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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 390



A.D. 797. FOPS ADRIAN DISS. 381 and a terrible slaughter among mankind. Accordingly, the Danes came on with the Norwegians, and · slew in a fearful manner the people of the provinces of Northumberland and Lmdisfarne, and destroyed the churches of Christ with their inhabitants. The island of Lmdisfarne, which extends over more than eight miles, contains a noble monastery, in which the illustrious father and bishop Cuthbert was buried, and also the other bishops who were his holy successors ; but the Lindis is a small brook which runs into the sea, and is about two feet in width when the tide is low and the stream distinguishable, but when the tide is high, then the Lindis cannot be discerned. A.D. 796. Constantine, the emperor, deprived many of his subjects of their eyes, and condemned to a cruel death pope Stephen, whom he had shut up in a prison, and kept prit soner for forty years : and he compelled all his subjects who were objects of suspicion to him, to swear on the word of the holy cross, that they would worship no image of God or his Saints, and that they would address no invocations to the mother of God. And condemning all those who kept watch in honour of God, and all who lived religiously, deprived them of their patrimonies, and tormented them in every possible manner. In the case of those who were the most pious, he smeared their beards with wax or pitch, and then set fire to them. And he compelled monks to marry wives, and nuns to marry husbands ; which many refusing to do, came to the palm of martyrdom. Nor is there any persecution of a gentile in which more persons are said to have been martyred than in this one. This year also, Sigar, the general, who had slain the blessed king Alfwold in a shameful manner, perished by deserved tortures. A.D . 797. Pope Adrian died, and was succeeded by Leo, who filled the papal chair twenty years, five months* and sixteen days, and the see was vacant three days. The same year, there were seen around the sun three other suns, inti j mating perhaps the death of the many kings and nobles who I this year departed from this life. The same year, Ethelred, king of Northumberland, forsook hk proper wife, and married a fresh one ; on which account he was slain by his own people. And Osred succeeded him in his kingdom ; but he died on the twenty-fifth day of his reign, and Eardulf succeeded to the kingdom, and reigned ten years. This year also,


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