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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 527



self, and entrusting Mercia to Eadric, East-Anglia toTurketil, and Northumberland to Iric. But when the wicked duke Eadric heard that he had been deprived of the duchy of Mercia, which he had possessed for many years, he attacked the king on account of this with exceeding asperity, reproaching him with all the benefits which he had conferred on him; among which he urged two, which especially excited him to anger, saying, " First of all, I deserted Edmund for your sake, and after that I murdered him, because of my fidelity to you." But, when he said this, Canute's countenance changed, and he showed his anger by reddening, and immediately expressed his opinion, and said, " And deservedly shall you yourself die, since you are guilty of lése majesté, both against God and against me, inasmuch as you slew your own master, and my brother, who was bound to me by treaty. His blood be upon your head, because you laid your hands upon the Lord's anointed." And, presently, he had him strangled on the spot, to prevent any tumult being excited among the people, and he was thrown out of a window into the river Thames, and so he received the just reward of his treason. Now, of the death of this traitor Eadric different writers have given different accounts ; some stating that, after Edmund had been slain by his treachery, he came himself to Canute, and saluted him, saying, " Hail, sole king." And then, in reply to the question of the king as to why he saluted him in this manner, he related what had taken place repecting the death of Edmund, Canute answered him, and said, " For these great deserts, and for this obedience of yours, I will this day raise you above all the nobles of the kingdom ; " and then he ordered him to be beheaded, and his head to be fixed on a stake, and set on the tower of London, as a prey to the birds. But whether the traitor Eadric ended his life in this, or in some other way, does not make much difference ; because it is certainly known that he, who had circumvented many, was at last circumvented himself, by the righteous judgment of God. After these events, Canute came to the wonderful determination in his own mind of either destroying or banishing, by perpetual exile, the whole of the English nation. Accordingly, beginning with Edwin, the brother of king Edmund on the mother's side, he gave him to an officer named Ethelward. But Ethelward, loving the youth, concealed him in a certain abbey, and delivered him for a time from the danger of death.


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