A.D. 776 . This year died Bishop Petwin, on the thirteenth day
before the calends of October, having been bishop fourteen
winters. The same year Ethelbert was consecrated Bishop of
Whitern, at York, on the seventeenth day before the calends of
A.D. 778 . This year Ethelbald and Herbert slew three high-
sheriffs -- Eldulf, the son of Bosa, at Coniscliff; Cynewulf and
Eggo at Helathyrn -- on the eleventh day before the calends of
April. Then Elwald, having banished Ethelred from his territory,
seized on his kingdom, and reigned ten winters.
A.D. 780 . This year a battle was fought between the Old-Saxons
and the Franks; and the high-sheriffs of Northumbria committed to
the flames Alderman Bern at Silton, on the ninth day before the
calends of January. The same year Archbishop Ethelbert died at
York, and Eanbald was consecrated in his stead; Bishop Cynewulf
retired to Holy-island; Elmund, Bishop of Hexham, died on the
seventh day before the ides of September, and Tilbert was
consecrated in his stead, on the sixth day before the nones of
October; Hibbald was consecrated Bishop of Holy-island at
Sockbury; and King Elwald sent to Rome for a pall in behoof of
A.D. 782 . This year died Werburga, Queen of Ceolred, and Bishop
Cynewulf, in Holy-island; and the same year there was a synod at
A.D. 784 . This year Cyneard slew King Cynewulf, and was slain
himself, and eighty-four men with him. Then Bertric undertook
the government of the West-Saxons, and reigned sixteen years.
His body is deposited at Wareham; and his pedigree goeth in a
direct line to Cerdic. At this time reigned Elmund king in Kent,
the father of Egbert; and Egbert was the father of Athulf.
A.D. 785 . This year died Bothwin, Abbot of Ripon, and a
litigious synod was holden at Chalk-hythe; Archbishop Eanbert
resigned some part of his bishopric, Hibbert was appointed bishop
by King Offa, and Everth was consecrated king. In the meantime
legates were sent from Rome to England by Pope Adrian, to renew
the blessings of faith and peace which St. Gregory sent us by the
mission of Bishop Augustine, and they were received with every
mark of honour and respect.
A.D. 787 . This year King Bertric took Edburga the daughter of
Offa to wife. And in his days came first three ships of the
Northmen from the land of robbers. The reve (30) then rode
thereto, and would drive them to the king's town; for he knew not
what they were; and there was he slain. These were the first
ships of the Danish men that sought the land of the English
A.D. 788 . This year there was a synod assembled at Fingall in
Northumberland, on the fourth day before the nones of September;
and Abbot Albert departed this life.
A.D. 789 . This year Elwald, king of the Northumbrians, was slain
by Siga, on the eleventh day before the calends of October; and a
heavenly light was often seen on the spot where he was slain. He
was buried in the church of Hexham; and Osred, the son of Alred,
who was his nephew, succeeded him in the government. This ),ear
there was a synod assembled at Acley.
A.D. 790 . This year Archbishop Eanbert died, and Abbot Ethelherd
was chosen archbishop the same year. Osred, king of the
Northumbrians, was betrayed and banished from his kingdom, and
Ethelred, the son of Ethelwald, succeeded him.
A.D. 791 . This year Baldulf was consecrated Bishop of Whitern,
on the sixteenth day before the calends of August, by Archbishop
Eanbald and Bishop Ethelbert.
A.D. 792 . This year Offa, King of Mercia, commanded that King
Ethelbert should be beheaded; and Osred, who had been king of the
Northumbrians, returning home after his exile, was apprehended
and slain, on the eighteenth day before the calends of October.
His body is deposited at Tinemouth. Ethelred this year, on the
third day before the calends of October, took unto himself a new
wife, whose name was Elfleda.
A.D. 793 . This year came dreadful fore-warnings over the land of
the Northumbrians, terrifying the people most woefully: these
were immense sheets of light rushing through the air, and
whirlwinds, and fiery, dragons flying across the firmament.
These tremendous tokens were soon followed by a great famine: and
not long after, on the sixth day before the ides of January in
the same year, the harrowing inroads of heathen men made
lamentable havoc in the church of God in Holy-island, by rapine
and slaughter. Siga died on the eighth day before the calends of
A.D. 794 . This year died Pope Adrian; and also Offa, King of
Mercia, on the fourth day before the ides of August, after he had
reigned forty winters. Ethelred, king of the Northumbrians, was
slain by his own people, on the thirteenth day before the calends
of May; in consequence of which, Bishops Ceolwulf and Eadbald
retired from the land. Everth took to the government of Mercia,
and died the same year. Eadbert, whose other name was Pryn,
obtained the kingdom of Kent; and Alderman Ethelherd died on the
calends of August. In the meantime, the heathen armies spread
devastation among the Northumbrians, and plundered the monastery
of King Everth at the mouth of the Wear. There, however, some of
their leaders were slain; and some of their ships also were
shattered to pieces by the violence of the weather; many of the
crew were drowned; and some, who escaped alive to the shore, were
soon dispatched at the mouth of the river.
A.D. 795 . This year was the moon eclipsed, between cock-crowing
and dawn, (31) on the fifth day before the calends of April; and
Erdulf succeeded to the Northumbrian kingdom on the second before
the ides of May. He was afterwards consecrated and raised to his
throne, at York, on the seventh day before the calends of June,
by Archbishop Eanbald, and Bishops Ethelbert, Hibbald, and
A.D. 796 . This year died Archbishop Eanbald, on the fourth day
before the ides of August; and his body is deposited at York.
The same year also died Bishop Ceolwulf; and another Eanbald was
consecrated to the see of the former, on the nineteenth day
before the calends of September. About the same time Cynewulf,
King of Mercia, made inroads upon the inhabitants of Kent as far
as the marsh; and the Mercians seized Edbert Pryn, their king,
led him bound into Mercia, and suffered men to pick out his eyes,
and cut off his hands. (32) And Ethelard, Archbishop of
Canterbury, held a synod, wherein he ratified and confirmed, by
command of Pope Leo, all things concerning God's monasteries that
were fixed in Witgar's days, and in other king's days, saying
thus: "I Ethelard, the humble Archbishop of Canterbury, with the
unanimous concurrence of the whole synod, and of all the
congregations of all the minsters, to which in former days
freedom was given by faithful men, in God's name and by his
terrible judgment do decree, as I have command from Pope Leo,
that henceforth none dare to choose them lords from lewd men over
God's inheritance; but, as it is in the writ that the pope has
given, or holy men have settled, our fathers and our teachers,
concerning holy minsters, so they continue untainted without any
resistance. If there is any man that will not observe this
decree of God, of our pope, and of us, but overlooketh it, and
holdeth it for nought, let them know, that they shall give an
account before the judgment-seat of God. And I Ethelard,
archbishop, with twelve bishops, and with three and twenty
abbots, this same with the rood-token of Christ confirm and
((A.D. 796 . This year Offa, king of the Mercians, died on the
fourth before the kalends of August; he reigned forty years.))
A.D. 797 . This year the Romans cut out the tongue of Pope Leo,
put out his eyes, and drove him from his see; but soon after, by
the assistance of God, he could see and speak, and became pope as
he was before. Eanbald also received the pall on the sixth day
before the ides of September, and Bishop Ethelherd died on the
third before the calends of November.
A.D. 798 . This year a severe battle was fought in the
Northumbrian territory, during Lent, on the fourth day before the
nones of April, at Whalley; wherein Alric, the son of Herbert,
was slain, and many others with him.
A.D. 799 . This year Archbishop Ethelbert, and Cynbert, Bishop of
Wessex, went to Rome. In the meantime Bishop Alfun died at
Sudbury, and was buried at Dunwich. After him Tidfrith was
elected to the see; and Siric, king of the East Saxons, went to
Rome. In this year the body of Witburga was found entire, and
free from decay, at Dercham, after a lapse of five and fifty
years from the period of her decease.
30) Since called "sheriff"; i.e. the reve, or steward, of the
shire. "Exactor regis". -- Ethelw.
(31) This is the Grecian method of computation; between the hours
of three and six in the morning. It must be recollected,
that before the distribution of time into hours, minutes,
and seconds, the day and night were divided into eight equal
portions, containing three hours each; and this method was
continued long afterwards by historians.
(32) This wanton act of barbarity seems to have existed only in
the depraved imagination of the Norman interpolator of the
"Saxon Annals", who eagerly and impatiently dispatches the
story thus, in order to introduce the subsequent account of
the synod at Bapchild, so important in his eyes. Hoveden
and Wallingford and others have repeated the idle tale; but
I have not hitherto found it in any historian of authority.
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