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THE HISTORY OF BRITAIN
THE THIRD BOOK

by

JOHN MILTON


This third Book having to tell of accidents as various and exemplaryas theintermission or change of Government hath any where brought forthmay deserveattention more than commonand repay it with like benefit to them who canjudiciously read: considering especially that the late civil broils hath cast usinto a condition not much unlike to what the Britans were then inwhenthe imperial jurisdiction departing hence left them to the sway of thir ownCounsels; which times by comparing seriously with these laterand that confusedAnarchy with this intereignwe may be able from two such remarkable turns ofStateproducing like events among usto raise a knowledge of our selves bothgreat and weightyby judging hence what kind of men the Britansgenerally are in matters of so high enterprisehow by natureindustryorcustom fitted to attempt or undergoe matters of so main consequence: for if itbe a high point of wisdom in every private manmuch more is it in a Nation toknow it self; rather than puft up with vulgar flatteriesand encomiumsforwant of self knowledgeto enterprise rashly and come off miserably in greatundertakings. The Britans thus as we heard being left without protectionfrom the Empireand the Land in a manner emptied of all her youthconsumed inWarrs abroador not caring to return homethemselves through long subjectionservile in mindsloathful of bodyand with the use of Arms unacquaintedsustain'd but ill for many years the violence of those barbarous Invaders whonow daily grew upon them. For although at first greedy of changeand to bethought the leading Nation to freedom from the Empirethey seem'd a while tobestirr them with a shew of diligence in thir new affairssom secretly aspiringto ruleothers adoring the name of libertyyet so soon as they felt by proofthe weight of what it was to govern well themselvesand what was wanting withinthemnot stomach or the love of licencebut the wisdomthe virtuethe labourto use and maintain true libertiethey soon remitted thir heatand shrunk morewretchedly under the burden of thir own libertiethan before under a foren yoke.Insomuch that the residue of those Romans which had planted themselvesheerdespairing of thir ill deportment at homeand weak resistance in thefield by those few who had the courageor the strength to bear Armsnine yearsafter the sacking of Rome remov'd out of Britain into Francehiding for haste great part of thir treasurewhich was never after found. Andnow again the Britansno longer able to support themselves against theprevailing Enemysollicit Honorius to thir aidwith mournful LettersEmbassages and vows of perpetual subjection to Rome if the NorthernFoe were but repuls't. He at thir request spares them one Legionwhich withgreat slaughter of the Scots and Picts drove them beyond theBordersrescu'd the Britansand advis'd them to build a Wall cross theIlandbetween Sea and Seafrom the place where Edinburg now stands tothe Frith of Dunbrittonby the City Alcluith. But the materialbeing only Turfand by the rude multitude unartificially built up withoutbetter directionavail'd them little. For no sooner was the Legion departedbut the greedy spoilers returningland in great numbers from thir Boats andPinaceswastingslayingand treading down all before them. Then aremessengers again posted to Rome in lamentable sortbeseeching that theywould not suffer a whole Province to be destroy'dand the Roman namesohonourable yet among themto become the subject of barbarian scorn andinsolence. The Emperorat thir sad complaintwith what speed was possiblesends to thir succour. Who coming suddenly on those ravenous multitudes thatminded only spoilsurprise them with a terrible slaughter. They who escap'dfled back to those Seasfrom whence yearly they were wont to arriveand returnlad'n with booties. But the Romans who came not now to rulebutcharitably to aiddeclaring that it stood not longer with the ease of thirAffairs to make such laborious voyages in pursuit of so base and vagabondrobbersof whom neither glory was to be gotnor gainexhorted them to managethir own warfare; and to defend like men thir Countrythir Wivesthir Childrenand what was to be dearer than lifethir libertyagainst an Enemy not strongerthan themselvesif thir own sloth and cowardise had not made them so; if theywould only find hands to grasp defensive Armsrather than basely stretch themout to receave bonds. They gave them also thir help to build a new Wallnot ofearth as the formerbut of stone (both at the public costand by particularcontributions) traversing the Ile in direct line from East to West betweencertain Cities plac'd there as Frontiers to bear off the Enemywhere Severushad wall'd once before. They rais'd it 12 Foot high8 broad. Along the Southshoarbecause from thence also like hostility was fear'dthey place Towers bythe Sea side at certain distancesfor safety of the Coast. Withall theyinstruct them in the art of Warrleaving Patterns of thir Arms and Weaponsbehind them; and with animating wordsand many lessons of valour to afaint-hearted audiencebid them finally farewellwithout purpose to return.And these two friendly Expeditionsthe last of any hither by the Romanswere perform'das may be gather'd out of Bedaand Diaconusthetwo last years of Honorius. Thir Leaderas som modernly writewas Gallioof Ravenna; Buchananwho departs not much from the Fables of hisPredecessor Boethiusnames him Maximianusand brings against himto this Battel Fergus first King of Scots after thir secondsuppos'd coming into ScotlandDurstus King of Pictsboththere slainand Dioneth an imaginary King of Britainor Duke of Cornwallwho improbablie sided with them against his own Countriehardlie escaping. Withno less exactness of particular circumstanceshe takes upon him to relate allthose tumultuarie inrodes of the Scots and Picts into Britainas if they had but yesterday happen'dthir order of Battelmanner of fightnumber of slainArticles of Peacethings whereof Gildas and Bedaare utterly silentAuthors to whom the Scotch Writers have none to citecomparable in Antiquity; no more therefore to be believ'd for bare assertionshowever quaintlie drestthan our Geofry of Monmouth when hevaries most from authentick storie. But either the inbred vanity of someinthat respect unworthily call'd Historiansor the fond zeal of praising thirNations above truth hath so far transported themthat where they find nothingfaithfully to relatethey fall confidently to invent what they think may eitherbest set off thir Historieor magnifie thir Countrie.

The Scots and Picts in manners differing somwhat from each otherbut still unanimous to rob and spoilehearing that the Romans intendednot to returnfrom thir Gorroghsor Leathern Frigats pour out themselves inswarms upon the landmore confident than ever: and from the North end of theIle to the very wall sidethen first took possession as inhabitants; while the Britanswith idle Weapons in thir hands stand trembling on the Battlementstill thehalf-naked Barbarians with thir long and formidable Iron hooks pull them downheadlong. The rest not only quitting the Wall but Towns and Citiesleave themto the bloodie pursuerwho follows killingwastingand destroying all in hisway. From these confusions arose a Faminand from thence discord and civilcommotion among the Britans: each man living by what he rob'd or tookviolently from his Neighbour. When all stores were consum'd and spent where meninhabitedthey betook them to the Woodsand liv'd by huntingwhich was thironly sustainment. To the heaps of these evils from withoutwere added newdivisions within the Church. For Agricola the Son of Severianus a PelagianBishop had spread his Doctrine wide among the Britans not uninfectedbefore. The sounder part neither willing to embrace his opinion to the overthrowof divine gracenor able to refute himcrave assistance from the Churches of France:who send them Germanus Bishop of Auxerre and Lupus of Troyes.They by continual preaching in Churchesin Streetsin Fieldsand not withoutmiraclesas is writt'nconfirm'd somregain'd othersand at Verulamin a public disputation put to silence thir chief adversaries. This reformationin the Church was beleev'd to be the cause of thir success a while after in thefield. For the Saxons and Picts with joint forcewhich was no newthing before the Saxons at least had any dwelling in this Ilandduringthe abode of Germanus heerhad made a strong impression from the North.The Britans marching out against themand mistrusting thir own powersend to Germanus and his Colleguereposing more in the spiritualstrength of those two menthan in thir own thousands arm'd. They cameand thirpresence in the Camp was not less than if a whole Army had com to second them.It was then the time of Lentand the people instructed by the dailySermons of these two Pastorscame flocking to receave Baptism. There was aplace in the Camp set apart as a Churchand trick'd up with boughs uponEaster-day. The Enemy understanding thisand that the Britans weretak'n up with Religions more than with feats of Armsadvancesafter thePaschal Feastas to a certain Victorie. German who also had intelligenceof thir approachundertakes to be Captain that day; and riding out withselected Troops to discover what advantages the place might offerlights on aValley compass't about with Hillsby which the Enemy was to pass. And placingthere his ambushwarns them that what word they heard him pronounce aloudthesame they should repeat with universal shout. The Enemy passes on securelyand Germanthrice aloud cries Halleluia; which answered by the Souldiers with asudd'n burst of clamouris from the Hills and Valleys redoubled. The Saxonsand Picts on a sudden supposing it the noise of a huge Hoastthrowthemselves into flightcasting down thir Armsand great numbers of them aredrown'd in the River which they had newly pass'd. This Victorythus won withouthandsleft to the Britans plenty of spoileand to the person and thepreaching of German greater authority and reverence than before. And theexploit might pass for currentif Constantiusthe Writer of his life inthe next agehad resolv'd us how the British Army came to want baptizing;for any of Paganism at that timeor long beforein the Land we read notorthat Pelagianism was re-baptiz'd. The place of this Victoryas isreportedwas in Flintshire by a Town call'd Guid-crucand theRiver Allenwhere a field retains the name of Maes German to thisday. But so soon as German was return'd homethe Scots and Pictsthough now so many of them Christiansthat Palladius a Deacon wasordain'd and sent by Celestine the Pope to be a Bishop over themwerenot so well reclaim'dor not so many of them as to cease from doing mischief tothir Neighbourswhere they found no impeachment to fall in yearly as they werewont. They therefore of the Britans who perhaps were not yet whollyruin'd in the strongest and South-west parts of the Ilesend Letters to Aelig;tiusthen third time Consul of Romewith this superscription; To &Aelig;tiusthrice Consulthe groanes of the Britans. And after a few words thus: Thebarbarians drive us to the Seathe Sea drives us back to the barbarians; thusbandied up and down between two deaths we perisheither by the Sword or by theSea. But the Empire at that time overspread with Hunns and Vandalswas not in condition to lend them aid. Thus rejected and wearied out withcontinual flying from place to placebut more afflicted with Faminewhich thengrew outrageous among themmany for hunger yielded to the Enemyothers eithermore resoluteor less expos'd to wantskeeping within Woodsand Mountainousplacesnot only defended themselvesbut sallying out at length gave a stop tothe insulting Foe with many seasonable defeats; led by some eminent personasmay be thoughtwho exhorted them not to trust in thir own strengthbut inDivine assistance. And perhaps no other heer is meant than the foresaiddeliverance by Germanif computation would permitwhich Gildaseither not much regardedor might mistake; but that he tarried so long heerthe Writers of his life assent not. Finding therefore such oppositionthe Scotsor Irish Robbersfor so they are indifferently term'dwithout delay getthem home. The Pictsas before was mentionedthen first began to settlein the upmost parts of the Ilandusing now and then to make inrodes upon the Britans.But they in the mean while thus ridd of thir Enemiesbegain afresh to till theground; which after cessation yields her fruit in such abundanceas had notformerly bin known for many Ages. But wantonness and luxurythe wontedcompanions of plentygrow up as fastand with themif Gildas deservebeliefall other vices incident to human corruption. That which he notesespecially to be the chief perverting of all good in the Landand so continuedin his dayswas the hatred of truthand all such as durst appear to vindicateand maintain it. Against themas against the only disturbersall the malice ofthe Land was bent. Lies and falsitiesand such as could best invent themwereonly in request. Evil was embrac'd for goodwickedness honour'd and esteem'd asvirtue. And this quality thir valour hadagainst a foren Enemy to be everbackward and heartless; to civil broils eager and prompt. In matters ofGovernmentand the search of truthweak and shallowin falshood and wickeddeeds pregnant and industrious. Pleasing to Godor not pleasingwith themweighed alike; and the worse most an end was the weightier. All things were donecontrary to public welfare and safety; nor only by secular menfor the Clergyalsowhose Example should have guided otherswere as vitious and corrupt. Manyof them besotted with continual drunkenness; or swoln with pride and willfulnessfull of contentionfull of envyindiscreetincompetent Judges to determinewhat in the practice of life is good or evilwhat lawful or unlawful. Thusfurnish'd with judgmentand for manners thus qualifi'd both Priest and Laythey agree to chuse them several Kings of thir own; as neer as might belikestthemselves; and the words of my Author import as much. Kings were anointedsaith henot of Gods anointingbut such as were cruellestand soon after asinconsideratelywithout examining the truthput to death by thir anointerstoset up others more fierce and proud. As for the election of thir Kings (and thatthey had not all one Monarchappears both in Ages past and by the sequel) itbeganas nigh as may be guess'deither this Year or the followingwhen theysaw the Romans had quite deserted thir claim. About which time also Pelagianismagain prevailing by means of some fewthe British Clergie too weakitseemsat disputeentreat the second time German to thir assistance. Whocoming with Severus a Disciple of Lupus that was his formerassociatestands not now to arguefor the people generally continu'd right;but enquiring those Authors of new disturbanceadjudges them to banishment.They therefore by consent of all were deliver'd to German; who carryingthem over with himdispos'd of them in such place where neither they couldinfect othersand were themselves under cure of better instruction. But Germanusthe same year dy'd in Italy; and the Britans not long after foundthemselves again in much perplexitywith not slight rumour that thir oldtroublers the Scots and Picts had prepar'd a strong invasionpurposing to kill all and dwell themselves in the Land from end to end. But erethir coming inas if the instruments of Divine justice had bin at strifewhichof them first should destroy a wicked Nationthe Pestilence forestalling theSword left scarce alive whom to bury the dead; and for that timeas oneextremity keeps off anotherpreserv'd the Land from a worse incumbrance ofthose barbarous dispossessorswhom the Contagion gave not leave now to enterfarr. And yet the Britans nothing better'd by these heavy judgmentstheone threatn'd the other feltinstead of acknowledging the hand off Heavenrunto the Palace of thir King Vortigern with complaints and cries of whatthey suddenly fear'dfrom the Pictish invasion. Vortigernwho at thattime was chief rather than sole Kingunless the rest had perhaps left thirDominions to the common Enemyis said by him of Monmouth to haveprocur'd the death first of Constantinethen of Constance his Sonwho of a Monk was made Kingand by that means to have usurp'd the Crown. Butthey who can remember how Constantine with his Son Constance theMonkthe one made Emperorthe other Csarperish'd in Francemay discern the simple fraud of this Fable. But Vortigern however comingto reignis decipher'd by truer stories a proud unfortunate Tyrantand yet ofthe people much belov'dbecause his vices sorted so well with theirs. Forneither was he skill'd in Warrnor wise in Counselbut covetouslustfulluxuriousand prone to all vice; wasting the public Treasure in gluttony andriotcareless of the common dangerand through a haughty ignoranceunapprehensive of his own. Nevertheless importun'd and awak'd at length byunusual clamours of the peoplehe summons a general Councilto provide somebetter means than heretofore had been us'd against these continual annoyancesfrom the North. Wherein by advice of all it was determin'dthat the Saxonsbe invited into Britan against the Scots and Picts; whosebreaking in they either shortly expectedor already found they had not strengthanough to oppose. The Saxons were a barbarous and heathen Nationfamousfor nothing else but robberies and cruelties done to all thir Neighbours both bySea and Land; in particular to this Ilandwitness that military force which theRoman Emperors maintain'd heer purposely against themunder a specialCommanderwhose titleas is foundon good recordwas Count of the Saxonshoar in Britain; and the many mischiefs done by thir landing heerbothalone and with the Pictsas above hath been relatedwitness as much.They were a people thought by good Writersto be descended of the Saca kind of Scythian in the North of Asiathence call'd Sacasonsor Sons of Sacwho with a Flood of other Northern nations came into Europetoward the declining of the Roman Empire; and using Pyracy from Denmarkall along these Seaspossess'd at length by intrusion all that Coast of Germanyand the Nether-landswhich took thence the name of old Saxonylying between the Rhene and Elveand from thence North as far as Eidorathe River bounding Holsatiathough not so firmlyor so largelybutthat thir multitude wander'd yet uncertain of habitation. Such guests as thesethe Britans resolve now to send forand entreat into thir houses andpossessionsat whose very name heertofore they trembl'd afar off. So much domen through impatience count ever that the heaviest which they bear at presentand to remove the evil which they suffercare not to pull on a greater: as ifvariety and change in evil were also acceptable. Or whether it be that men indespair of betterimagine fondly a kind of refuge from one misery to another.

The Britans thereforewith Vortigernwho was then accounted Kingover them allresolve in full Council to send Embassadors of thir choicest menwith great giftsand saith a Saxon Writer in these wordsdesiring thiraid. Worthy Saxonshearing the fame of your prowessthe distressed Britanswearied outand overprest by a continual invading Enemyhave sent us tobeseech your aid. They have a Land fertile and spatiouswhich to your commandsthey bid us surrender. Heertofore we have liv'd with freedomunder theobedience and protection of the Roman Empire. Next to them we know noneworthier than your selves; and therefore become suppliants to your valour. Leaveus not below our present Enemiesand to ought by you impos'dwillingly weshall submit. Yet Ethelwerd writes not that they promis'd subjectionbut only amity and league. They therefore who had chief rule among themhearingthemselves entreated by the Britansto that which gladly they would havewish't to obtain of them by entreatingto the British Embassy returnthis answer. Be assur'd henceforth of the Saxonsas of faithful friendsto the Britansno less ready to stand by them in thir needthan in thirbest of fortune. The Embassadors return joyfuland with news as welcome to thirCountriewhose sinister fate had now blinded them for destruction. The Saxonsconsulting first thir Gods (for they had answerthat the Land whereto they wentthey should hold 300 yearshalf that time conqueringand half quietlypossessing) furnish out three long Galliesor Kyuleswith a chos'n company ofwarlike youthunder the conduct of two BrothersHengist and Horsadescended in the fourth degree from Woden; of whomdeify'd for the fameof his actsmost Kings of those Nations derive thir pedigree. Theseand eithermixt with theseor soon after by themselvestwo other Tribesor neighbouringpeopleJutes and Anglesthe one from Jutlandthe otherfrom Anglen by the City of Sleswichboth Provinces of Denmarkarrive in the first year of Martian the Greek Emperorfrom thebirth of Christ 450receav'd with much good will of the people firstthen ofthe Kingwho after some assurances giv'n and tak'nbestows on them the Ile of Tanetwhere they first landedhoping they might be made heerby more eager against thePicts when they fought as for thir own Countrieand more loyal to the Britansfrom whom they had receav'd a place to dwell inwhich before they wanted. The BritishNennius writes that these Brethren were driv'n into exile out of Germanyand to Vortigern who reigned in much fearone while of the Pictsthen of the Romans and Ambrosiuscame opportunely into the Hav'n. Forit was the custom in old Saxonywhen thir numerous off-spring overflow'd thenarrowness of thir boundsto send them out by lot into new dwellingswhereverthey found roomeither vacant or to be forc't. But whether soughtor unsoughtthey dwelt not heer long without employment. For the Scots and Pictswere now come downsom sayas far as Stamford in Lincoln-shirewhomperhaps not imagining to meet new oppositionthe Saxonsthoughnot till after a sharp encounterput to flight; and that more than once:slaying in fightas some Scotch Writers affirmthir King Eugeniusthe Son of Fergus. Hengist percaeving the Iland to be rich and fruitfulbut her Princes and other inhabitants giv'n to vicious easesends word homeinviting others to a share of his good success. Who returning with 17 Shipswere grown up now to a sufficient Armyand entertain'd without suspicion onthese termsthat they should bear the brunt of War against the Pictsreceaving stipend and some place to inhabit. With these was brought over theDaughter of Hengist; a Virgin wondrous fairas it is reportedRowenthe British call her: she by commandment of her Fatherwho had invitedthe King to a Banquetcoming in presence with a Bowle of Wine to welcome himand to attend on his Cup till the Feast endedwon so much upon his fancythough already wiv'das to demand her in mariage upon any conditions. Hengistat firstthough it fell out perhaps according to his driftheld offexcusinghis meanness; then obscurely intimating a desire and almost a necessitybyreason of his augmented numbersto have his narrow bounds of Tanetenlarg'd to the Circuit of Kenthad it streit by donation: though Guorangonustill then was King of that place: and soas it were overcome by the greatmunificence of Vortigergave his Daughter. And still encroaching of theKings favourgot furder leave to call over Octa and Ebissahisown and his Brothers Son; pretending that theyif the North were giv'n themwould sit there as a continual defence against the Scotswhile himselfguarded the East. They therefore sayling with forty Ships eev'n to the Orcadesand every way curbing the Scots and Pictspossess'd that part ofthe Ile which is now Northumberland. Notwithstanding this they complainthat thir monthly pay was grown much into arrear; which when the Britansfound means to satisfiethough alleging withall that they to whom promise wasmade of wageswere nothing so many in numberquieted with this a whilebutstill seeking occasion to fall offthey find fault nextthat their pay is toosmall for the danger they undergothreatning op'n Warr unless it be augmented. Guortimerthe Kings Son perceaving his Father and the Kingdom thus betray'dfrom thattime bends his utmost endeavour to drive them out. They on the other side makingLeague with the Picts and Scotsand issuing out of Kentwasted without resistance almost the whole Land eev'n to the Western Seawithsuch a horrid devastationthat Towns and Colonies overturn'dPreists andpeople slainTemplesand Palaceswhat with fire and Sword lay alltogetherheap'd in one mixt ruin. Of all which multitudeso great was the sinfullnessthat brought this upon themGildas adds that few or none were likely tobe other then lew'd and wicked persons. The residue of thesepart overtak'n inthe Mountains were slain; others subdu'd with hunger preferr'd slavery beforeinstant death; some getting to RocksHills and Woods inaccesiblepreferr'd thefear and danger of any Death before the shame of a secure slavery; many fledover Sea into other Countries; some into Hollandwhere yet remain theruins of Brittenburgh an old Castle on the Seato be seen at low waternot far from Leiden; either builtas Writers of thir own affirmorseis'd on by those Britans in thir escape from Hengist. Othersinto Armoricapeopl'd as som thinkwith Britans long before;either by guift of Constantine the Greator else of Maximusto those British Forces which had serv'd them in Forein Wars; to whomthose also that miscarried not with the latter Constantine at Arles;and lastlythese exiles driv'n out by Saxonsfled for refuge. But theantient Chronicles of those Provinces attest thir coming thether to be thenfirst when they fled the Saxonsand indeed the name of Britain inFrance is not read till after that time. Yet how a sort of fugitives whohad quitted without stroke thir own Countryshould so soon win anotherappearsnot; unless joyn'd to som party of thir own settl'd there before. Vortigernothing better'd by these calamitiesgrew at last so obdurat as to commitincest with his daughtertempted or tempting him out of an ambition to theCrown. For which beeing censur'd and comdemn'd in a great Synod of Clercsand Laicsand partly for fear of the Saxonsaccording to theCounsel of his Peers he retir'd into Walesand built him there a strongCastle in Radnorshire by the advice of Ambrosius a young prophetwhom others call Merlin. Nevertheless Faustuswho was the Sonthus incestuously begott'n under the instructions of Germanor some ofhis Disciplesfor German was dead beforeprov'd a religious manandliv'd in devotion by the River Remnis in Clamorganshire. But the Saxonsthough finding it so easy to subdue the Ilewith most of thir Forcesuncertainfor what causereturn'd home: when as the easiness of thir Conquest might seemrather likely to have call'd in more. Which makes more probable that which the Britishwrite of Guortemir. For he coming to Reigneinstead of his Fatherdepos'd for incestis said to have thrice driv'n and beseig'd the Saxonsin the Ile of Taneth; and when they issu'd with powerful supplies sentfrom Saxony to have fought with them fowr other Battelswherof threeare nam'd; the first on the River Darwentthe second at Episfordwherin Horsa the Brother of Hengist felland on the Britishpart Catigern the other Son of Vortiger. The third in a Feild by Stonarthen call'd Lapis tituli in Tanetwhere he beat them into thirShips that bore them homeglad to have so scap'd and not venturing to landagain for 5 years after. In the space wherof Guortemir dyingcommandedthey should bury him in the Port of Stonarperswaded that his boneslying there would be terror enough to keep the Saxons from ever landingin that place: theysaith Ninniusneglecting his commandburied him inLincoln. But concerning these timesantientest annals of the Saxonsrelate in this manner. In the year 455. Hengist and Horsa foughtagainst Vortigernin a place called Eglesthripnow Ailsfordin Kent; where Horsa lost his lifeof whom Horstedtheplace of his burialtook name.

After this first Battel and the Death of his BrotherHengist with hisSon Esca took on him Kingly Titleand peopl'd Kent with Jutes;who also then or not long after possess'd the Ile of Wightand part of Hamshirelying opposite. Two years after in a fight at Creganfordor CrafordHengist and his Son slew of the Britans four Cheif Commandersandas many thousand men: the rest in great disorder flying to Londonwiththe total loss of Kent. And 8 years passing betweenhe made new Warr onthe Britans; of whom in a Battel at Wippeds-fleot12 Princes wereslainand Wipped the Saxon Earlwho left his name to that placethough not sufficient to direct us where it now stands. His last encounter wasat a place not mention'dwhere he gave them such an overthrowthat flying ingreat fear they left the spoil of all to thir Enemies. And these perhaps are the4 Battelsaccording to Nenniusfought by Guortemirthough bythese writers far differently related; and happ'ning besides many otherbickeringsin the space of 20 yearsas Malmsbury reck'ns. Neverthelessit plainly appears that the Saxonsby whomsoeverwere put to hardshiftsbeing all this while fought withall in Kentthir own allotteddwellingand somtimes on the very edge of the Seawhich the word Whippeds-fleotseems to intimat. But Guotemir now deadand none of the courage left todefend the LandVortigern either by the power of his factionor byconsent of allreassumes the Government: and Hengist thus rid of hisgrand opposerhearing gladly the restorement of his old favourerreturns againwith great Forces; but to Vortigern whom he well knew how to handlewithout warringas to his Son in Lawnow that the only Author of dissentionbetween them was remov'd by Deathoffers nothing but all terms of new leagueand amity. The King both for his Wives sake and his own sottishnessconsultingalso with his Peers not unlike himselfreadily yeilds; and the place of parlyis agree'd on; to which either side was to repair without Weapons. Hengistwhose meaning was not peacebut treacheryappointed his men to be secretlyarm'dand acquainted them to what intent. The watch-word was Nemet eourSaxesthat is Draw your Daggers; which they observingwhen the Britanswere throughly heated with Wine (for the Treaty it seems was not without Cups)and provok'das was plottedby som affrontdispatch'd with those Poniardsevery one his next manto the number of 300. the cheif of those that could doought against him either in Counsel or in Field. Vortigern they onlybound and kept in Custodyuntill he granted them for his ransome threeProvinceswhich were called afterward EssexSussexand Middlesex.Who thus dismistretiring again to his solitary abode in the Country of Guorthigirniaunso call'd by his namefrom thence to the Castle of his own building in North-Walesby the River Tiebi; and living there obscurely among his Wiveswas atlength burnt in his Towre by fire from Heav'n at the Praieras som sayof Germanbut that coheres not; as othersby Ambrosius Aurelian; of whom as wehave heard at firsthe stood in great fearand partly for that cause invitedin the Saxons. Who whether by constraint or of thir own accord after muchmischeif donmost of them returning back into thir own Countryleft a fairopportunity to the Britans of avenging themselves the easier on thosethat staid behinde. Repenting thereforeand with earnest supplication imploringdivine help to prevent thir final rooting outthey gather from all partsandunder the leading of Ambrosius Aurelianusa vertuous and modest manthelast heer of Roman stockadvancing now onward against the late Victorsdefeat them in a memorable Battell. Common opinionbut grounded cheifly on the BritishFablesmakes this Ambrosius to be a younger Son of that Constantinewhose eldestas we heardwas Constance the Monk: who both lost thirlives abroad usurping the Empire. But the express words both of Gildasand Bedeassures us that the Parents of this Ambrosius havingheer born regal dignitywere slain in these Pictish Wars and commotionsin the Iland. And if the fear of Ambrose induc'd Vortigern to callin the Saxonsit seems Vortigern usurp'd his right. I perceavenot that Nennius makes any difference between him and Merlin: forthat Child without Father that propheci'd to Vortigernhe names not Merlinbut Ambrosemakes him the Son of a Roman Consul; but conceal'd by hismotheras fearing that the King therfore sought his life; yet the youth nosooner had confess'd his parentagebut Vortigern either in reward of hispredictionsor as his rightbestow'd upon him all the West of Britain;himself retiring to a solitary life. Whose ever Son he washe was the firstaccording to surest Authorsthat led against the Saxonsand overthrewthem; but whether before this time of afternone have writt'n. This is certainthat in a time when most of the Saxon Forces were departed homethe Britansgather'd strength; and either against those who were left remainingor againstthir whole powersthe second time returning obtain'd this Victory. Thus Ambroseas cheif Monarch of the Ile succeeded Vortigern; to whose third Son Pascentiushe permitted the rule of two Regions in WalesBuelthand Guorthigirniaun.In his daiessaith Nenniusthe Saxons prevail'd not much:against whom Arthuras beeing then Cheif General for the BritishKingsmade great War; but more renown'd in Songs and Romancesthen in truestories. And the sequel it self declares as much. For in the year 477. Ellathe Saxonwith his three SonsCymen Pletingand Cissaat a place in Sussex call'd Cymenshorearrive in three Shipskill many of the Britanschasing them that remain'd into the Wood AndredsLeage. Another Battell was fought at Mercreds-Burnamstedwherein Ellahad by far the Victory: but Huntingdon makes it so doubtfulthat the Saxonswere constrain'd to send home for supplies. Four year after dy'd Hengistthe first Saxon King of Kent; noted to have attain'd that dignityby craftas much as valourand giving scope to his own cruel natureratherthan proceeding by mildness or civility. His Son Oeric surnam'd Oiscof whom the Kentish Kings were call'd Oiscingssucceeded himand satecontent with his fathers winnings; more desirous to settle and defendthen toenlarge his bounds: he reign'd 24 years. By this time Ella and his Son Cissabeseiging Andredchestersuppos'd now to be Newenden in Kenttake it by forceand all within it put to the Sword.

Thus Ella 3 years after the death of Hengistbegan his Kingdomeof the South-Saxons: peopling it with new inhabitantsfrom the Country whichwas then old Saxonyat this day Holstein in Denmarkandhad besides at his command all those Provinces which the Saxons had wonon this side Humber. Animated with these good successesas if Britainwere become now the field of FortuneKerdic another Saxon Princethe tenth by Linage from Woden an old and practis'd Souldierwho in manyprosperous conflicts against the Enemy in those partshad nurs'd up a Spirittoo big to live at home with equalscoming to a certain place which from thencetook the name of Kerdic-shoarwith 5 Shipsand Kenrick his Sonthe very same day overthrew the Britans that oppos'd him; and soeffectuallythat smaller skirmishes after that day were sufficient to drivethem still furder offleaving him a large territory. After him Portaanother Saxon with his two Sons Bida and Meglain twoShips arrive at Portsmouth thence call'dand at thir landing slew ayoung British Noblemanwith many others who unadvisedly set upon them.The Britans to recover what they had lostdraw together all thir Forcesled by Natanleodor Nazaleoda certain King in Britainand the greatest saith one; but him with 5000 of his men Kerdic puts torout and slaies. From whence the place in Hantshireas far as Kerdicsfordnow Chardfordwas call'd of old Nazaleod. Who this King should behath bred much question; som think it to be the British name of Ambrose;others to be the right name of his Brotherwho for the terror of his eagernessin fightbecame more known by the Sirname of Utherwhich in the WelshTongue signifies Dreadful. And if ever such a King in Britain there wereas Uther Pendragonfor so also the Monmouth Book surnames himthis in all likelyhood must be he. Kerdic by so great a blow giv'n to theBritans had made large room about him; not only for the men he broughtwith himbut for such also of his friendsas he desir'd to make great; forwhich causeand withall the more to strengthen himselfhis two Nefews Stufand Withgarin 3 Vessels bring him new levies to Kerdic shoar.Who that they might not come sluggishly to possess what others had won for themeither by thir own seeking or by appointmentare set in place where they couldnot but at thir first coming give a proof of themselves upon the Enemy: and sowell they did itthat the Britans after a hard encounter left themMaisters of the field. And about the same timeElla the first South-SaxonKing dy'd; whom Cissa his youngest succeeded; the other two failingbefore him.

Nor can it be much more or less then about this timefor it was before the West-SaxonKingdomethat Uffa the 8th. from Woden made himself King of the East-Angles;who by thir name testifie the Country above mention'd from whence they came insuch multitudesthat thir native soil is said to have remain'd in the daies of Bedauninhabited. Huntingdon deferrs the time of thir coming into the ninthyear of Kerdic's Reigne: for saith heat first many of them strove forprincipalityseising every one his Provinceand for som while so continu'dmaking petty Warrs among themselves; till in the end Uffaof whom thoseKings were call'd Uffingsovertop'd them all in the year 571then Titilushis Sonthe Father of Redwaldwho became potent.

And not much after the East-Anglesbegan also the East-Saxons toerect a Kingdom under Sleda the tenth from Woden. But Huntingdonas beforewill have it later by 11 yearsand Erchenwin to be the firstKing.

Kerdic the same in powerthough not so fond of titleforbore the name24 Years after his arrival; but then founded so firmly the Kingdome of West-Saxonsthat it subjected all the rest at lengthand became the sole Monarchie of England.The same year he had a Victory against the Britans at Kerdics-Fordby the River Aven: and after 8 yearsanother great fight at KerdicsLeagebut which won the day is not by any set down. Hitherto hath bin collectedwhat there is of certainty with circumstance of time and place to be foundregister'dand no more then barely register'd in annals of best note; withoutdescribing after Huntingdon the manner of those Battels and Encounterswhich they who compareand can judge of Booksmay be confident he never foundin any current Author whom he had to follow. But this disease hath bin incidentto many more Historians: and the age whereof we now writehath had the ill hapmore then any since the first fabulous timesto be surcharg'd with all the idlefancies of posterity. Yet that we may not rely altogether on SaxonrelatersGildasin Antiquity far before theseand every way morecrediblespeaks of these Wars in such a mannerthough nothing conceited of theBritish valouras declares the Saxons in his time and before to havebin foyl'd not seldomer then the Britans. For besides that first Victoryof Ambroseand the interchangeable success long afterhe tells that thelast overthrow which they receav'd at Badon Hillwas not the least;which they in thir oldest annals mention not at all. And because the time ofthis Battellby any who could do more then guessis not set downor anyfoundation giv'n from whence to draw a solid computeit cannot be much wide toinsert it in this place. For such Authors as we have to followgive the conductand praise of this exploit to Arthur; and that this was the last of 12great Battells which he fought victoriously against the Saxons. Theseveral places writt'n by Nennius in thir Welch nameswere many hunder'dyears ago unknownand so heer omitted. But who Arthur wasand whetherever any such reign'd in Britainhath bin doubted heertoforeand mayagain with good reason. For the Monk of Malmsburyand others whosecredit hath sway'd most with the learneder sortwe may well perceave to haveknown no more of this Arthur 500 years pastnor of his doeingsthen wenow living; And what they had to saytranscrib'd out of Nenniusa verytrivial writer yet extantwhich hath already bin related. Or out of a BritishBookthe same which he of Monmouth set forthutterly unknown to theWorldtill more then 600 years after the dayes of Arthurof whom (as Sigebertin his Chronicle confesses) all other Histories were silentboth Foren andDomesticexcept only that fabulous Book. Others of later time have sought toassert him by old legends and Cathedrall regests. But he who can accept ofLegends for good storymay quickly swell a volume with trashand had need befurnish'd with only two necessariesleasure and beleifwhether it be thewriteror he that shall read. As to Arturno less is in doubt who washis Father; for if it be true as Nennius or his notist aversthat Arturwas call'd Mab-Utherthat is to saya cruel Sonfor the fiersenessthat men saw in him of a Childand the intent of his name Arturusimports as muchit might well be that som in after ages who sought to turn himinto a Fablewrested the word Uther into a proper nameand so fain'dhim the Son of Uther; since we read not in any certain storythat eversuch person liv'dtill Geffry of Monmouth set him off with thesirname of Pendragon. And as we doubted of his parentageso may we alsoof his puissance; for whether that Victory at Badon Hill were his or nois uncertain; Gildas not naming himas he did Ambrose in theformer. Nextif it be true as Caradoc relatesthat Melvas Kingof that Country which is now Summersetkept from him Gueniver hisWife a whole year in the Town of Glastonand restor'd her at theentreaty of Gildasrather then for any enforcementthat Artur withall his Chivalry could make against a small Town defended only by a moorysituation; had either his knowledge in Waror the force he had to makebinanswerable to the fame they bearthat petty King had neither dar'd such anaffrontnor he bin so longand at last without effectin revenging it.Considering lastly how the Saxons gain'd upon him every where all thetime of his suppos'd reignwhich beganas som writein the tenth year of Kerdicwho wrung from him by long Warr the Countries of Summersetand Hamshire;there will remain neither place nor circumstance in storywhich may administerany likelyhood of those great Acts that are ascrib'd him. This only is alleg'dby Nennius in Arturs behalfthat the Saxonsthoughvanquish'd never so oftgrew still more numerous upon him by continual suppliesout of Germany. And the truth is that valour may be overtoil'dandovercom at last with endless overcomming. But as for this Battell of Mount Badonwhere the Saxons were hemm'd inor beseig'dwhether by Artur wonor whensoeverit seems indeed to have giv'n a most unboubted and important blowto the Saxonsand to have stop'd thir proceedings for a good whileafter. Gildas himself witnessing that the Britans having thuscompel'd them to sit down with peacefell thereupon to civil discord amongthemselves. Which words may seem to let in som light toward the searching outwhen this Battell was fought. And we shall find no time since the first SaxonWarfrom whence a longer peace ensu'dthen from the fight at KerdicsLeage in the year 527. which all the Chronicles mentionwithout Victory to Kerdic;and give us argument from the custome they have of magnifying thir own deedsupon all occasionsto presume heer his ill speeding. And if we look stillonwardeev'n to the 44th year afterwherin Gildas wroteif hisobscure utterance be understoodwe shall meet with very little War between the Britansand Saxons. This only remains difficultthat the Victory first won by Ambrosewas not so long before this at Badon Seigebut that the same men livingmight be eye-witnesses of both; and by this rate hardly can the latter bethought won by Arturunless we rek'n him a grown youth at least in thedaies of Ambroseand much more then a youthif Malmsbury beheardwho affirms all the exploits of Ambrose to have bin don cheifly byArtur as his Generalwhich will add much unbeleif to the commonassertion of his reigning after Ambrose and Utherespecially thefight at Badonbeing the last of his twelve Battels. But to prove bythat which followsthat the fight at Kerdics Leagethough it differ inname from that of Badonmay be thought the same by all effects; Kerdic3 years afternot proceeding onwardas his manner wason the continentturnsback his Forces on the Ile of Wight; which with the slaying of a few onlyin Withgarburghhe soon maisters; and not long survivingleft it to hisNefews by the Mothers side Stuff and Withgar; the rest of what hehad subdu'dKenric his Son held; and reigned 26 yearsin whose tenthyear Withgar was buried in the Town of that Iland which bore his name.Notwithstanding all these unlikelyhoods of Artur's Reign and greatacheivmentsin a narration crept in I know not how among the laws of Edwardthe ConfessorArtur the famous King of Britansis saidnot only to have expell'd hence the Saracenswho were not then known in Europebut to have conquer'd Freeslandand all the North East Iles as far as Russiato have made Lapland the Eastern bound of his Empireand Norwaythe Chamber of Britain. When should this be done? from the Saxonstill after twelve Battellshe had no rest at home; after thosethe Britanscontented with the quiet they had from thir Saxon Enemieswere so farfrom seeking Conquests abroadthatby report of Gildas above citedthey fell to civil Wars at home. Surely Artur much better had made War inold Saxonyto repress thir flowing hitherthen to have won Kingdoms asfar as Russiascarce able heer to defend his own. Buchanan ourNeighbour Historian reprehends him of Monmouth and others for fabling inthe deeds of Arturyet what he writes thereof himselfas of bettercreditshews not whence he had but from those Fables; which he seems content tobelieve in parton condition that the Scots and Picts may bethought to have assisted Arthur in all his Warsand atchievments; wherofappears as little grownd by any credible storyas of that which he most countsFabulous. But not furder to contest about such uncertainies.

In the year 547. Ida the Saxonsprung also from Woden inthe tenth degreebegan the Kingdome of Bernicia in Northumberland;built the Town Bebbanburgwhich was after wall'd; and had 12 Sonshalfby Wivesand half by Concubines. Hengist by leave of Vortigernwe may rememberhad sent Octa and Ebissa to seek them seats inthe Northand there by warring on the Pictsto secure the Southernparts. Which they so prudently effectedthat what by force and fair proceedingthey well quieted those Countries; and though so far distant from Kentnor without power in thir handsyet kept themselves nigh 180 years withinmoderation; and as inferiour Governorsthey and their off-spring gave obedienceto the Kings of Kentas to the elder Family. Till at length followingthe example of that Age; when no less then Kingdoms were the prize of everyfortunat Commanderthey thought it but reasonas well as others of thirNationto assume Royalty. Of whom Ida was the firsta man in the primeof his yearsand of Parentage as we heard; but how he came to wear the Crownaspiring or by free choiseis not said. Certain enough it isthat his vertuesmade him not less noble then his birthin War undauntedand unfoil'd; in peacetempring the aw of Magistracywith a naturall mildness he raign'd about 12years. In the mean while Kenric in a fight at Searesbirignow Salsburykil'd and put to flight many of the Britans; and the fourth year after atBeranvirignow Banburyas some thinkwith Keaulin hisson put them again to flight Keaulin shortly after succeeded his fatherin the West-Saxons. And Alla descended also of Wodenbut byanother lineset up a second Kingdom in Deira the South part of Northumberlandand held it 30 years; while Adda the son of Idaand five moreafter him reign'd without other memory in Bernicia: and in KentEthelbertthe next year began. For Esca the son of Hengist had left Othaand he Emeric to rule after him; both which without adding to theirboundskept what they had in peace 53 years. But Ethelbert in length ofreign equal'd both his progenitorsand as Beda counts3 years exceeded.Young at his first entranceand unexperienc'dhe was the first raiser ofcivill War among the Saxons; claiming from the priority of time wherin Hengisttook possession herea kind of right over the later Kingdomes; and thereuponwas troublesome to thir Confines: but by them twise defeatedhe who but nowthought to seem dreadfullbecame almost contemptible. For Keaulin and Cuthahis Sonpersuing him into his own Territoryslew there in Battelat Wibbandun2 of his EarlsOslacand Cnebban. By this means the Britansbut cheifly by this Victory at Badonfor the space of 44 years ending in571receav'd no great annoyance from the Saxons: but the peace theyenjoy'dby ill using itprov'd more destructive to them then War. For beingrais'd on a sudden by two such eminent successesfrom the lowest condition ofthraldomethey whose Eyes had beheld both those deliverancesthat by Ambroseand this at Badonwere taught by the experience of either FortunebothKingsMagistratesPreistsand privat mento live orderly. But when the nextAgeunacquainted with past Evilsand only sensible of thir present ease andquietsucceededstrait follow'd the apparent subversion of all truthandjusticein the minds of most men: scarce the lest footstepor impression ofgoodness left remaining through all ranks and degrees in the Land; except insome so very fewas to be hardly visible in a general corruption: which grew inshort space not only manifestbut odious to all the Neighbour Nations. Andfirst thir Kingsamong whom alsothe Sons or Grand-Children of Ambrosewere fouly degenerated to all Tyranny and vitious life. Wherof to hear somparticulars out of Gildas will not be impertinentThey avengesaith heand they protect; not the innocentbut the guilty: they swear oftbut perjure;they wage Warbut civil and unjust War. They punish rigorously them that rob bythe high way; but those grand Robbers that sit with them at Tablethey honourand reward. They give alms larglybut in the face of their Alms-deedspile upwickedness to a far higher heap. They sit in the seat of Judgmentbut goeseldome by the rule of right; neglecting and proudly overlooking the modest andharmless; but countenancing the audaciousthough guilty of abominablest crimes;they stuff thir Prisonsbut with men committed rather by circumventionthenany just cause. Nothing better were the Clergybut the same pass or ratherworsethen when the Saxons first came in; UnlernedUnapprehensiveyetimpudent; suttle ProwlersPastors in Namebut indeed Wolves; intent upon alloccasionsnot to feed the Flockbut to pamper and well line themselves: notcall'dbut seising on the Ministry as a Tradenot as a Spiritual Charge:teaching the peoplenot by sound Doctrinbut by evil Example: usurping theChair of Peterbut through the blindness of thir own worldly luststheystumble upon the Seat of Judas: deadly haters of truthbroachers oflies: looking on the poor Christian with Eyes of Pride and Contempt; but fawningon the wickedest rich men without shame: great promoters of other mens Alms withthir set exhortations; but themselves contributing ever least; slightly touchingthe many vices of the Agebut preaching without end thir own greivancesas donto Christ; seeking after preferments and degrees in the Church more then afterHeav'n; and so gain'dmake it thir whole study how to keep them by any Tyranny.Yet lest they should be thought things of no use in thir eminent placestheyhave thir niceties and trivial points to keep in aw the superstitious multitude;but in true saving knowledge leave them still as gross and stupid as themselves;bunglers at the Scripturenay forbidding and silencing them that know; but inworldly matterspractis'd and cunning Shifters; in that only art and symonygreat Clercs and Maistersbearing thir heads highbut thir thoughts abject andlow. He taxes them also as glutonousincontinentand daily Drunkards. And whatshouldst thou expect from thesepoor Laityso he goes onthese beastsallbelly? shall these amend theewho are themselves laborious in evil doings?shalt thou see with thir Eyeswho see right forward nothing but gain? Leavethem ratheras bids our Saviourlest ye fall both blind-fold into the sameperdition. Are all thus? Perhaps not allor not so grosly. But what avail'd it Elito be himself blamelesswhile he conniv'd at others that were abominable? whoof them hath bin envi'd for his better life? who of them hath hated to consortwith theseor withstood thir entring the Ministryor endeavour'd zealouslythir casting out? Yet som of these perhaps by others are legended for greatSaints. This was the state of Governmentthis of Religion among the Britansin that long calm of peacewhich the fight at Badon Hill had broughtforth. Wherby it came to passthat so fair a Victory came to nothing. Towns andCities were not reinhabitedbut lay ruin'd and wast; nor was it long eredomestic War breaking outwasted them more. For Britainas at othertimeshad then also several Kings. Five of whom Gildas living then in Armoricaat a safe distanceboldly reproves by name; First Constantine (fabl'dthe Son of CadorDuke of CornwallArturs half Brother bythe Mothers side) who then reign'd in Cornwall and DevonaTyrannical and bloody Kingpolluted also with many Adulteries: he got into hispowertwo young Princes of the Blood Royaluncertain whether before him inrightor otherwise suspected: and after solemn Oath giv'n of thir safety theyear that Gildas wroteslew them with thir two Governours in the Churchand in thir Mothers Armsthrough the Abbots Coapwhich he had thrown overthemthinking by the reverence of his vesture to have withheld the murderer.These are commonly suppos'd to be the Sons of MordredArturs Nefewsaidto have revolted from his Unclegiv'n him in a Battel his Deaths woundand byhim after to have bin slain. Which things were they truewould much diminishthe blame of cruelty in Constantinerevenging Artur on the Sonsof so false a Mordred. In another partbut not express'd whereAureliusConanus was King: him he charges also with Adulteriesand Parricide;cruelties worse then the former; to be a hater of his Countries Peacethirstingafter civil War and Prey. His condition it seems was not very prosperous; for Gildaswishes himbeing now left alonelike a Tree withering in the midst of a barrenfieldto remember the vanityand arrogance of his Fatherand elder Brethrenwho came all to untimely Death in thir youth. The third reigning in Demetiaor South Waleswas Vortiporthe Son of a good Father; he waswhen Gildas wrotegrown oldnot in years onlybut in Adulteriesandin governing full of falshoodand cruel Actions. In his latter daiesputtingaway his Wifewho dy'd in divorcehe becameif we mistake not Gildasincestuous with his Daughter. The fourth was Cuneglasimbru'd in civilWar; he also had divorc'd his Wifeand tak'n her Sisterwho had vow'dWiddowhood: he was a great Enemy to the Clergyhigh-mindedand trusting to hiswealth. The lastbut greatest of all in powerwas Maglocuneandgreatest also in wickedness; he had driv'n out or slain many other KingsorTyrants; and was called the Island Dragonperhaps having his seat in Anglesey;a profuse givera great Warriorand of a goodly stature. While he was yetyounghe overthrew his Unclethough in the head of a compleat Armyand tookfrom him the Kingdom: then touch't with remorse of his doingsnot withoutdeliberation took upon him the profession of a Monk; but soon forsook his vowand his wife alsowhich for that vow he had leftmaking love to the wife ofhis Brothers Son then living. Who not refusing the offerif she were not ratherthe first that entic'dfound means both to dispatch her own Husbandand theformer wife of Maglocuneto make her marriage with him the moreunquestionable. Neither did he this for want of better instructionshaving hadthe learnedest and wisest man reputed of all Britainthe instituter ofhis youth. Thus muchthe utmost that can be learnt by truer storyof what pastamong the Britans from the time of their useless Victory at Badonto the time that Gildas wrotethat is to sayas may be guess'tfrom527 to 571is here set down altogether; not to be reduc't under any certaintyof years. But now the Saxonswho for the most part all this while hadbin stillunless among themselvesbegan afresh to assault themand ere longto drive them out of all which they yet maintain'd on this side Wales.For Cuthulf the Brother of Keaulinby a Victory obtain'd at Bedanfordnow Bedfordtook from them 4 good TownsLiganburghEglesburhBesingtonnow Benson in Oxfordshireand Igncsham;but outliv'd not many months his good success. And after 6 years moreKeaulinand Cuthwin his Songave them a great overthrow at Deorrham in Glostershireslew three of thir KingsComailCondidanand Farinmaileand took three of thir Cheif Cities; GlocesterCirencesterand Badencester.The Britans notwithstandingafter some space of timejudging to haveoutgrown thir lossesgather to a headand encounter Keaulin with Cuthahis Sonat Fethanleage; whom valiantly fightingthey slew among thethickestand as is saidforc'd the Saxons to retire. But Keaulinreinforcing the fightput them to a main routand following his advantagetook many Townsand return'd lad'n with rich booty.

The last of those Saxons who rais'd thir own acheivments to a Monarchywas Crida much about this timefirst founder of the MercianKingdomdrawing also his Pedigree from Woden. Of whom all to write theseveral Genealogiesthough it might be done without long searchwerein myopinionto encumber the story with a sort of barbarous namesto littlepurpose. This may sufficethat of Wodens 3 Sonsfrom the Eldest issu'd Hengistand his succession; from the secondthe Kings of Mercia; from the thirdall that reign'd in West-Saxonand most of the Northumbersofwhom Alla was onethe first King of Deira; which after his deaththe race of Ida seis'dand made it one Kingdomwith Berniciausurping on the Childhood of EdwinAlla's Son. Whom Ethelricthe Son of Ida expel'd. Notwithstanding others write of him; that from apoor lifeand beyond hope in his old Agecoming to the Crownhe could hardlyby the access of a Kingdomhave overcome his former obscurityhad not the fameof his Son preserv'd him. Once more the Britansere they quitted all onthis side the Mountainsforgot not to shew some manhood; for meeting Keaulinat Wodens Beorththat is to sayWodens Mount in Wiltshirewhether it were by thir own Forcesor assisted by the Angleswhosehatred Keaulin had incurr'dthey ruined his whole Armyand chas'd himout of his Kingdomfrom whence flyinghe dy'd the next year in poverty; Who alittle beforewas the most potent and indeed sole King of all the Saxonson this side Humber. But who was cheif among the Britans in thisexploithad bin worth rememberingwhether it were Maglocuneof whoseprowess hath bin spok'nor Teudric King of Glamorganwhom theregest of Landaff recounts to have bin alwaies victorious in fight; tohave reign'd about this timeand at length to have exchang'd his Crown for aHermitage; till in the aid of his Son Mouricwhom the Saxons hadreduc'd to extremestaking armes againhe defeated them at Tinterne bythe River Wye; but himself receav'd a mortal wound. The same year with Keaulinwhom Keola the Son of CuthulfKeaulins Brother succeededCridaalso the Mercian King deceas'din whose room Wibba succeeded; andin NorthumberlandEthelfridin the room of Ethelric;reigning 24 years. Thus omitting Fableswe have the view of what with reasoncan be rely'd on for truthdon in Britainsince the Romansforsook it. Wherein we have heard the many miseries and desolationsbrought bydivine hand on a perverse Nation; driv'n when nothing else would reform themout of a fair Countryinto a Mountanous and Barren Cornerby Strangers andPagans. So much more tolerable in the Eye of Heav'n is Infidelity profess'tthen Christian Faith and Religion dishonoured by unchristian works. Yet theyalso at length renounc'd thir Heathenism; which how it came to passwill be thematter next related.

The End of the Third Book.