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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 204



A.D. 870.] ST. EDMTJNB'S HEAD DISCOVERED. 199 martyr was carried by these servants of the devil to Haeilesdune Wood, where they left it among the thick briars; for these wicked tormentors took great pains that the martyr's body might not be committed to decent interment by the few surviving Christians ; for the atrocious robbers, Hinguar and Hubba, had heard that their father Lothbroc had been murdered in that wood. Instigated, therefore, by the lies of Berne the huntsman, and desiring to retaliate on the blessed king and martyr Edmund, they ignominiously threw his head into the same wood, where they left it to be devoured by the birds of heaven and the beasts of the field. The most holy king Edmund had as a partner in suffering his inseparable companion Humbert, bishop of Helmham, who had raised him to the throne, and who, encouraged by the king's undaunted spirit, endured martyrdom, and with him attained the kingdom of heaven. The most blessed king being thus translated to heaven, the pagans triumphed beyond measure, and wintered in those parts, having driven out the few inhabitants who survived the aforesaid slaughter. In the same year Ceolnoth, archbishop of Canterbury, ended his days, and was succeeded by Ethelred, a venerable man and of sufficient knowledge in divine things. Discovery of the head of St, Edmund, After the martyrdom of the most blessed king Edmund, the brothers Hinguar and Hubba, so hateful to God, wintered in the country of the East-Angles, giving themselves up to plunder and rapine, during which season they were joined by Gytro, a very powerful king of the Danes, who came to winter with them ; but on the approach of spring all the pagans returned together from East-Anglia. On hearing of their departure the Christians came forth from their hiding places from all quarters, and did their best endeavours to find the head of the blessed king Edmund, that it might be united to the body, and the whole committed to sepulture in a royal manner. When they had all met together and were diligently searching the woods for the martyr's head, there appeared a wonderful and unheard-of prodigy; for while searching among the woods and brambles, and calling out to each other in their native tongue, " Where are you ? Where are you ?" the martyr's head made answer in the same tongue,


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