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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.

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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.
page 381



372 MATTHEW OV WE8TMHTSTEB. A.D. 792. Sigari, and cruelly slain near Wall; and his body was buried in the church of Hagustald. And in the place where this king was slain, a light issuing from heaven was seen by many people ; on account of the strangeness of which fact, a church was built by the faithful of that place, and was dedicated to the honour of God and king Oswald. He was succeeded in his kingdom by Osred, son of Alcred, the gieat-great-grandson of king Ida, who reigned one year. A.D. 790. The sign of the cross was seen on the garments of several men, which was a strange thing both to speak and hear of. For we suppose that it took place as a warning to the nations of the country to avoid as far as they could the infliction of the Danes, which happened immediately after. A.D. 791. Brithric, king of the West Saxons, in order to gain more influence among his neighbours, married the daughter of Offa, king of Mercia, the most powerful king of that time. And being strengthened by that connection, he drove Egbert away into France, who was the only surviving member of the royal family, and who he was afraid would be a hindrance to hie objects and to his reign. And after he had been driven away, the king enjoyed quiet security, till the nation of the Danes, a people accustomed to live by piratical rapine, corning over in three ships, disturbed the peace of the province. It may be suspected that they came also as spies, in order to see the fertility of the land, as the multitude of their nation which came afterwards and filled the whole of Britain proved as clear as daylight. But on this occasion they landed secretly, and attacking a royal village which was close by, they slew the king's bailiff, who went out to meet them in battle. He was the first of the English nailon who was slain by them, but afterwards many thousands of thousands of them were slam by that enemy. At last, the multitude of people that came up was so great, that the Danes were stripped of their booty, and compelled to flee to their ships. A.D. 792. King Osred1 was, by the treachery of some of 1 It is hardly necessary to point out the contradictions in this sentence, in which Osred is stated to have been expeUed after he had reigned one year, while the same year is stated in the next line to have been the fourth since he succeeded to the throne, as in fact it was, for his succession is the last thing mentioned in the year 789. Any subsequent similar inttsnm I shall not think it necessary to point out, as they may be safely trusted to the discernment of the reader.


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