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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 459



the Christians. And when, having moved their camp secretly, they had arrived at the town of Farnham, desiring to erose the river Thames, they were cnt off by the boldness of the king ; and, after a terrible battle had been fought, the pagans were put to flight, and, when they fled, the Christians slew them without mercy, and having made a tremendous slaughter of all who resisted, wounded their king in a terrible manner ; and it was with the greatest difficulty that his soldiers, having placed him on a horse, conveyed him across the river Thames, at a point where there was neither ford nor bridge, a great many of them being drowned in the exploit. And at last they reached a small island, between the rivers Thames and Colne, and occupied that for some time instead of a tovn. But, as the Christians had no ships, they were unable to besiege them, especially as they were in want of supplies, and had completed their term of service. When therefore they departed, king Alfred hastened towards the spot with one half of his army. But, before he had completed the journey which he thus began, news was brought to him that the pagans who inhabited Northumberland and East-Anglia bad divided, and that some of them had laid siege to Exeter, and some of them to a certain castle situated in Devonshire. On this, king Alfred without any delay marched back all the army which he could assemble, and proceeded towards Exeter, leaving behind him, however, a few men to subdue the enemies whom he had been pursuing. In the meantime, their king having recovered his health, the pagans went to their countrymen in Essex, and there they found that most wicked traitor Hastein, who, in contravention of the treaty which he had made with king Alfred, was already dwelling near the town of Seam iTCeot, which was fortified with wide and deep fosses ; and, making continual sallies out of it, he laid waste the whole country. Then the pagans, who, as has been already mentioned, had settled at Appledore, joining Hastein, made a very numerous army of soldiers. In the meantime, those soldiers whom king Alfred had sent away to attack them, uniting themselves to the citizens of London, and to other warlike men who had come from the territories of the Aorthumbrians and the East-Angles, at the command of the king, marched in a hostile manner upon Beamfieot, but did not find Hastein in the town. Nevertheless, they fought a most severe battle against his companions who sallied out of the town


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