Back to top

The History of Britain: The Third Book

This third Book having to tell of accidents as various and exemplary, as the intermission or change of Government hath any where brought forth, may deserve attention more than common, and repay it with like benefit to them who can judiciously read: considering especially that the late civil broils hath cast us into a condition not much unlike to what the Britans were then in, when the imperial jurisdiction departing hence left them to the sway of thir own Counsels; which times by comparing seriously with these later, and that confused Anarchy with this intereign, we may be able from two such remarkable turns of State, producing like events among us, to raise a knowledge of our selves both great and weighty, by judging hence what kind of men the Britans generally are in matters of so high enterprise, how by nature, industry, or custom fitted to attempt or undergoe matters of so main consequence: for if it be a high point of wisdom in every private man, much more is it in a Nation to know it self; rather than puft up with vulgar flatteries, and encomiums, for want of self knowledge, to enterprise rashly and come off miserably in great undertakings. The Britans thus as we heard being left without protection from the Empire, and the Land in a manner emptied of all her youth, consumed in Warrs abroad, or not caring to return home, themselves through long subjection, servile in mind, sloathful of body, and with the use of Arms unacquainted, sustain'd but ill for many years the violence of those barbarous Invaders who now daily grew upon them. For although at first greedy of change, and to be thought the leading Nation to freedom from the Empire, they seem'd a while to bestirr them with a shew of diligence in thir new affairs, som secretly aspiring to rule, others adoring the name of liberty, yet so soon as they felt by proof the weight of what it was to govern well themselves, and what was wanting within them, not stomach or the love of licence, but the wisdom, the virtue, the labour, to use and maintain true libertie, they soon remitted thir heat, and shrunk more wretchedly under the burden of thir own libertie, than before under a foren yoke. Insomuch that the residue of those Romans which had planted themselves heer, despairing of thir ill deportment at home, and weak resistance in the field by those few who had the courage, or the strength to bear Arms, nine years after the sacking of Rome remov'd out of Britain into France, hiding for haste great part of thir treasure, which was never after found. And now again the Britans, no longer able to support themselves against the prevailing Enemy, sollicit Honorius to thir aid, with mournful Letters, Embassages and vows of perpetual subjection to Rome if the Northern Foe were but repuls't. He at thir request spares them one Legion, which with great slaughter of the Scots and Picts drove them beyond the Borders, rescu'd the Britans, and advis'd them to build a Wall cross the Iland, between Sea and Sea, from the place where Edinburg now stands to the Frith of Dunbritton, by the City Alcluith. But the material being only Turf, and by the rude multitude unartificially built up without better direction, avail'd them little. For no sooner was the Legion departed, but the greedy spoilers returning, land in great numbers from thir Boats and Pinaces, wasting, slaying, and treading down all before them. Then are messengers again posted to Rome in lamentable sort, beseeching that they would not suffer a whole Province to be destroy'd, and the Roman name, so honourable yet among them, to become the subject of barbarian scorn and insolence. The Emperor, at thir sad complaint, with what speed was possible sends to thir succour. Who coming suddenly on those ravenous multitudes that minded only spoil, surprise them with a terrible slaughter. They who escap'd, fled back to those Seas, from whence yearly they were wont to arrive, and return lad'n with booties. But the Romans who came not now to rule, but charitably to aid, declaring that it stood not longer with the ease of thir Affairs to make such laborious voyages in pursuit of so base and vagabond robbers, of whom neither glory was to be got, nor gain, exhorted them to manage thir own warfare; and to defend like men thir Country, thir Wives, thir Children, and what was to be dearer than life, thir liberty, against an Enemy not stronger than themselves, if thir own sloth and cowardise had not made them so; if they would only find hands to grasp defensive Arms, rather than basely stretch them out to receave bonds. They gave them also thir help to build a new Wall, not of earth as the former, but of stone (both at the public cost, and by particular contributions) traversing the Ile in direct line from East to West between certain Cities plac'd there as Frontiers to bear off the Enemy, where Severus had wall'd once before. They rais'd it 12 Foot high, 8 broad. Along the South shoar, because from thence also like hostility was fear'd, they place Towers by the Sea side at certain distances, for safety of the Coast. Withall they instruct them in the art of Warr, leaving Patterns of thir Arms and Weapons behind them; and with animating words, and many lessons of valour to a faint-hearted audience, bid them finally farewell, without purpose to return. And these two friendly Expeditions, the last of any hither by the Romans, were perform'd, as may be gather'd out of Beda, and Diaconus, the two last years of Honorius. Thir Leader, as som modernly write, was Gallio of Ravenna; Buchanan, who departs not much from the Fables of his Predecessor Boethius, names him Maximianus, and brings against him to this Battel Fergus first King of Scots after thir second suppos'd coming into Scotland, Durstus King of Picts, both there slain, and Dioneth an imaginary King of Britain, or Duke of Cornwall, who improbablie sided with them against his own Countrie, hardlie escaping. With no less exactness of particular circumstances, he takes upon him to relate all those tumultuarie inrodes of the Scots and Picts into Britain, as if they had but yesterday happen'd, thir order of Battel, manner of fight, number of slain, Articles of Peace, things whereof Gildas and Beda are utterly silent, Authors to whom the Scotch Writers have none to cite comparable in Antiquity; no more therefore to be believ'd for bare assertions, however quaintlie drest, than our Geofry of Monmouth when he varies most from authentick storie. But either the inbred vanity of some, in that respect unworthily call'd Historians, or the fond zeal of praising thir Nations above truth hath so far transported them, that where they find nothing faithfully to relate, they fall confidently to invent what they think may either best set off thir Historie, or magnifie thir Countrie.

The Scots and Picts in manners differing somwhat from each other, but still unanimous to rob and spoile, hearing that the Romans intended not to return, from thir Gorroghs, or Leathern Frigats pour out themselves in swarms upon the land, more confident than ever: and from the North end of the Ile to the very wall side, then first took possession as inhabitants; while the Britans with idle Weapons in thir hands stand trembling on the Battlements, till the half-naked Barbarians with thir long and formidable Iron hooks pull them down headlong. The rest not only quitting the Wall but Towns and Cities, leave them to the bloodie pursuer, who follows killing, wasting, and destroying all in his way. From these confusions arose a Famin, and from thence discord and civil commotion among the Britans: each man living by what he rob'd or took violently from his Neighbour. When all stores were consum'd and spent where men inhabited, they betook them to the Woods, and liv'd by hunting, which was thir only sustainment. To the heaps of these evils from without, were added new divisions within the Church. For Agricola the Son of Severianus a Pelagian Bishop had spread his Doctrine wide among the Britans not uninfected before. The sounder part neither willing to embrace his opinion to the overthrow of divine grace, nor able to refute him, crave assistance from the Churches of France: who send them Germanus Bishop of Auxerre and Lupus of Troyes. They by continual preaching in Churches, in Streets, in Fields, and not without miracles, as is writt'n, confirm'd som, regain'd others, and at Verulam in a public disputation put to silence thir chief adversaries. This reformation in the Church was beleev'd to be the cause of thir success a while after in the field. For the Saxons and Picts with joint force, which was no new thing before the Saxons at least had any dwelling in this Iland, during the abode of Germanus heer, had made a strong impression from the North. The Britans marching out against them, and mistrusting thir own power, send to Germanus and his Collegue, reposing more in the spiritual strength of those two men, than in thir own thousands arm'd. They came, and thir presence in the Camp was not less than if a whole Army had com to second them. It was then the time of Lent, and the people instructed by the daily Sermons of these two Pastors, came flocking to receave Baptism. There was a place in the Camp set apart as a Church, and trick'd up with boughs upon Easter-day. The Enemy understanding this, and that the Britans were tak'n up with Religions more than with feats of Arms, advances, after the Paschal Feast, as to a certain Victorie. German who also had intelligence of thir approach, undertakes to be Captain that day; and riding out with selected Troops to discover what advantages the place might offer, lights on a Valley compass't about with Hills, by which the Enemy was to pass. And placing there his ambush, warns them that what word they heard him pronounce aloud, the same they should repeat with universal shout. The Enemy passes on securely, and German thrice aloud cries Halleluia; which answered by the Souldiers with a sudd'n burst of clamour, is from the Hills and Valleys redoubled. The Saxons and Picts on a sudden supposing it the noise of a huge Hoast, throw themselves into flight, casting down thir Arms, and great numbers of them are drown'd in the River which they had newly pass'd. This Victory, thus won without hands, left to the Britans plenty of spoile, and to the person and the preaching of German greater authority and reverence than before. And the exploit might pass for current, if Constantius, the Writer of his life in the next age, had resolv'd us how the British Army came to want baptizing; for any of Paganism at that time, or long before, in the Land we read not, or that Pelagianism was re-baptiz'd. The place of this Victory, as is reported, was in Flintshire by a Town call'd Guid-cruc, and the River Allen, where a field retains the name of Maes German to this day. But so soon as German was return'd home, the Scots and Picts, though now so many of them Christians, that Palladius a Deacon was ordain'd and sent by Celestine the Pope to be a Bishop over them, were not so well reclaim'd, or not so many of them as to cease from doing mischief to thir Neighbours, where they found no impeachment to fall in yearly as they were wont. They therefore of the Britans who perhaps were not yet wholly ruin'd in the strongest and South-west parts of the Ile, send Letters to Ætius, then third time Consul of Rome, with this superscription; To Ætius thrice Consul, the groanes of the Britans. And after a few words thus: The barbarians drive us to the Sea, the Sea drives us back to the barbarians; thus bandied up and down between two deaths we perish, either by the Sword or by the Sea. But the Empire at that time overspread with Hunns and Vandals, was not in condition to lend them aid. Thus rejected and wearied out with continual flying from place to place, but more afflicted with Famine, which then grew outrageous among them, many for hunger yielded to the Enemy, others either more resolute, or less expos'd to wants, keeping within Woods, and Mountainous places, not only defended themselves, but sallying out at length gave a stop to the insulting Foe with many seasonable defeats; led by some eminent person, as may be thought, who exhorted them not to trust in thir own strength, but in Divine assistance. And perhaps no other heer is meant than the foresaid deliverance by German, if computation would permit, which Gildas either not much regarded, or might mistake; but that he tarried so long heer, the Writers of his life assent not. Finding therefore such opposition, the Scots or Irish Robbers, for so they are indifferently term'd, without delay get them home. The Picts, as before was mentioned, then first began to settle in the upmost parts of the Iland, using now and then to make inrodes upon the Britans. But they in the mean while thus ridd of thir Enemies, begain afresh to till the ground; which after cessation yields her fruit in such abundance, as had not formerly bin known for many Ages. But wantonness and luxury, the wonted companions of plenty, grow up as fast, and with them, if Gildas deserve belief, all other vices incident to human corruption. That which he notes especially to be the chief perverting of all good in the Land, and so continued in his days, was the hatred of truth, and all such as durst appear to vindicate and maintain it. Against them, as against the only disturbers, all the malice of the Land was bent. Lies and falsities, and such as could best invent them, were only in request. Evil was embrac'd for good, wickedness honour'd and esteem'd as virtue. And this quality thir valour had, against a foren Enemy to be ever backward and heartless; to civil broils eager and prompt. In matters of Government, and the search of truth, weak and shallow, in falshood and wicked deeds pregnant and industrious. Pleasing to God, or not pleasing, with them weighed alike; and the worse most an end was the weightier. All things were done contrary to public welfare and safety; nor only by secular men, for the Clergy also, whose Example should have guided others, were as vitious and corrupt. Many of them besotted with continual drunkenness; or swoln with pride and willfulness, full of contention, full of envy, indiscreet, incompetent Judges to determine what in the practice of life is good or evil, what lawful or unlawful. Thus furnish'd with judgment, and for manners thus qualifi'd both Priest and Lay, they agree to chuse them several Kings of thir own; as neer as might be, likest themselves; and the words of my Author import as much. Kings were anointed, saith he, not of Gods anointing, but such as were cruellest, and soon after as inconsiderately, without examining the truth, put to death by thir anointers, to set up others more fierce and proud. As for the election of thir Kings (and that they had not all one Monarch, appears both in Ages past and by the sequel) it began, as nigh as may be guess'd, either this Year or the following, when they saw the Romans had quite deserted thir claim. About which time also Pelagianism again prevailing by means of some few, the British Clergie too weak, it seems, at dispute, entreat the second time German to thir assistance. Who coming with Severus a Disciple of Lupus that was his former associate, stands not now to argue, for the people generally continu'd right; but enquiring those Authors of new disturbance, adjudges them to banishment. They therefore by consent of all were deliver'd to German; who carrying them over with him, dispos'd of them in such place where neither they could infect others, and were themselves under cure of better instruction. But Germanus the same year dy'd in Italy; and the Britans not long after found themselves again in much perplexity, with not slight rumour that thir old troublers the Scots and Picts had prepar'd a strong invasion, purposing to kill all and dwell themselves in the Land from end to end. But ere thir coming in, as if the instruments of Divine justice had bin at strife, which of them first should destroy a wicked Nation, the Pestilence forestalling the Sword left scarce alive whom to bury the dead; and for that time, as one extremity keeps off another, preserv'd the Land from a worse incumbrance of those barbarous dispossessors, whom the Contagion gave not leave now to enter farr. And yet the Britans nothing better'd by these heavy judgments, the one threatn'd the other felt, instead of acknowledging the hand off Heaven, run to the Palace of thir King Vortigern with complaints and cries of what they suddenly fear'd, from the Pictish invasion. Vortigern, who at that time was chief rather than sole King, unless the rest had perhaps left thir Dominions to the common Enemy, is said by him of Monmouth to have procur'd the death first of Constantine, then of Constance his Son, who of a Monk was made King, and by that means to have usurp'd the Crown. But they who can remember how Constantine with his Son Constance the Monk, the one made Emperor, the other Cæsar, perish'd in France, may discern the simple fraud of this Fable. But Vortigern however coming to reign, is decipher'd by truer stories a proud unfortunate Tyrant, and yet of the people much belov'd, because his vices sorted so well with theirs. For neither was he skill'd in Warr, nor wise in Counsel, but covetous, lustful, luxurious, and prone to all vice; wasting the public Treasure in gluttony and riot, careless of the common danger, and through a haughty ignorance, unapprehensive of his own. Nevertheless importun'd and awak'd at length by unusual clamours of the people, he summons a general Council, to provide some better means than heretofore had been us'd against these continual annoyances from the North. Wherein by advice of all it was determin'd, that the Saxons be invited into Britan against the Scots and Picts; whose breaking in they either shortly expected, or already found they had not strength anough to oppose. The Saxons were a barbarous and heathen Nation, famous for nothing else but robberies and cruelties done to all thir Neighbours both by Sea and Land; in particular to this Iland, witness that military force which the Roman Emperors maintain'd heer purposely against them, under a special Commander, whose title, as is found, on good record, was Count of the Saxon shoar in Britain; and the many mischiefs done by thir landing heer, both alone and with the Picts, as above hath been related, witness as much. They were a people thought by good Writers, to be descended of the Sacæ, a kind of Scythian in the North of Asia, thence call'd Sacasons or Sons of Sacæ, who with a Flood of other Northern nations came into Europe, toward the declining of the Roman Empire; and using Pyracy from Denmark all along these Seas, possess'd at length by intrusion all that Coast of Germany and the Nether-lands, which took thence the name of old Saxony, lying between the Rhene and Elve, and from thence North as far as Eidora, the River bounding Holsatia, though not so firmly, or so largely, but that thir multitude wander'd yet uncertain of habitation. Such guests as these the Britans resolve now to send for, and entreat into thir houses and possessions, at whose very name heertofore they trembl'd afar off. So much do men through impatience count ever that the heaviest which they bear at present, and to remove the evil which they suffer, care not to pull on a greater: as if variety and change in evil were also acceptable. Or whether it be that men in despair of better, imagine fondly a kind of refuge from one misery to another.

The Britans therefore, with Vortigern, who was then accounted King over them all, resolve in full Council to send Embassadors of thir choicest men with great gifts, and saith a Saxon Writer in these words, desiring thir aid. Worthy Saxons, hearing the fame of your prowess, the distressed Britans wearied out, and overprest by a continual invading Enemy, have sent us to beseech your aid. They have a Land fertile and spatious, which to your commands they bid us surrender. Heertofore we have liv'd with freedom, under the obedience and protection of the Roman Empire. Next to them we know none worthier than your selves; and therefore become suppliants to your valour. Leave us not below our present Enemies, and to ought by you impos'd, willingly we shall submit. Yet Ethelwerd writes not that they promis'd subjection, but only amity and league. They therefore who had chief rule among them, hearing themselves entreated by the Britans, to that which gladly they would have wish't to obtain of them by entreating, to the British Embassy return this answer. Be assur'd henceforth of the Saxons, as of faithful friends to the Britans, no less ready to stand by them in thir need, than in thir best of fortune. The Embassadors return joyful, and with news as welcome to thir Countrie, whose sinister fate had now blinded them for destruction. The Saxons, consulting first thir Gods (for they had answer, that the Land whereto they went, they should hold 300 years, half that time conquering, and half quietly possessing) furnish out three long Gallies, or Kyules, with a chos'n company of warlike youth, under the conduct of two Brothers, Hengist and Horsa, descended in the fourth degree from Woden; of whom, deify'd for the fame of his acts, most Kings of those Nations derive thir pedigree. These, and either mixt with these, or soon after by themselves, two other Tribes, or neighbouring people, Jutes and Angles, the one from Jutland, the other from Anglen by the City of Sleswich, both Provinces of Denmark, arrive in the first year of Martian the Greek Emperor, from the birth of Christ 450, receav'd with much good will of the people first, then of the King, who after some assurances giv'n and tak'n, bestows on them the Ile of Tanet, where they first landed, hoping they might be made heerby more eager against the Picts, when they fought as for thir own Countrie, and more loyal to the Britans, from whom they had receav'd a place to dwell in, which before they wanted. The British Nennius writes that these Brethren were driv'n into exile out of Germany, and to Vortigern who reigned in much fear, one while of the Picts, then of the Romans, and Ambrosius, came opportunely into the Hav'n. For it was the custom in old Saxony, when thir numerous off-spring overflow'd the narrowness of thir bounds, to send them out by lot into new dwellings, wherever they found room, either vacant or to be forc't. But whether sought, or unsought, they dwelt not heer long without employment. For the Scots and Picts were now come down, som say, as far as Stamford in Lincoln-shire, whom, perhaps not imagining to meet new opposition, the Saxons, though not till after a sharp encounter, put to flight; and that more than once: slaying in fight, as some Scotch Writers affirm, thir King Eugenius the Son of Fergus. Hengist percaeving the Iland to be rich and fruitful, but her Princes and other inhabitants giv'n to vicious ease, sends word home, inviting others to a share of his good success. Who returning with 17 Ships, were grown up now to a sufficient Army, and entertain'd without suspicion on these terms, that they should bear the brunt of War against the Picts, receaving stipend and some place to inhabit. With these was brought over the Daughter of Hengist; a Virgin wondrous fair, as it is reported, Rowen the British call her: she by commandment of her Father, who had invited the King to a Banquet, coming in presence with a Bowle of Wine to welcome him, and to attend on his Cup till the Feast ended, won so much upon his fancy, though already wiv'd, as to demand her in mariage upon any conditions. Hengist at first, though it fell out perhaps according to his drift, held off, excusing his meanness; then obscurely intimating a desire and almost a necessity, by reason of his augmented numbers, to have his narrow bounds of Tanet enlarg'd to the Circuit of Kent, had it streit by donation: though Guorangonus till then was King of that place: and so, as it were overcome by the great munificence of Vortiger, gave his Daughter. And still encroaching of the Kings favour, got furder leave to call over Octa and Ebissa, his own and his Brothers Son; pretending that they, if the North were giv'n them, would sit there as a continual defence against the Scots, while himself guarded the East. They therefore sayling with forty Ships eev'n to the Orcades, and every way curbing the Scots and Picts, possess'd that part of the Ile which is now Northumberland. Notwithstanding this they complain that thir monthly pay was grown much into arrear; which when the Britans found means to satisfie, though alleging withall that they to whom promise was made of wages, were nothing so many in number, quieted with this a while, but still seeking occasion to fall off, they find fault next, that their pay is too small for the danger they undergo, threatning op'n Warr unless it be augmented. Guortimer the Kings Son perceaving his Father and the Kingdom thus betray'd, from that time bends his utmost endeavour to drive them out. They on the other side making League with the Picts and Scots, and issuing out of Kent, wasted without resistance almost the whole Land eev'n to the Western Sea, with such a horrid devastation, that Towns and Colonies overturn'd, Preists and people slain, Temples, and Palaces, what with fire and Sword lay alltogether heap'd in one mixt ruin. Of all which multitude, so great was the sinfullness that brought this upon them, Gildas adds that few or none were likely to be other then lew'd and wicked persons. The residue of these, part overtak'n in the Mountains were slain; others subdu'd with hunger preferr'd slavery before instant death; some getting to Rocks, Hills and Woods inaccesible, preferr'd the fear and danger of any Death before the shame of a secure slavery; many fled over Sea into other Countries; some into Holland, where yet remain the ruins of Brittenburgh, an old Castle on the Sea, to be seen at low water not far from Leiden; either built, as Writers of thir own affirm, or seis'd on by those Britans in thir escape from Hengist. Others into Armorica, peopl'd as som think, with Britans long before; either by guift of Constantine the Great, or else of Maximus to those British Forces which had serv'd them in Forein Wars; to whom those also that miscarried not with the latter Constantine at Arles; and lastly, these exiles driv'n out by Saxons, fled for refuge. But the antient Chronicles of those Provinces attest thir coming thether to be then first when they fled the Saxons, and indeed the name of Britain in France is not read till after that time. Yet how a sort of fugitives who had quitted without stroke thir own Country, should so soon win another, appears not; unless joyn'd to som party of thir own settl'd there before. Vortiger nothing better'd by these calamities, grew at last so obdurat as to commit incest with his daughter, tempted or tempting him out of an ambition to the Crown. For which beeing censur'd and comdemn'd in a great Synod of Clercs and Laics, and partly for fear of the Saxons, according to the Counsel of his Peers he retir'd into Wales, and built him there a strong Castle in Radnorshire by the advice of Ambrosius a young prophet, whom others call Merlin. Nevertheless Faustus, who was the Son thus incestuously begott'n under the instructions of German, or some of his Disciples, for German was dead before, prov'd a religious man, and liv'd in devotion by the River Remnis in Clamorganshire. But the Saxons, though finding it so easy to subdue the Ile, with most of thir Forces, uncertain for what cause, return'd home: when as the easiness of thir Conquest might seem rather likely to have call'd in more. Which makes more probable that which the British write of Guortemir. For he coming to Reigne, instead of his Father depos'd for incest, is said to have thrice driv'n and beseig'd the Saxons in the Ile of Taneth; and when they issu'd with powerful supplies sent from Saxony, to have fought with them fowr other Battels, wherof three are nam'd; the first on the River Darwent, the second at Episford, wherin Horsa the Brother of Hengist fell, and on the British part Catigern the other Son of Vortiger. The third in a Feild by Stonar then call'd Lapis tituli in Tanet, where he beat them into thir Ships that bore them home, glad to have so scap'd and not venturing to land again for 5 years after. In the space wherof Guortemir dying, commanded they should bury him in the Port of Stonar, perswaded that his bones lying there would be terror enough to keep the Saxons from ever landing in that place: they, saith Ninnius, neglecting his command, buried him in Lincoln. But concerning these times, antientest annals of the Saxons relate in this manner. In the year 455. Hengist and Horsa fought against Vortigern, in a place called Eglesthrip, now Ailsford in Kent; where Horsa lost his life, of whom Horsted, the place of his burial, took name.

After this first Battel and the Death of his Brother, Hengist with his Son Esca took on him Kingly Title, and peopl'd Kent with Jutes; who also then or not long after possess'd the Ile of Wight, and part of Hamshire lying opposite. Two years after in a fight at Creganford, or Craford, Hengist and his Son slew of the Britans four Cheif Commanders, and as many thousand men: the rest in great disorder flying to London, with the total loss of Kent. And 8 years passing between, he made new Warr on the Britans; of whom in a Battel at Wippeds-fleot, 12 Princes were slain, and Wipped the Saxon Earl, who left his name to that place, though not sufficient to direct us where it now stands. His last encounter was at a place not mention'd, where he gave them such an overthrow, that flying in great fear they left the spoil of all to thir Enemies. And these perhaps are the 4 Battels, according to Nennius, fought by Guortemir, though by these writers far differently related; and happ'ning besides many other bickerings, in the space of 20 years, as Malmsbury reck'ns. Nevertheless it plainly appears that the Saxons, by whomsoever, were put to hard shifts, being all this while fought withall in Kent, thir own allotted dwelling, and somtimes on the very edge of the Sea, which the word Whippeds-fleot seems to intimat. But Guotemir now dead, and none of the courage left to defend the Land, Vortigern either by the power of his faction, or by consent of all, reassumes the Government: and Hengist thus rid of his grand opposer, hearing gladly the restorement of his old favourer, returns again with great Forces; but to Vortigern whom he well knew how to handle without warring, as to his Son in Law, now that the only Author of dissention between them was remov'd by Death, offers nothing but all terms of new league and amity. The King both for his Wives sake and his own sottishness, consulting also with his Peers not unlike himself, readily yeilds; and the place of parly is agree'd on; to which either side was to repair without Weapons. Hengist, whose meaning was not peace, but treachery, appointed his men to be secretly arm'd, and acquainted them to what intent. The watch-word was Nemet eour Saxes, that is Draw your Daggers; which they observing, when the Britans were throughly heated with Wine (for the Treaty it seems was not without Cups) and provok'd, as was plotted, by som affront, dispatch'd with those Poniards every one his next man, to the number of 300. the cheif of those that could do ought against him either in Counsel or in Field. Vortigern they only bound and kept in Custody, untill he granted them for his ransome three Provinces, which were called afterward Essex, Sussex, and Middlesex. Who thus dismist, retiring again to his solitary abode in the Country of Guorthigirniaun, so call'd by his name, from thence to the Castle of his own building in North-Wales, by the River Tiebi; and living there obscurely among his Wives, was at length burnt in his Towre by fire from Heav'n at the Praier, as som say, of German, but that coheres not; as others, by Ambrosius Aurelian; of whom as we have heard at first, he stood in great fear, and partly for that cause invited in the Saxons. Who whether by constraint or of thir own accord after much mischeif don, most of them returning back into thir own Country, left a fair opportunity to the Britans of avenging themselves the easier on those that staid behinde. Repenting therefore, and with earnest supplication imploring divine help to prevent thir final rooting out, they gather from all parts, and under the leading of Ambrosius Aurelianus, a vertuous and modest man, the last heer of Roman stock, advancing now onward against the late Victors, defeat them in a memorable Battell. Common opinion, but grounded cheifly on the British Fables, makes this Ambrosius to be a younger Son of that Constantine, whose eldest, as we heard, was Constance the Monk: who both lost thir lives abroad usurping the Empire. But the express words both of Gildas and Bede, assures us that the Parents of this Ambrosius having heer born regal dignity, were slain in these Pictish Wars and commotions in the Iland. And if the fear of Ambrose induc'd Vortigern to call in the Saxons, it seems Vortigern usurp'd his right. I perceave not that Nennius makes any difference between him and Merlin: for that Child without Father that propheci'd to Vortigern, he names not Merlin but Ambrose, makes him the Son of a Roman Consul; but conceal'd by his mother, as fearing that the King therfore sought his life; yet the youth no sooner had confess'd his parentage, but Vortigern either in reward of his predictions, or as his right, bestow'd upon him all the West of Britain; himself retiring to a solitary life. Whose ever Son he was, he was the first, according to surest Authors, that led against the Saxons, and overthrew them; but whether before this time of after, none have writt'n. This is certain, that in a time when most of the Saxon Forces were departed home, the Britans gather'd strength; and either against those who were left remaining, or against thir whole powers, the second time returning obtain'd this Victory. Thus Ambrose as cheif Monarch of the Ile succeeded Vortigern; to whose third Son Pascentius he permitted the rule of two Regions in Wales, Buelth, and Guorthigirniaun. In his daies, saith Nennius, the Saxons prevail'd not much: against whom Arthur, as beeing then Cheif General for the British Kings, made great War; but more renown'd in Songs and Romances, then in true stories. And the sequel it self declares as much. For in the year 477. Ella the Saxon, with his three Sons, Cymen, Pleting, and Cissa, at a place in Sussex call'd Cymenshore, arrive in three Ships, kill many of the Britans, chasing them that remain'd into the Wood Andreds Leage. Another Battell was fought at Mercreds-Burnamsted, wherein Ella had by far the Victory: but Huntingdon makes it so doubtful, that the Saxons were constrain'd to send home for supplies. Four year after dy'd Hengist the first Saxon King of Kent; noted to have attain'd that dignity by craft, as much as valour, and giving scope to his own cruel nature, rather than proceeding by mildness or civility. His Son Oeric surnam'd Oisc, of whom the Kentish Kings were call'd Oiscings, succeeded him, and sate content with his fathers winnings; more desirous to settle and defend, then to enlarge his bounds: he reign'd 24 years. By this time Ella and his Son Cissa, beseiging Andredchester, suppos'd now to be Newenden in Kent, take it by force, and all within it put to the Sword.

Thus Ella 3 years after the death of Hengist, began his Kingdome of the South-Saxons: peopling it with new inhabitants, from the Country which was then old Saxony, at this day Holstein in Denmark, and had besides at his command all those Provinces which the Saxons had won on this side Humber. Animated with these good successes, as if Britain were become now the field of Fortune, Kerdic another Saxon Prince, the tenth by Linage from Woden an old and practis'd Souldier, who in many prosperous conflicts against the Enemy in those parts, had nurs'd up a Spirit too big to live at home with equals, coming to a certain place which from thence took the name of Kerdic-shoar, with 5 Ships, and Kenrick his Son, the very same day overthrew the Britans that oppos'd him; and so effectually, that smaller skirmishes after that day were sufficient to drive them still furder off, leaving him a large territory. After him Porta another Saxon with his two Sons Bida and Megla, in two Ships arrive at Portsmouth thence call'd, and at thir landing slew a young British Nobleman, with many others who unadvisedly set upon them. The Britans to recover what they had lost, draw together all thir Forces led by Natanleod, or Nazaleod, a certain King in Britain, and the greatest saith one; but him with 5000 of his men Kerdic puts to rout and slaies. From whence the place in Hantshire, as far as Kerdicsford, now Chardford, was call'd of old Nazaleod. Who this King should be, hath bred much question; som think it to be the British name of Ambrose; others to be the right name of his Brother, who for the terror of his eagerness in fight, became more known by the Sirname of Uther, which in the Welsh Tongue signifies Dreadful. And if ever such a King in Britain there were as Uther Pendragon, for so also the Monmouth Book surnames him, this in all likelyhood must be he. Kerdic by so great a blow giv'n to the Britans had made large room about him; not only for the men he brought with him, but for such also of his friends, as he desir'd to make great; for which cause, and withall the more to strengthen himself, his two Nefews Stuf, and Withgar, in 3 Vessels bring him new levies to Kerdic shoar. Who that they might not come sluggishly to possess what others had won for them, either by thir own seeking or by appointment, are set in place where they could not but at thir first coming give a proof of themselves upon the Enemy: and so well they did it, that the Britans after a hard encounter left them Maisters of the field. And about the same time, Ella the first South-Saxon King dy'd; whom Cissa his youngest succeeded; the other two failing before him.

Nor can it be much more or less then about this time, for it was before the West-Saxon Kingdome, that 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 in such multitudes, that thir native soil is said to have remain'd in the daies of Beda uninhabited. Huntingdon deferrs the time of thir coming in, to the ninth year of Kerdic's Reigne: for saith he, at first many of them strove for principality, seising every one his Province, and for som while so continu'd making petty Warrs among themselves; till in the end Uffa, of whom those Kings were call'd Uffings, overtop'd them all in the year 571, then Titilus his Son, the Father of Redwald, who became potent.

And not much after the East-Angles, began also the East-Saxons to erect a Kingdom under Sleda the tenth from Woden. But Huntingdon, as before, will have it later by 11 years, and Erchenwin to be the first King.

Kerdic the same in power, though not so fond of title, forbore the name 24 Years after his arrival; but then founded so firmly the Kingdome of West-Saxons, that it subjected all the rest at length, and became the sole Monarchie of England. The same year he had a Victory against the Britans at Kerdics-Ford, by the River Aven: and after 8 years, another great fight at Kerdics Leage, but which won the day is not by any set down. Hitherto hath bin collected what there is of certainty with circumstance of time and place to be found register'd, and no more then barely register'd in annals of best note; without describing after Huntingdon the manner of those Battels and Encounters, which they who compare, and can judge of Books, may be confident he never found in any current Author whom he had to follow. But this disease hath bin incident to many more Historians: and the age whereof we now write, hath had the ill hap, more then any since the first fabulous times, to be surcharg'd with all the idle fancies of posterity. Yet that we may not rely altogether on Saxon relaters, Gildas, in Antiquity far before these, and every way more credible, speaks of these Wars in such a manner, though nothing conceited of the British valour, as declares the Saxons in his time and before to have bin foyl'd not seldomer then the Britans. For besides that first Victory of Ambrose, and the interchangeable success long after, he tells that the last overthrow which they receav'd at Badon Hill, was not the least; which they in thir oldest annals mention not at all. And because the time of this Battell, by any who could do more then guess, is not set down, or any foundation giv'n from whence to draw a solid compute, it cannot be much wide to insert it in this place. For such Authors as we have to follow, give the conduct and praise of this exploit to Arthur; and that this was the last of 12 great Battells which he fought victoriously against the Saxons. The several places writt'n by Nennius in thir Welch names, were many hunder'd years ago unknown, and so heer omitted. But who Arthur was, and whether ever any such reign'd in Britain, hath bin doubted heertofore, and may again with good reason. For the Monk of Malmsbury, and others whose credit hath sway'd most with the learneder sort, we may well perceave to have known no more of this Arthur 500 years past, nor of his doeings, then we now living; And what they had to say, transcrib'd out of Nennius, a very trivial writer yet extant, which hath already bin related. Or out of a British Book, the same which he of Monmouth set forth, utterly unknown to the World, till more then 600 years after the dayes of Arthur, of whom (as Sigebert in his Chronicle confesses) all other Histories were silent, both Foren and Domestic, except only that fabulous Book. Others of later time have sought to assert him by old legends and Cathedrall regests. But he who can accept of Legends for good story, may quickly swell a volume with trash, and had need be furnish'd with only two necessaries, leasure and beleif, whether it be the writer, or he that shall read. As to Artur, no less is in doubt who was his Father; for if it be true as Nennius or his notist avers, that Artur was call'd Mab-Uther, that is to say, a cruel Son, for the fierseness that men saw in him of a Child, and the intent of his name Arturus imports as much, it might well be that som in after ages who sought to turn him into a Fable, wrested the word Uther into a proper name, and so fain'd him the Son of Uther; since we read not in any certain story, that ever such person liv'd, till Geffry of Monmouth set him off with the sirname of Pendragon. And as we doubted of his parentage, so may we also of his puissance; for whether that Victory at Badon Hill were his or no, is uncertain; Gildas not naming him, as he did Ambrose in the former. Next, if it be true as Caradoc relates, that Melvas King of that Country which is now Summerset, kept from him Gueniver his Wife a whole year in the Town of Glaston, and restor'd her at the entreaty of Gildas, rather then for any enforcement, that Artur with all his Chivalry could make against a small Town defended only by a moory situation; had either his knowledge in War, or the force he had to make, bin answerable to the fame they bear, that petty King had neither dar'd such an affront, nor he bin so long, and at last without effect, in revenging it. Considering lastly how the Saxons gain'd upon him every where all the time of his suppos'd reign, which began, as som write, in the tenth year of Kerdic, who wrung from him by long Warr the Countries of Summerset, and Hamshire; there will remain neither place nor circumstance in story, which may administer any likelyhood of those great Acts that are ascrib'd him. This only is alleg'd by Nennius in Arturs behalf, that the Saxons, though vanquish'd never so oft, grew still more numerous upon him by continual supplies out of Germany. And the truth is that valour may be overtoil'd, and overcom at last with endless overcomming. But as for this Battell of Mount Badon where the Saxons were hemm'd in, or beseig'd, whether by Artur won, or whensoever, it seems indeed to have giv'n a most unboubted and important blow to the Saxons, and to have stop'd thir proceedings for a good while after. Gildas himself witnessing that the Britans having thus compel'd them to sit down with peace, fell thereupon to civil discord among themselves. Which words may seem to let in som light toward the searching out when this Battell was fought. And we shall find no time since the first Saxon War, from whence a longer peace ensu'd, then from the fight at Kerdics Leage in the year 527. which all the Chronicles mention, without Victory to Kerdic; and give us argument from the custome they have of magnifying thir own deeds upon all occasions, to presume heer his ill speeding. And if we look still onward, eev'n to the 44th year after, wherin Gildas wrote, if his obscure utterance be understood, we shall meet with very little War between the Britans and Saxons. This only remains difficult, that the Victory first won by Ambrose, was not so long before this at Badon Seige, but that the same men living might be eye-witnesses of both; and by this rate hardly can the latter be thought won by Artur, unless we rek'n him a grown youth at least in the daies of Ambrose, and much more then a youth, if Malmsbury be heard, who affirms all the exploits of Ambrose to have bin don cheifly by Artur as his General, which will add much unbeleif to the common assertion of his reigning after Ambrose and Uther, especially the fight at Badon, being the last of his twelve Battels. But to prove by that which follows, that the fight at Kerdics Leage, though it differ in name from that of Badon, may be thought the same by all effects; Kerdic 3 years after, not proceeding onward, as his manner was, on the continent, turns back his Forces on the Ile of Wight; which with the slaying of a few only in Withgarburgh, he soon maisters; and not long surviving, left it to his Nefews by the Mothers side, Stuff and Withgar; the rest of what he had subdu'd, Kenric his Son held; and reigned 26 years, in whose tenth year Withgar was buried in the Town of that Iland which bore his name. Notwithstanding all these unlikelyhoods of Artur's Reign and great acheivments, in a narration crept in I know not how among the laws of Edward the Confessor, Artur the famous King of Britans, is said not only to have expell'd hence the Saracens, who were not then known in Europe, but to have conquer'd Freesland, and all the North East Iles as far as Russia, to have made Lapland the Eastern bound of his Empire, and Norway the Chamber of Britain. When should this be done? from the Saxons, till after twelve Battells, he had no rest at home; after those, the Britans contented with the quiet they had from thir Saxon Enemies, were so far from seeking Conquests abroad, that, by report of Gildas above cited, they fell to civil Wars at home. Surely Artur much better had made War in old Saxony, to repress thir flowing hither, then to have won Kingdoms as far as Russia, scarce able heer to defend his own. Buchanan our Neighbour Historian reprehends him of Monmouth and others for fabling in the deeds of Artur, yet what he writes thereof himself, as of better credit, shews not whence he had but from those Fables; which he seems content to believe in part, on condition that the Scots and Picts may be thought to have assisted Arthur in all his Wars, and atchievments; wherof appears as little grownd by any credible story, as of that which he most counts Fabulous. But not furder to contest about such uncertainies.

In the year 547. Ida the Saxon, sprung also from Woden in the tenth degree, began the Kingdome of Bernicia in Northumberland; built the Town Bebbanburg, which was after wall'd; and had 12 Sons, half by Wives, and half by Concubines. Hengist by leave of Vortigern, we may remember, had sent Octa and Ebissa to seek them seats in the North, and there by warring on the Picts, to secure the Southern parts. Which they so prudently effected, that what by force and fair proceeding, they well quieted those Countries; and though so far distant from Kent, nor without power in thir hands, yet kept themselves nigh 180 years within moderation; and as inferiour Governors, they and their off-spring gave obedience to the Kings of Kent, as to the elder Family. Till at length following the example of that Age; when no less then Kingdoms were the prize of every fortunat Commander, they thought it but reason, as well as others of thir Nation, to assume Royalty. Of whom Ida was the first, a man in the prime of his years, and of Parentage as we heard; but how he came to wear the Crown, aspiring or by free choise, is not said. Certain enough it is, that his vertues, made him not less noble then his birth, in War undaunted, and unfoil'd; in peace tempring the aw of Magistracy, with a naturall mildness he raign'd about 12 years. In the mean while Kenric in a fight at Searesbirig, now Salsbury, kil'd and put to flight many of the Britans; and the fourth year after at Beranvirig, now Banbury, as some think, with Keaulin his son put them again to flight Keaulin shortly after succeeded his father in the West-Saxons. And Alla descended also of Woden, but by another line, set up a second Kingdom in Deira the South part of Northumberland, and held it 30 years; while Adda the son of Ida, and five more after him reign'd without other memory in Bernicia: and in Kent, Ethelbert the next year began. For Esca the son of Hengist had left Otha, and he Emeric to rule after him; both which without adding to their bounds, kept what they had in peace 53 years. But Ethelbert in length of reign equal'd both his progenitors, and as Beda counts, 3 years exceeded. Young at his first entrance, and unexperienc'd, he was the first raiser of civill War among the Saxons; claiming from the priority of time wherin Hengist took possession here, a kind of right over the later Kingdomes; and thereupon was troublesome to thir Confines: but by them twise defeated, he who but now thought to seem dreadfull, became almost contemptible. For Keaulin and Cutha his Son, persuing him into his own Territory, slew there in Battel, at Wibbandun 2 of his Earls, Oslac, and Cnebban. By this means the Britans, but cheifly by this Victory at Badon, for the space of 44 years ending in 571, receav'd no great annoyance from the Saxons: but the peace they enjoy'd, by ill using it, prov'd more destructive to them then War. For being rais'd on a sudden by two such eminent successes, from the lowest condition of thraldome, they whose Eyes had beheld both those deliverances, that by Ambrose, and this at Badon, were taught by the experience of either Fortune, both Kings, Magistrates, Preists, and privat men, to live orderly. But when the next Age, unacquainted with past Evils, and only sensible of thir present ease and quiet, succeeded, strait follow'd the apparent subversion of all truth, and justice, in the minds of most men: scarce the lest footstep, or impression of goodness left remaining through all ranks and degrees in the Land; except in some so very few, as to be hardly visible in a general corruption: which grew in short space not only manifest, but odious to all the Neighbour Nations. And first thir Kings, among whom also, the Sons or Grand-Children of Ambrose, were fouly degenerated to all Tyranny and vitious life. Wherof to hear som particulars out of Gildas will not be impertinent, They avenge, saith he, and they protect; not the innocent, but the guilty: they swear oft, but perjure; they wage War, but civil and unjust War. They punish rigorously them that rob by the high way; but those grand Robbers that sit with them at Table, they honour and reward. They give alms largly, but in the face of their Alms-deeds, pile up wickedness to a far higher heap. They sit in the seat of Judgment, but goe seldome by the rule of right; neglecting and proudly overlooking the modest and harmless; but countenancing the audacious, though guilty of abominablest crimes; they stuff thir Prisons, but with men committed rather by circumvention, then any just cause. Nothing better were the Clergy, but the same pass or rather worse, then when the Saxons first came in; Unlerned, Unapprehensive, yet impudent; suttle Prowlers, Pastors in Name, but indeed Wolves; intent upon all occasions, not to feed the Flock, but to pamper and well line themselves: not call'd, but seising on the Ministry as a Trade, not as a Spiritual Charge: teaching the people, not by sound Doctrin, but by evil Example: usurping the Chair of Peter, but through the blindness of thir own worldly lusts, they stumble upon the Seat of Judas: deadly haters of truth, broachers of lies: looking on the poor Christian with Eyes of Pride and Contempt; but fawning on the wickedest rich men without shame: great promoters of other mens Alms with thir set exhortations; but themselves contributing ever least; slightly touching the many vices of the Age, but preaching without end thir own greivances, as don to Christ; seeking after preferments and degrees in the Church more then after Heav'n; and so gain'd, make it thir whole study how to keep them by any Tyranny. Yet lest they should be thought things of no use in thir eminent places, they have 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 Scripture, nay forbidding and silencing them that know; but in worldly matters, practis'd and cunning Shifters; in that only art and symony, great Clercs and Maisters, bearing thir heads high, but thir thoughts abject and low. He taxes them also as glutonous, incontinent, and daily Drunkards. And what shouldst thou expect from these, poor Laity, so he goes on, these beasts, all belly? shall these amend thee, who are themselves laborious in evil doings? shalt thou see with thir Eyes, who see right forward nothing but gain? Leave them rather, as bids our Saviour, lest ye fall both blind-fold into the same perdition. Are all thus? Perhaps not all, or not so grosly. But what avail'd it Eli to be himself blameless, while he conniv'd at others that were abominable? who of them hath bin envi'd for his better life? who of them hath hated to consort with these, or withstood thir entring the Ministry, or endeavour'd zealously thir casting out? Yet som of these perhaps by others are legended for great Saints. This was the state of Government, this of Religion among the Britans, in that long calm of peace, which the fight at Badon Hill had brought forth. Wherby it came to pass, that so fair a Victory came to nothing. Towns and Cities were not reinhabited, but lay ruin'd and wast; nor was it long ere domestic War breaking out, wasted them more. For Britain, as at other times, had then also several Kings. Five of whom Gildas living then in Armorica, at a safe distance, boldly reproves by name; First Constantine (fabl'd the Son of Cador, Duke of Cornwall, Arturs half Brother by the Mothers side) who then reign'd in Cornwall and Devon, a Tyrannical and bloody King, polluted also with many Adulteries: he got into his power, two young Princes of the Blood Royal, uncertain whether before him in right, or otherwise suspected: and after solemn Oath giv'n of thir safety the year that Gildas wrote, slew them with thir two Governours in the Church, and in thir Mothers Arms, through the Abbots Coap, which he had thrown over them, thinking by the reverence of his vesture to have withheld the murderer. These are commonly suppos'd to be the Sons of Mordred, Arturs Nefew, said to have revolted from his Uncle, giv'n him in a Battel his Deaths wound, and by him after to have bin slain. Which things were they true, would much diminish the blame of cruelty in Constantine, revenging Artur on the Sons of so false a Mordred. In another part, but not express'd where, Aurelius Conanus was King: him he charges also with Adulteries, and Parricide; cruelties worse then the former; to be a hater of his Countries Peace, thirsting after civil War and Prey. His condition it seems was not very prosperous; for Gildas wishes him, being now left alone, like a Tree withering in the midst of a barren field, to remember the vanity, and arrogance of his Father, and elder Brethren, who came all to untimely Death in thir youth. The third reigning in Demetia, or South Wales, was Vortipor, the Son of a good Father; he was when Gildas wrote, grown old, not in years only, but in Adulteries, and in governing full of falshood, and cruel Actions. In his latter daies, putting away his Wife, who dy'd in divorce, he became, if we mistake not Gildas, incestuous with his Daughter. The fourth was Cuneglas, imbru'd in civil War; he also had divorc'd his Wife, and tak'n her Sister, who had vow'd Widdowhood: he was a great Enemy to the Clergy, high-minded, and trusting to his wealth. The last, but greatest of all in power, was Maglocune, and greatest also in wickedness; he had driv'n out or slain many other Kings, or Tyrants; and was called the Island Dragon, perhaps having his seat in Anglesey; a profuse giver, a great Warrior, and of a goodly stature. While he was yet young, he overthrew his Uncle, though in the head of a compleat Army, and took from him the Kingdom: then touch't with remorse of his doings, not without deliberation took upon him the profession of a Monk; but soon forsook his vow, and his wife also, which for that vow he had left, making love to the wife of his Brothers Son then living. Who not refusing the offer, if she were not rather the first that entic'd, found means both to dispatch her own Husband, and the former wife of Maglocune, to make her marriage with him the more unquestionable. Neither did he this for want of better instructions, having had the learnedest and wisest man reputed of all Britain, the instituter of his youth. Thus much, the utmost that can be learnt by truer story, of what past among the Britans from the time of their useless Victory at Badon, to the time that Gildas wrote, that is to say, as may be guess't, from 527 to 571, is here set down altogether; not to be reduc't under any certainty of years. But now the Saxons, who for the most part all this while had bin still, unless among themselves, began afresh to assault them, and ere long to drive them out of all which they yet maintain'd on this side Wales. For Cuthulf the Brother of Keaulin, by a Victory obtain'd at Bedanford, now Bedford, took from them 4 good Towns, Liganburgh, Eglesburh, Besington, now Benson in Oxfordshire, and Igncsham; but outliv'd not many months his good success. And after 6 years more, Keaulin, and Cuthwin his Son, gave them a great overthrow at Deorrham in Glostershire, slew three of thir Kings, Comail, Condidan, and Farinmaile, and took three of thir Cheif Cities; Glocester, Cirencester, and Badencester. The Britans notwithstanding, after some space of time, judging to have outgrown thir losses, gather to a head, and encounter Keaulin with Cutha his Son, at Fethanleage; whom valiantly fighting, they slew among the thickest, and as is said, forc'd the Saxons to retire. But Keaulin reinforcing the fight, put them to a main rout, and following his advantage, took many Towns, and return'd lad'n with rich booty.

The last of those Saxons who rais'd thir own acheivments to a Monarchy, was Crida, much about this time, first founder of the Mercian Kingdom, drawing also his Pedigree from Woden. Of whom all to write the several Genealogies, though it might be done without long search, were, in my opinion, to encumber the story with a sort of barbarous names, to little purpose. This may suffice, that of Wodens 3 Sons, from the Eldest issu'd Hengist, and his succession; from the second, the Kings of Mercia; from the third, all that reign'd in West-Saxon, and most of the Northumbers, of whom Alla was one, the first King of Deira; which after his death, the race of Ida seis'd, and made it one Kingdom, with Bernicia, usurping on the Childhood of Edwin, Alla's Son. Whom Ethelric the Son of Ida expel'd. Notwithstanding others write of him; that from a poor life, and beyond hope in his old Age, coming to the Crown, he could hardly by the access of a Kingdom, have overcome his former obscurity, had not the fame of his Son preserv'd him. Once more the Britans, ere they quitted all on this side the Mountains, forgot not to shew some manhood; for meeting Keaulin at Wodens Beorth, that is to say, Wodens Mount in Wiltshire, whether it were by thir own Forces, or assisted by the Angles, whose hatred Keaulin had incurr'd, they ruined his whole Army, and chas'd him out of his Kingdom, from whence flying, he dy'd the next year in poverty; Who a little before, was the most potent and indeed sole King of all the Saxons on this side Humber. But who was cheif among the Britans in this exploit, had bin worth remembering, whether it were Maglocune, of whose prowess hath bin spok'n, or Teudric King of Glamorgan, whom the regest of Landaff recounts to have bin alwaies victorious in fight; to have reign'd about this time, and at length to have exchang'd his Crown for a Hermitage; till in the aid of his Son Mouric, whom the Saxons had reduc'd to extremes, taking armes again, he defeated them at Tinterne by the River Wye; but himself receav'd a mortal wound. The same year with Keaulin, whom Keola the Son of Cuthulf, Keaulins Brother succeeded, Crida also the Mercian King deceas'd, in whose room Wibba succeeded; and in Northumberland, Ethelfrid, in the room of Ethelric; reigning 24 years. Thus omitting Fables, we have the view of what with reason can be rely'd on for truth, don in Britain, since the Romans forsook it. Wherein we have heard the many miseries and desolations, brought by divine hand on a perverse Nation; driv'n when nothing else would reform them, out of a fair Country, into a Mountanous and Barren Corner, by Strangers and Pagans. So much more tolerable in the Eye of Heav'n is Infidelity profess't, then Christian Faith and Religion dishonoured by unchristian works. Yet they also at length renounc'd thir Heathenism; which how it came to pass, will be the matter next related.

The End of the Third Book.