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193 [193]

King Egbert. King Egbert.> Actes and Monum. of the Church.
The thirde booke conteynyng the next. 300 yeares, frō the raigne of K. Egbertus to the time of W. 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 remaineth likewise, as before I dyd in describyng the discent and diuersitie of the seuē kings altogether, reignyng & rulyng in this lande: so to prosecute in lyke order the lineall succession of thē, which after Egbert kyng of Weastsaxons, gouerned and ruled soly vntil þe conquest of William the Normand: first expressing their names, and afterward 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 and at large described and taken out of Latine writers into the Englishe toung by sondry autors, and namely in the story or Chronicle of Fabian. I shall not spend much trauaile therupon, but rather referre þe reader, to hym or to some other: where the troublesom tumultes betwene the Englishmē & the Danes at þt time may be sene, who so listeth to read thē. Onely þe Table of their names & reign, in actes done vnder their reigne, I haue cōpendiously abbriged, vsing such breuitie, as the matter would suffer.

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¶ A table of the Saxone kinges ruled alone from K. Egbert to William Conquerour.

Egbertus.an. 35.
Athelwulfus, or
Athulfus.
an. 20This Athelwulphus had by hys wife
Osburga, foure sonnes.
Ethelbaldus.5.Sonnes of Athelwulfus.
Ethelbertus.6.
Etheldredus.5
Aluredus, or
Alfredus.
an. 28Aluredus had ij. sonnes Edwarde and
Egelwarde of the which one enioyed
the realme.
Edward named
the elder sonne
of Alu.
239Edward besides these 3. had 2. other
sonnes Edred, and Edwin which dyed
before they came to reygne. he had also
foure daughters.
Adelstanus.16Matild.
Edmundus..6.Sonnes ofAlfrid, a Nonne.
Edredus.9.Edward.Edridena, a Nonne.
Edburga.
Edwinus.4.Sonnes of Edmund.
Edgarus.16.
Sonnes of Edgar.
Edwardus.4.
Etheldredus.36.This Etheldred hauyng ij. wiues,
one an Englishe woman, called Ethel-
gina, and of her had this Edmūd. Ed-
win, Ethelstane, with a daughter na-
med Edgina: thother a Normand cal-
led Emana, and of her had Alfridus, &
Edward called the confessor
Edmund Irenside,
sonne of Ethel
dred.
2.
Canutus a Dane.19.
Haraldus, Harefoote, sonne of Canutus.4
Hardeknoutus, sonne of Canutus.2.
Edwardus, the confessor, an Eng. sonne of Ethedred.24
Haraldus, sonne of Earle Godwyne.1.
VVilliam conqueror a Normand.

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¶ King Egbert.
MarginaliaEgbert king of the Westsaxōs, after Ward Monarke & kyng of the whole realme.

IN the raigne of Brigthricus a litle aboue foremencioned, about the yere of grace 795. ther was in hys dominion a noble personage, of some called Egbert, of som Ethelbert, of some Athelbright, who being feared of the same Brithricus, because he was of a kingly blood, and nere vnto the crowne, was by the force and conspiracye of the forenamed Brithricus chased & pursued out of the land of Britaine, into Fraunce, wher he endured tyll the death of the sayd Brigthricus. After the hearing wherof MarginaliaIn this time came in the Danes, first into the North partes, and were driuē out again.Egbert sped hym eftsones out of Fraunce, vnto his coūty of Westsaxe, wher he in such wise behaued himselfe, that he obteined the regiment and gouernance of the abouesaid kingdome.

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Bernulphus kyng of Mercia, aboue mentioned with other kyngs, had this Egbert in such derision, that they made of hym diuers scoffyng gestes, and scorning rimes all which he sustened for a tyme. Marginalia807.
Example what it is to despise other. Example of patiēce.
But when he was more established in hys kyngdome, and had proued the minds of hys subiects, and especially God workyng withall: he afterward assembled his knightes, and gaue to the sayde Bernulphus a battaile in a place called Elinden, in the prouince of Hamton. And notwithstanding in that fight was great oddes of nomber, as. 6. or. 8. agaynst one, yet Egbert (through the might of the lord which geueth victory as pleaseth him) had the better, and wan the fielde. Which done, he seased that Lordship into his hande. And that also done, he made warre vpon the Kentishe Saxons, and at length in likewyse of them obtayned the victory. And as it is in Polychronicon testified, he also subdued Northumberlande, and caused the kinges of these thre kingdomes to liue vnder him as tributaries, or ioyned them to his kingdome, Ex flor. hist Thys Egbert also wan from the Britons or Welchmen the town of Chester, which they had kept possession of, tyl that day Marginalia826.
Of thys vicgtorye went a prouerbe Riuus cruore rubuit, ruina restitit sœtore tabuit.
After these and other victories, he peaceably enioyeng the lād called a counsel of hys Lordes at Wynchester, where by their aduises was crowned kyng and chiefe Lorde ouer this land, which before that day was called Britain: but then he sent out into al coastes of the land hys commaundements and cōmissions charging strayghtly that from that day forward the Saxons should be called Angles, and the land Anglia.

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Marginalia833.Danes now the second time entred in this land.About the. xxx. yeare of the raygne of Egbert the heathenish people of the Danes, which a lyttle before had made horrible destruction in Northumberland, and especiallye in the Ile of Lindefarne, where they spoiled the churches, and murthered the ministers, wyth men, women and chyldren, after a cruel maner, entred nowe the second time wyth a great host into this land, and spoiled the Ile of Shepy in Kent, or nere to kent: wher Egbert hearing therof, assembled his people & met with them at Carrum. But in that conflict sped not so wel, as he was wont in tymes before, but with hys knightes was compelled to forsake the field. Notwithstanding in the nexte battayl the said Egbert wyth a smal power ouerthrewe a great multitude of them, and so droue them back. Marginalia834.
Fabian. cap. 158.
Rog. Houed. lib. 5. cap. 1.
The yeare next folowing, the sayde Danes presumyng vpon their victory before, made their returne agayne into the land westward, where ioyning with the Britans, by the helpe and power of them, they assayled the landes of Egbert, and did much harme in many places of hys dominion, and els wher, so that after thys day, they were continually abidyng in one place of the realme of England or other, til the time of Hadeknutus, last king of the Danes blood, so that many of them were maried to English women, and many that now be, or in tymes past wer called English men, are descended of them. And albeit that thei were many and sundry times driuen out of the land, and chased from one country to an other, yet that notwithstandyng, they euer gathered new strengthes & power, that they abode styl wythin the land.

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MarginaliaEx Rog. Houed. lib. 5.
England fyue times plaged by other nations.
And thus (as by the stories appeareth) thys troublesome land of Britainie, now called England, hath beene hetherto by fyue sundry outward nacions plaged. Fyrst by the Romanes, then by the Scots and Pictes, 3. by the Saxons. 4. by the Danes, of whose outragious crueltye and hostilitie, our English histories doo moste exclayme and complayn: fiftly by the Normanes, whiche I praye God be the last.

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Then it followeth in the storye, that the tyme of thys persecution of the foresayd Paganes and Danes continuying. kyng Egbert when he had ruled the westsaxōs, and ouer the more part of Englande, by the terme of xxxvij. yeares, dyed, and was buryed at Wynchester, leauyng to his sonne Ethelwolfe hys kyngdome, whyche fyrst was bishop of Winchester (as Houeden recordeth) and after vpon necessity made kyng, leauing withal and pronouncing thys saying to hys sonne: Felicem fore, si regnum, quod multa rex erat. industria, ille consueta genti illi non in terrum peret ignauia.

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¶ Kyng Athelwolfus.

AThelwulfus, the sonne of Egbert, in hys former age had entred into the order of Subdeacon, & as some other say was made Bishop of Winchester. But after-

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