Book 2, Chapter 4, 857 AD to 878 AD – Reign of Ethelbald
One of the fiercest and most powerful of these leaders was Ragnar Lodbrog, whose name and deeds speedily became a word of terror along the northern coasts of Britain, and also in France. He had sailed up the Seine and captured Paris, which was saved from destruction only by the prompt payment of seven thousand pounds of silver. Emboldened by successes, this adventurous chieftain made another descent upon the shores of Northumbria, and although his vessels were wrecked and many of his band drowned, with the remainder he at once commenced ravaging the country.
Long before this, probably in the reign of Ethelwulf, the people of Northumbria, and also those of East Anglia had shaken off the allegiance to Wessex, which Egbert had imposed, and local kings now reigned, in independent sovereignty, though shorn of its former power and splendour. At the time of Ragnar’s attack, Northumbria was divided into two factions, under rival monarchs, Osbert, and Ella, who, however, coalesced to oppose the invader. A fierce battle was fought, in which Ragnar was taken prisoner, and according to the cruel practices of the time, was put to death by being cast into a pit containing venomous serpents. The stern, grim barbarian met his fate boldly, consoling himself that the “cubs of the bear” would avenge him: which they did, to the full, for as soon as his sons Inguar and Ubbo heard of it, they swiftly prepared to attack the country with large reinforcements.
Chapter 4, Reign of Ethelbald
Chapter 4, Destruction of Croyland Abbey
Chapter 4, Alfred the Great
Chapter 4, Fresh Troubles with the Danes
Chapter 4, Treaty between him and Guthrun
Categories: Book 2