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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 196



A.D. 870.] HEROISM OF THE ABBESS EBBA. the house of dens." On hearing of their approach, Burhred, king of the Mercians, despatched messengers to Ethelred, king of the West-Saxons, and his brother Alfred, suppliantly beseeching their aid against the army of the pagans, which was hateful both to God and man. Straightway collecting from all quarters an immense army, they joined the king of the Mercians, and approached Snotingeham, unanimously desiring a battle; but the pagans, secure within their defences, declined a battle, and when the Christians could not batter down the walls, a truce was agreed on between the Mercians and the pagans, and all retired to their homes. At this time the oratory of St. Andrew the apostle at Kemesie was built and dedicated by Alcwin, bishop of Worcester. A comet was plainly seen at this period. In the year of our Lord 869, the aforesaid army of pagans returned again to the Northumbrians, and wintered in the city of York. Admirable act of the holy abbess JSbba. In the year of our Lord 870, an innumerable multitude of Danes landed in Scotland under the command of Ynguar and Hubba, men of fearful wickedness and unheard-of daring. Desiring to make an utter desolation of the entire territory of England, they cut the throats of both young and old who came in their way, and shamefully entreated holy matrons and virgins. The rumour of their merciless cruelty having spread throughout every kingdom, Ebba, the holy abbess of the monastery of Collingham, fearing lest both herself and the virgins of whom she had the pastoral care and charge should lose their virgin chastity, assembled all the sisters and thus addressed them, " There have lately come into these parts most wicked pagans, destitute of all humanity, who roam through every place, sparing neither the female sex nor infantine age, destroying churches and ecclesiastics, ravishing holy women, and wasting and consuming every thing in their way. If, therefore, you will follow my counsels, I have hope that through the divine mercy we shall escape the rage of the barbarians and preserve our chastity." The whole assembly of virgins having -promised implicit compliance with her maternal commands, the abbess, with an heroic spirit, affording to all the holy sisters an example of chastity


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