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174 [173]

King Ethelstane. Edwine. King Ethelstane.

Cum redit illa Lues Europæ noxia labes.
Iam cubat in terris fera barbaries Aquilonis,
Et iacet in campis pelago pirata relicto,
Illicitas toruasq; minas Analanus anhelans
MarginaliaAnalantBacchanti furiæ, Scotorum rege volente,
Commodat assensum Borealis terræ serenum.
Et iam grande tument, iam terrent aera verbis,
Cedunt indigenæ, cedit plaga tota superbis.
Nam quia rex noster fidens alacrisq; iuuenta,
Emeritus pridem detriuerat ocia lenta,
Illi continuis fœdabant omnia prædis,
Vrgentes miseros iniectis ignibus agros.
Marcuerant totis viridantia gramina campis,
Ægra seges votum deluserat agricolarum.
Tanta fuit peditum, tam barbara vis equitantum,
Innumerabilium, concursus quadrupedantum.
Exciuit tandem famæ querimonia regem,
Ne se cauterio tali pateretur inuri.
Quod sua barbaricæ cessissent arma securi,
Nec mora, victrices ducentia signa cohortes,
Explicat inuentum vexilla ferocia centrum,
Iuncta virum virtus, decies bis milia quina,
Ad stadium belli comitantur præuia signa.
Hicq; ciet strepitus armatorum legiones.
Terruit insignis venientum fama latrones.
Vt posita proprias præda repetant regiones.
At vulgus reliquum miseranda strage peremptum,
Infecit bibulas tetris nidoribus auras.
Fugit Analasus de tot modo millibus vnus. &c.
 

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Foxe had gained most of his details on the Battle of Brimanbruch from Roger Howden's Chronicle (W. Stubbs, ed. Chronica magistri Rogeri de Houdene 4 vols, Rolls Series (London, 1868), 6, p. 54) or from Fabyan's Chronicle (R. Fabyan, The Chronicle of Fabian [London, 1559], book 6, ch. 184) or Matthew Paris' Flores (H. R. Luard, ed. Matthew Paris. Flores Historiarum 3 vols [London: Rolls Series, 1890], book 6, ch. 185). This verse, however, he took from William of Malmesbury's Gesta Regum (J. S. Brewer, and C. T. Martin, 'William of Malmesbury: Gesta Regum.' In Reigistrum Malmesburiense. The Registor of Malmesbury Abbey, ed. by J.S. Brewer and C.T. Martin [London: Rolls Series, 1869-1880], mbook 2, ch. 135).

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After thys victory thus obtayned of the Danes and Scottes: kyng Ethelstane also subdued (or at least quieted) the North Britayns. 

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Foxe's brief evocation of how Ethelstan gained control of North and South Britain came from Fabian's Chronicle (R. Fabyan, The Chronicle of Fabian [London, 1559], book 6, ch. 185).

MarginaliaThe North Britaines brought to tribute.Whom he conuenting together at Herforde (or there about) forced them to graunt vnto him, as a yearely tribute 20. pound of gold: three hundreth pound of siluer: and of heades of neate. 25. hundred: wyth haukes and dogs, to a certayne number. This done, he wēt to Exceter, MarginaliaThe South Britaines subdued.and there likewise subduyng the South Britaynes, about Exceter and Cornewall: repaired þe walles of Exceter with sufficient strength, and so returned.

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Foxe's account of the drowning of Ethelstan's brother Edwin comes from Matthew Paris' Flores (H. R. Luard, ed. Matthew Paris. Flores Historiarum. 3 vols. (London: Rolls Series, 1890), 1, pp. 493-4, it not being mentioned in the other sources that he used to construct this section.

Among these victorious and noble actes of this kyng: One blot there is of him written and noted, wherein he is as much worthy to be reprehended, as in the other before to be commended (that is) the innocent death and murther of his brother Edwyne. The occasion thereof was this: Kyng Edward aforenamed their father, in the tyme of his youth, commyng by a certaine village or grāge, where he had bene noursed and brought vp of a child: thought of curtesie to go see how his nurse did. Where he entryng into the house, espyed a certaine young damsell bewtyfull and right seemely attyred, Egwina by name. This Egwina before beyng a poore mans daughter, had a vision by night, that of her body sprang such a bright light of the Moone, that the brightnes thereof gaue light to the Realme of England. By reason wherof, she was taken into the foresayd house, and dayntely brought vp in steede of their owne daughter: for hope of some commoditie to ensue thereby, as afterward it came to passe. Marginaliak. Ethelstane seeketh the death of his owne brother.For Kyng Edward (as it is declared) commyng into the house, and rauished with the beauty of the mayden: begat of her the same night this Ethelstane. Wherefore the sayd Ethelstane beyng thus basely borne of Egwina, the first wife to Edward (as is sayd) before he was marryed to her: and fearyng his next brother Egwyne whiche was rightly borne (especially beyng styrred thereunto through the sinister suggestion of his butler) did cast such displeasure to the foresayd Egwine his brother, beyng yet but young, that (notwithstandyng his innocent submission and purgation made agaynst his accusers) he caused him to be set in an old rotten boate in the broad Sea (onely with one Esquier with him) without any tacklyng or other prouisiō to the same. Where the young and tender Prince beyng dismayd with the rage of windes and of the floudes, and now weary of his lyfe, cast himselfe ouer borde into the Sea, and so was drowned. Notwithstandyng the Esquyre shiftyng for himselfe as he could, and recoueryng the body of his master, brought it to Sandwich, where it was buried. Which done, the kyng afterward commyng to the remembraunce of himselfe, was stroken with great repentaunce the space of. vij. yeares together. And at length was reuēged of him that was the accuser of his brother. This accuser (as is sayd) was the kynges cupbearer, who (as God the righteous iudge of all thynges would haue it) vpon a certaine solemne feast bearyng the cup vnto the kyng, chaunced in the middle of the floure to stumble with one foote, helpyng and recouering himselfe with the other, saying in these wordes: Thus one brother (as ye see) helpeth an other. These wordes beyng thus spoken in the hearyng of the kyng, so moued his mynde, that forthwith he commaunded the false accuser of his brother to be had out to execution. MarginaliaA note to learne not to sowe discorde betwixt brother and brother.Whose iust recompence I would wish to be a warnyng to all mē, what it is to sow discorde betwixt brother and brother.

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Foxe used Matthew Paris' Flores (H. R. Luard, ed. Matthew Paris. Flores Historiarum. 3 vols. (London: Rolls Series, 1890], 1, p. 396) for his account of the king's monastic construction; the marriage of his children is recounted from William of Malmesbury's Gesta Regum (J. S. Brewer, and C. T. Martin, 'William of Malmesbury: Gesta Regum.' In Reigistrum Malmesburiense. The Registor of Malmesbury Abbey, ed. by J.S. Brewer and C.T. Martin [London: Rolls Series, 1869-1880], book 2, ch. 134-5; 140). That same source is also used to describe the dowry gifts to King Athelstan.

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Kyng Ethelstane (besides his vij. yeares lamentation for this acte) builded the two Monasteries of Midletone, and of Michelenes, for his brothers sake (or as the stories say) for his soule. MarginaliaThe cause of building Abbayes examined.Whereby it may appeare, what was the cause most speciall in those dayes, of buildyng Monasteries: to wyt, for releasing the sinnes both of them departed, and them alyue, which cause how it stādeth with the grace and veritie of Christes Gospell, and of his passion: let the Christen Reader trye & examine with himselfe. This cruel fact of the kyng toward Edwyne, caused him afterward, to be more tender and carefull toward his other brethren and sisters left in his handes vnmaryed. Whiche sisters, as is partly in the Chapiter before declared, he richely bestowed, in great mariages: As one to the kyng of Northumberland Sithericus: an other he gaue to Lewes kyng of Aquitania: the 3. to Henricus Duke of Almaine for his sonne MarginaliaOtho first Emperour of the Germains.Otho: who was þe first Emperour of the Germanes. Wherby it is to be vnderstād, that the Empire at this tyme begā first to be translated from Fraunce (where it remained about C. yeares and halfe) vnto Germanie where it hath euer since continued.

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The iiij. of his sisters, beyng a virgine of singulare bewty Hugo the French kyng required to be geuen vnto hym: sendyng to kyng Ethelstane pretious and sumptuous presentes, such as were not before seene in England. MarginaliaPrecious iewels sent to king Ethelstane frō the French kyng.Among the which presentes and giftes, besides the rare odours of sōdry sauours and fine spices: and besides the pretious and costly gemmes, namely of Smaragdes of most redolent grene, besides also many and great coursers & palfreis richly trapped, especially of one iewell (as writers make mention) which was, a certaine vessell finely and subtily made of the pretious stone Onichinus so radiātly wrought, that in it appeared the lyuely corne growyng, and mens images walkyng. &c. Ouer and besides was sent also the sword of Constantine the great, with the name of the possessor written in golden letters, wherein the hafte of the same all beatē in gold, was one of the yron nayles, wherewith our Sauiour on the crosse was nayled. MarginaliaConcerning one of the nayles wherwith our sauiour Christ was crucified.Of the veritie wherof I am not disposed at this presēt much to say what I suspect, but that this in the Ecclesiasticall story of Eusebius, is euidēt. That two of the foresayd nayles of Christ, wes spēt on the bridle of Constāntine: the 3. he cast into the Sea in a ragyng tempest. Wherfore, if Christ were nayled with iiij. nayles perhappes this nayle might be one. If he were nayled but with iij. I see not how this story can stand with other stories, neither how this fourth nayle can stand with truth. Among the rest moreouer, was the speare (as is reported) wherewith the side of our Sauiour was opened: which also the sayd Constantine was wont to cary in the fielde agaynst his enemies: with a portiō likewise of the holy crosse inclosed in Cristall: Also a part of the crowne of thorne in like maner inclosed. &c. Of the which Reliques, part was geuen to Winchester, part to the Church of Malmesbury, where king Ethelstane was buried. As this king was indued and enlarged, by the gift of God (the setter vp & disposer of all kynges) with great victories of wordly renowne: hauyng vnder his subiection both the Scottes, and Britons, and the whole Monarchie of the land: So he diuised diuers good and holesome lawes for the gouernement of the same, as well concerning the state of the orders Ecclesiasticall, as also of the secular or lay people. Whereby it is to be vnderstād, that the vsurped power of the Byshop of Rome, did not then extend it selfe so largely, nor so proudly to derogate frō the authoritie of kynges and princes: MarginaliaKinges of England gouernors as well in causes ecclesiasticall as temporall.but that euery one in his owne dominion, had (vnder God, and not vnder the Pope) the doyng of all matters within the same hys dominion contained: whether they were causes tēporall, or spirituall. As by the decrees and constitutions of this kyng (and also of other as wel before him, as after him) may euidently be testified: as where he amōg other lawes, thus ordeineth touchyng the Byshop, in wordes as folow.

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MarginaliaExtractum ex legib. regis Adelstani.Episcopo iure pertinet, omnem rectitudinem promouere Dei videlicet: ac seculi. In primis, debet omnem ordinatum instruere, quid ei sit agendum iure, & quid hominibus secularibus iudicare debeant.

Debet etiam sedulo pacem & concordiam operari cum seculi iudicibus: qui rectum velle diligunt, & in compellationum allegationem edocere, ne quis alii perperā agat, in iureiurando, vel ordalio.

Nec pati debet aliquam circumuentionem iniustæ men-

suræ
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