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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 516



507 A.D. 1013. S WETS' BAYA Gì S ENGLAND. and there he established a station of his ships. Then, entrusting his fleet to his son Canute, he disembarked himself, and employed himself in ravaging the provinces. And immediately the people of Northumberland, and Lindsey, and Sisburgh set the example of making submission to him ; and afterwards, as they had no defender, all the people who were s on the northern side of that public road which is called tBHatltng dtrete, being compelled to surrender, made submission to him, giving hostages and taking the oath of fealty. Then he moved his expedition southward, and issued a command to all his men to lay waste the fertile fields, to burn the towns, to cut down the groves and orchards, plunder the churches, murder all the male sex who fell into their hands, and reserve the women to satisfy their lust. And while his servants ravaged everywhere in this manner with their savage fury, he at last came to Oxford ; and that city was taken with very little trouble, and he received the oath of fealty and hostages from it. From thence he proceeded across the country to Winchester, and administered an oath to the people both of the city and province, and so extorted security from them. Then he directed his march with great glory to the city of London, and put in force all kinds of expedients in hopes to take it, either by force or by treachery. But, on his first arrival, many of his troops were drowned in the river Thames, and so perished, because they were led away by excessive rashness, and would not look for either ford or bridge. King Ethelred, who was at that time in the city, having no other resource, defended the walls manfully with the citizens, and deprived Sweyn of all hope of making himself master of the city ; who, accordingly, retreated thence in haste, marching first to Wallingford, and thence to Bath, raging with the fury of a dog, and destroying everything that came in his way ; and at Bath he stayed some time for to refresh his army. And while he was there, Almac, count of Devonshire, and all the potentates of the western part of the kingdom, with some of the king'a servants, fearing his tyranny, came to him and offered him hostages, and entreated peace. And, as they were all disposed to consent, and he was sure that no one could resist, he ordered himself to. be called king of England, while there was no one who dared either to fight for the rights of the kingdom, or profess himself to be king. While all this was happening, Ethelred, king of England, was lying in the


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