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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 495



archbishop of York, uniting together with the other bishops, and abbots, and dukes, elected Edward, according to the injunction of his dying father; and having elected him, they consecrated him, and anointed him as king, though some people murmured. For his step-mother, Elfdritha, was endeavouring to promote her son, Ethelred, a boy of scarcely seven years old, in order that she might reign under his name. And thus, after the decease of the pacific king, the whole state of the kingdom was thrown into disorder, and changed for the worse. For many of the princes and chiefs expelled the abbots and monks from the monasteries in which king Edgar had placed them, and in their places brought back the secular clergy with their wives, as had been the case before. For one of them, iElferius, by name, overthrew nearly all the monasteries which the most reverend Ethelwold had built in the province of Mercia, and had behaved with great insolence. But when reference was made on these points, to the blessed Dunstan, he convened a synod at Winchester ; and in the middle of the conflict of discussion, the image of the Lord, which was standing in the church close to the disputants, spoke distinctly, expressing such opinions that it rendered all the secular clergy and their favourers dumb. But, as the minds of the cruel persecutors were not yet appeased, another synod was held at Calne, when the king was not present on account of his tender age, but at which the senators of the whole kingdom attended ; and, accordingly, the matter was debated with great diversity of opinion in the council room, and many reproaches were directed like arrows against Dunstan, as a sort of bulwark of the Church, but they could not subdue him ; when, all of a sudden, the whole floor on which they were sitting, with its boards and beams, came asunder, and they were all dashed violently to the ground, but one single beam, that, namely, on which Dunstan was standing, remained uninjured, and so he escaped unhurt. AU the other persons of the opposite party were either killed, or injured in a lasting manner. This miracle procured the blessed Dunstan and the monks peace from the attacks of the secular clergy and others ; the divine grace having produced these and other similar effects.


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