Massacre of the Danes

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

 

 Either at the command of the king, who, like most pusillanimous men, could be cruel to ferocity, or by a general impulse of indignation on the part of the people at wrong and injury suffered from the Danes, it was resolved to attack and destroy all of them who were found in the kingdom, and the festival of St. Brice, Nov. 13, 1002, was appointed for the massacre, which was carried out with all the fierceness of revenge and despair, men, women, and helpless children being involved in one common fate, and atrocities being perpetrated such as half civilized people delight in, but the particulars of which cannot be given.

Nothing can be advanced in justification of such a slaughter, but it must be remembered in extenuation, first, that the number of victims could not have been so great as is commonly supposed, for it is incredible that the district of the Danelagh, in which the Danes greatly preponderated, was attacked, and appears certain that the massacre was confined to the southern portion of the country, where the Danish settlers were in a decided minority. Then, it must be remembered that the Anglo-Saxons had suffered extremely, in their persons and their property, for the tyranny and bad passions of the Danish invaders, whose conduct inspired such terror that they were commonly styled Lord Danes, and at length, the victims of their lust and greed, rose in a state of frenzy and turned upon them.


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

Authorities



Categories: Book 2

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