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ROGER OF WENDOVER Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.1

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ROGER OF WENDOVER
Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.1
page 99



94 ROGER OF AVENDO VER. [_A.D. 655. Lord, after offering unto God the worthy fruit of a good conversation. A t this time, also, Botulph built a church at. Icanhoe. Death of Penda, king of the Mercians. In the year of grace 655, at the command of Cadwallo, king of the Britons, Penda, king of the Mercians, assembled an innumerable army and invaded Northumberland. Driven by necessity, king Oswi promised him abundance of gifts and royal ornaments if he would lay aside hostilities and return home peaceably. But when neither gifts nor entreaties could prevail, the king had recourse to divine help for deliverance from the impious barbarian, and binding himself by a vow, he said, " If the pagan will not receive our gifts, let us offer them to Him who will, even to the Lord our God." He then vowed, that if he should come off victorious, he would dedicate his daughter unto the Lord in holy virginity, and would give, together with her, twelve manors for founding monasteries ; and thus, with a little band, he prepared himself for the contest. The pagan is said to have had an army thrice as large, equipped in all points for war under thirty leaders. Oswi and his son Alfrid, having Christ for their leader, met and routed them, and cut them in pieces in the pursuit. Among the rest fell the most wicked king Penda, who had deprived so many noble persons of their temporal life. There fell also king Athelhere, brother of king Anna, of whom we have spoken above : he was the author of the war, and did not perish alone. The battle was fought near a river named " Winwed," which at that time had overflowed its banks from excessive rain ; so that more were drowned by the water in the flight than were slain by the sword in the battle ; whence it became a proverb, " In the river Winwed was avenged the death of Anna, the death of the kings Sigebert and Egric, and the death of Oswald and Eadwin." King Oswi thereupon, in accordance with his vow unto the Lord, returned thanks to God for the victory which had been granted to him, and gave his daughter, who was scarcely a year old, to be consecrated to him in perpetual virginity in the monastery of Hartsey, or Stag Island, of Avhich Hilda was at that time abbess. Having acquired a possession of ten families in a


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