The Northern Way

Part 1: A.D. 1 - 748

Page 4

A.D. 611. This year Cynegils succeeded to the government in Wessex, and held it one and thirty winters. Cynegils was the son of Ceol, Ceol of Cutha, Cutha of Cynric.

A.D. 614. This year Cynegils and Cwichelm fought at Bampton, and slew two thousand and forty-six of the Welsh.

A.D. 616. This year died Ethelbert, king of Kent, the first of English kings that received baptism: he was the son of Ermenric. He reigned fifty-six winters, and was succeeded by his son Eadbald. And in this same year had elapsed from the beginning of the world five thousand six hundred and eighteen winters. This Eadbald renounced his baptism, and lived in a heathen manner; so that he took to wife the relict of his father. Then Laurentius, who was archbishop in Kent, meant to depart southward over sea, and abandon everything. But there came to him in the night the apostle Peter, and severely chastised him, (19) because he would so desert the flock of God. And he charged him to go to the king, and teach him the right belief. And he did so; and the king returned to the right belief. In this king's days the same Laurentius, who was archbishop in Kent after Augustine, departed this life on the second of February, and was buried near Augustine. The holy Augustine in his lifetime invested him bishop, to the end that the church of Christ, which yet was new in England, should at no time after his decease be without an archbishop. After him Mellitus, who was first Bishop of London, succeeded to the archbishopric. The people of London, where Mellitus was before, were then heathens: and within five winters of this time, during the reign of Eadbald, Mellitus died. To him succeeded Justus, who was Bishop of Rochester, whereto he consecrated Romanus bishop.

((A.D. 616. In that time Laurentius was archbishop, and for the sorrowfulness which he had on account of the king's unbelief he was minded to forsake this country entirely, and go over sea; but St. Peter the apostle scourged him sorely one night, because he wished thus to forsake the flock of God, and commanded him to teach boldly the true faith to the king; and he did so, and the king turned to the right (faith). In the days of this same king, Eadbald, this Laurentius died. The holy Augustine, while yet in sound health, ordained him bishop, in order that the community of Christ, which was yet new in England, should not after his decease be at any time without an archbishop. After him Mellitus, who had been previously Bishop of London, succeeded to the archbishopric. And within five years of the decease of Laurentius, while Eadbald still reigned, Mellitus departed to Christ.))

A.D. 617. This year was Ethelfrith, king of the Northumbrians, slain by Redwald, king of the East-Angles; and Edwin, the son of Ella, having succeeded to the kingdom, subdued all Britain, except the men of Kent alone, and drove out the Ethelings, the sons of Ethelfrith, namely, Enfrid. Oswald, Oswy, Oslac, Oswood. Oslaf, and Offa.

A.D. 624. This year died Archbishop Mellitus.

A.D. 625. This year Paulinus was invested bishop of the Northumbrians, by Archbishop Justus, on the twelfth day before the calends of August.

((A.D. 625. This year Archbishop Justus consecrated Paulinus bishop of the North-humbrians.))

A.D. 626. This year came Eamer from Cwichelm, king of the West- Saxons, with a design to assassinate King Edwin; but he killed Lilla his thane, and Forthere, and wounded the king. The same night a daughter was born to Edwin, whose name was Eanfleda. Then promised the king to Paulinus, that he would devote his daughter to God, if he would procure at the hand of God, that he might destroy his enemy, who had sent the assassin to him. He then advanced against the West-Saxons with an army, felled on the spot five kings, and slew many of their men. This year Eanfleda, the daughter of King Edwin, was baptized, on the holy eve of Pentecost. And the king within twelve months was baptized, at Easter, with all his people. Easter was then on the twelfth of April. This was done at York, where he had ordered a church to be built of timber, which was hallowed in the name of St. Peter. There the king gave the bishopric to Paulinus; and there he afterwards ordered a larger church to be built of stone. This year Penda began to reign; and reigned thirty winters. He had seen fifty winters when he began to reign. Penda was the son of Wybba, Wybba of Creoda, Creoda of Cynewald, Cynewald of Cnebba, Cnebba of Icel, Icel of Eomer, Eomer of Angelthew, Angelthew of Offa, Offa of Wearmund, Wearmund of Whitley, Whitley of Woden.

A.D. 627. This year was King Edwin baptized at Easter, with all his people, by Paulinus, who also preached baptism in Lindsey, where the first person who believed was a certain rich man, of the name of Bleek, with all his people. At this time Honorius succeeded Boniface in the papacy, and sent hither to Paulinus the pall; and Archbishop Justus having departed this life on the tenth of November, Honorius was consecrated at Lincoln Archbishop of Canterbury by Paulinus; and Pope Honorius sent him the pall. And he sent an injunction to the Scots, that they should return to the right celebration of Easter.

((A.D. 627. This year, at Easter, Paulinus baptized Edwin king of the North-humbrians, with his people; and earlier within the same year, at Pentecost, he had baptized Eanfled, daughter of the same king.))

A.D. 628. This year Cynegils and Cwichelm fought with Penda at Cirencester, and afterwards entered into a treaty there.

A.D. 632. This year was Orpwald baptized.

A.D. 633. This year King Edwin was slain by Cadwalla and Penda, on Hatfield moor, on the fourteenth of October. He reigned seventeen years. His son Osfrid was also slain with him. After this Cadwalla and Penda went and ravaged all the land of the Northumbrians; which when Paulinus saw, he took Ethelburga, the relict of Edwin, and went by ship to Kent. Eadbald and Honorius received him very honourably, and gave him the bishopric of Rochester, where he continued to his death.

A.D. 634. This year Osric, whom Paulinus baptized, succeeded to the government of Deira. He was the son of Elfric, the uncle of Edwin. And to Bernicia succeeded Eanfrith, son of Ethelfrith. This year also Bishop Birinus first preached baptism to the West- Saxons, under King Cynegils. The said Birinus went thither by the command of Pope Honorius; and he was bishop there to the end of his life. Oswald also this year succeeded to the government of the Northumbrians, and reigned nine winters. The ninth year was assigned to him on account of the heathenism in which those lived who reigned that one year betwixt him and Edwin.

A.D. 635. This year King Cynegils was baptized by Bishop Birinus at Dorchester; and Oswald, king of the Northumbrians, was his sponsor.

A.D. 636. This year King Cwichelm was baptized at Dorchester, and died the same year. Bishop Felix also preached to the East- Angles the belief of Christ.

A.D. 639. This year Birinus baptized King Cuthred at Dorchester, and received him as his son.

A.D. 640. This year died Eadbald, King of Kent, after a reign of twenty-five winters. He had two sons, Ermenred and Erkenbert; and Erkenbert reigned there after his father. He overturned all the idols in the kingdom, and first of English kings appointed a fast before Easter. His daughter was called Ercongota -- holy damsel of an illustrious sire! whose mother was Sexburga, the daughter of Anna, king of the East-Angles. Ermenred also begat two sons, who were afterwards martyred by Thunnor.

A.D. 642. This year Oswald, king of the Northumbrians, was slain by Penda, king of the Southumbrians, at Mirfield, on the fifth day of August; and his body was buried at Bardney. His holiness and miracles were afterwards displayed on manifold occasions throughout this island; and his hands remain still uncorrupted at Barnburgh. The same year in which Oswald was slain, Oswy his brother succeeded to the government of the Northumbrians, and reigned two less than thirty years.

A.D. 643. This year Kenwal succeeded to the kingdom of the West- Saxons, and held it one and thirty winters. This Kenwal ordered the old (20) church at Winchester to be built in the name of St. Peter. He was the son of Cynegils.

A.D. 644. This year died at Rochester, on the tenth of October, Paulinus, who was first Archbishop at York, and afterwards at Rochester. He was bishop nineteen winters, two months, and one and twenty days. This year the son of Oswy's uncle (Oswin), the son of Osric, assumed the government of Deira, and reigned seven winters.

A.D. 645. This year King Kenwal was driven from his dominion by King Penda.

A.D. 646. This year King Kenwal was baptized.

A.D. 648. This year Kenwal gave his relation Cuthred three thousand hides of land by Ashdown. Cuthred was the son of Cwichelm, Cwichelm of Cynegils.

A.D. 650. This year Egelbert, from Gaul, after Birinus the Romish bishop, obtained the bishopric of the West-Saxons.

((A.D. 650. This year Birinus the bishop died, and Agilbert the Frenchman was ordained.))

A.D. 651. This year King Oswin was slain, on the twentieth day of August; and within twelve nights afterwards died Bishop Aidan, on the thirty-first of August.

A.D. 652. This year Kenwal fought at Bradford by the Avon.

A.D. 653. This year, the Middle-Angles under alderman Peada received the right belief.

A.D. 654. This year King Anna was slain, and Botolph began to build that minster at Icanhoe. This year also died Archbishop Honorius, on the thirtieth of September.

A.D. 655. This year Penda was slain at Wingfield, and thirty royal personages with him, some of whom were kings. One of them was Ethelhere, brother of Anna, king of the East-Angles. The Mercians after this became Christians. From the beginning of the world had now elapsed five thousand eight hundred and fifty winters, when Peada, the son of Penda, assumed the government of the Mercians. In his time came together himself and Oswy, brother of King Oswald, and said, that they would rear a minster to the glory of Christ, and the honour of St. Peter. And they did so, and gave it the name of Medhamsted; because there is a well there, called Meadswell. And they began the groundwall, and wrought thereon; after which they committed the work to a monk, whose name was Saxulf. He was very much the friend of God, and him also loved all people. He was nobly born in the world, and rich: he is now much richer with Christ. But King Peada reigned no while; for he was betrayed by his own queen, in Easter-tide. This year Ithamar, Bishop of Rochester, consecrated Deus-dedit to Canterbury, on the twenty-sixth day of March.

ENDNOTES:

(19) Literally, "swinged, or scourged him." Both Bede and Alfred begin by recording the matter as a vision, or a dream; whence the transition is easy to a matter of fact, as here stated by the Norman interpolators of the "Saxon Annals". Back

(20) This epithet appears to have been inserted in some copies of the "Saxon Chronicle" so early as the tenth century; to distinguish the "old" church or minster at Winchester from the "new", consecrated A.D. 903. Back

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