Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 900-949

902 Battle of the Holme

911 Battle of Tettenhall

917 Battle of Tempsford

937 Battle of Brunanburh

946 Death of King Edmund

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 900-949 is in Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.

901. This year died ALFRED (52), the son of Ethelwulf, six nights before the mass of All Saints. He was king over all the English nation, except that part that was under the power of the Danes. He held the government one year and a half less than thirty winters; and then Edward (27) his son took to the government. Then Prince Ethelwald, the son of his paternal uncle (54), rode against the towns of Winburn and of Twineham, without leave of the king and his council. Then rode the king with his army; so that he encamped the same night at Badbury near Winburn; and Ethelwald remained within the town with the men that were under him, and had all the gates shut upon him, saying, that he would either there live or there die. But in the meantime he stole away in the night, and sought the army in Northumberland. The king gave orders to ride after him; but they were not able to overtake him. The Danes, however, received him as their king. They then rode after the wife that Ethelwald had taken without the king's leave, and against the command of the bishops; for she was formerly consecrated a nun. In this year also died Ethered, who was alderman of Devonshire, four weeks before King Alfred.

Battle of the Holme

902. This year was the great fight at the Holme between the men of Kent and the Danes.

902. Collation. This year Elswitha died.

903. This year died Alderman Ethelwulf, the brother of Elhswitha, mother of King Edward; and Virgilius abbot of the Scots; and Grimbald the mass-priest; on the eighth day of July. This same year was consecrated the new minster at Winchester, on St. Judoc's advent.

904. This year came Ethelwald hither over sea with all the fleet that he could get, and he was submitted to in Essex. This year the moon was eclipsed.

905. This year Ethelwald enticed the army in East-Anglia to rebellion; so that they overran all the land of Mercia, until they came to Cricklade, where they forded the Thames; and having seized, either in Bradon or thereabout, all that they could lay their hands upon, they went homeward again. King Edward (31) went after, as soon as he could gather his army, and overran all their land between the foss and the Ouse quite to the fens northward. Then being desirous of returning thence, he issued an order through the whole army, that they should all go out at once. But the Kentish men remained behind, contrary to his order, though he had sent seven messengers to them. Whereupon the army surrounded them, and there they fought. There fell Aldermen Siwulf and Sigelm; Eadwold, the king's thane; Abbot Kenwulf; Sigebriht, the son of Siwulf; Eadwald, the son of Acca; and many also with them; though I have named the most considerable. On the Danish side were slain Eohric their king, and Prince Ethelwald, who had enticed them to the war. Byrtsige, the son of Prince Brihtnoth; Governor Ysop; Governor Oskytel; and very many also with them that we now cannot name. And there was on either hand much slaughter made; but of the Danes there were more slain, though they remained masters of the field. Ealswitha died this same year; and a comet appeared on the thirteenth day before the calends of November.

907. This year died Alfred, who was governor of Bath. The same year was concluded the peace at Hitchingford, as King Edward (33) decreed, both with the Danes of East-Anglia, and those of Northumberland; and Chester was rebuilt.

909. This year died Denulf, who was Bishop of Winchester; and the body of St. Oswald was translated from Bardney into Mercia.

910. This year Frithestan took to the bishopric of Winchester; and Asser died soon after, who was Bishop of Sherborne. The same year King Edward (36) sent an army both from Wessex and Mercia, which very much harassed the northern army by their attacks on men and property of every kind. They slew many of the Danes, and remained in the country five weeks. This year the Angles and the Danes fought at Tootenhall; and the Angles had the victory. The same year Ethelfleda (40) built the fortress at Bramsbury.

Battle of Tettenhall

911. This year the army in Northumberland broke the truce, and despised every right that Edward and his son demanded of them; and plundered the land of the Mercians. The king (37) had gathered together about a hundred ships, and was then in Kent while the ships were sailing along sea by the south-east to meet him. The army therefore supposed that the greatest part of his force was in the ships, and that they might go, without being attacked, where that ever they would. When the king learned on enquiry that they were gone out on plunder, he sent his army both from Wessex and Mercia; and they came up with the rear of the enemy as he was on his way homeward, and there fought with him and put him to flight, and slew many thousands of his men. There fell King Eowils, and King Healfden (37); Earls Ohter and Scurf; Governors Agmund, Othulf, and Benesing; Anlaf the Swarthy, and Governor Thunferth; Osferth the collector, and Governor Guthferth.

912. This year died Ethered, alderman of Mercia; and King Edward (38) took to London, and to Oxford, and to all the lands that thereunto belonged. This year also came Ethelfleda (42), lady of the Mercians, on the holy eve called the invention of the holy cross, to Shergate, and built the fortress there, and the same year that at Bridgenorth.

913. This year, about Martinmas, King Edward (39) had the northern fortress built at Hertford, betwixt the Memer, and the Benwic, and the Lea. After this, in the summer, betwixt gang-days and midsummer, went King Edward with some of his force into Essex, to Maldon; and encamped there the while that men built and fortified the town of Witham. And many of the people submitted to him, who were before under the power of the Danes. And some of his force, meanwhile, built the fortress at Hertford on the south side of the Lea. This year by the permission of God went Ethelfleda (43), lady of Mercia, with all the Mercians to Tamworth; and built the fort there in the fore-part of the summer; and before Lammas that at Stafford: in the next year that at Eddesbury, in the beginning of the summer; and the same year, late in the autumn, that at Warwick. Then in the following year was built, after mid-winter, that at Chirbury and that at Warburton; and the same year before mid-winter that at Runkorn.

916. This year was the innocent Abbot Egbert slain, before midsummer, on the sixteenth day before the calends of July. The same day was the feast of St. Ciricius the martyr, with his companions. And within three nights sent Ethelfleda (46) an army into Wales, and stormed Brecknock; and there took the king's wife, with some four and thirty others.

917. This year rode the army, after Easter, out of Northampton and Leicester; and having broken the truce they slew many men at Hookerton and thereabout. Then, very soon after this, as the others came home, they found other troops that were riding out against Leighton. But the inhabitants were aware of it; and having fought with them they put them into full flight; and arrested all that they had taken, and also of their horses and of their weapons a good deal.

917. This year came a great naval armament over hither south from the Lidwiccians; (40) and two earls with it, Ohter and Rhoald. They went then west about, till they entered the mouth of the Severn; and plundered in North-Wales everywhere by the sea, where it then suited them; and took Camlac the bishop in Archenfield, and led him with them to their ships; whom King Edward (43) afterwards released for forty pounds. After this went the army all up; and would proceed yet on plunder against Archenfield [Note. South and west Herefordshire]; but the men of Hertford [Note. Probably a mistake for Hereforshire] met them, and of Glocester, and of the nighest towns; and fought with them, and put them to flight; and they slew the Earl Rhoald, and the brother of Ohter the other earl, and many of the army. And they drove them into a park; and beset them there without, until they gave them hostages, that they would depart from the realm of King Edward (43). And the king had contrived that a guard should be set against them on the south side of Severnmouth; west from Wales, eastward to the mouth of the Avon; so that they durst nowhere seek that land on that side. Nevertheless, they eluded them at night, by stealing up twice; at one time to the east of Watchet, and at another time at Porlock. There was a great slaughter each time; so that few of them came away, except those only who swam out to the ships. Then sat they outward on an island, called the Flat-holms; till they were very short of meat, and many men died of hunger, because they could not reach any meat. Thence went they to Dimmet [Note. Possibly Braunton], and then out to Ireland. This was in harvest. After this, in the same year, before Martinmas, went King Edward (43) to Buckingham with his army, and sat there four weeks, during which he built the two forts on either side of the water, ere he departed thence. And Earl Thurkytel sought him for his lord; and all the captains, and almost all the first men that belonged to Bedford; and also many of those that belonged to Northampton. This year Ethelfleda, lady of the Mercians (47), with the help of God, before Laminas, conquered the town called Derby, with all that thereto belonged; and there were also slain four of her thanes, that were most dear to her, within the gates.

40. The pirates of Armorica, now Bretagne; so called, because they abode day and night in their ships; from lid, a ship, and wiccian, to watch or abide day and night.

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919. This year King Edward (45) went with his army to Bedford, before Martinmas, and conquered the town; and almost all the burgesses, who obeyed him before, returned to him; and he sat there four weeks, and ordered the town to be repaired on the south side of the water, ere he departed thence.

918. This year, before midsummer, went King Edward to Maldon; and repaired and fortified the town, ere he departed thence. And the same year went Earl Thurkytel over sea to Frankland with the men who would adhere to him, under the protection and assistance of King Edward (44). This year Ethelfleda (48) got into her power, with God's assistance, in the early part of the year, without loss, the town of Leicester; and the greater part of the army that belonged thereto submitted to her. And the Yorkists had also promised and confirmed, some by agreement and some with oaths, that they would be in her interest. But very soon after they had done this, she departed, twelve nights before midsummer, at Tamworth, the eighth year that she was holding the government of the Mercians with right dominion; and her body lieth at Glocester, in the east porch of St. Peter's church. This year also was the daughter of Ethered, lord of the Mercians, deprived of all authority over the Mercians, and led into Wessex, three weeks before midwinter. Her name was Healfwina.

Battle of Tempsford

917. This year, before Easter, King Edward (43) ordered his men to go to the town of Towcester, and to rebuild it. Then again, after that, in the same year, during the gang-days, he ordered the town of Wigmore to be repaired. The same summer, betwixt Lammas and midsummer, the army broke their parole from Northampton and from Leicester; and went thence northward to Towcester, and fought against the town all day, and thought that they should break into it; but the people that were therein defended it, till more aid came to them; and the enemy then abandoned the town, and went away. Then again, very soon after this, they went out at night for plunder, and came upon men unaware, and seized not a little, both in men and cattle, betwixt Burnham-wood and Aylesbury. At the same time went the army from Huntington and East-Anglia, and constructed that work at Ternsford which they inhabited and fortified; and abandoned the other at Huntingdon; and thought that they should thence oft with war and contention recover a good deal of this land. Thence they advanced till they came to Bedford; where the men who were within came out against them, and fought with them, and put them to flight, and slew a good number of them. Then again, after this, a great army yet collected itself from East-Anglia and from Mercia, and went to the town of Wigmore; which they besieged without, and fought against long in the day; and took the cattle about it; but the men defended the town, who were within; and the enemy left the town, and went away. After this, the same summer, a large force collected itself in King Edward's dominions, from the nighest towns that could go thither, and went to Temsford; and they beset the town, and fought thereon; until they broke into it, and slew the king, and Earl Toglos, and Earl Mann his son, and his brother, and all them that were therein, and who were resolved to defend it; and they took the others, and all that was therein. After this, a great force collected soon in harvest, from Kent, from Surrey, from Essex, and everywhere from the nighest towns; and went to Colchester, and beset the town, and fought thereon till they took it, and slew all the people, and seized all that was therein; except those men who escaped therefrom over the wall. After this again, this same harvest, a great army collected itself from East-Anglia, both of the land-forces and of the pirates, which they had enticed to their assistance, and thought that they should wreak their vengeance. They went to Maldon, and beset the town, and fought thereon, until more aid came to the townsmen from without to help. The enemy then abandoned the town, and went from it. And the men went after, out of the town, and also those that came from without to their aid; and put the army to flight, and slew many hundreds of them, both of the pirates and of the others. Soon after this, the same harvest, went King Edward (43) with the West-Saxon army to Passham; and sat there the while that men fortified the town of Towcester with a stone wall. And there returned to him Earl Thurferth, and the captains, and all the army that belonged to Northampton northward to the Welland, and sought him for their lord and protector. When this division of the army went home, then went another out, and marched to the town of Huntingdon; and repaired and renewed it, where it was broken down before, by command of King Edward (43). And all the people of the country that were left submitted to King Edward (43), and sought his peace and protection. After this, the same year, before Martinmas, went King Edward (43) with the West-Saxon army to Colchester; and repaired and renewed the town, where it was broken down before. And much people turned to him, both in East-Anglia and in Essex, that were before under the power of the Danes. And all the army in East-Anglia swore union with him; that they would all that he would, and would protect all that he protected, either by sea or land. And the army that belonged to Cambridge chose him separately for their lord and protector, and confirmed the same with oaths, as he had advised. This year King Edward (43) repaired the town of Gladmouth; and the same year King Sihtric slew Neil his brother.

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917. This year, betwixt gang-days and midsummer, went King Edward (43) with his army to Stamford, and ordered the town to be fortified on the south side of the river. And all the people that belonged to the northern town submitted to him, and sought him for their lord. It was whilst he was tarrying there, that Ethelfleda (47) his sister died at Tamworth, twelve nights before midsummer. Then rode he to the borough of Tamworth; and all the population in Mercia turned to him, who before were subject to Ethelfleda (47). And the kings in North-Wales, Howel, and Cledauc, and Jothwel, and all the people of North-Wales, sought him for their lord. Then went he thence to Nottingham, and secured that borough, and ordered it to be repaired, and manned both with English and with Danes. And all the population turned to him, that was settled in Mercia, both Danish and English.

918. This year went King Edward (44) with an army, late in the harvest, to Thelwall; and ordered the borough to be repaired, and inhabited, and manned. And he ordered another army also from the population of Mercia, the while he sat there to go to Manchester in Northumbria, to repair and to man it. This year died Archbishop Plegmund; and King Reynold won York.

919. This year, before midsummer, went King Edward (45) with an army to Nottingham; and ordered the town to be repaired on the south side of the river, opposite the other, and the bridge over the Trent betwixt the two towns. Thence he went to Bakewell in Peakland; and ordered a fort to be built as near as possible to it, and manned. And the King of Scotland, with all his people, chose him as father and lord; as did Reynold, and the son of Eadulf, and all that dwell in Northumbria, both English and Danish, both Northmen and others; also the king of the Strathclydwallians, and all his people.

924. This year died King Edward (50) at Farndon in Mercia; and Elward (22) his son died very soon after this, in Oxford. Their bodies lie at Winchester. And Athelstan (30) was chosen king in Mercia, and consecrated at Kingston. He gave his sister to Otho (11), son of the king of the Old-Saxons (48). St. Dunstan (15) was now born; and Wulfhelm took to the archbishopric in Canterbury. This year King Athelstan and Sihtric king of the Northumbrians came together at Tamworth, the sixth day before the calends of February, and Athelstan (30) gave away his sister to him.

926. This year appeared fiery lights in the northern part of the firmament; and Sihtric departed; and King Athelstan (32) took to the kingdom of Northumbria, and governed all the kings that were in this island:—First, Howel, King of West-Wales (46); and Constantine, King of the Scots; and Owen, King of Monmouth; and Aldred, the son of Eadulf, of Bamburgh. And with covenants and oaths they ratified their agreement in the place called Emmet, on the fourth day before the ides of July; and renounced all idolatry, and afterwards returned in peace.

927. This year King Athelstan (33) expelled King Guthfrith; and Archbishop Wulfhelm went to Rome.

928. William took to Normandy, and held it fifteen years.

932. This year Burnstan was invested Bishop of Winchester on the fourth day before the calends of June; and he held the bishopric two years and a half.

933. This year died Bishop Frithestan; and Edwin the atheling was drowned in the sea.

934. This year went King Athelstan (40) into Scotland, both with a land-force and a naval armament, and laid waste a great part of it; and Bishop Burnstan died at Winchester at the feast of All Saints.

935. This year Bishop Elfheah took to the bishopric of Winchester.

Battle of Brunanburh

938. Here Athelstan king (44), of earls the lord, rewarder of heroes, and his brother eke, Edmund atheling, elder of ancient race, slew in the fight, with the edge of their swords, the foe at Brumby! The sons (17) of Edward their board-walls clove, and hewed their banners, with the wrecks of their hammers. So were they taught by kindred zeal, that they at camp oft 'gainst any robber their land should defend, their hoards and homes. Pursuing fell the Scottish clans; the men of the fleet in numbers fell; 'midst the din of the field the warrior swate. Since the sun was up in morning-tide, gigantic light! glad over grounds, God's candle bright, eternal Lord!— 'till the noble creature sat in the western main: there lay many of the Northern heroes under a shower of arrows, shot over shields; and Scotland's boast, a Scythian race, the mighty seed of Mars! With chosen troops, throughout the day, the West-Saxons fierce press'd on the loathed bands; hew'd down the fugitives, and scatter'd the rear, with strong mill-sharpen'd blades, The Mercians too the hard hand-play spared not to any of those that with Anlaf over the briny deep in the ship's bosom sought this land for the hardy fight. Five kings lay on the field of battle, in bloom of youth, pierced with swords. So seven eke of the earls of Anlaf; and of the ship's-crew unnumber'd crowds. There was dispersed the little band of hardy Scots, the dread of northern hordes; urged to the noisy deep by unrelenting fate! The king of the fleet with his slender craft escaped with his life on the felon flood;— and so too Constantine, the valiant chief, returned to the north in hasty flight. The hoary Hildrinc cared not to boast among his kindred. Here was his remnant of relations and friends slain with the sword in the crowded fight. His son too he left on the field of battle, mangled with wounds, young at the fight. The fair-hair'd youth had no reason to boast of the slaughtering strife. Nor old Inwood and Anlaf the more with the wrecks of their army could laugh and say, that they on the field of stern command better workmen were, in the conflict of banners, the clash of spears, the meeting of heroes, and the rustling of weapons, which they on the field of slaughter played with the sons of Edward. The northmen sail'd in their nailed ships, a dreary remnant, on the roaring sea; over deep water Dublin they sought, and Ireland's shores, in great disgrace. Such then the brothers both together king and atheling, sought their country, West-Saxon land, in right triumphant. They left behind them raw to devour, the sallow kite, the swarthy raven with horny nib, and the hoarse vultur, with the eagle swift to consume his prey; the greedy gos-hawk, and that grey beast the wolf of the weald. No slaughter yet was greater made e'er in this island, of people slain, before this same, with the edge of the sword; as the books inform us of the old historians; since hither came from the eastern shores the Angles and Saxons, over the broad sea, and Britain sought,— fierce battle-smiths, o'ercame the Welsh, most valiant earls, and gained the land.

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939. This year King Athelstan (45) died in Gloucester, on the sixth day before the calends of November, about forty-one winters, bating one night, from the time when King Alfred died. And Edmund Atheling (18) took to the kingdom. He was then eighteen years old. King Athelstan reigned fourteen years and ten weeks. This year the Northumbrians abandoned their allegiance, and chose Anlaf of Ireland for their king.

942. Here Edmund king (21), of Angles lord, protector of friends, author and framer of direful deeds. o'erran with speed the Mercian land. whete'er the course of Whitwell-spring, or Humber deep, The broad brim-stream, divides five towns. Leicester and Lincoln. Nottingham and Stamford, and Derby eke. In thraldom long to Norman Danes they bowed through need, and dragged the chains of heathen men; till, to his glory, great Edward's heir, Edmund the king, refuge of warriors, their fetters broke.

943. This year Anlaf stormed Tamworth; and much slaughter was made on either hand; but the Danes had the victory, and led away with them much plunder. There was Wulfrun (8) taken, in the spoiling of the town. This year King Edmund (22) beset King Anlaf and Archbishop Wulfstan in Leicester; and he might have conquered them, were it not that they burst out of the town in the night. After this Anlaf obtained the friendship of King Edmund (22), and King Edmund (22) then received King Anlaf in baptism; and he made him royal presents. And the same year, after some interval, he received King Reynold at episcopal hands. This year also died King Anlaf.

944. This year King Edmund (23) reduced all the land of the Northumbrians to his dominion, and expelled two kings, Anlaf (17) the son of Sihtric, and Reynold the son of Guthferth.

945. This year King Edmund (24) overran all Cumberland; and let it all to Malcolm king of the Scots, on the condition that he became his ally, both by sea and land.

Death of King Edmund

946. This year King Edmund (25) died, on St. Augustine's mass day. That was widely known, how he ended his days:—that Leof stabbed him at Pucklechurch. And Ethelfleda of Damerham, daughter of Alderman Elgar, was then his queen. And he reigned six years and a half: and then succeeded to the kingdom Edred Atheling his brother, who soon after reduced all the land of the Northumbrians to his dominion; and the Scots gave him oaths, that they would do all that he desired.

947. This year came King Edred to Tadden's-cliff; and there Archbishop Wulfstan and all the council of the Northumbrians bound themselves to an allegiance with the king. And within a little space they abandoned all, both allegiance and oaths.

948. This year King Edred overran all Northumberland; because they had taken Eric for their king; and in the pursuit of plunder was that large minster at Rippon set on fire, which St. Wilferth built. As the king returned homeward, he overtook the enemy at York; but his main army was behind at Chesterford. There was great slaughter made; and the king was so wroth, that he would fain return with his force, and lay waste the land withal; but when the council of the Northumbrians understood that, they then abandoned Eric, and compromised the deed with King Edred.

949. This year came Anlaf Curran (22) to the land of the Northumbrians.