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189 [188]

K. Harold. Hardeknoutus. Alfred. Actes and lawes of Canutus.

not so hardy to moue a foote, but stand still till the Dane were passed forth. MarginaliaTaken out of the englishe story or chronicle cōpiled of certayne Englishe clerkes.And moreouer, if the english men had not bowed downe their heds to do reuerence vnto the Danes, they should haue bene beaten & defiled. For þe which despits and villany, they were driuen out of the land after the death of Hardeknout: for they had no Lord that might maintayne them. And after this maner auoyded the Danes england, that they neuer came agayne.

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The Erles and Barons, by their common assent and counsaile: sent vnto Normandy for these two brethren, Alphred and Edward: intending to crowne Alphred the elder brother and to make hym king of England. And to this the Earles and Barons made their othe: but the erle Godwine of Westsaxe (falsly and traiterously) thought to slea these two brethren, as soone as they came into england, to that intent to make Harold hys sonne kyng: which sonne he had by his wife Hardeknoutes daughter that was a Dane. And so this Godwyn went priuely to Southampton, to meete there with the two brethren at their landyng. And thus it fell, that the messengers that went (sayth mine author) into Normandy, found but onely Alphred the elder brother. For Edward his younger brother was gone to Hungary, to speake with his cosin the outlaw, which was Edward Ironsides sonne.

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MarginaliaAlfred or Alured sonne of kyng Egelred.When Alfrede had heard these messengers and perceiued their tydings: he thanked God, and in all hast sped hym to England, arriuing at Southampton. There, Godwine the false traitour (hauyng knowledge of his comming) welcommed and receaued him with much ioy: pretēding to lead him vnto London, where the Barons wayted for to make him kyng. And so they together passed forth toward London. But when they came to Guild downe, the traitour cōmaunded all his men to slea all that were in Alphredes cōpany, which came with him frō Normandy. And after that to take Alphrede, & to lead him into the Isle of Ely, where they should put out both his eyes: and so they did. For they slew all the company that were there, to the number of xii. Gentlemen, which came with Alfrede from Normandy: & after that they took Alphrede, and in the Isle of Ely they executed their commission. That done, they opened his body, tooke out his bowels, set a stake into the ground, and fastened an end of his bowels thereunto, and with nedels of yorn they pricked his tender body, therby causing him to go about the stake, till that all his bowels were drawen out. And so dyed this innocent Alphred or Alured, beyng the right heyre of the crowne: through treason of wicked Godwyne. When the Lordes of England heard therof, and how Alphred, that should haue bene their kyng, was put to death through the false traitour Godwyne, they were wōderous wroth: and sware betwene God and them, that he should dye a worse death then did Edrith which betrayed his Lord Edmund Ironside: and would immiediatly haue put hym to death, but that the traytour fled thence into Denmarke: and there held hym. iiij. yeares and more, and lost all his landes in England.

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MarginaliaEx historia ignoti iutoris.An other Latin story I haue (bearyng no name) which sayth that this commyng in of Alphred & the Normandes: was in the time of Harold Canutus sonne. And how Godwyne (after he pretended great amitie to them) sodenly in the night came vpon them at Gilford: And after he had tythed the Normandes: sent Alfrede to Harold at London, who sent hym to the Isle of Ely and caused his eyes to be put out.

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And thus much of Canutus: and of his sonnes, Harold and Hardecanutus. Besides these. ij. sonnes Canutus had also a daughter named MarginaliaGunilda wife to Henricus the Emperour.Gunilda: maried to Henricus the Emperour. Of whom some write, that she beyng accused to the emperour of spousebrech, and hauyng no champion or knight that would fight for her (after the maner of that coūtrey) for triall of her cause: a certaine litle dwarfe or boy, whom she brought with her out of England (styrred vp of God) fought in her cause against a mightye bigge Germaine of a monstrous greatnes: which selye dwarfe, cuttyng by chaūce the sinewes of his leg, after stroke him to the groūd, and so cut of his head, and saued the lyfe of the Queene, if it be true that Gulielmus and Fabianus reporteth.

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MarginaliaCanutus went to Rome. The hospitall builde at Rome for Englishe pilgrimes.
Rome shote confirmed by Canutus.
The Cathedrall church of Wint. inriched by Canutus. S. Benets in Norfolke builded.
Of this Canutus it is storied, that he folowyng much the superstition of Achelnotus Archbyshop of Cant. went on pilgrimage to Rome: and there founded an hospitall for English pilgrimes. He gaue the Pope pretious giftes, and burdened the land with an yearely tribute called the Romeshote: he shryned the body of Berinus, & gaue great landes and ornamentes to the Cathedrall Church of Winchester: he builded S. Benets in Northfolke, which was before an Hermitage. Also S. Edmundes bury, which kyng Ethelstane before ordeined for a colledge of Priestes, he turned MarginaliaBury Abbey turned to an Abbey of monkes of S. Benets order.

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Henricus Archdeacon of Huntyngton lib. 6. maketh mention of this Canutus, as doth also Polydorus lib. 7. That he after his commyng from Rome, walkyng vpon a tyme by the port of Southampton. (But as Polydorus sayth) and Fabian affirmeth the same that it was by Thames side at London. MarginaliaFlatterers and claubackes about Princes.When his flatterers commyng about hym, began to exalt hym with high wordes, callyng him a kyng of all kynges (most mighty) who had vnder his subiection both the people, the land, and also the sea. Canutus reuoluyng this matter in his mynde (whether for pride of his hart exalted, or whether to trye and refell their flatteryng wordes) cōmaunded his chaire of estate to be brought to the sea side at what tyme it should begyn to flow. Polydore sayth, that no seate was brought, but sittyng vpon his garmentes beyng folded together vnder him: MarginaliaCanutus chargeth the sea to stand backe, but it would not bee.there charged and commaunded the floudes arising and commyng toward his feete, that they should not touch neither him, nor his clothes. But the water kepyng his ordinary course, came nearer and nearer: First to his feete, and so growing higher began to wash him welfauoredly. Wherwith the kyng abashed and partly also afeared start backe: and lookyng to his Lordes: Loe (sayth he) ye call me such a mighty kyng, & yet can I not commaunde backe this litle water to stay at my word, but it is ready to drowne me. MarginaliaA lesson notable for kynges and Princes.Wherfore all earthly kyngs may know, that all their powers be but vayne: and that none is worthy to haue the name of a kyng, but he alone: which hath all thynges subiect to the power & authoritie of his word: MarginaliaGod onely the kyng of all kinges and lord of all lordes.which is the lord of heauē and earth: the creator aboue of all thynges: the father of our Christ and Lord: who with him for euer is to be glorified: him let vs worshyp and extol for our kyng for euer. After this (as histories witnes) he neuer suffred the crowne to come vpon his head, but went to Winchester (or as some say, to Canterbury, but both those may be true) for his goyng to Canterbury, was to acknowledge that there was a Lord much higher, and of more power then he himselfe was, and therewithall to render vp his crowne for euer. With that, Egelnothus Archbyshop of Canterbury: informed him of the image of the Crucifixe before mentioned which dissolued the matter betwene maried Priests and lyfe of Monkes, and did many other miracles mo, beyng then at Winchester. MarginaliaThe kynges crowne put on a roode.Wherewith the kyng prouoked to go to Winchester to the roode, there resigned vp his regall crowne, and made the roode kyng ouer all the land.

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Here is also to be noted in this Canutus, that although (as is sayd) he cōdescended in the beginnyng of his raigne, vpon kyng Edgares lawes: yet after in proces of tyme, he set forth peculiar lawes of his owne. MarginaliaKings of englād haue as much right in causes spirituall as temporall.Among which, diuers there be that concerne as well causes Ecclesiasticall, as also temporall. Wherby it may appeare, that the gouernement of spirituall matters not to depend then of the Byshop of Rome: but to appertaine to the lawfull autoritie of the temporall Prince, no lesse then of matters and causes temporall. As for example by these ordinaunces of the foresayd Canutus, may be well considered as here folow. MarginaliaCertaine lawes of K. Canutus to the orderyng of matters ecclesiasticall.Pecunia sepulturæ iustum est vt aperta terra reddatur. Si aliquod corpus a sua parochia deferatur in aliam, pecunia sepulturæ. &c. In English.

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It is meete and right that in funerals money be geuen for openyng the earth.

If any body, or corse, be caryed from his owne Parish into an other: the money of the buriall shall pertayne by the law to his owne Parish Church.

All ordinaunces & ceremonies of God, let them be obserued, as neede in all thynges requireth.

Upon the Sonday, we forbyd all publique fayres or markets, all Synodes or conuenetcles, huntyngs, or any such seculare actions, to be exercised, vnlesse vrgent necessitie compell therunto.

Let euery Christen mā prepare himselfe thrise a yeare to approche to the receauing of the Lordes body: so to eate the same as not to his iudgemēt but to his wholesome remedy.

If a minister of the altare do kill any man, or haue intangled himselfe in any notorious crime, let him be depriued both from his order and dignitie.

MarginaliaAdultresse womē to lose their eares and noses. If any maried woman (her husband beyng aliue) haue committed adultery & be proued with the same: to her open shame in the world, let her haue her nose and eares cut of.

Let euery widow after the death of her husband: so remayne sole xij. monethes: or of she marry, let her loose her ioynter.

And here an ende of the Danish kynges. Now to the English kinges agayne, whose right lyne cōmeth in againe in Edward here followyng.

¶ Kyng
D. v.
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