973-79
((A.D. 973 . This year Edgar the etheling was consecrated king at
Bath, on Pentecost's mass-day, on the fifth before the ides of
May, the thirteenth year since he had obtained the kingdom; and
he was then one less than thirty years of age. And soon after
that, the king led all his ship-forces to Chester; and there came
to meet him six kings, and they all plighted their troth to him,
that they would be his fellow-workers by sea and by land.))

A.D. 973 .
Here was Edgar,
of Angles lord,
with courtly pomp
hallow'd to king
at Akemancester,
the ancient city;
whose modern sons,
dwelling therein,
have named her BATH.
Much bliss was there
by all enjoyed
on that happy day,
named Pentecost
by men below.
A crowd of priests,
a throng of monks,
I understand,
in counsel sage,
were gather'd there.
Then were agone
ten hundred winters
of number'd years
from the birth of Christ,
the lofty king,
guardian of light,
save that thereto
there yet was left
of winter-tale,
as writings say,
seven and twenty.
So near had run
of the lord of triumphs
a thousand years,
when this was done.
Nine and twenty
hard winters there
of irksome deeds
had Edmund's son
seen in the world,
when this took place,
and on the thirtieth
was hallow'd king. (44)
Soon after this the king led all his marine force to Chester; and
there came to meet him six kings; and they all covenanted with
him, that they would be his allies by sea and by land.

A.D. 975 .
Here ended
his earthly dreams
Edgar, of Angles king;
chose him other light,
serene and lovely,
spurning this frail abode,
a life that mortals
here call lean
he quitted with disdain.
July the month,
by all agreed
in this our land,
whoever were
in chronic lore
correctly taught;
the day the eighth,
when Edgar young,
rewarder of heroes,
his life -- his throne resigned.
Edward his son,
unwaxen child,
of earls the prince,
succeeded then
to England's throne.
Of royal race
ten nights before
departed hence
Cyneward the good
prelate of manners mild.
Well known to me
in Mercia then,
how low on earth
God's glory fell
on every side:
chaced from the land,
his servants fled,
their wisdom scorned;
much grief to him
whose bosom glow'd
with fervent love
of great Creation's Lord!
Neglected then
the God of wonders,
victor of victors,
monarch of heaven,
his laws by man transgressed!
Then too was driv'n
Oslac beloved
an exile far
from his native land
over the rolling waves,
over the ganet-bath,
over the water-throng,
the abode of the whale,
fair-hair'd hero,
wise and eloquent,
of home bereft!
Then too was seen,
high in the heavens,
the star on his station,
that far and wide
wise men call
lovers of truth
and heav'nly lore
"cometa" by name.
Widely was spread
God's vengeance then
throughout the land,
and famine scour'd the hills.
May heaven's guardian,
the glory of angels,
avert these ills,
and give us bliss again;
that bliss to all
abundance yields
from earth's choice fruits,
throughout this happy isle. (45)
((A.D. 975 . The eighth before the ides of July.
Here Edgar died,
ruler of Angles,
West-Saxons' joy,
and Mercians' protector.
Known was it widely
throughout many nations.
"Thaet" offspring of Edmund,
o'er the ganet's-bath,
honoured far,
Kings him widely
bowed to the king,
as was his due by kind.
No fleet was so daring,
nor army so strong,
that 'mid the English nation
took from him aught,
the while that the noble king
ruled on his throne.
And this year Edward, Edgar's son, succeeded to the kingdom; and
then soon, in the same year, during harvest, appeared "cometa"
the star; and then came in the following year a very great
famine, and very manifold commotions among the English people.
In his days,
for his youth,
God's gainsayers
God's law broke;
Eldfere, ealdorman,
and others many;
and rule monastic quashed,
and minsters dissolved,
and monks drove out,
and God's servants put down,
whom Edgar, king, ordered erewhile
the holy bishop
Ethelwold to stablish;
and widows they plundered,
many times and oft:
and many unrighteousnesses,
and evil unjust-deeds
arose up afterwards:
and ever after that
it greatly grew in evil.
And at that rime, also, was Oslac the great earl banished from
England.))

A.D. 976 . This year was the great famine in England.

A.D. 977 . This year was that great council at Kirtlington, (46)
after Easter; and there died Bishop Sideman a sudden death, on
the eleventh day before the calends of May. He was Bishop of
Devonshire; and he wished that his resting-place should be at
Crediton, his episcopal residence; but King Edward and Archbishop
Dunstan ordered men to carry him to St. Mary's minster that is at
Abingdon. And they did so; and he is moreover honourably buried
on the north side in St. Paul's porch.

A.D. 978 . This year all the oldest counsellors of England fell at
Calne from an upper floor; but the holy Archbishop Dunstan stood
alone upon a beam. Some were dreadfully bruised: and some did
not escape with life. This year was King Edward slain, at
eventide, at Corfe-gate, on the fifteenth day before the calends
of April. And he was buried at Wareham without any royal honour.
No worse deed than this was ever done by the English nation since
they first sought the land of Britain. Men murdered him but God
has magnified him. He was in life an earthly king -- he is now
after death a heavenly saint. Him would not his earthly
relatives avenge -- but his heavenly father has avenged him
amply. The earthly homicides would wipe out his memory from the
earth -- but the avenger above has spread his memory abroad in
heaven and in earth. Those, Who would not before bow to his
living body, now bow on their knees to His dead bones. Now we
may conclude, that the wisdom of men, and their meditations, and
their counsels, are as nought against the appointment of God. In
this same year succeeded Ethelred Etheling, his brother, to the
government; and he was afterwards very readily, and with great
joy to the counsellors of England, consecrated king at Kingston.
In the same year also died Alfwold, who was Bishop of
Dorsetshire, and whose body lieth in the minster at Sherborn.

A.D. 979 . In this year was Ethelred consecrated king, on the
Sunday fortnight after Easter, at Kingston. And there were at
his consecration two archbishops, and ten diocesan bishops. This
same year was seen a bloody welkin oft-times in the likeness of
fire; and that was most apparent at midnight, and so in misty
beams was shown; but when it began to dawn, then it glided away.

((A.D. 979 . This year was King Edward slain at even-tide, at
Corfe-gate, on the fifteenth before the kalends of April, and
then was he buried at Wareham, without any kind of kingly
honours.

There has not been 'mid Angles
a worse deed done
than this was,
since they first
Britain-land sought.
Men him murdered,
but God him glorified.
He was in life
an earthly king;
he is now after death
a heavenly saint.
Him would not his earthly
kinsmen avenge,
but him hath his heavenly Father
greatly avenged.
The earthly murderers
would his memory
on earth blot out,
but the lofty Avenger
hath his memory
in the heavens
and on earth wide-spread.
They who would not erewhile
to his living
body bow down,
they now humbly
on knees bend
to his dead bones.
Now we may understand
that men's wisdom
and their devices,
and their councils,
are like nought
'gainst God's resolves.

This year Ethelred succeeded to the kingdom; and he was very
quickly after that, with much joy of the English witan,
consecrated king at Kingston.))

Notes:

(44) This poetical effusion on the coronation, or rather
consecration, of King Edgar, as well as the following on his
death, appears to be imitated in Latin verse by Ethelwerd at
the end of his curious chronicle. This seems at least to
prove that they were both written very near the time, as
also the eulogy on his reign, inserted 959.
(45) The following passage from Cotton Tiberius B iv., relating
to the accession of Edward the Martyr, should be added here
-- In his days,
On account of his youth,
The opponents of God
Broke through God's laws;
Alfhere alderman,
And others many;
And marr'd monastic rules;
Minsters they razed,
And monks drove away,
And put God's laws to flight --
Laws that King Edgar
Commanded the holy
Saint Ethelwold bishop
Firmly to settle --
Widows they stript
Oft and at random.
Many breaches of right
And many bad laws
Have arisen since;
And after-times
Prove only worse.
Then too was Oslac
The mighty earl
Hunted from England's shores.
(46) Florence of Worcester mentions three synods this year;
Kyrtlinege, Calne, and Ambresbyrig.

Chronicle Years: 963-71
Chronicle Years: 980-99


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