879-93
A.D. 879 . This year went the army from Chippenham to
Cirencester, and sat there a year. The same year assembled a
band of pirates, and sat at Fulham by the Thames. The same year
also the sun was eclipsed one hour of the day.

A.D. 880 . This year went the army from Cirencester into East-
Anglia, where they settled, and divided the land. The same year
went the army over sea, that before sat at Fulham, to Ghent in
Frankland, and sat there a year.

A.D. 881 . This year went the army higher up into Frankland, and
the Franks fought with them; and there was the army horsed after
the battle.

A.D. 882 . This year went the army up along the Maese far into
Frankland, and there sat a year; and the same year went King
Alfred out to sea with a fleet; and fought with four ship-rovers
of the Danes, and took two of their ships; wherein all the men
were slain; and the other two surrendered; but the men were
severely cut and wounded ere they surrendered.

A.D. 883 . This year went the army up the Scheldt to Conde, and
there sat a year. And Pope Marinus sent King Alfred the "lignum
Domini". The same year led Sighelm and Athelstan to Rome the
alms which King Alfred ordered thither, and also in India to St.
Thomas and to St. Bartholomew. Then they sat against the army at
London; and there, with the favour of God, they were very
successful after the performance of their vows.

A.D. 884 . This year went the army up the Somne to Amiens, and
there remained a year. This year died the benevolent Bishop
Athelwold.

A.D. 885 . This year separated the before-mentioned army in two;
one part east, another to Rochester. This city they surrounded,
and wrought another fortress around themselves. The people,
however, defended the city, until King Alfred came out with his
army. Then went the enemy to their ships, and forsook their
work. There were they provided with horses; and soon after, in
the same summer, they went over sea again. The same year sent
King Alfred a fleet from Kent into East-Anglia. As soon as they
came to Stourmouth, there met them sixteen ships of the pirates.
And they fought with them, took all the ships, and slew the men.
As they returned homeward with their booty, they met a large
fleet of the pirates, and fought with them the same day; but the
Danes had the victory. The same year, ere midwinter, died
Charles, king of the Franks. He was slain by a boar; and one
year before his brother died, who had also the Western kingdom.
They were both the sons of Louis, who also had the Western
kingdom, and died the same year that the sun was eclipsed. He
was the son of that Charles whose daughter Ethelwulf, king of the
West-Saxons, had to wife. And the same year collected a great
fleet against Old-Saxony; and there was a great fight twice in
the year, and the Saxons had the victory. There were the
Frieslanders with them. And the same year succeeded Charles to
the Western kingdom, and to all the territory this side of the
Mediterranean and beyond, as his great-grandfather held it,
except the Lidwiccians. The said Charles was the son of Louis,
who was the brother of that Charles who was the father of Judith,
whom Ethelwulf, king of the West-Saxons, married. They were the
sons of Louis, who was the son of the elder Charles, who was the
son of Pepin. The same year died the good Pope Martin, who freed
the English school at the request of Alfred, king of the
West-Saxons. And he sent him great gifts in relics, and a part
of the rood on which Christ suffered. And the same year the army
in East-Anglia brake the truce with King Alfred.

A.D. 886 . This year went the army back again to the west, that
before were bent eastward; and proceeding upwards along the
Seine, fixed their winter-quarters in the city of Paris. (37)
The same year also King Alfred fortified the city of London; and
the whole English nation turned to him, except that part of it
which was held captive by the Danes. He then committed the city
to the care of Alderman Ethered, to hold it under him.

A.D. 887 . This year the army advanced beyond the bridge at
Paris; (38) and then upwards, along the Seine, to the Marne.
Then upwards on the Marne as far as Chezy; and in their two
stations, there and on the Yonne, they abode two winters. This
same year died Charles, king of the Franks. Arnulf, his
brother's son, had six weeks before his death bereft him of his
kingdom; which was now divided into five portions, and five kings
were consecrated thereto. This, however, was done with the
consent of Arnulf; and they agreed that they should hold in
subjection to him; because none of them had by birth any claim on
the father's side, except him alone. Arnulf, therefore, dwelt in
the country eastward of the Rhine; Rodulf took to the middle
district; Oda to the western; whilst Berenger and Witha became
masters of Lombardy and the Cisalpine territory. But they held
their dominion in great discord; fought two general battles, and
frequently overran the country in partial encounters, displacing
each other several times. The same year also, in which the
Danish army advanced beyond the bridge at Paris, Alderman
Ethelhelm led the alms of the West-Saxons and of King Alfred to
Rome.

A.D. 888 . This year Alderman Beeke conducted the alms of the
West-Saxons and of King Alfred to Rome; but Queen Ethelswith, who
was the sister of King Alfred, died on the way to Rome; and her
body lies at Pavia. The same year also Ethered, Archbishop of
Canterbury and Alderman Ethelwold, died in one month.

A.D. 889 . This year there was no journey to Rome; except that
King Alfred sent two messengers with letters.

A.D. 890 . This year Abbot Bernhelm conducted the alms of the
West-Saxons and of King Alfred to Rome; and Guthrum, king of the
Northern men, departed this life, whose baptismal name was
Athelstan. He was the godson of King Alfred; and he abode among
the East-Angles, where he first established a settlement. The
same year also went the army from the Seine to Saint Lo, which is
between the Bretons and the Franks; where the Bretons fought with
them, obtained the victory, and drove them out into a river, in
which many of them were drowned. This year also was Plegmund
chosen by God and all his saints to the archbishopric in
Canterbury.

A.D. 891 . This year went the army eastward; and King Arnulf
fought with the land-force, ere the ships arrived, in conjunction
with the eastern Franks, and Saxons, and Bavarians, and put them
to flight. And three Scots came to King Alfred in a boat without
any oars from Ireland; whence they stole away, because they would
live in a state of pilgrimage, for the love of God, they recked
not where. The boat in which they came was made of two hides and
a half; and they took with them provisions for seven nights; and
within seven nights they came to land in Cornwall, and soon after
went to King Alfred. They were thus named: Dubslane, and
Macbeth, and Maelinmun. And Swinney, the best teacher that was
among the Scots, departed this life. And the same year after
Easter, about the gang-days or before, appeared the star that men
in book-Latin call "cometa": some men say that in English it may
be termed "hairy star"; for that there standeth off from it a
long gleam of light, whilom on one side, whilom on each.

A.D. 893 . This year went the large army, that we before spoke
about, back from the eastern district westward to Bologne; and
there were shipped; so that they transported themselves over at
one time with their horses withal. And they came up with two
hundred and fifty ships into the mouth of the Limne, which is in
East-Kent, at the east end of the vast wood that we call Andred.
This wood is in length, east and west, one hundred and twenty
miles, or longer, and thirty miles broad. The river that we
before spoke about lieth out of the weald. On this river they
towed up their ships as far as the weald, four miles from the
mouth outwards; and there destroyed a fort within the fen,
whereon sat a few churls, and which was hastily wrought. Soon
after this came Hasten up with eighty ships into the mouth of the
Thames, and wrought him there a work at Milton, and the other
army at Appledore.

Notes:

(37) For a more circumstantial account of the Danish or Norman
operations against Paris at this time, the reader may
consult Felibien, "Histoire de la Ville de Paris", liv. iii.
and the authorities cited by him in the margin. This is
that celebrated siege of Paris minutely described by Abbo,
Abbot of Fleury, in two books of Latin hexameters; which,
however barbarous, contain some curious and authentic matter
relating to the history of that period.
(38) This bridge was built, or rebuilt on a larger plan than
before, by Charles the Bald, in the year 861, "to prevent
the Danes or Normans (says Felibien) from making themselves
masters of Paris so easily as they had already done so many
times," etc. -- "pour empescher que les Normans ne se
rendissent maistres de Paris aussi facilement qu'ils
l'avoient deja fait tant de lois," etc. -- Vol. i. p. 91,
folio. It is supposed to be the famous bridge afterwards
called "grand pont" or "pont au change", -- the most ancient
bridge at Paris, and the only one which existed at this
time.

Chronicle Years: 871-78
Chronicle Years: 894-900


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