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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 454



A.D. 888. KING ALFRED FOUNDS TWO MONASTERIES. 445 both the nations in common. At last, that wicked Hasting is borne into the church, is bathed in the sacred font, and the bishop and the count raise him out of the water to their own destruction, and from thence he is borne back to his ships by the hands of servants, after having been bathed in the holy water of baptism. After this, at midnight, on a dark night, he was placed on a bier, armed with a breastplate, having given orders to his companions to clothe themselves with breastplates beneath their tunics ; then, amid the feigned lamentations of his soldiers, he is borne from his ship into the church, the bishop adorns himself in his holy vestments, preparing to offer up the sacred host for the dead man. But, behold ! Hasting, that son of perdition, suddenly leaps down from off his bier, and slays the bishop and the count with his sword ; and, after that, he and his men attack the people with the fury of wolves. These things having been done in this manner by that blood-thirsty roan, the young men are slain, the old men are slaughtered, the city is laid waste, and the walls are thrown down from their foundations. Then, when the destruction of the city was fully completed, Hasting went to Charles, king of France, and requested peace with him, and prevailed, and gave him as a present the city of Chartres. And so Gaul obtained a respite for a time from the disturbances of civil wars. But I have related these events in this place, to prevent any one from believing that England was the only country which was harassed by this Danish persecution. A.D. 888. iEthelin, bishop of Winchester, carried to Rome the alms of king Alfred and the West Saxons ; and at this time Alfred founded two monasteries, one for monks, which is at Ethelingay, that is to say, the Island of the Nobles, where the king lived for a while in exile in the house of the swineherd, and there he appointed the priest John to be the abbot. The other monastery he caused to be built more to the east, at &cf)aftt*burit, to be a dwelling for nuns, and over that he appointed his own daughter, by name Agnes, to be the abbess, as a virgin consecrated to God. He also abundantly enriched these monasteries with treasures and estates. After this, in obedience to the promptings of the Deity, he caused all his revenues to be divided into two parts, the first part of which he subdivided into three shares ; and one share he allotted to his soldiers, who were divided into three equadrone, in such a manner that the first squadron, which consisted of cavalry,


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