A.D. 752 . This year, the twelfth of his reign, Cuthred, king of
the West-Saxons, fought at Burford (27) with Ethelbald, king of
the Mercians, and put him to flight.
A.D. 753 . This year Cuthred, king of the West-Saxons, fought
against the Welsh.
A.D. 754 . This year died Cuthred, king of the West-Saxons; and
Sebright, his relative, succeeded to the kingdom, which he held
one year; Cyneard succeeded Humferth in the see of Winchester;
and Canterbury was this year on fire.
A.D. 755 . This year Cynewulf, with the consent of the West-Saxon
council, deprived Sebright, his relative, for unrighteous deeds,
of his kingdom, except Hampshire; which he retained, until he
slew the alderman who remained the longest with him. Then
Cynewulf drove him to the forest of Andred, where he remained,
until a swain stabbed him at Privett, and revenged the alderman,
Cumbra. The same Cynewulf fought many hard battles with the
Welsh; and, about one and thirty winters after he had the
kingdom, he was desirous of expelling a prince called Cyneard,
who was the brother of Sebright. But he having understood that
the king was gone, thinly attended, on a visit to a lady at
Merton, (28) rode after him, and beset him therein; surrounding
the town without, ere the attendants of the king were aware of
him. When the king found this, he went out of doors, and
defended himself with courage; till, having looked on the
etheling, he rushed out upon him, and wounded him severely. Then
were they all fighting against the king, until they had slain
him. As soon as the king's thanes in the lady's bower heard the
tumult, they ran to the spot, whoever was then ready. The
etheling immediately offered them life and rewards; which none of
them would accept, but continued fighting together against him,
till they all lay dead, except one British hostage, and he was
severely wounded. When the king's thanes that were behind heard
in the morning that the king was slain, they rode to the spot,
Osric his alderman, and Wiverth his thane, and the men that he
had left behind; and they met the etheling at the town, where the
king lay slain. The gates, however, were locked against them,
which they attempted to force; but he promised them their own
choice of money and land, if they would grant him the kingdom;
reminding them, that their relatives were already with him, who
would never desert him. To which they answered, that no relative
could be dearer to them than their lord, and that they would
never follow his murderer. Then they besought their relatives to
depart from him, safe and sound. They replied, that the same
request was made to their comrades that were formerly with the
king; "And we are as regardless of the result," they rejoined,
"as our comrades who with the king were slain." Then they
continued fighting at the gates, till they rushed in, and slew
the etheling and all the men that were with him; except one, who
was the godson of the alderman, and whose life he spared, though
he was often wounded. This same Cynewulf reigned one and thirty
winters. His body lies at Winchester, and that of the etheling
at Axminster. Their paternal pedigree goeth in a direct line to
Cerdic. The same year Ethelbald, king of the Mercians, was slain
at Seckington; and his body lies at Repton. He reigned one and
forty years; and Bernred then succeeded to the kingdom, which he
held but a little while, and unprosperously; for King Offa the
same year put him to flight, and assumed the government; which he
held nine and thirty winters. His son Everth held it a hundred
and forty days. Offa was the son of Thingferth, Thingferth of
Enwulf, Enwulf of Osmod, Osmod of Eawa, Eawa of Webba, Webba of
Creoda, Creoda of Cenwald, Cenwald of Cnebba, Cnebba of Icel,
Icel of Eomer, Eomer of Angelthew, Angelthew of Offa, Offa of
Wermund, Wermund of Witley, Witley of Woden.
((A.D. 755 . This year Cynewulf deprived King Sigebert of his
kingdom; and Sigebert's brother, Cynehard by name, slew Cynewulf
at Merton; and he reigned thirty-one years. And in the same year
Ethelbald, king of the Mercians, was slain at Repton. And Offa
succeeded to the kingdom of the Mercians, Bernred being driven
A.D. 757 . This year Eadbert, king of the Northumbrians, received
the tonsure, and his son Osulf the kingdom; which he held one
year. Him his own domestics slew on the ninth day before the
kalends of August.
A.D. 758 . This year died Archbishop Cuthbert. He held the
archbishopric eighteen years.
A.D. 759 . This year Bregowin was invested archbishop at
Michaelmas, and continued four years. Mull Ethelwold this year
succeeded to the Northumbrian kingdom, held it six winters, and
then resigned it.
A.D. 760 . This year died Ethelbert, King of Kent, who was the
son of King Wihtred, and also of Ceolwulf.
A.D. 761 . This year was the severe winter; and Mull, king of the
Northumbrians, slew Oswin at Edwin's-Cliff, on the eighth day
before the ides of August.
A.D. 762 . This year died Archbishop Bregowin.
A.D. 763 . This year Eanbert was invested archbishop, on the
fortieth day over mid-winter; and Frithwald, Bishop of Whitern,
died on the nones of May. He was consecrated at York, on the
eighteenth day before the calends of September, in the sixth year
of the reign of Ceolwulf, and was bishop nine and twenty winters.
Then was Petwin consecrated Bishop of Whitern at Adlingfleet, on
the sixteenth day before the calends of August.
A.D. 764 . This year Archbishop Eanbert received the pall.
A.D. 765 . This year Alred succeeded to the kingdom of the
Northumbrians, and reigned eight winters.
A.D. 766 . This year died Archbishop Egbert at York, on the
thirteenth day before the calends of December, who was bishop
thirty-six winters; and Frithbert at Hexham, who was bishop there
thirty-four winters. Ethelbert was consecrated to York, and
Elmund to Hexham.
A.D. 768 . This year died King Eadbert, the son of Eata, on the
fourteenth day before the calends of September.
A.D. 772 . This year died Bishop Mildred.
A.D. 774 . This year the Northumbrians banished their king,
Alred, from York at Easter-tide; and chose Ethelred, the son of
Mull, for their lord, who reigned four winters. This year also
appeared in the heavens a red crucifix, after sunset; the
Mercians and the men of Kent fought at Otford; and wonderful
serpents were seen in the land of the South-Saxons.
A.D. 775 . This year Cynewulf and Offa fought near Bensington,
and Offa took possession of the town. In the days of this king,
Offa, there was an abbot at Medhamsted, called Beonna; who, with
the consent of all the monks of the minster, let to farm, to
Alderman Cuthbert, ten copyhold lands at Swineshead, with leasow
and with meadow, and with all the appurtenances; provided that
the said Cuthbert gave the said abbot fifty pounds therefore, and
each year entertainment for one night, or thirty shillings in
money; (29) provided also, that after his decease the said lands
should revert to the monastery. The king, Offa, and King Everth,
and Archbishop Hibbert, and Bishop Ceolwulf, and Bishop Inwona,
and Abbot Beonna, and many other bishops, and abbots, and rich
men, were witnesses to this. In the days of this same Offa was
an alderman, of the name of Brorda, who requested the king for
his sake to free his own monastery, called Woking, because he
would give it to Medhamsted and St. Peter, and the abbot that
then was, whose name was Pusa. Pusa succeeded Beonna; and the
king loved him much. And the king freed the monastery of Woking,
against king, against bishop, against earl, and against all men'
so that no man should have any claim there, except St. Peter and
the abbot. This was done at the king's town called
(27) Beorgforda, Ethelw.; Beorhtforda, Flor.; Hereford and
Bereford, H. Hunt; Beorford, M. West. This battle of
Burford has been considerably amplified by Henry of
Huntingdon, and after him by Matthew of Westminster. The
former, among other absurdities, talks of "Amazonian"
battle-axes. They both mention the banner of the "golden
(28) The minuteness of this narrative, combined with the
simplicity of it, proves that it was written at no great
distance of time from the event. It is the first that
occurs of any length in the older MSS. of the "Saxon
(29) Penga in the original, i.e. "of pence", or "in pence";
because the silver penny, derived from the Roman "denarius",
was the standard coin in this country for more than a
thousand years. It was also used as a weight, being the
twentieth part of an ounce.
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