Book 2, Chapter 9, Edward 975 AD to 1016 AD – Ethelred
Thus, England, towards the close of the tenth century, contained a population, partly Anglo-Saxon and partly Anglo-Danish, which, though under the same laws, and speaking the same language (with trifling differences in dialect) was yet diversely affected towards the reigning family. The Anglo-Danes could not forget their affinity with the Northmen, and wished for one of their own race to occupy the English throne. Among the Anglo-Saxons also, many had lost their chivalric attachment to the house of Alfred, and viewed with indifference, even if they did not aid by active measures, attempts which were shortly made to conquer England by fresh hordes of Northmen. This state of feeling goes far to explain the calamities which befel the country during the protracted nominal reign of Ethelred.
The piratical Danes, who for more than half a century had given the English very little disturbance, began again to cast their rapacious eyes on this country soon after the accession of this unfortunate king. Their first attempts seem’ to have been made with diffidence, by a small number of adventurers. In the year 981, a few of these rovers plundered Southampton, and putting their booty on board their fleet, consisting of seven ships, departed with precipitation. By degrees, these descents upon the English coasts became more frequent and more formidable in the year 991 an English army was defeated near Maldon, and their commander, duke Brithnoth, slain by a party of these plunderers.
Chapter 9, Edward the Martyr
Chapter 9, Ethelred
Fresh Attacks by the Northmen
Chapter 9, Sweyn’s Revenge
Chapter 9, Thurkill Ravages England
Chapter 9, Edmund Ironside
Categories: Book 2