1014-17
A.D. 1014 . This year King Sweyne ended his days at Candlemas,
the third day before the nones of February; and the same year
Elfwy, Bishop of York, was consecrated in London, on the festival
of St. Juliana. The fleet all chose Knute for king; whereupon
advised all the counsellors of England, clergy and laity, that
they should send after King Ethelred; saying, that no sovereign
was dearer to them than their natural lord, if he would govern
them better than he did before. Then sent the king hither his
son Edward, with his messengers; who had orders to greet all his
people, saying that he would be their faithful lord, would
better each of those things that they disliked, and that each
of the things should be forgiven which had been either done or
said against him; provided they all unanimously, without
treachery, turned to him. Then was full friendship established,
in word and in deed and in compact, on either side. And every
Danish king they proclaimed an outlaw for ever from England.
Then came King Ethelred home, in Lent, to his own people; and he
was gladly received by them all. Meanwhile, after the death of
Sweyne, sat Knute with his army in Gainsborough until Easter; and
it was agreed between him and the people of Lindsey, that they
should supply him with horses, and afterwards go out all together
and plunder. But King Ethelred with his full force came to
Lindsey before they were ready; and they plundered and burned,
and slew all the men that they could reach. Knute, the son of
Sweyne, went out with his fleet (so were the wretched people
deluded by him), and proceeded southward until he came to
Sandwich. There he landed the hostages that were given to his
father, and cut off their hands and ears and their noses.
Besides all these evils, the king ordered a tribute to the army
that lay at Greenwich, of 21,000 pounds. This year, on the eve
of St. Michael's day, came the great sea-flood, which spread wide
over this land, and ran so far up as it never did before,
overwhelming many towns, and an innumerable multitude of people.

A.D. 1015 . This year was the great council at Oxford; where
Alderman Edric betrayed Sigferth and Morcar, the eldest thanes
belonging to the Seven Towns. He allured them into his bower,
where they were shamefully slain. Then the king took all their
possessions, and ordered the widow of Sigferth to be secured, and
brought within Malmsbury. After a little interval, Edmund
Etheling went and seized her, against the king's will, and had
her to wife. Then, before the Nativity of St. Mary, went the
etheling west-north into the Five Towns, (58) and soon plundered
all the property of Sigferth and Morcar; and all the people
submitted to him. At the same time came King Knute to Sandwich,
and went soon all about Kent into Wessex, until he came to the
mouth of the Frome; and then plundered in Dorset, and in
Wiltshire, and in Somerset. King Ethelred, meanwhile, lay sick
at Corsham; and Alderman Edric collected an army there, and
Edmund the etheling in the north. When they came together, the
alderman designed to betray Edmund the etheling, but he could
not; whereupon they separated without an engagement, and sheered
off from their enemies. Alderman Edric then seduced forty ships
from the king, and submitted to Knute. The West-Saxons also
submitted, and gave hostages, and horsed the army. And he
continued there until midwinter.

A.D. 1016 . This year came King Knute with a marine force of one
hundred and sixty ships, and Alderman Edric with him, over the
Thames into Mercia at Cricklade; whence they proceeded to
Warwickshire, during the middle of the winter, and plundered
therein, and burned, and slew all they met. Then began Edmund
the etheling to gather an army, which, when it was collected,
could avail him nothing, unless the king were there and they had
the assistance of the citizens of London. The expedition
therefore was frustrated, and each man betook himself home.
After this. an army was again ordered, under full penalties, that
every person, however distant, should go forth; and they sent to
the king in London, and besought him to come to meet the army
with the aid that he could collect. When they were all
assembled, it succeeded nothing better than it often did before;
and, when it was told the king, that those persons would betray
him who ought to assist him, then forsook he the army, and
returned again to London. Then rode Edmund the etheling to Earl
Utred in Northumbria; and every man supposed that they would
collect an army King Knute; but they went into Stafforddhire, and
to Shrewsbury, and to Chester; and they plundered on their parts,
and Knute on his. He went out through Buckinghamshire to
Bedfordshire; thence to Huntingdonshire, and so into
Northamptonshire along the fens to Stamford. Thence into
Lincolnshire. Thence to Nottinghamshire; and so into Northumbria
toward York. When Utred understood this, he ceased from
plundering, and hastened northward, and submitted for need, and
all the Northumbrians with him; but, though he gave hostages, he
was nevertheless slain by the advice of Alderman Edric, and
Thurkytel, the son of Nafan, with him. After this, King Knute
appointed Eric earl over Northumbria, as Utred was; and then went
southward another way, all by west, till the whole army came,
before Easter, to the ships. Meantime Edmund Etheling went to
London to his father: and after Easter went King Knute with all
his ships toward London; but it happened that King Ethelred died
ere the ships came. He ended his days on St. George's day;
having held his kingdom in much tribulation and difficulty as
long as his life continued. After his decease, all the peers
that were in London, and the citizens, chose Edmund king; who
bravely defended his kingdom while his time was. Then came the
ships to Greenwich, about the gang-days, and within a short
interval went to London; where they sunk a deep ditch on the
south side, and dragged their ships to the west side of the
bridge. Afterwards they trenched the city without, so that no
man could go in or out, and often fought against it: but the
citizens bravely withstood them. King Edmund had ere this gone
out, and invaded the West-Saxons, who all submitted to him; and
soon afterward he fought with the enemy at Pen near Gillingham.
A second battle he fought, after midsummer, at Sherston; where
much slaughter was made on either side, and the leaders
themselves came together in the fight. Alderman Edric and Aylmer
the darling were assisting the army against King Edmund. Then
collected he his force the third time, and went to London, all by
north of the Thames, and so out through Clayhanger, and relieved
the citizens, driving the enemy to their ships. It was within
two nights after that the king went over at Brentford; where he
fought with the enemy, and put them to flight: but there many of
the English were drowned, from their own carelessness; who went
before the main army with a design to plunder. After this the
king went into Wessex, and collected his army; but the enemy soon
returned to London, and beset the city without, and fought
strongly against it both by water and land. But the almighty God
delivered them. The enemy went afterward from London with their
ships into the Orwell; where they went up and proceeded into
Mercia, slaying and burning whatsoever they overtook, as their
custom is; and, having provided themselves with meat, they drove
their ships and their herds into the Medway. Then assembled King
Edmund the fourth time all the English nation, and forded over
the Thames at Brentford; whence he proceeded into Kent. The
enemy fled before him with their horses into the Isle of Shepey;
and the king slew as many of them as he could overtake. Alderman
Edric then went to meet the king at Aylesford; than which no
measure could be more ill-advised. The enemy, meanwhile,
returned into Essex, and advanced into Mercia, destroying all
that he overtook. When the king understood that the army was up,
then collected he the fifth time all the English nation, and went
behind them, and overtook them in Essex, on the down called
Assingdon; where they fiercely came together. Then did Alderman
Edric as he often did before -- he first began the flight with
the Maisevethians, and so betrayed his natural lord and all the
people of England. There had Knute the victory, though all
England fought against him! There was then slain Bishop Ednoth,
and Abbot Wulsy, and Alderman Elfric, and Alderman Godwin of
Lindsey, and Ulfkytel of East-Anglia, and Ethelward, the son of
Alderman Ethelsy (59). And all the nobility of the English
nation was there undone! After this fight went King Knute up
with his army into Glocestershire, where he heard say that King
Edmund was. Then advised Alderman Edric, and the counsellors
that were there assembled, that the kings should make peace with
each other, and produce hostages. Then both the kings met
together at Olney, south of Deerhurst, and became allies and
sworn brothers. There they confirmed their friendship both with
pledges and with oaths, and settled the pay of the army. With
this covenant they parted: King Edmund took to Wessex, and Knute
to Mercia and the northern district. The army then went to their
ships with the things they had taken; and the people of London
made peace with them, and purchased their security, whereupon
they brought their ships to London, and provided themselves
winter-quarters therein. On the feast of St. Andrew died King
Edmund; and he is buried with his grandfather Edgar at
Gastonbury. In the same year died Wulfgar, Abbot of Abingdon;
and Ethelsy took to the abbacy.

A.D. 1017 . This year King Knute took to the whole government of
England, and divided it into four parts: Wessex for himself,
East-Anglia for Thurkyll, Mercia for Edric, Northumbria for Eric.
This year also was Alderman Edric slain at London, and Norman,
son of Alderman Leofwin, and Ethelward, son of Ethelmar the
Great, and Britric, son of Elfege of Devonshire. King Knute also
banished Edwy etheling, whom he afterwards ordered to be slain,
and Edwy, king of the churls; and before the calends of August
the king gave an order to fetch him the widow of the other king,
Ethelred, the daughter of Richard, to wife.

((A.D. 1017 . This year Canute was chosen king.))

Notes:

(58) The "seven" towns mentioned above are reduced here to
"five"; probably because two had already submitted to the
king on the death of the two thanes, Sigferth and Morcar.
These five were, as originally, Leicester, Lincoln,
Stamford, Nottingham, and Derby. Vid. an. 942, 1013.
(59) There is a marked difference respecting the name of this
alderman in MSS. Some have Ethelsy, as above; others,
Elfwine, and Ethelwine. The two last may be reconciled, as
the name in either case would now be Elwin; but Ethelsy, and
Elsy are widely different. Florence of Worcester not only
supports the authority of Ethelwine, but explains it "Dei
amici."

Chronicle Years: 1007-13
Chronicle Years: 1018-35


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