THE HISTORIE OF Great Britannie

Declaring the successe of times and affaires in that Iland, from the Romans first entrance, vntill the raigne of EGBERT, the West-Saxon Prince; who reduced the severall Principalities of the Saxons and English, into a Monarchie, and changed the name of Britannie into England.

AT LONDON, Printed by Valentine Simmes. 1606.

The Race and Succession of the Roman Emperors from Iulius Caesar to Domitius Nero.
  • Sextus Caesar.
  • 1 Iulius Caesar Dict. Perp. 3. yeares.
  • Accius Balbus
  • Iulia.
  • C: Octa: Presid: of Maced:
  • Accia
  • Scribonia, the sister of L: Scribonius Libo: the first wife of Aug:
  • 2 Oct: Augu­stus Empe­rour 56. yeares.
  • Livia, the relict of Nero (father of Tiberius) the 2 wife of Aug
  • Iulia, the wife of Vip­sanius A­grippa.
  • 3 Tiberius Nero, Em­perour 23. yeares.
  • Drusus
  • Agrip­pina.
  • Germa­nicus.
  • 5 Claudius Nero, Emp: 13. years and 9. months.
  • Valeria Messa­lian.
  • 4 C: Ca [...]igula Emperour 3. yeares and 10 months.
  • Agrippina, the wife of Dom: Nero.
  • 6 Nero, Emperor 14 yeares.
  • Britan­nicus.

❧Lieutenants in Britannie vnder the first five Emperors of Rome.

During the severall raignes of Iulius Caesar, Augustus, Tiberius, and Caius, the Romans had no setled forme of government in any part of the Ile.

Lievtenants vnder Claudius the Emperor.
  • Aulus Plautius, (the first Lieutenant in Britannie.)
  • Ostorius Scapula.
  • Didius Gallus Auitus.

❧The Princes, and men of speciall note among the Britans.

  • In the time of Iu­lius Caesar.
    • Cassibelin Prince of the Trinobantes.
      Pettie Rulers in Kent.
      • Cingetorix.
      • Carvilius.
      • Taximagulus.
      • Segonax.
    • Mandubratius the Traitor, whose fa­ther Imanentins preceeded Cassibe­lin in the government of the Tri­nobantes.
  • Cuno-belin, Prince of the Trinobantes, in the time of Au­gustus
  • Sonnes of Cunobelin, in the time of Caius.
    • Admimus
    • Cataracacus.
  • Togodumnus, a sonne of Cuno-belin, in the time of Aul.
  • Plautius government, vnder Claudius the Emperor.
  • In the time of Ostorius Sca­pulaes government vnder Claudius the Emperor.
    • Cogidunus (aduanced by the Romans)
    • Caractacus, the renowmed Prince of the Silures.
    • Cartismandua, Princesse of the Brigantes.

THese two Parts of the Historie, may seeme not improperly to beare the name of Great Britannie, in that (for the most part) they containe certaine generall reports of the affaires of the whole Iland, which was afterwards divided into the two Kingdomes of England and Scotland: Howbeit in the Second Part, the acci­dents and occurrents in the state of Scotland, (then called North-Britannie) are either purposely omitted, or touched very briefely, both to avoide confusion, by entermingling them with the imperfect relations of the dismembred governments of the Saxons and En­glish, in the South parts of the Ile: and also (for that England and Scotland, having bin (many hundred yeares) two distinct Monar­chies, and that of Scotland the more antient) it may be thought, perhaps, most meete, that there should be severall Histories of the English and Scottish Nation, from the first erection of either King­dome, vntill the vnion of them both: (the title of Britannie in the meane time remaining indifferent, as well to the one, as to the other.)

The first Part is divided into three Bookes.

The first Booke.

Declaring the state of Britannie vnder the Romans, from Iulius Caesar, his first entrance into the Ile, vntill the death of Claudius the Emperor; in whose time, the East part of the Ile was subdued, and brought into the forme of a Province.

The second Booke.

Declaring the state of Britannie vnder the Romans, from the death of Claudius the Emperour, vntill the raigne of Domitian; in whose time, the vtmost limits of the Ile were discovered, and the greatest part thereof reduced into a setled Provinciall government.

The third Booke.

Declaring the state of Britannie vnder the Romans, from the death of Domitian the Emperour, vntill the raigne of Honorius; in whose time the Ile of Britannie was abandoned by the Romans, and the inhabitants thereof left wholly to their owne government.

The second Part is divided into two Bookes.

The first Booke.

Declaring the state of affaires in Britannie after the Romans had given over the government there, vntill such time as the Saxons and English obteined it.

The second Booke.

Containing an Epitome, or a short (imperfect) rela­tion of the chiefe occurrents in everie one of the se­ven Principalities of the Saxons, and English, vntill Eg­bert the West-Saxon Prince reduced them into a Mo­narchie.

The beginning of the Raigne of Egbert the first English Monarch.

THE FIRST PART OF the Historie of Great Britannie.

The first Booke.


The first CHAPTER.

The Originall of the Britans. C. Iulius Caesar making warre in Gallia, intendeth a voyage into Britannie. C. Volusenus is sent to discover the Sea Coasts of the Ile. The Nature, and customes of the Britans.

IT is recorded by the most true, and antient of al Histories, that the Iles of the Gentiles, and north partes of the world, were first divided and inhabi­ted, by the posteritie of Iaphet; from whose eldest sonne called Goneer, the Cimbrians (as Writers report) deriv'd their name and discent, imparting the same to the Gauls and Germans, and consequently to the Inhabitants of this Ile, as being originally discended from the Gauls, that came over hither at the first, either vpon a naturall [Page 2] desire (which men commonly have to discover places vnknowne, or to avoid the assaults of other Nations en­croching vpon them; or happly to disburden their na­tive soil, by seeking new habitations abroad. And this o­pinion of the Britans first comming out of G [...]llia, seemes the more probable, in regard both of the situation of this Iland, in neernesse to that continent, and also of the vniformitie of language, religion and policy, betweene the most ancient Gauls, and Britans.

Touching the name of Britannie, with the Gouernors and state thereof before the Romans arrivall, as they are things not to have been neglected, if any certain know­ledge of them had been left vs, by approved testimonies of former ages: so I thinke it not now requisite, either to recite the different conjectures of other men, or of my self, constantly to affirme any thing concerning the same; aswell for that those matters have been alreadie handled at large by our modern Writers, as also for that I suppose, in ayming at such antique Originals (there being but one truth amidst many errors) a man may much more easily shoote wide, then hit the marke. I purpose therefore (omitting Etymologies of words, and varietie of opinions concerning the first inhabitants and their doings) to take the name and affaires of this Ile, in such sort, as they were first known to the Romans, in the time of Iulius Caesar, when the Roman state, (which had tried all kinds of government, as namely that of Kings, then of Consuls, Tribunes, & Decemvirs) began to be vsur­ped by a few, & soone after submitted it self to one. For about the foure and fiftieth yeare before the birth of our Saviour Christ, Caesar being then governor of Gallia for the Senat and people of Rome, and having brought some part of that Countrey vnder obedience, intended a voyage with an armie into Britannie, partly, vpon pre­tence [Page 3] of revenge (for that the Britans had diuers times ayded the Gauls in their warres against the Romans) and partly, to satisfie himselfe with sight of the Iland, and knowledge of the Inhabitants, and their customs; wher­to he might perhaps be the more readily induced, by reason of his owne naturall inclination to vndertake great and difficult attempts, and with the increase of his owne glorie, to inlarge the limits of the Roman Empire, vnto which at that time the soveraigntie of the whole world was, by divine providence, allotted. And to this end he thought good to be first informed of the nature of the people, and of such havens in the Ile, as were most commodious to receive any shipping, that should come thither; whch things were in a maner vnknowne to the Gauls, by reason the Ilanders suffred none to haue ac­cesse to them, but marchants onely; neither knew, even they, any other places, then the sea coasts, & those parts of the Ile, that confronted the continent of Gallia. Wher­vpon, Caesar supposing it necessarie to make some disco­verie, before he adventured himselfe in the action, sent Caius Volusenus in a long Boat, with instructions to in­quire of the quantitie of the Iland, of the conditions of the Inhabitants, of their maner of making war, of their government in peace, & what places were fittest for lan­ding. After which dispatch made, himselfe with all his forces (which were newly returned from making warre beyond the Rhene) marched into the Countrey of the The ancient inhabitants of the Counties of Guines and Bolonois in Picardie. Morini, from whence was the shortest cut into Britan­nie: for there he had appointed his shipping to meete him.

In the meane time, his purpose being known to the Britans, by report of the Merchants (that traded with them,) divers States of the Ile, (either fearing the great­nesse of the Roman power, or affecting innovation for [Page 4] some private respects) sent over Ambassadors, who pro­mised, in their names, to deliver hostages, for assurance of their obedience to the people of Rome: But Caesar, though he was fully resolved to enter the Iland, yet curteously entertained their offer, exhorting them to continue in that good mind, as a meane to draw on the rest, in following the example of their submission. For the better effecting whereof, he appointed Comius the chiefe Governour of theThe people of Artois. Atrebates (as a man, whose wisdom and faith he had tryed, and whom he knew to be respected of the Britans) to accompanie the Ambas­sadors in their returne, giving him in charge to go to as many Cities, as would permit him accesse; and to per­swade the Rulers to submit themselves, as some of their Nation had alreadie done: and further, to let them know, that himselfe with all convenient speed, would come thither.

The Princes of the Ile, being as yet vnacquainted with any civill kinds of government, maintained quar­rels and factions amongst themselves, whereby, while one sought to offend another, and to enlarge his owne part, by encroching vpon his neighbours (not obser­ving, that what they gained in particular one of ano­ther, they lost all togither in the generall reckoning) they made an open passage in the end, for the Romans to conquer the whole, (a thing common to them with o­ther Nations, who have found the like effects to pro­ceed from the like causes.) For, the most part of the Britans, in those daies, delighted in warre, neglecting husbandrie, or perhaps not then knowing the vse of it. Their manner of living, and customes, were much like to those of the inhabitants of Gallia. Their dyet was such as Nature yeelded of her selfe, without the indu­strie of man: for though they had great store of cattell, [Page 5] yet they lived (especially in the in-land Countries) with milke. It was held among them, as a thing vnlawfull, to eate of a hare, a hen, or a goose, and yet they nouri­shed them all for recreations sake. Their apparrell was made of the skinnes of beasts, though their bodies were (for the most part) naked and stained with woad, which gave them a blewish colour, and (as they supposed) made their aspect terrible to their enemies in battaile. Their houses were compact of stakes, reeds, and boughs of trees, fastned together in a round circle. They had ten or twelve wives apeece common among them, though the issue were alwayes accounted his, that first married the mother, being a mayden. They were, in sta­ture, taller than the Gauls, in wit, more simple, as being lesse civill.

By this time, Volusenus, (who durst not set foot on land to hazard himself amongst the barbarous Ilanders) returned to Caesar, (namely, the fift day after his setting forth) and made relation of such things as he had seen, and heard, by report, in roving vp and downe the coast in view of the Iland.


Caesar sayleth towards Britannie. The Britans empeach his Landing. The great courage of Cassius Scoeva, one of Caesars souldiers.

Caesar having composed some tumults in the hither part of Gallia, that he might leave no enemy behind his back to annoy him in his absence, pursued the enter­prise of Britannie, having, to that end, prepared a Navie, which consisted of about foure score ships of burden (a number sufficient, as he thought, for the transportation [Page 4] [...] [Page 5] [...] [Page 6] of two Legions) besides his long boats, wherein the Quae­stor, the Lievtenants, and other officers of the Camp were to be imbarqued. There were also eighteen ships of burden (that lay wind-bound about eight miles from the Port) appoynted to waft over the horsemen. P. Sul­pitius Rufus, a Lievtenant of a Legion, was commanded to keep the haven it selfe with such power, as was thought sufficient. These things being thus ordered, and a good part of the summer now spent, Caesar put out to sea about the third watch of the night, having given direction, that the horsemen should embarke in the vpper haven, and follow him; wherein, while they weresomewhat slack, Caesar with his shipping, about the fourth houre of the day, arrived vpon the coast of Bri­tannie, where he beheld the Cliffs possessed with a mul­titude of barbarous people, rudely armed, and ready to make resistance.

The nature of the place was such, as by reason of the steepe hills (enclosing the sea on each side in a narrow strait) it gave great advantage to the Britans, in casting downe their darts vpon their enemies vnderneth them. Caesar finding this place vnfit for landing his forces, put off from the shore, and cast anchor, expecting the rest of his Fleet; and in the meane time, calling a counsell of the Lievtenants, and Tribuns of the souldiers, he declar'd vnto them, what he had vnderstood by Volusenus, and directed what he would have done; warning them, that (as the state of the warre, and specially the sea-service re­quired) they would be ready to weigh anchor, and to remove, to, and fro (vpon occasions) at a beck, and in an instant.

This done, having advantage both of wind, and tide, he set forward with his Navy, about foure Leagues from that place, and then lay at anchor in view of the open, [Page 7] and plain shore. But the Ilanders, vpon intelligence of the Romans purpose, had sent thither (before Caesars com­ming) a company of horsemen and chariots called Esse­da, (which they then vsed in their warres) and follow­ing afterwards with the rest of their forces, empeached their enemies from landing, whoseships, by reason of their huge bulks, (drawing much water) could not come neer to the shore: so as the Roman souldiers were thereby enforcedin places vnknown (their bodies be­ing charged with their armour) to leap into the water, and encounter the Britans, who assayled them nimbly with their darts, and drave their horses and chariots, with main force vpon them: The Romans being there­with terrifyed, as men vnacquainted with that kind of fight, fayled much of the wonted courage, which they had shewed in their former land-services; and Caesar per­ceiving it, caused the long boats (which seemed more strange to the barbarous people, and were more ser­viceable, by reason of their swiftnesse in motion) to put off, by little and little, from the greater ships, and to row towards the shore, from whence they might more easily charge the Britans, with their arrowes, slings, and other warlike engines, which (being then vnknowne to the Ilanders, as also the fashion of the ships, and motion of the oares in the long boats, having stricken them with feare and amazement) caused them to make a stand, and afterwards to draw backe a litle.

But the Roman souldiers making no haste to pursue them, by reason of the water, which they suspected in some places to be deep and dangerous: the Standard­bearer of the Eagle of the Tenth Legion, praying, that his attempt might prove successefull to the Legion, cry­ed out with a lowd voyce in this manner. Fellow Soul­diers, leape out of your boates and followe mee, except [Page 8] you meane to betray your Standard to the enemie: For mine owne part, I meane to discharge the duetie I owe to the Common wealth, and to my Generall. This said, he cast himselfe into the water, and carryed the Standard boldly against the Britans. Whereupon, the souldiers exhorting one another to follow the En­signe, what fortune soever might befall) with common consent, leapt out of their long boats, one seconding another; and so, wading through the water, at length got to shore, where began a sharp and bloody fight on both sides: The Romans were much incumbred, by rea­son that they could neither keepe their ranks, nor fight vpon firm ground, nor follow their owne standards; for every one as he came on land, ran confusedly to that which was next him.

Some of the Britans (who knew the flats, and shallow places, espying the Romans, as they came single out of their ships) pricked forward their horses, and set vpon them, overlaying them with number, and finding them vnwealdy and vnready to make any great resistance, by reason of the depth of the water, and weight of their armour, while the greater part of the barbarous people with their darts assailed them fiercely vpon the shore: which Caesar perceiving, commanded the Cock-boates and Skowts, to be manned with souldiers, whom hee sent in all haste to rescue their fellowes.

There was a souldier of Caesars company, called Cassi­us Scaeva, who, with some other of the same band, was carried in a small boat, vnto a rocke, which the ebbing sea, in that place, had made accessible. The Britans e­spying them, made thitherward: the rest of the Romans escaping, Scaeva alone was left vpon the rocke, to with­stand the fury of the enraged multitude, that assailed him with their darts, which he received vpon his shield, [Page 9] and thrust at them with his speare, till it was broken, and his helmet and shield lost: then being tired with extreame toyle, and dangerously wounded, he betooke himselfe to flight, and, (carrying two light harnesses on his backe) with much difficulty recovered Caesars Tent, where hee craved pardon for making so bold an at­tempt, without commandement of his Generall. Caesar did both remit the offence, and reward the offender, by bestowing vpon him the office of a Centurion.

This was the Scaeva, who afterwards gave good cause to have his name remembred in the Roman story, for [...] memorable service he did to Caesar, in the time of the civill warres betweene him and Pompey, at the bat­taile neere Dyrrachium.

The Romans having at length, got footing on drie land, gave a fresh charge vpon the Britans, and in the end, enforced them to turne their backs, and leave the shore, though they could not pursue them farre into the Land, for want of horsemen, (Caesars accustomed fortune failing him in this one accident.)


Some of the Britans submit themselves to Caesar. The Ro­mans Ships are scattered by tempest. The Bri­tans secretly reuolt.

THe Britans, after this overthrow, assembling them­selves together, (vpon consultation had amongst them) sent Ambassadors to Caesar, promising to deliver in pledges, or to doe whatsoever else he would com­mand them. With these Ambassadors, came Comius of Arras, whom Caesar had sent before out of Gallia, into [Page 10] Britannie; where, having delivered the Message he had then in charge, he was apprehended, committed to pri­son, and now after the battaile, released. The cheefe States of the Britans, seeking to excuse their attempts, laid the blame vpon the multitude, who being the grea­ter number, and wilfully bent to take armes, could nei­ther by perswasion, nor authority, be restrained: and they pretended their owne ignorance, as being a free people, and not experienced in the customes of other Nations. Caesar, although he reprooved them for ma­king warre in that manner, (considering that of their owne accord, they had sent Ambassadors to him (be­fore his arrivall in Britannie) to desire peace: yet was content to pardon them, vpon delivery of pledges, whereof some he received presently, and the rest being to come from remote places, he appointed to be sent in by a certaine day; So the Britans were dismissed to returne into their Countries, and in the meane time there came divers Princes from other parts of the Ile, to submit themselves and their Cities to Caesar.

The fourth day, after the Romans landing, the ships before mentioned, appointed for transportation of Cae­sars horsemen, having a favourable gale of wind, put out to the sea, from the vpper haven, and approaching neere the Iland, in view of the Roman Campe, asodaine storme arose, and scattered them, driving some of them backe againe to the Port, from whence they came, and some others vpon the lower part of the Iland westward, where, after they had cast anchor, (their keeles being almost overwhelmed with the waves,) they were car­ryed, by violence of the storme in the night, into the maine, and with very great perill, recovered a harbor in the continent.

The same night, the Moone was at the full, at which [Page 11] time commonly, the Sea in those parts, is much troub­led, and overfloweth the banks, by reason of the high tides, (a matter vnknowne to the Romans) insomuch, as the long boates, which transported the armie, then ly­ing vpon the shore, were filled with the flood; and the ships of burden; that lay at anchor, were beaten with the storme, and split in peeces, the greater number of them perishing in the water, and the rest being made altoge­ther vnserviceable, (their anchors lost, and tacklings broken:) Wherewith the Romans were much perplex­ed, for that they neither had any other ships to trans­port them backe againe, nor any meanes to repaire what the tempest had ruined: and Caesar had formerly resolved to winter in Gallia, by reason he was vnfurni­shed of vittaile to maintaine his army during the win­ter season. Which being knowne to the cheefe States of the Britans, (who had met together about the accom­plishment of such things, as Caesar had commanded them) they supposed a fit opportunity was offered them to revolt, while the Romans wanted horsemen, shipping, and all manner of provisions; the number of their forces seeming also the lesse, in respect of the small circuit of their Campe, (Caesar having transported his Legions without any carriages, or such like warlike ne­cessaries.) Whereupon they concluded to keepe them from vittaile, and to prolong the warre till winter; assu­ring themselves, that if they could eyther vanquish the Romans, or barre them from returning thence, there would no forraigne Nation after them, adventure to set foote againe in Britannie. And heereupon they con­veyed themselves by stealth, out of the Roman Campe, and gathered companie to them privily from diverse parts, to make head against their enemies.


Caesar repaireth his Navie. A skirmish by land between the Britans and Romans. The Britans retire, and with new forces assaile the Romans, but in the end are put to flight. Caesar returneth into France.

CAEsar, albeit he were ignorant of the Britans pur­pose, yet supposing that the state of his armie, and the losse of his ships were knowne to them, and considering that they had broken day with him, in de­taining the pledges contrary to the contract, he suspec­ted that which afterwards proved true. And therfore to provide remedies against all chances, he caused Corne to be brought dayly out of the fields into his Campe, and such ships as could not be made fit for service, were vsed to repaire the rest, and such other things as were wanting therto, he appointed to be brought out of the continent; by which meanes, and the diligence of his Souldiers, with the losse of twelve Ships, the rest of his Navie was made able to beare saile, and brooke the Seas againe.

While these things were in dooing, the Seventh Le­gion, (according to custom) was sent forth a forraging; till which time, the Britans revolt was not certainly knowne, for that some of them remained abroad in the fields, & others came ordinarily into the Roman Camp. The Warders in the Station before the Campe, gave notice to Caesar, that the same way which the Legion went, there appeared a greater dust, then was woont to be seene. Caesar mistrusting some new practise of the Britans, commanded the Companies (that kept ward) to march thither, appointing two others to supply their [Page 13] roomes, and the rest of his forces to arme themselves with speed and follow him. When he approched neer the place discried, he perceived his souldiers to be over­charged with the Britans, who assailed them on all sides with their darts. For the Britans having conveyed their Corne from all other parts (this only excepted) and su­specting that the Romans would come thither, lay in the woods all night, to intercept them: and finding them dispersed, and vnreadie, they sodainly set vppon them, (as they were reaping) killing a few of them, and disor­dering the rest, with their horses and chariots.

The maner of their fighting in Chariots was thus; First, they vsed to ride round about their enemies for­ces, casting their darts where they saw advauntage, and oftentimes with the fiercenesse of their horses, & whir­ling of their Chariot wheeles, they broke their enemies ranks: and being gotten in among the troopes of hors­men, they would leape out of their Chariots, and fight on foot. The Chariot-drivers in the meane time with­drew themselves by litle and litle out of the battell, and placed themselves in such sort, as their maisters (being over-matched by their enemies) might readily recover their Chariots, so that in their fighting they performed the offices, both of horsmen in swiftnesse of motion, and also of footmen in keeping their ground; and by day­ly vse, and exercise, they were growne so expert in ma­naging their horses, as, driving them forcibly downe a steepe hill, they were able to stay or turne them in the mid way, yea, to run along the beame, to stand firme vpon the yoke, and to return thence speedily into their Chariots again.

The Romans being much troubled with this new kind of fight, Caesar came in good time to the rescue. For vpon his approach, the Britans gave over the skir­mish, [Page 14] yet keeping still their ground as maisters of the field, and the Romans for fear, retired themselves to their Generall, who thought it no point of wisdome, to ha­zard his forces in a place vnknowne: but having staied there awhile, conducted the Legions backe againe to his Campe, and in the meane time, the Britans that were in the field, dispersed themselves, and shrunke away.

After this there were for many dayes togither, con­tinual tempests, which kept the Romans in their campe, and hindred the Britans from making any open at­tempt, though they sent messengers secretly into di­verse parts of the Ile, publishing abroad, what a small number of their enemies was left, what great hope there was of a rich bootie, & what apparant likelihood of recovering their libertie, if they could drive the Ro­mans from their Campe: And hereupon in short time they assembled a great number of horse and foot-men, to put their purpose in execution. Against which, Caesar (vnderstanding thereof) made preparation for defence, having gotten also about thirtie hors-men (which Co­mius of Arras brought over with him) whose seruice he supposed verie necessarie, if the Britans (according to their woonted maner) should seeke to save themselves by flight. The Legions were placed in battaile array be­fore his Camp. Then the Britans began the fight, which had not long continued, when they gave back, and fled, the Romans pursuing them as farre as they durst, killing many whom they overtooke, and burning houses and townes as they returned to their Campe.

The same day the Britans sent Ambassadors to Cae­sar, desiring peace, which after long sute, was granted, vpon condition, that the number of the pledges (which was before required) should be now doubled, and spee­dily sent over into Gallia. For the Aequinoctial drawing [Page 15] neere, Caesar made haste thither, doubting his crazed ships would not be well able to brooke the Seas in win­ter: whereupon taking advauntage of the next faire wind, he embarqued his forces about midnight, and with the greatest part of his Fleete, arrived in the conti­nent. The Roman Senat (vpon relation of these his ser­vices) decreed a Supplication for him, for the space of twentie daies.


Caesars second expedition into Britannie. The Britans for­tifie themselves in a wood, from whence they are chased by the Romans. Caesars Navie distressed by tempest.

IN the spring of the yeare following, Caesar having pa­cified some tumults in Gallia, prosecuted the enter­prise of Britannie, and to that end he had prepared a Fleet of new ships, well appointed, and commodiously built for landing his forces (the want whereof he had found before, to his great losse) and a sufficient armie consisting of five Legions, and a proportionall number of horse, which he embarqued atCallice. Portus Iccius about the Sun-setting, having a faire Southern wind to set them forward; which failing them about midnight, the tide diverted their course, so as in the morning he dis­covered the Iland on his left hand: and then following the turning of the tide, he commanded his souldiers to vse their Oares that they might reach that part of the Ile, where they had found best landing the Summer be­fore; wherein they tooke such paines, as their shipps of burden kept way with their long boats and lighter ves­sels. About noone they landed on the shore, where there appeared no man to make resistance: the cause [Page 16] wherof was (as Caesar afterwards learned by such priso­ners, as he tooke) for that the Britans having assembled themselves togither in armes at the Sea side, were so ter­rified with the sight of the ships (which of all sorts were esteemed above eight hundred saile) that they left the shore, and ran to hide themselves in the vpland Coun­try. Caesar (vpon intelligence by fugitives, where the Brittish forces lay) leaving at the Sea side, ten Cohorts, and three hundred horse to grade the ships then lying at Anchor, (whereof Quintus Atrius had the charge) marched forward with the rest of his army in the night, about twelve miles into the land, where he espi'd a mul­titude of Britans flocked togither neere a river, having gotten the vpper ground, from whence they began to charge the Romans with their horse and Chariots; but being repulsed by Caesars hors-men, they fled, and hid themselves in the woods, in a place which being nota­bly strengthned both by Nature and Art, they had vsed as a fortresse in their civill warres among themselves. For by reason there were many great trees cut downe, and laid overthwart the passages round about, there could hardly any entrance be found into the wood; howbeit the Britans themselves would oft times sally forth vpon advantage, and empeach the Romans, where they attempted to enter. Hereupon Caesar commanded the Souldiers of the Seventh Legion to make aA warlike engin made of boords, co­vered over with raw hides, to serve for defence a­gainst fire, or stones in sca­ling a wall. Testudo, and to raise a Mount against the place; by which means, after losse of men on both sides, the Romans in the end got the Fort, & chased the Britans out of the wood; but Caesar would not suffer his Souldiers to pursue them far, in regard the place was vnknown, and a great part of the day being then spent, he thought it fit to bestow the rest in fortifying his Campe.

The next day in the morning, he sent out hors-men [Page 17] and foot-men three severall wayes to pursue them that fled; but, before they had gotten sight of the Bri­tans, certain hors-men sent from Quintus Atrius (who had charge of the shipping) brought newes, that a great tempest the night before had distressed his ships, and beaten them vpon the shore, their Anchors and Cables being not able to hold them, nor the mariners to guide them, or to endure the force of the storme. Wherupon Caesar caused the Legions, and hors-men to be sent for backe againe, and marched with speede towards the sea side, where he found his Navy in ill plight; fortie of his ships being cleane cast away, and the rest with great dif­ficultie seeming likely to be recovered. For effecting wherof, he tooke some Shipwrights out of the Legions, and sent for others out of the continent; writing to La­bienus (who had the charge of certaine Legions there, and the gard of Portus Iccius) that he should prepare as many ships as he could, to be sent over vnto him with expedition. And though it were a worke of great toile; yet hee thought it necessarie to have all the ships haled on shore, and to be brought into the campe, where his land-forces lay, that one place might be a safegard to them both. In the accomplishment hereof he spent ten dayes (the souldiers scarce intermitting their labour in the night time, till all was finished.


Cassibelin is chosen by the Britans to be their Leader. The Britans assaile the Romans, but with ill successe. Caesar with his armie wadeth over the river of Thames.

CAEsar having fortified his Campe, and left there the same forces (which were before appointed to [Page 18] keepe the harbour) returned to the place, whence he dislodged vpon Atrius his advertisement, where he found the number of the Britans much increased by confluence of people from sundry parts within the Iland. The chiefe commandement & direction for the warre, was by publike consent of the States of th'Ile, as­signed to Cassibelin; the bounds of whose territorie were divided from the maritime Cities, by the river Thami­sis, & were distant from the Sea about four-score miles. There had beene of long time continuall warre be­tweene him, and some other Princes of the Countries neer adioyning: but now (both parts fearing to be o­verrun by a forrain enemie) neglected private respects, and joyned their forces togither, appointing him to be their leader, as a man of whose valor, and sufficiencie in militare affaires they had good experience.

The Roman army being come in view of their ene­mies Campe, the Britans pressed forward to begin the fight with their hors-men and Chariots, and Caesar sent out his hors-men to encounter them, so as the battaile was maintained with great resolution on both parts, and the event thereof seemed doubtfull, till in the end, the Britans gave ground, and fled through the woods to the hills, many of them being slaine in the chase, and some of the Romans also, who adventerously pursued them too farre.

Not long after, while the Romans (suspecting no dan­ger) were occupied in fortefying their campe, the Bri­tans sallyed sodainly out of the woods, and made an as­sault vpon the Warders, that kept station before the Campe, to whose aide Caesar sent out two Cohorts (the chiefe of two Legions) which making a lane through the midst of the British forces, joyned themselves with their distressed fellowes, and rescued them from the [Page 19] perill, though Quintus Laberius Durus, a Tribune of the Souldiers was slain in that enterprise. But new Cohorts comming to supply the former, the Britans were repul­sed, and sought to save themselves by flight. By the ma­ner of this skirmish, (which was fought in view of the Roman Campe) the Romans perceived the advaun­tage, which the Britans had of them, and how ill them­selves were appointed for such a kind of fight, when by reason of the weight of their armor, they could neither pursue such as fled, nor durst leave their Ensignes, nor were able (without great disadvantage) to encounter the British hors-men, which oft times gave ground of purpose; and having withdrawne themselves by litle and litle from the Legions, would leap out of their cha­riots and fight on foot; the maner of their fighting with horses and Chariots, being alike dangerous to those that retired, and those that pursued. Besides, they divi­ded their forces into companies (when they fought) and had severall stations, with great distances betweene them, one troope seconding an other, and the sound and fresh men yeelding supplies to the wounded and wearie.

The day following the Britans were descried vpon the hils a farre off, scattred here and there in great num­bers togither, being not verie forward to begin a new fight, till Caesar having sent out three Legions, and all his hors-men, vnder the conduct of C. Trebonius the Liev­tenant, to go a forraging, they flocked sodainly togither from all parts, and set vpon the forragers, not sparing to assaile the Ensigns and Legions themselves, who strong­ly resisted them, and made them turn their backs, when the Roman hors-men also eagerly pursued them, never giving over the chase (as being confident in the ayde of the Legions that followed them) vntill they had driven [Page 20] them headlong before them, killing all those they over­tooke, and giving the rest no time, either to gather themselves togither, or to make a stand, or once to for­sake their Chariots. After this overthrow, many of the barbarous people (who had come from diverse parts to aide their Countri-men) shrunke away; and Caesar vn­derstanding, what course the rest of the Britans meant to hold in prosecuting the warre, led his armie to the bounds of Cassibelins Countrey, vpon the River of Thames, which was passable on foot, in one place onely and that with some difficultie. When he came thither, he perceived that the Britans had great forces in readi­nesse on the further side of the River, the banks where­of were fortified with sharpe pointed stakes, or piles, (a­bout the bignesse of a mans thigh, and bound about with lead,) pitched neere the shore, to empeach their passage; and some others of the same kind (the rem­nants whereof are to be seene at this day) were planted covertly vnder water in the maine River. Whereof Cae­sar having intelligence (by some Fugitives, and priso­ners that he had taken) commaunded the hors-men, first, to enter the River, and the Legions to follow, so as (the dangerous places being discovered) the Romans waded through (their heads onely appearing above water) and charged the Britans with such violence, as they forced them to forsake the shore, and betake them­selves to flight.


The Britans surprise the Roman horsemen. The treacherie of Mandubratius the Britan, whom Caesar protecteth. Cassibelin wearied with ill successe of the warre, submit­teth himselfe to Caesar. Tribute imposed vpon the Bri­tans. Caesar saileth into France.

CAssibelin seeing no likeli-hood to maintaine the warre any longer by force, dismissed the greater part of his power, and keeping with him about foure thousand Chariots only, retired into the woods, and places of most safetie, driving men and cattell be­fore him out of the fields, all that way, by which he knew the Romans should passe with their armie, whose hors-men (as they roved vp and down to take booties) he surprized with his Chariots, and distressed them in such sort, as they durst not march forward, but kee­ping themselves in their strength, gave over their for­mer purpose, and from thence-foorth sought onely to annoy the Britans, by spoiling and burning their houses and townes.

In the meane time theThe ancient Inhabitants of Middlesex and Essex. Trinobantes, one of the chief States in those parts, sent Ambassadors to Caesar, promi­sing to submit themselves, and to be at his commaun­dement. There was also one Mandubratius, who had fled over to Caesar, when he was in Gallia, and was now be­come a follower of his fortune, while preferring the sa­tisfaction of his owne discontented humor, before the advancement of the common cause, he served as an in­strument, to betray his native Country, abusing the cre­dit which he had with his Countrie-men, by working their submission, to his owne dishonor, and the advan­tage [Page 22] of a forraine enemie. His father Imanentius, (ha­ving bin sometimes chiefe ruler of the Citie of the Tri­nobantes, and well esteemed among them) was slaine by Cassibelin the present Governor, against whom the Ci­tizens desired Caesar to protect Mandubratius, and to commit vnto him the government of their City; which Caesar granted vpon deliverie of a certaine number of pledges, and a sufficient proportion of vittaile for pro­vision of his Armie. Hereupon diverse pettie States there about, sent Ambassadors, and yeelded themselves to Caesar, who vnderstood by them, that Cassibelin his Towne (being well stored with men, and cattell,) was not farre from thence. This towne (as all others so cal­led of the Britans in those dayes) was onely a circuit of ground enclosed with woods, and marishes, or else en­trenched with a rampire of earth about it. Caesar com­ming with his Legio [...] to this place, (which he found ve­rie strong, as being fortified, both naturally, and also by the industrie of man) began to assaile it on both sides. The Britans having expected a while the event of the enterprise, and perceiving themselves vnable to with­stand the assault, issued out at a backe way, where many of them being slaine, and some taken (as they fled,) the towne it selfe, and all the provisions within it, were left as a spoile to the Romans.

While these things were in doing among the Tri­nobantes, Cassibelin dispatched messengers into the coun­try ofKent. Cantium, that lies vpon the sea. The inhabitants of those parts were then more civill, and better furnished to make warre than any other of the Ile. The country at that time was governed by foure Kings, (as Caesar him­selfe calleth them) either for that they had among them a kind of absolute government in several, or else, for that being the Register of his owne acts, he supposed it [Page 23] would be more for his glorie to be reputed a conqueror of Kings. Their names were Cingetorix, Carvilius, Taxi­magulus, and Segonax, whom Gassibelin then required to raise all the power they could make, and on the sodaine to assaile the Roman forces, that garded their ships at the sea side. This was attempted accordingly, but with ill successe, for that the Romans having timely advertise­ment of their purpose, prevented the execution therof, by setting vpon them as they drew neere the Roman armie; and so, after a great slaughter made of the Bri­tans (Cingetorix a noble captaine, and one of their Prin­ces being taken prisoner) the Romans returned in safetie to their Campe.

Cassibelin, hearing of the vnhappie issue of this enter­prise, after so many losses sustained on his part, (his Country being wasted with warre) and himselfe in a maner forsaken, by the revolt of the cities round about, (which most of all discouraged him) sent Ambassadors to Caesar by Comius of Arras, offering to submit himselfe vpon reasonable conditions.

Caesar determining to winter in Gallia (the state of his affaires there requiring it) and the summer being almost spent, commanded that he should deliver certaine pled­ges for assurance of his obedience, and that he should offer no wrong, nor give cause of offence to Mandubra­tius, or the Trinobantes, whom he had taken into speciall protection. And then having imposed a Tribute, to be payed yearly by the Britans, to the people of Rome, he marched towards the seaside, where he embarqued his forces, and arrived with them safely in the continent.

Thus Caesar having rather shewed some part of Bri­tannie to the Romans, then made a conquest of the whole: supposed he had done sufficiently for his owne glorie, in vndertaking a matter so rare and difficult in [Page 24] those times. At his comming to Rome, he presented there certaine captives (which he had taken in the Bri­tish warres) whose strangenesse of shape and behaviour filled the peoples eyes, both with wonder, and delight. He offered also in the Temple of Venus genetrix a sur­cote embrodered with British Pearle, as a Trophy, and spoyle of the Ocean, leaving to posteritie a perpetuall remembrance of his enterprise in this Iland, to the ho­nor, both of his owne name, and of the Roman nation.


Augustus succeedeth Iulius Caesar in the Empire. The state of the Britans in his time vnder Cuno-belin their Governor. The first British coyne. The birth of our Saviour Christ. Tiberius the Emperour forbeareth to attempt any thing in Britannie.

AFter the death of Iulius Caesar (by reason of the ci­vill warres among the Romans) the Ile of Britan­nie was for a time neglected, and Augustus Caesar being setled in the Empire (which was then growne to such greatnesse, as it seemed even cumbred therewith) accounted it good policie to containe the same within his knowne bounds: Besides, the attempt was like to prove dangerous, and a matter of verie great expence, to send an armie so farre off, to make warre with a Bar­barous Nation, for desire of glorie onely (no speciall cause besides mooving therto.) Howbeit (as some wri­ters report) about twentie yeares after Iulius Caesars first entrance, Augustus intended a voyage hither in person, alledging for pretence of the warre, the wrong offred to the Roman state, by such princes of the Ile as had for certain years with-held the tribute, which Caesar his pre­decessor [Page 25] had imposed. Vpon intelligence whereof, the Britans sent over Ambassadors, who meeting the Em­perour inThe Coun­tries between the rivers Ga­ronne, and Seine in France. Gallia Celtica, declared their submission, and desired pardon: And the better to win favour, they had caried over certaine gifts of good value, to be presen­ted, as offrings in the Roman Capitoll (having alreadie learned the Art to flatter for advantage, and to appease Princes by rewards.) Hereupon, a conditionall peace was granted them, and the Emperor having pacified some troubles in Gallia, returned to Rome. Then began the Ilanders to pay Tribute, and custome for all kinde of wares which they exchanged with the Gauls, as namely Ivorie boxes, Iron chaines, and other trinkets of Amber, and glasse, which were transported to and fro both out of Gallia, and Britannie.

They are following, the Britans having failed in per­formance of conditions, he prepared for another expe­dition; but being set forward on his voyage, the revolt of theThe Biscay­ans. Cantabrians, andThe ancient inhabitants betweene Gallicia and Portugall. Asturians, stayed him from proceeding any further therein. After which time the Britans were left to themselves, to enioy their libertie, and vse their owne lawes without empeachment by forreigne invaders; for that the Romans (having found the sweetnesse of peace, after long civill warres) sought rather to keepe in obedience such Provinces as had bin before time brought vnder subjection, then by attemp­ting new conquests, to hazard the losse of that they had alreadie gotten.

In those dayes the Country of the Trinobantes in Britannie, was governed by Cuno-belin, who kept his re­sidence atMalden in Essex. Camalodunum. He began first to reclaime the Britans from their rude behavior: and to make his estate more respected, he afterwards caused his owne Image to be stamped on his Coine after the maner of the Ro­mans, [Page 26] mans (a custome never vsed among the Britans before his dayes, and but then newly received by the Romans themselves; for before that time the Britans vsed Rings of Iron, and little plates of brasse of a certaine weight in stead of coine. During the time of his government, the divine mysterie of humane redemption was accompli­shed by the birth of our Saviour Christ, (Augustus Cae­sar then possessing the Roman Empire, which he after­wards left to Tiberius his adopted son, a warie and poli­tike Prince, who following the advise and example of Augustus, did never attempt any thing in Britannie, nor maintaine any garrison there: howbeit the Britans at that time were well affected to the Romans, as appeared by the entertainment, which their pettie Princes gave to some Souldiers of the Roman army in Germanie, who in crossing the seas, were by force of weather cast vpon the coast of Britannie, and from thence in curteous ma­ner sent backe to Germanicus their Generall.


The ridiculous expedition of Caius Caligula the Emperor, intending a voyage into Britannie. His vaineglorie and crueltie.

CAius Caligula succeeding Tiberius in the Empire, had a meaning doubtlesse to have invaded the Ile of Britannie, had not his rash entrance into the action, and his ill successe in the German warre, over­throwne the enterprise; by reason whereof he brought nothing to effect, but onely made a ridiculous expedi­tion, (answerable to the vanitie of his humor) bringing an army into the hither parts of Belgia, and there having [Page 27] received into protection Adminus (whom Cuno-belin his father had banished) and certaine other British Fugi­tives, that came with him) he writ vaunting Letters to the Senate, as though the whole Iland had yeelded it selfe, having given speciall charge to the Messenger, that his letters should be carried in a Chariot to the Fo­rum, and not delivered to the Consuls, but in a full Se­nat, and in the Temple of Mars. Afterwards drawing his forces downe to the sea coasts of Belgia (whence with wonder he beheld the high Cliffes of the Ile pos­sessed with barbarous people) he placed his Souldiers in battaile array vpon the shore, and himselfe entring in­to a long Boat, was rowed a little way vpon the Sea. But not daring to adventure further, he returned speedily to land, and then commanding a charge to be founded, as though he would have begun a fight, he appointed his Souldiers to gather Cockles, and Muskles in their Helmets, tearming them spoyles of the Ocean, and meet to be preserved, as offerings due to the Capitoll. For this exploit, he afterwards at his comming to Rome, was not ashamed to demaund a Triumph, and divine honors to be assigned him; but finding the Senators, for the most part, vnwilling to give their assent, he burst out into threats, and had slaine some of them in the place, if they had not speedily avoyded his furie. After this, himselfe in open assembly made a declaration of his journey, and what adventures he had passed in the con­quest of the Ocean (as himselfe vainly termed it) where­at the common people, either for fear, or flatterie, gave a generall applause; which he (taking it as a testimonie of their desire to have him placed among their gods) re­warded in this shameful maner: He caused a great quan­titie of gold and silver to be scattered on the ground, and certaine poysoned Caltrops of Iron to be cast a­mong [Page 28] them, whereby many were killed, partly with those envenomed engines, and partly with the presse one of another (each man being earnest in gathering, and supposing another mans gaine his owne losse:) So naturally was he inclined to all kinds of mischiefe, as he spared not the lives even of those, whom he thought to deserve best at his hands.


Claudius succeeding Caius in the Empire, sendeth Aulus Plautius with an armie out of France into Britannie. The Roman souldiers are vnwilling to be transported thither: and entring into mutinie, are appeased by Nar­cissus the Emperours favourite. Plautius chargeth the Britans, and taketh Cataratacus their captain prisoner, for which he afterwards triumpheth.

CLaudius the Emperour, with better advise then Caius his predecessor, and with much better for­tune, vndertooke the action in the third yeare of his reigne; and first, by perswasion of Bericus a British fu­gitive, and others, whom the Romans had received into their protection (a matter that much discontented the Britans, & stirred them vp to revolt) he sent Aulus Plau­tius a Roman Senator, a man well experienced in mili­tare affaires, to take charge of the Armie then remai­ning in Gallia, and to transport it into the Iland, where­at the Souldiers grudged, complaining, that they should now make warre out of the world, and by pro­tracting time with vnnecessary delaies, they discovered openly their vnwillingnes to enter into the service, till Narcissus a favorite of Claudius, being sent to appease [Page 29] them, went vp into Plautius his Tribunal seat, and there in an Oration, declared to the Souldiers the causes of his comming, & exhorted them not to shrink, for feare of vncertain dangers: That the enterprise it self, the more perillons it seemed, the more honorable it would be to atchieve it: that themselves were the men whom the heavens had or­dained to enlarge the bounds of the Roman Empire, and to make their owne names famous in the vtmost parts of the earth. But the Souldiers at the first being moved with disdaine, cried out in seditious maner (Io. Saturnalia,) as though they had been then ready to solemnize a feast, at which the Custome was, that servants should weare their Maisters apparell, and represent their persons. Howbeit Narcissus giving way to their furie for the present, did afterwards prevaile so farre with them, as partly for shame, and partly for hope of reward, they seemed content to follow Plautius, whither soever he would conduct them.

Then were theSouldiers that were Ci­tizens of Rome. andSouldiers of forreigne na­tions in league with the Ro­mans. Auxiliarie souldi­ers divided into three parts, so to be embarqned, to the end, that if they should be empeached in one place, they might land in another. In crossing the Sea, their ships were shaken, and beaten backe with a contrarie wind; albeit their courage failed not, but rather encrea­sed, by reason of a firie leame shooting from the East towards the West (the self same way that they directed their course) which they interpreted as a token of good successe. And thereupon hoising saile, they set forward againe, and with some difficultie (through the contra­rietie of wind and tide,) arrived in the Iland without a­ny resistance, by reason that the Britans doubted not their comming; but then finding themselves surprized on the sodaine, they ran dispersedly to hide themselves in Woods and Marishes, holding it their best course, ra­ther [Page 30] to prolong the warre, and wearie their enemies by delayes, then to encounter them in the open field. But Plautius with much labour and hazard found out at length, their chiefe place of retreite, where he killd ma­ny of them, and tooke prisoner Cataratacus their Cap­taine, one of the Sonnes of Cuno-belin, (not long before deceased.) For this exploit the Roman Senate did after­wards grant him a Triumph, which the Emperor Clau­dius honoured with his owne person, accompanying him as he went vp into the Capitoll.


Plautius the Lievtenant pursueth the service in Britannie. Vespasian (serving vnder him) was in danger to have beene slaine, or taken, by the Britans, if he had not beene rescued by Titus his sonne. The Britans passe over the river of Thames, and assaile the Romans that follow them. Togodumnus a British Prince is slaine in the fight. Plautius being in distresse, desisteth for a time from further prosecution of the warre.

THeThe anci­ent inhabi­tants of the Counties of Glocester and Oxford. Boduni (then living vnder the government of theThe anci­ent iuhabi­tants of the Counties of Buckingham, Bedford, and Hartford. Cattieuchlani) betooke themselves to the pro­tection of Plautius, who leaving garrisons in those parts, marched towardes a river, over which the Bri­tans supposed that the Romans could not passe without a Bridge, and therefore imagined themselves safe, ha­ving pitched their Campe on the other side of the wa­ter. But Plautius sent over certain Germans (who being accustomed to swim over rivers with swift currents e­ven in their armor) found an easie passage to the fur­ther bank, and there set vpon the Britans, wounding the [Page 31] horses which drew their Chariots, and by that meanes overthrowing their riders, and disordering their whole power. [...]hen was Flauius Vespasian (who had the leading of the Second Legion, and Sabinus his brother, appointed to passe over, and to charge them on a sodaine as they were dispersed. Some of the Britans being slaine, and some taken prisoners, the night made an end of the skir­mish. The next morning the rest of the dispersed rout shewed themselves vpon the shore, and gave occasion of a new fight, which continued a long time, with equall advantage, till C. Sydius Geta being in danger to have beene taken, recovered himself, and at the last enforced the Britans to retire; For which service he had after­wards Triumphall honours assigned him, although he were no Consull. In this conflict Vespasian (being beset round about by the barbarous people) was in great danger, either to have beene slaine, or taken, if he had not beene timely rescued by Titus his sonne, who then exercised the office of a Tribune of the Souldiers, and be­gan in his tender yeares to give some proofe of his va­lour. After this battell, the Britans withdrew them­selves to the mouth of the river Thamisis, neer the place where it falles into the sea, and being skilfull in the shal­lowes and firme grounds, passed over in safetie, whenas the Romans that pursued them, (not knowing the dan­gerous places) were oft times in great hazard. Some of the Germans that were most forward to adventure (by reason of their skill in swimming) assoone as they had got to the further shore, were compassed about and kil­led by the barbarous people, and the rest of the Roman army that folowed, was much distressed in the passage, and sharply assailed at their comming on land; where began a bloodie fight, in the which Togodumnus a Bri­tish Prince, one of Cunobelins sonnes was slaine; whose [Page 32] death did nothing abate the courage of the Britans, but rather enflamed them with desire of revenge: for the ef­fecting whereof, they gathered togither new forces, from diverse parts of the Ile. Plautius fearing the great­nesse of their power, and being straitned in a place of disadvantage, and danger, proceeded no further at that time, but fortifying onely such townes as he had alrea­die taken, advertised Claudius of the doubtfull state of his affaires.


The valor and fortune of Vespasian in the British warre. He subdueth the Ile of Wight. The Expedition of Claudius the Emperour into Britannie. He defeateth the Britans, and planteth a Colonie of old souldiers at Maldon in Essex. His sonne is surnamed Britanni­cus. At his returne to Rome, he is honoured with a Triumph. The Christian faith first received in Bri­tannie, in the reigne of Claudius.

IN the meane time, Vespasian was imploied in other places of the Ile, where fortune seemed to lay the foundation of that greatnesse, vnto which he after­wards attained; For in a short space, he fought thirtie times with the Britans, overcomming two warlike na­tions, and taming the fierceThe ancient Inhabitants of the coun­ties of Somer­set, Wilton, and South­hampton. Belgae, whose ancestors, comming hither at the first out of Gallia Belgica, either to take booties, or to make war, gave the name of their owne Countrey to such places as they had subdued: (a custom commonly vsed among the Gauls, when they seated themselves in any part of this Iland.)

With like fortunate successe Vespasian proceeded in attempting, and conquering the IleThe Ile of Wight. Vectis, that lieth on [Page 33] the South side of Britannie, when Claudius the Emperor being now furnished of all things necessarie for the British expedition, set forward with a mightie armie, consisting of horsemen, footmen, and Elephants. He marched first to Ostia: from thence to Massilia: the rest of the voyage he made by land toBolein in Picardie. Gessoriacum in Gallia, where he embarqued. His forces being safely transpor­ted into the Ile, were led towards the river Thamisis, where Plautius and Vespasian with their power attended his comming; so the two armies being ioyn'd togither, crossed the river againe. The Britans that were assem­bled to encounter them, began the fight, which was sharply maintained on both sides, till in the end, a great number of the Ilanders being slaine, the rest fled into the woods, through which the Romans pursued them, even to the towne ofMaldon in Essex. Camalodunum, which had bin the royall seate of Cunobelm, and was then one of the most defensible places in the dominions of the Trinobantes. This towne they surprised, and afterwards fortified, planting therin a Colonie of old souldiers, to strengthen those parts and to keepe the inhabitants there in obedi­ence. Then were the Britans disarmed, howbeit Clau­dius remitted the confiscation of their goods; for which favour the barbarous people erected a Temple and an Altar vnto him, honouring him as a god. Now the States of the countrey round about, being so weakned by the losse of their neighbours, and their owne civill dissentions, as they were vnable to resist the Roman power any longer, began to offer their submission, pro­mising to obey, and live peaceably vnder the Roman government; and so, by little, and little, the hither part of the Ile was reduced into the forme of a Province.

In honour of this victorie, Claudius was divers times saluted by the name of Imperator, contrarie to the Ro­man [Page 34] custome, which permitted it but once for one Ex­pedition. The Senate of Rome also, vpon advertisement of his successe, decreed, that he should be called Britan­nicus, and that his sonne should have the same title, as a surname proper and hereditarie to the Claudian familie. M [...]ssalma his wife (the monster of her sex for impuden­cie and lascivious life) had the first place in counsell as­signed her, (as Livia the wife of Augustus sometimes had) & was also licenced to ride in a Chariot. At his re­turne to Rome (which was the sixt month after his de­parture thence, having continued but sixteene dayes only in the Ile, he entred the citie in a Triumph) perfor­med with more then vsuall ceremonies of state, wherat certaine Presidents of Provinces, and banished men were permitted to be present. On the top of his pal­lace was placed a Crowne set with stems, and foreparts of ships, which the Romans called (Corona navalis) as a signe of the conquest of the Ocean. Diverse Captaines that had served vnder him in Britannie, were honoured with Triumphal ornaments; Yearly playes were appoin­ted for him, and two Arches of Triumph adorned with Trophies were erected, the one at Rome, the other at Gessoriaoum, (where he embarqued for Britannie) to re­maine to succeeding ages, as perpetuall records of his victorie; So great a matter was it then accounted, and a worke of such merit, to have subdued so small a part of the Iland.

About this time (as it may be probably conjectu­red Christian Religion being yet greene, and of small growth, began to cast forth some small sparkles of her brightnesse in the Ile of Britannie: whither Christians of Rome, and other Countries (then flying persecution) resorted for safetie, and quietnesse, as to a place remote, and by reason of the warres, and troubles there, not [Page 35] much subiect to Inquisition: whenas also diverse Bri­tans remaining at Rome (where Christianitie then in­creased) either for hostages, or detained as prisoners, or happly for some private respects of profite, and plea­sure, had oportunitie and libertie to converse with the Roman Christians, and to be by them instructed, and confirmed in the faith of Christ.


Ostorius Scapula is sent by Claudius the Emperour to suc­ceed Plautius in the office of Lievtenancie. The Bri­tans in diverse parts of the Ile take armes, but are spee­dily suppressed. The Roman Generall seeketh by leni­tie to purchase the good opinion of the Britans.

IN these termes stood the state of Britannie, when Plautius the Lievtenant was revoked, and the prosecu­tion of the warre committed to P. Ostorius Scapula, who at his landing found all in an vprore, the Britans (that were yet vnconquered,) raunging the Confede­rates country, and vsing the greater violence, for that they supposed the new Captaine, as vnacquainted with his armie (the winter also being then begun) would not come forth to encounter them; but he knowing well, that in such cases, the first successe breedeth, either feare, or confidence, drew together with speed his readiest Cohorts, and made towards them, slaying such as re­sisted, and pursuing the residue, (whom he found strag­led abroad) lest they should make head againe. And, that a faithlesse and cloaked peace might not give, ei­ther the Captaine, or souldier any time of idle repose, he disarmed all those whom he suspected, and hemmed [Page 36] them in with Garisons betweeneNen, the river on which Northampton is seated (as it is cōiectured.) Antona, and I he river of Severne. Sabrina.

The first that began to stirre, were theThe ancient Inhabitants of Norffolke, Suffo [...]k, Cam­bridgeshire, and Hunting­tonshire. Icenians, a strong people, and vnshaken with warres, as having of their owne accord in former times, sought the Romans alliance and amitie. The Countries also adioyning neer vnto them, following their example, prepared them­selves to fight, choosing a place that was compassed a­bout with a rude trench, which had a narrow entrance to empeach the comming in of horsemen. That fence the Roman Captaine, (although he wanted the strength of the Legions) went about to force with the ayd of the Confederates alone; and having placed his Cohorts in rankes, he set his Troopes of horsemen also in like rea­dinesse: Then giving the signe of battell, he assailed the Rampire, and brake it, disordering the Britans, who be­ing stricking with a kind of remorse for their rebellious attempts, and seeing the passages stopped vp on al sides, shewed verie great courage and valour in defending themselves (as it falleth out oft times, where extremitie of danger it selfe takes away all feare of danger.) In this fight M. Ostorius the Lievtenants sonne was crowned with an Oken Garland, as an honourable reward for sa­ving a Roman Citizen.

Now by the slaughter of the Icenians, the rest of the Britans (who stood vpon doubtfull termes, as wavering betweene warre and peace) were well quieted, and O­storius led his armie against theThe Inha­bitants of a part of Ches­sh [...]e (as it is coniectured.) Cangi, whose country he spoyled and wasted while the inhabitants durst not come into the field, but privily surprised such as they found stragling behind the Roman armie, which was now come neere the sea coast, that lookes toward Ire­land, whenas certaine tumults stirred among theThe Inha­bitants of Yorkeshire, Lancashire, Durham, Westmerland and Cumber­land. Bri­gantes, brought backe the General, who thought it best, [Page 37] not to enter into any new action, before he had made all sure in those parts; howbeit, vpon his comming thither, some few of the Brigantes (that first began to take armes) being taken and put to death, the residue were pardoned, and the Countrey quieted. For the Generall wisely considering, that in such cases, lenitie sometimes prevaileth, where force and rigor cannot, did seeke to win favour of the Britans by curteous v­sage of such, as either fled vnto him for protection, or else, by the fortune of warre fell into his hands, some­times pardoning them, sometimes rewarding them, and sometimes vsing them in service against their owne nation, as he did Cogidunus a British Prince, vpon whom he had bestowed certaine Cities in free gift, according to an ancient custome among the Romans, who vsed even Kings themselves for instruments of bondage. But theThe ancient Inhabitants of South-wales. Silures could neither by crueltie, nor faire meanes be held in, so as the Generall saw there was no way to keepe them vnder, but with a garrison of Legio­narie Souldiers; and to that end the Colonie at Camalodu­num (consisting of a strong companie of old Souldiers) was brought into the subdued Country, to defend it a­gainst such as should rebell, and to make the confede­rates more willing to live in obedience.


Ostorious the Roman Generall maketh warre vpon the Silures and Ordovices, the ancient Inhabitants of South-wales, and North-wales. Caractacus their captaine being overthrowne in battaile, flieth for succor to Cartismandua the Princesse of the Brigantes, who then inhabited that part of the Ile which now contey­neth the counties of Yorke, Lancaster, Durham, Westmerland, and Cumberland. He is betraied and delivered to Ostorius.

THen the armie marched against the Silures, who be­sides their naturall boldnes, relied much vpon the strength of Caractacus their leader, a man that had waded through great dangers, and had bin fortunate in many adventures, having gotten thereby such reputa­tion, as he was preferred before all the British captaines. But as in policie and knowledge of the country, he had an advantage of the Romans: so perceiving himselfe to be vnequally matched in strength, he removed the warre to theThe ancient Inhabitants of North-wales. Ordovices, who entring into the action with him, (as fearing alike the Roman power) resolved ioyntly to hazard the chaunce of warre. And hereupon they prepared for battell, having chosen a place verie commodious for themselves, and disadvantageable for their enemies. Then they went to the top of an hill, and where they found any easy passage vp, they stopped the way with heapes of stones, in maner of a rampire. Not farre off, ran a River with an vncertaine foord, where, vpon the banke, a company of the best souldiers were placed, for a defence in the fore-ward. The leaders went about, exhorting, and encouraging the common [Page 39] souldiers, vsing such perswasions as might best fit their humors, and the present occasion; and Caractacus him­selfe, coursing vp and downe, protested, that that day, and that battel, should be either the beginning of reco­verie of libertie, or of perpetuall servitude. Then he cal­led vpon the names of his auncesters, that had chased Caesar the Dictator out of the Ile, and had delivered them from hatchets, and Tributes, and protected their wives and children from shame and violence. While he vttered these, or the like speeches, the people round a­bout him made a noyse, and euerie man sware, accor­ding to the religion of his Country, that neither their enemies weapons, nor their owne wounds, should make them to give over. That cheerfull crie, terrified and astonied the Roman Generall, and the rather, when he considered how he was couped in, having the river beneath him, the fort before him, the high hils hanging over it, and all things on euerie side threatning daunger and destruction to the assailers. Howbeit his souldiers demaunded the battell, crying, That there was no­thing which valour could not overcome. The Prefects and Tribunes, vsing the like speeches, added courage to the rest.

Then Ostorius having viewed the places of difficult accesse, led his Souldiers (being hot and eagre of the fight) vnto the further side of the river, and from thence to the Rampire, where while they fought with their Darts, they had the woorst, but having broken downe the rude compacted heape of stones with a Testudo, and both armies comming to handie strokes vpon equal ad­vauntage, the Britans turned their backs, and ran to the hill top, the Romans pursuing them, both with their light and heauie armed souldiers, the one assailing with darts, and the other (as they marched thicke togither) [Page 40] breaking the ranks, and beating downe the barbarous people, who had neither head-peece, nor armor to de­fend themselves, so that being hedged in betweene the Legionarie souldiers, and the Auxiliaries, the greatest part of them were slaine in the place.

At this assault Caractacus his wife, and daughter were taken prisoners, and his brethren yeelded to the enemies; but himselfe driven to extremitie, escaped by flight into the Countrie of the Brigantes, hoping to re­ceive some aide of Cartismandua the soveraigne Lady there. But, as it falleth out commonly with men in ad­versitie, to be forsaken and left succorlesse: so insteed of finding the reliefe which he expected, he fell into the danger which he little doubted. For Cartismandua, ei­ther fearing her owne estate, or thinking to win favour of the Conqueror (as Princes oft times make vse of one anothers misfortunes to serve their own turnes) detai­ned him in prison a while, and afterward delivered him to Ostorius, who was exceeding glad that he had gotten him, and forthwith sent him to Rome, as a prize of great worth, and the happie fruits of nine yeares service in the warres.


Caractacus the British Prince is sent to Rome, and presen­ted there before Claudius the Emperour. His habite, speech, and behaviour. He is pardoned, and dismissed.

THe report of Caractacus misfortune was soone spred throughout the Iles and Provinces adioy­ning, for his name was renowmed in most parts of Italie, and each man desired to see him, who had so long time withstood, and contemned that power, which [Page 41] held all the world in awe, and obedience. The Citty of Rome for many dayes togither was filled only with talke of him, and expectation of his comming; and the Em­perour himselfe as a Conqueror, by extolling his owne worthinesse, covertly added more glory to the conque­red. The people assembled togither, as it were to see some notable and rare spectacle. The Emperors guard in armes were orderly placed in the field before the camp. After this preparation made, the prisoners, and Trophies were presented in this maner; First the vassals of Caracta­cus going formost, bowed their bodies to the people, as they passed, and seemed by their rufull countenances to discover their feare. The caparisons, chaines, and o­ther spoiles taken in the warre, were carried after them. Then Caractacus his Brethren, his Wife, and Daughters followed; and last of all came Caractacus himselfe. His bodie was naked, for the most part, and painted with the figures of diverse beasts. He ware a chain of yron about his necke, and another about his middle. The haire of his head hanging downe in long locks (curled by na­ture) covered his backe and shoulders, and the haire of his vpper lip being parted on both sides, lay vpon his breast. The rest of his body was shaven all over. Neither was his behaviour lesse noted, then the strangenes of his habite: For he neither hung down his head, nor cra­ved mercie (as the rest did) but went on boldly with a setled and sterne countenance, till he came before the Emperors Tribunall seat, and there standing stil a while, he after spake these, or the like wordes.

‘If either my vertues in prosperitie, had beene an­swerable to the greatnesse of my estate, or the successe of my late attempts to the resolution of my mind, I might have come to this Citie, to have beene enter­tained, rather as a Friend, than as a captive to be gazed [Page 42] vpon; For it should have beene no disgrace for the Romans, to have admitted into societie with them, a man royally discended, and a commaunder of manie warlike Nations. But what cloud soever Fortune hath cast over my estate, she is not able to take from me those things, which the heavens and Nature have gi­ven me: (that is,) the dignitie of my Birth, and the courage of my Mind, which never failed me: I know it is a custome among you, to make your Triumphs, the spectacles of other mens miseries, and in this my Calamitie, as in a Mirror, you do now behold your owne glorie. Yet know, that I was sometimes a Prince, furnished with strength of men, and abili­ments of warre; and what marvaile is it, that I have now lost them, since your owne experience hath taught you, that the events of warre are variable, and vncertaine? I thought that the deepe Waters, which like a Wall enclose vs, (whom the heavens seeme to have placed farre off, in another world by it selfe,) might have bin a sufficient defence for vs against for­raigne invasion: But I see now, that your Desire of soveraigntie admits no limitation, since neither the danger of an vnknown Sea, nor the distance of place, can any longer warrant our safetie and libertie. If you will needs command the whole world, then must all men become your vassals, and live vnder a forced o­bedience. For mine owne part, so long as I was able, I made resistance, being vnwilling to submit my neck to a forraine Yoke. The law of naturall reason al­loweth everie man to defend himselfe, being assailed, and to withstand force, by force. Had I yeelded at the first, thy glorie, and my mis-hap had not bin so renowned, but both of them would soone have been forgotten. Fortune hath done her woorst, and we [Page 43] have now nothing left vs, but our lives, which if thou spare (having power to spill) thou shalt doe that which best beseemeth a great Mind, and a noble Nature.’

The Emperor hearing this speech, and wondering to see such boldnesse and constancie of mind in a dejec­ted estate, pardoned both him, and the rest of his com­panie, commaunding them to be vnbound, and so dis­missed them.


What opinion the Romans held of Caractacus. Triumphal honors assigned to Ostorius for taking him. The Bri­tans assaile the Roman campe in the Countrie of the Silures. The principalitie of South-wales. The death of Ostorius the Generall.

FOr many dayes togither, Caractacus his Fortune ministred matter of discourse to the Lords of the Senate, who affirmed the spectacle of his captivitie to be no lesse honorable, then that of Syphax the Numi­dian King, over whom P. Scipio triumphed, or that of Perses, whom Paulus Aemilius vanquished, or of any o­ther Kings, that had in former times beene taken in warre, and shewed to the people. Then publike honors of triumph were decreed for Ostorius, whose fortunes being now at the highest, began afterwards to decline, by reason, that either Caractacus (the obiect of his va­lour) being removed, he supposed he had made a full conquest, and therfore followed the service more care­lesly: or else, for that the residue of the Britans, having compassion of the misfortune of so mightie a Prince, and being eagre of revenge, renued the warre; for they [Page 44] assayled the Legionary Cohorts which were left behind to build fortresses in the Silures Country, killed the camp-Maister, and eight Centurions, besides some of the for­wardest souldiers, and they had put all the rest to the sword, if speedy rescue had not come from the villages and Forts adioining. Diuerse other sallies they made, as time and place gave them advantage, prevailing some­times by strength, sometimes by pollicie, and somtimes by chance. The Principal motive, that enduced the rest to take armes, was the example of the Silures, who were most resolutely bent, as being exasperated, by reason of as peech that the Roman Emperor had vsed, which was: That he would root out the name of the Silures, as the Sicambrians had beene in former time. This made them bold and desperate to adventure, as men knowing their destinie before hand. Many skirmishes they had, in sur­prising the scattered troupes of the Roman souldiers, and often times with good successe, in taking rich booties, and prisoners, and distributing the spoiles among their neighbours, by which meanes they drew them also to revolt. In the meane time, Ostorius wearied with care and travaile, ended his life.


Aulus Didius is sent by Claudius the Emperour to take charge of the armie in Britannie. Venutius the hus­band of Cartismandua Princesse of the Brigantes, vpō private discontentment taketh armes against the Ro­mans. The death of Claudius the Emperor.

CLaudius the Emperour being advertised of the death of Ostorius, sent Aulus Didius to take charge of the armie in Britannie, where notwithstanding [Page 45] all the haste he made, he found all out of frame: Man­lius Valens with his Legion having encountred the Bri­tans with ill successe, which by report of the Ilanders, was made greater then indeed it was, to terrifie the new Governour, who also made vse of the same policie to serve his owne turne; for, by encreasing the fame of that which he heard reported, he supposed, either to win greater praise, if he prevailed, or to purchase a more fa­vourable censure of his actions, if he miscarried. The Silures had made many roades into the subdued Coun­trie, wasting, and spoyling round about, when Didius the Lievtenant, vpon his first arrivall, entering into the field, restrained their outrage, and for a while kept them in some awe.

After Caractacus was taken, Venutius, a Prince faith­full to the Romans, and protected by them (so long as Cartismandua his wife and he agreed togither) vpon private discontentment began a new rebellion. For Cartismandua (whom the Romans specially favored for the deliverie of Caractacus) abounding now in peace, wealth, and plentie (which are commonly the nurses of licencious living) fell in love with Velocatus one of her husbands servants, and forgetting in the end her owne honour, preferred him before Venutius, who be­ing deeply touched with such an open iniurie, and dis­grace, raised a power, to expell her and her Paramour out of the Kingdome. The warre seemed at the first, to have beene maintained betweene themselves, and their private followers onely, till Cartismandua, by pollicie, had taken Venutius his brother, and certaine of his kins­men: and then the Inhabitants round about, fearing the event, and disdaining to be brought vnder the ser­vile yoke of a woman, declared themselves for Venutius, and with a choise number of youthfull and well expe­rienced [Page 46] Souldiers, invaded the Country: whereof Di­dius having timely intelligence, sent certaine Cohorts to encounter them. Hereupon insued a sharpe Conflict, the successe whereof was much doubted in the begin­ning, but in the end the Romans prevailed. The like fortune also had Caesius Nasica with his Legion; For Di­dius himselfe, as a man striken in yeares, and fitter to di­rect, then execute, vsed (for the most part) the ministe­rie of other men, keeping that which his Predecessors had gotten, and building onely some few Castles, and places of Defence within the land, to win thereby, a fame of augmenting the office.

The yeare following, Claudius the Emperour, (by the trecherie of Agrippina his wife, who practised to prevent Britannicus, and to preferre her owne sonne Nero to the Empire) died of poyson: leaving to poste­ritie no greater fame of any thing by him attemp­ted during his government, then of his fortunate Expedition into Britannie.

The end of the first Booke, of the first part of the Historie of Great Britan.
The succession of the Roman Emperours from Nero, vnto Domitian.
  • 6 Nero Emperour 14. yeares.
  • 7 Galba Emperour 7. moneths
  • 8 Otho Emperour 4. moneths
  • 9 Vitellius Emperour 8. moneths.
  • 10 Vespasian. Emperour 9. years and 11. men.
  • 11
    • Titus Emperour 2. yeares.
    • 12 Domitian Emperour 15. yeares.

Lievtenants in Britannie from the beginning of Neroes raigne, vntill the end of Domitians.

¶Lievtenants vnder Nero.
  • Veranius.
  • Suetonius Paulinus.
  • Petronins Turpilianus.
  • Trebellius Maximus.
¶Lievt. vnder Galba.
  • Trebellius Maximus.
¶Lievt. vnder Otho.
  • Trebellius Maximus.
¶Lievt. vnder Vitellius.
  • Vectius Bolanus.
¶Lievt. vnder Vespasian.
  • Petilius Cerealis.
  • Iulius Frontinus.
  • Iulius Agricola.
¶Lievt. vnder Titus.
  • Iulius Agricola.
¶Lievt. vnder Do­mitian.
  • Iulius Agricola.
  • Salustius Lucullus.
The Princes, and men of speciall note among the Britans.
  • In the time of Suetonius Paulinus government vnder Nero the Em­peror.
  • Prasutagus, Prince of the Icenians.
  • Voadica (the warlike) his wife.
  • In the time of Iulius Agricolaes government, vnder Domitian the Emperour.
  • Galgacus, Prince of the Caledonians.
  • In the time of Salustius Lucullus government, vnder Domitian the Emperour.
  • Arviragus.


The second Booke.


The first CHAPTER.

Nero succeedeth Claudius in the Empire. The Province in Britannie is governed by Veranius, after whose death the charge is committea to Suetonius Paulinus. The Ile of Anglesey is subdued. The doctrine and maners of the religious Druydes.

THis was the state of the affaires in Britannie, when Claudius the Empe­rour died, leaving the Roman Mo­narchie to Nero his adopted sonne, who (after his first five yeares spent) being given over to all kinds of vice, neglected the government both at home and abroad, not daring to enter into any militare action; and it was thought that he would have revoked the armie out of Britannie, if verie shame in de­tracting [Page 50] from his fathers glorie, and loosing that which he had wonne, had not with-held him.

About that time Veranius was Governour in Bri­tannie, where the shortnesse of his continuance suffred him not to effect any great matter; for he died in the first yeare of his government, and then was the Province assigned to Suetonius Paulinus, one of the most famous men of that age for militare affaires. His good suc­cesse at his first entrance, in subduing nations, and esta­blishing Garrisons (where need required) made him bold to assaile the Ile ofAnglesey. Mona, (lying in the West part of Britannie) as having beene a common receptacle of Fugitives during the warre. In his passage thither, he left the Country behind him (as he marched) vnfurni­shed in diverse places, laying it therby open to all opor­tunities of annoyance. At his arrivall, the barbarous people rudely armed, standing vpon the shore, made shew of their purpose to resist: The women in mour­ning attire (their haire about their eares) shaking bur­ning fire-brands like Furies of hell, ran vp and downe, and the Druydes lifting vp their hands toward heaven, filled the ayre with cries and curses.

These Druydes were certain Priests, had in great re­verence among the Britans. They kept their residence, for the most part, in shadie and darke groves (as fittest places for devotion.) Among all trees, they most estee­med the Oake, as halowed, and without the which, they could not performe their superstitious rites. Their sacrifices were both private & publike. They instructed the youth of Britannie, and decided controversies, civil, and criminall. If any man refused to stand to their a­ward, he was forbidden to be present at their sacrifices, which was accounted the greatest punishment that might be; for thereby he was reputed a notorious of­fender, [Page 51] exempt from the ordinarie protection of the lawes, vncapable of any preferment, and all men would flie his companie. Amongst these Priests, there was al­wayes one that had the chiefe authoritie; and he being dead, the worthiest of them that survived, succeeded in his place. If there seemed to be an equalitie of worthi­nesse among more then one, then the choise was made by pluralitie of voyces. At one certaine time in the yeare, they vsed to hold a Sessions in Gallia, in some consecrated place, where they heard and determined causes; For the superstition was first carried thither out of Britannie. They had immunitie from all maner of Tributes, and from service in the warres; by reason of which priviledges, they drew to them many followers, whom they taught a great number of verses by heart, supposing it vnlawfull to commit those sacred things to writing; whereas in other matters, as well publike, as private, they vsed the Greeke letters. And this it is like­ly they did, either for that they would not have the knowledge of their superstitious rites laid open to the common people, (in whom ignorance seemeth to in­gender a kind of devotion) or else, for that they would have their schollers to trust the more to their memorie, while they wanted the helpe of writing. They preached that the soule was immortall, and that after the death of one man, it went into another. By this perswasion, they stirred vp men to vertue, and tooke away the feare of death (the maine obstacle of glorious adventures.) Other things they taught also concerning the motion of the Starres, the situation of the earth, and the power of their prophane gods.

The strange behavior of these religious Priests, and the out-cries of the people of Mona, so amazed the Ro­man souldiers, that like men inchaunted, they stood still [Page 52] without motion, till the Captain spake vnto them, and encouraged them to adventure, not fearing a flocke of feelie women, or frantike people; and then boldly gi­ving the charge, he soone disordered & dispersed them, making himselfe maister of the field: which done, the Roman souldiers entred the Townes, and placed garri­sons there, felling the woods, which the Inhabitants superstitiously reputed holy, by reason of the Altars, whereupon they sacrificed the blood of captives, and prophecied of the successe of their owne affaires, by viewing the entralls of men, whom they had killed.


The Britans oppressed by the crueltie and covetousnesse of the Roman officers, discover their greevances one to ano­ther. Prodigious signes foregoing the subversion of the Roman Colonie. The Britans take armes vnder the conduct of Voadica.

IN the meane time Prasutagus Prince of the Icenians, a man renowned for his riches, did by his last will, make the Roman Emperour his heire, (joyntly with two of his daughters,) supposing, that thereby his prin­cipalitie, and family should have beene maintained in good estate, and protected from violence after his death: all which fell out contrarie to his hopes; for his kingdome was made a prey to the Souldiers, Voadica his wife whipped, his daughters deflowred, such as were of his family made slaves, and the wealthiest men of his Country, either by open force, or surmised pretences, deprived of their goods, and dispossessed of their inhe­ritance. Besides that, Seneca one of Neroes counsailors, [Page 53] having forced diverse of the better sort of the Britans, to take great summes of money of him vpon vsurie, did then, for his private gaine, exact the payment of the principall vpon a sodaine; to the vtter vndoing of his debtors: and Decianus Catus theReceiver of the revenues of the pro­vince. Procurator in Britan­nie, renued the Confiscation of their goods, which Claudius the Emperour had pardoned. The souldiers placed in the Colonie at Camalodunum, had thrust the owners and ancient Inhabitants out of their houses, terming them slaves, and drudges, and abusing them in all reprochfull maner. The Temple erected in the ho­nour of Claudius, was an eie-sore, and continuall bur­den vnto them, while the Priests Augustales that atten­ded there, wasted the wealth of the inhabitants, vnder the pretext of religion. To these common grievances of the afflicted people, the present occasion seemed to offer means of redresse, while the Roman Generall was making warre in Mona. Whereupon they resolved to take armes, inciting the Trinobantes and other Nations (that were not wholy brought vnder subjection) to doe the like. Then they began to discourse of the miseries of bondage, to lay their injuries togither, aggravating them by their owne Constructions, and complaining, that their patience had profited them nothing, but to draw heavier burdens vpon them, as men that would gently beare: ‘That whereas in former times they had onely one Commander, now there was two thrust vpon them, the Lievtenant to sucke their blood, and the Procurator their substance, whose disagreement was the vexation of the subject, and agreement, their vtter vndoing, while the one burdened them with Souldiers and Captaines, the other with wrongs, and indignities: that the lust and covetousnesse of these their enemies, laid hold vpon all persons, without ex­ception: [Page 54] that though in the field, he that spoyleth, be commonly the stronger, yet themselves were, by Cowards and weaklings (for the most part) dispos­sest of their houses▪ bereft of their Children, enioy­ned to yeeld Souldiers for other mens behoofe, as though they were such a kind of people, as knew how to do any thing else, save onely to die for their owne Countrey; For otherwise there was but a handfull of Souldiers come over, if they did but rec­kon their owne number, considering withall, that Germanie had alreadie shaken off the yoke, having no Ocean Sea, but a river to defend it: that the causes then moving them to take armes, were just, and ho­nourable; namely to recover their libertie, and to de­fend their Parents, Wives, Children, and Coun­trey; whereas the Romans had nothing to provoke them to warre, but their owne covetousnesse, and wanton lust, and were likely enough to depart (as Iu­lius Caesar had done) if themselves would imitate the vertues of their progenitors; and not be dismaid with the doubtfull event of one skirmish, or two, seeing that men in miserie have commonly more courage (then at other times) and more constancie to conti­nue: and now the heavens themselves seemed to pittie their poore estate, by sending the Roman Go­vernour out of the way, and confining the army (as it were) into another Iland; by which meanes, opor­tunitie of revenge, and hope of libertie was offred: and finally, that being assembled, to devise, and deli­berate togither, they had obtained the hardest point in an action of that nature, wherein it were more dan­ger to be taken consulting, then doing.’ With these and the like speeches they stirred vp one another, each man laying open his owne particular greevances, and [Page 55] adding them to the common cause.

About this time, diverse prodigious signes were no­ted to portend the subversion of the Roman Colonie, as namely, an Image of Victorie falling downe reversed at Camalodunum; Strange noyses sounding in the ayre: Strange apparitions seene in the sea: The Ocean bloody in shew: and the print of mens bodies vpon the sands. Diverse constructions were made of these things as o­minous, whether that they proceed of some naturall causes (though not alwayes observed,) or else, that they do necessarily forego the ruine and change of great States. Howbeit commonly in such cases, mens minds do mis-give them, while they frame the future event of things answerable to their owne fearefull imaginations; and great alterations falling out sometimes after like ac­cidents, they superstitiously suppose them, to be al­wayes the certaine fore-runners of destruction. The ap­prehension of these things, at the first, strooke the Ro­mans with greater feare, by reason of the absence of their General, and thereupon they required the ayde of Catus Decianus the Procurator, who sent a small compa­nie badly armed, to renforce the garrison. The old soul­diers that had beene left within the Towne, (although few in number) yet trusting to the franchize of the Temple, and not doubting the secret conspiracie of their confederates, were in a maner carelesse, as in times of peace, following their pleasures, and making no pro­vision for defence. The Britans, having in the meane time, taken armes vnder the conduct of Voadica, a Ladie of the blood of their kings (for in matter of government they made no difference of sex) and being informed of the state of the Colonie, determined first to assaile the townes and forts in their passage thither, which they at­tempted accordingly, & with no great difficulty surpri­sed the greatest number of them.


The Britans take armes vnder the conduct of Voadica. Her Oration to her Souldiers. The Roman Colonie is surprised. Cerealis comming to succour it, hardly escapeth with life. Catus the Procurator flieth into France.

THe good successe the Britans had in taking in some places of defence, as they marched forward, made them desirous and adventurous to invade the Co­lonie it selfe: and Voadica as their leader, being a woman of a great spirit, and comely personage, (apparelled in a loose gowne of diverse colours, with a golden chaine a­bout her necke, and a light speare in her hand) standing vpon a heape of Turves, the better to be seene (her daughters on each side of her) with a shrill voice vtte­red these, or the like words:

‘It is no new custome for the Britans to make warre vnder the leading of women, ennobled by their birth and discent; the examples of former times can well witnesse the experience thereof. Howbeit at this present, I wil disclaime all titles of dignitie, and pre­rogatives of blood: and what difference soever there is in our estates, yet shall our fortune, in this action, be indifferent and common to vs both. I shall not need to repeate that, which you all know but too well; namely, what miseries we have endured vnder the ty­rannie of this prowd Nation. You have had the triall both of libertie and bondage, and I doubt not, but you find now, how much the one is to be preferred before the other; and howsoever some of you here­tofore, for private respects, have inclined to the Ro­man governors, as favourers of their vsurped sove­raigntie: [Page 57] yet I suppose you will now confesse with me, that freedome in a poore estate, is better then golden fetters. For what abuse can there be named so vile, or indignitie so disgracefull, that hath not bin offered vs, without respect of degree, age, or sex? we till our grounds, & sweat for other men, that reap the sweat of our travells; the wealth that we gather to maintaine our selves, and our families, is by other men wastfully and riotously mis-spent; we have no­thing our owne, but what they leave vs, and no­thing left vs, but labour and vexation; our bodies and estates being consumed, to satisfie their ambition & covetousnes; We have not so much as our heads toll-free: so narrowly are we sifted, from the highest to the lowest. Other subdued Nations are yet by death freed from bondage; but we, even after death seeme to live still in thraldome, while we are enforced to pay tribute, as wel for the dead, as the living. What! are we a nation so contemptible, that we can serve to no other vse, then to be slaves? or so vnhappie, that death it self can not acquite vs from being miserable? How long shall we give way to our owne wrongs? Shall we hope for reformation of these abuses? Nay, we have hoped too long, and by patient bearing of one injurie, we have drawn on another. Why should we not rather seeke to redresse them? for if we enter into due consideration of our selves, what are the Ro­mans more then we? our bodies are as strong as theirs: our numbers greater. We have agilitie of body, (our women no lesse then our men) to run, to leape, to swim, and to performe all warlike exercises; for which (indeed) we are naturally more fit, then for the spade, plough, or handy-crafts. And how soever the Romans may seeme fortunate by the folly, or weaknes [Page 58] of other Nations: yet are they not comparable vnto vs, whom Nature hath framed to endure hunger, cold, and labour, and to be content with things ne­cessarie onely. For to vs everie herbe and roote is meate, each river, and spring yeeldeth vs drinke, while we seeke no further, then to appease hunger, and quench thirst; each tree serves for shelter against storms in winter, & for shadow against the parching heate of summer, we need no other beds then the earth, nor covering then the heavens; whereas they must have their joynts suppled with hot baths, sweet oyntments, and soft couches, and their bodies pam­pered with wine, daintie fare, and all kind of effemi­nate nicenesse and delicacie. These be the properties, wherein they imitate their master Nero, who hath onely the shape of a man, being indeed a woman, or rather, neither man nor woman, but a monster of na­ture, a singer, a fidler, a stage-player, a murtherer, and one that excelleth other men as farre in vice, as he doth in preheminence of degree. Besides all this, the cause of our warre is just, and the Divine powers (that favour justice,) have made our first at­tempts prosperous: and me thinketh, that the neces­sitie of our case, were able to make, even Cowards, va­liant. Your ancesters could make head against Iulius Caesar, and the Emperours Caligula, and Claudius. The Germans have lately freed themselves by that memo­rable overthrow of the Roman Legions, vnder the conduct of Quintilius Varus; and shall not we, (who scorne to be reputed inferiour to the Germans in va­lour) be confident in our owne strength, and boldly adventure? considering that if we prevaile, we reco­ver our lost libertie, if we be forced to retire, we have woods, hills, and marishes for our refuge, and if we [Page 59] die, we doe but sell those lives with honour, which we cannot possesse with safetie. For mine owne part, you shall find me no lesse readie to execute, (when time serves,) then I am now to advise and ex­hort you: my selfe having determined, either to van­quish, or die; If any of you be otherwise minded, then live, and be slaves still.’

With these and the like speeches, she inflamed the hearts that were alreadie kindled, and perswading the Britans to pursue their enemies, as Dogs and Woolves doe fearefull Hares and Foxes, she let slip out of her lap a quick Hare, at whose running through the campe, the Britans showted, apprehending it as a matter ominous, and fore-signifying the Romans flight. And thereupon they cried, that they might be speedily led to the Colonie it selfe, (as the seat of their slaverie) which at their first comming they surprised, killing, spoyling, & consuming all with sword and fire, except the Temple onely, into which the Souldiers fled as a Sanctuarie, though it could not long protect them from the violence of the furious multitude. Petilius Cerealis the Lievtenant of the Ninth Legion, comming to succour the Garrison, had all his footmen slaine, and himself with a few horse hardly escaped. Catus the Procurator, knowing himselfe to be odious to the Britans, (by reason of the extor­tions he had committed in his office,) fled secretly in­to Gallia.


Suetonius returneth with his armie out of Anglesey. The Cities of London, and Verlam, are taken, and spoyled by the Britans. The Romans and Britans make pre­paration for a set battaile.

SVetonius, vpon intelligence of the revolt, returned out of Mona, and led his armie with some difficultie towards London, (a place not knowne at that time by the name of a Colonie,) but famous onely for con­course of Merchants and trafficke. There he staied a while, as doubting what course to take: the small num­ber of his forces, and the ill successe of Cerealis making him more warie; and he supposed it would be a worke well worth his labor, if with the losse of one Towne, he could preserve the rest, that were likely to revolt. Wher­upon, furnishing his defective Companies with such a­ble men as were then in the Towne, although the Lon­doners with teares implored his aide, and desired his a­boade there for their defence: yet he marched forward, leaving behind him all such, as either by reason of their age, sex, or other infirmities could not folow, or else, for love of the place, (as being bred and born there) would not abandon it. The towne being thus weakly garded, was taken by the Britans, and the people therein put all to the sword. The like calamitie befell the free-towne ofAn ancient Citie, with whose ruines saint Albans was built. Verulamium, by reason that diverse of the Britans finding their owne strength, forsooke their forts, and as­sailed the most notable and wealthie places, enriching themselves with the spoil of their enemies, whom they hanged, burned, and crucifyed, exercising all kinds of crueltie that a mind enraged with desire of revenge, [Page 61] could devise. They tooke no prisoners, either to preserve for ransome, or to exchange, according to the lawes of warre, but slue both Citizens and Confede­rates to the number of about seuentie thousand. Sueto­nius with the Fourteenth Legion, seconded by the Stan­dard-bearers of the Twentieth, and some Auxiliaries, made haste to encounter the Britans, and resolved with­out further delay, to trie the chance of a set battaile. Then he pitched in a place that had a narrow entrance, with a thicke wood for a defence behind him, and a faire wide plaine before his Campe. The Legionarie Souldiers were marshalled togither in thicke ranks, the light harnessed inclosing them about, and the horse­men making wings on each side. Poenius Posthumus the Campe-Master of the Second Legion, was appoyn­ted to leade the fore-ward, but he contemptuously re­fused the charge.

In the meane time the Britans ranged abroad in great troopes, triumphing for their late good successe, and being encouraged by the example of Voadica their Generall, were fiercely bent to assaile the Roman campe, supposing now, that no force was able to resist them. And they had brought their wives with them, and pla­ced them in Waggons about the vtmost parts of the Plaine, to be the beholders of their valiant acts, and wit­nesses of their expected victorie.


The Oration of Suetonius the Roman Generall vnto his Souldiers. The fight betweene the Romans and Bri­tans. The Britans are overthrowne. Voadica poy­soneth her selfe. The death of Poenius Posthumus.

SVetonius being now readie to joyne battaile, though he perceived that his Souldiers, were not much dis­maied with the sight of so great numbers scattered vpon the Plaine; yet he supposed it not vnnecessarie to vse some speech to them, by way of exhortation, and therefore began in this maner:

‘I can not now vse many words to exhort you; the time permits it not, and the present occasion requi­reth rather deeds then words. Yet let not our small number discourage you, considering that your ance­stors, with a smaller number have vndertaken greater matters; and that, where many Legions have beene in the field, a few Souldiers have carried away the vic­torie; What a glorie shall it be for you then, if with so small a power, you can purchase the praise of a whole army? There is no feare of Ambush; the Woods gard you behind, and on the Plaine before you lieth your enemies Campe, wherein you may behold more women then men, and the men them­selves for the most part, vnarmed, and not likely to endure the poynts and strokes of our weapons, which they have so often felt to their smart. It stands you now vpon, to approove your selves the same men you are reputed to be. This is the time, either to recover that you have lost, or, to loose that which you shall never recover. You fight now, not for ho­nour [Page 63] onely, but for Honour and Life. Remember that you are Romans, whose glorie it is to doe, and suf­fer great things. The fortune of this battell wil either give vs peaceable possession of that our forefathers have wonne, or for ever deprive vs of it; What shall become of you, if you be taken, the woful experience of your Countrimen, most miserably massacred be­fore your eyes may sufficiently testifie. Revenge therefore both their wrongs, and your owne, and no doubt, but the gods themselves (who never leave crueltie vnpunished) wil assist you. It is better for vs to die in this Action, then by yeelding, or flying, to out­live the praise of our owne worthinesse. But whether we live or die, Britannie shall be ours; for if we live and recover it, our posteritie ever after shall be able to defend it; and though they should not, yet shall our bones keepe continuall possession of it. Take courage therefore, and feare not the lowd and vaine showts of a disordered multitude, but boldly give the assault, and keeping your selves close togither, pursue the fight, without thinking of the spoile, till you have made a ful end. For the victorie once gotten, al things else will of themselves fall to your share.’

With these, or the like words, the old Souldiers were pricked forward, and Suetonius perceiving it, gave the signall of battell. The Legions kept the strait, as a place of defence, till the Britans had spent their Darts: and then they sallyed out into the Plaine, (the Auxiliaries, and the horsemen making way) and pressed into the thickest troopes of the barbarous people, who being vnable to endure the fiercenesse of the assault, turned their backs, thinking to save themselves by flight; But by reason their waggons, placed about the Plain, had hed­ged in the passages on all sides, few of them escaped. [Page 64] The residue, as well women as men, were put to the sword, and their dead bodies (mingled with the carca­ses of their Horses and Chariots) were heaped one vp­on another. The number of the Britans slaine in that battaile, was reported to be about fourescore thousand, and of the Romans about foure hundred onely, and not many mo wounded in the conflict. This dayes service was renowmed among the Romans, as comparable to those of auncient times in the free Common-wealth. Voadica disdaining to fall into her enemies hands, en­ded her life by poyson: and Poenius Posthumus seeing the good successe of the Fourteenth and Twentieth Legi­ons, (for that by disobaying the Generall, contrarie to the discipline of warre, he had defrauded his owne Le­gion of their part of the glorie in the action) for verie griefe slue himselfe.


Suetonius renforceth the Roman Garrisons. Variance be­tweene him, and Classicianus the Procurator. Poly­cletus is sent by Nero the Emperour to examine their doings. Suetonius is discharged of the armie, which he delivereth vp to Turpilianus.

THen Suetonius having gathered togither his disper­sed troopes, certaine Legionarie souldiers and Co­horts of Auxiliaries were sent him out of Germany, to renforce the Garrisons, and to make an end of the warre. Some of the Britans that either openly resisted, or elsstood doubtfully affected, were put to the sword, and some that escaped the sword, died of famine for lacke of corne, (a calamitie incident to them, as to a people given rather to warre then husbandrie:) The [Page 65] rest found meanes to relieve themselves by the Romans provision; And though some overtures were now and then made for a treatie of peace, yet the Britans would not verie readily hearken thereto, by reason they much doubted their safetie, as imagining that their guiltinesse of the rebellion, had excluded them from all hope of pardon; and they feared also the private dis­pleasure of the Lievtenant, who (though otherwise a singular man) yet seemed to shew too much hautie and hard dealing towards them that yeelded themselves, and in some sort, vnder pretext of the publike service, to revenge his owne injuries.

Besides Iulius Classicianus (who was sent to succeed Catus) being at variance with Suetonius, had given out, that a new Lievtenant was comming, and that he was such a one, as being void of malice, or the pride of a Conquerour, would be readie to receive into favour all such as would yeeld themselves. He wrote Letters also to Rome, signifying to the Senate, that they should looke for no end of the warre in Britannie, so long as Suetonius continued the government there; and that the ill successe which he had in the service, was to be attri­buted to his owne ill cariage of himselfe; and the good, to the fortune of the Common weale. Hereupon Nero sent Polycletus a Libertine into Britannie, to examine, and report the state of the affaires there, and to enterpose his authoritie, as a meane to reconcile the Lievtenant, & the procurator, & to win the Britans to embrace peace. At his landing in the Ile, the Roman souldiers there see­med to feare & reverence him; & the causes of his com­ming were diversly reported at the first. But the Britans derided him; for (as men being borne free) they knew not till that time, the power of Libertines (men made free) but rather marvailed, that a Captain, and an armie [Page 66] which had atchieved so great an enterprise, could be brought to obey, and yeeld an account of their actions to a base bondslave, (as they termed him.)

These things, howsoever they were censured by o­thers: yet they were reported to Nero in such maner, as the reporters thought might best content him: and Suetonius, after the losse of some of his shipping, was commanded (the warre being not yet finished) to de­liver vp the armie to Petronius Turpilianus, who had (but even a little before) given over his Consulship.


Trebellius Maximus succeedeth Turpilianus in the go­vernment of the Province. Discord in the armie be­tweene Trebellius and Celius. The death of Nero the Emperor, and succession of Galba, Otho, and Vi­tellius. The valour and fortune of the Fourteenth Legion.

TVrpilianus was a man of a soft spirit, and being a stranger to the Britans faults, was the more tracta­ble and readie to remit them; by which meanes, having composed the former troubles, he delivered vp his charge to Trebellius Maximus, whose vnfitnesse for action, and want of experience in militare matters, gave the more boldnes to the Britans, that began now to dis­cover the defects of their Governours, having learned both to flatter & dissemble, in conforming themselves to the present times, and occasions for their ad­vantage, and for the most part, yeelding themselves to those pleasures, which Securitie vseth to engender, e­ven in minds well disposed by Nature. For Trebellius, [Page 67] besides his insufficiencie, abused the authoritie of his place, to enrich himself by polling the Common soul­diers, and Roscius Coelius Lievtenant of the Twentieth Legion whetted them on against him, as against his an­cient enemie; so that in the end they brake out into hainous termes, the one objecting matter of crime a­gainst the other: Trebellius charged Coelius with factious behauiour. Coelius againe Trebellius with beggering the Legions; and the discord betwixt them grew so farre, that Trebellius being despised, as well by the Aydes, as the Legions (both of them sorting themselves to Coelius his side) was in great feare of his life: the danger wher­of he sought to prevent, rather by flying away, then by executing any exemplarie Iustice vpon offenders. In the meane time, the Souldiers neglecting the ancient discipline of warre, fell to mutinie, and all kind of riot, as men that had rather be doing ill, then doing no­thing. And afterwards, Trebellius taking againe his for­mer place, as it were by capitulation, seemed to govern onely at the discretion of his Souldiers, who finding his weaknesse, and want of Iudgement to vse his authori­tie, tooke vpon them to do what they listed: and here­with also the Lievtenant himselfe seemed contented, as being now given over altogither to a slouthfull kind of life (terming it peace and quietnesse [...]) for which the death of Nero the Emperour, and the civill discord at that time between Galba, Otho, and Vitellius, contending for the soveraigntie ministred some colour of excuse.

Not long before this time, the Fourteenth Legion (fa­mous for many great attempts, and growing now more insolent then the rest,) was revoked out of the Ile, to have beene sent to the Streights about the Caspian Sea, though afterwards vpon intelligence of the revolt in Gallia, and Spaine, (when Iulius Vindex tooke armes [Page 68] against Nero) it was retained about the Citie of Rome for a safegard to those parts. In the turbulent times that ensued Neroes death, it tooke part with Otho against Vi­tellius, at the battell neere Bebriacum, where Otho was overthrowne; and Vitellius after the victorie, suspecting the Souldiers of that Legion, (as knowing their great stomacks, and ill affection towards him) thought it ex­pedient to joyne to them theBands of Hollanders. Batavian Cohorts, that by reason of the inveterate hatred betweene them, they might one oppose the other, and himselfe in the meane time remaine more secure.


Vectius Bolanus is sent by Vitellius the Emperour, to take charge of the Armie in Britannie. Vespasian succee­deth Vitellius in the Empire. The government of the Province assigned to Petilius Cerealis, who soone af­ter leaveth the same to Iulius Frontinus.

VEctius Bolanus, a man not much vnlike Trebellius in some respects, was sent over by Vitellius; during the time of whose Government, the like disor­ders continued still in the Campe, saving that Bolanus, by the mildnesse of his nature (being not touched o­therwise in his reputation) had purchased love, and good will, in stead of feare and obedience. In his time diverse choise men of warre taken out of the Legions in Britannie, were conducted to Rome by Hordeonius Fla [...] ­cus in ayd of Vitellius. But when Vespasian made warre for the Empire, Bolanus refused to send Vitellius any suc­cour, by reason that the Britans finding the Romans state encumbred with civill dissention, began to revolt in [Page 69] diverse places of the Ile, and some of them also shewed themselves openly in favour of Vespasian, who had car­ried himselfe honourably in Britannie, when Claudius was there, and seemed now by many ominous pre­dictions, to be a man specially marked for the Em­pire.

The death of Vitellius quenching the flame of civill broyles among the Romans, confirmed the possession of the Empire to Vespasian, who shewed the care and re­spect he had of the Ile of Britannie, by employing great Captaines, and good souldiers there. The Lievtenant­ship was then assigned to Petilius Cerealis, a man that had given good proofe of his sufficiencie in former services. Vpon his first entrance into office, he invaded the Country of the Brigantes (the most populous state of the whole Province) the greatest part whereof, (after many bloodie battailes) was either conquered, or wa­sted, and the hope of the Britans greatly abated, when­as Iulius Frontinus (whose reputation was nothing im­paired by the fame of his predecessor) tooke vpon him the charge, which he afterwards executed with great commendation, in subduing the strong and warlike Nation of the Silures, among whom he seemed to fight, not onely with men (whose strength and valour was able to make opposition against his attempts) but also with Mountaines, streights, and places of verie difficult accesse.


Iulius Agricola assigned by Vespasian the Emperour to be Lievtenant of the Armie in Britannie, subdueth the Ordovices [the ancient Inhabitants of North-wales,] and maketh a full conquest of the Ile of Anglesey. The carriage of himselfe at his first entrance into govern­ment.

IN this estate Iulius Agricola (having bin trained vp for the most part in the British warre) did find the Pro­vince at his first comming thither. He crossed the nar­row Seas about the midst of Summer; at which time, as though the season of the yeare had bin past to begin a new warre, the Roman soldiers attended an end of their travel, & the Britans a beginning of annoyance to their enemies. The Ordovices a little before he landed, had al­most cut in peeces a troope of horsemen that lay vpon their borders. Vpon which attempt, the country being awaked, as desirous of warre, allowed the example, and some staied to see how the new Lievtenant would take it. Agricola in the mean time, although the summer was spent, and the Bands lay dispersed in the Province (his souldiers having fully presumed of rest for that yeare, & diverse officers of the armie being of opinion, that it were better to keep, and assure the places suspected, then to make any new attempt:) yet (all this notwithstan­ding) he resolved directly to encounter the danger; and gathering togither the Ensignes of the Legions, & some few Auxiliaries (because the Ordovices, durst not discend into indifferent ground) himselfe first of all, (to give o­thers like courage) marched vp to begin the assault. And having in that conflict destroyed almost the whole Na­tion [Page 71] of the Ordovices, & knowing right well, that Fame must with Instance be followed, (for as the first should fall out, so the rest would succeed:) he deliberated to conquer the Iland of Mona; from the possession where­of, Paulinus had beene formerly revoked by the general rebellion of Britannie: But ships being then wanting (as in an enterprise not intended before) the policy and re­solutenesse of the Captaine, devised a speedie passage. For he commaunded the most choise of the Aids (to whom al the shallows were knowne, and who (after the vse of their Country) were able to swim in their armor if need were) to lay aside their carriage, and putting o­uer at once, suddainly to invade it. Which thing so a­mazed the Inhabitants (who supposed that the Romans would have stayed a certain time for ships, and such like provision by Sea,) that now beleeving, nothing could be hard or invincible to men, which came so minded to make warre, they humbly intreated for peace, and yeelded the Iland. Thus Agricola at his first entrance in­to office (which time others vsed to consume in vaine oftentation, or ambitious seeking of Ceremonies) en­tring withall into labors and dangers, became famous indeed, and of great reputation. Howbeit he abused not the prosperous proceeding of his affaires, to vanitie, or braving in speeches; for he esteemed it an Action not worthy the name of a Conquest, to keepe in order, one­ly persons subdued before: neither decked he with Laurel his letters of advertisement, but by stopping and suppressing the fame of his doings, he greatly augmen­ted it, when men began to discourse vpon what great presumptions offuture successe, he should make so light an account of so great actions, alreadie performed.


Agricola reformeth abuses in the Province. His courage, industrie, and wisdome set forth as commendable qua­lities in a Generall. The death of Vespasian the Em­perour, whom Titus his sonne succeedeth in the Empire.

AS touching the civill government, Agricola know­ing how the province stood affected, and being taught also by experience of others, that armes availe little to settle a new conquered state, (if violence and wrongs be permitted) determined at the first to cut off all causes of warre and rebellion. And beginning at home, he first of all reformed his owne house, (a point of more hardnesse to some men, then to governe a Pro­vince.) He committed no maner of publike affaires to bondman or Libertine. He received no souldier neer his person, vpon private affection of partiall suiters, nor vp­on commendation, or intreatie of Centurions, but elec­ted the best, and most serviceable. He would looke nar­rowly into all things, yet not exact all things to the vt­most: light faults he would pardon, and the great se­verely correct, not alwayes punishing offenders, but oft times satisfied with repentance, choosing rather, not to preferre to office, such as were likely to offend, then af­ter the offence, to condemne them. The augmentation of Tribute and corne, he tempered, with equal dividing of burdens, cutting away those petie extortions, which grieved the Britans more then the tribute it selfe. For the poore people, in former times were constrained, in a mockerie, to wait at the Barne doores, which were lockt against them, and first to buy corne, and after sell at a low price. Severall wayes also, and farre distant places [Page 73] had beene assigned them by the Purveyors appoint­ments, for carrying provisions from the nearest stan­ding campes, to those which were farre off, and out of the way, (pettie officers in the meane time, ma­king a gaine thereof, by sparing some, and char­ging others at their pleasure) so as that which lay open to all, and at hand, was turned onely to the private profite of a few. By repressing these abuses in his first yeare, a good opinion was conceived of the peace, which either by the negligence, or partialitie of former Lievtenants had beene no lesse feared, then warre. In times of service he was verie painfull, and oft times more adventurous in his owne person, then was fit for a Generall; for himselfe would alwayes appoint his ground for pitching the campe, and also be the first man in prooving the Thickets, Bogges, or any other places of danger, not suffring any corners or secret harbors vn­searched, but wasting and spoiling everie where with suddaine incursions and assaults. Howbeit, when by these meanes he had terrified the Britans, then would he againe spare and forbeare, as hoping thereby to allure them to peace; whereupon many Cities (which before that time stood vpon termes of equality) gave hostages, and meekly submitted themselves, receiving garrisons, and permitting the Romans to fortifie a worke perfor­med, with such foresight and judgement, as nothing was ever attempted against them, while he continued in office, whereas before that time, no new fortified place in all Britannie escaped vnassailed. Thus farre had Agricola proceeded, when the newes came that Vespasi­an was dead, and Titus his sonne invested in the Empire.


Agricolaes policie to plant civilitie among the Britans. He leadeth his armie without resistance vnto Edenbourgh Frith in Scotland.

THe Winter ensuing was spent in a most profitable and politike devise. For, whereas the Britans were rude, and dispersed, and therefore prone vpon eve­rie occasion to warre, Agricola, that he might induce them by pleasures to quietnesse and rest, exhorted them in private, and commaunded his Souldiers to helpe them to build Temples, Houses, and Places of publike resort, commending such as were forward therein, and checking the slow and idle persons, seeming thereby, to impose a kind of necessitie vpon them, while everie man contended to gaine the Lievtenants good will. Moreover the Noble-mens sonnes, he tooke and cau­sed to be instructed in the Liberall Sciences, preferring the wits of the Britans, before those of the students in Gallia; the Britans also themselves being now curious to attaine the eloquence of the Roman language, whereas they lately rejected the speech. After that, the Roman Attire grew to be in account, and the Gowne much v­sed among them: and so by little and little, they pro­ceeded to those common provocations of vices, name­ly sumptuous Galleries, hote Baths, and exquisite banquetings; which things the ignorant people ter­med civilitie, though it were in deede a badge of their bondage.

In the third yeare of his Government, he discove­red new Countries, wasting all before him, till he came to the firth ofThe river T [...]eed. Taus. Which thing so terrified the Nor­thern [Page 75] Britans, that although the Roman Armie had bin toyled and wearied with manie sharpe conflicts, yet they durst not assaile it; whereby the Romans had the more leysure to encampe themselves, and to forti­fie: wherein Agricola was either so skilfull, or so fortu­nate, that no Castell planted by him, was either forced by strength, or vpon Conditions surrendred, or (as not defencible) forsaken. In all these Actions Agricola never sought to draw to himselfe the glorie of any ex­ploit done by another, but were he Centurion, or of o­ther degree that had atchieved it, he would faithfully witnesse the fact, and yeeld him alwayes his due com­mendation.

The fourth yeare of his office was spent in viewing and ordering that, which he had over-run: and if the valiant minds of his Souldiers, and the glorie of the Roman name could have so permitted it, there should have beene no need to have sought other limits of Bri­tannie, then were at that time discovered. ForThe Firth of Dunbretton in Scotland. Glota, andEdenbo­rough Firth. Bodotria, two armes of the two contrarie Seas, shooting mightily into the land, are onely divided a­sunder by a narrow partition of ground, which pas­sage was garded and fortifyed with Garrisons and Ca­stels, so that the Romans were now absolute Lords of all on this side, having cast their enemies, as it were into an other Iland.


What opinion the Romans had of the conquest of Ireland. Agricola setteth out a Navie to discover by Sea the vtmost limits of the Iland, and marcheth himselfe by land into the Country of the Caledonians, [the an­cient Inhabitants of the North part of Scotland.] The Roman Campe is assailed, and delivered from danger by the comming in of Agricola.

THe fift yeare of the warre, Agricola subdued with many and prosperous conflicts, strange nations, be­fore that time vnknowne, and furnished with for­ces that part of Britannie, which lieth against Ireland: And this he did, more for hope of advantage, then feare of danger. For if Ireland might have beene wonne, (ly­ing (as it doth) betwene Britannie and Spaine, and com­modious also for Gallia) it would aptly have vnited to the vse and profite one of the other, those strongest members of the Empire. The Nature and fashions of the Irish, did not then much differ from the British, but the Ports and Haven Townes in Ireland were more knowne and frequented, by reason of greater resort thither of Merchants. Agricola having received a Prince of that Countrey, (driven thence by civill dissention) did vnder colour of curtesie and friendship retain him; till occasion should serve to make vse of him. It was afterwards reported, that with one Legion, and some few Aydes, Ireland might then have beene wonne and possessed, and that it would have beene also a meane to have kept Britannie in obedience, if the Roman forces had beene planted each where, and libertie (as it were) cleane banished out of sight.

[Page 77] Now in the Summer following, because a Generall rising in armes of the further Nations beyond Bodotria, was feared, (the passages being all beset with the power of the barbarous people,) he manned a fleet to search the Creekes and harbours of the ample region beyond it, backing them first of all with a navy, & with a goodly shew bringing warre, both by land & sea. And ofttimes it chanced that the horsmen, and footmen, and the Sea-souldier met, & made merry in the same camp, ech man extolling his owne prowesse and adventures, and ma­king their vaunts and comparisons souldier-like, some of the woods and high mountaines that they had pas­sed: others of dangers of Rocks and Tempests that they had endured: the one, of the land and the enemie de­feated: the other, of the Ocean assayed, and subdued. The Britans, (as by the Prisoners it was vnderstood) were much amazed at the sight of the Navie, supposing that (the secrets of their Sea, being now disclosed) there remained no refuge for them, if they were overcome. Whereupon the Caledonians, arming with great prepa­ration, and greater Fame, (as the maner is of matters vn­knowne) began to assaile their enemies Castles; and some of the Roman Captains (which would seeme to be wise, being (indeed) but Cowards) counselled the Generall to retire on this side Bodotria, and rather to de­part of his owne accord, then to be driven backe with shame. In the meane season Agricola had knowledge, that the Britans meant to divide themselves, and to give the onset in severall companies: Whereupon lest he should be enclosed about, and intrapped, either by their multitude, or by their skill in the Passages, he marched also with his army divided in three parts: which when it was knowne to the Caledonians, they changed advise on the sodaine, and vniting their forces togither, joynt­ly [Page 78] assaulted, by night, the Ninth Legion, as being of wea­kest resistance: & having slain the watch, (partly asleep, & partly amazed with feare) they broke into the camp, & were fighting within the trenches, when Agricola ha­ving vnderstood by spies, what way the Britans had ta­ken, and following their footsteps, commanded the lightest horsemen, and footmen to play vpon their backs, and to maintaine the skirmish. When the day drew neere, the glittering of the Ensignes dazeled the eyes of the Britans, who being daunted with feare of danger on each side, began to draw backe: and the Ro­mans, like men that were now out of perill of their lives, did fight more cheerfully for their honour, freshly assailing the Britans, and driving them to their owne gates, where in the verie straits the Conflict was sharpe and cruell, til in the end the Britans were forced to flie, whilest the Roman forces severally pursued them, con­tending with a kind of emulation, the one to have hel­ped the other, and the other to seeme to have needed no helpe. Vpon the successe of this battell, the Roman Souldiers presuming, that to their power al things were easie, and open, cryed to the Generall to leade them in­to Caledonia, that with a course of continuall Con­quests, they might find out the vtmost limits of Britan­nie. Now such as before the battaile were so wa [...]ie and wise in adventuring, waxed forward enough after the event, and grew to speake gloriously of themselves, [such is the hard condition of warre; if aught fall out well, all challenge a part: misfortunes commonly are imputed to one:] Contrariwise the Britans (presup­posing, that not true Valor, but the cunning of the Ge­neral, by vsing the occasion, had carried away the victo­rie,) abated not much their wonted courage, but armed their youth, transported their children and wives into [Page 79] places of safetie, and sought by assemblies, and religious rites, to establish an association of the Cities togither. And so for that yeare, both parties as [...] departed incensed away.


The Northern Britans with common consent arme them­selves to repulse the Romans. The Oration of Galga­cus the chiefe of their Leaders.

IN the beginning of the next summer, Agricola sen­ding his Navie before, (which by spoyling in sundry places, should induce a greater, and more vncertaine terror,) followed himselfe with his armie by land, ha­ving drawne to his partie some of the valiantest Bri­tans (whom by long experience in peace, he had found most faithfull) and so armed at the MountGrantz-ba [...]e in Scotland. Grampius, where the Britans had lodged themselves before. For they were not altogither dejected with the vnfortunate event of former battel, but now, as men prepared for all chances, they attended nothing else but revenge, death, or servitude; & being taught at the length, that common danger must be repelled with mutuall concord) by leagues and ambassages they had assembled the power of all the Cities togither, in number above thirtie thou­sand armed men (the view being taken) besides a great companie of youth (which dayly flocked to them) and lustie old men renowmed in warre, and bearing the badges due to their honour; at what time Galgacus, for Vertue and Birth, the principall man of all the Leaders, seeing the multitude hotly demaund the battell, is said to have vsed this, or the like speech.

[Page 80] ‘When I consider the cause of this warre, and out present necessitie, I have reason (me seemes) to pre­sume that this day, and this our generall agreement, will give a happie beginning to the freedome of the whole Iland. For we have al hitherto lived in libertie, and now no land remaineth beyond vs: no sea for our safetie: the Roman Navy (as you see) surveying and invironing our coasts; so that combat and armes which men of vertue desire for honour, the dastard must also vse for his securitie. The former battels which have with diverse events bin fought with the Romans, had their refuge & hope resting in our hands. For we the flower of the British Nobilitie, & seated in the furthest part of th'ile, did never yet see the borders of those countries, which were brought vnder servile subjection (our eies being still kept vnpolluted, & free from al contagion of tyranny.) Beyond vs is no land: besides vs none are free: vs onlie hitherto, this corner and secret harbor hath defended; You see the vtter­most part of the land is laid open, and things the lesse they have bin within knowledge, the greater is the glorie to atchive them. But what nation is there now beyond vs? what els but water and rocks? and the Ro­mans Lords of all within the land, whose intollerable pride in vaine shall you seeke to avoid by service and humble behavior. They are the robbers of the world, that having now left no land to be spoiled, search also the sea. If the enemie be rich, they seek to win wealth: if poor, they are content to gain glory to themselves, whom neither the East nor West can satisfie, as being the only men of al memory, that seek out al places, be they wealthy, or poore, with like greedy affection. To take away by main force, to kil and spoile, falsely they terme Empire & Government, when all is waste as a [Page 81] wildernes, that they call peace. His children & blood each man holds by nature most deare, & yet even they are pressed for Souldiers, & carried away to be slaves, we know not where. Our sisters and wives, though they be not violently forced, as in open hostilitie, yet are they vnder the colour & title of friends & guests, shamefully abused. Our goods & substance they day­ly draw from vs, rewarding vs onely with stripes and indignities. Slaves which are borne to bondage, are sold but once, & after are fed at their owners expen­ces: But Britannie dayly buieth, dayly feedeth, and is at charges with her own bondage. And as in a private retinue, the fresh man and last commer is scoffed at by his fellow servants: so in this old servitude of the whole world, they seeke onely the destruction of vs, as being the latest attempted, and of al others, in their opinion, the most vile. We have no fields to manure, no mines to be digged, no ports to trad [...] in; and to what purpose then should they keepe vs alive, consi­dering that the manhood, and fierce courage of the subject doth not much please the jelous Soveraigne? and this corner (being so secret & out of the way) the more securitie it yeeldeth to vs, the greater suspition it worketh in them. Seeing therfore all hope of par­don is past, it behooveth you at length to shew cou­rage in defending and maintaining both your safetie and honor. The Icenians led by a woman, fired the Ro­man Colonie, forced the castles, & had the prosecution of the war bin answerable to so luckie a beginning, the Southern Britans might then with ease have shaken off the yoke, and prevented our perill. We, as yet, ne­ver touched, never subdued, but borne to be free, not slaves to the Romans: we (I say) are now to make proof of our valor, & to shew in this encounter, what maner [Page 82] of men Caledonia hath reserved in store for her selfe. Do you think that the Romans be as valiant in warre as they are wanton in peace? No, you are deceived. For they are growne famous, not by their owne ver­tue, but by our jarres and discord, while they make vse of their enemies faults, to the glory of their owne armie, composed of most diverse nations; and there­fore, as by present prosperitie it is holden togither: so doubtlesse (if fortune frown on that side) it wil soone be dissolved: vnlesse you suppose the Gauls and Ger­mans, and (to our shame be it spoken) many of ou [...] owne nation (which now lend their lives to establish a forrein vsurper) to be led with any true harted and faithfull affection. No, it is rather with terror and di­strust, (weak workers of love:) which if you remove, then those which have made an end to feare, wil soon begin to hate. All things that may encourage, and give hope of victory, are now for vs. The Romans have no wives to harten them on, if they faint; no parents to vpbraid them, if they flie. Most of them have no Country at all, or, if they have, it is some other mens. They stand like a sort of fearful persons trembling, & gazing at the strangenesse of the heaven it self, at the sea, and the woods. And now the heavens (favou­ring our cause) have delivered them, mewed vp (as it were) and fettered into our hands. Be not terrified, or dismaid with the vain shew and glittering of their gold and silver, which of themselves do neither of­fend, nor defend. And thinke, that even amongst our enemies, we shall find some on our side, when the Britans shal acknowledge their owne cause, the Gauls remember their old freedom, and the rest of the Ger­mans forsake them, as of late the Vsipians did. What then should we feare? The castles are empty, the Co­lonies [Page 83] peopled with aged & impotent persons: the free cities discontented, and distract with factions, whilest they which are vnder, obey with ill will, and they which do governe, rule against right. Here is the Ro­man Generall, and the armie: there Tributes & Mines, with other miseries, inseparably following such as live vnder subjection of others; which, whether we are to endure for ever, or speedily to revenge, it lieth this day in this field to determine. Wherefore being now to joyne battaile, beare in mind, I beseech you, both your ancestors (which lived in the happy estate of libertie) and your successors, who, (if you faile in this enterprise) shall live hereafter in perpetuall servi­tude.’ This speech (delivered with great vehemencie of voice and action) was cheerfully received by the Britans with a song (after their barbarous fashion) ac­companied with confused cries, and acclamations.


The Romans prepare themselves to fight. The Oration of Agricola the Generall vnto his Souldiers.

AS the Roman Cohorts drew togither, and discovered themselves, while some of the boldest pressed for­ward, the rest put themselves in aray, and Agricola (albeit his souldiers were glad of that day) and could scarce with words have bin with-holden; yet supposing it fit to say somwhat, he encouraged them in this wise:

‘Fellow Souldiers, and Companions in Armes, your faithfull diligence and service, these eight yeares, so painfully performed, by the vertue and fortune of the Roman Empire, hath at length conque­red Britannie. In so many journies, so many battailes we were of necessity to shew our selves, either valiant [Page 84] against the enemie, or patient and laborious, above, and against Nature it selfe. In all which exploits, we have both of vs so carried our selves hitherto, as nei­ther I desired better Souldiers, nor you other Cap­taine. We have exceeded the limits, I, of my prede­cessors, and you likewise of yours. The end of Bri­tannie is now found, not by fame and report, but we are with our armes and pavillions, really invested thereof. Britannie is found, and subdued. In your marching heeretofore, when the passage of Bogges, Mountaines, or Rivers troubled and tyred you, how often have I heard the valiant Souldier say; When will the Enemie present himselfe? When shall wee fight? Loe, now they are put out of their holes, and heere they are come. Loe now your wish: Loe heere the place for tryall of your vertue, and all things likely to follow, in a good and easie course, if you win: contrarywise all against you, if you loose. For, as to have gone so much ground, escaped the woods and Bogs, and passed over so many armes of the sea, are honourable testimonies of your forwardnesse: so, if we flie, the advantages we have had, will become our greatest disadvantage. For wee are not so skilfull in the Country: we have not the like store of provi­sion: we have onely hands and weapons, wherein our hopes, our fortune, and all things else are inclu­ded. For mine owne part, I have beene long since resolved, that to shew our backes, is dishonourable, both for Souldier and Generall, and therefore a com­mendable death is better then life with reproach, (Surety and Honor commonly dwelling together;) Howbeit, if aught should mis-happen in this enter­prize, yet this will be a glory for vs, to have dyed e­ven in the vttermost end of the world, and of Na­ture. [Page 85] If new Nations and Souldiers vnknowne, were in the field, I would, by the example of other Ar­mies, incourage you: But now I require you, onely to recount your owne victorious exploits, and to aske counsell of your owne eyes. These are the same men, which the last yeare assailed one Legion by stealth in the night, and were sodainely, and (in a manner) by the blasts of your mouthes, overthrowne. These, of all the other Britans, have beene the most nimble in running away, and by that meanes, have escaped the longest alive. For, as in forrests and woods, the stron­gest beasts are chased away by maine force, and the cowardly and fearefull scared onely by the noyse of the Hunters: so, the most valiant of the Brittish nati­on, we have already dispatched; the rascall heird of dastardly cowards onely remaineth. And loe, wee have now at length found them, not as intending to stay and make head against vs, but as last overtaken, and by extreame passion of feare, standing like stocks, and presenting occasion to vs in this place, of a wor­thy and memorable victory. Now therefore, make a short worke of our long warfare, and to almost fiftie yeares travaile, let this day impose a glorious end. Let each of you shew his valour, and approove to your Country, that this army of ours could never justly be charged, either with protracting the warre, for feare, or vpon false pretences, for not accomplishing the Conquest.’


Agricola marshalleth his forces. The battaile betweene the Romans and the Northern Britans. Part of the Bri­tish Army is defeated.

AS Agricola was yet speaking, the Souldiers gave great tokens of their fervent desire to fight, and when he had ended his speech, they joyfully ap­plauded it, running straitwaies to their weapons, and rushing furiously forward: which the Roman Generall perceiving, forthwith ordered his army in this man­ner. With the Auxiliarie footemen, he fortifyed the middle battell. The horsemen he placed in wings on both sides. The Legions he commaunded to stand be­hind, before the trench of the Camp, to the greater glo­ry of the victory, if it were obtained, without Roman blood, or otherwise for assistance, if the foreward should be distressed. The Britans were marshalled on the higher ground fitly for shew, to terrifie their ene­mies: the first troope standing on the plain, the rest on the ascent of the hill, rising vp as it were by degrees, one over another: the middle of the field was filled with Chariots and horsemen, clattering and running round about. Then Agricola finding them to exceed him in number, and fearing lest he should be assailed on the front and flanks, both at one instant, thought it best to display his army in length, and although by that means the battaile would become disproportionably long, and many advised him to take in the Legions: yet hee confidently rejected the counsell, & leaving his horse, avanced himselfe before the Ensignes on foot. In the [Page 87] first incounter before they joyned, both sides dischar­ged, and threw their darts. The Britans imploying both Art and Valour, with their great swords and little tar­gets, defended themselves, and wounded their ene­mies, till Agricola espying his vantage, appointed three Companies of Hollanders Batavian Cohorts, and two of theThe antient inhabitants of the Territorie of Liege, in the Low Coun­tries. Tungrians, to presse forward, and to bring the matter to handy strokes, and dint of sword; which they, by reason of their long ser­vice, were able readily to performe, to the prejudice of the other side, in regard of their little bucklers, and huge swords. For, the swords of the Britans being weighty, and blunt pointed, were no way fit, either for the close, or open fight. Now, as the Batavians began to strike them on the faces with the pikes of their buck­lers, and (having over-borne such as resisted) to march vp to the mountaines: the rest of the Cohorts (gathering courage vpon emulation) violently beat downe all a­bout them, and running forward, left some of the Bri­tans halfe dead, some wholly vntouched, for haste, and desire to have part of the glory in winning the field. In the meane time, both the Chariots of the Britans, min­gled themselves with their enemies battell of foote­men, and also their troupes of horsemen, (albeit they had lately terrifyed others:) yet now themselves (be­ginning to flie) were distressed by the vn-evennesse of the ground, and the thicke ranks of their enemies, who continued the fight, till the Britans, by maine weight of their owne horses and Chariots, were borne downe one vpon an other; the masterlesse horses affrighted, running vp and downe with the Chariots, and many times over-bearing their friends, which either met them, or thwarted their way.


The other part of the Brittish Army is overthrowne. The Romans pursuing the Britans through the woods) in danger to have beene intrapped. The lamentable e­state of the Britans.

NOw the Britans (which stoode aloofe from the battell, vpon the top of the hills, and did at the first (in a manner) disdaine the small number of their enemies) began to come downe by little and lit­tle, and sought to fetch a compasse about the backs of the Romans, which were then in traine of winning the field. But Agricola suspecting as much, opposed them with certaine wings of horsemen, purposely retained about him for sodaine dispatches, vpon all chances, and repulsed them as fiercely, as they ran to assaile. So the counsell of the Britans turning to their owne hurt, the Roman wings were commanded to forsake the battell, and follow the flight. Then were there pittifull spe­ctacles to be seene; pursuing: wounding: taking priso­ners: and then killing such as were taken, as soone as o­thers came in the way. Then whole Regiments of the Britans, (though armed, & moe in number) turnd their backs to the fewer: others vnarmed sought their owne death, offering themselves voluntarily to the slaughter. The fields every where were imbrued with blood: E­very where weapons lay scattered: wounded bodies: mangled limbs: some slaine outright: some halfe dead: some yeelding vp the ghost: and yet, even at the last gaspe, seeming by their countenances to discover both anger and valour. Such of the Britans, as in flying, re­covered [Page 89] the woods, joyned themselves together againe, and intrapped vnawares, some of the Roman Souldiers, that vnadvisedly followed, not knowing the Country; And if Agricola had not, by his presence and direction assisted at neede, setting about them his most expert footemen, (as it were in forme of a Toyle) and comman­ding some of his horsemen to leave their horses, (where the passage was narrow) and others to enter single, on horseback, where the wood was thin, doubt­lesse the Romans had taken a blow, by their over much boldnesse. But after that the Britans saw them againe in good array, and orderly following the chase, they fled, (not in troupes as before, when they attended each other, but vtterly disbanded, shunning all compa­pany) toward the desart and farre distant places. The darkenesse of the night, and satiety of blood, made an end of the chase. Of the Britans were then slaine about ten thousand: of the Romans, three hundred and fortie; amongst whom, the chiefe man of note was Aulus At­ticus, the Captaine of a Cohort, who vpon a youthfull heate, and through the fiercenesse of his horse, was car­ryed into the midst of his enemies. That night the win­ners refreshed themselves, taking pleasure in talking of the victorie, and dividing the spoyle. But the Britans being vtterly discouraged, crying, and howling, (both men and women together) tooke, and drew with them their wounded persons: calling the not wounded: for­saking their owne houses, and in despite, setting them on fire: then seeking holes abroad to lurke in, and ha­ving found them, straitwaies againe forsaking them: sometimes communicating Counsells together, and conceiving some little hope: and then by and by de­jected and desperate: sometimes mooved with pitty at the sight of their kinsfolks and friends, and sometimes [Page 90] stirred with rage and envie, in thinking and speaking of their enemies, and (which was most lamentable) some of them, by way of compassion and mercy, killing their owne children and wives.


The Britans are dispersed, and vnable to renew the warre. Agricola commandeth the Admirall of his Fleete to saile about Britannie. He planteth Garrisons vpon the Nor­therne Borders, betweene the two armes of the Sea. Do­mitian the Emperour, being advertised of his fortunate successe in the British warre, is tormented with envie and iealousie. Agricola yeeldeth vp the Province to Sa­lustius Lucullus.

THe day following did more plainely discover the greatnesse of the victory, by the calamitie of the vanquished. Desolation and silence every where: the smoke of the houses fired, appeared a farre off: no sallies out of the woods: no stirring in the mountaines: no man to make resistance, or to meete with the Roman spies, who being sent abroad into all quarters, found by the print of the Britans footesteps, that their flight was vncertaine, and that they were no where in companies together, but scattered in divers places, and altogether vnable to make any new attempt vpon the sodaine. Wherefore Agricola, the summer being now spent in this journey, and the time past for imployment else­where, brought his army into the borders of theThe antient inhabitants of Eskdale in Scotland, (as it is con­jectured.) Hor­restians Country, where having received hostages of the inhabitants, he commanded the Admirall of his Navy, (being furnished with Souldiers, and sufficient [Page 91] strength for that purpose) to saile about Britannie, whi­ther the fame and terror of the Roman name, was alrea­die gone before. Then he planted Garrisons vpon the borders between Glota & Bodotria, and disposed of his footemen and horsemen in the wintering places with­in the Province.

Thus, after many conflicts, about the space of one hundred thirtie sixe yeares from Iulius Caesars first en­trance, the vtmost limits of Britannie, and the Iles of the Orchades lying on the North side of it, were by the valour and industrie of Iulius Agricola, first discovered, and made knowne to the Romans: and the South part of the Ile, in the fourth yeare of the raigne of Domitian, (being in the yeare of our Redemption 86.) reduced into a full Province, the governement whereof, was peculiar to the Roman Emperours themselves, and not at the disposition of the Senate.

This state of affaires heere, Agricola signifyed by letters (without any amplifying termes) to Domitian, (the successor of Titus, his brother in the Empire) who after his manner, with a cheerefull countenance, and grieved heart, received the newes, being inwardly pricked with anger and disdaine, to thinke, that his late counterfeit Triumph of Germany (wherein a shew was made of slaves, boght for mony, attired like captives of that Country,) was had in derision, and justly scorned abroad; whereas now a true and great victory (so many thousands of enemies being slaine) was currant in eve­ry mans mouth; Besides, he esteemed it as a most peril­lous point in a State, that a private mans name should be exalted above the name of a Prince; and he suppo­sed, that hee had in vaine suppressed the study of Ora­tory, and all other politike Arts, if he should in military glory, be excelled by another; for matters of other [Page 92] kinds (as he supposed) might more easily be passed o­ver: but to be a good Commander of an Army, was to be above a private estate, (that being a vertue peculiar for a Prince.) Domitian beeing tormented with these and the like conceits, and musing much in his closet a­lone, (which was commonly noted, as a signe of some mischiefe in working) thought it best for the present, to cloake and dissemble his malice, till the heate of A­gricolaes glory, and the love of his souldiers were some­what abated (for as yet Agricola remained in office.) Wherefore he commanded, that all the honours of Triumphall ornaments, the image Triumphall, and what else was vsually bestowed in lieu of Triumph, should in most ample and honorable termes, be awarded him in Senate: And then sending a successor, he caused a bruit to be spread, that the Province of Syria, (which was then void, and specially reserved for men of great qua­litie) should be assigned to Agricola. The common opi­nion was, that Domitian, sending one of his most secret and trustrie servants vnto him, sent withall, the com­mission of Lievtenancie for Syria, with private instructi­ons, that if Agricola, at the time of his comming should be still in Britannie, then it should be delivered: if o­therwise, it should be kept backe; and that the same man meeting Agricola as he crossed the seas, without spea­king to him, or delivering his message, returned againe to Domitian. Whether this were true, or fained vpon a probable surmise, as agreeable to the Princes dispositi­on, it could not directly be affirmd; but in the mean sea­son, Agricola had yeelded vp the Province in good and peaceable estate vnto Cneus Trebellius, or rather (as some writers report) to Salustius Lucullus.


Agricola returneth to Rome, and is admitted to the pre­sence of Domitian the Emperour. He betaketh him­selfe to a retired life. He is poysoned. Salustius Lucul­lus his successor in the Government of the Province, protecteth Arviragus the British Prince. He is put to d [...]ath by the commandement of Domitian.

AGricola, lest his comming to Rome should have bin noted, by reason of the multitude, of people, which would have gone out to see, and meete him, did warily cut off the occasion of that curtesie, entring the Citie by night; and by night, (as he was commanded) came to the pallace, where being admit­ted to the Princes presence, and received with a short salutation, and no further speech, he sorted himselfe with other Gentlemen of his ranke, carrying himselfe ever after very temperately and warily in al his actions, as knowing the present state of those times, and the dan­gerous inclination of the Emperour himselfe, who be­ing (as all other Princes are commonly) more fearefull and jealous of the good, then the bad, envied in him, those vertues, and that honourable reputation, where­of himselfe was not capable; Yet, as good deserts can­not be hid, (true worthinesse shining even in darknesse it selfe:) so the retired life which Agricola led, did no­thing diminish his glorie, but rather, like water sprink­led vpon a burning fire, increased, and continued the heate thereof. Diverse times was he accused in his absence (which ministred to his ill willers oportunitie of working his disgrace,) and as often in abse [...]ce was he acquited, the opinion onely of his good deserts, and [Page 94] no matter of crime giving the occasion, while such as highly commended him to the Emperor, (seeming his friends, but being (indeed) the most pestilent kind of enemies) procured vnder-hand his perill and ruine in the end. Howbeit, the ill successe of the Roman ar­mies in diverse Provinces at that time, serving as a foile to set out his honourable actions, drew him perforce into glorie: and Domitian made pretences of his pur­pose to employ him, thinking thereby to satisfie the people, who then complained of the want of good Leaders. But Vertue, that never continueth long time in prosperous estate, (as being the common object of envie,) hastened the death of Agricola, who (as the con­stant fame went,) was made away by poyson, and that not without the Emperours knowledge, and consent. These things concerning Agricolaes government in Bri­tannie, I have set downe particularly, as they are re­ported by Cornelius Tacitus, who writ the storie of his life, which remaineth to the world, as a perpe­tuall monument of the doings of the one, and the wri­tings of the other.

Salustius Lucullus succeeding Agricola, left little me­morie of himselfe, by doing any thing here, either for that no occasion was then offred to shew himselfe in action, or else, for that the fame of so worthie a pre­decessor blemished his reputation. For having held the office but a short time, he was by commaunde­ment of Domitian put to death, for suffering certaine Speares of new fashion, to be called by his owne name.

About this time Arviragus a Britan by birth, and education, did governe (as King) part of the Ile of Bri­tannie, the Romans accounting it a poynt of policie to permit the Britans sometimes to be ruled by Princes of [Page 95] their owne Nation, whose ayde and counsaile, they might vse (vpon occasions) to the pacifying of rebelli­ons, and the establishing of their owne greatnesse; For the common people, (whose affection doth oft times sway the fortunes of great Princes) are much more easily brought vnder the obedi­ence of their own Country-men, then of strangers.

The end of the second Booke of the first Part of the Historie of Great Britannie.

The succession of the Roman Empe­rors, from Nerva Cocceius vnto Honorius, in whose time the Romans gave over the go­vernment of Britannie.

  • 13 Nerva Cocceius, raigned one yeare, and foure Mo­neths.
  • 14 Vlpius Trajanus, (a Spaniard) nineteene yeares, and six moneths.
  • 15 Aelius Adrianus, twentie yeares.
  • 16 Antoninus Pius, twentie three yeares.
  • 17 M. Aurel: Antoninus Philosophus, nineteene yeares. L: Verus, his Collegue in the Empire.
  • 18 Aurel. Commodus, (the sonne of Antoninus Philo­sophus) thirteene yeares.
  • 19 Aelius Pertinax, six moneths.
  • 20 Didius Iulianus, seven moneths.
  • 21 Septimius Severus Brit: eighteene yeares. Pessenius Niger, Vsurpers. Clodius Albinus.
  • 22 Anton: Bassianus Caracalla Brit: (the eldest sonne of Sept: Severus) six yeares. Geta, Caesar Brit. (the yonger sonne of Sept. Severus.)
  • 23 Opilius Macrinus, one yeare, and two moneths.
  • 24 Varius Heliogabalus (the base son of Caracalla 4. year.
  • 25 Alexander Severus (a kinsman of Heliogab.) 13. year.
  • 26 Iul: Maximinus, three yeares.
  • [Page 98]
    Caesars elected.
    • Balbinus,
    • Pupienus,
  • 27 Gordianus, (the father, with his two sonnes, and his Ne­phew) six yeares.
    • C. Valens Hostilianus Caesar.
  • 28 Philippus the Arabian, five yeares.
  • 29 Decius Trajanus, two yeares.
  • 30 Vibius Pallus Hostilianus (with his sonne Volusianus) two yeares.
  • 31 Aemilius (of Mauritania) three moneths.
  • 32 Licinius Valerianus, fifteene yeares.
  • 33 Gallienus (the sonne of Valerianus) nine yeares. Valerianus (the brother of Gallienus Caesar.) Cassus Labienus Posthumus, Caes.
  • 34 Flavius Claudius, two yeares.
  • 35 Aurelius Quintillus (the brother of Claudius. 17. daies.
  • 36 Valerius Aurelianus, five yeares, and six moneths.
  • 37 Tacitus, six moneths.
  • 38 Annius Florianus (the brother of Tacitus) sixtie dayes.
  • 39 Valerius Probus, six yeares, and foure moneths.
  • 40 Carus Narbonensis, two yeares.
    Caesars, the sonnes of Carus.
    • Numerianus,
    • Carinus,
  • 41 Dioclesianus, twentie yeares. Maximianus Herculeius Caesar.
  • 42 Constantius Chlorus, foure yeares.
  • 43 Galerius Maximus, eleven yeares.
    • Severus,
    • Maximianus,
  • 44 Maxentius, (the sonne of Maximian) six yeares.
  • 45 Licinius, fourteene yeares.
  • 46 Constantinus Magnus, thirtie yeares.
    • [Page 99]Magnentius Vsurper.
      The three sonnes of Constan­tine the Great.
      • Constantinus,
      • Constans,
  • 47 Costantius, 24. yeares,
  • 48 Iulianus Apostata, one yeare, six moneths.
  • 49 Iovinianus, eight moneths.
  • 50 Valentinianus, twelve yeares.
    • Valens (his brother) Caesar.
  • 51 Gratianus, six yeares.
    • Valentinianus, Caesar.
    • Theodosius, Caesar.
  • 52 Theodosius, three yeares.
  • 53 Arcadius, thirteene yeares.
  • 54 Honorius twentie eight yeares.

❧Lievtenants in Britannie from Nerva Cocceius his entrance into the Government of the Empire, vn­till the raigne of Honorius the Emperour.

Lievtenants vnder the Emperours Nerva and Traianus.
  • ¶There is no mention of any Lievtenants in Britannie, during the time of their government.
Lievetenants vnder Adrian: Brit.
  • ¶Iulius Severus.
  • ¶Priscus Licinius.
Lievtenants vnder Antoninus Pius.
  • ¶Lollius Vrbicus. Brit.
Lievtenants vnder Antoninus Philosophus.
  • ¶Calphurnius Agricola.
Lievtenants vnder Commodus.
  • ¶Vlpius Marcellus.
  • ¶Helvius Pertinax.
  • ¶Clodius Albinus.
  • ¶Iunius Severus.
Lievtenants vnder Pertinax.
  • ¶Clodius Albinus.
Lievtenants vnder Did: Iulianus.
Lievtenants vnder Sept. Severus Brit.
  • ¶Heraclianus.
  • ¶Virius Lupus.

From the time of Bassianus Caracalla, the Successor of Se­verus, vnto Constantine the great, there is no men­tion in approoved Histories of any Lievtenants in Britannie.

Deputies vnder Constantine the Great.
  • ¶Pacatianus.
Deputies vnder Constantius the yongest sonne of Constantine the Great.
  • ¶Martinus.
  • ¶Alipius.
Deputies vnder Honorius.
  • ¶Chrysanthus.
  • ¶Victorinus.
Princes and secular men of speciall note among the Britans.
  • In the time of Calphurnius Agricolaes government, vnder M. Aur. Antoninus Philosophus.
Lucius surnamed Lever-Maur, the first Christian Prince in Britannie.
  • In the raigne of Aurelianus.
Bonosus, Vsurper of the Empire in Britannie.
  • In the raigne of Constantius the yongest sonne of Constantine the Great.
Magnentius Taporus, vsurper of the Empire in Britannie.

Archbishops of London from the time of Lucius, vntill the comming in of the Saxons.

  • 1 Thean.
  • 2 Clavus.
  • 3 Cador.
  • 4 Obinns.
  • 5 Conanus.
  • 6 Paladius.
  • 7 Stephanus.
  • 8 Iltut.
  • 9 Dedwinus.
  • 10 Thedredus.
  • 11 Hillarius.
  • 12 Guidilinus.
  • 13 Vodinus, who lived, when the Saxons first entred the land.


The third Booke.



Nerva Cocceius succeedeth Domitian in the Empire, lea­ving the same soone after to Vlpius Trajanus. Adri­anus, the successour of Trajan, sendeth Iulius Severus into Britannie, to defend the borders of the Province, against the incursions of the Northern Britans. The Emperour himselfe with an Army, entreth the Iland, and buildeth there a wall of Turves, for defence of the Province. Licinius Priscus is Governour of Britannie.

HItherto hath beene declared the successe of times and affaires in Britannie, vnder the first twelve Emperours of Rome; the same being recorded by such Writers, as had best meanes to vnderstand the truth there­of, and were the principall Registrers of things done by the Romans in those times. As for the occurrents en­suing the death of Domitian, vntill the raigne of Hono­rius, [Page 104] (in whose time the Roman governement ceased) they are imperfectly reported, or a great part of them meerely omitted: so that I am forced, of many things to make onely a bare and briefe relation, as vnwilling, by adding or diminishing, to alter, in substance, what Antiquitie hath left vs, or to fill vp blancks with con­jectures or projects of mine owne invention. And therefore, howsoever this Booke following, (which comprehendeth the acts of many more yeares then the former) may seeme to carry with it, a kinde of dis­proportion from the other two, and likewise in respect of the stile and composition, to be somewhat diffe­ring from them: yet, the cause thereof ought to be imputed to the very matters themselves, (being, for the most part, fragments, and naked memorialls, (the loose ends of Time) without observation of circumstances, or congruitie in substance,) which will hardly admit any method fitting a continuate History: And I owe so much love and reverence to Truth, as I would rather expose her in the meanest and worst habit that Time hath left her, then by disguising her, to abuse the world, and make her seeme a counterfet.

DOmitian the Emperour being slaine, Nerva Coc­ceius, (a Prince much honored for his vertues) suc­ceeded in the Empire; But in what estate the affaires of Britannie then stood, the histories of those times make no mention, either for that the Emperour being a man stricken in yeares, and disposed to ease and quietnesse, employed himselfe, rather in reforming abuses at home, then in maintaining warre abroad, or else, for that the short continuance of his government, did not suffer him to enter into any great actions in places so remote; for having held the Empire little above a yeare, he left [Page 105] the same, by death, to Vlpius Traianus, a Spaniard, whom he had adopted, for his valour and wisedome, (begin­ning even then the first president of electing strangers.

In his time, some of the Britans, desirous to free themselves from the Roman tyranny, entred into re­bellion, but wanting meanes to effect what they had begun, they soone gave over the enterprise. Howbeit Aelius Adrianus, (who succeeded Traian in the Empire) having intelligence, that the Northern Britans made in­cursions into the Province, sent over Iulius Severus to empeach their attempts; but before he could make an end of the war, he was revoked & sent into Syria, to sup­presse the Iewish rebellion; & Adrian the Emperor him­selfe came with an Army into Britannie, where he en­countred those Northern riders, recovered such Forts as they had taken, & forced them to retire to the Moun­taines and woods, whither the Roman horsemen, with­out danger, could not pursue them. And then fortify­ing the borders of the Province, by raising a wall of Turves, about eightie miles in length, (betweene the mouths of the riversThe river Eden in Cum­berland. Ituna andThe river Tyne in Nor­thumberland. Tina,) to defend the inhabitants thereof, from the sodaine assaults of their ill neighbours, he returned triumphantly to Rome. This exploit wan much reputation to the Roman Army, and no smal honor to the Emperor himselfe, who was then called, The Restorer of Britannie, and had the same in­scription figured in the stamp of his Coyne.

Now the Britans dwelling within the Province, see­med, for the most part; patiently to beare the yoke, (which Custome had made lesse painefull, and they o­beyed the more willingly, as standing in neede of the Romans helpe against their owne Country men, whose crueltie was now as much feared, as in former times the invasion of strangers. Whereupon they confor­med [Page 106] themselves to the Roman lawes, both in martiall and civill affaires, which were then principally directed by Licinius Priscus, who had beene (not long before) employed by Adrian the Emperour, in the expedition of Iurie, and was at that time Propraetor ofLievtenant. Britannie.


Lollius Vrbicus is Lievtenant of Britannie vnder An­toninus Pius, (the successor of Adrian the Emperour.) He erecteth another wall of Turves, for defence of the Province, and appeaseth the Brigantes, (the ancient in­habitants of the Counties of Yorke, Lancaster, Dur­ham, Westmerland, and Cumberland,) beginning to revolt. Seius Saturninus Admirall of the Brittish Fleet, gardeth the Sea coasts. M: Aurelius Antoninus surnamed Philosophus, succeedeth Antoninus Pius in the Empire: and Calphurnius Agricola, Lollius Vrbicus (Britannicus) in the Province.

A Ntoninus Pius succeeded Adrianus the Emperour, when (Lollius Vrbicus being Lievtenant) the Nor­thern people made a road into the Province, but were beaten backe by the Roman forces that lay vpon the borders: and then was there another wal of Turves built by commandement of the Lievtenant, to streng­then those parts, with a double rampire. In the meane time, a new warre was kindled among theThe antient inhabitants of the Counties of Yorke, Lan­caster, Durham, Westmerland, and C [...]mber­land. Brigantes, that annoyed some of the Roman confederates: but by the discretion of the Generall, it was quenched before it came to a flame. For Lollius Vrbicus, vpon the first ru­mor of the revolt, marched thither with part of the army, leaving the rest behind to guard the borders: [Page 107] and Seius Saturninus, Admirall of the Brittish Fleet, be­ing well appointed by Sea, lay vpon the North side of the Ile, to defend the Coasts, and (vpon occasions) to further the land-service; by this meanes the Brigan­tes were easily reduced to obedience, even by the pre­sence onely of the Lievtenant, who for his good service done in Britannie, during the short time of his imploy­ment there, obteined the surname of Britannicus.

Antoninus Pius being dead, and Marcus Aurelius sur­named Philosophus, possessed of the Empire: Calphurni­us Agricola was made Lievtenant of the Province, who at his first entrance into office, vnderstood of some new tumults raised during the vacation; but partly, by policie, in preventing occasions, and partly, by shew of force, (his very name striking a terror in the inha­bitants, by reviving the memory of Iulius Agricola) he in short time appeased them, deserving thereby great commendation, though the glory of such exploits, was, for the most part, attributed to the Emperors themselves, (the labour and perill in attempting, and commonly disgrace and envie after victory) remaining onely, as rewards to their ministers.


Elutherius the Bishop of Rome, sendeth Preachers into Britannie, to instruct the inhabitants there in the Christian Faith. Lucius, the first Christian Prince in Britannie. The planting and propagation of religion a­mong the Britans.

NOw was the time come (namely, about one hun­dred and fourscore yeares after the birth of our [Page 108] Saviour) when Christian religion, which many yeares together had beene (for the most part) shadowed with the darke cloudes of heathenish superstition, began to discover it selfe more openly in this Iland, by the meanes of Lucius, surnamed Lever-Maur, who by per­mission of the Roman Lievtenant, did governe, as King, a great part of the Province. For it appeareth by the testimonie of some antient Writers, that Britannie re­ceived the Christian faith, even in the infancie of the Church, immediately after the death of our Saviour Christ, whose Apostles and Disciples, (according to his commandement) published and dispersed the same in divers Regions, partly by themselves in their owne persons, and partly by their ministers; among whom were sent into Britannie, Simon Chananaeus, that after his peregrination in Mauritania, (as it is reported) was slaine, and buried in the Iland: Aristobolus a Roman, of whom Saint Paul in his Epistles maketh mention: and Ioseph of Arimathia, a Nobleman of Iury, specially re­membred of posterity, for his charitable act in burying the body of our Saviour. This man was appointed by Philip the Apostle, (then preaching the Christian faith in Gallia) to instruct the antient Britans, among whom he began first, (as some write) to institute an Eremiti­call life, in a place then called Avalonia, and afterwards Glastenbury, where himselfe, and his companions, imi­tating the austerity and zeale of solitude, which they had observed in Mary Magdalen, (with whom they tra­velled out of Iury vnto Marsilia in France) sequestred themselves from all worldly affaires, that they might freely intend the exercise of pietie, which they profes­sed. Yea, some Writers of former ages have constantly affirmed, that the Apostles, Saint Peter and Saint Paul, in their owne persons at severall times, came into Bri­tannie: [Page 109] and that afterwards one Sueton, a Noblemans sonne of that Country, being converted by such Chri­stians as first planted the faith there, and called (after his baptisme) Beatus, was sent by them to Rome, vnto Saint Peter, to be better instructed and confirmed in Christianitie: and that in his returne homewards tho­rough Switzerland, he found in the inhabitants there, such a desire and readinesse to receive the Christian faith, as he resolved to continue in that place, where he erected an Oratorie to exercise a Monasticall life, and departed the world about the yeare of Grace, 110. But, who were the very first teachers, and at what time the Christian faith was first of all received there, it is not certainely knowne; howbeit it is likely, (as I have be­fore remembred) that in the expedition of Claudius the Emperour, (which was about the third yeare of his raigne, and twelve yeares after the assention of our Sa­viour) some Christians of Rome, and schollers of the Apostles themselves, (by occasion of those warres, and by reason of the entercourse of affaires betweene both Nations) became first knowne to the Britans: who in processe of time, were drawne by the exhortations and examples of their teachers, to imbrace the truth: the vn­blameable life of those religious men, mooving some­times even their Princes (though yet vnbeleeving) to protect and regard them, as Lucius then began to doe. Besides that, the Roman Lievtenants also, as well in Bri­tannie as other Provinces, did sometimes tolerate the exercise of Christian Religion, as not altogether disliking it, howsoever for worldly respects, they forbare to shew themselves openly in favour of it. But Lucius declared his inclination thereto after ano­ther manner; For inwardly disliking the profane super­stitions then vsed among the Romans, and being infor­med [Page 110] of the great constancy, vertue, and patience of the Christians at Rome, and other places, in suffering perse­cution and Martyrdome for the faith of Christ, where­by the number of Christians (whom many men estee­med for the miracles which they wrought) was (con­trary to common expectation) daily increased: that Pertinax and Tre [...]ellius, two worthy Senators of Rome, had beene lately converted from Paganisme, to Chri­stianitie: that Marcus Aurelius, (the Roman Emperour then raigning) began to conceive a better opinion of them, then himselfe and his predecessors had done: and so much the rather, by reason he had (not long be­fore) obtained a famous victory against his enemies; the prosperous event whereof, he attributed to the prayers of the Christians at Rome: Vpon these considerations, Lucius determined to be instructed in the Religion which they professed: and first of all, he commanded Elvanus and Meduinus, (two learned men of the Brittish Nation) to goe to Rome, (where Elutherius was then Bi­shop) to require some meete persons to be sent into Britannie, to instruct him and his people: for which purpose, Fugatius and Damianus, were specially appoin­ted by Elutherius, with all speede to repaire thither; where they afterwards (not without some danger by tempest vpon the seas) arrived, and applied themselves both by doctrine and example, to performe the charge committed vnto them: the successe therein proving an­swerable to their endevors. For the Prince and his fa­milie was by them baptised: some of the inhabitants that had formerly received the faith, were confirmed therein, and others that remained yet in their infideli­tie, were converted to Christianity.


Lucius Sendeth to Rome for the Lawes of the Empire. The The counsell of Elutherius Bishop of Rome touching same. Idolatrie suppressed in Lucius his dominions, and Ecclesiasticall iurisdiction established there. The first Archbishop of London.

BVt Lucius the Prince (having received instructi­ons from the Sea of Rome, for the direction of him­selfe, and his people, in the profession and exercise of Christian Religion) was desirous also to order his temporall estate, according to the Roman policie, and to that end solicited Elutherius the Bishop, to send vnto him the lawes of the Empire, out of which he might collect, and compose some certaine ordinances for the administration of civill Iustice; whereupon Elutherius sent Letters to the Prince, commending therein his former zealous disposition in embracing the Truth: then exhorting him to reade, with humilitie and reve­rence, the holy Scripture (the divine law) which he had lately received in his dominions, and out of that (by Gods grace and advise of faithfull Counsellors) to col­lect meet observations for the framing of lawes necessa­rie for the preservation of his estate: which observations so collected, and lawes so framed, he did affirme to be much better, then the Imperiall Constitutions of the Romans, or any other whatsoever: that, to make lawes, and execute Iustice, was the proper office of a Prince, who was vpon earth the Vicar of God himselfe, and re­ceived from him that title and authoritie, to the end he should vse the same to the good of the Catholike Church, and of the people living vnder his obedience. Hereup­on [Page 112] Lucius began first of all to provide for establishment of that Religion, whereof he was become at the selfe same time, both a professor and practiser. Then was the worshipping of Images forbidden. The seates of the Arch-Flamins at London, Yorke, and Chester, were chan­ged into the Seas of three Arch-bishops in the same pla­ces, and those of the Flamins, into so many Bishoprikes, whereby the Temples vowed by Idolatrous Priests to prophane gods, were consecrated to the service of the onely true God. His temporall estate also he adorned with good & profitable lawes, comformable to the rule of Christian Religion; whereupon ensued the blessings of Plentie and Peace in his dayes.

It is reported, that he was founder of a Church at Cornhill in London, which he dedicated to Saint Peter, placing therein one Thean, an Arch-bishop, to have a superintendence over the other Bishops within his principalitie: and that the Metropolitan seat continued there in the succession of 13. Archbishops (about the space of 400. years) vntil the comming of Augustine the Monk, who translated the Archbishoprike from London to Can­terburie.

And now Christianitie (being thus generally recei­ved among the Britans) kept on her course vntainted, and without opposition, till the time of Dioclesian the Emperour, who kindled the fire of that raging perse­cution (the last and longest in the Primitive Church) which consumed the lives of many Christian Mar­tyrs, as well in Britannie, as other places. But retur­ning to the raigne of Lucius, and considering the state of Britannie vnder his government: we may justly ad­mire the felicitie of those times, ascribing to the Britans for their greatest glory, that among all other nations, they had the happinesse to see and enjoy the first Chri­stian Prince.


The Northern Britans breaking downe Adrians wall vpon the borders, enter and annoy the Province. Vlpius Marcellus, being sent by Commodus the Emperor to take charge of the armie in Britannie, beateth them backe. The rare vertues of Vlpius Marcellus the Go­vernor. He is dimissed of his office.

THis was the state of the Church in Britannie, when new troubles began to the disturbance of the Pro­vince. For the Northern Britans making a breach in the wall, which Adrian the Emperour had built, and finding the borders but weakly garded, entred the Pro­vince, and surprising the Roman General, killed many of his Souldiers, then ranging the countries: they wasted and spoyled everie where without resistance, till Vlpius Marcellus being sent over by Commodus the Emperour, stayed their furie, and with great difficultie, forced them to retire within the Wall. By which meanes the Pro­vince being quieted, he applied himselfe to reforme abuses in his Camp, reviving the ancient discipline of warre, which had beene for a time discontinued a­mong the Roman souldiers, whom long service, and many victories had made bold to say, and do oft times more then became them. For Marcellus indeed was a man somewhat austere, in reprooving and punishing: otherwise verie temperate: diligent in time of warre: not idle in peace: his diet was the same which the common Souldier vsed: in quantitie more sparing: for he would eate no bread, but such as was brought from Rome: which he did, to the end he might avoid [Page 114] excesse, and take no more then sufficed Nature (the stalenesse of the bread having taken away all taste, that might either please the sense, or provoke the appetite.) The day time, for the most part, he spent in viewing his Camp, in training young Souldiers, and giving di­rection to Officers. In the night he wrote Letters, and made his dispatches into diverse parts of the Province, (as occasion required.) He slept verie little, by rea­son of his thin diet, and much businesse (wherewith he was continually occupied;) for he thought [that he which slept a whole night togither, was no meete man, to be either a Counseller to a Prince, or the Commander of an Armie.] Everie Evening he vsed to write instructions vpon twelve Tables made of Lin­den tree, which Tables he delivered to one of his ser­vants, appointing him to carrie them at sundrie houres of the night, to certaine of his Souldiers, who thereby supposing that their Generall was still waking, and not gone to his bed) were the more carefull in keeping the watch, and preventing sodaine attempts in the night season. He was severe in execution of justice: not to be led by fauour: nor to be corrupted by bribes. He levied money, onely as necessarie for the warre, not to enrich himself, or his friends, as other governors in for­mer times had done; for he never preferred his owne private, before the publike; nor a wealthie estate before an honourable reputation. The fame of these vertues as they made him much respected, both of his owne Souldiers, and of the Britans: so they procured Envie, which alwayes followeth Vertue inseparably, as a sha­dow doth the bodie. For Commodus the Emperour vn­derstanding, how Marcellus had carried himselfe in Bri­tannie, was much displeased therewith; and doubting lest he should grow too great, he thought it best to cut [Page 115] him off. But some accidents happening in the meane time, to make him change that purpose, he onely sent Letters of discharge, and so dismissed him of the Office.


A Mutinie in the Roman armie. Perennius vndertaketh to appease it. He is accused, and put to death. Helvius Pertinax being sent by Commodus to pacifie the tu­mults in the armie, is in danger to be slaine. He maketh sute to be discharged of the Lievtenancie.

AFter departure of Marcellus, the armie having beene kept in by hard hand, and finding now the reine let loose, vpon asuddaine began to be mu­tinous, and refused openly to acknowledge Commodus for their Emperour. These disorders, Perennius, one of his favorites tooke vpon him to redresse, by displacing such persons as he suspected, and committing their of­fices to men of meaner qualitie: wherewith the Legi­ons were much discontented, disdaining, that in steed of Senators, and men of Consular degree, they should now be governed by vpstarts, and base Companions. In the heate of these broyles, about fifteene hundred Souldi­ers forsooke the armie, and went to Rome, where they exhibited to the Emperour, a Bill of Complaint against Perennius, whom they charged as the chiefe Authour of the dissention in the Armie, by bringing in new cu­stoms, by exceeding his commission, & doing things de­rogatory to the maiestie of the Roman Empire. These, & other things, (as wel false as true) were objected against him by the multitude, who for the most part, dislike such as exercise authoritie over them, and keepe no [Page 116] measure in their affections, either of love, or hatred. But, (that which touched to the quicke) was an accu­sation of treason put vp against him, for conspiring a­gainst the life of the Emperour, and in seeking to ad­vance his sonne to the Empire. This point was quick­ly apprehended by Commodus, who thought that the suspition of the fact, or the report onely to have inten­ded it, was a sufficient cause of condemnation, howso­ever the partie accused was indeed, either guiltie, or in­nocent. Hereupon Perennius was declared Traitor, and delivered to the Souldiers, who stripped him of his ap­parrell, whipped him with rods, and in the end, cruelly murdered him.

Then Helvius Pertinax (a man of meane fortune by birth, as having risen from the state of a common Soul­dier to the dignitie of a Commaunder) was sent into Britannie to appease the tumults there. He was one of them that Perennius had before discharged from bea­ring office, and sent into Liguria, where he was borne. At his first entrance, he attempted by force to suppresse the rebellion of the armie, adventuring so farre in a skir­mish, that though he escaped with life, yet was he left among the dead, and supposed to be slaine. Afterwards proceeding with better advise, and successe, he compo­ [...]ed the troubles, severely punishing the principall offen­ [...], and vsing some rigor in revenging his owne inju­ [...]es; by which meanes growing odious to the Souldier, and distrusting his owne safetie, he made sute to be dis­charged of the Lievtenantship.


Clodius Albinus succeedeth Pertinax in the governement of the Province. He is honoured with the title of Caesar. Being suspected of Commodus the Emperor, he retireth himselfe from affaires. Helvius Pertinax, and Didius Iulianus are elected Emperours successively after the death of Commodus. Severus succeedeth Iulianus in the Empire. Heraclianus is Governor of the Province, which he afterwards resigneth to Virius Lupus. Warre betweene Severus the Emperour, and Clodius Albi­nus. The death of Albinus.

THen was the governement of the Province assig­ned to Clodius Albinus, a man of noble birth, ve­ry forward, and for the most part, fortunate in his attempts: for which the Emperor Commodus, either vpon feare, or favour, did honour him with the title of a Caesar, though Albinus seemed vnwilling to accept it; and afterwards discovered his disposition more open­ly, in affecting the antient free state. For, vpon a false re­port of the death of Commodus, he made an oration to the Legions in Britannie, in favour of the Senate, whose governement he had commended, and preferred the same before that of the Emperours. But Commodus be­ing advertised thereof, sent Iunius Severus with all speed, to take charge of the Army. In the meane time, Albinus retired himselfe from affaires, till Commodus was dead, and Pertinax elected Emperour. Then he combined himselfe with Didius Iulianus, whom the souldiers (that then made open sale of the Empire,) had elected after the death of Pertinax. But Iulianus being infamous for [Page 118] his vices, and failing to performe his promise made to the Souldiers, was in a short time forsaken of them, and afterwards murdered. Vpon report of Iulianus his death, Septimius Severus (a man adorned with excellent gifts of nature) was declared Emperour; and for that he feared Clodius Albinus, (who then had recovered the governement of Britannie) he made him his associ­ate in the Empire, and sent Heraclianus to be Lievtenant of the Province, which, Heraclianus soone after resig­ned to Virius Lupus. But desire of Soverainty, (that can­not long indure equality of degree) made the one jea­lous of the other, and the fire of ambition (that had beene smothered for a time) burst out at length into a flame. For Severus having pacified some tumults in the West part of the world, and after many conflicts sub­dued, Pescenius Niger, (who vsurped the Empire in the East) pretended the breach of Association, as a colour to make warre vpon Albinus, who vnderstanding there­of, transported over the seas, a mighty Army, furnished with abundance of vittaile out of the Ile it selfe, which then (through the industry of the inhabitants, apply­ing themselves to tillage and husbandry,) yeelded plenty of graine, and served the Romans as the Garner of the West Empire, out of which they carried yearely great quantities of corne, to maintaine their Armies in Gallia and Germany. NeereLyons in France. Lugdunum in Gallia, Seve­rus encountred with Albinus, whose forces were there defeated, and himselfe slaine.


Severus the Emperor, maketh preparation for a voyage into Britannie. The civill governement of the Province, committed to Geta his younger sonne, whom Papini­anus the famous Lawyer assisteth in the administra­tion of Iustice there. Severus with Bassianus his elder sonne, marcheth towards Caledonia. Mortalitie in the Roman Camp. The Caledonians obtaine peace vpon conditions. Bassianus taketh the charge of the armie, and Severus his father returnes into the Pro­vince.

THen Severus made preparation for his voyage into Britannie, which by reason of the often change of Governours, was growne much out of order; and although the Britans, vpon intelligence of his purpose, did send over Ambassadors, to offer their voluntarie submission: yet the Emperour (in whom neither age nor sicknesse had abated the heate of ambition) would not directly accept thereof, but entertained them with delaies, till all things were in readinesse for his expe­dition: [So earnest a desire he had to passe into the fur­thest part of Britannie, and to purchase the surname of Britannicus, as an honourable addition to his other ti­tles.] His two sonnes Bassianus (commonly called Ca­racalla) and Geta, he tooke with him, as doubting their agreement in his absence. To Geta his younger sonne, after his arrivall in Britannie, he committed the govern­ment of the Province there for civill causes, wherein Aemilius Paulus Papinianus the famous Lawyer, (who as cheefe minister of Iustice vnder him, had his Tribu­nall [Page 120] seate atYorke. Eboracum) was appointed to assist and di­rect him.

Severus himselfe, and Bassianus with the Army, mar­ched Northward against theThe antient inhabitants of the hither part of Scotland. Meatae, a people borde­ring vpon the Caledonians, and in league with them. Vi­rius Lupus (but a little before) had assaied to enter the Country by force, when the Meatae (standing vpon their owne strength) withstood him, and forced him in the end, to purchase his peace with mony. Then Se­verus hastned into Cal [...]donia, where finding the passa­ges vncertaine and dangerous, by reason of the fennes, [...]oods, and deep waters; he caused trees to be felled, and bridges and cawseis to be made, for his Souldiers to ma [...]ch over. The Caledonians in the meane time, salli­ed out of the woods, and charged the Romans, who were much encombred for want of firme ground, and were oftentimes forced to trace the Country, and to disperse themselves in severall companies, seeking pla­ces of advantage: by which meanes, a great number of them perished, while the barbarous people (lying in ambush, and sometimes leaving their cattell abroad, as a traine to draw them within danger) suddainly sur­prised and killed them, before they could recover their Campe. This was an vnfortunate journey to the Ro­mans, who, besides the losse which they sustained by their enemies, were afflicted with diseases, by reason, partly of the vnwholesome waters which they dranke, and partly of the contagious ayre that infected their spirits: yea, many times they killed one another; for such as through feeblenesse could not keepe ranke in marching, were slaine by their owne fellowes, that they might not be left a prey to their savage enemies. There died in this enterprise, about fiftie thousand Romans; Yet would not Severus withdraw his forces thence, till [Page 121] the Caledonians made offer to treate of peace, whereto he then hearkned the more willingly, for that he saw the difficultie, and (in a manner) impossibilitie to bring that Northerne part of the Ile, wholy vnder subjecti­on, by reason of the rocks, mountaines, and marishes: as also for that the Country, being (for the most part) bar­ren and vnfruitfull, the benefit thereof was not dee­med likely to countervaile the charge, in getting, and keeping it. ‘The conditions were, That the Caledonians should first dis-arme themselves, and deliver part of the Country, (lying next the Province,) into the Romans possession, and that from that time forward, they should attempt nothing against the publike peace:’ Which Articles agreed vpon, and assurance taken for the performance, Severus retired himselfe into the Pro­vince, leaving his sonne Bassianus to take charge of the Army, which after the Emperors departure, grew care­lesse and dissolute: wherewith the Generall seemed no­thing displeased, either for that he was by his owne na­ture inclined to the worst; or else, for that he hoped thereby to win the Souldiers favour, as a meane for his advancement to the Empire, after his fathers death, which he had oftentimes attempted by indirect practi­ses, most vnnaturally to procure.


The Caledonians invade the Roman Camp, and carrying away the booties which they had taken, are pursued, and put to the sword by the Romans. Severus the Emperor repaireth Adrians wall, cutteth a Trench, and carrieth it thwart the Iland from Sea to Sea. He falleth sicke at Yorke. His counsell to his sonnes. His death.

IN the meane while, the Caledonians, (notwithstan­ding the late contract) vnderstanding what disorders were in the Roman Camp, sodainely invaded it, kil­ling, and taking booties, which they shared with their neighbours (borderers of the Province) that had assi­sted them in the enterprize. Severus being greatly in­censed therewith, sent part of the Armie to pursue the Caledonians, expresly commaunding, that they should be all put to the sword, without respect of age, or sex. This sharpe manner of proceeding, did somewhat quaile the hope of the Northern Britans, who fled into the remote parts of Caledonia: and Severus having rather stayed, then ended the troubles, (as intending to prose­cute the war with more advantage) spent some time in repairing and enlarging Adrians Wall, which hee carryed th'wart the Iland, from Sea, to Sea, intrenching and fortifying it with bulwarks and square towers, in places most convenient (to give warning one to ano­ther vpon any sodain assault) for defence of the borders. Then being wearied with age, sicknesse, and travaile, having his mind also much grieved with the disloyall and vnnaturall practises of his sonne Bassianus, he with­drew himselfe toYorke. Eboracum, a Colonie of the Romans, [Page 123] being then the Station of the Sixt Legion, called Victrix, and afterwards growing to be one of the chiefe places of account among the Brigantes. For these Stations of the Roman Legions, were commonly the seed-plots of townes and cities, both in this Ile, and divers other parts of the Empire.

It was reported, that in his passage thither, a Moore, with a Cypresse garland on his head, did meet and salute him by the name of a God: and that, at his entrance in­to the Citie, he was by error of the Soothsayer, (that guided him) brought into the temple of Bellona: and that black beasts, being appointed for sacrifice, did of themselves follow him to his Pallace. These things, howsoever they fell out accidentally: yet they were in­terpreted as ominous, in respect of the event. And now Severus perceiving his death to approach, called before him some of his Counsellers and chiefe Captaines, vn­to whom he is said to have spoken in this manner:

‘It is now about eighteene yeares, since I was first de­clared Emperour by the Army in Pannonia; during which time, with what care, paine, and travaile, I have weilded this vast body of the Empire, my continuall employment in wars, both at home and abroad, may witnesse sufficiently. For, at my first entrance, I found the State incumbred every where, and now I shall leave it peaceable, even to the Britans. The future prosperitie whereof, must depend vpon the mutuall agreement of my two sonnes. For neither multitude of men, nor a­bundance of treasure, are so availeable to defend and maintaine Common-weales, as Amity and Vnity be­tween Governors. For, by Concord, (we see,) that smal things grow to greatnes, whereas by Discord the grea­test fall to ruine. I must now leave to them (as my suc­cessors,) the Imperiall Diadem, that which Bassianus hath [Page 124] so long thirsted after, though he know not yet, whether it be a thing to be wished, or feared, as having not pro­ved the difference betwixt a Prince, and a private per­son. But ambitious mindes are carried blind-fold, they wot not whither, in desiring that, which having once obtained, they can neither keepe, without great care, nor leave, without extreame perill; such a thing is So­verainty, whose greatnesse is not contained in it selfe, but consisteth, for the most part, in the opinion, and de­pendeth vpon the dispositions of other men. It is Ver­tue onely, not glorious titles, which makes men truely great. My selfe at this present may serve for an exam­ple, to shew, vpon what a weake foundation, humane greatnesse is built. For, I have beene all things, though now it availe me nothing: seeing I must pay my debt to Na­ture, and after all my exploits in the East & West parts of the world, (I) must die (as I may say) out of the world, in a strange Country, if any Country may be termed strange to the Romans, who have now by con­quest, made all Countries their owne. I exhort you therefore, as you tender the welfare of the Roman Em­pire, of your owne selves, and your posteritie, be true and faithfull to my sonnes, as you have beene to me, assisting them with your counsel, and perswading them to mutuall concord, as the maine pillar to support, both their estates, and your owne.’

When he had vttered these, or the like speeches, hee turned aside, and shortly after yeelded vp the Ghost.


Bassianus practiseth with the armie to make him sole Empe­rour, by excluding Geta his yonger brother. The crueltie of Bassianus. The Funerals of Severus the Emperour. The state of Britannie from Bassianus to Gallienus, not mentioned in Histories. Some of the Thirtie Ty­rants vsurpe the government in Britannie in the time of Gallienus. Bonosus a Britan doth the like in the raigne of Aurelianus. Victorinus a favorite of Probus the Emperour, murdereth the Governor of the Province. Vandals, and Burgundiaus, seate themselves in Bri­tannie. The Britans licenced to plant Vines. Carus succeeding Probus in the Empire, assigneth Britannie to Carinus one of his sonnes, who possesseth it, till Dio­clesian is declared Emperour. C. Carausius Admirall of the British fleet, is sent to sea to gard the Coasts of Gal­lia, and Britannie, against Pirates.

BAssianus being advertised of his fathers death, prac­tised with the Souldiers, by bribes, and faire promi­ses, that he might be declared sole Emperor: wher­to when he could not perswade them, for the reverence they bare to his father Severus, he made a league with the Northern Britans that then assailed the borders, and returned to Eboracum, to meet with Iulia the Empresse his mother in law, and Geta his brother. There he cau­sed the Physitians to be put to death, for not ridding his father sooner out of the way, as he had commanded them. Then he appointed secretly to the slaughter, all those, that for their vertue and wisdom had beene estee­med, and advanced by his father, and all such, as having beene Tutors to him and his brother, advised them to [Page 126] mutuall concord. This done, he entred into consulta­tion about his fathers funerals, which were solemnised by the armie with all due rites, according to the anci­ent custome in times of warre. The ashes of the dead bodie being put into a Golden Vrna, were afterwards by Iulia the Empresse (accompanied with the two Cae­sars) carried to Rome, where Severus, after the vsuall ce­remonies, was consecrated a god.

Now the affaires of Britannie, for the space of about fiftie yeares togither, were passed over in silence, as being either omitted, through the negligence of Writers in that age, or perishing, through the cala­mitie of the times that ensued vnder the Emperors fol­lowing, namely, Popilius Macrinus, (the successor of Bas­sianus) Varus Heliogabalus, Alexander Severus, Maxi­minus, Gordianus the first, second, and third, Philippus Arabs, Decius, Valerianus. But when Gallienus (who succeeded Vacerian) had obtained the Empire, the Ro­man state was much encumbred, and oppressed with her owne forces, while certaine Captaines (commonly called, The Thirtie Tyrants) disdained the government of so cruell, and dissolute a Prince as Gallienus, and being chosen Emperors by the armies which they comman­ded, vsurped absolute authoritie in diverse Provinces. Among these, Collianus, Victorinus, Posthumus, Tetricus, and Marius, (as Histories report) ruled in Britannie. The Roman Empire, Flavius Claudius, Valerius Aurelianus, Ta­citus, & Valerius Probus, held successively after Gallienus.

In the time of the forenamed Aurclianus the Empe­rour, it is not to be forgotten, that Bonosus a Britan by birth, and famous for excesse in drinking, invaded the Empire with Proculus, vsurping Britannie, Spaine, and That part of France which at this day conteineth the Provin­ces of Nar­bonne, Pro­vence, and Dauphine. Gallia Braccata. But being afterwards vanquished by Probus the Emperor, he hanged himselfe; whereof there [Page 127] went a common jest among the Souldiers, that [a drinking vessell, not a man was hanged vp]

Then the Gouernor of the Province in Britannie be­ing preferred to the office, by meanes of Victorinus a Moore (a man in great favour with Probus the Emperor) began to raise sedition among the Souldiers there; with which practise Probus secretly acquainted Victorinus, who supposing himselfe touched with the imputation of his crime, whom he had recommended and advan­ced to the government there, desired leave of the Em­peror to go into Britannie, where (giving it out, that he fled thither for safegard of his life) he was curteously entertained by the Governor, whom he afterwards murdred privily in the night, & then speedily returned to Rome: having, by this devise, appeased the tumults in the Province, & approved his fidelitie to the Emperor.

About this time (as it is reported) certaine Vandals and Burgundians (which had invaded Gallia) being van­quished by Probus, were sent into Britannie, where they seated themselves, and did afterwards good service to the Romans, in suppressing rebellious attempts there: though the Emperour then sought to win the Britans favour, rather by clemencie, then rigor: licencing them to plant Vines, and make wine, and to do other things, as well for their pleasure as profit.

Then Carus succeeding Probus in the Empire, assigned Britannie, Gallia, Spaine, and Illyricum, to Ca­rinus, one of his sonnes, who possessed the same, till Dioclesian was declared Emperor: in whose time the Province was peaceably governed, the borders being strongly garded with forts, and bulwarks against forrein invasion; but the sea coasts, both of Gallia and Britannie, were much annoyed with Pirats of lower Germanie, a­gainst whom, C. Carausius, as Admiral of the British fleet, was sent to sea.


Carausius vsurpeth the Empire in Britannie, in the ioynt raignes of Dioclesian and Maximianus, who assume to them Maximinus, and Constantius Chlorus for assistants by the name of Caesars. Carausius is slaine by Alectus, and Alectus by Asclepiodatus. London taken, and sacked by the Franks (the ancestors of the French) whom the Romans encountring, deprived of their booties.

CArausius was a man, by birth of low degree, thogh otherwise worthie of the highest, if his owne am­bition, & the guiltines of his actions, had not pric­ked him forward, to seeke it by vnlawfull courses, and to boulster out wrong by that authoritie, which is the ordinarie meane appointed to punish it; for in short time he grew verie rich, by taking great store of ship­ping and treasure, which he detained to his owne vse, without restoring the same to the right owners, or ren­dring account therof to the Emperors officers. Wher­upon Maximianus Herculeus (whom Dioclesian had ta­ken to be his Associate in the Empire) being then ma­king warre in Gallia, surprised the principall men of Carausius his faction atBolein in Picardie. Gessoriacum, and gave comman­dement, that Carausius himselfe should be made away. But Carausius being privily advertised thereof, and knowing, that then there remained for him no meane fortune betwixt the life of a Prince, and the death of a Traitor, entred forthwith into actuall rebellion, making his partie strong both by sea and land, in drawing dis­contented persons into the action, and alluring the [Page 129] Northern Britans to joyne with him, vpon hope of spoiles to be gotten in the province, which he then ru­led with a kind of absolute authoritie, and soone after v­surped there the Imperiall ornaments.

The Roman state being shaken in diverse places, ei­ther by the negligent government, or ambitious at­tempts of Captaines, and Commanders of armies, (which gave occasion to whole Nations and Provinces to revolt:) The two Emperours declared Galerius Maxi­minus and Constantius Chlorus, as their assistants by the name of Caesars. Then was Maximinus sent into Persia, and Constantius into Britannie against Carausius, But be­fore Constantius arrived there, Carausius was slain by the practise of C. Alectus his familiar friend, who then vsur­ped the Empire, as Carausius had done before. And vn­derstanding that Constantius was comming over with a great power, he resolved to meete him vpon the Sea, and impeach his landing; for which purpose he lay with his Navie vpon the Coast of the IleIle of Wight▪ Vectis; but his hopes failing him, by reason the Romans in a thicke mist did recover the land, before he could discover them, he prepared his forces to encounter them in a set battaile neere the shore. Constantius (having determined to trie the vtmost of his fortune) to take away from his Soul­diers all hope of returne, did first set his ships on fire, and afterwards gave the charge vpon Alectus, whose Armie was (for the most part) composed of Merce­narie men, consisting of Britans, Franks, Germans, and diverse other Nations, who fought not all with like courage: for after the first encounter, some of them turned their backes, forsaking their Commander, whoescaped the furie of the battaile by flight, though he was shortly after taken, and slayne by Asclepio­datus theCaptaine of the Emperors gard. Praefectus Praetori [...]. TheThe ancient Inhabitants of Franconiae in Germanie, that after­wards seated themselves in France. Francs that ser­ved [Page 130] vnder Alectus, fled to the Citie of London, which (being weakly garded) they rifeled and sac­ked, though they did not long time enjoy the spoile; for part of the Roman Armie comming thither (ra­ther by errour in mistaking their way, then of set purpose) assayled them, tooke away their booties, and put the most part of them to the sword. This victorie restored againe to the Roman Empire, the Province of Britannie, which had beene vsurped a­bout seaven yeares by Carausius, and three yeares by Alectus.


The persecution of Christians in Britannie vnder Diocle­sian the Emperour. The death of Saint Alban the first British Martyr.

NOw began the storme of persecution for Chri­stian Religion to arise vnder Dioclesian, who com­manded, that throughout the Dominions of the Empire, the people should offer sacrifice onely to the gods of the Emperours, and that such as refused so to do, should be punished with diverse kinds of cruell death. Hereupon the Christians, (being then disper­sed in diverse parts of the world,) not fearing any tor­ments that tyrannie could devise, made publike pro­fession of their faith, which they constantly maintei­ned, and willingly sealed with their blood. Amongst many others that died in Britannie for that cause, Al­ban, an Inhabitant of the famous free CittieAn ancient City somtime neere Saint Albans. Veru­lamium, is specially remembred as the first British Mar­tyr, who being yet but a Pagan, received into his house [Page 131] a Christian, one of the Clergie named Amphibalus, that fled from his persecutors: and observing his devo­tion in watching, fasting, and praying, became in the end a follower of his faith and vertue. And to the end that his guest might escape the hands of them that pursued him, he put on his garments, offering himselfe to the Souldiers that were sent to search his house, and in that habite was presented to the Iudge, before whom he made confession of his faith, reprooving the prophane rites of heathenish superstition. Where­upon he was committed to the Tormentors to be whipped, and persisting in his constancie, was after­wards beheaded on the top of an high hill neere the Citie.

It is reported, that the Tormentor (who was first ap­pointed to behead him) perceiving a miracle wrought by him, as he went to the place of execution, refused to do his office, casting the sword out of his hand, and prostrating himselfe at Saint Albans feete, desired ear­nestly that he might either die for him, or with him, ra­ther then live to be the minister of his death; wherupon as a professor of that faith, whereof he had beene long time a persecutor, he dranke of the same cup with Saint Alban, and in steed of the sacramentall signe of Baptism, was washed in the bath of his own blood. It is also writ­ten of Saint Alban his executioner, that his eyes fell out of his head at the verie instant, that the Martyrs head (being severed from the bodie) fell to the ground; But whether it were the pleasure of God in the first plan­ting of his truth here, to approve the same by miracles; or whether the incredulitie of that Age, might give Writers occasion to report more then the truth, I will not take vpon me to censure. There suffered also inLeyceste [...]. Le­gecestria about the same time, and for the same cause, [Page 132] Aaron and Iulius: and in sundrie other places of this Ile many other, as well women as men, who gave testi­monie of their patience, in praying for their persecu­tors, and also of their pietie by doing things miracu­lous, which moved the Pagan Princes at the last to cease their tyrannie, as being rather wearied with afflicting the Christians, then the Christians themselves with en­during the affliction; Such power hath man being assi­sted with divine grace, to do, and suffer, even above, and against Nature it selfe. The maner of Saint Al­bans death being engraven vpon a Marble stone, was set vp within the Citie for a terror to the Christians, who afterwards erected a Temple in that place, which was accounted venerable for many ages after the de­struction of Verulamium: out of whose ruines, an o­ther Towne was raised, continuing the name and me­morie of Saint Alban the Martyr even to this day. Not many yeares after, Amphibalus also (who converted S. Alban) being apprehended by the Roman Souldiers, for preaching the Christian faith vnto the Britans, was put to death, neere the place where Saint Alban his dis­ciple had suffered Martyrdome before him.


A briefe Relation of the state of the British Church, from the raigne of Dioclesian, vnto the comming of Au­sten the Monke, who converted the Saxons and Eng­lish to the christian Faith.

THe storm of persecution afterward ceasing, when Dioclesian yeelded vp the government, gave free passage to the profession of christian religion, both [Page 133] in Britannie, and other parts of the Western Empire, till such time as Arrius, a Priest of Alexandria, (whose heart inwardly boyling with discontentment, for not ob­taining the Bishopricke of that place, which he ambi­tiously affected,) burst out at the last into open blas­phemy and impietie, against the divinitie and omnipo­tencie of the Sonne of God; which heresie (like a con­tagious disease, infecting most parts of the world) inva­ded also this our Iland, the inhabitants whereof in those daies, (as men delighting in novelties) were carried hi­ther and thither with every blast of vaine doctrine, re­taining nothing in matters of religion for certaine, but their owne vncertaine opinions: But the Arrian here­sie being afterwards condemned by the general Coun­sell of Nice, in the raigne of Constantine the Great, the number of the professors and favourers thereof, as well in Britannie as other places, daily diminished, and the truth of Christianitie was generally imbraced by the Britans, whose Bishops conformed themselves to the doctrine and ceremonies of the Church of Rome, with­out difference in any thing specially remembred, save onely in celebration of the feast of Easter, after the antient manner of the Iews: imitating therein, the cu­stome of the Greeke Churches in Asia, who solemni­zed that feast vpon the fourteenth day of the Moone of March, on what day of the weeke soever it fell: whereas the West Churches did celebrate it vpon the first Sunday after the full Moone of the same moneth, in regard that Sunday was properly accounted and cal­led, The Lords day, as being dedicated in the Apostles time, to the eternall memory of Christs resurrection. And this custome of celebrating the feast of Easter, af­ter the manner of the Iewes, and of the East Churches, continued in vse among the Britans, even till the com­ming [Page 134] of Austen the Monke, albeit it had been condem­ned by divers publike Decrees and generall Coun­sells. Neither is it to be forgotten, that in this third Age after Christ, there were among the Britans, divers men of speciall note for pietie and learning, as namely, in the time of Constantine the Great, and Pope Sylvester Resti­tutus, a Bishop of London was present, and subscribed to the Synod, held at Arles in France, about the yeare of our redemption 325. Likewise, by the testimonie of A­thanasius, certain British Bishops appeared at the Coun­sell of Sardica, which was summoned in the behalfe of that holy Father, against the Arrian heretikes, about the yeare 350. and also at the Counsell of Ariminum, where Saint Hillarie greatly commendeth the Bishops of Bri­tannie, for their zeale and constancie in maintaining the truth against Arrianisme, which was then dispersed in most parts of Christendome. And it is not to be doub­ted, but that there were many others also worthy of re­membrance, if Time had not worne out the knowledge of their names and doings.

But that which most disturbed the peace of the Church in Britannie, was the heresie of Pelagius the Bri­tish Monke, who in the age next ensuing, maintained the power and free will of man, against the vertue of divine grace, with other divelish positions, which being plausible to flesh and blood, were easily admitted, but proved in the end, verie pernicious. These occurrents in the estate Ecclesiasticall, (howsoever severed by di­stance of time) I have thought good to set downe to­gether, rather then to mix them with the relations of matters civill: and yet not omitting (as occasion shall require) to touch them againe in their proper places.


Constantius Chlorus stayeth the persecution in Britan­nie. He dieth at Yorke. Helena his wife, (the mother of Constantine the Great) travaileth to Ierusalem to seeke out the Crosse whereon our Saviour suffered. Her pietie and zeale towards the advancement of Christian Religion. The vertues of Constantius Caesar her husband.

DIoclesian and Maximianus, having resigned their authority, Constantius Chlorus stayed the per­secution in Britannie, & afterwards went thither himselfe, renforcing the garrisons, both within the Province, and vpon the borders, and establishing a ge­nerall peace throughout the Iland; which done, he re­paired to Eboracum, and there fell sicke of a languishing disease. In the meane time, Constantinus his sonne, (be­ing left at Rome as his fathers pledge) escaped from his keepers, and houghing the post horses, (as he passed the Countries) that he might not be overtaken by pursuit, came at length into Britannie, where he was received with great joy by Constantius his father, who being then past hope of life, signified in the presence of his Counsellers and Captaines; ‘That he willingly and gladly imbraced his death, since he should leave a me­morable monument of himselfe in the life of his sonne, who (he hoped) should succeede him in the governe­ment, to protect the innocent from oppression, and to wipe away the teares from the Christians eyes: for therein, above all other things, he accounted himselfe most happy.’

[Page 136] Thus died Constantius Caesar, a wise and vertuous Prince, as being not subject to those vices which com­monly accompany the highest fortunes. He was first called from the degree of a Senator, to be a Caesar, not affecting the title for ambition, nor refusing it in re­spect of the danger. Helena his wife, the mother of Con­stantine the Great, was (as some have written) the daughter of Coil a British King, though by others it be otherwise reported. But of what Country or kindred soever she was, it appeareth by consent of all Writers, that she was a wise and vertuous Lady, worthy to be the Wife of such a Husband, and the Mother of such a Sonne. She was an earnest professor of Christianitie, and vpon religious zeale, travailed to Ierusalem, where she found out the Manger wherein Christ was laid at the time of his birth, and the Crosse whereon he was nailed when he suffered. By this Crosse many diseases were cured, and strange miracles wrought, (if credit may be given to such as have written thereof.) Her constant desire to advance the Christian faith, first mo­ved Constantius her husband to favour the Christians, who having in times of danger hidden themselves (for the most part) in desarts and dennes, did then come a­broad againe into the view of the world, reedified their old Churches, founded new, instituted holy daies to be celebrated in honour of their Martyrs, and exercised religion freely and peaceably, as being licensed so to doe by publike Edicts. In all vertues beseeming a Prince, there were few of his degree, either before his time, or since, that might worthily be compared with Constantius, who in the administration of Iustice in ci­vill causes, carryed so even a hand, as he never vsed to make difference of persons, or to be mis-led by affecti­on. He was no wastefull spender of his subjects trea­sure: [Page 137] no greedie horder vp of his owne, for he esteemed money onely, as a thing to be vsed, not kept: and hee would oft times say, [That it was more behoovefull for the Common-weale, that the wealth of the land should be dispearsed in subjects hands, then barred vp in Princes coffers.] For glorious apparrell and other outward ornaments, (wherewith Princes vse to dazell the eyes of the common people,) he was more meanly furnished, then beseemed the greatnesse of his estate. His diet was neither curious, nor costly: and when he feasted his friends, he borrowed his silver vessell, sup­posing it a thing vnnecessarie, to have any of his owne; and considering perhaps, that the mettall whereof they were made, might be converted to a better vse. In times of war, he was diligent and industrious: yet not vsing force, where pollicie might prevaile; for he so much esteemed the life of a man, as he would never ha­zard it in desperate attempts for his owne glory: which wan him great reputation among his Souldiers, who for the love they bare him, did presently after his death, elect Constantine his sonne to succeede him; (other Na­tions supposing this our Iland most happie, in first see­ing him saluted Emperor.)


Constantine the Great is declared Emperour at Yorke. He subdueth Maxentius and Licinius, the one vsur­ping the West Empire, and the other the East. He establi­sheth a new forme of governement in Britannie, appoin­ting Pacatianus to rule the Province there, as Deputie to the Praefectus Praetorio of Gallia. He translateth the seate of the Empire from Rome to Bizantium. His three sonnes, Constantinus, Constans, and Constan­tius, raigne successively after his death. Gratianus Fu­narius hath the charge of the Armie in Britannie, when Constans the Emperor is staine by Magnentius. Mar­tinus Deputie in Britannie vnder Constantius. Pau­lus Catena a Commissioner, to enquire of Magnenti­us confederates.

THen Constantine residing at Yorke, although he see­med at the first vnwilling to accept the Imperiall Title, and protested openly against it: yet when the Senate had confirmed the election, he tooke vpon him the government of those Provinces, which his fa­ther had held in the West parts, and with an Armie of Britans and other Nations, he first setled France and Germany, being then in Armes against him, and after­wards subdued Maxentius, Maximians sonne that vsur­ped the Empire in Italy. Then, with like successe, he made war vpon Licinius his Associate, who persecuted the professors of Christianitie in the East parts of the world. By which meanes, Constantine alone enjoyed the Empire, and for his many and glorious conquests, was worthily surnamed the Great. In his time the forme of government in Britannie, both for Civill and [Page 139] Martiall causes, was altered, and new lawes established. The civill governement of the Province there, he com­mitted to Pacatianus, who ordered the same as Deputy to the Praefectus Praetorio of Gallia, (an Officer institu­ted by him) with a limitation of place and restriction of that power, which the antient Praefectus Praetorio had vnder the first Emperors.

Then Constantine intending to make war in Persia, ei­ther to defend, or enlarge the limits of the East Empire, removed the Imperiall seate from Rome, to the Citie Bizantium, (which he reedified, and caused the same to be called of his owne name Constantinopolis:) drawing thither the Legions in Germany, that garded the fron­tires of the Westerne Empire, which was thereby laid open to the incursions of those barbarous people, that afterwards assailed it, and in the end, possessed the grea­test part thereof. The borders also of the Province in Britannie were weakened, by removing the Garrisons there into other Cities and Townes, which being pe­stered with Souldiers, (for the most part vnruly guests) were abandoned by the antient inhabitants.

After the death of Constantine the Great, Constantinus his eldest sonne, enjoyed Britannie as a portion of his dominion, till making some attempts vpon his brother Constans, for the enlarging of it, he was by him slaine. Then was the Empire divided betweene Constans and Constantius, the two younger brethren. Constans seised vpon the Provinces which Constantinus his brother had held, and made a voyage into Britannie, where Gra­tianus an Hungarian by birth, had then charge of the Armie. This Gratianus was surnamed Funarius, for that, being a young man, he was able (as it is written of him) to holde a rope in his hand against the force of five Souldiers, assaying to pull it from him. But Constans af­terwads [Page 140] following ill counsell, (the ready way to Princes ruines) and giving himselfe over to all kinds of vice, was slaine by Magnentius Taporus, (the sonne of a Britan) who then invaded the Empire, vsurping the go­vernement of Gallia and Britannie, till (after three years warre with Constantius, the successour of Constans his brother) finding himselfe vnable any longer to vphold his greatnesse, he murdered himselfe.

Then was Martinus (an aged man) made Deputy of Britannie, when Paulus a Spaniard, surnamed Catêna, (a name well sorting with nature) was sent thither as a commissioner, to inquire of such as had conspired with Magnentius; But vnder colour of his authoritie, he cal­led in question such as were not faulty, either vpon false information, or private displeasure, & sometimes, to make a gaine of those that were accused: which course Martinus the Deputy disliking, intreated him, That such as had been no actors in rebellion, might be no partners in punishment with offenders. Whereu­pon Paulus, charging the Deputy himselfe as a favou­rer of Traytors, and privie to the conspiracie, did so far forth incense Martinus, that (being either impatient of reproches, or perhaps not altogether giltlesse) he strook at Paulus with his sword, intending to have killed him, but failing in the execution, hee presently thrust the sword into his owne bodie. Gratianus Funarius, though he were not specially bound by oth to the Emperor, as some others had beene: yet, for that he had received Magnentius into his house, was adjudged to forfeit all his goods: the rest of the accused persons being fet­tered, and presented to the Emperour, were condem­ned, some to death, and some to exile.


The government of Gallia, and Britannie is assigned to Iu­lianus. Lupicinus, and Alipius, are at severall times sent into Britannie: Iovinian succeedeth Iulianus in the Empire, which Valentinian the first, ioyntly with Valens his brother, doth governe after the death of Io­vinian. The Picts, and Scottish-men invade the Pro­vince. The originall and maners of both Nations. Mu­tinies in the Roman armie, appeased by Theodosius.

NOw was the government of Gallia and Britannie, assigned to Iulianus (afterwards called the Apo­stata) whom Constantius had made a Caesar. Then Lupicinus Maister of the Armour to the Emperour, (a good souldier, but notorious for his pride, covetous­nesse, and crueltie) and after him Alipius, were sent into Britannie, to represse the barbarous people that had in­vaded the Province there, while Iulianus himself remai­ned in Gallia, not daring to passe into the Ile, both for that he feared the Gauls, who were readie (vpon the least occasion) to revolt, and also doubted the Almains, who were then vp in Armes: But with what successe Lupicinus, and Alipius prosecuted the warre in Britannie, I find no certaine report.

After the death of Constantius, Iulianus possessing the Empire (which he had vsurped in the life time of Constantius) banished Palladius an honourable person into Britannie, and sent Alipius to repaire the walles of Ierusalem, in which attempt, God discovering his wrath, by terrifying the builders with thunder and lightning, and killing many thousand Iewes, gave an apparant testi­monie, [Page 142] how vaine a thing it is for the power of man to oppose it selfe against his Imperiall decree.

Iovinian succeeded Iulianus in the Empire, which he held but few moneths. About this time the Picts, Sax­ons, Scottishmen, and Attacots invaded the Roman Pro­vince in Britannie (Valentinianus the first of that name then governing the Empire, togither with Valens his brother.) These Picts and Scottish-men (as some wri­ters report) came first out of Scythia, though it be not improbable that the Picts were any other, then such Britans, as being either borne in the Northern Pro­montorie of the Ile, or flying thither out of the South parts, entred into confederacie with the Scottish men, and retained for a time their ancient name of Picts, as being so called by the Romans (in respect of the old cu­stome of painting their bodies) to distinguish them from the Britans then dwelling within the Province. Neither is there any mention made in Histories of their name, before the time of Dioclesian, and Maxi­mian. These Picts, increasing in number, did afterwards inhabite the Iles of the Orcades, and being, for the most part, rude, and savage (as the Scottishmen also then were) did oft-times harrow the borders, and grievously an­noy their civill Country-men (there being commonly no greater hatred, then that which is bred and nouri­shed among the people of one Nation,) when they are severed each from other by difference of maners and customes. The name of Picts in processe of time (be­ing changed into that of the Scottishmen, as of the more populous nation) was in a maner clean forgotten, when by societie and aliance they became both one people.

That the Scottish-men had their originall from the Scythes, their verie name may seeme, in some sort, to dis­cover; howbeit, diverse stories affirme, that they travai­led first into Cantabria in Spaine, where (perhaps disli­king [Page 143] that barren soyle) they continued not long, but sailed into Ireland, and from thence a great number of them came over into Britannie, landing in the North part of the Ile, where afterward they seated themselves. They were people of great courage, and boldnesse: of stature, tall: strong of bodie: their complexions some­what ruddie and high coloured: their apparell was ei­ther verie slender, or none at all, save only to cover their shame. They were, for the most part, addicted to warre, vsing peace onely but as a means to repaire their losses. Neither was their peace altogither idle: for even then they accustomed their bodies to labours, no lesse pain­full then warre it selfe, and oft-times no lesse dangerous. To ride with swift pace vp a steepe hill, to swim over lakes, and standing meeres; to passe over bogs, and fen­nie grounds, were things in ordinarie vse with them, as being accounted exercises of recreation onely. But above all others, the nobilitie & better sort were deligh­ted with hunting & that in such measure, as they could more patiently endure the want of meate, drinke, and sleepe, then restraint from that pastime, which they esteemed manly and generous. In their consultations they were verie secret; and sodaine in the execution of whatsoever they had projected, by which meanes they often-times, strooke terror and amazment into the harts of their enemies, & much annoyed the Roman Province in Britanny. They were better contented with the neces­sities of nature, & more able to endure all extremities of fortune then the Britans in those times, as being lesse ac­quainted with the vaine superfluities & delicacie of the Romans: In behaviour the Britans were noted to be more civill, but the Scottishmen (as a people vnconquered, & admitting no customs but their own) refused to imitate them, who were brought vnder the subjection of stran­gers, [Page 144] or to be reputed like to any other then to them­selves. Wrongs and indignities offred as well to others as themselves, they sharpely revenged: the slaughter, wounding, or disgrace of any of their kinred, alies, or companions, being commonly the occasion of rooting out the whole familie of him that first gave the offence. Violent pursuits: seasing by strong hand the goods and possessions of their neighbors: burning of houses, and killing (vpon cold blood) such as they had taken in warre (which others termed crueltie) they accounted manhood, and policie: supposing the assurance of their estate to consist, rather in diminishing the number of their enemies, by open acts of hostilitie, then by preten­ded reconciliations, and leagues of amitie, which are ei­ther kept or broken at the will of him that hath the greater power. Their name is first mentioned in Hi­stories about the reigne of Constantine the great: though the Scottish writers affirme, that they were governed by Kings of their owne Nation, many hundred yeares be­fore his time. But of things so ancient to have the cer­taine knowledge, it is no easie matter: neither is Anti­quitie in it selfe verie much to be regarded, where true Nobilitie and vertue is wanting. For all Nations at the first were of barbarous, & vncivill behaviour, till Time taught them other customes, and emulation kindled the hearts of the better sort to seeke fame by their owne va­lour, rather then the Genealogies of their Ancesters. These Scottish-men and Picts, being now assisted with forrein power, presumed more boldly to assaile the Bri­tans, both by sea and land, killing Nectaridius the Admi­rall of the British fleete, and surprising Bulchobaudes one of their chiefe Captaines, (the mutinie at that time in the Roman Campe giving them oportunitie, and bold­nesse to do, in a maner, what they listed.) For the Le­gionarie [Page 145] Souldiers refused to obey their Leaders, and even the Deputies themselves, complaining of the par­tialitie of their Generals, who punished the least of­fence of the common Souldier, and winked at the great abuses of Commanders and Officers. Hereupon a war­like troope of Almans was sent over vnder the con­duct of Fraomarius their King, who exercised there the authoritie of a Tribune, Severus, the Emperors steward of houshold, and Iovinius were appointed to second him, with certaine Auxiliarie forces out of Gallia. By this meanes the furie of those warlike Nations was somwhat restrained, til the comming of Theodosius, who first appeased the mutinie among the Souldiers in Bri­tannie, and afterward prosecuted the service there with such good successe, as he restored the decayed Townes, strengthned the borders, appointing night-watches to be kept there, and in the end, recovered the Province, which was then contented to admit of Go­vernors, (as in former times) and as a new conquered state, had a new name given it; For in honour of the Emperour Valentinian, the Province was (for a time) called Valentia. Not long after, one Valentinian a Pan­nonian entred into a new conspiracie there, which be­ing discovered before it was ripe, the perill like to have ensued thereby, was easily avoyded.


Gratianus the successor of Valentinian the first, electeth Valentinian the second, and Theodosius the yonger, to be his associates in the Empire. Clemens Maximus commanding the armie in Britannie, vsurpeth the sove­raigntie. Gratianus the Emperour murdered. Saint Ambrose is sent from Valentinian to Maximus, to treate of peace. Theodosius the yonger pursueth Maxi­mus, who is taken, and put to death. The Britans that follow Maximus, seate themselves in Amorica (in France,) which thereupon tooke the name of Britannie.

THen Gratianus (succeeding Valentinian) elected Va­lentinian the second, his brother, and Theodosius (the sonne of Theodosius afore-named) to be his associates in government: But Clemens Maximus then ruling the Armie in Britannie, (vpon emulation and envie of Theodosius glorie) vsurped the Empire there: and having transported the strength of the Province into Belgia, (the German Armie being also revolted to him) he placed his Imperiall seate among theThe ancient people of France inha­biting betwixt Belgia and the river Mosella. Treviri, from whence Gratianus intended, by force, to have ex­pulsed him; but that as he marched through Italie with his army (the most part of his souldiers forsaking him) he fled toLions in France. Lugdunum in Gallia, where he was entrap­ped by a treacherous devise; for, a rumor being spred (by direction of Maximus) that the Empresse his wife was comming to visite him, he lightly gave credite thereto; and thereupon attended with a few persons, went foorth in private maner to meete her; but in the Chariot (where he supposed to have seene his wife) he found Andragathius, one of Maximus Captaines, secret­ly [Page 147] hidden, who forthwith leaped out, and murdered the innocent Emperour, while his attendants, being vn­armed, and amazed with the sodainnesse of the fact, made little or no preparation for defence. Maximus ha­ving his mind lifted vp with his fortune, created his sonne Victor a Caesar, and vsed great crueltie against those that had served vnder Gratianus. Whereupon Valentinian doubting his owne estate, sent Saint Am­brose the Bishop of Millain vnto him, as an Ambassa­dor to desire peace, which in the end was granted vpon conditions. But Maximus ambitiously affecting the sole government, did soone after breake the peace, invading Italie, and attempting to have taken Valentinian himself, who to prevent that danger, fled with his mother vnto Theodosius his associate (then ruling the East Empire) im­ploring his ayde against Maximus that vsurped Italie, and other parts of his government. Hereupon Theodosius prepared an armie to encounter Maximus, who in Pan­ [...]onia being overthrown, fled to Aquileia, where by the treason of his own souldiers (while he was paying them their wages) he was delivered to Theodosius, dis-robed of his Imperiall ornaments, and speedily put to an igno­minious death. This end had Maximus, after he had v­surped the Empire five yeares.

The like calamities also befell his friends and fol­lowers. For Victor his sonne was afterwards slaine in Gallia by Arbogustes. Andragathius the murderer of Gratian drowned himselfe, and diverse of Maxi­mus his Captaines being taken, were put to the sword.

Howbeit the Britans, by whose power Maximus had raised himselfe to that greatnesse (as men desiring rather to trie new fortunes abroad, then to returne home) resolved to stay in Armorica in France, where [Page 148] some of their Country-men had remained (as diverse writers affirme) since the conquest of Gallia by Constan­tine the Great. By this meanes, in processe of time (part­ly by force, and partly by policie,) they grew so strong, as they left the possession of a great part of that Coun­try to their posteritie, which being rooted therein by many discents, did afterwards enjoy it entirely as their owne (the name of Britannie continuing there among them even to this day.) This victorie of Theodosius was so much esteemed, as the Senate appointed by Decree, that yearly feasts should be celebrated in remembrance thereof.


Stilico is sent into Britannie by Honorius (the successor of Theodosius (his father) in the Westerne Empire) to de­fend the Province against the Picts and Scottish-men. Emperors elected and deposed by the army in Britannie. Chrysanthus the Deputie of the Province is made Bishop of Constantinople. The Romans send over one Legion out of France into Britannie. They grow wearie of the government there. The Britans implore their ayde.

NOw the Roman Monarchy was drawing on to her fatall period, when Honorius (succeeding Theodosius his father in the Westerne Empire,) sent Stilico into Britannie, to defend the Britans against the Picts and Scottishmen, who assailed them in most parts of the Ile, working vpon the weaknesse of the Province, in which (the most choise and able men having beene from time to time transported and wa­sted in the Roman warres with other Nations) there remained not then sufficient to defend it selfe. [Page 149] The common Souldiers there, seeing the state in com­bustion, tooke vpon them to elect and depose Empe­rours, first proclaiming Gratian a free Citizen of Rome; but not long contented with his governement, they murdered him, & elected one Constantine (for the name sake onely) supposing the same to be auspitious. Con­stantine transporting the floure and strength of all Bri­tannie into Gallia, made many dishonourable leagues (to the prejudice of the Empire) with the barbarous Nations that then invaded it, and sent his sonne Con­stans (whom of a Monke he had made a Caesar) into Spaine, where Constans (having put to death some prin­cipall men, whom hee suspected to favour Honorius) committed the governement of the Country to Ge­rontius his chiefe Captaine, by whom he was after­wards slaine at Vienna in Gallia: and Constantine his fa­ther, having run through many fortunes, was in the end besieged at Arl [...]s, where he was taken, and slaine by the Souldiers of Honorius the Emperour, who then recovered Britannie.

Chrysanthus, (the sonne of Martianus a Bishop) a man of consular dignitie, was then Deputy of Britannie, where he wan so great reputation for his vertue and integritie in the governement, both of the Church, (which was then tainted with the gracelesse heresie of Pelagius the Britan) and also of the weale publike of the Province, as he was afterwards (thogh against his will) preferred to the Bishopricke of Constantinople.

Now the Romans, about foure hundred and seventie years after their first entrance into the Ile, waxed weary of the governement of Britannie, and the Britans, that had beene many times assailed by their vncivill neigh­bours, (consorted with strangers of divers Nations) perceived themselves vnable to make resistance, as in [Page 150] former times; whereupon they sent Ambassadors to Rome, requiring aid, and promising fealtie, if the Romans would reskew them from the oppression of their ene­mies. Then was there a Legion sent over into the Iland, to expulse the barbarous people out of the Province: which being with good successe effected, the Romans counselled the Britans, for their better defence, to make a stone wall betweeneThe Firth of Dunbretton in Scotland. Glota andEdenborough Firth. Bodatria, (the two Armes of the sea that ran into the Iland,) and so depar­ted thence. But this wall was afterwards made onely of Turves, and not of Stone, as they were directed, (the Britans having not then any skill in such kind of buil­dings;) by which meanes it served to little purpose: For the Scottishmen and Picts, vnderstanding that the Romans were gone, passed over the water in boats at both ends of the wall, invaded the borders of the Province, and with maine force, bare downe all be­fore them. Whereupon Ambassadors were sent againe out of Britannie, to declare the miserable state of the Province, which without speedy succour, was likely to be lost.


A second supply of forces sent by the President of Gallia, into Britannie. The Romans erect a wall of stone for defence of the Province. The Picts and Scottishmen breake it downe. The Pelagian heresie is suppressed in Britannie, by the meanes of Germanus and Lu­pus, two French Bishops. The Scottishmen are con­verted to the Christian faith by S. Palladius, the Picts by S. Ninianus, and the Irishmen by S. Patricius.

VPon the complaint and earnest solicitation of the Britans, there was another Legion sent overby [Page 151] Aetius the President of Gallia, vnder the conduct of Gal­lio of Ravenna, to aide the distressed Britans; and the Ro­mans having reduced the Province into her former state, did tell the Britans, that it was not for their ease, to take any more such long, costly, and painefull jour­neies, considering that the Empire it selfe was assailed, and in a manner over-run by strangers: and therefore, that from thence forth, they should provide for their owne safetie, that they should learne to vse armor and weapons, and trust to their owne valor. Howbeit the Romans (in regard of the good service done by the Bri­tish Nation in former times) beganne to build a wall of stone from East to West, in the selfe same place where Severus the Emperour had cast his Trench, (the labour and charges of the worke being borne, partly by the Ro­mans, and partly by the Britans themselves.) This wall contained about eight foote in breadth, and twelve in height, (some reliques thereof remaining to be seene at this day.) Vpon the sea coasts towards the South, they raised Bulwarkes (one somewhat distant from another) to empeach the enemies landing in those parts; and this done, they took their last farewell, transporting their Legions into Gallia, as men resolved to returne hither no more. Assoone as they were gone, the barbarous people (having intelligence thereof) presumed confidently, that without any great resi­stance, they might now enter the Province. And there­upon accounting as their owne, whatsoever was with­out the wall, they gave an assault to the wall it selfe, and with grapples, and such like engines, pulled downe to the ground a great part thereof, while the Britans inha­biting the borders, being awaked with the suddainnesse of the enterprize, gave warning to the rest of their countrymen within the land, to arme themselves [Page 152] with speede, and to make resistance.

About this time also, (which was the yeare of our redemption 430.) the state of the Church in Britannie, was much incumbred with the heresie of Pelagius, who being by birth a Britan, by profession a Monke, and (as some thinke) trained vp in the Monastery of Bangor, travailed first into Italy, then into Sicilia, Aegypt, and o­ther East parts of the world, to learne and studie, as he professed; whereby he wownd himselfe into the good opinion of many men of great fame in those daies, for learning and pietie; as namely of Paulinus, Bishop of Nola, and (by his meanes) of Saint Augustine, till the he­retical assertions which himselfe and his disciple Celesti­us, a Scottishman secretly taught, being by Saint Hierom discovered, were afterwards condemned by the Bishop of Rome, Innocentius the first: Whereupon they retur­ned againe into Britannie, being obstinately bent to maintaine their former heresie: which Agricola, the sonne of Severianus, a Bishop of that sect, had (not long before) brought thither, whereby the same, in short time, was received and approoved among the Chistians in divers parts of the Ile: so that betwixt he­resie among the Britans themselves, and paganisme pro­fessed by their enemies, the light of Christian religion seemed, for a time, to be eclipsed. Howbeit, some of the Britans (disliking those hereticall opinions, which as yet they were vnable by knowledge in the Scriptures to confute:) and perceiving withall, what dangerous inconveniences to the State arose oft times, by reason of their disagreement one from another in matters of religion; earnestly required the Bishops of France, to send over some godly, wise, & learned men, that might defend the truth of Christianitie, which seemed to be borne downe by the subtill allegations of humane rea­son. [Page 153] Heereupon the Bishoppes there called a Synod, wherein Germanus, the Bishop of Auxerre, and Lupus, Bishop of Troyes in Champaigne, were appointed to goe into Britannie, and to vndertake the cause, which they afterwards prosecuted with so good successe, as many heretickes among the Britans, were openly convinced, and Christians confirmed in the faith. About the same time, Ninianus Bernitius (of the race of the British Princes) was sent into Pict-land, to convert the inhabi­tants there to Christianitie: Palladius a Graetian, was likewise appointed by Coelestine, Bishop of Rome, to preach the Gospel in Scotland, vnto such there, as re­mained yet in infidelitie, and to suppresse the Pelagian heresie, newly sprung vp in that Kingdome, to be the first and chiefe Bishop of the Church there: for which purpose also Patricius, surnamed Magonius, (borne in Britannie of a Senators house) was by the same Bishop of Rome, sent to the Irish and Scottishmen, that then dwelt in the Iles of the Orcades and Hebrides. These three re­ligious Fathers were much honoured in those daies for the reverent opinion which most men had of their learning and integritie of life: and they are accounted the Apostles and Patrons of the Scottish, Irish, and Pi­ctish Nations, as being the severall instruments of the generall conversion of each of them.


The distressed Britans flie into Wales, Cornewall, and Bri­tannie in France. The end of the Roman governement in the Iland.

WIthin few yeares after, the Britans were againe hotly pursued by the Scottishmen and Picts, who swarmed over a great part of the Land, taking from the Britans for a time, all oportunities of convening and assembling themselves together, as in former dangers they had beene accustomed; whereby no small number of the Inhabitants of the Province (despairing of better successe) retired themselves, gi­ving way to the present necessitie, while each man (as in common calamities oft times it falleth out) laying a­side the care of the publike, made provision for his own safetie: leaving the enemie in the meane time to take and kill such as resisted.

Some of the Britans being driven out of their owne houses and possessions, fell to robbing one of another, encreasing their outward troubles with inward tu­mults and civill dissention; by which meanes, a great number of them had nothing left to sustaine them, but what they got by hunting and killing of wilde beasts. Others burying their treasure vnder ground, (whereof great store hath beene found in this age) did flie (them­selves) either into the Countries of theSouth-wales. Silures and North-wales. Ordovices, or into the West part of the Ile, (where the The antient inhabitants of Cornwall and Devonshire. Danmonians then inhabited) or else to their owne Countrymen in Armorica in France: the rest being hemmed in with the sea on the one side, and their ene­mies [Page 155] on the other, sent to the Emperor for aide, which they could not obtaine; for that the Goths and Huns in­vading Gallia and Italie, the greatest part of the forces of the Empire was drawne thither for defence of those places. By reason whereof, (the state of Britannie now declining with the Empire, and shrinking vnder the burden of barbarous oppression) the Britans sent Ambassadours againe to Aetius the President in Gallia, desiring him to releeve their necessities, declaring with­all, that themselves were the small remnant which sur­vived after the slaughter of so many thousands, whom either the sword, or the sea had consumed; for the bar­barous enemie drave them vpon the sea, the sea againe vpon the enemie; betweene both which, they suffered two kinds of death, as being either killed, or drowned: that it imported the majestie of the Roman Empire to protect them, who had so many hundred yeares, lived vnder their obedience, and were now plunged into the depth of intolerable miseries: for besides the cala­mities of war, both civill and forraigne at one instant, they were afflicted with dearth and famine, which for­ced them sometimes to yeelde themselves to the mer­cilesse enemie. But their complaints availed nothing: for the Romans plainely denyed to send them any more succour: whereof the Scottishmen and Picts being cer­tainely advertised, and knowing how small a number of ablemen remained in the Province, to withstand their attempts, assailed first such places of strength as garded the borders, and afterwards entred the Pro­vince it selfe, where, by continuall course of conquests, they found a passage into the heart of the Ile, spoiled the people of their wealth, burnt their Cities, and brought the inhabitants thereof vnder a miserable ser­vitude.

[Page 156] Thus, about five hundred yeares after the Romans first entrance, and foure hundred fortie and six after the birth of our Saviour Christ, the Ile of Britannie, (which had beene, not onely a principall member of the Em­pire, but also the seate of the Empire it selfe, and the Seminarie of Souldiers, sent out into most parts of the world) was now, in the time of Honorius berea­ved of the greatest part of her antient in­habitants, and left as a prey to barba­rous Nations.

The end of the first Part of the Historie of Great Britannie.

❧The Table of the Contents of the Chapters in the First Part of the Historie of Great Britannie.

The first Booke.

  • THe Originall of the Britans. C. Iulius Caesar making warre in Gallia, intendeth a voyage into Britannie. C. Vo­lusenus is sent to discover the Sea Coasts of the Ile. The Nature, and Customes of the Britans. page 1
  • Caesar sayleth towards Britannie. The Britans empeach his landing. The great courage of Cassius Scoeva, one of Caesars souldiers. 5
  • Some of the Britans submit themselves to Caesar. The Ro­mans Ships are scattered by tempest. The Britans secretly re­volt. 9
  • Caesar repaireth his Na [...]ie. A skirmish by land betweene the Britans and Romans. The Britans retire, and with new forces assaile the Romans, but in the end are put to flight. Caesar retur­neth into France. 12
  • Caesars second expedition into Britannie. The Britans forti­fie themselves in a wood; from whence they are chased by the Ro­mans. Caesars Navie distressed by tempest. 15
  • Cassibelin is chosen by the Britans to be their Leader. The Britans assaile the Romans, but with ill successe. Caesar with his Armie w [...]deth over the river of Thames. 17
  • The Britans surprize the Roman horsemen. The treacherie of Mandubratius the Britan, whom Caesar protecteth. Cassi­belin [Page 158] wearied with ill successe of the warre, submitteth himselfe to Caesar. Tribute imposed vpon the Britans. Caesar saileth into France. 21
  • Augustus succeedeth Iulius Caesar in the Empire. The state of the Britans in his time, vnder Cuno-belin their Governour. The first Brittish coyne. The birth of our Saviour Christ. Tibe­rius the Emperor forbeareth to attempt any thing in Britannie. 24
  • The ridiculus expedition of Caius Caligula the Emperour, intending a voyage into Britannie. His vaineglorie and cruel­tie. 26
  • Claudius succeeding Caius in the Empire, se [...]deth Aulus Plautius with an Armie out of France into Britannie. The Ro­man souldiers are vnwilling to be transported thither: and entring into mutinie▪ are appeased by Narcissus the Emperors favorite. Plautius chargeth the Britans, and taketh Cataratacus their Captaine prisoner, for which he afterwards triumpheth. 28
  • Plautius the Lievtenant, pursueth the service in Britannie. Vespasian (serving vnder him) was in danger to have beene slaine or taken by the Britans, if he had not beene rescued by Titus his sonne. The Britans, passe over the river of Thames, and as­saile the Romans that follow them. Togodumnus a Brittish Prince, is slaine in the fight. Plautius being in distresse, desisteth for a time from further prosecution of the warre. 30
  • The valour and fortune of Vespasian in the Brittish warre. He subdueth the Ile of Wight. The Expedition of Claudius the Emperor into Britannie. He defeateth the Britans, and planteth a Colonie of old souldiers at Maldon in Essex. His sonne is sur­named Britannicus. At his returne to Rome, he is honoured with a Triumph. The Christian faith first received in Britannie, in the raigne of Claudius. 32
  • Ostorius Scapula is sent by Claudius the Emperour, to suc­ceede Plautius in the office of Lievtenancie. The Britans in di­vers parts of the ile take armes, but are speedily suppressed. The Roman Generall seeketh by lenitie to purchase the good opinion of the Britans. 35
  • Ostorius the Roman Generall, maketh warre vpon the Silures and Ordovices, the antient inhabitants of South-wales, and North-wales. Caractacus their Captaine, being overthrowne [Page 159] in battaile fleth for succour to Cartismandua, the Princesse of the Brigantes, who then inhabited that part of the Ile which now con­teyneth the Counties of Yorke, Lancaster, Durham, Westmer­land, and Cumberland. He is betrayed and delivered to Osto­rius. 38
  • Caractacus the Brittish Prince is sent to Rome, and presented there before Claudius the Emperor. His habite, speech, and beha­viour. He is pardoned, and dismissed. 40
  • What opinion the Romans held of Caractacus. Triumphall honours assigned to Ostorius for taking him. The Britans assaile the Roman Campein the Countrie of the Silures. The principa­litie of South-wales. The death of Ostorius the Generall. 43
  • Aulus Didius is sent by Claudius the Emperor, to take charge of the armie in Britannie. Venutius the husband of Cartisman­dua, Princesse of the Brigantes, vpon private discontentment, taketh armes against the Romans. The death of Claudius the Empe­rour. 44

The second Booke.

  • NEro succeedeth Claudius in the Empire. The Province in Britannie is governed by Veranius, after whose death, the charge is committed to Suetonius Paulinus. The Ile of An­glesey is subdued. The doctrine and manners of the religious Druydes. 49
  • The Britans oppressed by the crueltie and covetousnesse of the Roman officers, discover their greevances one to another. Prodi­gious signes foregoing the subversion of the Roman Colonie. The Britans take armes vnder the conduct of Voadica. 52
  • The Britans take armes vnder the conduct of Voadica. Her Oration to her Souldiers. The Roman Colonie is surprized. Ce­realis comming to succour it, hardly escapeth with life. Catus the Procurator, flieth into France. 56
  • Suetonius returneth with his armie out of Anglesey. The [Page 161] Cities of London and Verlam are taken and spoiled by the Bri­tans. The Romans and Britans make preparation for a set bat­taile. 60
  • The Oration of Suetonius the Roman Generall vnto his soul­diers. The fight betweene the Romans and Britans. The Bri­tans are overthrowne. Voadica poisoneth her selfe. The death of Poenius Posthumus. 62
  • Suetonius renforceth the Roman Garrisons. Variance be­tweene him, and Classicianus the Procurator. Polycletus is sent by Nero the Emperour to examine their doings. Suetonius is discharged of the armie, which he delivereth vp to Turpi­lianus. 64
  • Trebellius Maximus succeedeth Turpilianus in the go­vernement of the Province. Discord in the Armie between Tre­bellius and Celius. The death of Nero the Emperour, and suc­cession of Galba, Otho, and Vitellius. The valour and fortune of the Fourteenth Legion. 66
  • Vectius Bolanus is sent by Vitellius the Emperour, to take charge of the Armie in Britannie. Vespasian succeedeth Vi­tellius in the Empire. The governement of the Province assigned to Petilius Cerealis, who soone after leaveth the same to Iulius Frontinus. 68
  • Iulius Agricola assigned by Vespasian the Emperour to be Lievtenant of the Armie in Britannie, subdueth the Ordovices, [the antient inhabitants of North-wales,] and maketh a full con­quest of the Ile of Anglesey. The carriage of himselfe at his first entrance into governement. 70
  • Agricola reformeth abuses in the Province. His courage, in­dustrie, and wisedome set forth as commendable qualities in a Gene­rall. The death of Vespasian the Emperour, whom Titus his sonne succeedeth in the Empire. 72
  • Agricolaes policie to plant civilitie among the Britans. He leadeth his Armie without resistance vnto Edenbourgh Firth in Scotland. 74
  • What opinion the Romans had of the conquest of Ireland. A­gricola setteth out a Navie to discover by Sea, the vtmost limits of the Iland, and marcheth himselfe by land into the Country of the Caledonians, [the antient inhabitants of the North part of Scot­land.] [Page 161] The Roman Campe is assailed, and delivered from danger by the comming in of Agricola. 76
  • The Northern Britans with common consent, arme themselves to repulse the Romans. The Oration of Galgacus, the cheefe of their Leaders. 79
  • The Romans prepare themselves to fight. The Oration of A­gricola the Generall vnto his souldiers. 83
  • Agricola marshalleth his forces. The battaile betweene the Ro­mans and the Northern Britans. Part of the Brittish Armie is defeated. 86
  • The other part of the Brittish Armie is overthrowne. The Ro­mans pursuing the Britans through the woods, in danger to have beene intrapped. The lamentable estate of the Britans. 88
  • The Britans are dispersed, and vnable to renew the war. Agri­cola commandeth the Admirall of his Fleete to saile about Bri­tannie. He planteth Garrisons vpon the Northern borders, be­tweene the two armes of the Sea. Domitian the Emperour, be­ing advertised of his fortunate successe in the Brittish warre, is tor­mented with envie and iealousie. Agricola yeeldeth vp the Pro­vince to Salustius Lucullus. 90
  • Agricola returneth to Rome, and is admitted to the presence of Domitian the Emperour. He betaketh himselfe to a retired life. He is poisoned. Salustius Lucullus his successour in the go­vernement of the Province, protecteth Arviragus the Brittish Prince. Hee is put to death by the commandement of Domiti­an. 93

The third Booke.

  • NErva Cocceius succeedeth Domitian in the Empire, lea­ving the same soone after to Vlpius Trajanus. Adrianus the successour of Trajan, sendeth Iulius Severus into Britannie to defend the borders of the Province, against the incursions of the Northern Britans. The Emperour himselfe with an Armie, en­treth [Page 162] the Iland, and buildeth there a wall of Turves, for defence of the Province. Licinius Priscus is Gevernor of Britannie. 103
  • Lollius Vrbicus is Lievtenant of Britannie vnder Antoni­nus Pius, (the successour of Adrian the Emperour.) He erecteth another wall of Turves, for defence of the Province, and appeaseth the Brigantes. (the antient inhabitants of the Counties of Yorke, Lancaster, Durham, Westmerland, and Cumberland,) begin­ning to reuolt. Seius Saturninus Admirall of the Brittish Fleet, gardeth the Sea Coasts. M: Aurelius Antoninus surnamed Philosophus, succeedeth Antoninus Pius in the Empire: and Calphurnius Agricola, Lollius Vrbicus (Britannicus) in the Province. 106
  • E [...]therius the Bishop of Rome, sendeth Preachers into Bri­tannie to instruct the inhabitants there in the Christian faith. Lu­cius, the first Christian Prince in Britannie. The planting and pro­pagation of religion among the Britans. 107
  • Lucius send [...]th to Rome for the Lawes of the Empire. The counsell of Elutherius Bishop of Rome touching the same. Ido­latry suppressed in Lucius his dominions, and Ecclesiasticall [...] established there. The first Archbishop of Lon­don. 111
  • The Northern Britans breaking downe Adrians wall vpon the borders, enter and annoy the Province. Vlpius Marcellus being sent by Commodus the Emperour, to take charge of the Armie in Britannie, beateth them backe. The rare vertues of Vlpius Marcellus the Governour. Hee is dismissed of his of­fice. 113
  • A Mutenie in the Roman Armie. Perennius vndertaketh to appea [...]e it. He is accused, and put to death. Helvius Pertinax being sent by Commodus to pacifie the tumults in the Armie, is in danger to be slaine. He maketh sute to be discharged of the Liev­tenancie. 115
  • Clodius Albinus succeedeth Pertinax in the governement of the Province. He is honoured with the title of Caesar. Being suspe­cted of Commodus the Emperour, he retireth himselfe from af­faires. Helvius Pertinax, and Didius Iulianus are elected Em­perours successively after the death of Commodus. Severus suc­ceedeth Iulianus in the Empire. Heraclianus is Governour of [Page 163] the Province, which hee afterwards resigneth to Virius Lupus. Warre betweene Severus the Emperour, and Clodius Albinus. The death of Albinus. 117
  • Severus the Emperour, maketh preparation for a voyage into Britannie. The civill governement of the Province committed to Geta his younger son, whom Papinianus the famous Lawyer assisteth in the administration of Iustice there. Severus with Bas­sianus his elder sonne, marcheth towards Caledonia. Mortali­tie in the Roman Campe. The Caledonians obtaine peace vpon conditions. Bassianus taketh the charge of the Arme, and Seve­rus his father returnes into the Province. 119
  • The Caledonians invade the Roman Campe, and carrying away the booties which they had taken, are pursued, and put to the sword by the Romans. Severus the Emperour repaireth Adri­ans wall, cutteth a Trench, and carrieth it thwart the Iland from Sea to Sea. He falleth sicke at Yorke. His counsell to his sonnes. His death. 122
  • Bassianus practiseth with an Armie to make him sole Emperor, by excluding Geta his younger brother. The crueltie of Bassianus. The Funeralls of Severus the Emperour. The state of Britannie from Bassianus to Gallienus, not mentioned in Histories. Some of the Thirtie Tyrants vsurpe the governement in Britannie in the time of Gallienus. Bonosus a Britan, doth the like in the raigne of Aurelianus. Victorinus a favorite of Probus the Em­perour, murdereth the Governour of the Province. Vandals and Burgundians, seate themselves in Britannie. The Britans li­censed to plant Vines. Carus succeeding Probus in the Empire, as­signeth Britannie to Carinus one of his sonnes, who possesseth it, till Dioclesian is declared Emperour. C. Carausius Admirall of the Brittish fleet, is sent to sea to gard the coasts of Gallia and Bri­tannie, against the Pirates. 125
  • Carausius vsurpeth the Empire in Britannie, in the joynt raigns of Dioclesian and Maximianus, who assume to them Maximi­nus, and Constantius Chlorus for assistants by the name of Cae­sars. Carausius is slaine by Alectus, and Alectus by Asclepio­datus. London taken, and sacked by the Franks (the ancestors of the French) whom the Romans encountring, deprived of their b [...]oties. 128
  • [Page 164] The persecution of Christians in Britannie vnder Dioclesian the Emperour. The death of Saint Alban the first Brittish Mar­tyr. 130
  • A briefe Relation of the state of the Brittish Church, from the raigne of Dioclesian, vnto the comming of Austen the Monk, who converted the Saxons and English to the Christian faith. 132
  • Constantius Chlorus staieth the persecution in Britannie. He dieth at Yorke. Helena his wife, (the mother of Constan­tine the Great) travaileth to Ierusalem, to seeke out the Crosse whereon our Saviour suffered. Her pietie and zeale towards the ad­vancement of Christian Religion. The vertues of Constantius Caesar her husband. 135
  • Constantine the Great is declared Emperour at Yorke. Hee subdueth Maxentius and Licinius, the one vsurping the West Em­pire, and the other the East. He establisheth a new forme of gouern­ment in Britannie, appointing Pacatianus to rule the Province there, as Deputie to the Praefectus Praetorio of Gallia. He tran­slateth the seate of the Empire from Rome to Bizantium. His three sonnes, Constantinus, Constans, and Constantius, raigne successively after his death. Gratianus Funarius hath the charge of the Armie in Britannie, when Constans the Emperour is slaine by Magnentius. Martinus Deputie in Britannie vnder Con­stantius. Paulus Catena a Commissioner, to enquire of Mag­nentius confederates. 138
  • The governement of Gallia and Britannie is assigned to Iulia­nus. Lupicinus and Alipius, are at severall times sent into Bri­tannie: Iovinian succeedeth Iulianus in the Empire, which Va­lentinian the first, ioyntly with Valens his brother, doth governe after the death of Iovinian. The Picts and Scottishmen invade the Province. The originall and manners of both Nations. Mutinies in the Roman Armie, appeased by Theodosius. 141
  • Gratianus the successour of Valentinian the first, electeth Valentinian the second, and Theodosius the younger to be his associates in the Empire. Clemens Maximus commanding the Armie in Britannie, vsurpeth the soveraigntie. Gratianus the Emperour murdered. Saint Ambrose is sent from Valentinian to Maximus, to treate of peace. Theodosius the younger pursu­eth [Page 165] Maximus, who is taken, and put to death. The Britans that follow Maximus, seate themselves in Amorica (in France,) which thereupon tooke the name of Britannie. 146
  • Stilico is sent into Britannie by Honorius, (the successour of Theodosius (his father) in the Westerne Empire) to defend the Province against the Picts and Scottishmen. Emperours elected and deposed by the Armie in Britannie. Chrysanthus the Depu­tie of the Province, is made Bishop of Constantinople. The Ro­mans send over one Legion out of France into Britannie. They grow wearie of the governement there. The Britans implore their aide. 148
  • A second supply of forces sent by the President of Gallia, into Britannie. The Romans erect a wall of stone for defence of the Province. The Picts and Scottishmen breake it down. The Pe­lagian heresie is suppressed in Britannie, by the means of Germanus and Lupus, two French Bishops. The Scottishmen are conver­ted to the Christian faith by S. Palladius, the Picts by S. Nini­anus, and the Irishmen by S. Patricius. 150
  • The distressed Britans flie into Wales, Cornwall, and Britan­nie in France. The end of the Roman governement in the I­land. 154
The Princes that ruled in Britannie, after the Ro­mans had given over the governement there, vn­till the Saxons and English obtained it.
  • Vortiger deposed.
  • Vortimer.
  • Vortiger restored.
  • Aurelianus Ambrosius.
  • Arthur the war-like.

Bishops, and other persons of note, for Learning and Pietie, either among the Britans themselves, or sent vnto them from for­reine parts, after the Romans had given over the protection of them, vntill the comming in of Austen the Monke.

FAstidius Priscus, a bishop in Britannie (but of what particular place, it is vncertaine) a man of great know­ledge in Divinitie, and a diligent preacher. He lived in the time of Honorius the Emperour, about the yeare of our redemption. 420.

Ninianus Bernitius (descended from the race of the British Princes) who first converted the Picts to Christianitie.

Palladius (a Graecian) sent from Coelestine Bish. of Rome, to preach the Christian faith to the Scottishmen, and to suppresse the Pelagian heresie sprung vp among them.

Patricius (surnamed Magonius) borne in Britannie, of the familie of a Senator (whence he tooke the name Patri­cius) was sent by Coelestine bishop of Rome to the I­rish, and Scottish-men, (inhabiting the Iles of the Or­cades, and Hebredes) to instruct them in the Christian faith, and to confirme them therein against the Pelagian heresie.

Bacchiarius (the Scholler of Patricius) was brought vp in Rome, and lived in great favour with the Bishop of that place, Leo the first.

Dubrius, who (as some write) was Archbishop of Chester, Leg [...] of the Sea Apostolike, & Primate of all Britannie. He gave over his Ecclesiasticall dignities, and betooke him­selfe to an Eremiticall life.

[Page] Congellus, the first Abbot of the Monasterie of Bangor, about the yeare, 530.

David Menevensis, the vncle (as some writers report) of the warre-like Prince Arthur, translated the Archbi­shoprike from Chester to Saint Davids in Wales, where­upon that Sea is called to this day (of his name) Mene­vensis.

Kentegernus, a learned Abbot.


Gyldas, a Monke of Bangor, and a writer of some part of the British storie.

Daniel, the first Bishop of Bangor.

Sampson, the successor of David Menevensis, in the Bi­shoprike of Saint Davids.


Assaph, the Scholler of Abbot Kentegerne, who was made Bishop of Elgoa in Wales, which place was afterwards called Assaph, according to his name, which it continueth to this present. He was the first that received his autho­ritie, and consecration from those religious men, that were sent by Gregorie the Great, to preach the Christian faith to the English Nation.



Dinothus, Abbot of Bangor, in the time of Austen the Monke.



THE SECOND PART of the Historie of Great Britannie.

The first Booke.


The first CHAPTER.

A repetition of the Contents of the former part. A briefe Re­lation of the condition of the Britans vnder the Picts and Scottishmen, from the Romans departure thence, vntill the beginning of the raigne of Vortiger, the last Brittish Prince.

THe Conquest of Britannie (as hath beene afore shewed) was first at­tempted by the Romans in the time of Iulius Caesar, whose short aboad in the Ile, and occasions of imploi­ment else-where, would not per­mit him to go forward therewith.

After him, Caius the Emperor, vpon lightnesse and ambition, pretended a voyage thither, which Claudius his successor prosecuted with effect; for he entred the [Page 174] Iland in his owne person, and subdued a small part thereof, which he brought into the forme of a Pro­vince, placing there Aulus Plautius the first Lievtenant, vnder whom Vespasian, and Titus his sonne (being then but private men) bare office in the camp. Thence-forth men of special note & regard were commonly sent thi­ther, namely Ostorius Scapula (that tamed the Silures, and Ordovices, and tooke Caractacus their Captaine pri­soner:) Suetonius Paulinus (that conquered the Ile of Anglesey, and recovered the Province well neere lost by the generall revolt of the Britans:) Petilius Cerealis (that brought the Brigantes vnder subjection) & Iulius Agrico­la, (who enlarged the limits of the Province, and mar­ched with his forces even to Caledonia, making the Ro­mans Lords (in a maner) of the whole Iland, as com­manding all, both by sea, and land.

Within few yeares after, Adrian the Emperor him­selfe, having transported an armie thither, to expell the Picts & north-Britans, (that then invaded the Province) began first of all to reare a Wall of Turfes to defend it: and this example Lollius Vrbicus (the Lievtenant vnder Antoninus Pius) advisedly following, raised another wall also of like stuffe, to strengthen the borders with a double rampire; which fortresses the Northern Britans boldly assailed, greatly annoying the Province, till by Vlpius Marcellus they were opposed, and repulsed. After whose departure there chanced in the Roman Campe diverse mutinies, which Pertinax (that soone after ob­tained the Empire) fortunately appeased. Then lived the Britans in peace for a time, till Clodius Albinus the Lievtenant (affecting innovation in the state, and presu­ming vpon the strength and valour of the armie in Bri­tannie) assumed there the title of Caesar, and carried over with him into France, a great number of the most war­like [Page 175] Britans, to renforce his armie, for support of his v­surped Soveraigntie: by which meanes the Province was much weakned, and the Picts encouraged againe to assaile it.

Severus the Emperour also, for desire of glorie, made a voiage thither with Caracalla, and Geta (his two sonns, and successors in the Empire) intending the conquest of the most remote and Northerne part of the Ile beyond Adrians wall: but his ill successe in the begin­ning, and despaire of better, made him soone give over the enterprise, and to retire himselfe vnto the borders of the Province, where (having repaired the decayed wall, and cut a trench thwart the Ile from sea to sea) he ended his life at Yorke.

What was done there from the time of Caracalla to Gallienus the Emperour (whose state as well in Britannie as other places was disturbed, by the Thirtie Tyrants, the hystories now extant make little mention, till Ca­rausius the Admirall of the Brittish fleete, and after him Alectus, vsurped the Empire in Britannie: at what time Constantius Caesar ruled the Province, and afterwards (dying there) left it, as a member of the Empire to his sonne Constantine surnamed the Great, who was first de­clared Emperor in Britannie, whence he transported no small number of the Inhabitants that had beene trai­ned vp vnder the Roman Legions there, to make warre in France and Germanie, which were then in Armes for Maxentius.

After the death of Constantine, the discord betweene his three sonnes gave advantage also to Magnentius Ta­porus (whose father was a Britan) to vsurpe the Empire in Britannie: and even then was the Province in dan­ger to have beene over-run by the Scottish-men and Picts, if Theodosius had not providently repressed their [Page 176] furie. Clemens Maximus in like maner, vpon emulation of Theodosius glory, attempted the Empire, and shipped over the flower of all Britannie into Belgia, and France, where such as escaped the sword of the enemie, did af­terwards seat themselves, leaving to their posteritie, the continuance of their name in that place, even to this day.

Then ensued confusion of all things in Britannie, the Souldiers there swaying them at their owne will: now naming Emperours; then deposing them againe, and declaring others in their stead: among whom they proclaimed one Constantine (for the names sake onely) a man fatally ordained to be the instrument of the sub­version of the Province: For by transporting into France the remnant of the Brittish Souldiers, he vtterly dis-furnished it, and laid it open to all oportunities of annoyance by the Picts and Scottish-men, who, after­wards (waxing insolent with their prosperous suc­cesse, in subduing a great part of the Province, and now and then falling at variance and open warre among themselves, about the distribution of such spoyles, and booties as they had taken) did thereby give intermission and time of breathing to the distressed Britans, that stood (for the most part) vpon doubtfull termes, as wa­vering betweene hope and despaire, and yet sometimes (like men not vtterly dejected, or neglecting occasions of advantage, when they were offered) resuming cou­rage againe, and resolving rather to die with their coun­trie, then to abandon it. Whereupon (as Beda repor­teth) they assembled themselves togither from diverse places, and assailed their enemies, forcing them to re­tire within their borders, by which meanes the Britans (for certaine yeares) lived in peace, and fell to tillage, and other handy works. After that ensued great plentie [Page 177] of graine, and other fruits of the earth, which the Bri­tans abused, mis-spending them riotously in gluttonie and drunkennesse. Then pride and dissolute living, (the common causes of the change & ruine of estates) raigned, aswell among the Clergie, as the Laitie, both whom the hand of God severely punished, by afflicting them with a grievous pestilence and mortalitie, which in short time wasted so many of them, as the quicke were scarse sufficient in number to bury the dead. How­beit (the infection once ceasing) the Britans fell to their old disorders, drawing therby a greater plague vpon them, even the vtter subversion, and (in a manner) rooting out of their name and nation, as by that which followeth may partly appeare.


The Britans elect Vortiger to be their King. They send for the Saxons to aide them. The originall and manners of the Saxons.

AFter the Romans had given over the government and protection of Britannie, the inhabitants of the South parts of the Ile, being altogether vna­ble, by their owne strength, any longer to withstand the furious assaults of the Scottishmen and Picts, (who were already come with their power, as farre as Stam­ford vpon the river Welland:) assembled themselves to­gether in severall companies; and the most antient and best respected among them, entred into consultation, what meanes might then be vsed for defence, in a case of such necessitie. But first of all, for that they had found by their late experience, what dangerous effects pro­ceede [Page 178] from civill jarres: they resolved with common consent, to run all joyntly one and the same course: and for the better strengthning of this their purpose, they elected a King, (whose name was Vortiger) a man much esteemed, both for the nobilitie of his birth, (as being extract from the line of the Brittish Princes) and also, for the generall good opinion conceived of his suffi­ciencie to vndergoe so weightie a charge, though the eminencie of his degree, did (soone after) lay open those vices and infirmities, which his private life had concealed. To him did all the pettie Princes in the Ile submit themselves.

Then they entred into consultation together, and called to minde, the conditions of such Nations as were most knowne vnto them, considering well with themselves, that from the Romans, there was no more reliefe to be expected, (Italy it selfe, the seate of the Empire, being invaded by strangers:) that France was assailed as well as Britannie: that Germany (though a mightie and ample region) was not altogether free from incumbrance. For, this Country had formerly beene the common receptacle of those Northern peo­ple, that (dwelling beyond the rivers of Rhene and Da­now, and being very fruitfull in generation) came vsu­ally thither to disburden themselves, and to seeke new habitations: by reason whereof, the Germans them­selves were much distressed, and now and then forced to abandon their native soyle; being sometimes also (by consent among themselves) chosen out by lots for that purpose; howbeit those strangers, (which had there planted themselves) were for the most part, better able to annoy other countries, then to maintaine in peace, what by intrusion and violence they had gotten. A­mong al the Germans, there was at that time no one na­tion, [Page 179] which for great adventures both by sea and land, was more renowned then the Saxons. For, touching the qualities of the minde, they were bold, hardie, and vaine-glorious, patiently enduring labour, hunger, and cold, whereto by the very constitution of their bodies, and temperature of the climate, they seemed to be fra­med, as being verie strong, and yet not vnwealdy, tall of stature, but not vncomely, or out of due proportion. For the North Region, by reason of the coldnesse of the ayre, (which driveth the naturall heate inward) bringeth forth commonly, men of greater courage and abilitie of bodie, then those Countries that lie neerer the Sunne. Their diet was simple and home-bred; nei­ther knew they any other a long time, till by attaching some of the Romans ships, stragling about the Coasts of France and the Lower Germanie, they became first acquainted with their manner of vittailing. Their ha­bite was neither verie costly, nor cumbersome, but ser­ving indeede, rather for decencie and ornament, then for defence against the sharpnesse of ayre, or such like annoyances. For their garments were commonly of linnen or yarne, woven with divers colours, and han­ging loose about them: the lockes of their haire (which in former times they had beene accustomed to shave) being then curled and spred abroad in compasse, so that they covered their shoulders and vpper parts of their cassocks. The weapons which they ordinarily vsed in fight, were long speares, round targets, and battle-axes; having also (trussed vp behind at their backs) certaine short swords, which they did weare continually for readinesse vpon all occasions. In the Art of Naviga­tion they were verie expert, and lived at the first by pilfering, and afterwardes by open robberie, be­ing trayned vp therein, even from their child-hoode, [Page 180] vnder a kinde of discipline. Stormes at sea, vnseaso­nable weather, perills of rockes and sands, losse of goodes and shipwrackes, (which terrifie other men) they carelesly contemned, while they seemed to have, not onely a certaine knowledge of them, but also a kinde of familiaritie with them. The offices of Soul­diers and Marriners, they executed with like skill, and oftentimes with equall advantage. There was no kind of crueltie in a manner new, or strange vnto them: nei­ther were they altogither voide of policy, in watching oportunities of time and place, to further their des­seins, albeit they were (for the most part) more sodaine in attempting and procuring other mens harmes, then warie, or well advised in avoyding their owne. Supe­riority in degrees they hardly admitted, but each man commanded and obeyed, as the case required, being as readie to learne of his fellowes, what he knew not, as to instruct others in those things wherein he happened to be more skilfull then the rest. Of their owne blood they were nothing at all sparing, but they exercised crueltie, sometimes even vppon themselves, as ma­king lesse account, to cast away their owne lives, then to indure any publicke shame, scorne, or dis­grace.

When they did set foorth to sea vppon anie voy­age, their custome was, to choose out of the number of their captives, every tenth man to be murdered, and offered vp as a purging sacrifice to their profane gods, esteeming it a worke of religion, and much more behoovefull for them, then to receive any ran­some for redemption of such prisoners as they had ta­ken.

The Ancestors of these Saxons, (as approoved Writers report) did fetch their originall from the [Page 181] Sacae, (a people of Asia) that came first out of Scythia in­to Europe with the Gothes▪ Suevians, and Dacians, and (being either by nature inclined to warre, or by neces­sitie constrained thereto, for supplying their owne wants) ranged oft times from place to place, as men alwaies ready, vpon hope of spoile, to be drawne into any action, or to encounter any perill whatsoever. In processe of time they seated themselves in Cimbrica Chessonesus, (now called Denmarke:) and in the raigne of Dioclesian the Emperour, became famous for their piracies committed vpon the coasts of Britannie, and the Lower Germanie; when Carausius (being sent forth with a Navie to represse them) vnder colour of that service, attempted and (with some difficultie) attai­ned the Empire. Afterwards, (passing over the river of Elbe) they intruded themselves by little and little, into the antient seate of the Suevians, encroching also vpon Friseland and Holland: (then called Batavia) the greatest number of them planting themselves in that part of Germanie, which is now called Saxonie. These were the men, whom the Britans supposed best able, and most likely to assist them: and thereu­pon messengers were sent to declare vnto them, that the fame of their valour and experience in warrelike actions, had moved the Britans to require their aide, against a barbarous and bloodie people, which assai­ed by force, to subdue the whole Iland: that (next the Romans, who had now abandoned it) they knew no Nation more worthie then theirs: that the verie terror of the Saxons name, (if they should but once set foote in the Ile) was able to daunt their enemies, who were (for the most part) men vnarmed, vnskilfull in militare affaires, and many times confounded by their owne multitude: finally, that if they would vn­dertake [Page 182] this warre, they should want, neither provi­sion of victuall nor any thing else for their mainte­nance; the Iland being verie large and fruitfull, yeel­ding aboundance of all things, that might serve, either for profite, or delight.

The Saxons being very glad of this occasion of employment, (which themselves would have sought, if it had not beene thus offered) promised to satisfie the Britans request, by sending over (with speede) such able men as they had then in readinesse, till fur­ther provision could be made. And so the messengers were dismissed.


The Saxons vanquish the Scottishmen and Picts. Hen­gist deviseth how he may get possession of the East part of the Iland.

THe messengers had scarcely made report of their negotiation at their returne into Britannie, when the newes came; that certaine Saxons, vnder the conduct of Hengist and Horsa, (two brethren) were landed vpon the coast of Kent: whereupon the Bri­tans from most parts there about, ranne to meete them, receiving them with salutations, songs, and feastings, after their Country guise. [The time of the Saxons first arrivall, heere (by the testimonie of their owne Writers) was in the yeare of our redemp­tion 450.]

But Vortiger the King, and the chiefe of the British Nobilitie, entertained them in other manner: giving them thanks for the great care and diligence, which [Page 183] they had shewed, by their speedie repaire into the Iland: and acquainting them furher with the pre­sent state of their affaires. Then was there a contract made betweene both Nations: namely, that the Sax­ons should vndertake the warre against the Picts and Scottishmen, and that the Britans should provide for them all things necessarie thereto, as vittailes, ar­mour, and souldiers wages: the charge whereof should be borne by the Britans onely, who were to leavie the same by way of tax, to be imposed vpon e­verie inhabitant within the Province, according to his abilitie: which contract, with other articles de­pending thereupon, being ratified on both parts; Hengist (considering wisely the nature of the people with whom he was to encounter, and the likely advan­tage of sodaine attempts) thought it best to take the first opportunitie, by leading the Saxons (who were verie desirous to fight) and such of the Britans also as he supposed fit for service, into those parts where the barbarous enemie was lodged: and to that end, provision of vittaile and other necessaries was made, in such measure, as the shortnesse of the time would permit.

The Scottishmen and Picts, albeit they did not great­ly feare the Britans, (whose courage was much aba­ted by the ill successe that accompanied their late con­flicts:) yet, (hearing that new supplies of strangers were arrived to assist them) they waxed more wary, kee­ping themselves, for the most part, in their strength: and now, (vpon certaine intelligence of the approach of a well ordered Armie) they resolved to trie with them the fortune of a set battaile: wherein they found themselves more hardly matched, then in former times, by reason that the Saxons, (nimbly avoyding the [Page 184] darts and speares wherewith they were assailed) did fircely rush vpon the Picts, and with their keene swords and weightie axes, made way thorow their thickest troopes: so that (having borne downe the most vali­ant before them) they enforced the rest to forsake the field, and save themselves by flight. After this victo­rie, they returned to the Ile of Tanet, (which at their first arrivall, was assigned to them for a place of resi­dence) and Hengist their Captaine, fortified there di­vers places for defence: hoping by that meanes, both to keepe his owne Territorie in surety, and also (as oc­casion might serve) to inlarge it. For he apprehended it as a matter of no great difficultie, to make a conquest of the East part of the Ile; considering that the naturall inhabitants were alreadie brought vpon their knees, the King himelfe given over to ease and pleasure, and in his owne conceit, the more secure, the lesse he inter­medled with publike affaires:) that the state of the warre now in hand, rested meerely in his owne directi­on, and the more freely he was trusted, the more safe­ly he might deceive: that (though he was sent for to helpe the Britans,) yet (this faire occasion being offe­red, which Fortune seemed to have cast into his lap) he had no reason to neglect it, by seeking other mens advantage rather then his owne. As for the contract made with them, he was no further bound to it, then the Britans themselves, who had alreadie failed in performance of some covenants, that the breath of one dissolveth all the rest: and finally, that in him, who hath power, (to prevaile where he attempts) nothing can be adjudged vnlawfull. With these, or the like co­gitations, he nourished his ambitious humor; howbe­it, knowing well, that the forces which were alreadie brought into the Ile, would not be sufficient to accom­plish [Page 185] the enterprize: hee perswaded Vortiger, it was verie necessarie, that more aide should be sent for out of Germanie: and to that end he named his brother Octha, and his sonne Ebusa, (men of approved valour) who might be directed to land with a power in the Picts owne Country, and to assaile the inhabitants there, while himselfe in the South parts pursued the rest of them, (with whom he had alreadie encoun­tred:) whose forces being by that meanes diverted from the heart of the Ile, to succour their Country­men at home, or wanting their wonted supplies, which should then of force be employed else-where for de­fence, there might be some hope of a speedie and full end of the warre: the event whereof, otherwise was now more to be feared then in former times, if the North-Britans, (whetted with desire of revenge, and having space of breathing given them) should make head, and assaile them againe. This counsell seeming profitable, (howsoever it prooved pernitious in the end) was allowed by the King, eyther for that he fore­saw not the perill likely to ensue thereupon: or else, for that such things as God himselfe hath determined, are doubtlesse (though sometimes foreseene) yet ne­ver prevented.


Saxons, Iutes, and Angles, arrive in Britannie. Vorti­ger marrieth Hengists daughter. He is deposed.

IN the meane while, the Germans (inflamed with con­tinuall reports of the wealth and fruitfulnesse of the Ile) and sollicited by Hengist (who discovered to them the weake estate of the Britans, and the facillitie of sup­planting them,) hired certaine small vessels; wherein themselves, their wives, children, and families were transported into diverse parts of the Land: at which time, Rowen the daughter of Hengist (a woman of ex­cellent beautie, and not of the worst behavior) (having beene specially sent for by her father) arrived in Kent, and was forthwith conveyed to the pallace, where Vor­tiger, and Hengist made their abode.

Of those Germans that then came over, there were three severall kinds of people: namely, Saxons, Iutes, and Angles, though the Saxons seemed to beare the most sway, by reason both of the generall respect of that Nation, for their many and great exploits, and also for the authoritie of their Captains, Hengist, and Horsa, who were of the linage of Woden, from whom the Sax­on Princes (that afterwards reigned in the Ile) vsed al­wayes (for honours sake) to derive their discent. From these Saxons, the East, West, and South Saxons had their originall. The Iutes (as some writers report, and as the affinitie of the names may seeme in some sort to inferre) were discended from the Getes, and Gothes, and dwelt in the vpper part of Denmarke, which is at this day called Iuitland. From them the Kentishmen, with the Inhabi­tants [Page 187] of the Ile of Wight, and of that part of the firme land (which lieth over against it) had their beginning▪ The name of the Iutes, was of no long continuance in Britannie: notwithstanding, their posteritie was incor­porated into the Saxons, and Angles, who were accoun­ted but one Nation, the name of either of them being indifferently vsed, as common to both; till in the end, the Angles possessing the greatest part of the land, they were all knowen, and called by that name alone.

The Angles in those dayes were a people well estee­med among the Germans, and in number exceeded both the Saxons, and Iutes. Touching their ancient seat, the opinions of Writers are differing, though it be most probable, that they did sometimes inhabit that part of Denmarke (yet retaining the name of Angle) which lieth betweene Iuitland, and Holsatia. From them came the East Angles, the Mercians, and Northumbers.

But Hengist knowing well, that fraud, and cunning practises ofttimes prevaile, where force it selfe cannot, resolved (as occasion might serve) to make vse of both; and to that end (observing well the Kings humor) he applied himselfe in all things to follow it: specially, by soothing and nourishiug him in those vices, to which by Nature he was most addicted, supposing thereby to strengthen his owne estate, and with more securitie, to accomplish his desire: while the King intended nothing more, then the satisfaction of his immoderate appetite in sensuall pleasures, which had alreadie brought him into contempt and hatred with his people, and would by all likelihood open the way to his speedie destruc­tion. Whereupon one day (inviting Vortiger to a feast) he appointed Rowen his daughter, to attend vpon him as his Cup-bearer: at which time (by her fathers in­struction) she behaved herselfe in such maner, as the [Page 188] King fell in love with her: and although he had a wife then living, yet was he not ashamed to tell Hengist in plaine termes, that he earnestly desired to become his sonne in law, if he might attaine his consent for the ma­riage of his danghter. Hengist (who had cast out his bait of purpose to catch him) pretended respect of Vor­tigers owne reputation, which (as he said) should be too much impaired by matching with a poore Maiden, a stranger by birth, farre inferior to him in degree, and no way worthy of so great fortune; howbeit, in the end he seemed by intreatie to yeeld to that, which himselfe would voluntarily have offred: and so (making vse of the occasion) he was content to take the thanks, which he of right should have given. Hereupon Vortiger ha­ving cast behind him all regard, both of divine and hu­mane lawes, did put away his lawfull wife (by whom he had three children) and (contrarie to the advise of his faithfull Counsellers) married Hengist the Saxons daughter. Vpon the conclusion of this marriage, a great part of the Countrey of Kent (which had beene many yeares togither governed by Guorongus, as the Kings deputie there) was assigned to Hengist, who like a wilie Serpent, having now gotten in his head, found meanes in a short time to wind in his whole bodie.

It is reported by some Writers, that Vodin (then Archbishop of London) reprooving the King for his incontinencie, and other vices (which drew him down with his Realme to ruine) was by the commandement of Hengist put to death, with many other Priests, and religious Votaries, as persons too well affected to their Country, and odious to the Saxons for profession of Christianitie.

This inconsiderate match, and immesurable boun­tie of the King, was much disliked by the Britans, for [Page 189] that the Saxons, presuming of the Kings favour, by rea­son of his new affinitie with them, came over dayly in great numbers, pestering the East parts of the Ile, and many times offering abuse to the naturall Inhabitants. Whereupon the Brittish Nobilitie complained to the King, that their estate was now much woorse then before the Saxons arrivall: that Strangers (vnder the colour of friendship) robbed them of their goods, and bereaved them of their lands: that secret prac­tises of such as they trusted, were no lesse to be fea­red, then open hostilitie: and that if speedie order were not taken to expell them, they would in short time roote out the ancient Britans, and make them­selves Lords of the whole Iland. But Vortiger (whose affection to his wife, and her kindred weighed downe all other respects whatsoever) neglected their com­plaints, till by his owne experience he was taught, what daungerous inconveniences proceede from wil­full rashnesse, and mis-government. For the Britans (disdaining to be any longer commanded by such a Prince, as had neither power to command his owne affections, nor care to provide for the safetie of his Subjects) declared him vncapable, and by generall consent, deprived him of all regall authoritie.


Vortimer succeedeth his father in the government. Vor­tiger is restored. The most noble of the Britans are trecherously murdered by the Saxons vpon Salisbnrie Plaines.

THen Vortimer his sonne (a man in disposition of his mind much vnlike his father) was declared King, & renued the warre with the Saxons, whom he encountred in a pitched field neere Ailsford in Kent. In that conflict Catigern his brother, and Horsa the brother of Hengist, fighting hand to hand, were both slaine, whereby though the Saxons perished in greater number then the Britans: yet by the losse of the Ge­nerals on both sides, the fortune of the battaile seemed in a maner to be equall. On the part of the Britans there died no man of name, save onely Catigern, in remembrance of whose death there was afterwards a Sepulchre of stone erected, where the battaile was fought. The like Monument was also built by the Saxons for Horsa, their Captaine, though Time hath now defaced it: howbeit the memorie of the place it selfe (if credite may be given to the Inhabitants there,) is continued among them even to this day, by a small Village in East Kent, yet bearing his name. After this, the Britans made diverse attempts vp­on their enemies, sometimes winning, sometimes loosing; and then recovering againe, that which they had lost, when Vortimer the King ended his dayes, either by a naturall death, or by the trecherie of Rowen his Stepmother. He was a Prince of great cou­rage [Page 191] adorned with many Morall vertues, and (as some writers have reported) a favorer and professor of the Christian religion.

Then was Vortiger the King (either vpon hope that adversitie had wrought in him a reformation of mind, or else, for feare lest any civill discord should arise by the election of any other) revoked with common con­sent of the Britans, and restored to his former estate. During his Sonnes raigne (as the Brittish Storie repor­teth) he lived a private life neere Radnor in Wales, where he bestowed much cost in building a Castle for defence (as himselfe vainly imagined against any sud­daine assault.

In the meane time, the strength of the Saxons en­creased by new supplies, which came dayly out of Germanie: and the Britans now doubted their owne estates so much the more, by reason that the Picts and Scottish-men (their ancient enemies) were disper­sed in most parts of the Ile: the Saxons also, for their owne aduantage, entring oftentimes into secret confe­deracie and mutuall leagues with them.

But Hengist (supposing that he could not with safetie enjoy the possession of that territorie, which Vor­tiger had assigned vnto him, so long as the chiefe, and most valiant of the Brittish Nation remained alive) de­vised by a cunning practise (vnder pretence of hospi­talitie and friendship) to draw them togither into one place, and on the suddaine to surprise them. To this end he prepared a solemne Banquet, at which the King, with diverse Noble personages (as bidden guests) were present, suspecting nothing lesse, then what was intended against them. For the Britans being warme with good cheere, and wine (whereof they had drunke immeasurably) were scoffed at by the [Page 192] Saxons, the one provoking the other so farre with re­proachfull termes, that in the end they fell from words to blowes, in such furious maner, as the Britans (be­ing about three hundred in number, all vnarmed, and surcharged with Wine,) were slaine in the place, and Vortiger their King taken prisoner; who (soone after delivering for his ransome, the whole Countrey of Kent, with other Provinces thereto adjoyning, into the Saxons hands) fled to his Castle in Wales: where (supposing himselfe free from danger) he continued his vitious and prophane maner of living, till in the end, both himselfe, and his Castle (as some Wri­ters affirme) was by lightning from heaven consumed to ashes.

Thus Vortiger the last King of the Brittish blood, a Prince in manners dissolute, and weake in actions, was by Strangers dispossessed of his Kingdome: li­ving to see the ruine of his Countrey, whereof him­selfe was the principall cause, and dying in the ende a strange and vnnaturall death, which is commonly the issue of a disordered and infamous life.

The report goeth, that this fatall meeting was held vpon Salisburie Plaines, where (not many yeares after Aurelianus Ambrosius caused that strange building of Stone (now called Stone-henge) to be erected, as a perpetuall Monument of so many wor­thie Britans slaine and buried there; concerning which, sundrie conjectures have beene made, as be­ing either framed according to mens particular con­ceits, or grounded vpon common reports received by tradition. But by what meanes soever they came thither, they are accounted at this day, one of the mi­racles of England, in regarde both of the Stones themselves, which are of a huge bignesse: and also of [Page 193] their composition, and order, whereby they seeme (in a maner) to be supported with their owne weight, in hanging one by another: considering withall, that there are no Stones fit for building, to be found with in many miles of that place.


The calamities of the Britans. The Professors of Chri­stian Religion in Britannie are persecuted by the Sax­ons; whose Idolatrie and superstitious rites are de­scribed.

NOw were the Britans driven from place to place, some flying to the Mountaines: others hiding themselves in Caves vnder the ground, where they either perished for want of foode, or (comming abroad to seeke reliefe) were cruelly murdered: their enemies in the meane time ranging vp and downe without resistance, razing their houses, polluting the Altars in their Temples with the blood of their Priests, burning the Temples themselves, and commit­ting all maner of Sacrilege and outrage, without re­gard of place, or person. For the Saxons, as by little and little they planted themselves in the most wealthie & fruitful parts of the Ile; so they endevored to supplant the truth of Christian religion, whereof they profes­sed themselves open enemies: as men meerly addicted to heathenish superstition, in worshipping divers gods and goddesses; among whom, the images of Thor, Wo­den, Frea, and Eoster, were placed in their Temples, as [Page 194] their chiefe Patrons. They painted Thor with a Scep­ter in his hand, after the same manner that the Poets vsed to describe the image of Iupiter: and him they re­verenced as the commander and disposer of Thunder and Lightning, with all those [...] is that are ingen­dred in the middle Region of the ayre, consecrating to him the fifth day of the weeke, which was afterwards called Tho [...]sday. The name of Woden they attributed to Mercury, or (as some write) to Mars, whom they reve­renced as a protector in warre, and a giver of strength and courage against their enemies: To him they vsual­ly sacrificed with mans blood, and dedicated the fourth day of the weeke, (naming it Wodensday) as yet retai­ning the first denomination with very little difference. Vnder the name of Frea, they sacrificed to Venus, (as the giver of peace and pleasure) whom they adored sometimes vnder the figure of Priapus, committing to her the patronage of the sixth day, called Frea day. Of these three, Thor was placed vpon a three-footed stoole in the midst, and Woden and Frea on each side. To the goddesse Eoster, they alwaies offered sacrifice in the month of Aprill, which thereupon was called Eoster-month. In their consultations of any weightie matter, they observed sooth-saying and casting of lots. Their custome of casting of lots was, first to cut a branch from a fruit bearing tree, into many peeces, which (being distinguished with severall marks) they did cast vpon a white garment at a venture: then (if the matter concerned the Common wealth in generall) the Priest; if a private person onely, the maister of the house (having prayed the gods, and looking towards heaven,) did take vp every of the said peeces three times, and interpreted the future successe according to the forme and similitude of the marks. If the lots [Page 195] fell out contrary to their mindes, they consulted no more that day: if otherwise, yet they would make fur­ther tryall, by observing the flying and singing of birds.

They had another practise also, [...] the e­vent of great and weightie battailes with their ene­mies. For they would get some one of that Nation, with which the warre should be made, and then take another choice man of their owne, arming them both after their country guise, and so make triall of their va­lour, conjecturing by the successe of that fight, on whose side the victory should afterwards fall. But of all other presages, the neying of horses was of greatest cre­dit, both with the Priests and people; who fondly sup­posed, that those beasts vnderstood, and were privy to their secrets. And heereupon (as some imagine) the Dukes of Saxonie in times past, gave a horse for their en­signe. The names also of Hengist and Hors [...], (the first men of note of the Saxon Nation that arrived in Britan­nie) doe signifie in their owne language a Horse: which denominations, whether they were given in respect of their strength and courage, (qualities by nature proper to that beast) or whether they received them vpon any other occasion or accident, I cannot certainely affirme.


Germanus the Bishop conducteth the Armie of the Chri­stian Britans against their enemies, (being Pagans) who by his meanes are defeated. He departeth out of Britannie.

IN the meane time, the Britans (comming together from the places of their retreate, and combining their dispersed forces, the better to defend themselves against the power of the enemie) were freshly assailed by the Sco [...]tishm [...]n & P [...]cts, a great number of the Saxons also, being newly entred into association with them: whereupon Germanus the Bishop, who came over into Britannie a little before the Saxons arrivall, & had remai­ned there with Lupus, to the end they might instruct & confirm the Britans in the true [...]aith, against the Pel [...]gi­an heresie, (confident in the goodnesse of the cause, & to give encouragement to his new converts) offered himselfe to be the Leader of the Brittish Armie, which consisted (for the most part) of such Christians as him­selfe had lately baptised. The place wherein he pit­ched, was a faire valley, enclosed on both sides with high mountaines, over which their enemies were to march. The Bishop himselfe, and certaine Priests that attended him, standing in the midst of the Armie, ex­horted the Britans to fight couragiously as the Souldi­ers of Christ, vnder the banner of his Crosse, (which badge they had received in their baptisme) and com­manding them all, vpon the enemies approach, to an­swer him by crying alowd with one consent, in such manner as himselfe began. Heereupon the Saxons and [Page 197] Scottishmen ascending the further side of the hill, suppo­sed to have charged the Britans on the sodaine: which when Germanus and the Priests that were about him perceived, they cryed out three severall times, Alleluia: all the Britans seconding the crie, and the Eccho re­bounding from the hills doubling the sound: by rea­son whereof, the Pagans (imagining the number of the Christians to be much greater then it was indeede) cast away their weapons, and fled; the Britans killing many of them in pursuit; & such as escaped the sword, being drowned in a river which empeached them in their flying. After this memorable victory, Germanus perswading the Brit [...]ns to vnity and constancie in the profession of Christian religion, as a meanes to make their attempts (against their enemies) prosperous: de­parted out of Britannie, whither (as some Writers re­port) he soone after returned, and by the assistance of Severus the Bishop of Trevers, suppressed the Pelagian heresie, which (after his departure) sprung vp againe, and encreased among the Britans. In remembrance of whose zeale and travaile in that behalfe sustained, the Christians of Britannie afterwards dedicated vnto him (as a protecting Saint,) certaine Churches and houses of religion, in divers parts of the land.


Aurelianus Ambrosius aydeth the Britans against the Saxons. The valiant acts of Arthur the Warre­like.

THe Saxons (perceiving now that the Britans were scattered in severall troopes, dis-armed, and vnfur­nished of all things necessarie for support of the warre) prepared themselves to follow them, and to em­peach them from joyning their forces together any more: to which end, they divided themselves into se­verall companies, with a full resolution, either vtter­ly to destroy, or to expell them out of the Ile: which they had almost brought to passe, when Aurelianus Am­brosius, comming out of Britannie in France, brought hither some of the Britans, (that had feated themselves there) who (pittying their distressed countrymen in the Iland) determined, either to relieve them, or to perish in the enterprize. This Ambrosius was a Roman by birth, honourably descended, and (as hath beene conjectu­red) of the race of that Constantine who for the hope of his name onely, (which was reputed ominous) had beene elected Emperour by the Roman Armie in Bri­tannie. And being now the chiefe Leader of the Britans, he oft times encountred the Saxons, and by the assi­stance of Arthur, (a valiant Captaine) gave them many overthrowes; the circumstances and particularities whereof I find no where remembred, nor of any thing else concerning him, save onely that he vnfortunate­ly ended his life, before he could make an end of the warre.

[Page 199] Then Arthur the Warlike, (the Nephew of Ambro­sius, according to the opinion of some Writers) vnder­tooke the prosecution of the warre, both against the Scottishmen and Picts, whom he chased into the remote parts of the North; & also against the Saxons, whom in twelve severall battailes, (as our Brittish stories affirme) he valiantly defeated. The most memorable was tha [...] which he fought on Bathon-hill, where he obtained a notable and (if credit in that point may be given to an­tient reports) an admirable victorie: and surely, had not the inevitable power of Fate otherwise determined; doubtlesse the Britans should have needed no other helpe to support and repaire their declining and torne estate. For besides his good inclination to protect the Christian faith, he was adorned with many heroicall vertues, but chiefly renowned for the love of Chi­valrie.

The Brittish Story reporteth, that he instituted an Order of Knights, who (as his companions) did sit with him at a round Table, whereupon they were cal­led, Knights of the Round Table: that forme of a Table, seeming perhaps most fit to avoid contention, which many times ariseth among great spirits about superio­ritie of place. These Knights were commonly chosen for their valour and skill in feats of Armes, wherein they strived (vpon emulation) one to excel another. In­to this societie were admitted strangers of divers Nati­ons, who for desire of glory, came over into the Iland, to make proofe of their sufficiency by exercise of armes with the Brittish Knights. For Arthur himself (by vnder­taking great & difficult enterprises in forraigne Coun­tries, after he had subdued the Saxons in Britannie) made his name no lesse famous abroad then at home.

Touching his birth, some have doubted whether he [Page 200] were a Roman, or a Britan: though the Britans challenge him for their Countryman, confidently affirming, that he was borne at Tyndagel in Cornewall; and surely, if the acts of such worthy men (as at sundry times were trans­ported out of the Ile to aide the Romans in the wane of the Westerne Empire) had beene faithfully registred, the glorie of the Brittish Nation might well have been preserved from all suspition of vntruth, without the support of forged and fabulous inventions. As for the place where he died, or the manner of his death, I find no certaine report concerning the same in any appro­ved Writer: But his body was buried at Glastenbu­ry, betweene two Pyramides, where the enscription of his name (engraven vpon a leaden Crosse) was dis­covered many hundred yeares after his death; namely, in the raigne of King Henry the second; who (having some intelligence of the place, by the songs of the Brit­tish Bards) commanded it to be digged, and the Monu­ment to be sought for.

Divers strange and incredible things to the preju­dice of posteritie, have beene written of this Prince, of Queene Guinever his wife, of Gawen his sisters sonne, and of Merlin, a phantastical Prophet, with others, com­monly called, Wandring Knights: matters indeede more fit for feined Legends, and poeticall fictions, then for a Historie, which ought to be a Register of things, either truely done, or at least, warrantable by probabilitie. And albeit those ridiculous and absurd reports of idle Writers, doe seeme to have repaired the reputation of this Prince, and to have called in question the truth it selfe, so farre forth, as some have doubted, whether there were ever any such man or not: yet divers Au­thors of good regard, (pittying his misfortune in that behalfe) have both confirmed his being, and com­mended [Page 201] him as a great souldier and the chiefe pillar of the State of Britannie in his time.


The Britans flie into Wales and Cornewall, where they seate themselves. The Saxons and English possesse the greatest part of the Ile, which is afterwards divided into severall Principalities.

AFter the death of the noble Prince Arthur, the hope of the Britans was cleane abated, and a great number of them fled secretly into Wales and Cornewall, as places furthest off from annoyance by the enemie, and naturally defensible, by reason of the bogges, woods, and high mountaines on the one side, and the seas on the other. Then the Saxons finding little or no resistance, began in processe of time, to erect certaine Provinciall governments in the South parts of the Ile, & in the end, divided the whole Land (excep­ting that portion which the Scottishmen and Picts inha­bited Northward) into seven Principalities, which were severed by certaine limits, and governed (for the most part) by Princes, according to order of successi­on, till by making continuall warre one vpon another, and the Provinces subdued, augmenting the Domini­ons of the Conqueror, the whole land was in the end brought into a Monarchy by the West Saxons. But in what manner these things were done, the Writers of former ages have much varied, and the actions and events of those times, being set downe so darkely and corruptly, that I purposed to have omitted the relation of them, (as a hard and vnpleasant taske for me to vn­dertake, [Page 202] and likely to receive small approbation of o­thers:) if I had not beene thereto induced, partly for respect of order, which required a continuation, and partly vpon desire to preserve the memory of some men, whose names, (as marks of our Christianitie im­posed vpon vs in our baptisme, and registred in our calenders & Churches) are at this day in some vse with vs: deserving well (considering the state and condition of that age) not to be altogether forgotten, howsoever their doings through the negligence or ignorance of some Writers, have beene left to posteritie, as records of Antiquitie, farced with absurdities, and composed meerely of fragm [...]nts peeced together, sometimes without method, and, for the most part, without due coherence of circumstances and matters. For many of those Writers, (being Monks and religious persons) vnacquainted with matters of estate, applyed them­selves, for the most part, to register the charitable deeds of their Bishops and benefactors, founders and main­tainers of Monasteries and Hospitalls, or such like ge­nerall observations: and if aught were well written by any secular man, the same hath perished by the many calamities of the Country, (a thing common to vs with other Nations) or Time it selfe hath worn out, in a manner, the remembrance thereof.

I purpose therefore, to make onely a bare and simple narration of the names of the Princes, and to point out the most memorable things (as I finde them re­ported) in their severall raignes: distinguishing the Principalities themselves, and relating successively one after another, such actions, as for the most part, concurred in time: whereby, though I shall be some­times forced to report the same matters, yet I shall more easily avoide confusion and obscuritie, which [Page 203] the handling of them all joyntly, would bring with it. And so superficially passing over these imperfect af­faires, of the seven-fold regiment of the Saxons and En­glish, I will hasten to the occurrents of those times, which afford more certaine and plentifull matter of discourse, and may yeeld (perhaps) some contentation to the Writer, and more profite and delight to the Reader.

The end of the First Booke of the Second Part of the Historie of Great Britannie.

❧The suceession of the Ken­tish-Saxon Princes.

  • 1 HEngist ruled 31. yeares.
  • 2 Vsk 24. yeares.
  • 3 Otta 20. yeares.
  • 4 Ermeric 29. yeares.
  • 5 Ethelbert, the first Christian Prince, 26. years.
  • 6 Edbald 24. yeares.
  • 7 E [...]combert 24. yeares.
  • 8 Egbert 9. yeares.
  • 9 Lothar 12. yeares.
  • 10 Edrick 2 yeares.
  • 11 Withred 33. yeares.
  • 12 Edbert 23. yeares.
  • 13 Edelbert 11. yeares.
  • 14 Alric 34. yeares.

❧The Archbishops and Bishops in the Prin­cipalitie of the Kentish-Saxons; the times of their suc­cession and continuance in their Seas, from the conversion of the English Nation to Christianity, vntill the ra [...]gne of Egbert, the West-Saxon Prince, who first obtained the Monarchy.

Anno Dom.Archbishops of Canterbury.
598Augustine the Monke, (sent by Gregorie the Great, then Bishop of Rome, to preach the Christian faith to the English) sate 16. yeares.
614Laurentius 5. yeares.
619Mellitus (translated from the Sea of London) 5. yeares.
624Iustus (translated from the Sea of Rochester) 4. yeare [...].
 After whose death, the Sea was voyd one yeare.
628Honorius 26. yeares.
 After whose death, the Sea was voyd three yeares.
655Deus-dedit 10. yeares.
 After whose death, the Sea was voyd three yeares.
668Theodorus 22. yeares.
693Bertualdus 38. yeares.
731Tatwinus 4. yeares.
735Nothelmus 5. yeares.
 After his death, the Sea was voyd one yeare.
740Cuthbertus, translated from the Sea of Hereford, 18. yeares.
759Bregwinus 3. yeares.
762Lambrihtus, (who had formerly beene Abbot of St. Augustine) 31. yeares.
791Aethelardus, (in the time of Egbert the West-Saxon Prince) 13. yeares.

Anno Dom.Bishops of Rochester.
604Iustus (ordained the first Bishoppe there by Au­gustine the Archbishop of Canterbury) sate 20. yeares.
624Romanus 10 yeares.
634Paulinus (translated from the Sea of Yorke) 10. yeares.
644Ithamarus 12. yeares.
 After whose death, the Sea was voyd foure yeares.
656Damianus 9. yeares.
669Putta 8. yeares.
677Quichelmus 4. yeares.
 After whose death, the Sea was voyd three yeares.
681Gebmundus 9. yeares.
693Tobias 34. yeares.
727Aldwulfus 13. yeares.
740Dunnus 24. yeares.
764Eardulfus 11. yeares.
775Deora 15. yeares.
790Weremundus (in the time of Egbert the West-Saxon Prince) 12. yeares.

THE SECOND PART:Kentish-Saxons.

The second Booke.



The Principalitie of the Kentish-Saxons established by Hengist, whom Vsk, Otta, and Ermeric succeede in the government. Austen the Monke is sent from Rome by Gregorie the Great, to preach the Christian faith to the Saxons and English. He landeth in Kent; where he is curteous [...], [...]ertained by Ethelbert, the Prince of that Countrie.

THE Territorie of the Kentish-Saxons, did at the first, include only that part, which at this day is con­tained within the county of Kent, being the very entrance & key of the whole Iland. The west & south sides of it butte vpon the firme land: on the East, the Brittish Ocean beateth, and vp­pon the North, runneth the famous river Thames, [Page 210] navigable for ships of very great burden, and ebbing and flowing many miles within the land: whereby commodities are brought in, and carryed forth, to the enriching of it selfe, and the Countries round about. This Principalitie (enlarged by addition of such Pro­vinces as Vortiger, after the slaughter of the Brittish No­bilitie delivered to the Saxons for his ransome) was e­stablished by Hengist eight yeares after his arrivall, a­bout the yeare of grace 456. Valentinian, the third of that name, then shoring vp the decayed Empire in the West. Although (by consent of divers Writers) he ru­led a long time; yet little or nothing is left of record, concerning any thing done by him, after he was set­led in the governement: either for that perhaps, no great occasion was ministred to shew himselfe in action, (the Britans being now seated in the remote parts of the Ile, and his owne countrymen making warre in other places of the same) or else, for that (be­ing wearied with the warre) he gave himselfe to ease and quietnesse, supposing hee had done enough al­readie, in making the first attempt in an enterprize so difficult, and in getting and leaving to his poste­ritie, the possession of so faire and fruitfull Coun­tries.

After his death, there raigned, eyther joyntly, or successively, Vsk, Otta, and Ermeric; concerning whom, I finde no other mention then of their names onely.

Ethelbert (succeeding Ermeric his father) was in the beginning of his raigne, much encumbred with warres, which he made with very ill successe against Ceaulin, Prince of the West-Saxons: but afterwards, (his knowledge in militare affaires increasing with his yeares) hee fortunately repaired those losses: exten­ding [Page 211] his Dominion, (by reducing the South Provin­ces to his obedience) even to the water of Humber. And the better to strengthen his estate by forraigne aliance, hee married Bertha the danghter of Ch [...] ­rebert, then King of France, a vertuous Lady, and a professor of Christianitie, wherein the King her hus­band was not as yet instructed: howbeit hee per­mitted both her selfe and Luidhard a French Bishop, (that accompanied her into Britannie) to vse the Rites and Ceremonies of their owne Countrie and religi­on: eyther for observance of the contract which E­thelbert before the marriage had made with the King her Father to that end, or else, for the heartie and entire affection which hee bare vnto her, as his wife, whom God had ordained to bee the meanes of his conversion to the Christian faith.

For in the yeare of grace five hundred ninetie sixe, and fourteenth of the raigne of Mauritius the Em­perour, Austen a Monke, was sent by Gregory the first, (surnamed the Great, then Bishop of Rome) to preach the faith to the Saxons and English, then inhabiting the Ile of Britannie, where (landing in the Ile of Tanet, vpon the coast of Kent) hee was entertained in curte­ous manner by Ethelbert the Prince, whose heart be­ing somewhat prepared by his wives perswasion, and by the example of Luidhard, the devout Bi­shop that lived with her) was more apt, in time, to take impression of the Truth, whereto (though him­selfe assented not at the first,) yet hee licensed it to be taught privately, and assigned to Austen a convenient seate at Canterbury, (the cheefe Citie of that Province) giving him an olde Church, which in former times had beene erected by certaine Romans. (exercising there the Christian religion) and con­secrated [Page 212] to our Saviour Christ. This Church was then reedified, and (not many yeares after) Austen without the Citie Eastward, layd the foundation of a Monasterie: for which Ethelbert erected a Church, wherein both Austen himselfe with his successours, and also the Christian Princes of Kent, were (for the most part) interred after their death. This Monasterie being finished, long time after Austens decease, was dedicated to him by the name of Saint Austen, whose memoriall the ruines of that place retaine even to this day.


Austen converteth divers of the Saxons and English from Paganisme to Christianitie. The cause that first moved Gregorie the Great to intend their con­version. Austen is consecrated chief Bishop of the En­glish Nation by the Bishop of Arles in France. He advertiseth the Bishop of Rome, of the successe of his voyage into Britannie, and requireth directions tou­ching the Ecclesiasticall governement to be there e­stablished.

IN the meane time, Austen (beeing now re­ceived as the Apostle of the English Nation) and such Priests as were with him, exercised their Ec­clesiasticall functions, without empeachment; and for that they were altogether ignorant of the Brit­tish language, they vsed the helpe of such Inter­preters, as they had brought with them out of France, in preaching and instructing the people: with [Page 213] whom, partly by their doctrine, and partly by their ex­ample they prevailed so much, as many of them be­leeved, and were baptized: for their teachers began then to expresse in their lives the practise of the Apo­stles in the Primitive Church, by continuall watching, fasting, and praying, contemning the world, and con­tenting themselves with things necessarie to sustaine Life and Nature: so strongly were they possessed with the spirit of zeale, in first planting the Christian reli­gion among Idolatrous Saxons, and English.

It is reported, that Gregorie the Great (when he was but Archdeacon of the Sea of Rome) tooke notice first of the state of the Ile of Britannie, by seeing certaine yong men (borne in a Province of the Northumbers) presented in an open Market at Rome, to be there sold: For, marking well their faire complexions, and comli­nesse of stature, he enquired whence they were: and vnderstanding that they were Angles, of a Province cal­led Deira, and vnder the government of Alla, but as yet heathen (for so the Inhabitants of those parts then were:) he seemed much to lament, that such excellent outward gifts of Nature, should want the ornaments of inward grace: and thereupon alluding to the name of their Prince and Country, (according to their signifi­cations in the Latin, and Hebrew tongue;) he vttered these words, as it were by way of Prophecie: These men are worthily called Angles, for they have the verie faces of Angels: and they shall be one day fellow heires with An­gels in Heaven. For the people of Deira, must be delivered De-ira Divina, by their conversion to the Christian faith: and Alla their King must be taught to sing Alleluia to the praise of the most high God: which worke (being now Bishop of Rome) he was made the Instrument to effect, by sending Austen at this time to preach the faith of [Page 214] Christ in Britannie, where (in a short space) the Chri­stian Religion encreased, in such measure, that vpon one day (wherein the memoriall of the birth of our Savi­our was celebrated) there was above ten thousand men, besides women and children, baptized in a river: the water thereof being hallowed by Austen the Monke, who commanded the people (by reason of the great multitude, and the small number of Priests) to go in by couples, and one to baptise another, In the name of the blessed Trinitie.

When these things were done, Austen went into France, where (according to order given by the Sea of Rome before his departure thence) he was by Ethe­rius Bishop of Arles consecrated chiefe Bishop of the English Nation, and at his returne into Britannie, he sent Laurence a Priest, and Peter a Monke, to advertise the Bishop of Rome of the successe of his labors, requi­ring also further instructions in some doubtfull points, concerning the discipline of the Church, and other matters of ceremonie and observance.


Instructions sent to Austen from the bishop of Rome, for the ordering and government of the new Church in Bri­tannie. The Primacie of the Sea of Canterburie. The first English bishops of London and Yorke.

HEreupon the Bishop of Rome signified by his Let­ters to Austen, and the rest of his Associates, how acceptable a worke, to God and his Church, they had performed: commending their great zeale, and constant minds, which neither the travaile of a long [Page 215] and laborious journey, nor feare of danger by sea or land, could dismay from persisting in their good inten­tion: giving thanks to God, that had assisted them with his spirit, and exhorting them to hold on the course in­to which they were alreadie entred.

Touching the Ecclesiasticall government, if there were any thing, either in the Church of Rome, France, or any other Church, which Austen thought meete to be altered, for the better service of God: he willed him therein to vse his pastorall authoritie, and to select out of everie one of them, what himselfe thought most re­quisite for setling an vniformitie of government in the Church of Britannie: affirming, that divine worship was not to be esteemed in regard of the place, but the place to be honoured, in regard of the divine worship. Fur­ther, he put him in mind of the ancient custome of the Sea of Rome, which had ordeined the profits and reve­nues of Bishoprikes to be divided into foure equall parts: whereof the first was assigned to the Bishop him self, and the family, for the maintenance of hospitalitie: the second for the benefite of the Clergie in generall: the third for reliefe of the poore, and the fourth for re­pairing of Churches.

Then he admonished him, to deale gently with the new Converts, and to tollerate some of their erronious Traditions for a time, lest by restraining them at first to the precise observation of Christian discipline in e­verie point, he might divert them from their good pur­pose, and hinder the proceeding in the generall cause: For he supposed it a matter of verie great difficultie, to plucke vp at once those ranke weedes of Superstition, which by long continuance of time had taken deepe [...]oote in their affections: considering well, that he that desireth to attaine the highest place, must ascend thi­ther [Page 216] by steps and degrees, and not by leapes (as it were) in an instant.

He answered likewise many other objections, pro­pounded by Austen. concerning degrees of consangui­nitie and aliance, to be observed in cases of Marriage, and also touching the admission of meete persons to be partakers of the Lords Supper.

Touching the punishment of Sacrilege, he advised, that offenders therein might first be charitably corre­cted & admonished, to the end, that (knowing the great­nesse of the crime) they might, by penance, and resti­tution make amends, and detest from thence-foorth to commit the like.

With the Bishops of France, he willed him not to intermeddle otherwise then by counsaile, and exhorta­tation, lest (by interposing himselfe in matters of Eccle­siasticall government there) he should seeme to thrust his Sickle into an other mans Harvest: but he appoin­ted all the Bishops of Britannie to be vnder his juris­diction, giving him power to nominate, and consecrate Bishops in severall places, where he thought conveni­ent. Howbeit it was then decreed, that the Bishop of London should (ever after) be consecrated by his owne Synod, and receive his Pall from the Sea of Rome; for he appointed the Citie of London to be the Metro­polis and chiefe Sea: though Austen (contrarie to the Bishop of Romes direction in that behalfe) transferred it afterwards to Canterburie, as a place vnto which he was well affected, for the good entertainment he had there first received: and also, for that it was more com­modious for sending by Sea to Rome, and more free from danger, then the miner parts about London, whose inhabitants were lesse civill, and not so well in inclined to receive the doctrine of christianity, as the [...] [Page 217] were: For Pope Gregorie ordained, London, and Yorke to be the Seas of two Archbishoprikes, and that each of them should have vnder it twelve inferior Bishopriks, but that neither of the Archbishops should be subject to other, nor take place of precedence otherwise then according to prioritie of consecration, save onely that (for Austens honour) he appointed all of them to re­maine vnder his jurisdiction during his life.


Austen receiveth the Pall from Rome. Gregorie the Great sendeth gratulatorie Letters to Ethelbert, who is converted to the faith, being the first Christi [...]n Prince of the English nation. The Church of Saint Paul in Lon­don is founded? Melitus the first Bishop there in the Saxons time. Iustus the first Bishop of Rochester C [...]n­tention betweene the English and Brittish Cleargie, a­bout celebration of the feast of Easter.

WIth these and other such like instructions, the Messengers were dispatched into Britannie, where, at their returne, they presented to Au­sten, the Pall (the ornament of a Bishop) which the Bi­shop of Rome had sent vnto him as a [...] and confir­mation of his Ecclesiastical dignitie and authority, and also certaine Vessels and Vestments which were thought meete to be vsed for [...] in the English Churches. [...], with divers other godly lea [...]ned men, were ap­poynted to accompanie the Messengers into the Iland, to the end they might assist Austen, and the Priests there in preaching the Gospel▪

[Page 218] At that time the Bishop of Rome sent also cer­taine gifts of great value to Ethelbert the Prince, and by speciall Letters commended his favourable vsage and princely bountie shewed, in receyving and main­teining such persons, as came into his Countrey, to instruct himselfe and his Subiects in the know­ledge of true Religion (the greatest blessing that ever any Nation could enjoy:) signifying withall, that by his conformitie to those things which they taught, a happie entrance was alreadie made for reducing the whole Iland to Christianitie, and that if he perse­vered as he had begun, he might vndoubtedly expect an eternall reward in heaven.

For albeit Ethelbert at the first was not verie rea­dily induced to abandon the ancient superstitious customes of his owne Nation, partly, for that he had beene trained vp therein from his tender yeares▪ and partly, for that he was secretly informed, that some of the Priests (which then preached the faith of Christ) were seditious persons, exercising witchcraft, and seducing the people, vnder pretence of simplici­tie: yet after his conversion he became a zealous pro­fessor and practise [...] of pietie: erecting faire Temples for divine Service, endowing them with large pos­sessions; and earnestly exhorting other Princes with­in the Ile to do the like.

He founded a Church in the Citie of London, which the Kentish Saxons (in right of superioritie o­ver the East-Saxons) at that time possessed, and de­dicated it to the Apostle Saint Paul. In more ancient times (as some conjecture by the bones of such beasts as were vsually sacrificed by the Gentiles, and found in that place) there had beene a Temple dedicated to Diana; of that Church Melitus (being sent by Au­sten [Page 219] to preach the Christian faith to the East-Saxons) was afterwards elected the first Bishop. The Cittie of Rochester also he assigned to Iustus, who was consecrated the first Bishop of that Sea.

But while these things were a doing, there arose some controversie betweene the English Roman Clear­gie, and certaine British Bishops, concerning the ce­lebration of the feast of Easter, and other Rites and Ceremonies, wherein the Brittish Church dissented from the Church of Rome: for the Britans then dwel­ling in Wales, and the West parts of the Ile) conti­nued there the exercise of the Christian faith, which had beene preserved among them ever since it was first planted in the Iland, though now and then the cleere course thereof, was either by contagious Here­sies, or by prophane and irreligious Princes, interrup­ted for a time: howbeit, when they perceived the Saxons themselves in some measure to approove it, they beganne with boldnesse to make open professi­on of it, as seeming therein to agree even with their enemies, howsoever otherwise in respect of language, situation, or the law of Nations they were divided.


Austen calleth a Synode to reconcile the differences between the Brittish and English Cleargie. The Brittish Bishops aske counsaile of an Anchorite, whether they should con­forme themselves to such things as Austen the Monke should require of them. They refuse to accept him for their Archbishop. Austen appointeth Laurentius to suc­ceed him in the Sea of Canterburie. He dieth.

AVsten perceiving that this disagreement was like­ly to prove prejudiciall to the state of the new Church, thought it the best and safest way, to pre­vent the inconvenience in the verie beginning, and to that end he summoned a Synod, which (by the meanes of Ethelbert the Prince) he procured to be held vpon the borders of the West-Saxons Country.

At that Synod, seven Brittish Bishops, certain Monks of Bangor (the greatest Monasterie in the Ile, where­of Dinothus was then Abbot) and diverse others well reputed for their learning and knowledge in divinitie were present. It is reported, that the Brittish Bishops (before their comming thither) asked counsaile of an Anchorite (a wise and holie man) living there about, what he thought meetest for them to do in that great businesse which they had then in hand: and whe­ther they should follow the advice and directions of Austen, or retaine still their ancient Traditious: where­to it is said, that the Anchorite made this answer: If he be of God, follow him, and that shall you best discerne by his humilitie: For Christ sayeth: Take vpon you my yoke, and learne of me, for I am milde, and humble of heart: [Page 221] If therefore you perceive by his behaviour, that hee is prowd and high minded, then be ye well assured, that he is not of God. Heereupon, when they came to the place where the Synod was to be kept, and saw Austen sitting in a chaire, but not saluting them at their first entrance, nor see­ming by his outward gesture to respect them: they supposed the Anchorists speech to have beene in part then verified, and with much impatiency, heard the Arch-bishops oration: wherein they were specially re­quired to preserve the vnitie of the Christian faith, and (though they did many things contrarie to the vsage of the Roman Church,) yet to conforme themselves thereto in three points, namely, in celebrating the feast of Easter in due-time, in exercising the ministery of Baptisme, according to the manner of the Church of Rome: and in joyning with him, and the rest of the En­glish Bishops, in preaching the Gospel of Christ to the heathen of that Nation; which if they would faithful­ly performe, he promised, for avoyding contention, (a matter very dangerous, considering the present condi­tion of the time) to tolerate the continuance of any o­ther old rites and traditions, wherein they should dis­sent from the Church of Rome. But the Britans (imagi­ning, that he, who at his first comming, vsed them in that disdainefull manner, would afterwards, being set­led in a superintendency over them, vtterly de­spise them) discovered plainely their discontentment by their countenances, and made a short answer; that they would neither observe those things which he re­quired at their hands, nor acknowledge him for their Bishop: Whereto Austen with bitter words replyed; that sith they would not receive peace when it was of­fered, they should ere long, feele the heavy hand of war and vengeance vpon themselves and their posteritie: [Page 222] and so the assembly was dissolved.

Not long after, Austen the Arch-bishop (wearied with care and travaile of minde) fell sicke of a langui­shing disease: and doubting lest the state of the Church (being as yet greene, and shaken with the blasts of schisme and division) might easily miscarry for want of a Pastor: he thought good, while he lived, to provide for it, by appointing Laurence, a grave and learned Priest, to succeede him in the Sea of Canterbury: and ha­ving to that end elected him, and caused the election to be published, he departed this life. His body was bu­ried in his owne Monastery, within the Church, which Ethelbert had there erected, and an inscription in Latine, was set over the place of his buriall, decla­ring his name, and qualitie, and the time, occasion, and successe of his comming into the Ile of Britan­nie.


Ethelbert the Prince, provideth for the maintenance of re­ligious persons. Hee ordaineth lawes for civill governe­ment, publishing the same in the English tongue. Ed­bald his sonne succeedeth him in the Principalitie of the Kentish-Saxons. His Apostacie. Repentance. Death.

IN the meane while, Ethelbert the Prince, (persisting with great devotion in the profession of the Chri­stian faith) did move very many of his subiects to follow his example therein: and such persons (as pro­fessors of one faith with him) he vsed with speciall fa­vour: the rest that refused to doe the like, he would not [Page 223] compell, saying; that he had beene taught, that The ser­vice of Christ must be voluntarie, and not forced.

And as he was very forward in advancing and sup­porting the State ecclesiasticall, so he was not altoge­ther carelesse of the civill governement. For by advice of the wisest and best learned men of his Province, he made certaine constitutions (after the manner of the Romans) and published them in the English tongue, to the end his people might vnderstand them, and (by knowing the penalties imposed vpon offences) more readily avoid the offences themselves. By these lawes he provided first for the weale and safegard of religious persons, ordaining restitution and severe punishment for such as by theft or violence, tooke away anything from Churches, Bishops, or Priests. For he thought it very meete, that he should, by all meanes, protect and prefer from worldly annoyance, such men as watched and prayed for the health & salvation of soules. And thus spending the rest of his time in the exercise of pie­tie and all princely vertues, after he had prosperously raigned many years, he ended his daies in peace. He had issue Edbald, who succeeded him in the governement: and Ethelburga, married to Edwin, Prince of Northum­bers.

Edbald was (by his fathers direction) trained vp in the knowledge of the Christian faith, which (af­ter he had obtained the Principalitie) hee vtterly re­nounced: being otherwise also defamed for divers no­torious and detestable vices, whereby the greater num­ber of his subjects (following his example) returned a­gaine to idolatry, and ran head-long into all kinds of enormity: from which, (in his fathers time) rather feare of temporall punishment, then love of vertue and re­ligion, restrained them. Heereupon Iustus the Bishop [Page 224] of Rochester, and Melitus the Bishop of London, (per­ceiving this generall defection in the Provinces, both of the Kentish and East-Saxons, by reason of Edbalds A­postacie, and being vnable, eyther to direct, or to op­pose themselves against the streame of superstition, which sodainely brake in vpon them) gave way to the time, and secretly fled into France, where they remai­ned till Edbalds conversion: Laurence the Arch-bishop also intended to have followed them, but that he was admonished by a vision, (as it is reported) that hee should not forsake his flocke. In the meane time, Edbald continuing his profane and vicious manner of living, fell at the last (through distemperature of minde) into a frenzie, being also possessed with an vncleane spirit: When the Arch-bishop of Canterbury taking courage, (as in a good cause) repaired boldly vnto him, & partly by admonition, partly by exhortation, prevailed so farre with the Prince, as in the end he wan him to ap­prove and professe the truth of Christianitie, from which by infidelitie he had fallen: whereupon soone after ensued the recoverie of his bodily health, which by many grievous infirmities, had beene a long time much empaired. The remnant of his life, (after he was rebaptized) he spent in devotion and deeds of charity, to expiate and make satisfaction for his former impietie and Apostacie.


Ercombert succeedeth Edbald in the Principality. The in­stitution of Lent. Honorius the Arch-bishop of Can­terbury divideth his Province into Parishes. Deus­dedit succeedeth Honorius in the Sea of Canterbury. Egbert ruleth the Kentish-Saxons after the death of Ercombert. Theodorus the Arch-bishop of Canter­bury expelleth Wilfrid out of the Sea of York. His lear­ning in Divinitie and Philosophie. His estimation in the Court of Rome.

THen Ercombert his son, (by Emma the daughter of the King of France) a temperate and religious Prince, prosecuted the worke which his father had begun, in reestablishing the Christian faith within his Dominions The idolatrous Priests he banished, ra­zing their Temples to the ground, and erecting others for the service of the true God. The subjects of his Realme (being much inclined to excesse in eating and drinking) he restrained, by commanding a publike fast, during the space of fortie daies, to be yeerely kept, for the better exercise of devotion; which custome conti­nueth among the English even to this day. The Church of Canterburie was governed in his time by Honorius, who first (as it is reported) divided his Province into Parishes, and left his Sea to Deus-dedit, the first Saxon Arch Bishop, (the former being strangers of other na­tions;) his owne name was Frithona, which for his zea­lous inclination towardes the advancement of the Church and Common-weale, was changed into Deus-dedit, as the man whom God himselfe had specially [Page 226] given. After him, Wighard was elected, but died at Rome before his consecration.

Ercombert the Prince, having peaceably ruled the Kentish Saxons about foure and twenty yeares, ended his life when the continuance thereof was most desi­red. He had by Sexourga, (one of the daughters of An­na, Prince of the East-Angles) a sonne named Egbert, that succeeded him in the governement.

Egbert ruled the Kentish-Saxons with great moderati­on, and had not his hands beene defiled with the in­nocent blood of Elbert and Egelbright, his cosin ger­mans, he might worthily have beene registred in the number of their best princes.

In his time there lived Adrianus the Abbot, and The­odorus, (a Graecian borne) then Arch-bishop of Canter­bury, and the last of those that came out of Italie. They were men of speciall regard for their learning and ho­linesse of life. This Theodorus began first of all others, to exercise his Pontificall authoritie over all Britannie, placing and displacing Bishops at his pleasure, conse­crating (contrary to ordinances of the church of Rome) Bishops of other Seas in the Citie of Yorke, and either by force or shew of right, removing first Cedda, and af­terwards Wilfrid, (who had bin Bishops of that place) pretending, that the wealth and possessions of that Bi­shopricke alone, were sufficient to maintaine three Bi­shops, and that it was meete they should be divided ac­cordingly: but whether he did it for the selfe same end that was pretended, or for envie at the glorie and great­nesse of that Sea, I will not take vpon me to censure. Howbeit, Wilfrid (being thus expelled, and his Sea dis­membred) exhibited his complaint to Agatho, then Bi­shop of Rome; notwithstanding he sought thereby, ra­ther to manifest his owne innocency, then to accuse [Page 227] Theodorus. Whereupon, being in the end acquited by judgement of the Court of Rome, he was remanded into his former seate, which yet he could not obtaine, by reason that Egfrid, the Prince of Northumberland, refused to receive him, while Theodorus either openly opposed against his re-admission, or cunningly vnder­hand, laboured to empeach it: the reputation of this Arch-bishop, (as of a stowt Prelate, and very well lear­ned both in Philosophie and Divinitie) being so great with the Church of Rome in those daies, as she would not alter or make frustrate, what he indirectly had esta­blished; for further proofe whereof, also may serve the verie testimonie of Agatho, the Bishop of Rome, who de­ferred the Session of the sixth Synod at Constantinople, (where the Bishops of all other Nations were assem­bled) vpon expectation onely of Theodorus his com­ming thither out of Britannie.


Lothar (by intrusion) succeedeth Egbert his brother in the governement. The West-Saxons invade the Province of Kent. Cuthbert Arch-bishop of Canterbury, cal­leth a Synod for reformation of abuses in the Cl [...]rgy. The succession of the Kentish Princes, from Lothar to Alrich. Kent is subdued, and annexed to the Principa­litie of the West-Saxons.

AFter Egbert, Lothar his brother vsurped the go­vernement, which by right appertained to Edrick his Nephew, and (seeking by force, to keepe and maintaine what by wrongfull intrusion he had gotten) was in the end (after many conflicts) wounded with a [Page 228] dart, whereof he died. Then Edrick, the sonne of Eg­bert recovered the Principalitie, which hee possessed with little quiet, partly by reason of civill dissention a­mong some of his owne subjects, that aspired to the go­vernement, and partly, for that the Kentish Territorie was then invaded by Moll, (the brother of Ceadwall, Prince of the West-Saxons) and divers valiant Captaines his associates, whom the Kentishmen, by casting fire vp­pon their Tents, destroyed and consumed to ashes. Whereupon Ceadwall, to revenge his brothers death, hotly pursued the war in Kent, and expulsed Edrick the Prince, spoiling and burning Townes as he marched, and chasing the inhabitants from place to place, with little or no resistance. By reason of these troubles, the Province remained certaine yeares without a Gover­nor, till Withred (the sonne of Egbert) purchasing peace with money, obtained the Regiment, although Sweb­herd at that time held part of the Province, either by vsurpation, or composition. About this time Berctual­dus governed the Sea of Canterbury, vnto which Tat­winus succeeded: and after him Nothelmus, who was a speciall helper of venerable Bede, in furnishing him with notes and instructions for composing his storie of the Church of England. After the death of Withred, his three sonnes, Edbert, Edelbert, & Alrich, ruled succes­sively. During the raigne of Edbert the Prince, Cuthbert was translated from the Sea of Hereford, to the Arch­bishopricke of Canterbury, where he sate about eigh­teene yeares. Hee was had in great reverence both of religious and secular men, in regard of his holinesse of life, and zealous care for reforming abuses in the Cler­gie: For to that end he summoned a counsell of the Bishops and Prelates of the land, at which Ethelbert the Prince of the Mercians, with the most part of his [Page 229] Nobilitie were present.

Alrich raigned many yeares, and fortunately defen­ded his Dominions against the Mercians, till at the last, he was overthrowne in battaile by Offa their Prince, who in his owne person invaded the Province of Kent. He died without issue, being the last Prince of the Ken­tish line, which was cut in sunder with the threed of his life.

Then Edelbert, (surnamed Pren) vsurping the State, made warre vpon the Mercians, by whom he was taken prisoner, and afterwards escaped, though (recovering his libertie) he could not recover his former dignitie.

Cuthred likewise assum'd, for a time, the title of Prince, which he left to Balbred his sonne. But now the Provin­ciall governement of the Kentish-Saxons, (which had continued about 380. yeares) drawing on to his fatall period: Egbert the West-Saxon Prince, strongly assailed the chiefe places of defence, driving the Mercians out of the Province, and forcing Balbred also to abandon it; by which meanes, in the end, making a conquest of the whole Countrie, he vnited it to the Principalitie of the West-Saxons.

❧The succession of the South-Saxon Princes.

  • 1 ALla ruled about 24. yeares,
  • Simen
  • the two elder sonnes of Alla.
  • Plening
  • 2 Cissa the youngest sonne of Alla.
  • 3 Edilwalch the first Christian Prince.
  • 4 Aldin the last Prince of the South-Saxons.

It is very likely that there were more Princes of the South-Saxons, though I finde no certaine report of any other then those aboue mentioned.

❧The succession of Bishops in the Principalitie of the South-Saxons.

Bishops of Selesey.
  • 681 Wilfrid (expulsed from his Sea in Northumber­land) sate 5. yeares.
  • 686 Hedda (who was also at the same time Bishop of Win­ton) sate 19. yeares.
  • 705 Daniel (who likewise held the Sea of Winton) sate 6. yeares.
  • 711 Eadbertus 8. yeares.
  • 719 Eolla 9. yeares.
  • After the death of Eolla, the Sea was void about 5. yeares.
  • 733 Sigga 28. yeares.
  • 761 Alubertus 29. yeares.
  • 790 Osa alias Bosa (who was Bishop of Selesey, in the time of Egbert the West-Saxon Prince) sate 27. yeares.

The first CHAPTER.South-Saxons.

The principalitie of the South-Saxons established by Ella. Cissa his yongest sonne succeedeth him therein. Edil­walch the first Christian Prince of the South-Saxons.

ELLA the Saxon, was one of those Captains, which Hengist (vpon pre­tence of ayding the Britans against the Picts) had sent for out of Ger­manie, while himselfe was making warre in Kent. About the yeare of Grace 478. being well appointed for men, shipping, and other war­like provisions, he arrived on the coast of Sussex (with his three sonnes, Cimen, Plening, and Cissa:) and after many sharpe encounters with the Britans inhabiting those parts▪ was constrained (by reason of his ill successe in the beginning) to send into Germanie for new sup­plies, wherewith he besiegedAn ancient Citie seated in that place, where New­enden in Kent now standeth. Andred-Cester (a place si­tuated neere a verie great Forrest) the chiefe and most defensible fortresse in all the Southern parts, and (ha­ving by policie intercepted the Brittish forces that came to relieve it) entred the Citie by assault, and put to the sword, all those that were within: the souldiers ransac­king the houses for bootie, murdering the inhabitants, and defacing the Citie it selfe, whereof Time hath left no other remembrance to this day, then onely the name, and calamitie of the place.

After this great losse, the Britans sought rather to provide for their owne saftie, by flying into the woods, (whence they might sallie forth vpon advantage, and [Page 234] retire themselves againe) then by making open resi­stance, which oft-times procured apparant and irreco­verable daunger.

In the meane time, Ella began to erect a Provinciall government over that part of the Ile (lying vpon the sea South-ward (which at this day containeth the Counties of Surrey, and Sussex: though his successors by encroching vpon their neighbor Princes, extended it afterwards even to the Firth of Humber.

After his death, his two elder sonnes Cimen, and Plening (being either slain in the field, or dead by course of nature) Cissa his yongest sonne was by generall con­sent of the people of his owne nation, received as Go­vernor. The chiefe seate of his principalitie, was the Citie of Chichester, which he reedified, and called by his owne name. He also fortified the place now called Cissburie in Sussex by casting a trench about it for de­fence of the Province.

What other things were done by him, as also by the rest of the South-Saxon Princes, the Writers of the occurrents of that age, have (for the most part) omitted, or Time it selfe hath vnhappily bereaved vs of the knowledge of them. He ruled the South-Saxons verie many yeares, and died naturally: leaving the govern­ment in peaceable estate to Edilwalch, who succeeded him therein.

Edilwalch, by the earnest perswasion of Wulfhere (the religious Prince of the Mercians) was first moved to em­brace the Christian faith: and Wulfhere himselfe) being his Godfather) did at the time of his baptisme, give vn­to him the Ile of Wight, and another small Province in the West part of Britannie.


Variance betweene the Archbishops of Canterburie, and Yorke. Wilfrid chiefe Bishop of the Northumbers, (expulsed from his owne sea at Yorke) flieth into Sus­sex, where he converteth the inhabitants to the Christi­an faith. He is curteously entertained by Edelwalch the Prince, who assigneth to him the Ile of Selesey for an Episcopall sea. The South-Saxons are brought vnder the obedience of the West-Saxon Princes.

IN the meane time Wilfrid, chief Bishop of the North­humbers (being expulsed from his sea at York, by The­odorus the Archbi. of Canterburie, & openly disgraced by Egfrid, then Prince of Northumberland) appealed to the Court of Rome, from which he obtained a defini­tive sentence, for his justification, touching those mat­ters wherewith he was charged, and also for his restitu­tion and reestablishment in his Sea. But Egfrid the Prince refused to receive him, protesting against the sentence, as vnduly procured: whereupon Wilfrid the Bishop fled secretly into Sussex, and preached the Chri­stian faith to the South-Saxons, whose Prince named Edelwalch received him with great joy, assigning vnto him for his Sea, the Ile of Selesey, where afterwards the foundation of a Monasterie was laid. After the death of Egfrid Prince of the Northumbers, he was revoked, and restored to his former dignitie, which yet he en­joyed not long without interruption. He was a man of great courage, as having beene continually exercised with troubles, and worldly incumbrances, which do commonly deject and oppresse such as yeeld thereunto, but do engender constancie or obduracie in such as [Page 236] encounter and oppose them. The authoritie of the Sea of Rome he was euer stiffely bent to maintaine. The cu­stome of celebrating the feast of Easter after the Roman maner he diligently taught and defended in publike disputation against the Bishops of Scotland, who obser­ved the vsage of the East Churches, according to the tradition of the Iewes.

It is reported of him, that while he remained in the Province of the South-Saxons, he instructed the rude poore people, (dwelling vpon the Sea coasts) in the art of fishing with Nets, and Ginnes, by which meanes they were relieved in the time of famine, wherewith the Country was then much afflicted.

The province enjoyed a long time of prosperitie vnder this Christian Prince, till in the end it was assai­led by Ceadwall, a man of great power and courage (des­cended from the race of the West-Saxon Princes) who being banished from his owne Country, attempted by force to have expulsed Edelwalch: and finally (after ma­ny conflicts) slue him in battaile. Howbeit (the grea­test number of his owne forces being spent in that warre) he was afterwards constrained to abandon the Province (which Aldin then governed) till afterwards obteyning the West-Saxon Principalitie, he assaied the recoverie of it againe, and in the end, by conquest, an­nexed it to that government, when it had remained (a­bout three hundred yeares) vnder the obedience of the South-Saxon Princes.

The succession of the Mercian Princes.

  • 1 Creda, the first Prince of the Mercians, ruled about ten yeares.
  • 2 Wibba (the sonne of Creda,) twentie yeares.
  • 3 Ceorla (the sonne of Wibba) ten yeares.
  • 4 Penda (surnamed the Stowt) the sonne of Wibba, thirtie yeares.
  • 5 Peda, the sonne of Penda, the first christian Prince.
  • 6 Oswin.
  • 7 Wulfere, the brother of Peda.
  • 8 Ethelred, the brother of Wulfhere.
  • 9 Kinred, the sonne of Wulfhere.
  • 10 Celred, the sonne of Ethelred.
  • 11 Ethelbald.
  • 12 Bartred.
  • 13 Offa, the nephew of Ethelbald.
  • 14 Ecfrid, the sonne of Offa.
  • 15 Kenulph, nephew to Penda in the fifth degree.
  • 16 Kenelm, a child of seven yeares (the sonne of Ecfrid) murdered by his owne sister, and reputed a Martyr.
  • 17 Ceolwulph, brother to Kenulph.
  • 18 Bernulph, defeated by Egbert Prince of the West-Saxons.

❧The succession of Bishops in the Principalitie of the Mercians, till the raigne of Egbert the first English Monarch.

Bishops of Lichfield, and Chester.
  • 656 Diuma, (the first Bishop of the Mercians) sate two yeares.
  • 658 Cella, two yeares.
  • 660 Trumherus, five yeares.
  • 665 Iarumannus, foure yeares.
  • 669 Cedda, (removed from the Sea of Yorke) three yeares.
  • 672 Winfridus, foure yeares.
  • 676 Sexulphus, sixteene yeares.
  • 692 Hedda, twentie-foure yeares.
  • 716 Aldwinus, twentie one yeares.
  • 737 Witta, fourteene yeares.
  • 751 Hemetus, thirteene yeares.
  • 764 Cuthfridus, nine yeares.
  • 773 Bertunus, seven yeares.
  • 780 Higbertus, ten yeares.
  • 790 Aldulfus, (in the time of Egbert the West-Saxon Prince) twentie foure yeares.
Bishops of Lindisferne, now called Holy-Iland.
  • 678 Edhedus, sate one yeare.
  • 679 Aethelwinus, twenty two yeares.
  • 701 Edgarus, nineteene yeares.
  • [Page 239] 720 Kenebertus, thirteene yeares.
  • 733 Alwich, eighteene yeares.
  • 751 Aldulphus, sixteene yeares.
  • 767 Ceolwulfus, seventeene yeares.
  • 784 Vnwona, two yeares.
  • 786 Ealdulphus, (after whose death the Sea was void cer­taine yeares) lived about the time of Egbert the West-saxon Prince.
Bishops of Hereford,
  • 680 Putta sate eleven yeares.
  • 691 Tirthelus, twelve yeares.
  • 703 Tortherus, fifteene yeares.
  • 718 Walstodus, eighteene yeares.
  • 736 Cuthbertus, five yeares.
  • 741 Podda, five yeares.
  • 746 Ecca, six yeares.
  • 752 Cedda, six yeares.
  • 758 Aldbertus, eleven yeares.
  • 769 Esna six yeares.
  • 775 Ceolmundus, eight yeares.
  • 783 Vtellus, five yeares.
  • 788 Wulfhardus (in the time of Egbert the West-Saxon Prince) twentie one yeares.
Bishops of Worcester.
  • 688 Boselus, sate twelve yeares.
  • 692 Ostforus, one yeare.
  • 693 Egwinus, twentie foure yeares.
  • 717 Wilfridus, twentie seven yeares.
  • 744 Mildredus, thirtie two yeares.
  • 776 Weremundus, three yeares.
  • [Page 240] 779 Wolberus, two yeares.
  • 782 Eathoredus, seven yeares.
  • 789 Denebertus, (in the time of Egbert the West-Sax­on Prince) thirtie three yeares.
Bishops of the Middle-English, whose Sea was at Leycester.
  • 692 Wilfrid, (expulsed from his province of Northum­berland) sate ten yeares; after whose departure the Sea of Leycester was governed by the Bishops of Lichfield, vntill the time of Totta.
  • 737 Totta, twentie seven yeares.
  • 764 Edbertus, (in the time of Egbert the West-Saxon Prince) fortie three yeares.

CHAP. I.The Mer­cians.

The principalitie of the Mercians, erected by Creda the Saxon. Penda persecuteth the Christians in his Pro­vince. Peda succeedeth Penda his father in the go­vernment. He marrieth the daughter of Oswin Prince of the Northumbers, and receiveth the Christian faith.

THe middle part of the Ile of Bri­tannie (containing at this day the Counties of Glocester, Hereford, Worcester, Salop, Chester, Stafford, Bathe, Warwicke, Leycester, Rutland, Nottingham, Northampton, Lincoln, Huntington, Bedford, Buckingham, Oxenford, and part of the Countie of Hertford) was in ancient time possessed by the Angles, whom the inhabi­tants of the bordering Provinces round about did then call Mercians. It was in circuit of ground much larger then either of the other principalities, being at the first diuided into three parts, according to the seve­rall situations, namely the East, West, and Middle Mercia.

The first Prince of the Mercians was Creda, who a­bout the yeare of Grace 586. (either by his owne force, or by the assistance of such Princes of his owne nation, as were alreadie established in government) expelling the Britans, obtained the principalitie.

After him Wibba his sonne: then Ceorla, and Penda, the sonnes of Wibba, ruled successively.

Penda was a Prince of a hautie spirit, and a great [Page 242] persecuter of the Christians: he made continuall incur­sions vpon the borders of his neighbour Princes, exer­cising all kind of crueltie where he vanquished. Sebert, Egricke, and Ana, three Religious Princes of the East-Angles, were by him overthrowne. The Princes of Nor­thumberland, Edwin, and Oswold, he slue in several battels. Oswin the successor of Oswald, after many assaults, of­fering his richest Iewels, and a great summe of monie, to redeeme his peace, could not procure it. For Penda▪ had made a solemne vow, that he would never give over the warre, till he had rooted out the whole Nation of the Northumbers. Heruepon Oswin perceiving himself vnable to make resistance against so power-full an ene­mie, prayed to God for helpe, protesting, that, if he ob­tained the victorie against the Mercians, his daughter Alfrid, should be consecrated to serve him in perpe­tuall virginitie: and a great quantitie of land should be assigned for the erection and maintenance of Mona­steries: both which (the successe answering his desire) he afterwards performed.

Peda the eldest sonne of Penda (in the life of his fa­ther) possessed that part of the Province, which was called Middle-Mercia. He married the daughter of Oswin, Prince of the Northumbers, vpon condition that he should receive the christian faith:) whereupon he was baptised by Finan the Bishop ofHoly-Iland Lindisfarn in the Pro­vince of the Northumbers: and at his returne into Mer­cia, brought with him certaine Priests to instruct; and baptise his people, which Penda himself was contented to tollerate, either for the affection which he bare vnto Peda his sonne, or else for that he could not but approve the conversation of such as taught Subjects to be hum­ble, charitable, and obedient to their superiors: by rea­son whereof, he exercised lesse crueltie against the pro­fessors [Page 243] of Christianitie, then in former times he had ac­customed: pursuing onely such persons, as bearing the name of Christians, lived dishonestly, and irreligiously, alledging that they, who neglected the service of that God, in whom alone they professed themselves to be­leeve, were very wretches, and worthie of all kinds of punishment.


Oswin Prince of the Northumbers ruleth the Mercians, after the death of Peda, till he is deposed by Wulfere, the brother of Peda. Lichfield is made a Bishops Sea, for the Province of the Mercians. Chadde is Bishop of that place. Wulfere is christned. Ethelred his bro­ther succeedeth him in the Principalitie. He foundeth a Bishops Sea at Worcester. He resigneth his government, and goeth to Rome, where both himselfe, and Kinred his nephew, take vpon them the habit of religion. Celred his sonne succeedeth him.

PEnda being slaine in battell, and Peda his son made away by the trecherie of his wife, Oswin alone pos­sessed the government, having at that time also the soueraigntie over the South-Saxons. The Picts, that forreyed the borders of his Province, he in short time reduced to obedience. Then he provided for establish­ment both of the Civill and Ecclesiasticall state, advan­cing the one by execution of Iustice, and augmenting the other by large Donations to Religious houses. He founded the church of Lichfield, which he made the Bi­shops Sea for the province of Mercia. Dwina a Scottish man, Bishop of Holy-Iland, was made Bishop also of that Province (the number of Priests being then so smal, that [Page 244] one man had the charge of two Bishoprikes.) The fift Bishop in succession from Dwina was Cedda; a man much reverenced for his holinesse of life, and after his death, commonly called Saint Chadde.

But the Mercians desirous to advance Wulfere the brother of Peda to the government, conspired against Oswin, and expulsed him by force out of the Province, which afterwards Wulfere peaceably enioyed.

Wulfere in the beginning of his raigne, was a perse­cuter of the Christian faith. His two sonnes (that went to Bishop Chadde, to be instructed therein) he vnnatu­rally slue with his owne hands: their dead bodies were by Ermenheld the Queene their mother, buried in a Se­pulchre of stone, where afterwards a Church was erec­ted; the place, by reason of the multitude of stones that were brought thither vpon devotion by the com­mon people, gave the name vnto the towne, which is at this day called Stone (in the Countie of Stafford.) But Wulfere after his conversion to the Christian faith, en­devoured (as he thought) to wipe away the guilt of that bloodie offence, with the teares of repentance and satisfactorie works of charitie, in erecting Churches, and devoting the rest of his life to the service of God: whose example therein, Ermenheld his wife did follow after his death, sequestring her self from the world, and taking vpon her the veile in the Nunrie at Ely, where Sexburga her mother was Abbesse.

Ethelred succeeding Wulfere his brother procured a Bishops Sea to be established at Worcester: Of that place Bosellus was the first Bishop. In his time diverse religi­ous houses were erected, as the Monasterie of Euesham, (then called Hothe-Holme) founded by Egwinus the se­cond Bishop of Worcester: the priorie of Teuksburie by Odo and Dodo: the Monasterie of Glocester by Osreck [Page 245] Bishop of Glocester, and divers others. The King him­selfe having raigned about thirtie yeares, became a Monke at Bardony, in the Countie of Lincolne: and Kinred the sonne of Wulfere, (his Nephew) having en­joyed the governement fiue yeares, went to Rome, where he tooke vpon him the habite of religion.

Celred, the sonne of Ethelred, (succeeding him) shew­ed great courage in his warres against Ina the West-Sax­on Prince, but died before he could finish it.


Ethelbald succeedeth Celred in the governement. He is reprooved by Bonifacius an Englishman, (Bishop of Vtricht in Holland) for his lascivious life. His Re­pentance. Hee erecteth the Monastery of Crowland. He is slaine in battaile.

EThelbald, the successour of Celred, was a professour of Christian religion, though much addicted to wantonnesse and sensuall pleasures, for which he was sharpely reprooved by Bonifacius an Englishman, (then Bishop of Vtricht in Holland, and afterwards Arch-bishop ofMentz. Mogunce in Germanie) who wrote vn­to him, how fowle and dishonourable a thing it was, that he, which raigned over so many Nations, should himselfe be the bondslave of fleshly lust: signifying withall, that those offences of impuritie which he com­mitted, were punished even among the heathen with death and cruell torments: that by his ill example, he corrupted his subjects: that God himselfe for those vi­ces, had plagued many Princes, both in their own per­sons, and in their posteritie: and finally, that the plea­sures [Page 246] of this life, are but short and vaine, and the paines ordained for sinne, intolerable and eternall.

He likewise admonished Cuthbert, Arch-bishop of Canterbury, that hee should cause the light habites of Priests and Nunnes, (who fashioned themselves too much after the secular guise) to be reformed.

But Ethelbald being stricken with compunction of heart, for the lascivious follies of his youth, sought by all good meanes to prevent those dangers; into which, through securitie and continuance in sinne, he doub­ted that he might irrecoverably have fallen: and first, by the advise of his Clergie and temporall Nobilitie, he ordained; that all the Churches within his Domi­nions, should be discharged of tribute, and freed from all burthens and labours, excepting onely such as were to be vndertaken for the necessary building of Tow­ers, Castles, and Bridges, for the defence and generall good of the Province; in which case, none were to be exempted: and that persons professed in religion, should enioy the profits of their lands entirely, and not be constrained to make any other payments out of the same vnto the Prince.

About that time also, Cuthbert Arch-bishop of Can­terbury, by the advice of Bonifacius, the Arch-bishop of Mogunce, made certaine constitutions for the governe­ment of the Clergie, vnder his jurisdiction: by which (amongst other things) it was ordered, that the holy Scriptures should be vsually read in Monasteries: that Priests should be no buiers nor sellers of worldly com­modities: that they should receive no rewards for ad­ministring the Sacraments: that there should be an vni­formitie among them in the observation of Ecclesiasti­call ceremonies: that they should both learne them­selves, and teach others the Lords praier, & the articles [Page 247] of the Christian faith in the English tongue, and that none should be admitted to holy Orders, but such per­sons, whose conversation and maner of living was first examined and approoved.

In the meane time, Ethelbald the Prince (partly of his owne religious inclination, and being partly mo­ved by the examples of his predecessors) caused a great and goodly Monastery to be erected at Crowland in the Countie of Lincolne, where, for that the ground was fennie, and vnable to support the weight of a stone building, many huge piles of Oke were driven into the Marish, and hard earth (brought thither about nine miles by water) was rammed in with the piles, where­vpon the foundation of the Church was laid: such was the zeale of Princes in those dayes, as they could levell Mountaines, convert fennie bogs into firme land, and alter, in a maner, the verie course of nature: no cost see­ming too much, no labour too great, nor any thing im­possible that they had a will to effect.

When he had reigned aboue fortie yeares, Cuthred the West-Saxon Prince, invaded the territorie of the Mercians: during the continuance of which warres, Ethelbald was slaine by Bartred (a person notorions for his crueltie) and was afterwards buried in the famous Monasterie of Rippon: howbeit Bartred soone lost that which he had ill gotten: for he was also slaine by Offa the Nephew of Ethelbald, who succeeded him in the government.

CHAP. IIII.The Mer­cians.

Offa ruleth the Mercians. He foundeth the Monasterie of Saint Albans. He maketh a ditch to divide the Ter­ritories of the English and Walshmen. Kenelmus the Martyr. The Catalogue of the Mercian Princes, from Offa, vntill the West-Saxons obtained their Principalitie.

OFfa was a warlike Prince, and for the most part fortunate. Kineulph the West-Saxon Prince he o­verthrew in a setbattaile: and Ethelbert Prince of the East-Angles, he surprized vnder colour of friend­ship, and after his death, vsurped that Province. How­soever ambition and desire of glorie, transported him beyond the limits of his owne Principalitie: yet was he a great benefactor to the Church: for he erected a faire Monasterie in the honour of Saint Alban, neere the Towne that now beareth the Martyrs name, and richly endowed it by his Charter; He founded also the Abbey of Bathe: the Archi-Episcopall Sea, he transla­ted from Canterburie to Lichfield, (the chiefe seat of the Mercian government,) where it continued but a short time. Betweene Wales and the borders of his Province he caused a ditch to be made for defence against the incursions of the Britans, whom the Saxons then called Walsh, which in their language signifieth (stranger.)

Elfrid his sonne succeeding him, reigned but one yeare.

Then Kenulph (descended from Penda the Tyrant) obtained the regiment. He assailed the territorie of the Kentish-Saxons, and tooke prisoner Egbert their Prince, [Page 249] whom afterwards he freely delivered, vpon the selfe same day that he dedicated the Church at VVinchel­combe, whereof he was the founder: adding that spe­ciall Act of clemencie to the other exercises of prayer and fasting, then ordinarily vsed at such dedications. In the Cittie of Hereford also, he founded a Church which he consecrated to Saint Ethelbert.

Kenelm, sonne of Ecfrid, being about the age of se­ven yeares was slaine by Quinda his owne sister, that aspired to the government, and dying innocently, was afterwards reputed a Martyr.

Then Ceolworth the brother of Kenulph, having raig­ned but one yeare, was expulsed the Principalitie, by Bernulph: and Bernulph himselfe, (after three yeares) defeated by Egbert the VVest-Saxon Prince. Then Lu­can defending himselfe against the West-Saxons, was as­sailed, and overthrowne by the East-Angles.

VVithlasm for a time withstood the VVest-Saxons, but in the end submitted himselfe to their subiection, which he acknowledged by the payment of a yearely Tribute.

After his death, Berthulf possessed the principalitie, with like conditions, till being assailed by the Pirates of Denmarke, he was constrained for safegard of his life, to abandon the Countrie.

Burdred succeeded Berthulf, both in estate and for­tunes: for being chased out of Mercia by the Danes, he fled to Rome, where he died. Then was some part of the principalitie assigned by the Danes to Ceolwolph, who held it of them by homage: till Alfred the nephew of Egbert the West-Saxon Prince, entred the Province with an armie, and expulsing both Ceolwolph and the Danes, reduced it vnder the obedience of the VVest-Saxons.

❧The succession of the East-Saxon Princes.

  • 1 Erchenwin held the province of the East-Saxons, as feodatarie to the Princes of Kent.
  • 2 Sledda, the sonne of Erchenwin.
  • 3 Sebert, the sonne of Sledda, the first Christian Prince.
    the sonnes of Sebert ruled ioyntly.
    • Serred,
    • Seward,
    • Sigbert,
  • 4 Sigebert, (surnamed the Little) the sonne of Seward.
  • 5 Sigbert, the sonne of Sigebald, (brother of Sebert.)
  • 6 Sigher.
  • 7 Sebbi.
  • 8 Sigeherd, the sonne of Sebbi.
  • 9 Seofride, the brother of Sigeherd.
  • 10 Offa, the sonne of Sigeherd.
  • 11 Celred.
  • 12 Suthred, defeated by Egbert, Prince of the West-Saxons.

❧The succession of the Bishops of London in the Province of the East-Saxons.

  • 604 Melitus, the first Bishop (sent from Rome) sate thir­teene yeares, after whose translation, the Sea was void about fortie yeares.
  • 658 Cedda, eight yeares.
  • 666 Wina, (translated from the Sea of Winton) 9. yeares.
  • 675 Erkenwaldus, twenty two yeares.
  • 697 Waldherus, eighteene yeares.
  • 715 Ingualdus, thirtie one yeares.
  • 746 Egwulfus, eight yeares.
  • 754 Wighedus, seven yeares.
  • 761 Eadbrichtus, eleven yeares.
  • 775 Deora, nine yeares.
  • 784 Eadbaldus, eleven yeares.
  • 795 Heathobertus, (in the time of Egbert the West-Saxon Prince) eighteene yeares.

The first CHAPTER.East-Saxons.

The principalitie of the East-Saxons, erected by Erchen­win. Sebert the first Christian Prince. Miletus the first Bishop of the East-Saxons, hath his Sea at London. Saint Pauls church there founded by Ethelbert (the first Christian Prince of the Kentish-Saxons.) The Church at Westminster founded by Sebert. Cedda (afterward called St. Chadde) preacheth the Gospel to the East-Saxons. Sigher and Sebbi, ioyntly rule the Province.

ERchenwin was the first of all the Saxons, that erected a Provinciall government among the East-Sax­ons, who then inhabited those parts, which now containe the Counties of Essex, Middlesex, and part of the Countie of Hartford: all which, both himself and his successors many yeares togither held by homage of the Kentish Princes, as of their superiour Lords. This Prince having reigned a long time (with what successe, I find no certaine re­port,) left the government to Sledda his sonne, who, to strengthen his estate by affinitie, married Ricula, the daughter of Ermerick the Prince of Kent, by whom he had issue Sebert that succeeded him.

Sebert governed peaceably the Province of the East-Saxons, which in his time was converted to Christia­nitie: for in the yeare of Grace 604. Miletus was sent by Augustin the Archbish. to preach the faith of Christ to that people, and had the Cittie of London assigned to him for his Episcopall Sea, where Ethelbert [Page 253] the Kentish Prince erected a Church, which he dedica­ted to Saint Paul, endowing it with large possessions: and Sebert (following his example therein) founded an other at the West end of the citie, where afterwards, a Monasterie was builded: The place at that time (be­ing environed with water, and overgrowen with thornes) was called Thorney, and afterwards (by reason of the situation thereof) the West-Minster.

It is reported that in more ancient times there had beene a Temple of Apollo, which being overthrowen by an Earth-quake, Lucius the first Christian Prince of the Britans, reedified and converted to a Church for the exercise of the Christian Religion.

Sebert (having spent the most part of his time after his conversion) in deedes of Charitie and Devotion, ended his life, and was buried in that Church, togither with his wife Ethelgoda.

Serred, Seward, and Sigbert his sonnes, ruled ioyntly the province of the East-Saxons. They were all men of disordered conversation, and open despisers of religi­ous rites: for, being not yet baptised, they would have receyved the Sacrament of Christs bodie: wherein, for that Miletus the Bishop had opposed himself against them, they expelled him from his Sea at London, and themselves soone after were by Kinegles the West-Saxon Prince, deprived both of government, and life.

Sigebert, surnamed the Little, the sonne of Seward, succeeded in the principalitie, which in short time he left to Sigbert, (the nephew of Sebert (the first Chri­stian Prince of the East-Saxons:) Sigbert was by perswa­sion of Oswin chiefe governor of the Northumbers, con­verted from Paganisme to Christianitie, wherein he was confirmed, by Cedda, a devout learned man, that then preached to the East-Saxons, and recovered many [Page 254] of them, which (after the expulsion of Miletus) had fal­len from the faith. He was afterwards by Finan (the Bishop of Holy-Iland) consecrated bishop of the East-Saxons: amongst whom, he preached the Gospell of Christ without interruption, till such time as Sigbert the Prince, (procoring the dislike of his Subjects, for that he shewed too much clemency to the Mercians his ene­mies) was trecherously murdered by one of his owne kindred.

After his death, Swidhelin, the sonne of Sexbald, ob­tained the regement, and was baptised by Cedda the Bishop.

Then Sigher & Sebbi ruled togither, but not with abso­lute authoritie, for at that time they acknowledged al­legeance to Wulfere Prince of the Mercians. In those dayes great plague and mortalitie fell vpon the Inhabi­tants of the Province, and Sigher (renouncing the faith) fell to Idolatry, which in a short time greatly encreased, till Iarumanus the Bishop of Lichfield, and certain priests (being sent thither by VVulfere to that end) laboured with all diligence to stop the course thereof, and in the end suppressed it.


The Devotion, Chastitie, and Chiritie, of Sebbi the Prince. The maner of his death. Offa resigneth the government, and goeth to Rome, where he entreth into Religion. Eg­bert the West-Saxon Prince, obtaineth the principalitie of the East-Saxons.

IN the meane time Sebbi, and the people vnder his obe­dience, (notwithstanding the relapse of their Coun­try-men) persisted constantly in the faith of Christ: [Page 255] and Sebbi himselfe by praying, fasting, and Almes ceeds,East-Saxons. manifested his owne earnest desire to maintaine the same: being so strongly possessed with the spirit of zeale, and love of Chastitie, as he perswaded his wife to a separation, whereby they might serve God with more puritie of heart: and his pietie and humilitie was had in such estimation, even among the religious per­sons, as they reputed him more meete to have beene a Priest, then a Prince. After he had (with much diffi­cultie obtained his wives consent for a separation) he bestowed the greatest part of his worldly wealth vpon the poore: reserving nothing for himselfe (besides his necessarie maintenance) but onely the expectation of a future recompence. In his time lived Erkenwald a god­ly Priest, who was afterward Bishop of London. He founded two Monasteries, the one for himselfe, at Chartsey in Surrey, and the other for Ethelburga his sister at Barking in Essex. Sebbi having ruled about thirtie yeares, fell sicke of a grieuous and verie painfull disease; by reason whereof, doubting lest [...]hrough frailtie of the flesh, he might burst out into any intemperate speeches, or do any other thing vnseemely for his person & pro­fession, he desired Waldher the successor of Erkenwald, (then Bishop of London) by prayers and ghostly coun­saile to assist him in his agonies, and that no more then himselfe, and two of his Chaplains onely might be pre­sent at the time of his departure: so great a care had this religious Prince in well finishing that race, which he had prosperously continued the most part of his life: and in preventing all occasions of scandall to the faith which he professed. His bodie was buried in the church of Saint Paul in London, and then Sigeherd, and Seofrid his two sonnes, successively ruled the Province of the East-Saxons. After them it was governed by Offa, the [Page 256] sonne of Sigeherd, who married Geneswede the daughter of Penda Prince of the Mercians. The possessions be­longing to the Church of VVestminster, he greatly aug­mented, and (resigning the governement to Celred) went to Rome, where he ended his life in a Religious house. Celred succeeded Offa, maintaining the state of the Province in peace, till in the end he was slaine: but in what maner, or by whom, I find no mention. Then Suthred (either by right of succession, or by election) obtained the governement, which he enioyed but a short time; for Egbert the VVest-Saxon Prince, invaded at one time the Provinces both of the East and Ken­tish Saxons, and in the end brought them vnder his sub­jection: albeit the Citie of London remained vnder o­bedience of the Princes of Mercia, so long as that prin­cipalitie continued.

The succession of the Princes of the East-Angles.

  • 1 Vffa.
  • 2 Titill.
  • 3 Redwald, an Apostatae.
  • 4 Carpenwald, the sonne of Redwald.
  • 5 Sebert, the brother of Carpenwald.
  • 6 Egrick the kinsman of Sebert.
  • 7 Ana.
  • 8 Athelhere, the brother of Ana.
  • 9 Adelwald.
    the sonnes of Athelhere, ruled ioyntly.
    • Aldulph,
    • Elohwold,
    • Hisberna,
  • 10 Ethelbert. 1.
  • 11 Ethelbert 2.
  • 12 Offa.
  • 13 S. Edmund.

❧The succession of Bishops in the Principalitie of the East-Angles.

  • 636 Faelix a Burgundian Bishop of Dunwich, sate twelve yeares.
  • 648 Thomas (his Deacon) five yeares.
  • 653 Bonifacius, alias Birtgilsus, seventeene yeares.
  • 670 Bisi.
After Bisi, the bishopricke was divided into two Seas.
671 Aecca, twentie three yeares.Beadwinus.
696 Aesculfus, twentie foure yeares.Northbertus.
720 Eadberctus, sixteene yeares.Heatholacus.
736 Cuthwinus, eleven yeares.Eahelfridus.
747 Aldbertus, foure yeares.Lamfertus.
771 Eglafus, eight yeares.Athelwulfus.
779 Eadredus, six yeares.Hunfertus.
785 Althunus, three yeares.Sibba.
788 Titfridus, twentie yeares.Alherdus.

CHAP. I.East-Angles.

The Principalitie of the East-Angles erected by Vffa. Fae­lix a Burgundian, preacheth the faith to the East-An­gles. His Episcopall sea at Dunwich in Suffolke. Se­bert the first Christian Prince, resigneth his government to Egrick, and entreth-into a Monasterie, from whence he is drawne forth by his subiects, when the Mercians invade his Province. He is slaine in battaile with Egrick, whom Ana succeedeth in the government.

THe Counties of Norfolke, Suffolke, and Cambridge, with the Ile of Ely, were the ancient habitations of the East-Angles; among whom, Vffa (about the yeare of Grace 492.) established a principalitie, which he left vnto Ti [...]il, of whom little or nothing is recorded, save onely the name and title.

Then Redwald succeeding him, entred into league with Edwin, advauncing him to the government of the Northumbers, after the death of Edelfrid their Prince, whom Redwald had slain in battaile. He was afterwards (by the exhortation of Edwin the Prince,) converted to Christianitie, from which he was within a short time withdrawne by his wi [...]es perswasion, though Dorwald one of his sonnes persevering therein, was cru­elly murdered by Rochbert a Pagan: and Carpenwald his other sonne (succeeding his father in the govern­ment) participated with his brother in his fortune; for he was slaine by the same man, and in the same maner.

[Page 260] Then Sebert his brother obtained the govern­ment. During the raigne of Carpenwald, he lived as a ba­nished man in France, where he was first instructed in the Christian Religion. In his time, Foelix the Burgun­dian came into Britannie, and made suite to Honorius the Archbishop of Canterburie, that he might be licen­sed to preach the Gospel to the East-Angles: whereto the Archbishop (approving his zealous intention) wil­lingly assented; and so the Christian faith within few yeares was dispersed throughout the Province, by the diligence and labor of Foelix, whom the inhabitants re­verenced as a man, that (being himselfe happie both in name and condition) had power also to make others happie. He was made Bishop of Dunwich in Suffolke, which being then but a small town, became afterwards very rich and populous, and was governed according to the maner of the ancient and best Cities. Many reli­gious houses (the fruits of devotion in that age) were at sundry times erected in the place. There was also a Mint wherein a certaine coine (with the inscription of the name of the Citie) was stamped. But time hath worne out in a maner the remembrance of these things at this day, and the sea hath devoured the greatest part of the building. It continued an entire Bishops Sea, but a while; for Bisi (the fourth Bishop in succession from Foe­lix) divided it into two Bishopricks: the one of Dun­wich, the other of Holinham.

In the meane time Sebert, (imitating the example of the Kentish Saxons) provided meanes, that the chil­dren born within his Dominions, might be trained vp in learning, and religion, erecting Schooles, and allow­ing stipends for the maintenance of Teachers. He was also a great benefactor to Hospitals, and Religious houses, and in the end (resigning the government [Page 261] to Egrick his kinsman) hee entred into a Monasterie, (whereof himselfe had beene the founder) and there remained peaceably, till (by the treacherous practise of Athelhere, one of his nobilitie) Penda the Mercian Prince, with an armie of Pagans, invaded his Province; for then was hee forcibly drawne thence by his owne subjects, who (finding themselves too weake to resist their enemies) brought Sebert himselfe into the field: supposing, perhaps, that his personall presence would encourage his people to fight with more resolution: but in that battaile, the East-Angles were overthrowne, and both Sebert and Egrick his cosin slaine.

The like successe in the selfe same manner befell Ana, who succeeded Egrick in the Principalitie.


Athelhere the brother of Ana, ruleth the East-Angles. He is slaine by Oswin, Prince of the Northumbers. S. Ethelbert is murdered by Offa, Prince of the Mer­cians. Offa having made a voyage into the Holy-Iland, dieth in his returne homewards. Edmund suc­ceedeth Offa in the governement. The Martyrdome of S. Edmund by the Pagan Danes. The Monastery of S. Edmunds. bury in Suffolke erected. The Princi­palitie of the East-Angles annexed to that of the West-Saxons.

THen Athelhere the brother to Ana, assumed the governement, but preventing his time in the getting of it, he lost it againe ere he was fully s [...] ­led: for, as by combining with Penda the Pagan [...] had beene a meanes to hasten the death of his [...], hee [Page 262] and kinsman:East-Angles. so his owne blood (together with Pen­daes) was soone after shed by Oswin, Prince of the Nor­thumbers.

Adelwald his brother with little better fortune suc­ceeded him, leaving the Principalitie to Aldulf, Eloh­wold & Hisberna, (the sonnes of his brother Athelhere,) who by civill discention, (supplanting one another) made way for Ethelbert to attaine the government.

Ethelbert by his wife Laonorine, had a sonne of his owne name that succeeded him. Ethelbert the second, was a Prince much renowmed for learning and piety. He governed the Province with great wisedome and prosperous successe, till by the perfidious dealing of Offa, the Mercian Prince, he was shamefully murdered. For being betrothed to Alfride, the daughter of Offa, (who ambitiously affected the Principality of the East-Angles) he was vnder colour of friendship, invited to a feast, where Offa (by the perswasion of his wife) com­manded his head to be cut off, and his body to be bu­ried in the banke of a river. By this dishonourable act, the Mercians obtained the Province. But Offa, being af­terwards touched with sorrow and compunction of heart for committing it, caused Ethelberts body to be taken vp, and to be conveied to the Citie of Hereford, (not farre from the place where he was slaine) and there to be very solemnly enterred: supposing thereby to ex­piate in part, the guilt of his former offence: After­wards a Church was there built, and dedicated to E­thelbert by the name of a Saint. Then Offa vndertooke a voyage to the Holy-land, and passing through Saxony, was there received with great ioy by Alkemond the King his kinsman, and Syware his wife: at that time he adopted Edmund, the son of Alkemond, to be his heire, and to succeede him in the Principalitie of the East-Angles, [Page 263] which did soone after fall vnto him; for Offa in his returne from the Holy-land, ended his life at Port St. George: whereupon Edmund speedily repaired into Britannie, where he was received by the East-Angles, as their Prince. In his time Hinguar & Hubba, the two Da­nish Pirates, invaded Northumberland; and Hinguar ha­ving enriched himselfe with the spoyles of that Coun­try, sailed towards the coast of the East-Angles, where (afterwards landing) hee surprized their chiefe Citie, consuming it by fire. The Citizens also, without re­spect of age or sect, he cruelly murdered, and in the end, tooke Edmund the Prince, whom first the Pagan Danes perswaded to renounce the profession of Chri­stianitie. But when they could neither by promises of assurance of life and safetie, nor by threats and terror of death, prevaile with him therein, they beate him with staves, scourged him with whips, and vsed him with all kindes of barbarous in civilitie and crueltie, which the religious Prince with great meekenesse and patience, endured cheerefully, calling vpon the name of Iesus, as reioycing for his sake, to suffer those torments and indignities. The Pagans seeing his great constancie and courage, were transported with furie, and at the last, wounded him with their shafts, which they shot at him, till his body was covered over with them. The [...] they cut off his head and cast it into a bush. His body (being afterwards found) was enterred at Bury in folke, where a goodly Monastery was erected and [...]dicated to him, (the ruines therof remaining yet to this day.) After his death, the Principalitie of the East-An­gles was possessed by the Danes about 50. yeares, till Ed­ward (the sonne of Etheldred) the West-Saxon Prince ex­pulsing them, annexed both that Province & the coun­try of the East-Saxons, (adjoyning to it) vnto his owne government.

❧The succession of the Princes of the Northumbers.

  • 1 Ida.
  • 2 Alla.
  • 3 Ethelrick the younger sonne of Ida.
  • 4 Ethelfrid the brother of Ethelrick.
  • 5 Edwin the first Christian Prince.
  • 6 Osric.
  • 7 Eanfrid.
  • 8 Oswald (the Martyr) brother of Eanfrid.
  • 9 Oswin the brother of Oswald the Martyr.
  • 10 Adilwald the sonne of Oswald the Martyr.
  • 11 Egfrid the sonne of Adilwald.
  • 12 Alfred the bastard sonne of Oswin.
  • 13 Osred the sonne of Alfred.
  • 14 Osric.
  • 15 Kenred.
  • 16 Ceolnulph.
  • 17 Egbert.
  • 18 Oswolf.
  • 19 Moll.
  • 20 Alered.
  • 21 Etheldred.
  • 22 Aelfwold.
  • 23 Osred.

❧The succession of Bishops in the Principalitie of the Nor­thumbers.

Arch-bishops of Yorke.
  • 625 Paulinus sate nine yeares.
  • 666 Cedda three yeares.
  • 669 Wilfrid nine yeares.
  • 678 Bosa nine yeares.
  • 687 Wilfrid (restored) foure yeares.
  • 691 Bosa fourteene yeares.
  • 705 Ioannes sixteene yeares.
  • 721 Wilfridus two yeares.
  • 738 Egbertus nine and twenty yeares.
  • 767 Ethelbertus thirteene yeares.
  • 780 Eanbaldus 1. sixteene yeares.
  • 796 Eanbaldus 2. sixteene yeares.
Bishops of Lindisfarn (Holy-Iland.)
  • 635 Aidanus sate seventeene yeares.
  • 652 Finanus nine yeares.
  • 661 Colmannus three yeares.
  • 664 Tuda two yeares.
  • 666 Cedda three yeares.
  • 669 Wilfridus nine yeares.
  • 678 Eata five yeares.
  • 685 Cuthbertus two yeares.
  • [Page 266] 687 Wilfridus (restored) one yeare.
  • 688 Eadbertus ten yeares.
  • 698 Eadfridus twentie three years.
  • 721 Aethelwoldus nineteen years.
  • 740 Kinewulfus thirty nine years.
  • 779 Higbaldus twenty foure years.
Bishops of Haugustald (Hexham.)
  • 678 Eata sate two yeares.
  • 680 Tumbertus five yeares.
  • 686 Ioannes one yeare.
  • 687 Wilfridus foure yeares.
  • 691 Ioannes (after Wilfrids expulsion.)
  • 705 Wilfrid (restored) foure yeares.
  • 709 Acca thirtie yeares.
  • 739 Frithebertus twenty seven yeares.
  • 766 Alhmundus fourteene yeares.
  • 780 Tilherus nine yeares.
  • 789 Aethelbertus eight yeares.
  • 797 Heardredus three yeares.
  • 800 Heanbertus ten yeares.
Bishops of Whit-hern in Scotland.
  • 723 Pethelmus sate thirteene yeares.
  • 736 Frithewaldus twenty seven yeares.
  • 763 Pechtwinus fourteene yeares.
  • 777 Aethelbertus thirteene yeares.
  • 790 Beadwulfus.

CHAP. I.The Nor­thumbers.

The Principalitie of the Northumbers divided into two Provinces, namely Deira and Bernitia, which are vni­ted by Ethelrick. Ethelfrid defeateth the Britans, and killeth the Monks of Bangor. Edwin the first Chri­stian Prince. Paulinus preacheth the faith to the Nor­thumbers, and hath a Sea assigned him at Yorke. The death of Edwin.

THe Principalitie of the Northum­bers, extended northward, over all that part of the land, which at this day containeth the Counties of Lancaster, Yorke, Durham, Cumber­land, Westmerland and Northumber­land: all which were possessed by the Angles, and divided into two Regiments, where­of the one was called Deira, and the other Bernitia. Bernitia was bounded with the river Tyne and Eden­borough Firth: and Deira with the Tyne and Hum­ber.

When Hengist was setled in the possession of the Kentish governement, he sent Octa his brother, and Ebusa his sonne, to vndertake the conquest of those parts, which with verie much difficultie they obtai­ned. The Province afterwardes, (during the space of ninetie and nine yeares) was governed by certaine Dukes or Captaines, who held the same by homage of the Kentish-Saxons.

About the yeare of grace 547. Ida erected a Principa­litie [Page 268] in Deira, and Alla his kinsman succeeded him there­in: for at that time, Adda the eldest sonne of Ida, ruled the Bernicians.

Alla governed Deira many yeares: but little men­tion is made of him, save onely that in his time, the English Nation was first made knowne to Gregorie, then Arch-deacon of the Sea Apostolike, who (being af­terwards Bishop of Rome) sent Augustin the Monke into Britannie, to preach the Gospel of Christ vnto the inhabitants there.

Ethelrick, the younger sonne of Ida, succeeded Alla in the government of Deira: and in short time adioyned thereto, the Province of Bernicia: ma­king of them both, one entire Principality, which he left to Ethelfrid his brother.

Ethelfrid was a valiant and victorious Prince. Hee made continuall warre vppon the Britans that inha­bited the borders of his Province, and (chasing them from their habitations) planted his owne subjects therein. But Aidan the King of Scots, suspecting the neighbourhoode of so mightie an enemie, as­sayed by force, to empeach his further passage Northward, till by the Northumbers, (being fewer in number then the Scottes) hee was in battaile over­throwne.

Then Ethelfrid, incouraged with this good suc­cesse, remooved the warre to Chester, where the Bri­tans in great number had assembled themselves to make resistance: but, while the Monks and other re­ligious persons were praying there, that the Britans their countrymen might speed and prosper well in that enterprize, Ethelfrid with his forces furiously assayled them, putting to the sword about one thousand and two hundred religious persons of the Monastery of [Page 269] Bangor, & driving the rest of the Britans into the woods and marishes: (many of them perishing by the hand of the enemie, before they could recover those places.)

When Ethelfrid had raigned about twentie seven yeares, he was slaine in a battaile by Redwald, Prince of the East-Angles: and left behind him seven sonnes, whom Edwin (that succeeded in the government) dis­possessed, and banished out of the Province.

Edwin was by Boniface the Bishop of Rome exhor­ted to embrace the Christian faith, and in the yeare of Grace 6 [...]6. Paulinus (the third Bishop of Rochester in succession) was appointed by Iustus the Archbishop of Canterburie to preach the Gospel vnto the Northum­bers, and to be their Bishop: to which end also, Edbald the Prince of the Kentish-Saxons, had by letters recom­mended him to Edwin his brother in law.

In the mean time, Evichelm the West-Saxon Prince, (ambitiously affecting the soveraigntie of the Nor­thumbers) practised with Eumer (a man easily corrup­ted for desire of gaine) to murder Edwin the Prince: for the execution of which detestable purpose, Eumer with a poysoned weapon hidden vnder his garment, assailed the Prince, and had slaine him in the place, if Lilla had not thrust himselfe betweene his person, and the danger; and, (by making himselfe the memorable example of a faithfull servant) preserved his masters life with the losse of his owne.

In revenge of this trecherous act, Edwin invaded the territory of the West-Saxons, & (after a great slaugh­ter of the Inhabitants of that Province) reduced the most part of it vnder his obedience. Then, to shew the fruits of his conversion to Christianitie, he gave vnto Paulinus the Citie of Yorke, to be a Bishops Sea, for him and his successors: laying the foundation of the Ca­thedrall [Page 266] Church of Saint Peter, which was afterwards finished by Oswald.

About the same time also, Paulinus himselfe erected the great Church at Lincoln.

This prince in felicitie of government, excelled all his predecessors: he was greatly beloved and honored of his people, and no lesse feared of his neighbor Prin­ces, who (for the most part) held their Provinces of him by homage. The Roman Banner Tufa was carried before him in token of triumph, as well in times of peace, as warre.

It is not to be forgotten, that he caused certain cups of Iron, and Brasse, to be set by cleare Wels and foun­taines, running by high wayes, for the vse of Pilgrims, and Travailers: which Cups remained long after in those places, no man attempting to convey them a­way, either for the reverence they bare vnto the Prince, (by whose appointment they were set there) or else that they made a conscience to convert to their private commoditie, such things as were ordained for a pub­like good.

But Edwin having reigned about seventeene years, was in the end assailed at one time, both by Penda the Prince of the Mercians, and Ceadwall the Brittish Prince, till, with the losse of his life, he made an end of the warre.


Oswald ruleth the Northumbers. He is slaine in battaile against Penda the Mercian Prince. He is honoured with the title of a Martyr. Oswin his brother succeedeth him. A Bishops Sea at Lichfield. Egfrid the Prince, removeth Bishop Wilfrid from his Sea at Yorke. Ce­olnulph and Egbert, successively ruling, give over the government to enter into Religion. Venerable Bede li­veth in the time of Ceolnulph. The Northumbers are brought vnder the subiection of the West-Saxons.

AFter his death, the Principalitie of the Northum­bers was dismembred againe: For Osrick the sonne of Elfrick. (Prince Edwins vncle) held onely the government of Deira, and Eanfrid the sonne of Ethel­frid, commanded the Bernicians. Both these Princes for­saking the Christian faith, fell to Idolatrie, and were slain in battell by Ceadwall the Brittish Prince, that spoi­led & wasted the country of Northumberland, til Oswald (the brother of Eanfrid) opposed himselfe against the power of the Britans, whose Captaine Ceadwall, with the greatest number of his forces, perished in the field.

After this victorie, Oswald possessed the Province in peace, and then sent for Aidan a Scottish-man, to preach the Christian faith vnto his people, assigning to him Holy-Iland for his Sea. The Inhabitants of Deira and Bernicia (who for the hatred which they bare one to another, had submitted themselves to severall heads) he wisely reconciled, and vniting them in affection, brought them vnder the obedience of one governor.

He was a zealous professor of the Catholike Reli­gion, [Page 266] [...] [Page 267] [...] [Page 266] [...] [Page 267] [...] [Page 272] which he endevoured to establish throughout all his Dominions.

When he had raigned about eight yeares, he was killed in a conflict with Penda the Mercian Prince, a cruell Pagan, who commanded his head and armes to be cut from the rest of his bodie, and in reprochfull maner, to be hanged vp vpon high polles: by reason whereof, and for his holy conversation while he lived, he was after his death honoured with the title of a Martyr.

Then Oswin the brother of Oswald succeeding him, was much incumbred, partly by the invasion of the Mercians, and partly by the rebellion of his own sonne Elfrid. Adilwald (the sonne of Oswald the Martyr) at­tempted by force to have recovered the Province: and Oswy the sonne of Osrick (sometime governor of Deira) being trecherously delivered into his hands, he caused to be murdered.

He fought oft times with fortunate successe against the Mercians, whom (after he had vanquished Penda) he procured to be instructed in the christian faith: and the better to strengthen his purpose therin, he erected the Church at Lichfield to be the Bishops Sea for that Pro­vince. After he had raigned about thirtie two yeares, he ended his life in peace.

Then Egfrid his son ruled the Northumbers. He mar­ried Mildred, one of the daughters of Ana Prince of the East-Angles. It is reported of her, that (living with her husband about twelve yeares) she continued all that time, both a wife, and a virgin; and in the end tooke vpon her the vaile of a Nun at Ely, where she erected a Monasterie, and was her selfe the first Abbesse.

In the meane while Egfrid removed Wilfrid from his Bishopricke at Yorke, appointing two other Bi­shops [Page 273] over the Northumbers for their better instruction in the knowledge of Religion. In his time diverse Sy­nods were called by Theodorus, then Archbishop of Canterburie, for reformation of abuses in the Church, for approbation of the five first general Councels, and for the condemnation of the heresie of Eutyches, who denied the humanitie of Christ. Not long before his death, he made warre vpon Edelfrid Prince of the Mer­cians, with whom he was afterwards reconciled, by mediation of Theodorus the Archbishop: and then he converted his forces against the Irish and Scottish-men, (inhabiting the Northern Iles) of whom he made a great slaughter: and the yeare following (making warre vpon the Picts, contrarie to the advice of Cuthbert the Bishop) he was slaine by some of his enemies that lay in ambush to surprise him.

Then Alfrid (the Bastard sonne of Oswin) succeeded him, repairing the decaied state of the Northumbers, though he could not recover all that the Picts, Scottish­men, and Britans, had gotten from them in his bro­thers time.

Osred his sonne (of the age of eight yeares) posses­sed the government, till he was murthered by his kins­men, Kenred and Osrick, who divided the Principalitie between them; till falling at civil discord among them­selves, the one supplanted the other: by which means, Kenred alone ruled the Northumbers, about two yeares.

Then Osrick (obtaining the government) elected Ceolnulph the brother of Kenred to be his successor: Ce­olnulph after he had ruled the Province eight yeares, and obtained many victories against his enemies, gave over the regiment, and became a Monke in Holy-Iland.

About this time lived Benedict the Priest, who first taught the Saxons the art of painting, glasing, & Mason­rie. [Page 274] In the raigne of Ceolnulph, Venerable Bede, (the or­nament of that age for learning and pietie) flourished in Britannie. He writ the historie of the English church, and dedicated it vnto Ceolnulph the Prince.

Then Egbert the cosin-german of Ceolnulph (imi­tating the example of his predecessor) forsooke the world, and entred into Religion. His brother (bearing the same name) was then Archbishop of Yorke, where he founded a famous Librarie.

Oswolf, Moll, Alered, Etheldred, Aelfwold, and Osred, raigned successively with like fortune, for the most part; for they were all either slaine, or deposed by their own subjects, except Etheldred, who was afterwards restored to the government, which yet he enjoyed not long: For (within four yeares after) he was miserably slaine.

After his death the Province was wasted, either by cruell dissention, or forreine invasion by the space of thirtie yeares; during which time, Eardulph, Alfwold, Eandred, Ethelred, Readulph, Osbert, and Elle, vsurped the title of Princes. Readulph, Osbert, and Elle, were slaine at Yorke by the Danish Pyrates, Hinguar and Hubba, whom Benbokard (in revenge of the indignitie offred to him by Osbert, that had ravished his wife) had stirred vp to vndertake that enterprise. But about the yeare of grace 800. the Danes were expelled, & the Northumbers brought vnder the subiection of Egbert the West-Saxon Prince.

The succession of the West-Saxon Princes.

  • 1 Cerdic.
  • 2 Kenric his sonne.
  • 3 Ceaulin, the sonne of Kenric.
  • 4 Cearlick, the nephew of Ceaulin.
  • 5 Ceolnulph.
  • 6 Kinegles, the first Christian Prince.
  • 7 Guichelin, the sonne of Kinegles.
  • 8 Cuthred, the sonne of Guichelin.
  • 9 Kennewalch, the yonger sonne of Kinegles.
  • 10 Sexburga, the widdow of Kennewalch.
  • 11 Eascwin, the nephew of Kinegles.
  • 12 Kenewin, the yongest sonne of Kinegles.
  • 13 Ceadwall.
  • 14 Ina.
  • 15 Ethelard.
  • 16 Cuthred.
  • 17 Sigebert.
  • 18 Kenulph.
  • 19 Britric.
  • 20 Egbert.

❧The succession of Bishops in the Principalitie of the West-Saxons.

Bishops of Dorchester.
  • 635 Birinus sate fifteene yeares.
  • 650 Agilbertus, ten yeares.
  • 660 Wina, sate at Winton ten yeares.
  • 670 Leutherius, seven yeares.
  • 686 Hedda, twentie eight yeares.
  • 705 Daniel, (who was also Bishop of Selesey) sate fortie yeares.
  • 745 Humfertus, ten yeares.
  • 755 Kinewardus, twentie five yeares.
  • 780 Aethel [...]ardus, eleven yeares.
  • 791 Egbaldus, foure yeares.
  • 795 Dudda, two yeares.
  • 797 Kinebertus, eleven yeares.
Bishops of Shireburn.
  • 705 Aldelmus, sate five yeares.
  • 710 Fortherus, twentie seven yeares.
  • 736 Herewaldus, nineteene yeares.
  • 756 Aethelmodus, twentie two yeares,
  • 788 Denefrithus, twentie one yeares.
  • 798 Wibertus, twentie yeares.

CHAP. I.West-Sax­ons.

The Principalitie of the West-Saxons, established by Cer­dic. Berinus preacheth the Christian faith to the West-Saxons. The towne of Dorchester assigned to him for a Bishops Sea. Kinegles the first Christian Prince. Winchester is made a Bishops Sea by Kennewalch the West-Saxon Prince. Ceadwall (resigning the go­vernement to Ina) goeth to Rome, where he dieth.

THe West-Saxons tooke the additi­on of their name from the situati­on of place, as inhabiting the We­sterne part of the Ile; wherein at this day, are contained the Coun­ties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Wilton, Southampton, and Berk.

About the yeare of grace 509. Cerdic (with Kenric his sonne, and a warlike companie of Saxons) arrived in Britannie, where they were en­countred by Natanleod a Brittish Prince, neere a shal­low brooke, (afterwards called Cerdics-foord) and now by contraction of speech, Chardfoord. The fortune of that bataile, determined the hope of the Britans, and e­stablished the Saxons in possession of the greatest part o [...] those Countries: over which, Cerdic and Kenric ruled with equall authoritie, enlarging their dominions by the conquest of the Ile of Wight: the governement whereof, was assigned by Cerdic, to Stuffa and Withgar his nephewes.

After the father and sonne had ruled joyntly about seventeene yeares, Cerdic (ending his life by course of [Page 274] nature) left the entire Principalitie to Kenric his sonne.

Kenric was oft times assailed by the Britans, who at­tempted the recoverie of their antient possessions, but could not prevaile: and the Province being otherwise free from annoyance, was peaceably governed during his time.

Then Ceaulin his sonne succeeding him, made warre vpon Ethelbert the Kentish Prince: in the prosecution whereof, Oslave and Cnebban (two valiant Captaines of the Kentish Saxons) were slaine, and Cutholp his brother, made head against the Britans; from whom, he recove­red divers Forts and Cities, which they had gotten in the Territorie of the Mercians. But while Ceaulin was making warre abroad, Cearlic (his brother G [...]tholps sonne) kindled a rebellion within the Province, and by force, vsurped the governement about five yeares.

After the death of Cealric, Ceolnulph the sonne of Cu­tha, (the sonne of Ceaulin) recovered the Principalitie. In the beginning of his raigne, the Province of the West-Saxons was invaded, both by the Britans, & also by the Scottishmen and Picts. The East-Angles likewise at the same time assailed it: but Ceolnulph, having appeased these troubles, and (beginning a new warre against the South-Saxons) died before he could fully finish it, lea­ving the prosecution thereof to Kinegles his sonne: who with good successe vndertooke the warre, and (having overthrowne the Britans) converted his forces against Penda the Mercian Prince; with whom (after each had tried the others strength in battaile) he con­cluded a peace.

In the yeare of grace 635. he imbraced the Christi­an faith, and was baptised by Berinus, who first prea­ched the Gospel to the West-Saxons: (Oswald Prince of the Northumbers, being his godfather at his baptisme.) [Page 275] The Citie of Dorchester was by Kinegles and Oswald, as­signed to Berinus, for the Bishops Sea of that Province.

Then Guichelin, the sonne of Kinegles, and Cuthred, the sonne of Guichelin, ruled successively, and were both baptised by Berinus the Bishop.

After them, Kennewalch (the yonger sonne of Kine­gles) obtained the governement. He married the sister of Penda the Mercian Prince, and afterwards put her a­way: whereupon Penda, (to revenge the indignitie of­fered to his sister) made warre vpon him, and drave him out of the Province, which he afterwards recovered by the assistance of Ana, Prince of the East-Angles: for Ken­newalch, during the troubles in his owne dominions, had fled thither, and was there baptised by Faelix the Bishop.

He founded the Cathedrall Church at Winchester, to be the Bishops Sea for the Province of the West-Saxons, and appointed Wi [...]a to be the first Bishop of that place. Hee gave also to the Abbot Aldelmus, the towne of Mal [...]esbury, where (by the helpe of Elutherius, that suc­ceeded Wi [...] in the Bishopricke of the West-Saxons) he erected a faire Monasterie, of which, William of Mal­mesbury, (who wrote in Latine part of the English Hi­story) was sometimes a Monke.

After his death, Sexburga his wife held the Principa­litie: but (finding that by reason of the weakenesse of her sexe, she was vnable to support so weightie a bur­then) she soone gave it over, and went into a Nunnery in the Ile of Shepey, which her selfe had founded.

Then Eascwin (the nephew of Kinegles) succeeded. He began a warre against Wolpher the Mercian Prince, with whom he fought a set battaile. What other things were done by him worthy remembrance, I finde little reported.

[Page 276] Then Kenewin (the youngest sonne of Kinegles) ruled the West-Saxons. He was oft times annoyed by the Bri­tans, whom in the end he chased into the vtmost parts of the Province Westward.

Ceadwall the nephew of Ceaulin, possessing the govern­ment, subdued the Province of the South-Saxons, and wasted the Kentish Territories: in the pursuit of which warre, he gave vnto the Church (even before he was baptised) the tenths of all those spoiles which hee tooke. Wherein, howsoever his intention may be cen­sured, yet the example is no way, justifiable, conside­ring it is written; That hee which offereth vnto God the goods of the innocent, doth as it were sacrifice the Son in the [...]ight of the Father. After hee had subdued the Ile of Wight, he sent thither Wilfrid the Bishop, to instruct the inhabitants in the knowledge of Christian religion: and being wearied with worldly affaires, resigned the governement to Ina, and went to Rome; where he was baptised by the name of Peter, and soone after ended his life. His body was buried in the Church of Saint Peter, and (over the place where he was [...]) the inscription of his name and condition was engraven.


Ina succeedeth Ceadwall in the governement of the West-Saxons. Peter Pence first paied to Rome. The Bisho­pricke of the West-Saxons divided into two Seas. Lawes made by Ina the Prince. The Church at Wells made a Bishops Sea. The first arrivall of the Danes in Britannie, in the time of Britric▪ Egbert the West-Sax­on Prince, subdueth divers provinces, which he annexeth to his [...] Principalitie.

INa was lineally descended from the West-Saxon Prin­ces. He was a Prince of great courage and wisedome, and for the most part fortunate in his attempts: For [...] Prince, he withstood by open forc [...] the Kentish-Saxons (being weakned by many forme [...] as­saults) he constrained with great summes of money, to purchase peace at his hands: and the Province of the [...], after the death of Anth [...] their Prince, [...] in battaile) he reduced wholly vnder his obedience.

Then he manifested his good inclination, to support and advance the state of the Church: to which end, he [...] at W [...]ll [...], that was afterwards [...] to a Bishops Sea. He builded also anew, the Abbey of [...], bestowing great cost vpon the Church there, which he caused to be very [...]ichly garnished with gold and [...] for the religious persons.

He instituted a certaine yeerely payment to the Sea of [...], [...]ipyning every [...] of his Read me▪ (that [...] [Page 278] This payment was first called the Kings Almes, and af­terwards the Peter pence.

In his time the Bishopricke of the West-Saxons, be­comming voide, was divided into two Seas, whereof the one remained at Winchester, and the other was esta­blished at Shirborn.

He made many good lawes both for the administra­tion of justice in civill causes, and also for the governe­ment of the Church: some of which (even in these our daies) are extant in the Saxon tongue.

After he had raigned a long time in great prosperity, he was perswaded by Ethelburga his wife, to resigne the Principalitie to Ethelard his kinsman, and to goe to Rome; where afterwards, professing voluntary poverty, he ended his latter daies in as lowly and meane estate, [...] he had formerly spent the greatest number of [...] pompe and glory.

Ethelard at his first entrance, was much troubled with civill discention, which Oswald (one of the princely blood aspiring to the governement) had raised [...] the West-Saxons▪ but (that rebellion being app [...]ed) he raigned the rest of his life in peace.

Then Cut [...]red, the kinsman of Ethelard succeeded. The borders of his Province b [...]ing strongly assailed by the [...], he fortunately defended: In his time there ap­peared two blazing Stars, which were afterwards noted to be ominous predictions of those calamities which befell the Province vnder the tyranny of the Danes.

Then [...] obtained the Principality of the West-Saxons. He was a Prince much de [...]ained for [...] and oppression of his subjects, the antient lawes and cu­stomes of the Province, [...] [Page 279] in such like outragious practises, he was at the last by his owne people deprived of all authoritie, and enfor­ced for safeguard of his life, to hide himselfe in woods and forrests, where he lived in great misery, secluded from the societie of men, (whereof by his inhumanitie he had made himselfe vnworthy) till at the last, he was slaine in Andreds-wald by a Swineheard, whose Maister in former times, Sigebert had injuriously put to death.

Kenulph (descended from the line of Cerdic, the first Prince of the West-Saxons) was partly for the honour of his blood, and partly for the generall opinion of his sufficiencie, advanced to the government. Such facti­ons and popular tumults, as had risen by the deposing of his predecessor, hee pacified with great wisedome and moderation. He was the first founder of the church at Wells, where a Bishops Sea was afterwards placed. Howbeit hee was much inclined to the wanton plea­sures of the flesh, which were the occasion of his destru­ction in the end: for, going in private manner to visite a strumpet, (whom he kept) he was entrapped by one of Sigeberts kinsmen, and murdered in the way.

Then Britric (being also of the race of Cerdic) gover­ned the West-Saxons. Hee was a Prince by nature more addicted to peace then warre: He married Eadburga, the daughter of Offa, Prince of the Mercians, by whose ayd hee expelled Egbert, the West-Saxon that invaded his Province, forcing him to flie into France, where af­terwards he lived (like a banished man.) In his time a­bout the yeare of grace 800. the Danes first attempted to land in Britannie, whereat their arrivall, they tooke the Ile of Portland; but Britric (combining with some other of the Saxon Princes) ioyntly assailed them, and in short time chased them out of the land: and Britric himselfe, having raigned about seventeene yeares, was [Page 280] poisoned by Eadburga his wife, who fled into France, transporting thither great store of treasure.VVest-Sax­ons. But (not fin­ding that good entertainement which she expected at the French Kings hands) she became a Nunne, and af­terwards Abbesse of a religious house; from whence a [...] the last, shee was expulsed for committing adulterie with a lay person and ended her vitious and dishonou­rable life in extreame povertie.

After the death of Britric, the West-Saxons were gover­ned by Egbert, who enlarged his dominions by many and great conquests: for first, he brought vnder obedi­ence the Walshmen, (who had beene alwaies accusto­med vpon advantage, to make incursions into the Pro­vince:) then with like successe, he assailed and subdued the Mercians, the Northumbers, the Kentish and the East-Saxons, whose Provinces he annexed to the Prin­cipalitie of the West-Saxons, as by relation of that which followeth, more plainely shall appeare.

The end of the Second Booke of the Second Part of the Historie of Great Britannie.

❧The Table of the Contents of the Chapters in the Second Part of the Historie of Great Britannie.

The first Booke.

  • A Repetition of the Contents of the former part. A briefe rela­tion of the condition of the Britans vnder the Picts and Scottishmen, from the Romans departure thence, vntill the be­ginning of the raigne of Vortiger, the last Brittish Prince. page 173
  • The Britans elect Vortiger to be their King. They send for the Saxons to aide them. The originall and manners of the Sax­ons. 177
  • The Saxons vanquish the Scottishmen and Picts. Hengist deviseth how he may get possession of the East part of the Iland. 182
  • Saxons, Iutes and Angles, arrive in Britannie. Vortiger marrieth Hengists daughter. He is deposed. 186
  • Vortimer succeedeth his father in the government. Vortiger is restored. The most noble of the Britans, are trecherously mur­dered by the Saxons vpon Salisburie Plaines. 190
  • The calamities of the Britans. The professors of Christian religi­on in Britannie, are persecuted by the Saxons; whose idolatry and superstitious rites are described. 193
  • Germanus the Bishop, conducteth the Armie of the Christian Britans against their enemies, (being Pagans) who by his meanes are defeated. He departeth out of Britannie. 196
  • Aurelianus Ambrosius, aydeth the Britans against the Sax­ons. The valiant acts of Arthur the Warlike. 198
  • The Britans flie into Wales and Cornewall, where they seate [Page 280] [...] [Page 285] [...] [Page 286] themselves. The Saxons and English possesse the greatest part of the Ile, which is afterwards divided into several Principalities. 201

The second Booke.

  • THe Principality of the Kentish-Saxons established by Hen­gist, whom Vsk, Otta, and Ermeric succeede in the governe­ment. Austen the Monke is sent from Rome by Gregorie the Great, to preach the Christian faith to the Saxons and English. He landeth in Kent, where he is curteously entertained by Ethel­bert the Prince of that Countrie. 209
  • Austen converteth divers of the Saxon and English from Pa­ganisme to Christianitie. The cause that first moved Gregorie the Great to intend their conversion. Austen is consecrated chiefe Bi­shop of the English Nation, by the Bishop of Arles in France. He advertiseth the Bishop of Rome, of the successe of his voyage into Britannie, and requireth directions touching the Ecclesiasticall go­vernment to be there established. 212
  • Instructions sent to Austen from the Bishop of Rome, for the ordering and governement of the new Church in Britannie. The primacie of the Sea of Canterbury. The first English Bishops of London and Yorke. 214
  • Austen receiveth the Pall from Rome. Gregorie the Great, sendeth gratulatorie letters to Ethelbert, who is converted to the faith, being the first Christian Prince of the English Nation. The Church of Saint Paul in London is founded. Melitus, the first Bishop there in the Saxons time. Iustus the first Bishop of Ro­chester. Contention betweene the English and Brittish Cleargy, about the celebration of the feast of Easter. 217
  • Austen calleth a Synod to reconcile the differences betweene the Brittish and English Cleargie. The Brittish Bishops aske counsell of an Anchorite, whether they should conforme themselves to such things as Austen the Monks should require of them. They refuse to accept him for their Arch-bishop. Austen appointeth Lauren­tius [Page 287] to succeede him in the Sea of Canterburie. He dieth. 220
  • Ethelbert the Prince, provideth for the maintenance of religi­ous persons. Hee ordaineth lawes for civill government, publishing the same in the English tongue. Edbald his sonne succeedeth him in the Principalitie of the Kentish-Saxons. His Apostacie, Re­pentance. Death. 222
  • Ercombert succeedeth Edbald in the Principalitie. The insti­tution of Lent. Honorius the Arch-bishop of Canterbury, divi­deth his Province into Parishes. Deus-Dedit succeedeth Hono­rius in the Sea of Canterbury. Egbert ruleth the Kentish-Sax­ons after the death of Ercombert. Theodorus the Arch-bishop of Canterbury, expelleth Wilfrid out of the Sea of Yorke. His learning in Divinitie and Philosophie. His estimation in the Court of Rome. 225
  • Lothar (by intrusion) succeedeth Egbert his brother in the go­vernment. The West-Saxons invade the Province of Kent. Cuthbert Arch-bishop of Canterbury, calleth a Synod for refor­mation of abuses in the Clergy. The succession of the Kentish Princes, from Lothar to Alrich. Kent is subdued, and annexed to the Principalitie of the West-Saxons. 227
  • ¶The Principalitie of the South-Saxons established by Ella. Cis­sa his youngest sonne, succeedeth him therein. Edilwalch the first Christian Prince of the South-Saxons. 233
  • Variance between the Arch-bishops of Canterbury and Yorke. Wilfrid chiefe Bishop of the Northumbers, (expulsed from his owne Sea at Yorke) flieth into Sussex, where he converteth the in­habitants to the Christian faith. Hee is curteously entertained by Edelwalch the Prince, who assigneth to him the Ile of Selesey, for an Episcopall Sea. The South-Saxons are brought vnder the obe­dience of the West-Saxon Princes. 235
  • ¶The Principalitie of the Mercians, erected by Creda the Sax­on. Penda persecuteth the Christians in his Province. Peda suc­ceedeth Penda his father in the governement. He marrieth the daughter of Oswin, Prince of the Northumbers, and receiveth the Christian faith. 241
  • Oswin Prince of the Northumbers, ruleth the Mercians af­ter the death of Peda, till he is deposed by Wulfere, the brother of Peda. Lichfield is made a Bishops Sea for the Province of the [Page 288] Mercians. Chadde is Bishop of that place. Wulfere is christned. Ethelred his brother succeedeth him in the Principalitie. He foun­deth a Bishops Sea at Worcester. He resigneth his governement, and goeth to Rome, where both himselfe and Kinred his nephew, take vpon them the habit of religion. Celred his sonne succeedeth him. 243
  • Ethelbald succeedeth Celred in the governement. He is repro­ved by Bonifacius an Englishman, (Bishop of Vtricht in Hol­land) for his lascivious life. His repentance. He erecteth the Mo­nasterie of Crowland. He is slaine in battaile. 245
  • Offa ruleth the Mercians. Hee foundeth the Monastery of Saint Albans. He maketh a ditch to divide the Territories of the English and Walshmen. Kenelmus the Martyr. The Cata­logue of the Mercian Princes, from Offa, vntill the West-Sax­ons obtained their Principality. 248
  • [...] The Principalitie of the East-Saxons, erected by Erchenwin. Sebert the first Christian Prince. Melitus the first Bishop of the East-Saxons, hath his Sea at London. Saint Pauls Church there founded by Ethelbert (the first Christian Prince of the Ken­tish-Saxons.) The Church at Westminster founded by Sebert. Cedda (afterward called St. Chadde) preacheth the Gospel to the East-Saxons. Sigher and Sebbi, ioyntly rule the Pro­vince. 252.
  • The Devotion, Chastitie, and Charitie of Sebbi the Prince. The manner of his death. Offa resigneth the governement, and goeth to Rome, where he entreth into religion. Egbert the West-Saxon Prince, obtaineth the Principalitie of the East-Saxons. 254
  • ¶The Principalitie of the East-Angles erected by Vffa. Faelix a Burgundian, preacheth the faith to the East-Angles. His Episcopall Sea at Dunwich in Suffolke. Sebert the first Chri­stian Prince, resigneth his government to Egrick, and entereth into a Monasterie, from whence he is drawne forth by his subiects, when the Mercians invade his Province. He is slaine in battaile with Egrick, whom Ana succeedeth in the government. 259
  • Athelhere the brother of Ana, ruleth the East-Angles. He is slaine by Oswin, Prince of the Northumbers. S. Ethelbert is murthered by Offa, Prince of the Mercians. Offa having made a voyage into the Holy-Iland, dieth in his returne homewards.
  • [Page 289] Edmund succeedeth Offa in the government. The Martyrdome of S. Edmund by the pagan Danes. The Monastery of S. Ed­munds-bury in Suffolke erected. The principality of the East-Angles annexed to that of the West-Saxons. 261
  • ¶The Principality of the Northumbers divided into two Provin­ces, namly Deira and Bernitia, which are vnited by Ethelrick. Ethelfrid defeateth the Britans, and killeth the Monks of Ban­gor. Edwin the first Christian Prince. Paulinus preacheth the faith to the Northumbers, and hath a Sea a signed to him at Yorke. The death of Edwin. 267
  • Oswald ruleth the Northumbers. He is slaine in battaile a­gainst Penda the Mercian Prince. He is honoured with the title of a Martyr. Oswin his brother succeedeth him. A Bishops Sea at Lichfield. Egfrid the Prince, removeth Bishop Wilfrid from his Sea at Yorke. Ceolnulph and Egbert, successively ruling, give over the government to enter into religion. Venerable Bede liveth in the time of Ceolnulph. The Northumbers are brought vnder the subiection of the West-Saxons. 271
  • The principalitie of the West-Saxons, established by Cerdic. Berinus preacheth the Christian faith to the West-Saxons. The towne of Dorchester assigned to him for a Bishops Sea. Kinegles the first Christian Prince. Winchester is made a Bishops Sea by Kennewalch the West-Saxon Prince. Ceadwall (resigning the government to Ina) goeth to Rome, where he dieth. 277
  • Ina succeedeth Ceadwall in the government of the West-Sax­ons. Peterpence first paied to Rome. The Bishopricke of the West-Saxons divided into two Seas. Lawes made by Ina the Prince. The Church at Wells made a Bishops Sea. The first ar­rivall of the Danes in Britannie, in the time of Britric. Egbert the West-Saxon Prince, subdueth divers Provinces, which he an­nexeth to his owne Principality. 281

❧The succession of the Kings of England from Egbert the first English Monarch, vntill the Norman Conquest.

  • 1 Egbert raigned thitie seven yeares.
  • 2 Ethelwulfe (the sonne of Egbert) twentie yeares.
  • 3 Ethelbald, (the eldest sonne of Ethelwulfe) five yeares.
  • 4 Ethelbert, (the second sonne of Ethelwulfe) five yeares.
  • 5 Ethelred (the third sonne of Ethelwulfe) five yeares.
  • 6 Alfred, (the yongest sonne of Ethelwulfe, 29. yeares.
  • 7 Edward (surnamed the Elder) twentie three yeares.
  • 8 Athelstane, (the eldest sonne of Edward) sixteene yeares.
  • 9 Edmund (the second sonne of Edward) six yeares.
  • 10 Edred (the yongest sonne of Edward) nine yeares:
  • 11 Edwin (the elder sonne of Edmond) foure yeares.
  • 12 Edgar, surnamed the Peaceable (the yonger sonne of Edmond) sixteene yeares.
  • 13 Edward, surnamed the Martyr (the elder sonne of Ed­gar) foure yeares.
  • 14 Ethelred, surnamed the Vnreadie, (the yonger sonne of Edgar,) thirtie seven yeares.
  • 15 Edmund, surnamed Ironside (the sonne of Ethelred) in whose time the Danes possessed the greatest part of England.

❧The succession of the Princes of Denmarke in the Kingdome of England.

  • 1 Cnute raigned nineteene yeares.
  • 2 Harold the first, surnamed Hare-foote (the Ba­stard of Cnute) foure yeares.
  • 3 Hardy-Cnute, (the sonne of Cnute) two yeares.
  • 16 Edward the Confessor, raigned twentie foure yeares.
  • 17 Harold the second, the vsurper.
  • 18 William Duke of Normandie, surnamed the Con­queror.

The beginning of the reigne of Egbert the first English Monarch.


VPon report of the death of Britric, Egbert with great speed returned out of France, where (during the time of his abode) he had served with good commendation in the warres, vnder Charles the Great, by meanes whereof (his re­putation encreasing among his owne Country men) he was thought worthy of the government, before he obtained it: Besides, the Nobi­litie of his blood, & the pusillanimitie of the late Prince [Page 296] [...] [Page 297] [...] [Page 294] his predecessor, seemed to adde more sufficiencie to his owne merit.

At his first entrance he assayled the Cornish and Walsh-men, who commonly vpon the change of Go­vernors, vsed to make incursions into the Provinces next adioyning to them, continuing their claime (as it were) to those countries, from which the Britans (their ancestors) had beene expelled; and though for­merly they had thereby sustained many, and great losses: yet it well appeared, that they had not altogi­ther lost their wonted courage, hereditarie to that war­like Nation. The Cornish-men being first subdued, he employed his whole forces against the Walsh, whom he earnestly pursued, never desisting, vntill he had pier­ced into the verie vtmost limits of Wales, vpon the Westerne Sea. This fortunate proceeding, bred both enuy and iealousie in diverse Princes of the land, speci­ally in Bernulph the governour of the English-Mercians, who thought it a necessarie point of policie to make opposition betimes, lest the West-Saxons growing too great, the Principality of Mercia might be endangered: considering withall, that it would be more advantage­able to make an offensive warre, then to rest meerely vpon defence, wherein the perill and hazard was likely to be as great, as in the other: the gaine and glory much lesse. Herevpon he entred the Province of the West-Saxons, with a huge armie, consisting of men (for the most part,) vnmeete for militarie service, as being by long ease and idlenesse corrupted, and become faint hearted, and vnwealdie, so that at the first assault (made by their enemies) they turned their backs, and being confounded by their owne numbers, were over whel­med one vpon an other in their flight.

[Page 295] The fortune of this battaile did cut in sunder the ve­rie sinewes of the Mercian government, which soone after (as vnable to support it self any longer) fell to the principalitie of the West-Saxons. And now Egbert conceaving hope of like successe, in attempting the Conquest of the other provinces, and knowing well, that the Kentish Prince was then scarce setled in his government, and hated of his subjects, he supposed, a fit oportunitie was offered, to bring that part of the Ile also vnder subjection; and thereupon, sent his sonne with an armie to invade it, appointing Alstan the war­like Bishop of Shirburne, and VValhard (a man of good reputation for armes in those times) to assist him, with direction and advice in the prosecution of the warre, which was begun and ended prosperously both in one yeare.

In the meane while, the East-Saxons being taught by their neighbors example, how much better & more safe it is to prevent the calamities of an invasion by yeelding obedience, then by standing vpon termes of defiance (where there is no hope to preuail) voluntarily submitted themselves. But the Northumbers held out yet longer: making open resistance against the VVest Saxons, till partly by their owne civil discord, and partly by the irruption of the Danes (that annoyed their coasts) they were glad to seek the ayd and protection of the VVest-Saxons, as holding it a better course in that case of ne­cessitie, to become subiect to a nation that they knew, then to be made slaves to strangers.

Thus were the Principalities of the Kentish▪ and East-Saxons (with the English-Mercians and Northum­bers) brought vnder Egberts obedience, [...] grea­test part of the Ile made, in a maner, one Monarchie, [Page 296] which forme of government it seemed in some sort to retaine, even during the continuance of the seven-fold regiment of the English-Saxons, amongst whom some one Prince was alwaies of greater power then other, & had a right of superioritie above the rest. Neither was there any thing now wanting, for the establishment of an absolute governmnt; for the VValsh-men (the poste­rity of the antient Britans) were for the most part slaine in battell, & those that survived were vtterly disarmed, and thrust into a corner of the Ile. The citie of Chester (their strongest hold) was possessed by the English, with out al hope to be recovered. As for the South-Saxons, & East-English, (whose Provinces remained as yet vncon­quered) they were but a handfull in comparison of the rest, & more likely to seeke the assurance of their estates by a reasonable composition, then by standing any long time vpon defence, if they should be assailed.

But Egbert (knowing well that there was as much wisdome requisite in the keeping and well ordering, as there had beene valor shewed in the getting of those Provinces) held a generall assembly at VVinchester, (the chiefe Citie of the VVest-Saxon Princes) where he was with great and vnusuall ceremonies of state, declared King.

Then for the vniting and setling of the Soveraigntie in himselfe & his successors, he ordained that the Inha­bitants (who had been a long time distinguished by di­verse names,) should now be made an entire nation, and being governed by one Prince, should bear iointly one name: & to that end he commanded by publike E­dict, that the several Provinces (so vnited) shuld for ever after he called Angles-land, which by a contraction of the word, or corruption of the time was afterwards (as [Page 297] at this day it is) called England. For, the memorie of the Iutes being long since worn out, & the name of the Sax­ons now suppressed by edict, the Angles only remained, who in respect of their number might seem to chalenge by right the denomination: and it is certaine, that the Inhabitants of the greatest part of the Ile, were (many yeares before) commonly called Angles, or English.

Certaine short Notes touching the Roman state militare, for the better vn­derstanding of the first Part of this Historie: namely, for the helpe of such as are ignorant in the ancient Roman Stories,

THe forces which the Romans vsed in their foreine warres,The Legio­nary forces. consisted of Legions and Aydes.

The Legions were generally divided into Foot­men, & Horsemen, whose number was oft times chan­ged, according to the difference of times, & alteration of the state; the Citie of Rome being first governed by Kings: afterwards by the Senate, and people vnder the Consuls, and Tribunes (which was commonly called The free State, and, Time of Libertie:) and lastly, by the Emperors.

The Legion vnder the first Emperors (for to speake of former times is not so proper to this purpose) con­sisted of 6000. Foot, and 600 Horse, or there-abouts.

The chiefe Officer of the Legion, was called Legatus Legionis, (Lievtenant of the Legion,) who had the principall charge as well of Horse as Foot, vnder the Lievtenant generall of the Armie, or Governor of the Province for the Emperor; which Lievtenant, and Go­vernor is commonly called in the Roman storie Legatus, or Propretor, as the Governor for the Senate and peo­ple, was called Proconsull; [for some Provinces were at the disposition of the Emperors only, and others were [Page 300] assigned by the Senate and People.]

The inferior Officers of the Legion, were the Centu­rion, Ensign-bearers, &c.

The Footmen in the Legion, were equally divided into ten Cohorts, or Companies, whereof each one had a Superintendent Officer.

The 600. Horse in the Legion, were divided into ten Troopes, called Turma [...]: everie Troope containing three Decuries, or Thirty Horse, over whom were placed Officers called Decuriones, that had everie one the par­ticular charge of ten Horse.

The chiefe Officer of the Troope, was called Prae­fectus Turmae.

In the Legion none were to be inrolled for Soldiers, but Citizens of Rome, and men of ingenious profes­sions.

The additions of number, as namely, the First, Se­cond, Third Legion, &c were given to the Legions at first, in regard of the time and order of mustering, and be­came afterwards Surnames, togither with other addi­tions of place, person, and qualitie, imposed either vp­on accident, or for distinctions sake.

¶The Aydes, or Auxiliarie forces,Auxiliarie forces. sent from forreine Countries (being by league and contract bound to as­sist the Romans in their warres) were divided into com­panies of Foot, called Cohortes, and wings of Horse, which they termed Alae.

Everie Cohort conteined six hundred Foot, whose chiefe Officer was called Praefectus.

There were eight Cohortes commonly assigned for the Aydes of one Legion.

Everie Ala, or wing of Horse, contained about three hundred, whose chiefe Officer was also called Prae­fectus, and the inferior Officers [Decuri [...]nes.]

[Page 301] There were commonly two of these wings assig­ned (togither with the eight Cohorts of Foot above named) for the Aydes of one Legion.

Who so desireth to be more particularly instructed herein: let them read the learned; and judiciall Annotations vpon Tacitus, translated by Sir Henrie Savile Knight; whence I haue extracted these notes, as also borowed a great part of the Translation it selfe, as may appeare in the second Booke of the first Part of this worke.

The names of certain Writers of the Roman, and English Storie, out of whose workes, the matter of the pre­cedent Historie hath beene) for the most part) collected.

Writers of the Roman Storie.

  • IVlius Caesar, his Commentaries, de bello Gallico.
  • Cor. Tacitus.
    • Dio: Cassius, his Bookes of History.
    • His Annales, translated into English by Richard Grenoway.
    • His first foure Bookes of Historie, and the life of Iulius Agricola translated into English by sir Henrie Savile knight.
  • Ammianus Marcellinus, his 18. Bookes of Historie.
  • Master Camden, his Britannia.
  • The Writer of the Booke entitled, The three Conversions of England from Paganisme to Christian religion.

Writers of the English Storie.

  • Venerable Bede, his Historie of the Church of England.
  • William the Monke of Malmesburie, his Bookes of the deedes of the English Kings and Bishops.
  • Master Camden, his Booke (Britannia.)
  • Iohn Stow, his Annals.
  • The above named Writer of the Booke entituled, The three Conversions of England from Paganisme to Chri­stian Religion.
Faults escaped in the Printing.
Page 9. line 5. recovered Caesars Tent, wherereadehee came to Casars presence, of vvhom
11. 13 out of the Roman Campout of the view of the Roman Camp
13. 4. charged with the Britanscharged by the Britans
23. 3. GassibelinCassibelin
27. 10. clyffes of the Ile possessedcliffes of the Ile, which were possessed
54. 22. at other times) and moreat other times) to attempt, and more
57. 7 sweatsweet
73. 25. to [...]ortefie a worketo fortefie; a worke
79. 12. armed at the Mountarrived at the Mount
97 figure 2 [...]. Pessenius NigerPescenius Niger
98. fig. 30. Vibius PallusVibius Gallus
99. fig. 47. CostantiusConstantius
109. 17. assentionascension
113. 7. soldiers, then ranging the Countries: they wastedsoldiers; Then ranging the Coun­tries, they wasted
126. 24. CollianusLollianus
142. 2. Imperiall decreeimmutable decree
150. 8. BodatriaBodotria
162. 26. Roman ArtaieRoman Army
163. 15. practiseth with an Armiepractiseth with the Army
163. 21. Aurelianus VictorinusAurelianus. Victori [...]us
165. 2. AmoricaArmorica
181. 9. ChessonesusChersonesus
184. 24. breathbreach
188. 4. attainobtaine
192. 15. in actionsin action
199. 25. nItoInto
200. 28. repayredempayred
215. 19. and the familyand his family
223. 17. preferpreserve
223. 23. of Northumbersof the Northumbers
224. 4. directdivert
231. fig. 1. SimenCimen
241. 12. either of themany of them
260. 27. Holo [...]hamHol [...]cham

There be divers other errors, which the vnderstanding Reader may easily reforme.

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