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181 [180]

K. Edgar. a great mainteiner of mōkery. His Concubines and bastardes.

sayd authors described which most write to hys aduauncement. Wherof the first vice is noted to be crueltie, as well vpon others, as namely vpon a certayne earle beyng of hys secret counsaile called Ethelwold. The story is this: Ordgarus Duke of Deuonshyre had a certayne daughter named Elfrida, whose beautie beyng highly commended to the kyng, he beyng inflamed therwith, sent this foresaid Ethelwold (whom he especially trusted) to the partie, to see and to bring hym worde agayne & if her beautie were such as was reported, willyng hym also to make the match betwene them. MarginaliaK. Edgar circumuented by one of hys owne coūsel.Ethelwold well viewyng the partie and seyng her beautie nothing inferiour to her fame, and thinking first to serue hys owne turne, tolde all thinges contrary to the kyng. Wherupon the kyng withdrawing his minde otherwise, in the ende it came to passe that Ethelwold hymselfe dyd mary her.

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Not long after, the kyng vnderstandyng farther by the complaintes and rumors of certayne, how he was preuented and beguiled, set a faire face vpon the matter before Ethelwold, and merily iestyng with hym, told hym howe he would come and see his wyfe, and in dede appoynted the day when he would be there. Ethelwold the husbande perceauyng this matter to go hardly with hym, made hast to hys wyfe, declaryng to her the comming of the kyng, and also opening the whole order of the matter how he had done, desired her of all loue, as she would saue hys lyfe, to disgrace and deforme her self with garments and such attyre, as the kyng might take no delighting in her. Elfrida hearing this what dyd she, but contrary to the request of her husband & promise of a wyfe, agaynst the kynges commyng trymmed her selfe at the glasse, and decked her in her best aray. Whom when the kyng beheld, MarginaliaCruelty in K. Edgar noted.he was not so much enamored with her, as in hatred with her husbād who had so deceiued him. Whereupon the kyng shortly after makyng as thoughe he would go to hunt in the forest of Harwood, sent for Ethelwold to come to hym vnder the pretense of huntyng & there ran hym throw and slue hym. After this the bastard sonne of Ethelwold commyng to hym, the kyng asked hym how he lyked that huntyng. Who aunswered agayne: That which pleaseth the kyng, ought not to displease him. For the death of which Ethelwold, Elfrida afterward builded a Monastery of Nunnes in remission of sinnes.

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MarginaliaGreat detriment happening in thys Realme by k. Edgar.An other fault which Malmesbery noteth in him, was the comming in of straungers into this land, as Saxones, Flemminges, & Danes, whom he with great familiaritie retayned, to the great detriment of this land, as the foresaid story of Malmesbery recordeth: whose woordes be these. Vnde factum est, vt fama eius per ora omnium volitante, alienigenæ, Saxones, Flandritæ, ipsi etiam Dani huc frequēter annauigarent, Edgaro familiares effecti: quorum aduentus magnum prouincialibus detrimentum peperit. Inde meritò iureq; reprehendunt eum literæ. &c. MarginaliaVV. Malmesb.That is: wherby it happened, that diuers straungers out of forreine countreys, allured by hys fame, came into the land, as Saxons, Flemmyngs, and Danes also, all which he retayned with great familiaritie. The commyng of whiche straungers wrought great damage to the realme, and therfore is Edgar iustly blamed in stories. &c. With the which reprenhension all the Saxon stories also do agree.

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MarginaliaThe incontinent life of k. Edgar.
Editha base daughter of Wlfrid the kinges lemman.
The third vice to hym obiected was hys incontinent and lasciuious lust in deflouring maides, as first of a dukes daughter beyng a Nunne and a virgin named Wlfrida or Wlftrude, of which Wlfride was borne Editha, a bastarde daughter of Edgar. Also of an other certayne virgin in the towne of Andeuar, who was priuily conueyed into his bed by thys meanes. The lasciuious kyng commyng to Andeuar, not farre from Winchester, and thinkyng to haue his pleasure of a certayne Dukes daughter of whose beauty he heard much speakyng, commaunded the mayd to be broght vnto hym. The mother of the virgin greued to haue her daughter made a concubine, secretly by night conueyed to the kinges bed in stead of her daughter, an other mayden of beauty and fauour not vncomely: Who in the mornyng rising to her worke, and so beyng knowen of the kyng what she was, had graunted vnto her of the kyng suche libertie and freedome, that of a seruant she was made mistres both to her maister and also to her mistresse. Ex Math. Paris. lib. de Regib.

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An other concubine he had also besides these aforesaid, which was Egelfleda, or Elfleda, called Cādidae white) daughter of Duke Ordmere (as Guliel. Malmesb. recordeth) she beyng also a professed Nunne, MarginaliaEdward borne in bastardie of Elflede, king Edwardes concubine.of whom he begot Edward in bastardy. For the which he was enioyned by Dunstane 7. yeares of penance. After which penance beyng complete, then he tooke to hym a lawfull wyfe (as Malmes. sayth) Elfritha, the mother of Edmund and Ethelred, or otherwyse called Egelred, wherof more shalbe said (þe Lord willyng) hereafter.

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MarginaliaK. Edgar a great maintayner of monkery.Ouer and besides all these vices noted and obiected to kyng Edgar in our Monkish storywriters, I also obserue an other no lesse, or rather greater vyce then the other afore recited, which was blynd superstition and Idolatrous mōkery brought into the church of Christ, with the wrongfull expulsing of lawfull maried priestes out of theyr houses. Wherupon what inconueniences ensued after in thys realme, especially in the house of the Lord, I leaue it to the consideration of them which haue hearde of the detestable enormities of these religious votaries. The occasiō wherof first and chiefly began in this Edgar, through the instigation of Dunstane and hys fellowes, who after they had inueigled the kyng and had wrought him to their purpose, they caused hym to call a Councell of the Clergy: Marginaliak. Edgar seduced by Dunstane, and Ethelwold Bish. of Winchester.where it was enacted and decreed, that the Canons of diuers Cathedrall Churches, colleginars, persons, vicars, priestes, & deacons with their wyues and children either should geue ouer that kynde of lyfe, or els geue rowme to Monkes &c. For execution of which decree two principall visitors were appoynted, Athelwold or Ethelwold bishop of Winchester, and Oswald bishop of Worcester, as is partly before touched, pag. 154. Osbernus in vita Dunstani, Malmesb. De vit pontif. Rog. Houed.

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MarginaliaEx Osberno in vita Dunstani. Fol. 25. Malmesb. Houedano & alijs.And thus much concernyng the history of kyng Edgar 

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Foxe's narrative of the penance forced upon King Edgar by Dunstan, and his subsequent elaboration upon the errors in the monastic chronicle records ('Monkysh story writers') relating to King Edgar seems to have been based on more extensive research than Foxe undertook for the rest of book 3. The citation from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle could have come from John Brompton's Chronicle (J. Brompton, 'Chronicon Johannis Brompton Abbatis Jornalensis.' In Historiæ Anglicanæ Scriptores X. [....], ed. by Roger Twysden [London, 1652], col. 868, but Foxe's reference is quite precise: 'Ex chronico Saxonico Ecclesiae Wigornensis (i.e. Worcester). This is the Worcester version of the Chronicle, now BL MS Cotton Tib. B IV, fols 3-86; 88-90, which had belonged to Archbishop Matthew Parker (listed as J1.14 in T. Graham, and A. G. Watson, The recovery of the past in early Elizabethan England. Documernts by John Bale and John Joscelyn from the Circle of Matthew Parker, Cambridge Bibliographical Society Monograph, No. 13 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 58). We suppose that access to the manuscript, or information about it, had been furnished by John Joscelyn to Foxe. Other materials for this section come from Osbern's Life of Dunstan (Eadmer, 'Vita Sancti Dunstani.' In Memorials of St Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, ed. by William Stubbs [London: Rolls Series, 1874], ch. 35, pp. 111-112 and William of Malmesbury's Gesta Regum (book 2, chs 157-8). Some indications as to this material may have come from Bale's Catalogus, pp. 131-6 or the English Votaryes, pp. 64-5.

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and of such thinges as in his tyme happened in the church. Which Edgar after he had entred into the partes of Britannie, to subdue the rebellion of the Welchmen, and there had spoyled the coūtrey of Glamorgan, & wasted the countrey of Ono MarginaliaThe death of kyng Edgar.within x. dayes after, when he had reigned the space of 16. yeares, dyed, and was buried at Glatenbury, leauyng after hym two bastards, to witte, Editha and Edward: and one sonne lawfully begotten, named Ethelred, or otherwise by corruption called Egelred: For Edmund the elder sonne dyed before hys father.

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Ye heard before how kyng Edgar is noted in all stories to be an incontinent liuer in deflouring maydes and virgines. Of which virgines iij. notoriously are expressed in authors, to witte, Wlftrude or Wlfride: the seconde was the Dukes mayd at Andouar, nie to Wynchester: the third was Elflede mother of Edwarde, for the whiche Elflede he was stayd and kept backe from hys coronation by Dunstane Archbishop of Cant. the space of 7. yeares: and so the sayd kyng beginnyng hys reigne in the 16. yeare of hys age beyng the yeare of the Lorde. 959. was crowned at hys age. 31. An. dom. 974. as is in the Saxon chronicle of Worcester church to be proued. MarginaliaEx Chronico Saxonico Ecclesiæ Wigornensis.For the more euident declaration of which matter concernyng the coronation of þe king restrayned, and the presumptuous behauiour of Dunstane agaynst the king, and his penance by the sayde Dunstane enioyned, ye shall heare both Osberne, Malmesb. and other authors speake in their owne wordes as foloweth. MarginaliaEx Osberno in vitæ Dunstani.Perpetrato itaq; in virginem velatam peccato. &c. After that Dūstane had vnderstandyng of the kinges offence perpetrated with the professed Nunne, and that the same was blased amongest the people, with great ire & passiō of mynde he came to þe kyng. Who seing þe Archb. cōming. eftsones of gētlenes arose from hys regall seat towardes hym, to take him by þe hande, and to geue hym place. MarginaliaDunstane refuseth to take the kyng by the hand.
The wordes of Dunstane to kyng Edgar.
But Dunstane refusing to take hym by the hand, and with sterne countenaunce bendyng hys browes, spake after this effect of wordes (as stories importe) vnto the kyng: You that haue not feared to corrupt a virgine mayd handfast to Christ, presume you to touch the consecrated handes of a bishop? you haue defiled the spouse of your maker, and thinke you by flattering seruice to pacifie the frend of the bridegrome? No sir, his frend will not I be whiche hath Christ to his enemy &c. The kyng terrified with these thundryng wordes of Dunstane, and compuncted wyth inwarde repentaunce of hys crime perpetrated, fell downe with wepyng at the feete of Dunstane. Who, after he had raysed him vp from the grounde agayne, began to vtter to hym the horriblenesse of hys fact, & findyng the kyng ready to receiue whatsoeuer satisfaction he would lay vpon hym, MarginaliaPenaunce enioyned to k. Edgar by Dunstane.enioyned hym this penance for 7. yeres space, as foloweth: That he should weare no crowne all that space: that he should fast twise in the weeke: he should distribute hys treasure left to him of his aunciters, liberally vnto the poore: he should also builde a monastery of Nunnes at Shaftesbury, that as he had robbed God of one virgine through hys transgression, so shoulde he restore to hym many againe in tymes to come: Moreouer he should expell Clerkes of euill lyfe (meanyng such priestes as had wiues and children) out of Churches, and place Couents of Monkes in their rowme. &c.

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It followeth then in the story of Osborne, that when the vij. yeres of the kings penaunce were expired: Dun-

stane
D.j.
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