The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle : Seventh Century

A.D. 601. This year Pope Gregory sent the pall to Archbishop Augustine in Britain, with very many learned doctors to assist him; and Bishop Paulinus converted Edwin, king of the Northumbrians, to baptism.

A.D. 603. This year Aeden, king of the Scots, fought with the Dalreathians, and with Ethelfrith, king of the Northumbrians, at Theakstone; where he lost almost all his army. Theobald also, brother of Ethelfrith, with his whole armament, was slain. None of the Scottish kings durst afterwards bring an army against this nation. Hering, the son of Hussa, led the army thither.

((A.D. 603. This year Aethan, King of the Scots, fought against the Dalreods and against Ethelfrith, king of the North-humbrians, at Daegsanstane [Dawston?], and they slew almost all his army. There Theodbald, Ethelfrith's brother, was slain with all his band. Since then no king of the Scots has dared to lead an army against this nation. Hering, the son of Hussa, led the enemy thither.))

A.D. 604. This year Augustine consecrated two bishops, Mellitus and Justus. Mellitus he sent to preach baptism to the East- Saxons. Their king was called Seabert, the son of Ricola, Ethelbert's sister, whom Ethelbert placed there as king. Ethelbert also gave Mellitus the bishopric of London; and to Justus he gave the bishopric of Rochester, which is twenty-four miles from Canterbury.

((A.D. 604. This year Augustine consecrated two bishops, Mellitus and Justus. He sent Mellitus to preach baptism to the East-Saxons, whose king was called Sebert, son of Ricole, the sister of Ethelbert, and whom Ethelbert had there appointed king. And Ethelbert gave Mellitus a bishop's see in London, and to Justus he gave Rochester, which is twenty-four miles from Canterbury.))

A.D. 606. This year died Gregory; about ten years since he sent us baptism. His father was called Gordianus, and his mother Silvia.

A.D. 607. This year Ceolwulf fought with the South-Saxons. And Ethelfrith led his army to Chester; where he slew an innumerable host of the Welsh; and so was fulfilled the prophecy of Augustine, wherein he saith "If the Welsh will not have peace with us, they shall perish at the hands of the Saxons." There were also slain two hundred priests, (18) who came thither to pray for the army of the Welsh. Their leader was called Brocmail, who with some fifty men escaped thence.

A.D. 611. This year Cynegils succeeded to the government in Wessex, and held it one and thirty winters. Cynegils was the son of Ceol, Ceol of Cutha, Cutha of Cynric.

A.D. 614. This year Cynegils and Cwichelm fought at Bampton, and slew two thousand and forty-six of the Welsh.

A.D. 616. This year died Ethelbert, king of Kent, the first of English kings that received baptism: he was the son of Ermenric. He reigned fifty-six winters, and was succeeded by his son Eadbald. And in this same year had elapsed from the beginning of the world five thousand six hundred and eighteen winters. This Eadbald renounced his baptism, and lived in a heathen manner; so that he took to wife the relict of his father. Then Laurentius, who was archbishop in Kent, meant to depart southward over sea, and abandon everything. But there came to him in the night the apostle Peter, and severely chastised him, (19) because he would so desert the flock of God. And he charged him to go to the king, and teach him the right belief. And he did so; and the king returned to the right belief. In this king's days the same Laurentius, who was archbishop in Kent after Augustine, departed this life on the second of February, and was buried near Augustine. The holy Augustine in his lifetime invested him bishop, to the end that the church of Christ, which yet was new in England, should at no time after his decease be without an archbishop. After him Mellitus, who was first Bishop of London, succeeded to the archbishopric. The people of London, where Mellitus was before, were then heathens: and within five winters of this time, during the reign of Eadbald, Mellitus died. To him succeeded Justus, who was Bishop of Rochester, whereto he consecrated Romanus bishop.

((A.D. 616. In that time Laurentius was archbishop, and for the sorrowfulness which he had on account of the king's unbelief he was minded to forsake this country entirely, and go over sea; but St. Peter the apostle scourged him sorely one night, because he wished thus to forsake the flock of God, and commanded him to teach boldly the true faith to the king; and he did so, and the king turned to the right (faith). In the days of this same king, Eadbald, this Laurentius died. The holy Augustine, while yet in sound health, ordained him bishop, in order that the community of Christ, which was yet new in England, should not after his decease be at any time without an archbishop. After him Mellitus, who had been previously Bishop of London, succeeded to the archbishopric. And within five years of the decease of Laurentius, while Eadbald still reigned, Mellitus departed to Christ.))

A.D. 617. This year was Ethelfrith, king of the Northumbrians, slain by Redwald, king of the East-Angles; and Edwin, the son of Ella, having succeeded to the kingdom, subdued all Britain, except the men of Kent alone, and drove out the Ethelings, the sons of Ethelfrith, namely, Enfrid. Oswald, Oswy, Oslac, Oswood. Oslaf, and Offa.

A.D. 624. This year died Archbishop Mellitus.

A.D. 625. This year Paulinus was invested bishop of the Northumbrians, by Archbishop Justus, on the twelfth day before the calends of August.

((A.D. 625. This year Archbishop Justus consecrated Paulinus bishop of the North-humbrians.))

A.D. 626. This year came Eamer from Cwichelm, king of the West- Saxons, with a design to assassinate King Edwin; but he killed Lilla his thane, and Forthere, and wounded the king. The same night a daughter was born to Edwin, whose name was Eanfleda. Then promised the king to Paulinus, that he would devote his daughter to God, if he would procure at the hand of God, that he might destroy his enemy, who had sent the assassin to him. He then advanced against the West-Saxons with an army, felled on the spot five kings, and slew many of their men. This year Eanfleda, the daughter of King Edwin, was baptized, on the holy eve of Pentecost. And the king within twelve months was baptized, at Easter, with all his people. Easter was then on the twelfth of April. This was done at York, where he had ordered a church to be built of timber, which was hallowed in the name of St. Peter. There the king gave the bishopric to Paulinus; and there he afterwards ordered a larger church to be built of stone. This year Penda began to reign; and reigned thirty winters. He had seen fifty winters when he began to reign. Penda was the son of Wybba, Wybba of Creoda, Creoda of Cynewald, Cynewald of Cnebba, Cnebba of Icel, Icel of Eomer, Eomer of Angelthew, Angelthew of Offa, Offa of Wearmund, Wearmund of Whitley, Whitley of Woden.

A.D. 627. This year was King Edwin baptized at Easter, with all his people, by Paulinus, who also preached baptism in Lindsey, where the first person who believed was a certain rich man, of the name of Bleek, with all his people. At this time Honorius succeeded Boniface in the papacy, and sent hither to Paulinus the pall; and Archbishop Justus having departed this life on the tenth of November, Honorius was consecrated at Lincoln Archbishop of Canterbury by Paulinus; and Pope Honorius sent him the pall. And he sent an injunction to the Scots, that they should return to the right celebration of Easter.

((A.D. 627. This year, at Easter, Paulinus baptized Edwin king of the North-humbrians, with his people; and earlier within the same year, at Pentecost, he had baptized Eanfled, daughter of the same king.))

A.D. 628. This year Cynegils and Cwichelm fought with Penda at Cirencester, and afterwards entered into a treaty there.

A.D. 632. This year was Orpwald baptized.

A.D. 633. This year King Edwin was slain by Cadwalla and Penda, on Hatfield moor, on the fourteenth of October. He reigned seventeen years. His son Osfrid was also slain with him. After this Cadwalla and Penda went and ravaged all the land of the Northumbrians; which when Paulinus saw, he took Ethelburga, the relict of Edwin, and went by ship to Kent. Eadbald and Honorius received him very honourably, and gave him the bishopric of Rochester, where he continued to his death.

A.D. 634. This year Osric, whom Paulinus baptized, succeeded to the government of Deira. He was the son of Elfric, the uncle of Edwin. And to Bernicia succeeded Eanfrith, son of Ethelfrith. This year also Bishop Birinus first preached baptism to the West- Saxons, under King Cynegils. The said Birinus went thither by the command of Pope Honorius; and he was bishop there to the end of his life. Oswald also this year succeeded to the government of the Northumbrians, and reigned nine winters. The ninth year was assigned to him on account of the heathenism in which those lived who reigned that one year betwixt him and Edwin.

A.D. 635. This year King Cynegils was baptized by Bishop Birinus at Dorchester; and Oswald, king of the Northumbrians, was his sponsor.

A.D. 636. This year King Cwichelm was baptized at Dorchester, and died the same year. Bishop Felix also preached to the East- Angles the belief of Christ.

A.D. 639. This year Birinus baptized King Cuthred at Dorchester, and received him as his son.

A.D. 640. This year died Eadbald, King of Kent, after a reign of twenty-five winters. He had two sons, Ermenred and Erkenbert; and Erkenbert reigned there after his father. He overturned all the idols in the kingdom, and first of English kings appointed a fast before Easter. His daughter was called Ercongota -- holy damsel of an illustrious sire! whose mother was Sexburga, the daughter of Anna, king of the East-Angles. Ermenred also begat two sons, who were afterwards martyred by Thunnor.

A.D. 642. This year Oswald, king of the Northumbrians, was slain by Penda, king of the Southumbrians, at Mirfield, on the fifth day of August; and his body was buried at Bardney. His holiness and miracles were afterwards displayed on manifold occasions throughout this island; and his hands remain still uncorrupted at Barnburgh. The same year in which Oswald was slain, Oswy his brother succeeded to the government of the Northumbrians, and reigned two less than thirty years.

A.D. 643. This year Kenwal succeeded to the kingdom of the West- Saxons, and held it one and thirty winters. This Kenwal ordered the old (20) church at Winchester to be built in the name of St. Peter. He was the son of Cynegils.

A.D. 644. This year died at Rochester, on the tenth of October, Paulinus, who was first Archbishop at York, and afterwards at Rochester. He was bishop nineteen winters, two months, and one and twenty days. This year the son of Oswy's uncle (Oswin), the son of Osric, assumed the government of Deira, and reigned seven winters.

A.D. 645. This year King Kenwal was driven from his dominion by King Penda.

A.D. 646. This year King Kenwal was baptized.

A.D. 648. This year Kenwal gave his relation Cuthred three thousand hides of land by Ashdown. Cuthred was the son of Cwichelm, Cwichelm of Cynegils.

A.D. 650. This year Egelbert, from Gaul, after Birinus the Romish bishop, obtained the bishopric of the West-Saxons.

((A.D. 650. This year Birinus the bishop died, and Agilbert the Frenchman was ordained.))

A.D. 651. This year King Oswin was slain, on the twentieth day of August; and within twelve nights afterwards died Bishop Aidan, on the thirty-first of August.

A.D. 652. This year Kenwal fought at Bradford by the Avon.

A.D. 653. This year, the Middle-Angles under alderman Peada received the right belief.

A.D. 654. This year King Anna was slain, and Botolph began to build that minster at Icanhoe. This year also died Archbishop Honorius, on the thirtieth of September.

A.D. 655. This year Penda was slain at Wingfield, and thirty royal personages with him, some of whom were kings. One of them was Ethelhere, brother of Anna, king of the East-Angles. The Mercians after this became Christians. From the beginning of the world had now elapsed five thousand eight hundred and fifty winters, when Peada, the son of Penda, assumed the government of the Mercians. In his time came together himself and Oswy, brother of King Oswald, and said, that they would rear a minster to the glory of Christ, and the honour of St. Peter. And they did so, and gave it the name of Medhamsted; because there is a well there, called Meadswell. And they began the groundwall, and wrought thereon; after which they committed the work to a monk, whose name was Saxulf. He was very much the friend of God, and him also loved all people. He was nobly born in the world, and rich: he is now much richer with Christ. But King Peada reigned no while; for he was betrayed by his own queen, in Easter-tide. This year Ithamar, Bishop of Rochester, consecrated Deus-dedit to Canterbury, on the twenty-sixth day of March.

A.D. 656. This year was Peada slain; and Wulfhere, son of Penda, succeeded to the kingdom of the Mercians. In his time waxed the abbey of Medhamsted very rich, which his brother had begun. The king loved it much, for the love of his brother Peada, and for the love of his wed-brother Oswy, and for the love of Saxulf the abbot. He said, therefore, that he would dignify and honour it by the counsel of his brothers, Ethelred and Merwal; and by the counsel of his sisters, Kyneburga and Kyneswitha; and by the counsel of the archbishop, who was called Deus-dedit; and by the counsel of all his peers, learned and lewd, that in his kingdom were. And he so did. Then sent the king after the abbot, that he should immediately come to him. And he so did. Then said the king to the abbot: "Beloved Saxulf, I have sent after thee for the good of my soul; and I will plainly tell thee for why. My brother Peada and my beloved friend Oswy began a minster, for the love of Christ and St. Peter: but my brother, as Christ willed, is departed from this life; I will therefore intreat thee, beloved friend, that they earnestly proceed on their work; and I will find thee thereto gold and silver, land and possessions, and all that thereto behoveth." Then went the abbot home, and began to work. So he sped, as Christ permitted him; so that in a few years was that minster ready. Then, when the king heard say that, he was very glad; and bade men send through all the nation, after all his thanes; after the archbishop, and after bishops: and after his earls; and after all those that loved God; that they should come to him. And he fixed the day when men should hallow the minster. And when they were hallowing the minster, there was the king, Wulfere, and his brother Ethelred, and his sisters, Kyneburga and Kyneswitha. And the minster was hallowed by Archbishop Deusdedit of Canterbury; and the Bishop of Rochester, Ithamar; and the Bishop of London, who was called Wina; and the Bishop of the Mercians, whose name was Jeruman; and Bishop Tuda. And there was Wilfrid, priest, that after was bishop; and there were all his thanes that were in his kingdom. When the minster was hallowed, in the name of St. Peter, and St. Paul, and St. Andrew, then stood up the king before all his thanes, and said with a loud voice: "Thanks be to the high almighty God for this worship that here is done; and I will this day glorify Christ and St. Peter, and I will that you all confirm my words. -- I Wulfere give to-day to St. Peter, and the Abbot Saxulf, and the monks of the minster, these lands, and these waters, and meres, and fens, and weirs, and all the lands that thereabout lye, that are of my kingdom, freely, so that no man have there any ingress, but the abbot and the monks. This is the gift. From Medhamsted to Northborough; and so to the place that is called Foleys; and so all the fen, right to Ashdike; and from Ashdike to the place called Fethermouth; and so in a right line ten miles long to Ugdike; and so to Ragwell; and from Ragwell five miles to the main river that goeth to Elm and to Wisbeach; and so about three miles to Trokenholt; and from Trokenholt right through all the fen to Derworth; that is twenty miles long; and so to Great Cross; and from Great Cross through a clear water called Bradney; and thence six miles to Paxlade; and so forth through all the meres and fens that lye toward Huntingdon-port; and the meres and lakes Shelfermere and Wittlesey mere, and all the others that thereabout lye; with land and with houses that are on the east side of Shelfermere; thence all the fens to Medhamsted; from Medhamsted all to Welmsford; from Welmsford to Clive; thence to Easton; from Easton to Stamford; from Stamford as the water runneth to the aforesaid Northborough." -- These are the lands and the fens that the king gave unto St. Peter's minster. -- Then quoth the king: "It is little -- this gift -- but I will that they hold it so royally and so freely, that there be taken there from neither gild nor gable, but for the monks alone. Thus I will free this minster; that it be not subject except to Rome alone; and hither I will that we seek St. Peter, all that to Rome cannot go." During these words the abbot desired that he would gant him his request. And the king granted it. "I have here (said he) some good monks that would lead their life in retirement, if they wist where. Now here is an island, that is called Ankerig; and I will request, that we may there build a minster to the honour of St. Mary; that they may dwell there who will lead their lives in peace and tranquillity." Then answered the king, and quoth thus: "Beloved Saxulf, not that only which thou desirest, but all things that I know thou desirest in our Lord's behalf, so I approve, and grant. And I bid thee, brother Ethelred, and my sisters, Kyneburga and Kyneswitha, for the release of your souls, that you be witnesses, and that you subscribe it with your fingers. And I pray all that come after me, be they my sons, be they my brethren, or kings that come after me, that our gift may stand; as they would be partakers of the life everlasting, and as they would avoid everlasting punishment. Whoso lesseneth our gift, or the gift of other good men, may the heavenly porter lessen him in the kingdom of heaven; and whoso advanceth it, may the heavenly porter advance him in the kingdom of heaven." These are the witnesses that were there, and that subscribed it with their fingers on the cross of Christ, and confirmed it with their tongues. That was, first the king, Wulfere, who confirmed it first with his word, and afterwards wrote with his finger on the cross of Christ, saying thus: "I Wulfere, king, in the presence of kings, and of earls, and of captains, and of thanes, the witnesses of my gift, before the Archbishop Deus-dedit, I confirm it with the cross of Christ." (+) -- "And I Oswy, king of the Northumbrians, the friend of this minster, and oś the Abbot Saxulf, commend it with the cross of Christ." (+) -- "And I Sighere, king, ratify it with the cross of Christ." (+) -- "And I Sibbi, king, subscribe it with the cross of Christ." (+) -- "And I Ethelred, the king's brother, granted the same with the cross of Christ." (+) -- "And we, the king's sisters, Kyneburga and Kyneswitha, approve it." -- "And I Archbishop of Canterbury, Deus-dedit, ratify it." -- Then confirmed it all the others that were there with the cross of Christ (+): namely, Ithamar, Bishop of Rochester; Wina, Bishop of London; Jeruman, Bishop of the Mercians; and Tuda, bishop; and Wilfrid, priest, who was afterwards bishop; and Eoppa, priest, whom the king, Wulfere, sent to preach christianity in the Isle of Wight; and Saxulf, abbot; and Immine, alderman, and Edbert, alderman, and Herefrith, alderman, and Wilbert, alderman, and Abo, alderman; Ethelbald, Brord, Wilbert, Elmund, Frethegis. These, and many others that were there, the king's most loyal subjects, confirmed it all. This charter was written after our Lord's Nativity 664 -- the seventh year of King Wulfere -- the ninth year of Archbishop Deus-dedir. Then they laid God's curse, and the curse of all saints, and all christian folks, on whosoever undid anything that there was done. "So be it," saith all. "Amen." -- When this thing was done, then sent the king to Rome to the Pope Vitalianus that then was, and desired, that he would ratify with his writ and with his blessing, all this aforesaid thing. And the pope then sent his writ, thus saying: "I Vitalianus, pope, grant thee, King Wulfere, and Deus-dedit, archbishop, and Abbot Saxulf, all the things that you desire. And I forbid, that any king, or any man, have any ingress, but the abbot alone; nor shall he be Subject to any man, except the Pope of Rome and the Archbishop of Canterbury. If any one breaketh anything of this, St. Peter with his sword destroy him. Whosoever holdeth it, St. Peter with heaven's key undo him the kingdom of heaven." -- Thus was the minster of Medhamsted begun, that was afterwards called Peter-borough. Afterwards came another archbishop to Canterbury, who was called Theodorus; a very good man and wise; and held his synod with his bishops and with his clerk. There was Wilfrid, bishop of the Mercians, deprived of his bishopric; and Saxulf, abbot, was there chosen bishop; and Cuthbald, monk of the same minster, was chosen abbot. This synod was holden after our Lord's Nativity six hundred and seventy-three winters.

A.D. 658. This year Kenwal fought with the Welsh at Pen, and pursued them to the Parret. This battle was fought after his return from East-Anglia, where he was three years in exile. Penda had driven him thither and deprived him of his kingdom, because he had discarded his sister.

A.D. 660. This year Bishop Egelbert departed from Kenwal; and Wina held the bishopric three years. And Egbert accepted the bishopric of Paris, in Gaul, by the Seine.

A.D. 661. This year, at Easter, Kenwal fought at Pontesbury; and Wulfere, the son of Penda, pursued him as far as Ashdown. Cuthred, the son of Cwichelm, and King Kenbert, died in one year. Into the Isle of Wight also Wulfere, the son of Penda, penetrated, and transferred the inhabitants to Ethelwald, king of the South-Saxons, because Wulfere adopted him in baptism. And Eoppa, a mass-priest, by command of Wilfrid and King Wulfere, was the first of men who brought baptism to the people of the Isle of Wight.

A.D. 664. This year the sun was eclipsed, on the eleventh of May; and Erkenbert, King of Kent, having died, Egbert his son succeeded to the kingdom. Colman with his companions this year returned to his own country. This same year there was a great plague in the island Britain, in which died Bishop Tuda, who was buried at Wayleigh -- Chad and Wilferth were consecrated -- And Archbishop Deus-dedit died.

A.D. 667. This year Oswy and Egbert sent Wighard, a priest, to Rome, that he might be consecrated there Archbishop of Canterbury; but he died as soon as he came thither.

((A.D. 667. This year Wighard went to Rome, even as King Oswy, and Egbert had sent him.))

A.D. 668. This year Theodore was consecrated archbishop, and sent into Britain.

A.D. 669. This year King Egbert gave to Bass, a mass-priest, Reculver -- to build a minster upon.

A.D. 670. This year died Oswy, King of Northumberland, on the fifteenth day before the calends of March; and Egferth his son reigned after him. Lothere, the nephew of Bishop Egelbert, succeeded to the bishopric over the land of the West-Saxons, and held it seven years. He was consecrated by Archbishop Theodore. Oswy was the son of Ethelfrith, Ethelfrith of Ethelric, Ethelric of Ida, Ida of Eoppa.

A.D. 671. This year happened that great destruction among the fowls.

A.D. 672. This year died King Cenwal; and Sexburga his queen held the government one year after him.

A.D. 673. This year died Egbert, King of Kent; and the same year there was a synod at Hertford; and St. Etheldritha began that monastery at Ely.

A.D. 674. This year Escwin succeeded to the kingdom of Wessex. He was the son of Cenfus, Cenfus of Cenferth, Cenferth of Cuthgils, Cuthgils of Ceolwulf, Ceolwulf of Cynric, Cynric of Cerdic.

A.D. 675. This year Wulfere, the son of Penda, and Escwin, the son of Cenfus, fought at Bedwin. The same year died Wulfere, and Ethelred succeeded to the government. In his time sent he to Rome Bishop Wilfrid to the pope that then was, called Agatho, and told him by word and by letter, how his brothers Peada and Wulfere, and the Abbot Saxulf, had wrought a minster, called Medhamsted; and that they had freed it, against king and against bishop, from every service; and he besought him that he would confirm it with his writ and with his blessing. And the pope sent then his writ to England, thus saying: "I Agatho, Pope of Rome, greet well the worthy Ethelred, king of the Mercians, and the Archbishop Theodorus of Canterbury, and Saxulf, the bishop of the Mercians, who before was abbot, and all the abbots that are in England; God's greeting and my blessing. I have heard the petition of King Ethelred, and of the Archbishop Theodorus, and of the Bishop Saxulf, and of the Abbot Cuthbald; and I will it, that it in all wise be as you have spoken it. And I ordain, in behalf of God, and of St. Peter, and of all saints, and of every hooded head, that neither king, nor bishop, nor earl, nor any man whatever, have any claim, or gable, or gild, or levy, or take any service of any kind, from the abbey of Medhamsted. I command also, that no shire-bishop be so bold as to hold an ordination or consecration within this abbacy, except the abbot intreat him, nor have there any claim to proxies, or synodals, or anything whatever of any kind. And I will, that the abbot be holden for legate of Rome over all that island; and whatever abbot is there chosen by the monks that he be consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury. I will and decree, that, whatever man may have made a vow to go to Rome, and cannot perform it, either from infirmity, or for his lord's need, or from poverty, or from any other necessity of any kind whatever, whereby he cannot come thither, be he of England, or of whatever other island he be, he may come to that minster of Medhamsted, and have the same forgiveness of Christ and St. Peter, and of the abbot, and of the monks, that he should have if he went to Rome. Now bid I thee, brother Theodorus, that thou let it be proclaimed through all England, that a synod be gathered, and this writ be read and observed. Also I tell thee, Bishop Saxulf, that, as thou desirest it, that the minster be free, so I forbid thee, and all the bishops that after thee come, from Christ and from all his saints, that ye have no demand from that minster, except so much as the abbot will. Now will I say in a word, that, whoso holdeth this writ and this decree, then be he ever dwelling with God Almighty in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso breaketh it, then be he excommunicated, and thrust down with Judas, and with all the devils in hell, except he come to repentance. Amen!" This writ sent the Pope Agatho, and a hundred and twenty-five bishops, by Wilfrid, Archbishop of York, to England. This was done after our Lord's Nativity 680, the sixth year of King Ethelred. Then the king commanded the Archbishop Theodorus, that he should appoint a general Wittenmoot at the place called Hatfield. When they were there collected, then he allowed the letter to be read that the pope sent thither; and all ratified and confirmed it. Then said the king: "All things that my brother Peada, and my brother Wulfere, and my sisters, Kyneburga and Kyneswitha, gave and granted to St. Peter and the abbot, these I will may stand; and I will in my day increase it, for their souls and for my soul. Now give I St. Peter to-day into his minster, Medhamsted, these lands, and all that thereto lyeth; that is, Bredon, Repings, Cadney, Swineshead, Hanbury, Lodeshall, Scuffanhall, Cosford, Stratford, Wattleburn, Lushgard, Ethelhun-island, Bardney. These lands I give St. Peter just as freely as I possessed them myself; and so, that none of my successors take anything therefrom. Whoso doeth it, have he the curse of the Pope of Rome, and the curse of all bishops, and of all those that are witnesses here. And this I confirm with the token of Christ." (+) "I Theodorus, Archbishop of Canterbury, am witness to this charter of Medhamsted; and I ratify it with my hand, and I excommunicate all that break anything thereof; and I bless all that hold it." (+) "I Wilfrid, Archbishop of York, am witness to this charter; and I ratify this same curse." (+) "I Saxulf, who was first abbot, and now am bishop, I give my curse, and that of all my successors, to those who break this." -- "I Ostritha, Ethelred's queen, confirm it." -- "I Adrian, legate, ratify it." -- "I Putta, Bishop of Rochester, subscribe it." -- "I Waldhere, Bishop of London, confirm it." -- "I Cuthbald, abbot, ratify it; so that, whoso breaketh it, have he the cursing of all bishops and of all christian folk. Amen."

A.D. 676. This year, in which Hedda succeeded to his bishopric, Escwin died; and Centwin obtained the government of the West- Saxons. Centwin was the son of Cynegils, Cynegils of Ceolwulf. Ethelred, king of the Mercians, in the meantime, overran the land of Kent.

A.D. 678. This year appeared the comet-star in August, and shone every morning, during three months, like a sunbeam. Bishop Wilfrid being driven from his bishopric by King Everth, two bishops were consecrated in his stead, Bosa over the Deirians, and Eata over the Bernicians. About the same time also Eadhed was consecrated bishop over the people of Lindsey, being the first in that division.

A.D. 679. This year Elwin was slain, by the river Trent, on the spot where Everth and Ethelred fought. This year also died St. Etheldritha; and the monastery of Coldingiham was destroyed by fire from heaven.

A.D. 680. This year Archbishop Theodore appointed a synod at Hatfield; because he was desirous of rectifying the belief of Christ; and the same year died Hilda, Abbess of Whitby.

A.D. 681. This year Trumbert was consecrated Bishop of Hexham, and Trumwin bishop of the Picts; for they were at that time subject to this country. This year also Centwin pursued the Britons to the sea.

A.D. 684. This year Everth sent an army against the Scots, under the command of his alderman, Bright, who lamentably plundered and burned the churches of God.

A.D. 685. This year King Everth commanded Cuthbert to be consecrated a bishop; and Archbishop Theodore, on the first day of Easter, consecrated him at York Bishop of Hexham; for Trumbert had been deprived of that see. The same year Everth was slain by the north sea, and a large army with him, on the thirteenth day before the calends of June. He continued king fifteen winters; and his brother Elfrith succeeded him in the government. Everth was the son of Oswy. Oswy of Ethelferth, Ethelferth of Ethelric, Ethelric of Ida, Ida of Eoppa. About this time Ceadwall began to struggle for a kingdom. Ceadwall was the son of Kenbert, Kenbert of Chad, Chad of Cutha, Cutha of Ceawlin, Ceawlin of Cynric, Cynric of Cerdic. Mull, who was afterwards consigned to the flames in Kent, was the brother of Ceadwall. The same year died Lothhere, King of Kent; and John was consecrated Bishop of Hexham, where he remained till Wilferth was restored, when John was translated to York on the death of Bishop Bosa. Wilferth his priest was afterwards consecrated Bishop of York, and John retired to his monastery (21) in the woods of Delta. This year there was in Britain a bloody rain, and milk and butter were turned to blood.

((A.D. 685. And in this same year Cuthbert was consecrated Bishop of Hexham by Archbishop Theodore at York, because Bishop Tumbert had been driven from the bishopric.))

A.D. 686. This year Ceadwall and his brother Mull spread devas

tation in Kent and the Isle of Wight. This same Ceadwall gave to St. Peter's minster, at Medhamsted, Hook; which is situated in an island called Egborough. Egbald at this time was abbot, who was the third after Saxulf; and Theodore was archbishop in Kent.

A.D. 687. This year was Mull consigned to the flames in Kent, and twelve other men with him; after which, in the same year, Ceadwall overran the kingdom of Kent.

A.D. 688. This year Ceadwall went to Rome, and received baptism at the hands of Sergius the pope, who gave him the name of Peter; but in the course of seven nights afterwards, on the twelfth day before the calends of May, he died in his crisom-cloths, and was buried in the church of St. Peter. To him succeeded Ina in the kingdom of Wessex, and reigned thirty-seven winters. He founded the monastery of Glastonbury; after which he went to Rome, and continued there to the end of his life. Ina was the son of Cenred, Cenred of Ceolwald; Ceolwald was the brother of Cynegils; and both were the sons of Cuthwin, who was the son of Ceawlin; Ceawlin was the son of Cynric, and Cynric of Cerdic.

((A.D. 688. This year King Caedwalla went to Rome, and received baptism of Pope Sergius, and he gave him the name of Peter, and in about seven days afterwards, on the twelfth before the kalends of May, while he was yet in his baptismal garments, he died: and he was buried in St. Peter's church. And Ina succeeded to the kingdom of the West-Saxons after him, and he reigned twenty-seven years.))

A.D. 690. This year Archbishop Theodore, who had been bishop twenty-two winters, departed this life, (22) and was buried within the city of Canterbury. Bertwald, who before this was abbot of Reculver, on the calends of July succeeded him in the see; which was ere this filled by Romish bishops, but henceforth with English. Then were there two kings in Kent, Wihtred and Webherd.

A.D. 693. This year was Bertwald consecrated archbishop by Godwin, bishop of the Gauls, on the fifth day before the nones of July; about which time died Gifmund, who was Bishop of Rochester; and Archbishop Bertwald consecrated Tobias in his stead. This year also Dryhtelm (23) retired from the world.

A.D. 694. This year the people of Kent covenanted with Ina, and gave him 30,000 pounds in friendship, because they had burned his brother Mull. Wihtred, who succeeded to the kingdom of Kent, and held it thirty-three winters, was the son of Egbert, Egbert of Erkenbert, Erkenbert of Eadbald, Eadbald of Ethelbert. And as soon as he was king, he ordained a great council to meet in the place that is called Bapchild; in which presided Wihtred, King of Kent, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Brihtwald, and Bishop Tobias of Rochester; and with him were collected abbots and abbesses, and many wise men, all to consult about the advantage of God's churches that are in Kent. Now began the king to speak, and said, "I will that all the minsters and the churches, that were given and bequeathed to the worship of God in the days of believing kings, my predecessors, and in the days of my relations of King Ethelbert and of those that followed him -- shall so remain to the worship of God, and stand fast for evermore. For I Wihtred, earthly king, urged on by the heavenly king, and with the spirit of righteousness annealed, have of our progenitors learned this, that no layman should have any right to possess himself of any church or of any of the things that belong to the church. And, therefore, strongly and truly, we set and decree, and in the name of Almighty God, and of all saints, we forbid all our succeeding kings, and aldermen, and all lawmen, ever, any lordship over churches, and over all their appurtenances, which I or my elders in old days have given for a perpetual inheritance to the glory of Christ and our Lady St. Mary, and the holy apostles. And look! when it happeneth, that bishop, or abbot, or abbess, depart from this life, be it told the archbishop, and with his counsel and injunction be chosen such as be worthy. And the life of him, that shall be chosen to so holy a thing, let the archbishop examine, and his cleanness; and in no wise be chosen any one, or to so holy a thing consecrated, without the archbishop's counsel. Kings shall appoint earls, and aldermen, sheriffs, and judges; but the archbishop shall consult and provide for God's flock: bishops, and abbots, and abbesses, and priests, and deacons, he shall choose and appoint; and also sanctify and confirm with good precepts and example, lest that any of God's flock go astray and perish --"

A.D. 697. This year the Southumbrians slew Ostritha, the queen of Ethelred, the sister of Everth.

A.D. 699. This year the Picts slew Alderman Burt.


(18) It was originally, perhaps, in the MSS. ICC. the abbreviation for 1,200; which is the number of the slain in Bede. The total number of the monks of Bangor is said to have been 2,100; most of whom appear to have been employed in prayer on this occasion, and only fifty escape by flight. Vide Bede, "Hist. Eccles." ii. 2, and the tribe of Latin historians who copy him. Back

(19) Literally, "swinged, or scourged him." Both Bede and Alfred begin by recording the matter as a vision, or a dream; whence the transition is easy to a matter of fact, as here stated by the Norman interpolators of the "Saxon Annals". Back

(20) This epithet appears to have been inserted in some copies of the "Saxon Chronicle" so early as the tenth century; to distinguish the "old" church or minster at Winchester from the "new", consecrated A.D. 903. Back

(21) Beverley-minster, in Yorkshire. Back

(22) He was a native of Tarsus in Cilicia, the birth-place of St. Paul. Back

(23) This brief notice of Dryhtelm, for so I find the name written in "Cotton Tiberius B iv." is totally unintelligible without a reference to Bede's "Ecclesiastical History", v. 12; where a curious account of him may be found, which is copied by Matthew of Westminster, anno. 699. Back

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