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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 509



tation, on the fourth day of the entertainment, he led him forth into a wood to hunt, and while every one was occupied with the chase, a certain assassin named Godwin, whom Eadric had corrupted by presents before-hand, suddenly sprung forward from an ambush, and wickedly slew duke Athelstan. In revenge for which action, his two sons had their eyes put out by order of king Ethelred. A.D. 1007. Sweyn, king of the Danes, a powerful and cruel man, came with a numerous fleet into England, and his march was accompanied everywhere by rapine, conflagration, and murder. All England groaned like a bed of reeds shaken by the agitation of the west wind. And therefore king Ethelred, who was thrown into a state of great confusion and consternation, procured for a time, by means of money, that peace which he could not procure by arms. A.D. 1008. Ethelred, king of England, commanded one ship to be furnished throughout all England by every owner of three hundred and ten hides of land ; and a horseman armed with the helmet and breast-plate by every owner of eight hides. The same year, Brithric, the brother of the treacherous duke Eadric, a faithless and arrogant man, brought an unjust accusation against the king's servant Ulnoth. But Ulnoth fled to avoid being taken, and having obtained twenty ships, betook himself to the life of a pirate, and for à long time gave great trouble to the king who pursued him. A.D. 1009. Sergius was appointed to the see of Rome, which he governed two years and nine months. The same year, Brithric, bishop of Sherborne, died, and was succeeded by JElmar. A.D. 1010. A new army of Danes came to Ipswich on the day of the Ascension of our Lord, and occupied itself in rapine and plunder. Against which force there assembled Duke Athelstan, the husband of the king's sister, the generals Osway, Edwy, and Ulfer, and a large army with them. But though the English disdained to flee, Turketil, who was a Dane by the father's side,first set the example of flight ; owing to which, the Danes got the victory, and traversed East Anglia and Cambridgeshire, and all the fens, plundering and laying waste with fire and sword every place they came to. After this they turned westward, and grievously ravaged and desolated the provinces of Huntingdonshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, and Oxfordshire.


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