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K. Alfrede or Alurede. Danes. K. Alfrede or Alurede. Danes. Actes and Monum. of the Church.

more ayde myght come. In the meane season they were constrayned to entreate for truce: leauyng also sufficiēt pledges in the kynges hand, promising moreouer vpon their othe, to voyd the cuntrey of the Westsaxons. The king vpon this surety let them go. But they falsly breakyng their leage, priuely in the night brake out, taking their iourney toward Exceter. In which iourney they lost sixe score of their small ships, by a tempest at Sandwych (as Henrye Huntington in his storye recordeth.) The king Alfrede followed after the horsemen of the Danes, but could not ouertake them, before they came to Exceter: where he tooke of them pleadges and fayre promises of peace, and so returned. Notwithstanding, the number of the Paganes did daylye more and more increase: in somuch (as one of my authors sayth) that if in one day. 30. thousand of them were slayne, shortlye after they encreased double as many againe. After this truce taken with kyng Alfrede, the Danes then voyded to the land of Mercia, whereof part of that kingdome they kept themselues, part they committed to one Ceolulfus: vpon condicion that he should be vassall to them, and at their commaundement, wyth his people at all tymes.

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MarginaliaAn. 879The next yeare insuing, which was the seuenth yere of the raygne of Alfred, the Danes, who now hauing all the rule of the Northpart of Englande, from the ryuer of Tames, with Mercia, London, and Essex: disdayned that Alfred should beare any dominion on the other side of Tames southward. Whereupon the foresayde three kinges with all the force and strength they could make, marched toward Chippēham in Westsexe, wyth such a multitude, that the king wyth hys people was not able to resist them. In somuch that the people which inhabited there, some fled ouer the sea, some remayned wyth the kyng, diuers submitted them selues to the Danes. Thus king Alfred being ouerset with multitude of enemies, and forsaken of his people, hauing neither lande to hold, nor hope to recouer that which he had lost: MarginaliaK. Alfrede flyeth into a desert woode.withdrew himselfe with a few of hys nobles about him, into a certayne wood countrey in Somersetshire, called Etheling: MarginaliaEtheling which is to say the ile of nobles.where he had right scant to lyue with, but suche as he and his people might purchase by hunting and fishing. This Edeling or Etheling or Ethelingsey, standeth in a great maresse or Moore, so that there is no accesse vnto it, without ship or bote: and hath in it a great wood called Selewood, and in the midle a litle plaine about, of two acres of ground. In which Isle is venesō, and other wyld beasts, with foule, and fishes, great plenty. In this wood, king Alured at his first cōming, espied a certaine deserte cotage of a poore Swynard, keeping swyne in the wood, named Dunwolfus: of whom the king then vnknowen was entertayned & cherished with such poore fare as hee and hys wyfe coulde make him. For the which, king Alfrede afterwarde, MarginaliaA Swineheard made bishop of Winchester.set the poore Swinhard to learning, & made him B. of Wynchester.

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In the meane season, whyle king Alfred accompanied with a few, was thus in the deserte wood, wayting the euent of these miseries: certaine stories recorde of a poore beggar, which there came and asked hys almes of the kyng. And the night folowing he appeared to the king in his sleepe: saying hys name was Cutbert, promising (as sent from God, vnto him for his good charitie) great victories agaynst the Danes. But to let these dreaming fables passe, although they bee testified by dyuers authors, both VVilelmus lib. de Reg. Polychronicō Rog. Heueden, Iornalensis, and other mo. MarginaliaHenr. Huntingt. lib. 5. de historia Angl.Notwithstanding the king in proces of tyme, was strengthened and comforted more and more, through the prouidence of God: respecting the miserable ruine of the Englishe mē. First the brother of king Haldene the Dane before mentioned, comming in with. xxiij. ships, landed about Deuonshiere: where by chaunce being resisted by a bush-ment of king Alfredes mē (who for the safegard there lay in garyson) were slayne to the number of. 1300. mē, and their Ensigne called the Rauē was taken. Houedenus in his booke of Continuations writeth, that in the same conflict MarginaliaInguar and Hubba slayne.both Inguar and Hubba were slayne among the other Danes. After this, king Alfrede being better cheared, shewed hym selfe more at large: so that dayly resorted to hym, men of Wyltshiere, Somersetshiere, and Hamshiere, tyll that hee was stronglye accompenied.

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MarginaliaA bold aduenture or attempt of kyng Alfrede, ventryng him selfe into the tentes of the Danes.
Ex Fabiano.
Then the king put himselfe in a bolde and daungerous venture (as writeth VValemus lib. de Reg. Polychro. and Fabian which followeth them both) for he apparellyng hym in the habite of a Minstrel (as he was very skylful in all Saxon poemes) with his instrument of Musike, entred in the tentes of the Danes, lyng then at Eddendune: & in shewing there hys interlude & songes: espied all their slouth and idlenes, and heard muche of their coūsell. And after returning to his company, declared vnto them the whole maner of the Danes. Shortly vpon the same, the king sodainly in the night fell vpō the foresayd Danes, and distressed and slewe of them a great multitude, and chased them from that coast. Insomuch that through his strong and valiant assaultes vpon his enemies out of his tower of Edeling newlye fortified: he so encombred them, that he clearelye voyded the country of them, betwene that and Selwoods. His subiectes eftsones, hearing of these his valiant victories, and manfull deedes, drew to hym daylye out of all coastes. Who through the helpe of God, and their assistēce, held the Danes so short, that he wan from them Winchester, and diuers other good townes. Briefly, at lēgth he forced them to seeke for peace: the which was concluded vpon certayne couenauntes. Whereof one and the principall was, that the forenamed Gutrum their kyng should be christened. MarginaliaGutrū the prince of the Danes was christened.The other was, that such as would not be christened, should depart and voide the country.

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Vpon these couenauntes, first the sayd Gutrum the Danyshe prince comming to Winchester, there was christened with. xx. of hys greatest dukes or nobles. To the which Gutrum king Alured being his godfather at hys baptisme, MarginaliaKing Gutrū named Athelstanenamed hym Athelstane. Who after a certayne season that he had feasted the sayd Danes: he according to hys promise before made, MarginaliaNorfolke & Suffolk geuen to k. Gutrūgaue vnto their king the countrey of Eastanglia, conteyning Norfolke and Suffolke, and part of Cambridshyre. Moreouer (as sayth Polychronic.) he graunted to þe Danes that were christened, the countrey of Northumberland. So the residue that woulde not be christened, departed the land, and sayled into Fraunce: where, what vexation and harme they wrought, the chronicles of Fraunce doe partly comprehend.

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King Athelstane thus hauing the possession of these countryes, had al Eastangles vnder hys obedience. And albeit that he held the said prouince as in fee of the king, and promised to dwell there as his liege man: yet that northwithstanding, he continued more like a tyraunt, by the terme of. xj. yeare: and died in the. xij. yeare. During the which space, king Alfred hauing some more rest and peace, repared certaine townes and strong holdes afore by the Danes empared. MarginaliaThe Nūnrie of Shaftesbury builded.Also builded diuerse houses of religion, as the house of Nunnes at Shaftesburie. MarginaliaThe monastery of EthelyngeAn other religious house at Ethelynge he founded. MarginaliaThe newe minster at Winchester builded.Item an other in Winchester, named the new monasterye. Item he endewed richly þe church of S. Cutbert in Dyrhame. He sent also to India, to paye and performe hys vowes to S. Thomas of Inde, which he made during the tyme of hys distresse agaynst the Danes.

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MarginaliaRochester besieged of the Danes.About the. xv. yeare of þe reigne of Alfred, the Danes returning from Fraunce to England, landed in Kent, and so came to Rochester, and besieged that citie: and there laye so long, that they builded a tower of tymber

agaynst
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