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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 514



A.D. 1012. PEBTIDY 07 THE ENGLISH TO THE DANES. lence of the Danes, who even now. after peace had been made, gave themselves such airs, and displayed such pride throughout the whole of England, that they dared to offer violence to the wives and daughters of the nobles of the kingdom, and to make them the subjects of their insults, went in great agitation to the king, and made him. a mournful complaint on this subject. Then, the king being moved in no slight degree, by the advice of Huna, sent letters throughout all the borders of the. kingdom, commanding all and every one of the provinces to put to death, by a secret attack, all the Danes who were found m any part of England, on an appointed day, namely, on the festival of the holy bishop Britius, so that the whole nation of the English might be delivered once and for all froni the oppression of the Danes. And so, the Danes, who ought to have lived in peace with the English, as a lasting treaty had been lately sworn to on both sides, were murdered in a very shameful manner, and even the women, with their children, were dashed against the door-posts, and in that way expired miserably. As then, the sentence of this decree was being executed in the city of London, without mercy, many of the Danes fled to a certain church in the city, where they were all murdered without mercy, while standing at the very altars. But some young men of the Danish nation fled to a ship, and went to Denmark, and relating the cruel destruction of their race to king Sweyn, moved him to tears, and he, having summoned all the chief men of his kingdom, related to them the whole history of the deed that had been done, and enquired of them carefully what they advised to be done : who all ' cried out with one voice as it were, and determined that the blood of their relatives and friends must be avenged. And the rage of this persecution was increased by the death of Gunnild, the sister of king Sweyn, who had lately been murdered in England, in this manner: the before-mentioned Gunnild had been legally married to count Palia, a man of noble birth, and in former years she had visited England with her husband, and had embraced the faith of Christ, and had received the sacrament of baptism in that country ; this most prudent virgin, having been the mediator of peace between the English and the Danes, gave herself to king Ethelred, with her husband and her only son, as a hostage for the security of the peace. But, as she had been entrusted by the king to that


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