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160 [159]

King Egbert. Kyng Egbert.
The third booke conteinyng the next. 300. yeares, from the raigne of kyng Egbertus to the tyme of William Conquerour.

 

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Egbert and his successors

In the 1563 edition of the martyrology, Foxe's periodisation had been presented with stark clarity. The period before 1033 corresponded to 'the third age of the Church' 'where vpon cometh the latter age of the church. Here nowe beginneth the fresh flouring blud of the churche to fainte and strength to defaile, opprest with cold humors of worldly pompe, auarice, & tiranny. Here nowe commeth in blinde superstityon with cloked hipocrisye, armed with rigorous lawes, and cruell murderinge of sainctes' (1563, p. 10). By the 1570 edition, however, the 'third age of the church' had become a whole book - 'the thirde booke conteynyng the next 300 yeares, from the reigne of K. Egbertus to the time of W. Conquerour'. Foxe's preferred form of structuring his material was the 'compendium', or 'table'. He put it to good use in this passage, placing in sequence a 'table of the Saxone kinges', defined as those who 'ruled alone', and then later (albeit not in tabular form) a list of the holders of the papal see. His table of the Saxon rulers was one which he appears to have compiled himself, albeit drawing material from Fabian's Chronicle (which has a different table), Henry of Huntingdon's Chronicle, lib. 5, ch. 3 and lib. 6, ch. 4 (which has the same list, but with different lengths of the reigns), and the Polychronicon, lib 5 (cap. 333).

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His subsequent material on King Egbert was drawn from Fabian's Chronicle (R. Fabyan, The Chronicle of Fabian [London, 1559], book 6, ch. 152-8), with likely additions from Roger of Howden's Chronicle (W. Stubbs, ed. Chronica magistri Rogeri de Houdene 2 vols, Rolls Series [London, 1868], 1, pp. 26-33). The material on King Ethelwolf came from Fabian's Chronicle, book 6, ch. 152) with the addition of the Charter ('The priuileges and donations geuen by king Ethelwulfus to the clergie') which Foxe abstracted from the Flores Historiarum. The latter was, of course, even more readily available to Foxe by the time of the 1570 edition because it had been published under the auspices of Matthew Parker (Elegans, illustris et facilis rerum, præsertim Britannicarum et aliarum obiter, notatu dignarum, a mundi exordio ad annum Domini, 1307 narratio, quam Matthæus Westmonasteriensis ... Flores Historiarum scripsit, [London, 1567]) - see H. R. Luard, ed. Flores Historiarum 3 vols (London: Rolls Series, 1890), 1, p. 423-6. Foxe emphasised the point of included this text in his own interpolation: 'Hereby may it appeare, how & when the churches of England, begamn first to be indued with temporalities & landes: also with priuilegies and exemptions enlarged'. The passage on Louis the Pius, tucked in the middle of the history of King Ethelwulf, comes from Ranulph Higden's 'Polychronicon' (J. R. Lumby, ed. Polychronicon Ranulphi Higden monachi Cestrensis: together with the English translations of John Trevisa and of an unknown writer of the fifteenth century [London: Rolls Series, 1879], lib 5, cap. 29), Fabyan's Chronicle, lib. 6, ch. 160-161. R. A. B. Mynors, ed. William of Malmesbury. Gesta Regum Anglorum Vol. 1 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), lib. 2, cap. 108; D. Prest, ed. William of Malmesbury: The Deeds of the Bishops of England (Gesta Pontifiicum Anglorum) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), lib 2, pp. 160-1.

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The pontifical list that closes the section comes exclusively from John Bale's Catalogus (J. Bale, Illustrium Maioris Britanniæ scriptorum, hoc est, Angliæ, Cambriæ, ac Scotiæ summarium in quasdam centurias diuisum, cum diuersitate doctrinarum atque [...] 2 vols (Basel: Oporinus, 1557-9), pp. 114-8. Bale's - and Foxe's - interest in the mythical Pope Joan has been further explored by this project in T. S. Freeman, 'Joan of Contention. The myth of the Female Pope in Early-Modern England.' In Religious Politics in Post-Reformation England: essays in honour of Nicholas Tyacke, ed. by Kenneth Kincham and Peter Lake (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2006), ch. 4.

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As presented in the 1570 edition, Foxe's text did not substantially change in the subsequent editions.

Matthew Phillpott and Mark Greengrass
University of Sheffield

NOw remayneth likewise as before I did in describing the discent and diuersitie of the seuē kings altogether reignyng & ruling in this lād: so to prosecut in like order the lineall succession of thē, which after Egbert king of Weastsaxons, gouerned & ruled soly vntill the conquest of William the Normand: first expressing their names, & afterwarde importyng such actes as in their tyme happened in the Churche worthy to be noted. Albeit, as touchyng the actes and doyngs of these kyngs, because they are sufficiently & at large described and taken out of Latine writers into the English toung by sondry autors, and namely in the story or Chronicle of Fabian. I shall not spend much trauaile therupon, but rather referre the reader, to him or to some other: where the troublesome tumultes betwene the Englishmē and the Danes at that tyme may be sene, who so listeth to read them. Onely the Table of their names and reigne, in actes done vnder their reigne, I haue compendiously abridged, vsing such breuitie, as the matter would suffer.

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¶ A table of the Saxon kinges which ruled alone from king Egbert to William Conquerour.

Egbertus.an. 35.
Athelwulfus, or
Athulfus.
an. 20This Athelwulphus had by his
wife Osburga, foure sonnes.
Ethelbaldus.5.Sonnes of Athelwulfus.
Ethelbertus.6.
Etheldredus.5
Aluredus, or
Alfredus.
an. 28Aluredus had two sonnes Ed
ward and Egelward of the whiche
one enioyed the Realme.
Edward named the el-
der sonne of Alure-
du.
239Edward besides these 3. had two
other sonnes Edred, and Edwyne,
whiche dyed before they came to
reigne, he had also foure daughters.
Adelstanus.16Matild.
Edmundus..6.Sonnes ofAlfrid, a Nunne.
Edredus.9.Edward.Edridena, a Nunne.
Edourga.
Edwinus.4.Sonnes of Edmund.
Edgarus.16.Sonnes of Edgar.
Edwardus.4.
Etheldredus.36.This Etheldred hauyng two
wiues one an English woman, cal-
led Ethelgina, & of her had this Ed-
mund, Edwywn, Ethelstane, with a
daughter named Edgina: the other a
Normand called Emana, and of her
had Alfridus, and Edward called the
confessor
Edmund Irenside,
sonne of Etheldred.
2.
Canutus a Dane.19.
Haraldus, Harefoote, sonne of Canutus.4
Hardeknoutus, sonne of Canutus.2.
Edwardus, the confessor, an Eng. sonne of Etheldred.24
Haraldus, sonne of Earle Godwyne.1.
VVilliam Conqueror a Normand.

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¶ King Egbert.
MarginaliaEgbert king of the Westsaxōs, afterward Monarke and kyng of the whole realme.

IN the raigne of Brigthricus a litle aboue forementioned, about the yeare of grace 795. there was in his dominiō a noble personage, of some called Egbert, of some Ethelbert, of some Athelbright, who beyng feared of the same Brigthricus, because he was of a kingly bloud, and neare vnto the crowne, was by the force and conspiracie of the forenamed Brigthricus chased & pursued out of the land of Britaine, into Fraunce, where he endured till the death of the sayd Brigthricus. After the hearing wherof MarginaliaIn this time came in the Danes, first into the North parts, & were driuē out agayne.Egbert sped him eftsones out of Fraūce, vnto his coūtry of Westsaxe, where he in such wise behaued him selfe, that he obteined the regiment and gouernaunce of the abouesayd kyngdome.

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Bernulphus kyng of Mercia aboue mentioned, with other kynges, had this Egbert in such derisiō, that they made of him diuers scoffyng gestes, and scornyng rimes all which he susteined for a tyme. Marginalia807.
Example what it is to despise other. Example of patience.
But when he was more established in his kyngdome, & had proued the myndes of his subiects, and especially God workyng withall: he afterward assembled his knightes, and gaue to the sayde Bernulphus a battaile in a place called Elindē, in the prouince of Hamtō. And notwithstandyng in that fight was great oddes of number, as. 6. or. 8. agaynst one, yet Egbert (through the might of the Lord whiche geueth victory as pleaseth him) had the better, and wan the field; Which done, he seased that Lordshyp into his hand. And that also done, he made warre vpon the Kentishe Saxons, and at length in likewise of them obtained the victory. And as it is in Polychronicon testified, he also subdued Northumberland, and caused the kyngs of these three kyngdomes to liue vnder him as tributaries, or ioyned them to his kingdome, Ex flor. Hist This Egbert also wan from the Britons or Welchmē the towne of Chester, whiche they had kept possession of, till that day. Marginalia826.
Of thys victory went a prouerbe Riuus cruore rubuit, ruina restitit satore tabuit.
After these and other victories, he peaceably enioyeng the lād called a Councell of his Lordes at Winchester, where by their aduises he was crowned kyng & chief Lord ouer this land, which before that day was called Britaine: MarginaliaThis land first called Anglia.but thē he sent out into all coastes of the land his commaundements & commissions charging straightly that frō that day forward the Saxons should be called Angles, and the land Anglia.

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Marginalia833.
Danes now the second tyme entred in this land.
About the. xxx. yeare of the raigne of Egbert the heathenish people of the Danes, which a litle before had made horrible destruction in Northumberland, and especially in the Ile of Lindefarne, where they spoyled the Churches, and murthered the Ministers, with men, women and children, after a cruell maner, entred now the second tyme with a great host into this land, and spoyled the Ile of Shepy in Kent, or neare to kent: where Egbert hearyng therof, assēbled his people and met with them at Carrum. But in that conflict sped not so well, as he was wont in tymes before, but with his knightes was compelled to forsake the field. Notwithstanding in the next battaile the sayd Egbert with a small power ouerthrewe a great multitude of them, and so droue them backe. Marginalia834.
Fabian. cap. 158.
Rog. Houed. lib. 5. cap. 1.
The yeare next followyng, the sayd Danes presumyng vpon their victorie before, made their returne agayne into the lād Westward, where ioyning with the Britaines, by the helpe and power of them, they assayled the lādes of Egbert, and did much harme in many places of his dominion, and els where, so that after this day, they were continually abidyng in one place of the realme of England or other, till the tyme of Hadeknutus, last kyng of the Danes bloud, so that many of them were maryed to English women, and many that now be, or in tymes past were called Englishmen, are descended of them. And albeit that they were many and sundry tymes driuen out of the land, & chased from one countrey to an other, yet that notwithstandyng, they euer gathered new strengthes and power, that they abode still within the land.

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MarginaliaEngland fiue tymes plagued by other natiōs.And thus (as by the stories appeareth) this troublesome land of Britaine, now called England, hath bene hetherto by v. sundry outward nations plagued. First by the Romanes, then by the Scots & Pictes, 3. by the Saxons. 4. by the Danes, of whose outragious crueltie & hostilitie,

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