Book 2, Chapter 5, 878 AD to 901 AD – Alfred’s Industry and Zeal
He was scrupulously exact in the distribution and application of his yearly revenue. He ordered his officers to divide it into two general portions. These portions he again subdivided, and appropriated each division to a peculiar and inalienable service. One of his allotments, a sixth of his income, he set apart for his warriors and noble attendants, he gave to each according to his dignity and to his services. Another sixth he devoted to the workmen in architecture, whom he collected from several nations. Another sixth he appropriated to foreigners who came to him, whatever might be their country, whether remote or near, whether they claimed his bounty, or awaited its voluntary descent, they received each a portion according to their worthiness, which was given with admirable discretion.
The other half of his revenue was consecrated to religious objects. This he also separated again, and commanded his officers to put it into four shares. One of these being one eighth of his whole income was prudently administered to the poor of every nation who came to him. In distributing this, he remembered the axiom of Pope Gregory, “Give not little to him who needs much, nor much to him who needs little, refuse not to the man who should have something, and give not to him who deserves nothing.” Another eighth was paid to the two monasteries he built, for their maintenance. Another eighth was for the school which he had diligently made up from many nobles of his nation. Another eighth was dispersed among the neighbouring monasteries of West Saxony and Mercia. In some years he made donations to the churches and clergy in Wales, Cornwall, France, Bretagne, Northumbria, and Ireland, according to his ability.
Chapter 5, Alfred’s Fortifications
Chapter 5, Revolt in the Danelagh
Chapter 5, Alfred’s Educational Efforts
Chapter 5, Alfred’s Industry and Zeal
Application of his Revenue
Chapter 5, Saxon Laws
Chapter 5, Summary of Alfred’s Character
Categories: Book 2