterborough,
who was there with her, went to the abbey called Boneval, where
St. Florentine's body lay; and there found a miserable place, a
miserable abbot, and miserable monks: because they had been
plundered. There he bought of the abbot, and of the monks, the
body of St. Florentine, all but the head, for 500 pounds; which,
on his return home, he offered to Christ and St. Peter.

Notes:

(53) This passage, though very important, is rather confused,
from the Variations in the MSS.; so that it is difficult to
ascertain the exact proportion of ships and armour which
each person was to furnish. "Vid. Flor." an. 1008.
(54) These expressions in the present tense afford a strong proof
that the original records of these transactions are nearly
coeval with the transactions themselves. Later MSS. use the
past tense.
(55) i.e. the Chiltern Hills; from which the south-eastern part
of Oxfordshire is called the Chiltern district.
(56) "Leofruna abbatissa". -- Flor. The insertion of this
quotation from Florence of Worcester is important, as it
confirms the reading adopted in the text. The abbreviation
"abbt", instead of "abb", seems to mark the abbess. She was
the last abbess of St. Mildred's in the Isle of Thanet; not
Canterbury, as Harpsfield and Lambard say.
(57) This was a title bestowed on the queen.

Chronicle Years:1000-06
Chronicle Years: 1014-17


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