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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 288



A.D. 1013.] SWEYN ARRIVES IN ENGLAND. 283 occasion. For this Gunnildis had been married to earl Paling, a Danish nobleman, and coming to England in former years with her husband, had there embraced the faith of Christ and the sacrament of baptism. This discreet woman had mediated a peace between the Danes and English and had given herself, with her husband and only son, as a hostage to king Ethelred for its security. Having been committed by the king to the custody of earl Eadric, after a few days this traitor caused her husband and her son to be cruelly slain in her presence withfour lances, and lastlyordered thenoblewoman to be decapitated. Enduringwithfortitudethe terrors of death, Gunnildis neither grew pale at its approach, nor did she lose her serenity of countenance after her blood was spent ; howbeit she confidently asserted in her last moments that the shedding her blood would be to the great damage of all England. For these causes, Sweyn, king of the Danes, a cruel and blood-thirsty man, eager for vengeance, assembled all his own forces, and sent messengers with letters to places out of his dominion, inviting such as were honest soldiers, desirous of gain and light of heart, to join in this expedition. How Sweyn, king of the Danes, subjugated England, A.D. 1013. Sweyn, king of the Danes, and a most odious tyrant, took to sea with a strong fleet in the month of July, and landed in England at the port of Sandwich. After staying there a few days he sailed round East-Anglia, and entering the mouth of the river Humber, he passed from thence into the Trent, up which he sailed as far as the village of Gainesburgh, which he made a station for his ships. Leaving there his son Cnute with a considerable force in charge of his vessels, he sallied forth himself to lay waste the provinces. The inhabitants of Northumberland, of Lindesey, and of the Five Cities, were the first to yield him subjection, and presently all the races who dwellt to the north of the public road called Watling Street, were compelled to yield, gave their hands, swore fealty, and delivered hostages. Then directing his course southwards, he issued an edict to his followers, to ravage the fields, burn the towns, cut down the woods and fruit-trees, spoil the churches, slay all of the male sex who should come to their hands, and reserve the


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