EGELREDUS the sonne of Edgarus, geten of Elfritha his secunde wife, erecte into the kynge at Kyngeston, after his broþer Edwarde, segede the realme xxxviij. yere, raþer then governede hit. For the cowrse of his lyfe was cruelle and infortunate in the begynnynge, miserable in the myddes, and fowle in the ende; for when seynte Dunstan baptisede hym, he filede the holy fonte. Seynte Dunstan trowblede þer with seide, "By God and by his moder, þis childe schalle be a loselle." Also seynte Dunstan adiecte this oracle to hym in the day of his coronacion: "In that thow ascendede to the realme by the dethe of thy broþer, whose dethe Ynglische men, with that wickede woman thy moder, conspirede, manslaȝter and Page 43, vol.7 the correccion of God schalle not wonte to theyme, untylle that the peple of uncowthe langage comme into this londe, and brynge theyme into grete servitute; and that offense schalle not be forȝiffen but by longe penaunce and grete vengeaunce." [folio 312a] This Egelredus havynge x. yere in age, herynge the dethe of Edwarde his broþer, trowblede his moder thro wepynge, inso|moche that sche havynge noo rodde nye to here honde, toke a taper, and bete hym þerwith soe soore þat he was allemoste dedde. Wherefore he did hate from that a cerge alle the tymes of his lyfe. This kynge gate of Ethelgiva, doȝhter of Egberte the erle, a sonne callede Edmunde Yrnesyde; and of Emma the gemme of Normandy, Edwyne, Ethelstan, and Edgiva, Alfrede and Edwarde. A clowde was sene in Yng|londe nowe of the coloure of bloode, and soone after lyke to fire, and after the nyȝhte paste hit evaneschede in the morowe. The cite of Sowthehampton, the yle of Thaneth nye to Kente, the monastery of Seynte Petrocus in Cornewaile, and the pro|vince of Westechestre, was wastede by the Danes. The cite of Page 45, vol.7 London was brente with fire of the cite. Seynte Ethewold, bischop of Wynchestre, died; whiche borne at Wynchestre, noryschede and made monke under seynte Dunstan, was made abbot of Abendon in the tyme of kynge Ededrus, and bischop of Wynchestre in the tyme of kynge Edgarus, where he made a monastery of myncheons, and did translate the body of seynte Swithyn from the erthe; whom seynte Elphegus abbot of Bathe did succede, sleyne by the Danes, as hit schalle be schewide here aftir. Otho the thrydde, son of Otho the secunde, reignede in Alemayne after the dethe of his fader xviij. yere, crownede emperoure at Rome by pope Gregory the vthe. And thauȝhe these thre men, Otho by name, succedid linially, hit was ordeynede that the emperoure scholde be chosyn by Page 47, vol.7 the sevyn chawncellers and noblemen of thempire, as these versus schewe:
This Otho the thrydde hade a wife, whiche movynge a man to take his pleasure of here, and he refusede that synne, was commaundede to be heded with owten audience. Neverthelesse this man spake to his wife or he was put to dethe, that sche scholde purge his innocency after his dethe by the examina|cion of hoote yrne. And at the laste the day come in whom Page 49, vol.7 themperoure seide he wolde schewe iuggemente to poore wedowes and to faderlesse childer. That wedowe was þer presente havynge the hedde of her howsebonde in her lappe, and inquirynge of themperoure, what dethe that man were worthy þat hade pereschede a man unryȝht|euousely, [folio 312b] themperoure seide that he were worthy to loose his hedde. The woman seide, "Thow arte that man, whiche y schalle prove by examinacion of hoote yrne." That exa|minacion doen themperoure ȝafe his body to the woman to punysche hit at here pleasure. Neverthelesse, respite was ȝiffen by the instaunces of bischoppes, firste of x. daies, and after that of viij. daies, and of vij. daies, and at the laste respite of vj. daies; in whom the kynge examinynge the cause þer of, brente his awne wife, and ȝafe to the wedowe iiij. castells in the bischopryche Brinense for his redempcion, the names of whiche castelles be callede after the nowmbre of the daies grawntede for respite, as x., viij., vij., and vj. Iohn the xiiijthe was pope viij. monethes; whom Iohn the xvte succedid Page 51, vol.7 iiij. monethes; after whom Iohn the xvjthe was pope x. yere. Willelmus ubi supra. Egelredus the kynge segede the cite of Rochestre, for certeyne dissencions spronge betwene hym and the bischop. Seynte Dunstan sende worde to hym that he scholde leve his cruellenesse, leste hit scholde move seynte Andrewe, patron of that place, ageyne him. That message contempte, the bischop sende to hym c. li. that he scholde departe from the cite; that taken he departede. Seynte Dun|stan mervellynge of the covetyse of the kynge, sende to hym by messangers, seyenge, "In that thow hast preferryd golde to God, and silvyr to his apostole, and thy covetyse afore my luffe, ylle thynges schalle comme soone to the, but not in my lyfe." After ij. yere y-paste nexte folowynge, seynte Dunstan diede, and the Danes come into Ynglonde. Too un|cowthe pestilence come in this yere amonge the peple of Ynglonde, and axes of men, and a dethe or infirmite of beste callede the schute. Ynglonde was redacte iiij. tymes into servitute Page 53, vol.7 in the tymes of kynge Ethelrede by Suanus kynge of the Danes. The firste tribute was of xxiiijte mlli. of silvyr; the secunde tribute was of xxxvjte mlli. of silvyr; the thrydde tribute was of xlviijte mlli. of silvyr; the iiijte tribute was of lxxij. mlli. of silvyr, whiche endurede by xvj. yere. This kynge hade to his secrete cownesayle specially an erle, Edricus by name, whiche was lorde of Schropschire, Herdfordeschire, and Worcestreschire, after whom alle thynge was rulede, and with|owte whom noo thynge was done. This Edricus hade a [folio 313a] brother, schireffe of Kente, whiche oppressynge moche men of Kente, was sleyne by theyme in the cite of Cawnterbery; wherefore Edricus, for vengeaunce þerof, willede to have destroyede the cite, but the kynge wolde not condescende and suffre hym to do so. This Edricus was a fals man, schewynge a pleasaunte contenaunce to the kynge, and intendynge the destruccion of the realme, schewynge to the Danes, whiche wasted and destroyede the cuntre, the secrete cownesaile of the kynge, and movede theyme to sege Cawnterbury, in that he hatede þat cite moste specially. The Danes toke the cite of Cawnterbury, destroyenge hit, sleynge and oppressenge the peple in hit; takynge with theyme blissede Elphegus the archebischop, and ledynge hym to Grenewich putte hym to dethe. The kynge, as clothede with misery and langoure, diede at London, and was beriede at the churche of Seynte Paule in the same cite. Blissede Dunstan diede, the vertuous lyfe of whom Osdernus monke of Cawnterbery did write. Amonge other miracles, he rehersethe that seynte Dunstan, preyede by a noble religious woman to make noble a scole for a preste with the ymages of Petyr and Paule and of apostoles and martirs, an harpe putte nye a walle was herde to repre|sente, as to sownde and to herynge, the tune of this antemme, Page 55, vol.7 "Gaudent in cœlis," withowte towchynge of eny man. Also he tellethe that seynte Dunstan instructe in diversites of hondecraftes, and abowte to make a chalice in his celle, the develle apperede to hym in a bodyly similitude, imprintynge to his*. [Sic. in MS.] diverse kyndes of voluptuosite. Seynte Dunstan perceyvynge that, toke the noose of the develle with the hoote brennynge tonges, and helde hym faste, untille that the develle makynge grete noyse causede his breþer to perceyve that thynge. Also seynte Dunstan beynge in a tyme as in a dreame, herde angells synge "Kyrieleyson, Christeleyson," whiche was*. [Sic. in MS.] armony is contenede in "Kyrie Rex splendens." This seynte Dunstan dedde, the Danes were entrede as in every parte of Ynglonde, in so moche that men knowede not where they myȝhte mete theyme. Wherefore thei putte from theyme by money, whom they myȝhte not putte from theyme by armes, payenge, by cownesaile of Siricius the archebischop, whiche was successoure to seynte Dunstan, in the firste yere x. mlli.; after Page 57, vol.7 that xvj. mlli.; in the thrydde tyme xxte mlli.; in the iiijthe tyme xxiiijte mlli.; after that xxxte mlli.; and at þe laste xlti mlli.; untylle [folio 313b] that money wontynge the Danes returnede to robbynge and to manslaȝter. Elfricus, governoure of the schippes longynge to the kynge, wente to the Danes in the nyȝhte afore that the kynges hoste scholde have fauȝhte with theyme, tellynge to theyme what men thei scholde eschewe. Wherefore Algarus, son of that Elfricus, was taken and made blynde; wherefore the Danes robbynge Northumbrelonde, and segenge the cite of Lon|don, compellede the kynge to pay a tribute. Elphegus byschop of Wynchestre baptisede Anelafus kynge of the Danes, suerte taken afore; whom Egelredus the kynge toke from the fonte, and the bischop confermede hym; whiche doynge noo moore grevaunce to Ynglonde, returnede to his cuntre. But the peple of þe Danes seasede not so; but wastede gretely the londe. The presence and comforte of audacite in batells helpynge Page 59, vol.7 moche, as by the person of the kynge, was a goen in that tyme; wherefore when an hoste was gedrede and schippes made redy, they profite not, for the peple ȝafe theyme to robbery and thefte, and the tempestes of the see brake mony schippes; and the schippes reservede a man callede Willenotus, putte to exile by the kynge, occupiede theym by treason, other drownede theyme, or causede theyme to be brente. And if the noble|men of the realme come to eny cownesaile, they did noo thynge to the profite of the realme; and if eny thynge were seide þer to the utilite of the realme, hit was rehersede anoon to theire enemyes. The condicion of this kynge was to putte men to Page 61, vol.7 exile, and to take theire lyvelode and goodes by fals accusacion; whiche was disposede to Emma his wyfe, that he refusede here knowlege mony tymes, and drawede to hoores.