Capitulum primum. Marianus, libro secundo.
ALUREDUS, the iiijthe son in byrthe, succedid after his breþer to the holle monarchye of the Westesaxons, whom he governede myȝhtely xxxti yere, but with grete and soore laboure. Of the begynnynge, progresse, and ende whom hit is to be adver|tisede that Aluredus was beawtuous of schappe, luffede moore of fader and moder then his oþer breþer, taryenge not instructe Page 355, vol.6 in eny science in his faders courte unto the xijthe yere of his age. But after that he tauȝhte poemes or metres in the lan|gage of Saxons, kepede theyme in his mynde, experte in the arte of huntynge, and specially in geometry; compacte psalmes and preyers into oon boke, whiche callynge hit a hondebooke, [folio 297b] bare hit besily with hym; also he gate not gramer perfitely, for that tyme þer was not oon techer of gramer in alle his realme.*. [Here is a marginal note in a later hand, "And none at Cam|bridge nor at Granchester. So Oxenford the firste Universitie, and one Scotus, borne at St. Davids, in Wales, was the firste that professed learninge in that Academie. There was a Coledge at St. Davids before that tyme.] Wherefore he ordeynede firste at Oxenforde scoles*. [Of the uni|versite of Oxenford.] of diverse artes after the cownsaile of Neotus thabbot, whom he visitte moche; whiche cite he causede to have grete privi|legys in mony thynges. Whiche wolde not suffre eny man illiterate to enioye eny benefice, and turnede noble lawes into Ynglische. At the laste he laborynge to translate the sawter, Page 357, vol.6 dyede soone after, unnethe the firste parte of hit complete. This Aluredus encreasede in age, wyllynge to fixe his mynde in the drede and lawes of God, and not havynge powere to per|forme his wylle for sensualite trowblynge hym soore, entrede into churches in the morowe, in the eve, and in mony other tymes, preyenge Allemyȝhty God to punysche his flesche soe with suche infirmite that scholde avoide that temptacion, so that he myȝhte applye hym to worldely thynges and profitable. Wherefore he suffrede by the wylle of God the flix by mony yeres; whiche beynge as in despaire as for that sekenesse or passion, wente to Cornewaile to the churche of seynte Guer|oure, where Neotus the confessor restethe, other for that passion to be mitigate other to be chaungede. ℞. But mony men say that he was healede by seynte Modwenne, virgyn, of Yrlonde, Page 359, vol.6 of þat passion; but, his promyse broken, that infirmite con|tynuede with hym in tyme of matrimony from xxti yere unto the xlvthe yere more grevous þen hit was afore. Whiche gate of Ethelswitha, his qwene, ij. sonnes, Edwarde the senior and Egelwardus, and iij. doȝhters, Elfleda, lady of the Marches, Ethel|gora, a myncheon, and Elfrida, whom he causede to be informede in the artes liberalle. Alurede, a ȝiffer of almes, herer of masses, the intracer of artes not knowen, callede to hym seynte Grimbalde the monke, nobly instructe in litterature and in musyke, from the partes of Fraunce, and a monke callede Iohn from the monastery of Seynte David in Menevia, that he myȝhte be informede. Whiche provokede so moche þe noble men of his realme to learn that other they scholde sende þeire sonnes to the scole, and if thei hade noo childer they scholde sende theire [folio 298a] Page 361, vol.6 servauntes to the study, if thei were capax of conynge, liberte grauntede afore to theym with a sufficient exhibicion. Whiche ȝafe grete attendaunce to the dedes of his ministres, and specially off iugges, in so moche that he wolde amove theyme from theire office if that he hade knowlege that they errede from the wey of ryȝhte by avarice or eny other meane. Also he causede Wilfrithe bischop of Worchestre to translate the dialogges of seynte Gregory into the langage of Saxons. Wil|lemus de Regibus, libro primo. This kynge divided alle his proventes into ij. partes, oon parte whereof he subdivided ageyne into thre partes, distributynge oon parte to his ministres, whiche were divided into thre companies. For ij. partes of the kynges ministres hade licence to kepe theire awne places for theire profite for ij. monthes, and in the thrydde monethe alle the ministres of the kynge scholde come and do hym servyce. Also he assignede an oþer parte of the thre to diverse laborers Page 363, vol.6 whom he causede to be occupiede in diverse costes; he ȝafe the thrydde parte to aliaunteȝ and pilgremes commynge to hym. Also he divided the secunde principalle parte of his proventes into iiij. partes, the firste parte of whom he ȝafe to poore men, the secunde parte to fundacions of monasterys, the thryd parte to scolers at Oxforde, the iiijthe parte was assignede to the reparacion of churches. Whiche wyllynge to spende his lyfe egally, dividede the day naturalle into thre partes, disposynge viij. howres in redynge, writynge, and in preyenge, viij. howres to the cures of his body, and viij. howres to the utilite of the realme. To the distinccion of whiche þinge he putte a candelle in his chapel of xxiiijti partes, and after the consumpcion of the partes he disposede hym to his ordinaunce. Also he fauȝhte*. [A batell of Ynglysh men ageyne þe Danes.] with the Danes at Wilton soore in the firste monethe of his reigne, for men of Ynglonde were decreasede moche by viij. batells that thei hade in oon yere, þerfore men of Ynglonde Page 365, vol.6 toke pease that yere with the Danes in this condicion, that the Danes scholde departe from theym, and so they did, for thei wente to London in that yere, and in the yere folowynge to Lindesey, and after that to Rependon. Charls the senior, broþer to Lodowicus the thrydde, wente to Rome after the dethe of his broþer, and was crownede emperoure of pope Iohn, and reignede ij. yere. For this Charls beynge at the cite Papy, and herynge the commynge of Karolomannus, son of his broþer, dredynge hym fledde towarde Fraunce, and diede at Alpes. After whom Lodowicus his son reignede ij. yere, whom Charls [folio 298b] þe yonger succedid, sonne of Lodowicus þe þridde, and reignede x. yere. The Danes levynge Lindisey in this yere come to Rependon, where Burdredus kynge of Marches expulsede, thei toke that realme to Colwulphus, a ministre of kynge Burdredus, in this condicion, that they scholde reioyce that realme when Page 367, vol.6 thei wolde. But thre yere paste þey divided that realme amonge theyme, and toke parte to Colwulphus, whiche was also laste of kynges of the Marches. After the dethe of whom, kynge Alurede toke London and parte of Colwulphus to his realme. The Danes beynge at this tyme in Rependon, citesynnes of Ham|burga, beynge v. myles from theym, were gretely aferde, and toke the body of seynte Werburga, untille that tyme incorrupte, and did translate hit to Chestre, as unto a place of suerte. Kynge Alurede toke pease with the Danes in this yere, for cause thei hade sleyne alle his horses in oon nyȝhte, wherewith he was trowblede, and causede theym to flee to Excestre, where borowes ȝiffen thei taryede by oon yere. Henricus, libro quinto. Rollo, a noble man of the Danes, entrede this tyme into Nor|mandy, in whom he reignede by xlti yere. Willelmus de Regibus, libro secundo. A man callede Hastingus by name, and after that Rollo Noricus, expulsede from theire cuntre by precepte of the Page 369, vol.6 kynge, and so wontynge a cuntre, and gedrenge a grete multitude of peple, kepede the see and grownde from the occean of Briteyne unto the see Tyrene, and so come at the laste to Carno|tum. Where the citesynnes not trusting in the defense of the walles, toke the smokke of oure lady, whom Carolus Calvus brouȝhte from Constantinopole, and sette hit on the walles of the cite in the maner of a baner; and the enemyes schotynge at hit, and havynge hit in derision, were made blynde. Never|thelesse Rollo fledde, and occupiede Roone in the yere of oure Lorde viijc. lxxvj., in the yere afore the dethe of Karelus Calvus, Lodowicus the sonne of whom hade victory ageyne the Normannes, but he expulsed theyme not. And Charls the Simple, brother of this Lodowicus, devicte oftetymes by this Rollo, accorded with hym at the laste by his cownesaile, that Rollo scholde be baptized, and knowlege hym to have Nor|mandy Page 371, vol.6 and Armorik of the kynge of Fraunce, as of his lorde. That doen, men of Fraunce stondynge þer movede Rollo to kysse the kynges fote. But Rollo havenge indignacion to bowe soe lawe, in drawenge the kynges fote to his mowthe causede the kynge to have a falle, wherewith the Normannes did lauȝhe. But Rollo excusede that offense doen by the use of his cuntre; [folio 299a] whiche goynge after that to Roone and disposynge his goodes diede soone.