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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 230



A.D. 888.] LIBERALITY OF ALFRED. This account I have here given that no one might think that England was the only country which suffered from the persecution of the Danes. Founding of monasteries and almsgiving of Alfred. In the year of our Lord 888, Athelm,* bishop of Winchester, was the bearer of king Alfred's alms and those of the West-Saxons to Rome. At the same time also he founded two monasteries, one of monks at Ethelingeie, i.e. the isle of Nobles, where this king lived in exile with the swineherd, and there he ordained a presbyter named John as abbat ; he ordered another to be built more to the east at Shaftesbury, as a dwelling for nuns, and there he made his daughter Algiva abbess, who was a virgin consecrated to the Lord ; to these monasteries he granted abundance of riches and possessions. Following the divine counsel, he divided all his revenues into two parts, and again dividing one of these into three portions, he allotted one to his soldiers who were divided into three companies, the first, consisting of horse, serving in the king's court one month while the other two were engaged in military expeditions, and at the end of the month the latter returned from war and were succeeded by fresh troops ; and this arrangement he observed all his life : a second portion he allotted to his workmen, who were skilled in every kind of work under heaven: the third portion he assigned to the strangers who resorted to him from divers nations. The other part of his yearly revenue he in like manner divided into three portions, one of which he gave to the poor, a second to the monasteries he had founded, and the third to the clerks and doctors of a school which he had collected out of many parts of Gaul and other remote regions, proportioning his bounty to the sufficiency of each. Also he had six wax candles made of equal size, each of the weight of seventy-two drams, and twelve inches in length, to burn incessantly day and night before the relics of numerous saints. In executing judgment he so diligently investigated each case, that on inquiring into such as were decided in his absence, if he could discover any departure from justice, he • There was no bishop of Winchester, at this time, named Athelm. It appears that the MS. is imperfect in this place. Probably comes or earl s.iould be read, instead of episcopus or bishop. VOL. I. O,


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