Condition of the Country

Book 2, Chapter 9, Edward 975 AD to 1016 AD – Ethelred


The period at which the history of England has now arrived, is one of those crises which are to be met with in the records of every nation, and in which occurs the introduction of new elements into the national life, with important bearings upon its future destiny. The Anglo-Saxon rule had become feeble, and almost effete, and the sceptre had come to be held by hands unworthy of the descendants of Alfred and of Athelstan. While the royal race was thus decaying, there was much that was vital and sound among the people at large, who, under happier auspices, were capable of better things. It is needful, however, to keep in mind a distinction of race which still existed, and which is thus explained by Thierry (Norman Conquest i. 77). “In the revolution which combined all England, from the Tweed to Cape Cornwall, in one sole and undivided body politic, the power of the kings, now monarchs, acquired force with extension, and became, for each of the populations thus united together, more oppressive than the ancient sway of its own peculiar kings had loon.

Chapter 9, Edward the Martyr

Edward, Commonly Styled “the Martyr”

Elfrida’s Intrigues

Chapter 9, Ethelred

Reign of Ethelred

Dunstan’s Prophecy

Condition of the Country

Anglo-Saxons and Anglo-Danes

Fresh Attacks by the Northmen

They are Bribed to Depart

Origin of the Danegeld

Ethelred’s Marriage with Emma of Normandy

Massacre of the Danes

Chapter 9, Sweyn’s Revenge

Sweyn’s Vengeance

Murder of Archbishop Alphege

Levy for a Fleet

Chapter 9, Thurkill Ravages England

Its Failure

A Contemporary Picture

Sweyn prepares for the Conquest of England

Sweyn Dies and’ is Followed by Canute

Ethelred’s Flight and Return

Chapter 9, Edmund Ironside

Death of Ethelred

Divisions and Treachery among the English

Edmund Ironside Proclaimed King

Successive Battles with Canute

Partition of the Country

Brief Reign of Edmund


Categories: Book 2

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