Capitulum septimum decimum.
SUANUS dedde the Danes erecte Canutus his sonne into theire kynge. Men of Yngelonde sende to Normandy to kynge Page 99, vol.7 Egelredus promisynge to be tru to hym, and to leve Canutus, so that he wolde be moore favorable to theim then he was afore. The kynge assentynge þerto, sende Edmund his sonne to theym afore. After that the kynge commen into Ynglonde, and takynge an hoste, expellede Canutus from Lindisey. Then Canutus perceyvynge moste avauntage to fle, caused men taken as plegges to his fader to be heded at Sandewiche in Kente, and somme to have theire nooses and hondes kytte awey; after that saylynge to Denmarke, and commynge into Ynglonde in the yere nexte foloynge ageyne. Canutus compassenge Este Ynglonde, wastede the sowthe partes, whom Edmund Irenside mette manfully, and fauȝhte soore with hym; but that traytor Edricus withdrawede hym, and the Westesaxons also. Egel|redus the kynge diede the ixthe kalendes of Maii at London, and was beryede in the churche of Seynte Paule; after the dethe of whom bischoppes and abbottes, and oþer gentylmen of the realme, denyenge the progeny of Egelredus, confessed at South|ampton [folio 318a] Canutus to be theire kynge; and he did swere to theyme that he scholde be a tru lorde to theyme after God and the worlde. But men of London, with mony oþer noble men, erecte Edmunde Irensyde into theire kynge; whiche subduede to hym the Westesaxons anoon, parte by armes, and parte by theire wylle. Canutus segede London, whiche repulsede from Page 101, vol.7 the cite fauȝhte ageyne Edmund in the province of Dorsette, nye to Gyllyngham, but he loste the victory. But after þat, Edmund Irensyde gedrenge to hym a moore myȝhty hoste in the province of Wiccions, in the myddes of somer, fauȝhte so soore ageyne Canutus that either hoste were feyne to departe from a sundre for werynesse of fiȝhte. Alfridus et Marianus. But Edmund scholde have hade a grete victory of the Danes in the day folowynge, but that Edricus the traitoure lette hit, schew|ynge to men of the hoste of Edmund, the hedde of a knyȝhte lyke to hym, seyenge to theyme, "Beholde, sers, the hedde of youre lorde." But Edmunde knowynge that treason, fauȝhte moore manfully untylle nyȝhte; and Canutus wente towarde London in the nyȝhte, and Edmund folowynge hym, delyverede the cite, and after that the Danes were devicte at Brenteforde in the thrydde tyme. Then that traytour Edricus promised fidelite to Edmund Irenside. Also the seide Edmund hade victory of the Danes robbynge Kente at Otteforde, chasede theyme to the yle of Shepey. This Edmunde turnede to Westesax, Canutus spoylede the Marches; whom Edmunde mette at Asshedon, makynge a soore batelle. That Edricus seenge the Danes to be inclynede, stale his weye from the hoste, where mony men were sleyne longynge to Edmund, with the bischoppe of Lincoln and thabbot Ramesey, commyn thyder to Page 103, vol.7 entrete for a knyȝhte. Where pease was reformede by the cown|sayle of Edricus in this maner folowynge, suertes made: A knyȝhte stode up in the myddes of the hoste, seyenge: "Moche peple dyethe dayly, but noo man hathe victory. Edmunde is invincible for his strenȝhte insuperable, and Canutus is in|vincible for the favor of fortune. But what wille be the ende of this fiȝhte? that theire peple sleyne, other thei schalle compown, other thei schalle fiȝhte allon; why do thei not so nowe, or compowne? sithe that the realme was sufficiente afore to v. kynges, why scholde hit not be sufficiente then to ij. men? And if hit be so that thei have indignacion to departe [folio 318b] the realme betwene theym, or the oon to be subiecte to that other, suffre theym to fiȝhte allon that desire to have lordeschippe allon, leste that theire hostes and men sleyne, peple of the realme schalle not suffise to resiste theire enemyes and to defende þe realme." Those ij. noble men metynge, with theire hostes, at an yle callede Olneye, nye to Gloucestre, the peple of bothe partes seide that other thei scholde com|pownde other fiȝhte allon. The kynges metynge in the myddes of the yle, firste on horses and after on foote, mette to|gedre Page 105, vol.7 and fauȝhte soore allon; where Canutus þe kynge, per|ceyvynge Edmund to be invincible, movede hym to divide the realme betwene þeim. Then the armoure caste awey, thei kyssede togedre, peple mervellenge and ioyenge moche þereof. This acorde made, that traytour Edricus, thenkynge to obteyne the favor of Canutus, wente prively under a sege at Oxen|forde, and when the seide Edmund come to þat place to do the dewte of nature, he was putte thro the body with a broche in the secrete place. And that doen, Edricus the traytour goynge to Canutus, seide: "Hayle, kynge allon." Then Canutus, knowynge of that treason, seide to hym: "In that thow hase sleyne oon of the noblemen of the worlde, sup|posynge to please me þerwith, y schalle exalte thy hedde above all the gentylmen of Ynglonde;" and so Edricus was heded, and his hedde sende to London, and sette on the hieste ȝate of hit. ℞. Neverthelesse mony writers of storyes re|herse, and specially Marianus, that Edmund died not so, but that he diede at London, abowte þe feste of seynte Andrewe, after that acorde made and division of the realme betwene þeim, and was beryede with Edgarus, his grauntefader, at Glaston; whiche thynge scholde appere to be tru, in that alle cronicles expresse that Canutus the kynge ȝafe to that traytour Ed|ricus þe Marches after the dethe of Edmund, or to have ȝiffen Page 107, vol.7 cownsaile to Canutus to have putte the sonnes of Edmund to exile, and mony other þinges myȝhte not stond if Edricus hade be heded afore.