Capitulum septimum decimum.
SUANE þerfore [being dead,]*. [þy deth, MS. In a few places, in these chapters where no collation is possible and the MS. reading is utterly wrong, a translation of the Latin is inserted in brackets and the reading of the MS. put in the foot note.] þe Danes raysed Canute his sone into kyng. Þe Englisshe men forsoþe sent to kyng Egelrede Page 99, vol.7 at Normandye, byhetynge þat ȝif he wolde bere hym more benigne to þaym, þan he was wont, þat Canute i-putte out þey wolde desire hym. He fforsoþe assentynge to þing i-profred to hym, for pees to be affermed sent byfore his sone Edward. Afterward, aboute Lenten, þe kyng comynge hastely drof Canut out of Lyndeseie. Þan Canut in fleynge, takynge counsail unto hym at Sandwiche in Kent, made alle þe ostage, þat ware som|tyme ȝiffen to his fader, for be kutte handes and nose; and schipped unto Denmark, þat ȝere folowynge for to torne aȝen. Þis ȝere Canute i-schipped aboute Est Engelond, robbed þe parties; aȝenst whom manfully comynge Edmond Irenside; but he perceyved and i-proved þe deceyvynge of Edrik with|drew hym. Edrik wiþ his men fil unto Canute, þat saved Westsex. Kyng Egelred deide at Londoun þe ix. kl of May, and was i-buried in þe chirche of Seynt Poule. After whos deþ þe bisshoppes, abbotes, and gentiles of þe lond, forsaken his kynreden and progenie, knowleched at Souþhamptoun Canute for to be þaire kyng; he forsoþe swore þat he schulde be to hem trewe lorde aȝenst God and þe world. Men of Lon|doun forsoþe, wiþ a partie of gentiles, raised Edmond Yrenside into kyng, whiche also sone put underneþe Westsex, in party for drede, and in partie wilfully. In þe mene tyme Canute Page 101, vol.7 byseged Londoun, bot he was putte abak; and in Dorcestre province, besides Gillyngham, he fauȝt aȝenst Edmond, but he was overcomen; after þat the mydsomer over passed, Edmond wiþ a gretter oste in Wiltschire fauȝt so scharply aȝenst Canute þat for werynesse eiþer ooste departed asondre. Alfri|dus et Marianus. Bot þe day after Edmond had al forbroken þe Danes, but þat false wikked duke Edric schewed unto þe oost þe heved of a knyȝt þat was most like to Edmond, seienge, " Fleeþ, Englische men, loo þe heved of Edmond ȝoure lord." But Edmond þat i-knowen stood more scharply fiȝtenge evene to þe nyȝt. Canute in þe nyȝt wente to Lon|doun; Edmond, folwynge at þe bak, delyverede þe citee. Þe þridde tyme also Tempse overpassed [at] Brendford, þe Danes were overcomen, þe Danes robbynge att Otteforde in Kent, and droof hem into þe ile of Schepey. Þerfore turnynge aȝen Edmond to Westsex, Canute robbed Merscheland; for þat þing Edmond com aȝen at Aschedowne, where it was fouȝten man|fully on þe to syde and þe oþer. Duke Edrik, when he saw þe Danes to be enclyned, he bygan to take fliȝt falsely; wherfore many worþy men fill of Edmond side, wiþ þe bisshop of Lyncolne and þe abbot of Rameseye, whiche come for to praye for þe Page 103, vol.7 kyng. Þerfore after þe counseille of Edrik, ostage i-gyffen on boþe two sides atwixe þe two kynges at Durhurst in Severne bonke, pees was reformed in þis manere. One of the knyȝtes rose up in myddes of þe ostes, seyenge þus: "We dye alday, but none overcomeþ. Edmond is unable to be overcomen, for his strengþe þat may not be overcomen; Canute is unable to be overcomen ffor his favour of fortune; bot what schal be þe fruyt of þis contynual peril, bot þat oure knyȝtes of eiþer partie is slayn, þe dukes þat beeþ kynges compelled by nede acorde þaym, or elles certes þey fiȝte hem self allone wiþ any knyȝt, wherfore þan doo þey nouȝt now þe tone of þese; þat if þey accorde whi schal not þe kyngdom, þat is richer þan it was wonte, suffice unto two, þat somtyme was inow to fyve kynges; þat if þere be in þaym so moche lost of lordschipe þat eiþer dedeyne for to have partie wiþ þe oþere, oþer for to be underneþe þe oþere, þan let þaym fiȝte allone þat covaite for to have lordshipe allone; þat if alle fiȝte and alle i-slayn þere ben none knyȝtes to wonie þey comande; and also þat þere be none þat may defende þe kyngdom aȝenst straungers." Þere þey comynge to gidre wiþ þaire ostes at þe ile of Olney beside Gloucestre, it was cried of alle men þat oþer þey schulde accorde oþer elles fiȝte allone. Þerfore þese kynges rennynge to gidres in myddes of þe ile, þe peple byholdynge on þe oon side, and þe oþer on þe oþer side, firste on horse and after on foot þay Page 105, vol.7 dede a syngular bataille. But when þat Canute perceyved and fande þat Edmond unable forto be overcomen, he accorded of party to be overcomen of þe kyndome; þerfore þaire armes i-kaste awey, þey fil into kissinges aiþer of oþer, alle men þerof marveillynge, and ioyenge to see þise þus doo. Edric þe traytour coveytinge to make hym self kynde and plesynge to Canute, at Oxenforde, where þat Edmond wente to esement, and Edrik prively hid hym under þe prive hous, and wiþ an iren stiked hym in þe prive membres as he satte at his esement; ffro þens goynge to Canute seide: "Heil kyng allone!" To whom þe kyng answerde þus: "I knowe wel," he seide, "for þou sup|posest to plese me wiþ suche service, and hast i-slayn þe beste man of þe world, I schal raise þyn heved aboven alle þe gentiles of Engelond." Also sone Edrik his hede was kutte of, and satte uppon þe hiȝest ȝate of Londoun aboute. ℞. Neverþeles som croniculers telleþ and most Marianus, þat Edmond dede nouȝt þus, but þat after broþerhede and fraternite confermed atwene þe kynges as it is seide, and after þe partynge of þe reame atwene hem, Edmond deide at Londoun aboute þe feste of seynt Andrew, and i-buried at Glastyngbury with his grauntsire Edgare, whiche sekerly semeþ like sooþ, for þat þat Page 107, vol.7 comoun cronicles telleþ þat Canute kyng, after þe deth of Edmond,*. [A part of the text is here untranslated, perhaps through an omission of the scribe.] and dede many oþer þinges þoruȝ þe counseile of Edrik, whiche forsoþe myȝte not stonde, if he hadde first be heveded.