THE FIFT BOOKE
HISTORIE OF ENGLAND.
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Constantinus at the generall sute of the Britains vndertaketh to gouerne this Iland, he is crowned king, his three sonnes, he is traitorouslie slaine of a Pict, Constantius the eldest sonne of Constantine hauing bene a monke is created king, the ambitious & slie practises of duke Vortigerne to aspire to the gouernment, he procureth certeine Picts and Scots to kill the king who had reteined them for the gard of his person, his craftie deuises and deepe dissimulation vnder the pretense of innocencie, he winneth the peoples harts, and is chosen their king.
THE FIRST CHAPTER.
Having ended our former booke with the end of the Romane power ouer this Iland, wherein the state of the Iland vnder them is at full described; it remaineth now that we proceed to declare, in what state they were after the Romans had refused to gouerne them anie longer. Wherefore we will addresse our selues to saie somewhat touching the succession of the British kings, as their histories make mention.
[Sidenote: CONSTANTINUS. Gal. Mon. Matt. Westm.] Constantinus the brother of Aldroenus king of little Britaine, at the sute and earnest request of the archbishop of London, made in name of all the Britains in the Ile of great Britaine, was sent into the same Ile by his said brother Aldroenus vpon couenants ratified in manner as before is recited, and brought with him a conuenient power, landing with the same at Totnesse in Deuonshire. Immediatlie after his [Sidenote: Caxton saith 12000. but Gal. and others say but 2000.] cōming on land, he gathered to him a great power of Britains, which before his landing were hid in diuerse places of the Ile. Then went he foorth with them, and gaue battell to the enimies, whom he vanquished: & slue that tyrannicall king Guanius there in the field [Sidenote: The British historie disagreeth from the Scotish.] (as some bookes haue.) Howbeit, this agreeth not with the Scotish writers, which affirme that they got the field, but yet lost their king named Dongard (as in their historie ye maie read.)
But to proceed as our writers report the matter. When the Britains had thus ouercome their enimies, they conueied their capteine the said Constantine vnto Cicester, and there in fulfilling their promise and couenant made to his brother, crowned him king of great Britaine, in the yeere of our Lord 433, which was about the fift yeere of the emperour Valentinianus the second, and third yeere of Clodius king [Sidenote: Matth. West. saith 435.] of the Frankners after called Frenchmen, which then began to settle themselues in Gallia, whereby the name of that countrie was afterwards changed and called France. Constantine being thus established king, ruled the land well and noblie, and defended it from all inuasion of enimies during his life. He begat of his wife three sonnes (as the British historie affirmeth) Constantius, Aurelius Ambrosius, and Vter surnamed named Pendragon. The eldest, bicause he perceiued him to be but dull of wit, and not verie toward, he made a moonke, placing him within the abbie of Amphibalus in Winchester.
[Sidenote: In a groue of bushes as Gal. saith. Matth. West. Beda. Orosius. Blondus.] Finallie this Constantine, after he had reigned ten yeeres, was traitorouslie slaine one day in his owne chamber (as some write) by a Pict, who was in such fauor with him, that he might at all times haue free accesse to him at his pleasure. Neither the Romane writers, nor Beda, make anie mention of this Constantine: but of the other Constantine they write, which immediatlie after the vsurper Gratian was dispatched out of the way (as before ye haue heard) was aduanced to the rule of this land, and title of emperour, onelie in hope of his name, and for no other respect of towardnesse in him, afore time being but a meane souldier, without anie degree of honour. The same Constantine (as writers record) going ouer into Gallia, adorned his sonne Constantius with the title and dignitie of Cesar, the which before was a moonke, and finallie as well the one as the other were slaine, the father at Arles by earle Constantius, that was sent against him by the emperour Honorius; and the sonne at Vienna (as before ye haue heard) by one of his owne court called Gerontius (as in the Italian historie ye may see more at large.) This chanced about the yeere of our Lord 415. [Sidenote: 415.]
This haue we thought good to repeat in this place, for that some may suppose that this Constantine is the same that our writers take to be the brother of Aldroenus king of little Britaine, as the circumstance of the time and other things to be considered may giue them occasion to thinke, for that there is not so much credit to be yeelded to them that haue written the British histories, but that in some part men may with iust cause doubt of sundrie matters conteined in the same: and therfore haue we in this booke beene the more diligent to shew what the Romans and other forreine writers haue registred in their bookes of histories touching the affaires of Britaine, that the reader may be the better satisfied in the truth. But now to returne to the sequele of the historie as we find the same written by the British chroniclers.
[Sidenote: This Vortigerne was duke of the Geuisses and Cornewall, as Rad. Cestr. reporteth. Gal. Mon.] After that Constantine was murthered (as before ye haue heard) one Vortigerus, or Vortigernus, a man of great authoritie amongst the Britains, wrought so with the residue of the British nobilitie, that Constantius the eldest sonne of their king the fore-remembred Constantine, was taken out of the abbie of Winchester where he remained, and was streightwaies created king, as lawfull inheritour to his father.
Ye haue heard how Constantius was made a moonke in his fathers life time, bicause he was thought to be too soft and childish in wit, to haue anie publike rule committed to his hands: but for that cause speciallie did Vortigerne seeke t'aduance him, to the end that the king being not able to gouerne of himselfe, he might haue the chiefest swaie, and so rule all things as it were vnder him, preparing thereby a way for himselfe to atteine at length to the kingdome as by that which followed was more apparentlie perceiued.
[Sidenote: CONSTANTIUS. Matt. West. saith 445.] This Constantius then the sonne of Constantine, by the helpe (as before ye haue heard) of Vortigerne, was made king of Britaine, in the yere of our Lord 443. But Constantius bare but the name of king: for Vortigerne abusing his innocencie and simple discretion to order things as was requisite, had all the rule of the land, and did what pleased him. Wherevpon first, where there had beene a league concluded betwixt the Britains, Scots and Picts, in the daies of the late king Constantine, Vortigerne caused the same league to be renewed, & [Sidenote: Hector Boet.] waged an hundred Picts, and as manie Scots to be attendant as a gard vpon the kings person, diuers of the which (corrupting them with faire [Sidenote: Constantius murthered.] promises) he procured by subtile meanes in the end to murther the king, and immediatlie vpon the deed doone, he caused the murtherers to be strangled, that they should not afterwards disclose by whose [Sidenote: The subtile dealing of Vortigerne.] procurement they did that deed. Then caused he all the residue of the Scots and Picts to be apprehended, and as it had beene vpon a zeale to see the death of Constantius seuerelie punished, he framed such inditements and accusations against them, that chieflie by his meanes (as appeared) the giltlesse persons were condemned and hanged, the multitude of the British people beeing woonderfullie pleased therewith, and giuing great commendations to Vortigerne for that deed. Thus Constantius was made awaie in maner as before ye haue heard, after he had reigned (as most writers affirme) the space of fiue yeeres.
After his death was knowne, those that had the bringing vp and [Sidenote: Aurelius Ambrosius. Vter Pendragon.] custodie of his two yoonger brethren, Aurelius Ambrose, and Vter Pendragon, mistrusting the wicked intent of Vortigerne, whose dissimulation and mischieuous meaning by some great likelihoods they suspected, with all speed got them to the sea, and fled into litle Britaine, there keeping them till it pleased God otherwise to prouide for them. But Vortigerne could so well dissemble his craftie workings, and with such conueiance and cloked maner could shadow and colour the matter, that most men thought and iudged him verie innocent and void of euill meaning: insomuch that he obteined the fauour of the people so greatlie, that he was reputed for the onelie staie and defender of the common wealth. Herevpon it came to passe, that when the councell was assembled to elect a new king, for so much as the other sonnes of [Sidenote: Vortigerne chosen king of Britaine.] king Constantine were not of age sufficient to rule, Vortigerne himselfe was chosen, diuers of the nobles (whom he had procured thereto) giuing their voices to this his preferment, as to one best deseruing the same in their opinion and judgement. This Vortigerne, as by indirect meanes and sinister proceedings he aspired to the regiment, hauing no title therevnto, otherwise than as blind fortune vouchsafed him the preferment: so when he was possessed, but not interessed in the same, he vncased the crooked conditions which he had couertlie concealed, and in the end (as by the sequele you shall see) did pull shame and infamie vpon himselfe.
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Vortigerne furnisheth the tower with a garrison, he bewraieth his crueltie, Aurelius and Pendragon brethren to the late king Constantius flie into Britaine Armorike, what common abuses and sinnes did vniuersally concurre with a plentifull yeere, the Scots and Picts reuenge the death of their countrimen, Vortigerne is in doubt of his estate, the Britains send for succour to the Saxons, they come vnder the conduct of Hengist and Horsus two brethren, where they are assigned to be seated, they vanquish the Scots, disagreement in writers touching the Saxons first comming into this Iland.
THE SECOND CHAPTER.
[Sidenote: VORTIGERNE. 446.] Vortigerne, by such diuelish meanes and vnconscionable practises (as you heare) stealing away the hearts of the people, was chosen and made king of Britaine, in the yeere of our Lord 446, in the 3 consulship of Aetius, 1197 of Rome, 4 of the 305 Olympiad, 4112 of the world, the dominicall letter going by F, the prime by 10, which fell about the 21 yeere of the emperour Valentinianus, the same yeere that Meroneus began to reigne ouer the Frenchmen. Before he was made king, he was earle or duke of the Geuisses, a people which held that part of Britaine where afterwards the west Saxons inhabited. Now when he [Sidenote; Hector Boet.] had with treason, fraud, and great deceit at length obteined that for the which he had long looked, he first of all furnished the tower of London with a strong garrison of men of warre.
Then studieng to aduance such onelie as he knew to be his speciall [Sidenote: 415.] friends and fauourers, he sought by all meanes how to oppresse other, of whose good will he had neuer so litle mistrust, and namelie those that were affectionate towards the linage of Constantine he hated deadlie, and deuised by secret meanes which way he might best destroy them. But these his practises being at the first perceiued, caused such as had the gouernance of the two yoong gentlemen with [Sidenote: Fabian.] all speed to get them ouer (as ye haue heard) into Britaine Armorike, there to remaine out of danger with their vncle the king of that land. Diuers of the Britains also, that knew themselues to be in Vortigerne his displeasure, sailed ouer dailie vnto them, which thing brought Vortigerne into great doubt and feare of his estate.
[Sidenote: Gyldas. Plentie of wealth accompanied with store of sinnes.] It chanced also the same time, that there was great plentie of corne, & store of fruit, the like wherof had not beene seene in manie yeeres before, and therevpon insued riot, strife, lecherie, and other vices verie heinous, & yet accounted as then for small or rather none offenses at all. These abuses & great enormities reigned not onelie in the temporaltie, but also in the spiritualtie and cheefe rulers in the same: so that euerie man turned the point of his speare (euen as he had consented of purpose) against the true and innocent person. The commons also gaue themselues to voluptuous lust, drunkennesse, and idle loitering, whereof followed fighting, contention, enuie, and much debate. Of this plentie therefore insued great pride, and of this abundance no lesse hautinesse of mind, wherevpon followed great wickednesse, lacke of good gouernement and sober temperancie, and in the necke of these as a iust punishment, death and mortalitie, so that in some countries scarse the quicke sufficed to burie the dead.
[Sidenote: Scots and Picts inuade the Britains.] And for an augmentation of more mischeefe, the Scots and Picts hearing how their countrimen through the false suggestion of Vortigerne, had bene wrongfullie and most cruellie put to death at London, began with fire & sword to make sharpe & cruell warre against the Britains, wasting their countrie, spoiling and burning their townes, and giuing them the ouerthrow in a pitcht field, as in the Scotish historie more plainlie appeareth. To be breefe, the Britains were brought into such danger and miserie, that they knew not what way to take for remedie in such present perill, likelie to be ouerrun and vtterlie vanquished of their enimies. In the meane time Vortigerne not onelie troubled with these imminent euils, but fearing also the returne of the two brethren, Aurelius Ambrose, and Vter Pendragon, began to consider of the state of things, and esteeming it most sure to worke by aduise, called togither the principall lords and cheefe men of the realme to haue their counsell and opinion, how to proceed in such a weightie businesse: and so debating the matter with them, measured both his owne force, and also the force of his enimies, and according to the condition and state of the time, diligentlie considered and searched out what remedie was to be had and prouided.
[Sidenote: Gyldas. Wil. Malm. Beda. The Saxons sent for. 10000 hath Hector Boet. Gyldas and Beda mention onelie but of 3 plates or gallies, but Hector Boet. hath 30.] At length after they had throughlie pondered all things, the more part of the nobles with the king also were of this mind, that there could be no better way deuised, than to send into Germanie for the Saxons to come to their aid: the which Saxons in that season were highlie renowmed for their valiancie in armes, and manifold aduentures heretofore atchiued. And so forthwith messengers were dispatched into Germanie, the which with monie, gifts, and promises, might procure the Saxons to come to the aid of the Britains against the Scots and Picts. The Saxons glad of this message, as people desirous of intertainment to serue in warres, choosing forth a picked companie of lustie yoong men vnder the leading of two brethren Hingist and Horsus, got them aboord into certeine vessels appointed for the purpose, and so with all speed directed their course towards great Britaine.
[Sidenote: 449.] This was in the yeare of our Lord 449, and in the second yeare of Vortigerns reigne, as the most autentike writers both British and English seeme to gather, although the Scotish writers, and [Sidenote: Wil. Malm.] namelie, Hector Boetius doo varie herein, touching the iust account of yeares, as to the perusers of the writings aswell of the one as the other may appeare. But others take it to be in the 4 yeere of his reigne: whereto Beda seemeth to agree, who noteth it in the same yeare that Martianus the emperour began to rule the empire, which was (as appeareth by the consularie table) in the consulship of Protogenes and Austerius, and third yeere of Meroneus king of France.
These Saxons thus arriuing in Britaine, were courteouslie receiued, & hartilie welcomed of king Vortigerne, who assigned to them places in Kent to inhabit, and foorthwith led them against the Scots and Picts, which were entred into Britaine, wasting & destroieng the countrie before them. Heerevpon comming to ioine in battell, there was a sore fight betwixt the parties for a while. But at length when the Saxons called to their remembrance that the same was the day which should either purchase to them an euerlasting name of manhood by [Sidenote: Scots vanquished by the Saxons.] victorie, or else of reproch by repulse, began to renew the fight with such violence, that the enimies not able to abide their fierce charge, were scattered and beaten downe on ech side with great slaughter.
The king hauing gotten this victorie, highlie rewarded the strangers [Sidenote: Henrie Hunt.] according to their well deseruings, as by whose prowesse he had thus vanquished his enimies, which (as some write) were come as farre as Stamford, and vsed at that time to fight with long darts and speares, whereas the Saxons fought onelie with long swords and axes.
[Sidenote: Gal. Mon.] Some haue written that the Saxons were not sent for, but came by chance into the Ile, and the occasion to be this. There was an ancient custome among the English Saxons a people in Germanie, as was also at the first among other nations, that when the multitude of them was so increased, that the countrie was not able to susteine and find them, by commandement of their princes, they should choose out by lots a number of yoong and able personages fit for the warrs, which should go foorth to seeke them new habitations: and so it chanced to these, that they came into great Britaine, and promised to serue the king for wages in his warres.
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Hengistus the Saxon shooteth at the crowne and scepter of the kingdome by craftie and subtile practises, a great number of forren people arriue in Britaine for the augmentation of his power, of the faire ladie Rowen his daughter, whereof Wednesdaie and Fridaie tooke their name, of the Iutes, Saxons, and Angles, Vortigerne being inflamed with the loue of Hengists daughter forsaketh his owne wife and marrieth hir, Vortigerne giueth Hengist all Kent, the Saxons come ouer by heaps to inhabit the land, the British nobilitie moue the king to auoid them, he is depriued of his kingdome, the miserable destruction made by the Saxons in this land, skirmishes betwixt them and the Britains.
THE THIRD CHAPTER.
[Sidenote: Hengist purposeth at the first to conquere the Britains.] Now Hengistus, being a man of great wit, rare policie, and high wisedome, vnderstanding the kings mind, who wholie trusted to the valiancie of the Saxons, & herewithall perceiuing the fruitfulnesse of the countrie, presentlie began to consider with himselfe, by what wiles and craft he might by little little settle heere, and obteine a kingdome in the Ile, and so establish the same to him and his for euer.
[Sidenote: Polydor.] Therefore first he endeuored with all speed possible to fense that part of the countrie, which was giuen him and his people, and to inlarge and furnish it with garisons appointed in places most conuenient. After this he did what he could to persuade the king, that a great power of men might be brought ouer out of Germanie, that the [Side note: Wil. Malm. 18 Foists or plates saie the Scotish writers, and 5000 men in the same. The Saxons call these vessels Ceoles, or Keeles, and our old histories Cogiones.] land being fortified with such strength, the enimies might be put in feare, and his subiects holden in rest. The king not foreseeing the hap that was to come, did not despise this counsell tending to the destruction of his kingdome, and so was more aid sent for into Germanie: wherevpon now at this second time there arriued heere 16 vessels fraught with people, and at the same time came the ladie Rowen or Ronix (daughter to Hengist) a maid of excellent beautie and comelinesse, able to delight the eies of them that should behold hir, and speciallie to win the heart of Vortigerne with the dart of concupiscence, wherevnto he was of nature much inclined, and that did Hengist well perceiue.
[Sidenote: The Vitae or Iutae are called Ibitri. Alex. Now.] There came ouer into this land at that time, and soone after, three maner of people of the Germane nation, as Saxons, Vitae or Iutes, and Angles, ouer the which the said Hengist and Horse being brethren, were capteines & rulers, men of right noble parentage in their countrie, as descended of that ancient, prince Woden, of whom the English Saxon kings doo for the more part fetch their pedegree, as lineallie descended from him, vnto whome also the English people (falselie [Sidenote: Wednesdaie, and Fridaie, whereof they came.] reputing him for a god) consecrated the fourth daie of the weeke, as they did the sixt to his wife Frea: so that the same daies tooke name of them, the one being called Wodensdaie, and the other Freadaie, which woords after in continuance of time by corruption of speech were somewhat altered, though not much, as from Wodensdaie, to Wednesdaie, [Sidenote: Beda.] and from Freadaie to Fridaie. The foresaid Woden was father to Vecta, the father of Wergistus that was father to the foresaid Hengistus and Horsus.
But now to rehearse further touching those three people which at this time came ouer into Britaine out of Germanie. Of the Vites or Iutes (as Beda recordeth) are the Kentishmen descended, and the people of the Ile of Wight, with those also that inhabit ouer against the same Ile. Of the Saxons came the east, the south, & the west Saxons. Moreouer, of the Angles proceeded the east Angles, the middle Angles or Mercies, and the Northerne men. That these Angles were a people [Sidenote: Cor. Tacitus.] of Germanie, it appeareth also by Cornelius Tacitus, who called them Anglij, which word is of three syllables (as Polydor saith:) but some write it Angli, with two syllables. And that these Angli, or Anglij were of no small force and authoritie in Germanie before their comming into this land, maie appeare, in that they are numbred amongst the twelue nations there, which had lawes and ancient ordinances apart by themselues, according to the which the state of their common wealth was gouerned, they being the same and one people with the Thuringers, as in the title of the old Thuringers lawes we find recorded, which is thus: "Lex Angliorum & Werinorum, hoc est Thuringorum," The law of the Angles and Werinians that is to saie the Thuringers, which Thuringers are a people in Saxonie, as in the description of that countrie it maie appeare.
[Sidenote: Polydor. Rowen, or Ronowen Hengists daughter.] But now to the matter. Hengist perceiuing that his people were highlie in Vortigernes fauour, began to handle him craftilie, deuising by what means he might bring him in loue with his daughter Ronix, or Rowen, or Ronowen (as some write) which he beleeued well would easilie [Sidenote: Wil. Malm.] be brought to passe, bicause he vnderstood that the king was much giuen to sensuall lust, which is the thing that often blindeth wise mens vnderstanding, and maketh them to dote, and to lose their perfect wits: yea, and oftentimes bringeth them to destruction, though by such pleasant poison they feele no bitter taste, till they be brought to the extreame point of confusion in deed.
[Sidenote: Gal. Mon.] A great supper therefore was prepared by Hengist, at the which it pleased the king to be present, and appointed his daughter, when euerie man began to be somewhat merrie with drinke, to bring in a cup of gold full of good and pleasant wine, and to present it to the king, saieng; Wassail. Which she did in such comelie and decent maner, as she that knew how to doo it well inough, so as the king maruelled greatlie thereat, and not vnderstanding what she ment by that salutation, demanded what it signified. To whom it was answered by [Sidenote: Wassail, what it signifieth.] Hengist, that she wished him well, and the meaning of it was, that he should drinke after hir, ioining thereto this answer, Drinke haile. Wherevpon the king (as he was informed) tooke the cup at the damsels hand, and dranke.
Finallie, this yoong ladie behaued hir selfe with such pleasant woords, comelie countenance, and amiable grace, that the king beheld hir so long, till he felt himselfe so farre in loue with hir person, that he burned in continuall desire to inioy the same: insomuch that [Sidenote: Polydor. Fabian.] shortlie after he forsooke his owne wife, by the which he had three sonnes, named Vortimerus, Catagrinus, and Pascentius, and required of Hengist to haue his daughter, the said Rowen, or Ronowen in mariage. Hengist at the first seemed strange to grant to his request, and excused the matter, for that his daughter was not of estate and dignitie meet to be matched with his maiestie. But at [Sidenote: Wil. Malm.] length as it had beene halfe against his will he consented, and so the mariage was concluded & solemnized, all Kent being assigned vnto Hengist in reward, the which countrie was before that time gouerned by one Guorongus (though not with most equall Justice) which Guorongus was subiect vnto Vortigerne, as all other the potentats of the Ile were.
This mariage and liberalite of the king towards the strangers much offended the minds of his subiects, and hastened the finall destruction of the land. For the Saxons now vnderstanding the affinitie had betwixt the king and Hengist, came so fast ouer to inhabit heere, that it was woonder to consider in how short a time such a multitude could come togither: so that bicause of their great number and approoued puissance in warres, they began to be a terrour [Sidenote: Wil. Malm.] to the former inhabitants the Britains. But Hengist being no lesse politike in counsell than valiant in armes, abusing the kings lacke of discretion, to serue his owne turne, persuaded him to call out [Sidenote: Gal. saith he was Hengists sonne, and Ebusa his vncles sonne. Occa and Ebusa leaders of Saxons.] of Germanie his brother Occa and his sonne named Ebusa, being men of great valure, to the end that as Hengist defended the land in the south part: so might they keepe backe the Scots in the north.
Heerevpon by the kings consent, they came with a power out of Germanie, and coasting about the land, they sailed to the Iles of Orknie, and sore vexed the people there, and likewise the Scots and Picts also, and finallie arriued in the north parts of the realme, now called Northumberland, where they setled themselues at that present, [Sidenote: Wil. Malm. de Regib.] and so continued there euer after: but none of them taking vpon him the title of king, till about 99 yeeres after their first comming into that countrie, but in the meane time remaining as subiects vnto the Saxon kings of Kent. After their arriuall in that prouince, they oftentimes fought with the old inhabitants there, and ouercame them, chasing away such as made resistance, and appeased the residue by receiuing them vnder allegiance.
[Sidenote: Fabian. The great numbers of strangers suspected to the Britains.] When the nobles of Britaine saw and perceiued in what danger the land stood, by the dailie repaire of the huge number of Saxons into the same, they first consulted togither, and after resorting to the king, mooued him that some order might be taken for the auoiding of them, or the more part of them, least they should with their power and great multitude vtterlie oppresse the British nation. But all was in vaine, for Vortigerne so esteemed and highlie fauoured the Saxons, and namelie by reason of the great loue which he bare to his wife, that he little regarded his owne nation, no nor yet anie thing esteemed his [Sidenote: Vortigerne depriued.] owne naturall kinsmen and chiefe friends, by reason whereof the Britains in fine depriued him of all kinglie honour, after that he had reigned 16 yeeres, and in his steed crowned his sonne Vortimer.
[Sidenote: Gyldas. Beda. H. Hunt.] Gyldas and Beda make no mention of Vortimer, but declare that after the Saxons were receiued into this land, there was a couenant made betwixt them and the Britains, that the Saxons should defend the countrie from the inuasion of enimies by their knightlie force: and that in consideration therof, the Britains should find them prouision of vittels: wherewith they held them contented for a time. But afterwards they began to pike quarrels, as though they were not sufficientlie furnished of their due proportion of vittels, threatening that if they were not prouided more largelie thereof, they would surelie spoile the countrie. So that without deferring of [Sidenote: The miserable destruction made by the Saxons in this land.] time, they performed their woords with effect of deeds, beginning in the east part of the Ile, & with fire and swoord passed foorth, wasting and destroieng the countrie, till they came to the vttermost part of the west: so that from sea to sea, the land was wasted and destroied in such cruell and outragious manner, that neither citie, towne, nor church was regarded, but all committed to the fire: the priests slaine and murthered euen afore the altars, and the prelats with the people without anie reuerence of their estate or degree dispatched with fire and swoord, most lamentablie to behold.
Manie of the Britains seeing the demeanour of the Saxons, fled to the mounteins, of the which diuers being apprehended, were cruellie slaine, and other were glad to come foorth and yeeld themselues to eternall bondage, for to haue releefe of meate and drinke to asswage their extremitie of hunger. Some other got them out of the realme into strange lands, so to saue themselues; and others abiding still in their countrie, kept them within the thicke woods and craggie rocks, whither they were fled, liuing there a poore wretched life, in great feare and vnquietnesse of mind.
But after that the Saxons were departed and withdrawne to their houses, the Britains began to take courage to them againe, issuing foorth of those places where they had lien hid, and with one consent calling for aid at Gods hand, that they might be preserued from vtter destruction, they began vnder the conduct of their leader Aurelius Ambrose, to prouoke the Saxons to battell, and by the helpe of God they obteined victorie, according to their owne desires. And from thence foorth, one while the Britains, and an other while the Saxons were victors. So that in this British people, God (according to his accustomed maner) as it were present Israell, tried them from time to time, whether they loued him or no, vntill the yeare of the [Sidenote: So Gyldas was borne in the yeare of our Lord 493.] siege of Badon hill, where afterwards no small slaughter was made of the enimies: which chanced the same yeare in the which Gyldas was borne (as he himselfe witnesseth) being about the 44 yeare after the comming of the Saxons into Britaine.
Thus haue Gyldas & Beda (following by likelihood the authoritie of the same Gyldas) written of these first warres begun betweene the Saxons and Britains. But now to go foorth with the historie, according to the order of our chronicles, as we doo find recorded touching the doings of Vortimer that was elected king (as ye haue heard) to gouerne in place of his father Vortigerne.
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Vortimer is created king in the roome of his father Vortigerne, he giueth the Saxons sore and sharpe battels, a combat fought betweene Catigerne the brother of Vortimer and, Horsus the brother of Hengist, wherein they were both slaine, the Britains driue the Saxons into the Ile of Tenet, Rowen the daughter of Hengist procureth Vortimer to be poisoned, the Saxons returne into Germanie as some writers report, they ioine with the Scots and Picts against the Britains and discomfit them.
THE FOURTH CHAPTER.
[Sidenote: VORTIMER. 464. Fabian. Galf. Mon. Matt. West. saith 454.] This Vortimer being eldest sonne to Vortigerne, by the common assent of the Britains was made king of Britaine, in the yeare of our Lord 464, which was in the fourth yeare of the emperour Leo the fift, and about the sixt yeare of Childericus king of France, as our common account runneth, which is far disagreeing from that whereof W. Harison dooth speake in his chronologie, who noteth Vortigerne to be deposed in the 8 after his exaltation to the crowne, 454 of Christ, and 5 currant after the comming of the Saxons, which concurreth with the 4420 of the world, and 8 of Meroneus, as by his chronologie dooth more at large appear.
But to proceed, Vortimer being thus aduanced to the gouernment of the realme, in all hast made sore warre against the Saxons, and gaue vnto them a great battell vpon the riuer of Derwent, where he had of [Sidenote: The riuer of Derwent.] them the vpper hand. And the second time he fought with them at a [Sidenote: Epiford.] place called Epiford, or Aglisthrop, in the which incounter Catagrine or Catigernus the brother of Vortimer, and Horsus the brother of Hengist, after a long combat betwixt them two, either of them slue other: but the Britains obteined the field (as saith the British [Sidenote: The Ile of Tenet.] historie.) The third battell Vortimer fought with them neere to the sea side, where also the Britains chased the Saxons, & droue them into [Sidenote: Hen. Hunt. Colemoore.] the Ile of Tenet. The fourth battell was stricken neere to a moore called Colemoore, the which was sore fought by the Saxons, and long continued with great danger to the Britains, because the foresaid moore inclosed a part of their host so stronglie, that the Britains could not approch to them, being beaten off with the enimies shot, albeit in the end the Saxons were put to flight, & manie of them drowned and swallowed vp in the same moore. Beside these foure [Sidenote: Fabian. Tetford in Norfolke. Colchester.] principall battels, Vortimer had diuers other conflicts with the Saxons, as in Kent and at Tetford in Norfolke, also neere to Colchester in Essex: for he left not till he had bereft them of the more part of all such possessions as before time they had got, so that they were constrained to keepe them within the Ile of Tenet, where he oftentimes assailed them with such ships as he then had. When Ronowen the daughter of Hengist perceiued the great losse that the Saxons sustained by the martiall prowesse of Vortimer, she found means that within a while the said Vortimer was poisoned, after he had ruled the Britains by the space of 6 or 7 yeares and od moneths.
By the British historie it should seeme, that Vortimer before his death handled the Saxons so hardlie, keeping them besieged within the Ile of Tenet, till at length they were constrained to sue for licence to depart home into Germanie in safetie: and the better to bring this to pas, they sent Vortigerne, (whome they had kept still with them in all these battels) vnto his sonne Vortimer, to be a meane for the obteining of their sute. But whilest this treatie was in hand, they got them into their ships, and leauing their wiues and children behind them, returned into Germanie. Thus far Gal. Mon. But how vnlikelie this is to be true, I will not make anie further discourse, but onelie refer euerie man to that which in old autentike historiographers [Sidenote: Will. Malmes.] of the English nation is found recorded, as in Will. Malmes. Henr. Hunt, Marianus, and others: vnto whome in these matters concerning the dooings betwixt the Saxons and Britains, we maie vndoubtedlie and safelie giue most credit.
William Malmes. writing of this Vortimer, or Guortigerne, and of the warres which he had against the Saxons, varieth in a maner altogether from Geffrey of Monmouth, as by his words here following ye maie perceiue. Guortimer, the sonne of Vortimer (saith he) thinking not good long to dissemble the matter, for that he saw himselfe and his countriemen the Britains preuented by the craft of the English Saxons, set his full purpose to driue them out of the realme, and kindled his father to the like attempt. He therefore being the author and procurer, seuen yeares after their first comming into this land, the [Sidenote: Hengist had the victorie in this battell saith Ra. Mig., Horse and Catigene slaine.] league was broken, and by the space of 20 yeares they fought oftentimes togither in manie light incounters, but foure times they fought puissance against puissance in open field: in the first battell they departed with like fortune, whilest the one part, that is to meane, the Saxons lost their capteine Horse that was brother to Hengist, and the Britains lost Catigerne an other of Vortigerns sonnes.
[Sidenote: 458.] In the ether battels, when the Englishmen went euer awaie with the vpper hand, at length a peace was concluded, Guortimer being taken out of this world by course of fatall death, the which much differing from the soft and milde nature of his father, right noblie would haue gouerned the realme, if God had suffered him to haue liued. But these battels which Vortimer gaue to the Saxons (as before is mentioned) should appeare by that which some writers haue recorded, to haue chanced before the supposed time of Vortimers or Guortimers atteining to the crowne, about the 6 or 7 yeare after the first comming of the Saxons into this realme with Hengist. And hereto W. Harison giueth his [Sidenote: Polydor.] consent, referring the mutuall slaughter of Horsus and Catigerne to the 6 years of Martianus, & 455 of Christ. Howbeit Polydor Virgil saith, that Vortimer succeeded his father, and that after his fathers deceasse the English Saxons, of whome there was a great number then in the Ile, comming ouer dailie like swarmes of bees, and hauing in possession not onelie Kent, but also the north parts of the realme towards Scotland, togither with a great part of the west countrie, thought it now a fit time to attempt the fortune of warre: and first therefore concluding a league with the Scots and Picts, vpon the sudden they turned their weapons points against the Britains, and most cruellie pursued them, as though they had receiued some great iniurie at their hands, and no benefit at all. The Britains were maruelouslie abashed herewith, perceiuing that they should haue to doo with Hengist, a capteine of so high renowme, and also with their ancient enimies the Scots and Picts, thus all at one time, and that there was no remedie but either they must fight or else become slaues. Wherefore at length, dread of bondage stirred vp manhood in them, so that they assembled togither, and boldlie began to resist their enimies on ech [Sidenote: The Britains discomfited by the Scots.] side: but being too weake, they were easilie discomfited and put to flight, so that all hope of defense by force of armes being vtterlie taken awaie, as men in despaire to preuaile against their enimies, they fled as sheepe scattered abroad, some following one capteine and some another, getting them into desart places, woods and maresh grounds, and moreouer left such townes and fortresses as were of no notable strength, as a preie vnto their enimies.
Thus saith Polydor Virgil of the first breaking of the warres betwixt the Saxons and the Britains, which chanced not (as should appeare by that which he writeth thereof) till after the death of Vortigerne. Howbeit he denieth not that Hengist at his first comming got seates for him and his people within the countie of Kent, and there began to [Sidenote: Sigebertus.] inhabit. This ought not to be forgotten, that king Vortimer (as Sigebertus hath written) restored the Christian religion after he had vanquished the Saxons, in such places where the same was decaied by the enimies inuasion, whose drift was not onelie to ouerrun the land with violence, but also to erect their owne laws and liberties without regard of clemencie.
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Vortigerne is restored to his regiment, in what place he abode during the time of his sonnes reigne, Hengist with his Saxons re-enter the land, the Saxons and Britains are appointed to meet on Salisburie plaine, the priuie treason of Hengist and his power whereby the Britains were slaine like sheepe, the manhood of Edol earle of Glocester, Vortigerne is taken prisoner, Hengist is in possession of three prouinces of this land, a description of Kent.
THE FIFT CHAPTER.
[Sidenote: 471. Matth. West. saith 461.] After all these bloudie broiles and tempestuous tumults ended, Vortigerne was restored and set againe into the kingdome of Britaine, in the yeare of our Lord 471. All the time of his sonnes reigne, he had remained in the parties now called Wales, where (as some write) in that meane time he builded a strong castle called Generon, or Guaneren, in the west side of Wales nere to the riuer of Guana, vpon a mounteine called Cloaricus, which some referre to be builded in his second returne into Wales, as shall be shewed hereafter. And it is so much the more likelie, for that an old chronicle, which Fabian had sight of, affirmeth, that Vortigerne was kept vnder the rule of certeine gouernors to him appointed in the towne of Caerlegion, and [Sidenote: Caerleon Arwiske.] behaued himselfe in such commendable sort towards his sonne, in aiding him with his counsell, and otherwise in the meane season whilest his sonne reigned, that the Britains by reason thereof began so to fauour him, that after the death of Vortimer they made him king againe.
Shortlie after that Vortigerne was restored to the rule of the [Sidenote: Matth. West. saith 4000. He might easilie returne, for except I be deceiued he was neuer driuen out after he had once set foot within this Ile.] kingdom, Hengist aduertised therof returned into the land with a mightie armie of Saxons, whereof Vortigerne being admonished, assembled his Britains, and with all speed made towards him. When Hengist had knowledge of the huge host of the Britains that was comming against him, he required to come to a communication with Vortigerne, which request was granted, so that it was concluded, that on Maie day a certeine number of Britains, and as manie of the Saxons should meet togither vpon the plaine of Salisburie. Hengist hauing deuised a new kind of treason, when the day of their appointed meeting was come, caused euerie one of his allowed number secretlie to put into his hose a long knife (where it was ordeined that no man should bring anie weapon with him at all) and that at the verie instant when [Sidenote: Nempt your sexes, what if it were messes.] this watchword should be vttered by him, "Nempt your sexes," then should euerie of them plucke out his knife, and slea the Britaine that chanced to be next to him, except the same should be Vortigerne, whom he willed to be apprehended, but not slaine.
At the day assigned, the king with his appointed number or traine of the Britains, mistrusting nothing lesse than anie such maner of vnfaithfull dealing, came vnto the place in order before prescribed, without armor or weapon, where he found Hengist readie with his Saxons, the which receiued the king with amiable countenance and in most louing sort: but after they were a little entred into communication, Hengist meaning to accomplish his deuised purpose, gaue the watchword, immediatlie wherevpon the Saxons drew out their kniues, [Sidenote: There died of the nobles of Britaine 460 as Gal. saith.] and suddenlie fell on the Britains, and slue them as sheepe being fallen within the danger of woolues. For the Britains had no weapons to defend themselues, except anie of them by his strength and manhood got the knife of his enimie.
[Sidenote: Ran. Cestren. Fabian.] Amongst other of the Britains, there was one Edol earle of Glocester, or (as other say) Chester, which got a stake out of an hedge, or else where, and with the same so defended himselfe and laid about him, that he slue 17 of the Saxons, and escaped to the towne of [Sidenote: Gal. saith 70, Matth. West. Ran. Cestren.] Ambrie, now called Salisburie, and so saued his owne life. Vortiger was taken and kept as prisoner by Hengist, till he was constreined to deliuer vnto Hengist three prouinces or countries of this realme, that is to say, Kent & Essex, or as some write, that part where the south Saxons after did inhabit, as Sussex and other: the third was the countrie where the Estangles planted themselues, which was in Norfolke and Suffolke. Then Hengist being in possession of those three prouinces, suffered Vortigerne to depart, & to be at his libertie.
[Sidenote: Wil. Malm.] William Malmesburie writeth somewhat otherwise of this taking of Vortigerne, during whose reigne, after the deceasse of his sonne Vortimer, nothing was attempted against the Saxons, but in the meane time Hengist by colorable craft procured his sonne in law Vortigerne to come to a banket at his house, with three hundred other Britains, and when he had made them well and warme with often quaffing and emptieng of cups, and of purpose touched euerie of them with one bitter tawnt or other, they first fell to multiplieng of malicious words, and after to blowes that the Britains were slaine, euerie mothers sonne so yeelding vp their ghosts euen amongst their pots. The king himselfe was taken, and to redeeme himselfe out of prison, gaue to the Saxons three prouinces, and so escaped out of bondage.
Thus by what meane soeuer it came to passe, truth it is (as all writers agree) that Hengist got possession of Kent, and of other countries in this realme, and began to reigne there as absolute [Sidenote: 476.] lord & gouernor, in the yeere of our Lord (as some write) 476, about the fift yeere of Vortigerns last reigne: but after other, which take the beginning of this kingdome of Kent to be when Hengist had first gift therof, the same kingdome began in the yeere 455, and conteined the countrie that stretcheth from the east Ocean vnto the riuer of [Sidenote: Kingdome of Kent.] Thames, hauing on the southeast Southerie, and vpon the west London, vpon the northeast the riuer of Thames aforesaid, and the countrie of Essex.
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The heptarchie or seuen kingdoms of this land, Hengist causeth Britaine to be peopled with Saxons, the decaie of Christian religion, the Pelagians with their hereticall and false doctrine infect the Britains, a synod summoned in Gallia for the redresse thereof, the Scots assist the Britains against the Saxons, who renew their league with the Picts, Germane and Lupus two bishops of Germanie procure the British armie to be newlie christened, the terror that the Britains vnder bishop Germans fortunate conduct draue into the Saxons by the outcrie of Alleluia, and got the victorie, bishop Germane departeth out of the land, and to redresse the Pelagian heresie commeth againe at the clergies request, he confirmeth his doctrine by a miracle, banisheth the Pelagians out of the land, the death of Germane, murther requited with murther.
THE VJ. CHAPTER.
Hengist and all other the Saxon kings which ruled (as after shall appeare) in seuen parts of this realme, are called by writers Reguli, that is, little kings or rulers of some small dominion: so that Hengist is counted a little king, who when he had got into his hands the foresaid three prouinces, he caused more Saxons to come into Britaine, and bestowed them in places abroad in the countrie, by reason whereof the christian religion greatlie decaied within the [Sidenote: The decay of christian religion.] land, for the Saxons being pagans, did what they could to extinguish the faith of Christ, and to plant againe in all places their heathenish religion, and woorshipping of false gods: and not onelie hereby was the true faith of the Christians brought in danger dailie to decaie, but also the erronious opinions of the Pelagians greatlie preuailed here amongst the Britains, by meanes of such vnsound preachers as in that troublesome season did set forth false doctrine amongst the people, without all maner of reprehension.
[Sidenote: Beda.] Certeine yeeres before the comming of the Saxons, that heresie began to spread within this land verie much, by the lewd industrie of one Leporius Agricola, the sonne of Seuerus Sulpitius (as Bale saith) a bishop of that lore. But Pelagius the author of this heresie was borne in Wales, and held opinion that a man might obteine saluation by his owne free will and merit, and without assistance of grace, as he that was borne without originall sinne, &c.
This erronious doctrine being taught therefore, and mainteined in this troublesome time of warres with the Saxons, sore disquieted the godlie minded men amongst the Britains, who not meaning to receiue it, [Sidenote: Beda.] nor yet able well to confute the craftie and wicked persuasions vsed by the professors thereof, thought good to send ouer into Gallia, requiring of the bishops there, that some godlie and profound learned men might be sent ouer from thence into this land, to defend the cause of the true doctrine against the naughtie teachers of so blasphemous an error. Whervpon the bishops of Gallia sore lamenting the miserable state of the Britains, and desirous to relieue their present need, speciallie in that case of religion, called a synod, and therein [Sidenote: A synod called in Gallia.] taking counsell to consider who were most meet to be sent, it was [Sidenote: Germanus and Lupus.] deceed by all their consents in the end, that one Germane the bishop of Auxerre, and Lupus bishop of Trois should passe ouer into Britaine to confirme the Christians there in the faith of the celestiall grace. And so those two vertuous learned men taking their iournie, finallie arriued in Britaine, though not without some danger by sea, through stormes & rage of winds, stirred (as hath beene thought of the superstitious) by the malice of wicked spirits, who purposed to haue hindered their proceedings in this their good and well purposed iournie. After they were come ouer, they did so much good with conuincing the wicked arguments of the aduersaries of the truth, by the inuincible power of the woord of God, and holinesse of life, that those which were in the wrong waie, were soone brought into the right path againe.
[Sidenote: Beda. Palladius. Constantine king of Scots.] About the same time also, one Palladius was sent from Celestinus bishop of Rome, vnto the Scots, to instruct them in the faith of Christ, and to purge them from the heresie of the said Pelagius. This Palladius exhorted Constantinus the king of Scots, that in no wise he should aid the Saxons being infidels against the Britains: whose exhortation tooke so good effect, that the said Constantinus did not onelie forbeare to assist the Saxons, but contrarilie holpe the Britains in their warres against them, which thing did mainteine the state of the Britains for a time from falling into vtter ruine and decaie. In the meane time, the Saxons renewed their league with [Sidenote: H. Hunt. Beda.] the Picts, so that their powers being ioined togither, they began afresh to make sore warres vpon the Britains, who of necessitie were constreined to assemble an armie, & mistrusting their owne strength, required aid of the two bishops, Germane and Lupus, who hasting forward with all speed came into the armie, bringing with them no small hope of good lucke to all the Britains there being assembled. This was doone in Kent.
Now such was the diligence of the bishops, that the people (being instructed with continuall preaching) in renouncing the error of the Pelagians, earnestlie came by troops to receiue the grace of God offred in baptisme, so that on Easter day which then insued, the more part of the armie was baptised, and so went foorth against the [Sidenote: The armie of the Britains newlie christened.] enimies, who hearing thereof, made hast towards the Britains; in hope to ouercome them at pleasure. But their approch being knowne, bishop Germane tooke vpon him the leading of the British host, and ouer against the passage thorough the which the enimies were appointed to come, he chose foorth a faire vallie inclosed with high mounteins, and within the same he placed his new washed armie. And when he saw the enimies now at hand, he commanded that euerie man with one generall voice should answer him, crieng alowd the same crie that he should begin. So that euen as the enimies were readie to giue the charge vpon the Britains, supposing that they should haue taken them at vnwares, and before anie warning had been giuen, suddenlie bishop [Sidenote: Alleluia.] Germane and the priests with a lowd and shrill voice called Alleluia, thrice: and therewith all the multitudes of the Britains with one voice cried the same crie, with such a lowd shout, that the Saxons were therewith so amazed and astonied (the echo from the rocks and hils adjoining, redoubling in such wise the crie) that they thought not onelie the rocks and clifs had fallen vpon them, but that euen the skie it selfe had broken in peeces and come tumbling downe vpon their heads: heerewith therefore throwing awaie their weapons, they tooke them to their feet, and glad was he that might get to be formost in running awaie. Manie of them for hast were drowned in a riuer which they had to passe. Polydor taketh that riuer to be Trent. The Britains hauing thus vanquished their enimies, gathered the spoile at good leasure, & gaue God thanks for the victorie thus got without bloud, for the which the holie bishops also triumphed as best became them. Now after they had setled all things in good quiet within the Ile, as was thought expedient, they returned into Gallia or France, from whence they came (as is before rehearsed.)
[Sidenote: Matth. West. 448.] By one author it should appeere that this battell was woone against the Scots and Picts, about the yeere of our Lord 448, a little before the comming of the Saxons into this land vnder Hengist, in which yeere Germane first came hither to weed out the heresie of Pelagius, as by the same author more at large is affirmed. Howbeit, some chronographers alledge out of Prosper & other, and note the first comming of Germane to haue beene in the 429 yeere of Christ, and vnder the consulship of Florentius and Dionysius. And this should seeme to agree with the truth, for that after some, the foresaid Germane should die at Rauenna, about the yeere of our Lord 450, as Vincentius noteth, which was the verie yeere of the comming of the Saxons: notwithstanding, when or wheresoeuer he died, it was not long after his returne into Gallia, vpon his first iournie made hither into this land, who no sooner obteined the victorie before mentioned, but woord was brought againe vnto him, that eftsoones the heresie of the Pelagians was spread abroad in Britaine, and therefore all the priests or cleargie made request to him that it might stand with his pleasure to come ouer againe, and defend the cause of true religion which he had before confirmed.
[Sidenote: Germane returneth againe into Britaine.] Heerevpon bishop Germane granted so to doo, and therefore taking with him one Seuerus (that was disciple vnto Lupus, and ordeined at that time bishop of Triers) tooke the sea, and came againe into Britaine, where he found the multitude of the people stedfast in the same beliefe wherein he had left them, & perceiued the fault to rest in a few: wherevpon inquiring out the authors, he condemned them to exile (as it is written) and with a manifest miracle by restoring a yoong man that was lame (as they saie) vnto the right vse of his lims, he confirmed his doctrine. Then followed preaching to persuade amendment of errors, and by the generall consent of all men, the authors of the wicked doctrine being banished the land, were deliuered vnto bishop Germane and to his fellow Seuerus, to conueie them away in their companie vnto the parties beyond the seas, that the region might so be deliuered of further danger, and they receiue the benefit of due amendment.
By this meanes it came to passe, that the true faith continued in Britaine sound and perfect a long time after. Things being thus set in good order, those holie men returned into their countries, the forenamed bishop Germane went to Rauenna to sue for peace to be granted vnto the people of Britaine Armorike, where being receiued of the emperor Valentinian and his mother Placida in most reuerend maner, he departed in that citie out of this transitorie life, to the [Sidenote: Anno 450, as Vincentius noteth, lib. 20. ca. 15.] eternall ioies of heauen. His bodie was afterwards conueied to the citie of Auxerre, where he had beene bishop with great opinion of holines for his sincere doctrine and pure and innocent life. Shortlie [Sidenote: The emperour Valentinian slaine.] after was the emperour Valentinian slaine by the friends of that noble man named Aetius, whome he had before caused to be put to death.
By this it maie appeere, that bishop Germane came into this realme [Sidenote: 454.] both the first and second time, whilest as well Hengist, as also Vortigerne were liuing: for the said Valentinian was murthered about the yeere of our Lord 454, where the said kings liued and reigned long after that time, as maie appeere both before and after in this present booke.
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What part of the realme the Saxons possessed, Vortigerne buildeth a castell in Wales for his safetie, Aurelius and Vter both brethren returne into Britaine, they assalt the vsurper Vortigerne, and with wildfire burne both him, his people, his fort, and all the furniture in the same, Vortigerne committeth incest with his owne daughter, feined and ridiculous woonders of S. Germane, a sheepherd made a king.
THE SEUENTH CHAPTER.
Now will we returne to Vortigerne, of whome we read in the British historie, that after the Saxons had constreined him to deliuer into their hands a great part of the south and east parts of the realme, so that they had in possession London, Yorke, Lincolne, & Winchester, [Sidenote: Galfrid.] with other cities & townes, he not onelie fearing their puissance, but also the returne of Aurelius Ambrosius, and his brother Vter Pendragon, withdrew him into Wales, where he began to build a [Sidenote: Caxton. Fabian. Polychron.] strong castell vpon a mounteine called Breigh, or after other Cloaric, neere to the riuer of Guana, which is in the west side of Wales in a place within the compasse of the same hill called Generon or [Sidenote: Mount Erix he calleth it in one place of his booke.] Gueineren. Of the building of this castell, and of the hinderance in erecting the same, with the monstrous birth of Merlin and his knowledge in prophesieng, the British histories tell a long processe, the which in Caxton, and in Galfrides bookes is also set foorth, as there ye maie see: but for that the same seemeth not of such credit as deserueth to be registred in anie sound historie, we haue with silence passed it ouer.
[Sidenote: Aurelius and Vter brethren returne into Britaine.] Whilest Vortigerne was busied in building of this castell, the two foresaid brethren Aurelius and Vter prepared a nauie of ships, and an armie of men, by helpe of such their kinsmen and freends as they found in Britaine Armorike, and so passed the sea, and landed at Totnesse: whereof when the Britains were aduertised, the which were scattered abroad and seuered in diuers parties and countries, they drew vnto the said two brethren with all speed that might be. When Aurelius and his brother Vter perceiued that they were sufficientlie furnished of people, they marched foorth towards Wales against Vortigerne, who [Sidenote: Vortigerne burnt to death. Wild fire not yet inuented as some think.] hauing knowledge of their approch, had fortified his castell verie strongly with men, munition and vittels, but yet all auailed him nothing, for in the end after his enimies had giuen diuers assaults to the said castell, they found meanes with wild fire to burne it downe to the earth, and so consumed it by fire togither with the king, and all other that were within it.
Thus did Vortigerne end his life (as in the British historie is recorded.) Much euill is reported of him by the same historie, and also by other writers, and among other things it is written, that he should lie by his owne daughter, and of hir beget a sonne, in hope [Sidenote: Polychron. A feined tale of S. Germane. A caluish narration.] that kings should come of him, and therefore he was excommunicated by S. Germane. It is also said, that when the same S. Germane came into Britaine (as before ye haue heard) this Vortigerne on a time should denie the same S. Germane harbour: but one that kept the kings heards of cattell receiued him into his house, and lodged him, and slue a calfe for his supper, which calfe after supper was ended, S. Germane restored againe to life: and on the morrow by the ordinance of God, he caused Vortigerne to be deposed from his kinglie estate, and tooke the heardman and made him king. But Ranulfe Hig. in his "Polychronicon," alledging Gyldas for his author, saith that this chanced to a king that ruled in Powsey, whose name was Bulie, and not to Vortigerne: so that the successors of that Bulie reigning in that side of Wales, came of the linage of the same heardman.
[Sidenote: H. Hunt.] Moreouer it hath beene said (as one writer recordeth) that when Vortigerne refused to heare the preaching of saint Germane, and fled from him as he would haue instructed him, one night there fell fire from heauen vpon the castell wherein the king was lodged, and so the king being destroied with the fall of the house and the fire togither, was neuer after seene.
But these are fables, and therfore I passe them ouer, hoping that it shall suffice to shew here with what stuffe our old historiographers haue farced vp their huge volumes, not so much regarding the credit of an historie, as satisfieng the vanitie of their owne fond fantasies, studieng with a pretended skilfulnesse to cast glorious colours vpon lies, that the readers (whom they presupposed either ignorant or credulous) would be led away with a flowing streme of woords void of reason and common sense. Which kind of men knew not (belike) that the nature of an historie, (defined to be Rei vere gestae memoria) will not beare the burthen or lode of a lie, sith the same is too heauie: otherwise they would haue deposed matters conspiring with the truth.
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Aurelius Ambrosius the brother to Constantius created king of Britaine, he incountereth with the Saxons, Hengist their generall is beheaded, Occa his sonne submitteth himselfe to Aurelius, he putteth all the Saxons out of the land, repaireth places decaied, and restoreth religion, the memorable monument of the stones that are so much spoken of on Salisburie plaine, the exploits of Pascentius Vortigerns yongest sonne, Aurelius lieth sicke, Vter goeth against Pascentius and giueth him the ouerthrow, Aurelius is poisoned of a counterfet moonke, the place of his buriall, Polydor Virgils report of the acts and deeds of Aurelius against the Saxons, Hengist is slaine, Osca and Occa his two sonnes make a fowle spoile if the west part of the land, Vortimer dieth, the disagreement of writers touching matters interchangeablie passed betwene the Britains and Saxons.
THE EIGHT CHAPTER.
[Sidenote: AURELIUS AMBROSIUS.] Aurelius Ambrose, the second sonne of king Constantine, brother to Constantius, and murthered by the treason of Vortigerne (as before ye haue heard) was made king of Britaine in the yeere of our Lord 481, [Sidenote: Matt. West. saith 466.] which was about the third yeere of the reigne of the emperour Zeno, and the 23 of Childericus king of France, Odocer king of the Herulians then vsurping the gouernment of Italie. When this Aurelius Ambrosius had dispatched Vortigerne, and was now established king of the Britains, he made towards Yorke, and passing the riuer of Humber, [Sidenote: Gal. Mon.] incountred with the Saxons at a place called Maesbell, and ouerthrew them in a strong battell, from the which as Hengist was fleeing to [Sidenote: Hengist taken and beheaded.] haue saued himselfe, he was taken by Edoll earle of Glocester, or (as some say) Chester, and by him led to Conningsborrow, where he was beheaded by the counsell of Eldad then bishop of Colchester.
[Sidenote: Matth. West.] Howbeit there be some that write, how that Hengist was taken at another battell fought vpon the riuer of Dune, in the yeere of our Lord 489, and not in the chase of the battell which was fought at Maesbell in the yeere 487, as the same authors doo alledge. Occa [Sidenote: Occa.] the son of Hengist by flight escaped to Yorke, and being there besieged, at length was constreined to yeeld himselfe to Aurelius: who dealing fauourablie with him, assigned vnto him and other of the Saxons a countrie bordering neere to the Scots, which (as some affirme) was Galloway, where the said Occa and the Saxons began to inhabit. Then did Aurelius Ambrosius put the Saxons out of all other parts of the land, & repaired such cities, townes and also churches, as by them had beene destroied or defaced, and placed againe priests, and such other as should attend on the ministerie and seruice of God in the same churches.
Also for a perpetuall memorie of those Britains that were slaine on the plaine of Salisburie by the treason of Hengist, he caused stones to be fetched out of Ireland, and to be set vp in the same place [Sidenote: Stoneheng.] where that slaughter was committed, and called the place Stoneheng, which name continueth vnto this day. Fifteene thousand men (as Galfrid [Sidenote: Gal. Mon.] saith) were sent for those stones, vnder the leading of Vter Pendragon the kings brother, who giuing battell vnto Gillomanus king of Ireland that went about to resist the Britains, and would not permit them to fetch away the same stones out of his countrie, discomfited him and his people, and so (maugre his hart) brought the stones away with him.
Shortlie after, Pascentius that was Vortigerns yoongest sonne, and had escaped into Ireland (when Aurelius Ambrosius came into Britaine) returned with a great power of strange nations, and tooke the citie of Meneuia in Wales, afterwards called saint Dauids, and did much hurt in the countrie with fire and swoord. At which time the same Aurelius Ambrosius lay sicke at Winchester, and being not able to go foorth himselfe, desired his brother Vter Pendragon to assemble an armie of Britains, and to go against Pascentius and his adherents. Vter, according to his brothers request, gathering his people, went foorth, and incountering with the enimies gaue them the ouerthrow, slue Pascentius and Gillomare or Gilloman king of Ireland, that was come ouer with him in aid against the Britains.
[Sidenote: Hector Boet.] In the meane while, a Saxon or some other stranger, whose name was Eopa or Copa, not long before procured thereto by Pascentius, fained himselfe to be a Britaine, and for a colour counterfeiting himselfe a moonke, and to haue great knowledge in physicke, was admitted to [Sidenote: Fabian. ] minister as it were medicins to Aurelius: but in stead of that which should haue brought him health, he gaue him poison, whreof he died shortlie after at Winchester aforesaid, when he had reigned after most accord of writers ninteene yeeres: his bodie was conueied to Stoneheng and there buried. Thus find we in the British and common English histories of the dooings of Aurelius Ambrosius, who (as ye haue hard) makes him a Britaine borne, and descended of the bloud of the ancient Britains, But Gyldas and Beda report him to be a Romane by descent, as before is mentioned.
[Sidenote: Polydor.] Polydor Virgil writeth in this sort of the victorious acts atchiued by the foresaid Aurelius Ambrosius. Then (saith he) the Saxons hauing alreadie gotten the whole rule of the Ile, practised their outragious cruelties speciallie against the princes of the Britains, to the end that the said princes being ouercome and destroied, they might with more ease obteine possession of the whole Ile, which thing they onlie sought. But the fauour of almightie God was not wanting to the miserable Britains in that great necessitie. For behold, Aurelius Ambrosius was at hand, who had no sooner caused the trumpet to sound to armor, but euerie man for himselfe prepared and repaired vnto him, praieng & beseeching him to helpe to defend them, and that it might stand with his pleasure to go foorth with them against the enimies in all speed.
Thus an armie being assembled, Aurelius Ambrosius went against them, and valiantlie assailed them, so that within the space of a few daies they fought three battels with great fiercenesse on both sides, in triall of their high displeasures and vttermost forces, in which at length the Britains put the Saxons to flight, Horsus the brother of Hengist being slaine with a great number of his people. But yet notwithstanding the enimies rage was little abated hereby, for within a few daies after receiuing out of Germanie a new supplie of men, they brake foorth vpon the Britains with great confidence of victorie. Aurelius Ambrosius was no sooner aduertised thereof, but that without delaie he set forward towards Yorke, from whence the enimies should come, and hearing by the way that Hengist was incamped about seuen & twentie miles distant from that citie, neere to the banke of a riuer at this day called Dune, in the place where Doncaster now standeth, he returned out of his waie, and marched towards that place, and the next day set on the enimie and vanquished him, Hengist at the first [Sidenote: Hengist is slaine.] meeting of the battell being slaine, with a great number of the Germans. The fame of this victorie (saith Polydor) is had in memorie with the inhabitants of those parties euen vnto this day, which victorie did sore diminish the power of the Saxons, insomuch that they began now to thinke it should be more for their profit to sit in rest with that dishonour, than to make anie new warres to their great disaduantage and likelihood of present losse.
Hengist left behind him two sonnes, Osca and Occa, which as men most sorowfull for the ouerthrow of late receiued, assembled such power as they could togither, and remooued therewith towards the west part of the Ile, supposing it to be better for them to draw that way foorth, than to returne into Kent, where they thought was alreadie a sufficient number of their people to resist the Britains on that side. Now therefore when they came into the west parts of the land, they wasted the countrie, burnt villages, and absteined from no maner of crueltie that might be shewed. These things being reported vnto Aurelius Ambrosius, he straightwaies hasted thither to resist those enimies, and so giuing them battell, eftsoones discomfited them: [Sidenote: Aurelius dieth of a wound.] but he himselfe receiuing a wound, died thereof within a few daies after. The English Saxons hauing thus susteined so manie losses within a few moneths togither, were contented to be quiet now that the Britains stirred nothing against them, by reason they were brought into some trouble by the death of such a noble capteine as they had [Sidenote: Vortimer departeth this life.] now lost. In the meane time Vortimer died, whome Vter surnamed Pendragon succeeded.
Thus hath Polydor written of the forsaid Aurelius Ambrosius, not naming him to be king of Britaine, and differing in deed in sundrie points in this behalfe from diuerse ancient writers of the English histories: for where he attributeth the victorie to the Britains in the battell fought, wherein Horsus the brother of Hengist was slaine, by the report of Polychronicon, and others, the Saxons had the [Sidenote:Wil. Malm.] victorie in that reincounter: and William of Malmesburie saith, that they departed from that batell with equall fortune, the Saxons losing [Sidenote: Katigerne.] their capteine Horsus, and the Britains their capteine Katigerne (as before ye haue heard.) But there is such contrarietie in writers touching the dooings betwixt the Britains and Saxons in those daies, as well in account of yeeres, as in report of things doone, that setting affection aside, hard it is to iudge to which part a man should giue credit.
For Fabian and other authors write, that Aurelius Ambrosius began his [Sidenote: 458.] reigne ouer the Britains about the yeere of our Lord 481, and Horsus was slaine about the yeere 458, during the reigne of Vortimer, as aboue is mentioned, so that it cannot stand with the truth of the British histories (the which Fabian followeth) that Horsus was slaine by Aurelius Ambrosius, if according to the same histories he returned not into Britaine, till the time there supposed. But diuerse such maner of contrarieties shall ye find, in perusing of those writers that haue written the chronicles of the Britains and Saxons, the which in euerie point to recite, would be too tedious and combersome a matter, and therefore we are forced to passe the same ouer, not knowing how to bring them to anie iust accord for the satisfieng of all mens minds, speciallie the curious, which may with diligent search satisfie themselues happilie much better, than anie other shall be able to doo in vttering his opinion neuer so much at large, and agreeable to a truth. This therefore haue we thought good as it were by the waie to touch what diuerse authors doo write, leauing it so [Sidenote:Sigebertus.] to euerie mans iudgement to construe thereof, as his affection leadeth him. We find in the writings of those that haue registred the dooings of these times, that Aurelius hauing vanquished the Saxons, restored churches to the furtherance of the christian religion, which [Sidenote:Matth. West.saith 488.] by the inuasion of the Saxons was greatlie decaied in diuerse parts of Britaine, and this chanced in the daies of the emperour Theodosius the yoonger.
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The beginning of the kingdome of the Southsaxons commonlie called Sussex, the Britains with their rulers giue battell to Ella the Saxon & his three sonnes, disagreement betweene the English and British chronographers about the battels fought by Hengist and his death, the beginning of the Kentish kingdome, a battell fought betweene the Britains and Saxons, the first are conquered, the last are conquerors.
THE NINTH CHAPTER.
[Sidenote: Ella entred this land as Matt. West. saith ann. 477.] In the time of the foresaid Aurelius Ambrosius, one Ella a Saxon with his 3 sonnes Cymen, Plettinger and Cissa, came out of Germanie with three ships, and landed in the south parts of Britaine and being incountred with a power of Britains at a place called Cuneueshore, discomfited them, and chased them vnto a wood then called Andredescester, and so tooke that countrie, and inhabited there with his people the Saxons which he brought with him, and made himselfe king and lord thereof, in somuch that afterwards the same countrie was [Sidenote: The kingdom of the Southsaxons dooth begin.] named the kingdome of the Southsaxons, which had for limits on the east side Kent, on the south the sea and Ile of Wight, on the west Hamshire, and on the north part Southerie. This kingdome (after some) began vnder the foresaid Ella, about the 32 yeere after the first comming of the Saxons into this land, which by following that account, [Sidenote: 482.] should be about the second yeere of the reigne of Aurelius Ambrosius, and about the yeere of our Lord 482. But other write, that it did begin about the 30 yeere after the first comming of Hengist, which should be two yeeres sooner.
William Harison differing from all other, noteth it to begin in the fourth yeere after the death of Hengist, 4458 of the world, 2 of the 317 Olympiad, 1248 of Rome, 492 of Christ, and 43 after the comming of the Saxons: his woords are these. Ella erected the kingdome of the Southsaxons, in the 15 after his arriuall, and reigned 32 yeeres, the chiefe citie of his kingdome also was Chichester, and after he had inioied the same his kingdome a while, he ouerthrew the citie called Andredescester, which as then was taken for one of the most famous in all the south side of England. For my part I thinke my dutie discharged, if I shew the opinions of the writers: for if I should therto ad mine owne, I should but increase coniectures, whereof alreadie we haue superfluous store. To proceed thereforr as I find.
About the ninth yeere after the comming of Ella, the Britains perceiuing that he with his Saxons still inlarged the bounds of his lordship by entring further into the land, assembled themselues togither vnder their kings and rulers, and gaue battell to Ella and his sonnes at Mecredesbourne, where they departed with doubtfull victorie, the armies on both sides being sore diminished, and so returned to their homes. Ella after this battell sent into his countrie for more aid.
But now touching Hengist, who as ye haue heard, reigned as king in the prouince of Kent, the writers of the English kings varie somewhat from the British histories, both in report of the battels by him fought against the Britains, and also for the maner of his death: as thus. After that Vortimer was dead, who departed this life (as some write) [Sidenote: Polychron.] in the first yeere of the emperor Leo, surnamed the great, and first of that name that gouerned the empire, who began to rule in [Sidenote: 457.] the yeere of our Lord 457, we find that Hengist and his sonne Occa or [Sidenote: Henrie Hunt. Wil. Malm. Creiford. Britains ouerthrowne.] Osca gathered their people togither that were before sparkled, and hauing also receiued new aid out of Germanie, fought with the Britains at a place called Crekenford, where were slaine of the Britains foure dukes or capteins, and foure thousand of other men, the residue were chased by Hengist out of Kent vnto London, so that they neuer returned afterwards againe into Kent: thus the kingdome of Kent began vnder Hengist the twelfe yeere after the comming of the Saxons into Britaine, and Hengist reigned in Kent after this (as the same writers agree) foure and twentie yeeres.
[Sidenote: Polychron.] It is remembred that those Germans which latelie were come ouer to the aid of Hengist, being chosen men, mightie and strong of bodie, with their axes and swoords made great slaughter of the Britains in that battell at Crekenford or Creiford, which Britains were ranged [Sidenote: Hen. Hunt.] in foure battels vnder their aforesaid foure dukes or capteins, and were (as before is mentioned) slaine in the same battell. About the sixt yeere of the said emperor Leo, which was in the 17 yeere after [Sidenote: Wipets field Matt. West. This battell was fought anno 473. as the same Mat. West. noteth.] the comming of the Saxons, Hengist and his sonne Occa or Osca fought at Wipets field in Kent, neere to a place called Tong with the Britains, and slue of them twelue dukes or capteins, & on the part of the Saxons was slaine beside common souldiers but onlie one [Sidenote: Wipet. H. Hunt. ] capteine called Wipet, of whom the place after that daie tooke name.
This victorie was nothing plesant to the Saxons, by reason of the great losse which they susteined, as well by the death of the said Wipet, as of a great number of others: and so of a long time neither did the Saxons enter into the confines of the Britains, nor the Britains presumed to come into Kent. But whilest outward wars ceassed among the Britains, they exercised ciuill battell, falling togither by the eares among themselues, one striuing against another. Finallie, Hengist departed this life by course of nature, in the 39 yeere after [Sidenote: Fortie Yeeres saith H. Hunt] his first comming into Britaine, hauing proceeded in his businesse [Sidenote: By this it is euident that he was not driuen out of the land after he had once set foot within it. Matt. West.] no lesse with craft and guile than with force and strength, following therewith his natiue crueltie, so that he rather did all things with rigour than with gentlenesse. After him succeeded a sonne whom he left behind him, who being attentiue rather to defend than to inlarge his kingdome, neuer set foot out of his fathers bounds, during the space of 24 yeeres, in the which he reigned.
[Sidenote: H. Hunt. The citie of Andredescester] About three yeeres after the deceasse of Hengist, a new supplie of men of warre came out of Germanie vnto the aid of Ella king of Sussex, who hauing his power increased, besieged the citie of Andredescester, which was verie strong and well furnished with men and all things necessarie. The Britains also assembling togither in companies, greatlie annoied the Saxons as they lay there at siege, laieng ambushes to destroie such as went abroad, and ceassing not to giue alarums to the campe in the night season: and the Saxons could no sooner prepare them selues to giue the assalt, but the Britains were readie to assaile them on the backs, till at length the Saxons diuiding themselues into two companies, appointed the one to giue the assalt, and the other to incounter with the armie of the Britains without, and so finallie by that meanes preuailed, tooke the citie, and destroied man, woman and child. Neither so contented, they did also vtterlie race the said citie, so as it was neuer after that daie builded or reedified againe.
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The east Angles kingdome beginneth, the arriuall of Cerdic and Kenric with fiue ships of warre in this land, he putteth the Britains to flight, the west Saxons kingdom begineth, Vter Pendragon made king of Britaine, the etymon of his name, he taketh Occa and Osca the two sonnes of Hengist prisoners, how Hector Boetius varieth from other chronographers in the relation of things concerning Pendragon, he falleth in loue with the duke of Cornewalls wife, killeth him, and marieth hir. Occa and Osca escape out of prison, they freshlie assault the Britains, they are both slaine in a foughten field, the Saxons send and looke for aid out of Germanie, Pendragon is poisoned.
THE TENTH CHAPTER.
[Sidenote: The kingdome of the east Angles began not till Aurelius Conanus reigned. 561.] Moreouer, in the daies of the afore-named Auralius Ambrosius, about the yeare of our Lord 561, the kingdome of the east Angles began vnder a Saxon named Uffa. This same kingdome conteined Northfolke and Suffolke, hauing on the east and north parts the sea, on the northwest Cambridgeshire, and on the west saint Edmunds ditch with a part of Hertfordshire, and on the southside lieth Essex. At the first it was called Vffines dominion, and the kings that reigned, or the people that inhabited there, were at the first named Vffines, but at length they were called east Angles.
[Sidenote: CERDIC.] Fvrthermore, about the yeare of our Lord 495, and in the eight [Sidenote: Wil. Malm.] [Sidenote: 495.] yeare after that Hengist was dead, one Cerdicus and his sonne Kenricus came out of Gerrmanie with fiue ships, and landed at a place called Cerdicshore, which as some thinke is called Yermouth in [Sidenote: Fabian. Polychron.] Northfolke. He was at the first receiued with battell by the Britains, but being an old skilfull warriour, he easilie beate [Sidenote: Wil. Malm.] backe and repelled the inconstant multitude of his enimies, and caused them to flee: by which good successe he procured both vndoubted assurance to himselfe for the time to come, and to the inhabitants good and perfect quietnes. For they thinking good neuer after to prouoke him more by resistance, submitted themselues to his pleasure: but yet did not he then giue himselfe to slouthfull rest, but rather extending his often atchiued victories on ech side, in the 24 yeare after his comming into this land, he obteined the rule of the west parts thereof, and gouerned there as king, so that the kingdome of the west Saxons began vnder the said Cerdicus in the 519 of Christ, as after shall be shewed.
[Sidenote: 529.] Thus ye maie see, that Aurelius Ambrosius did succeed Vortigerne, and reigned in the time supposed by the British histories, as before is alledged, the land euen in his daies was full of trouble, and the old inhabitants the Britains sore vexed by the Saxons that entred the same, so that the Britains were dailie hampered, and brought vnder subiection to the valiant Saxons, or else driuen to remooue further off, and to giue place to the victors. But now to proceed with the succession of the British kings, as in their histories we find them registred, which I deliuer such as I find, but not such as I doo wish, being written with no such colour of credit as we maie safelie put foorth the same for an vndoubted truth.
[Sidenote: Matth. West. noteth. 500.] After that Aurelius Ambrosius was dead, his brother Vter Pendragon (whome some call Aurelius Vterius Ambrosianus) was made king in the yeare of our Lord 500, in the seuenth yeare of the emperour Anastasius, and in the sixteenth yeare of Clodoueus king of the Frenchmen. The cause why he was surnamed Pendragon, was, for that Merline the great prophet likened him to a dragons head, that at the time of his natiuitie maruelouslie appeared in the firmament at the corner of a blasing star, as is reported. But others supposed he was so called of his wisedome and serpentine subtiltie, or for that he gaue the dragons head in his banner. This Vter, hearing that the Saxons with their capteins Occa or Otta the sonne of Hengist, and his brother Osca had besieged the citie of Yorke, hasted thither, and giuing them battell, discomfited their power, and tooke the said Occa and Osca prisoners.
[Sidenote: Hector Boet.] From this varieth Hector Boetius in his chronicle of Scotland, writing of these dooings in Britaine: for he affirmeth, that the counterfeit moonke, which poisoned Aurelius Ambrosius, was suborned and sent to woorke that feat by Occa, and not by his brother Pascentius: and further, that about the selfesame time of Aurelius his death, his brother Vter Pendragon lay in Wales, not as yet fullie recouered of a sore sicknesse, wherewith of late he had beene much vexed. Yet the lords of Britaine after the buriall of Aurelius Ambrosius, came vnto him and crowned him king: and though he was not able to go against the Saxons (which as then by reason of Aurelius Ambrosius his death were verie busie, and more earnest in pursuing the warre than before) yet an armie was prepared and sent foorth with all conuenient speed vnder the leading of one Nathaliod, a man neither of anie great ancient house, nor yet of skill in warlike affaires.
The noble men were nothing pleased herewith, as misliking altogither the lacke of discretion in their new king, & doubted sore, least in time to come he would haue more delight to aduance the men of base degree, than such as were descended of noble parentage. Yet because they would not put the state of the common wealth in danger through anie mutinie, they agreed to go foorth with him in that iournie. Occa had aduertisement giuen him by certeine letters sent to him from some close friends amongest the Britains of the whole matter: and therefore in hope of the better speed, he hasted foorth to incounter the Britains, and so the whole armie comming within sight of the other, they prepared to the battell, and shortlie after buckling togither, the Britains were soone discomfited, by reason that one of their chiefest capteins called Gothlois disdaining to be at the appointment of Nathaliod, got him vp to the next hill with the next battell which he led, leauing the other Britains in all the danger: which they seeing began by & by to flee. There died no great number of the Britains, except those that were killed in the fight: for Occa mistrusting what Gothlois meant by his withdrawing aside, would not suffer the Saxons to follow the chase, but in the night following Gothlois got him awaie, and rested not till he was out of danger. Occa then perceiuing himselfe to haue the vpper hand, sent an herald vnto king Vter with a certeine message, threatning destruction to him and to his people, if he refused to doo that which he should appoint.
Vter perceiuing what disloialtie rested in the harts of his owne subiects, agreed that the matter might be committed to eight graue and wise councellors, foure Britains and foure Saxons, which might haue full power to make an end of all controuersies and variances depending betwixt the two nations. Occa was likewise contented therewith, wherevpon were named on either part foure persons, of such wisedome, knowledge and experience, as were thought meetest for the ordering of such a weightie matter. So that by the arbitrement, award and doome of those eight persons authorised thereto, a league was concluded vpon certeine articles of agreement, amongst the which the chiefest was, that the Saxons from thencefoorth should quietlie inioy all that part of Britaine which lieth fore against the Almaine seas, the same to be called euer after Engistlaund, and all the residue should remaine to the Britains as their owne rightfull and ancient inheritance. Thus far Hector Boetius.
But now to returne vnto Vter according to that we find in the British histories, and to proceed after our owne historians; we find, that when he had vanquished the Saxons and taken their two chiefeteins prisoners, in processe of time he fell in loue with a verie beautifull [Sidenote: Gorolus duke of Cornewall.] ladie called Igwarne or Igerna, wife to one Gorolus or Gorlois duke of Cornewall, the which duke he slue at length neere to his owne castell called Diuulioc in Cornewall, to the end that he might inioy the said ladie, whome he afterwards maried, and begot on hir that noble knight Arthur, and a daughter named Amie or Anna. Occa and Osca escaping also out of prison assembled eftsoones a power of Saxons, and made warre against the Britains, whereof Vter hauing aduertisement prepared to resist them, and finallie went himselfe in person [Sidenote: Harding.] against them, and at saint Albans (as some write) gaue them battell, and slue them both in the field.
By that which Polydor Virgil writeth, it should seeme that Germane the bishop of Auxerre came into Britaine in the daies of this Vter, by whose presence the Britains had victorie against the Saxons (as before ye haue heard) after which victorie both rested from troubling either other for a time. The Saxons as it were astonied with that present miracle, & the Britains not following their good successe, shortlie after fell at discord amongst themselues, which finallie brought them to vtter decaie, as after shall appeare. But the Saxons desirous to spoile the Britains of the whole possession of that part of the Ile [Sidenote: Badon hill.] which they held, whereas they accounted the cities and townes of small strength to be defended, they got them to an high mounteine called Badon hill, which Polydor supposeth to be Blackamore that lieth neere to the water of Theise, which diuideth the bishoprike of Durham from Yorkeshire, hauing at the mouth thereof an hauen meet to receiue such ships as come out of Germanie, from whence the Saxons looked for aid, hauing alreadie sent thither for the same.