Chronicles (1 of 6): The Historie of England (3 of 8)
by Raphael Holinshed
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Of this sudden departing also, or rather fleeing of Iulius Cesar out of Britaine, Lucanus the poet maketh mention, reciting the saieng of Pompeius in an oration made by him vnto his souldiers, wherin he reprochfullie and disdainfullie reprooued the dooings of Cesar in Britaine, saieng:

Territa quaesitis ostendit terga Britannis.

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Caesar taketh a new occasion to make warre against the Britains, he arriueth on the coast without resistance, the number of his ships, both armies incounter, why Caesar forbad the Romans to pursue the discomfited Britains, he repaireth his nauie, the Britains choose Cassibellane their cheefe gouernour, and skirmish afresh with their enimies, but haue the repulse in the end.


Now will we returne to the sequele of the matter, as Cesar himselfe reporteth. After his comming into Gallia, there were but two cities [Sidenote: Dion Cassius.] of all Britaine that sent ouer their hostages according to their couenant, which gaue occasion to Cesar to picke a new quarrell against them, which if it had wanted, he would yet (I doubt not) haue found some other: for his full meaning was to make a more full conquest of that Ile. Therefore purposing to passe againe thither, as he that had a great desire to bring the Britains vnder the obedience of the Romane estate, he caused a great number of ships to be prouided in the winter season and put in a readinesse, so that against the next spring there were found to be readie rigged six hundred ships, beside 28 gallies. [Sidenote: Caesar de bello Gal. lib. 5.] Heerevpon hauing taken order for the gouernance of Gallia in his absence, about the beginning of the spring he came to the hauen of Calice, whither (according to order by him prescribed) all his ships were come, except 40 which by tempest were driuen backe, and could not as yet come to him.

After he had staied at Calice (as well for a conuenient wind, as for other incidents) certeine daies, at length when the weather so changed that it serued his purpose, he tooke the sea, & hauing with him fiue legions of souldiers, and about two thousand horssemen, he departed out of Calice hauen about sun setting with a soft southwest wind, directing his course forward: about midnight the wind fell, & so by a calme he was carried alongst with the tide, so that in the morning when the day appeered, he might behold Britaine vpon his left hand. Then following the streame as the course of the tide changed, he forced with oares to fetch the shore vpon that part of the coast, which he had discouered, and tried the last yeere to be the best landing place for the armie. The diligence of the souldiers was shewed heere to be great, who with continuall toile droue foorth the heauie ships, to keepe course with the gallies, & so at length they landed in Britaine about noone on the next day, finding not one to resist his comming ashore: for as he learned by certeine prisoners which were taken after his comming to land, the Britains being assembled in purpose to haue resisted him, through feare striken into their harts, at the discouering of such an huge number of ships, they forsooke the shore and got them vnto the mountaines. There were in deed of vessels one and other, what with vittellers, & those which priuat men had prouided and furnished foorth for their owne vse, being ioined to the ordinarie number, at the least eight hundred saile, which appeering in sight all at one time, made a wonderfull muster, and right terrible in the eies of the Britains.

But to proceed: Cesar being got to land, incamped his armie in a place conuenient: and after learning by the prisoners, into what part the enimies were withdrawne, he appointed one Quintus Atrius to remaine vpon the safegard of the nauie, with ten companies or cohorts of footmen, and three hundred horssemen: and anon after midnight marched foorth himselfe with the residue of his people toward the Britains, and hauing made 12 miles of way, he got sight of his enimies host, who sending downe their horssemen and charets vnto the riuer side, skirmished with the Romans, meaning to beate them backe from the higher ground: but being assailed of the Romane horssemen, they were repelled, & tooke the woods for their refuge, wherein they had got a place verie strong, both by nature and helpe of hand, which (as was to be thought) had beene fortified before, in time of some ciuill warre amongst them: for all the entries were closed with trees which had beene cut downe for that purpose. Howbeit the souldiers of the 7 legion casting a trench before them, found meanes to put backe the Britains from their defenses, and so entring vpon them, droue them out of the woods. But Cesar would not suffer the Romans to follow the Britains, bicause the nature of the countrie was not knowne vnto them: and againe the day was farre spent, so that he would haue the residue thereof bestowed in fortifieng his campe.

The next day, as he had sent foorth such as should haue pursued the Britains, word came to him from Quintus Atrius, that his nauie by rigour of a sore and hideous tempest was greeuouslie molested, and throwne vpon the shore, so that the cabels and tackle being broken and destroied with force of the vnmercifull rage of wind, the maisters and mariners were not able to helpe the matter. Cesar calling backe those which he had sent foorth, returned to his ships, and finding them in such state as he had heard, tooke order for the repairing of those that were not vtterlie destroied, and caused them so to be drawne vp to the land, that with a trench he might so compasse in a plot of ground, that might serue both for defense of his ships, and also for the incamping of those men of warre, which he should leaue to attend vpon the safegard of the same. And bicause there were at the least a fortie ships lost by violence of this tempest, so as there was no hope of recouerie in them, he saw yet how the rest with great labour and cost might be repaired: wherefore he chose out wrights among the legions, sent for other into Gallia, and wrote ouer to such as he had left there in charge with the gouernment of the countrie, to prouide so manie ships as they could, and to send them ouer vnto him. He spent a ten daies about the repairing of his nauie, and in fortifieng the campe for defense thereof, which done, he left those within it that were appointed there before, and then returned towards his enimies.

At his comming backe to the place where he had before incamped, he found them there readie to resist him, hauing their numbers hugelie increased: for the Britains hearing that he was returned with such a mightie number of ships assembled out of all parts of the land, and had by general consent appointed the whole rule and order of all things touching the warre vnto Cassiuellane or Cassibelane, whose dominion was diuided from the cities situat neere to the sea coast, by the riuer of Thames, 80 miles distant from the sea coast. [Sidenote: Cassibellane as should seeme, ruled in the parties of Oxfordshire, Barkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Bedfordshire.] This Cassibellane before time had bin at continuall warre with other rulers, and cities of the land: but now the Britains moued with the comming of the Romans, chose him to be chiefe gouernour of all their armie, permitting the order and rule of all things touching the defense of their countrie against the Romans onelie to him. Their horssemen and charets skirmished by the waie with the Romans, but so as they were put backe oftentimes into the woods and hills adioining: yet the Britains slue diuers of the Romans as they followed anie thing egerlie in the pursute.

Also within a while after, as the Romans were busie in fortifieng their campe, the Britains suddenlie issued out of the woods, and fierselie assailed these that warded before the campe, vnto whose aid Cesar sent two of the chiefest cohorts of two legions, the which being placed but a little distance one from another, when the Romans began to be discouraged with this kind of fight, the Britains therewith burst through their enimies, and came backe from thence in safetie. That daie Quintus Laberius Durus a tribune was slaine. At length Cesar sending sundrie other cohorts to the succour of his people that were in fight, and shrewdlie handled as it appeered, the Britains in the end were put backe. Neuerthelesse, that repulse was but at the pleasure of fortune; for they quited themselues afterwards like men, defending their territories with such munition as they had, vntill such time as either by policie or inequalitie of power they were vanquished; as you shall see after in the course of the historie. Howbeit in fine they were ouer-run and vtterlie subdued, but not without much bloudshed and slaughter.

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The Romans heauie armor their great hinderance, the maner of the Britains fighting in warre, their incounter with their enimies, their discomfiture, the worthie stratagems or martiall exploits of Cassibellane, the Troinouants submission to Caesar, and their sute touching Mandubratius, manie of the Britains are taken and slaine of the Romans.


In all this maner of skirmishing and fight which chanced before the campe, euen in the sight and view of all men, it was perceiued that [Sidenote: The Romans heauie armor.] the Romans, by reason of their heauie armour (being not able either to follow the Britains as they retired, or so bold as to depart from their ensignes, except they would runne into danger of casting themselues awaie) were nothing meete to match with such kind of enimies: and as for their horssemen, they fought likewise in great hazard, bicause the Britains would oftentimes of purpose retire, and when they had trained the Romane horssemen a litle from their legions of footmen, they would leape out of their charrets and incounter with them on foot. And so the battell of horssemen was dangerous, and like in all points whether they pursued or retired.

[Sidenote: The manner of Britains in the warres.] This also was the maner of the Britains: they fought not close togither, but in sunder, and diuided into companies one separated from another by a good distance, and had their the troopes standing in places conuenient, to the which they might retire, and so releeue one another with sending new fresh men to supplie the roomes of them that were hurt or wearie. The next day after they had thus fought before the campe of the Romans, they shewed themselues aloft on the hills, and began to skirmish with the Romane horssemen, but not so hotlie as they had doone the day before. But about noone, when Cesar had sent foorth three legions of footemen and all his horssemen vnder the [Sidenote: Caius Trebonius.] leading of his lieutenant Caius Trebonius to fetch in forrage, they suddenlie brake out on euerie side, and vpon the forragers. The [Sidenote: Dion Cassius saith, that the Britains vanquished the Roman footmen at this time, but were put to the worst by the horssemen.] Romans so far foorth as they might, not breaking their arraie, nor going from their ensignes or guidons, gaue the charge on them, and fiercelie repelled them, so that the horssemen hauing the legions of footemen at their backs, followed the Britains so long as they might haue the said legions in sight readie to succour them of need were: by reason whereof, they slue a great number of the Britains, not giuing them leasure to recouer themselues, nor to staie that they might haue time to get out of their charrets. After this chase and discomfiture, all such as were come from other parties to the aid of their fellowes departed home, & after that day the Britains aduentured to fight against Cesar with their maine power; and withdrawing beyond the riuer [Sidenote: *(which is to be supposed was at Kingston) or not far from thence.] of *Thames, determined to stop the enimies from passing the same, if by anie meanes they might: and whereas there was but one foord by the which they might come ouer, Cassibellane caused the same to be set full of sharpe stakes, not onlie in the middest of the water, but also at the comming foorth on that side where he was lodged with his armie in good order, readie to defend the passage. Cesar learning by relation of prisoners which he tooke, what the Britains intended to doo, marched foorth to the riuer side, where the foord was, by the which his armie might passe the same on foot though verie hardlie. At his comming thither, he might perceiue how the Britains were readie on the further side to impeach his passage, and how that the banke at the comming foorth of the water was pight full of sharpe stakes, and so likewise was the chanell of the riuer set with piles which were couered with the water.

These things yet staied not Cesar, who appointing his horssemen to passe on before, commanded the footemen to follow. The souldiers entring the water, waded through with such speed and violence (nothing appeering of them aboue water but their heads) that the Britains were constreined to giue place, being not able to susteine the brunt of the Romane horssemen, and the legions of their footemen, and so abandoning the place betooke them to flight. Cassibellane not minding to trie the matter anie more by battell, sent awaie the most part of his people, but yet kept with him about a foure thousand charretmen or wagoners, and still watched what waie the Romans tooke, coasting them euer as they marched, and kept somewhat aside within the couert of woods, and other combersome places. And out of those quarters through which he vnderstood the Romans wold passe, he gathered both men and cattell into the woods & thicke forrests, leauing nothing of value abroad in the champion countrie. And when the Roman horssemen did come abroad into the countrie to seeke booties, he sent out his charrets vnto the knowne waies and passages to skirmish with the same horssemen, so much to the disaduantage of the Romans, that they durst not straie farre from their maine armie. Neither would Cesar permit them (least they might haue beene vtterlie distressed by the Britains) to depart further than the maine battels of the footemen kept pace with them, by reason whereof the countrie was not indamaged by fire and spoile, but onlie where the armie marched.

[Sidenote: Troinouants where they inhabited.] In the meane time, the Troinouants which some take to be Middlesex & Essex men, whose citie was the best fensed of all those parties, and thought to be the same that now is called London, sent ambassadours vnto Cesar, offering to submit themselues vnto him, and to obeie his ordinances, and further besought him to defend Mandubratius from the iniuries of K. Cassibellane, which Mandubratius had fled vnto Cesar into France, after that Cassibellane had slaine his father named [Sidenote: Imanuentius.] Imanuentius, that was chiefe lord and king of the Troinouants, and so now by their ambassadors the same Troinouants requested Cesar, not onelie to receiue Mandubratius into his protection, but also to send him vnto them, that he might take the gouernment and rule of their citie into his hands. Cesar commanded them to deliuer vnto him 40 hostages, and graine for his armie, and therewith sent [Sidenote: Some take the Troinouants to be Londoners.] Mandubratius vnto them. The Troinouants accomplished his commandements with all speed, sending both the appointed number of hostages, and also graine for the armie. And being thus defended and preserued from iniurie of the souldiers, the people called Cenimagni, Segontiaci, Ancalites, Bibroci, and Cassi, submitted themselues vnto Cesar, by whom he vnderstood that the towne of Cassibellane was not far from the place where he was then incamped fensed with wooddes and marishes, into the which a great number of people with their cattell and other substance was withdrawne. The Britains in those daies (as Cesar writeth) called that a towne or hold, which they had fortified with anie thicke combersome wood, with trench and rampire, into the which they vsed to get themselues for the auoiding of inuasion.

Cesar with his legions of souldiers therfore marched thither, and finding the place verie strong both by nature and helpe of hand, assaulted it on two partes. The Britains defending their strength a while, at length not able longer to endure the impression of the Romans, fled out on the contrarie side of the towne where the enimies were not. Within this place a great number of cattell was found, and manie of the Romans taken by the Britains that followed them in chase, and manie also slaine.

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Cassibellane dooth send vnto the foure kings of Kent for aid against Caesars host, he offereth submission to Caesar, the Britains become his tributaries, he returneth into Gallia with the remnant of his armie: the differing report of Caesars commentaries and our historiographers touching these warlike affaires; of a sore fray with bloudshed and manslaughter vpon a light occasion; Caesar taketh opportunitie to get the conquest of the land by the division betweene Cassibellane and Androgeus, the time of the Britains subiection to the Romans.


Now whilest these thinges passed on this sort in those parts, [Sidenote: Foure kings in Kent] Cassibellane sent messengers into Kent vnto foure kings (which ruled that side of the land in those daies) Cingetorix, Caruilius, Taximagulus, and Segonax, commanding them, that assembling togither their whole puissance, they should assaile the campe of the Romans by the sea side where certeine bands lay (as ye haue heard) for safegard of the nauie. They according to his appointment came suddenlie thither, and by the Romans that sailed forth vpon them were sharplie fought with, and lost diuers of their men that were slaine and taken, and amongst the prisoners that the Romans tooke, Cingetorix was one. When Cassibellane heard these newes, being sore troubled for these losses thus chancing one in the necke of an other, but namelie most discouraged, for that diuers cities had yeelded vnto the Romans: he sent ambassadours by means of Romius of Arras vnto Cesar, offering to submit himselfe.

Cesar meaning to winter in Gallia, and therefore because summer drew towards an end, willing to dispatch in Britaine, commanded that hostages should be deliuered, and appointed what tribute the Britains should yeerelie send vnto the Romans. He also forbad and commanded Cassibellane, that he should not in anie wise trouble or indamage Madubratius or the Londoners. After this, when he had receiued the hostages, he brought his armie to the sea, and there found his ships well repaired, decked, and in good point: therefore he commanded that they should be had downe to the sea. And because he had a great number of prisoners, and diuers of his ships were lost in the tempest, he appointed to transport his armie ouer into Gallia at two conueies, which was doone with good successe about the middest of September, though the ships returning for the residue of the armie, after the first conueie, were driuen so with force of weather, that a great number of them could not come to land at the place appointed: so that Cesar was constreined to fraught those that he could get with a greater burden, and so departed from the coast of Britaine, and safelie landed with the remnant of his people in Gallia with as good [Sidenote: Dion Cassius.] speed as he could haue desired. He thought not good to leaue anie of his people behind him, knowing that if he should so doo, they were in danger to be cast awaie. And so because he could not well remaine there all the winter season for doubt of rebellion in Gallia, he was contented to take vp, and returne thither, sith he had doone sufficientlie for the time, least in coueting the more, he might haue come in perill to lose that which he had alreadie obteined.

Thus according to that which Cesar himselfe and other autentike authors haue written, was Britaine made tributarie to the Romans by [Sidenote: Gal. Mon. Matt. West.] the conduct of the same Cesar. But our histores farre differ from this, affirming that Cesar comming the second time, was by the Britains with valiancie and martiall prowesse beaten and repelled, as he was at the first, and speciallie by meanes that Cassibellane had pight in the Thames great piles of trees piked with yron, through which his ships being entred the riuer, were perished and lost. And after his comming a land, he was vanquished in battell, and constrained to flee into Gallia with those ships that remained. For ioy of this second victorie (saith Galfrid) Cassibellane made a great feast at London, and there did sacrifice to the gods.

At this feast there fell variance betwixt two yoong gentlemen, the one named Hirilda, nephew to Cassibellane, and the other Euelie or Eweline, being of aliance to Androgeus earle of London. They fell at discord about wrestling, and after multiplieng of words, they came to dealing of blowes, by meanes whereof parts were taken, so that there ensued a sore fraie, in the which diuerse were wounded and hurt, and amongst other Hirilda the kings nephew was slaine by the hands of Eweline. The king sore displeased herewith, meant to punish Eweline according to the order of his lawes, so that he was summoned to appeare in due forme to make answer to the murder: but Eweline by the comfort of Androgeus disobeied the summons, & departed the court with Androgeus, in contempt of the king and his lawes. The king to be reuenged vpon Androgeus, gathered a power, and began to make warre vpon him.

Androgeus perceiuing himselfe not able to withstand the kings puissance, sent letters to Iulius Cesar, exhorting him to returne into Britaine, and declaring the whole matter concerning the variance betwixt him and the king, promising to aid the Romans in all that he might. Iulius Cesar ioifull of this message, prepared his nauie, and with all speed with a mightie host imbarked in the same, came toward Britaine: but yer he would land, doubting some treason in Androgeus, he receiued from him in hostage his sonne named Scena, and thirtie other of the best and most noble personages of all his dominion. After this he landed, and ioining with Androgeus, came into a vallie neere to Canturburie, and there incamped. Shortlie after came Cassibellane with all his power of Britains, and gaue battell to the Romans. But after the Britains had long fought and knightlie borne themselues in that battell, Androgeus came with his people on a wing, and so sharplie assailed them, that the Britains were constrained to forsake the field, and tooke themselues to flight. The which flight so discomforted them, that finallie they all fled, and gaue place to the Romans, the which pursued and slue them without mercie, so that Cassibellane with the residue of his people withdrew to a place of suertie, but being enuironed about with the puissance of the Romans, and of Androgeus, who had with him seuen thousand men there in the aid [Sidenote: So saith Campion, but Galfrid Monu. saith fiue thousand.] of the Romans, Cassibellane in the end was forced to fall to a composition, in couenanting to paie a yearelie tribute of three thousand pounds. When Cesar had ordered his businesse as he thought conuenient, he returned and with him went Androgeus, fearing the displeasure of Cassibellane.

The reuerend father Bede writing of this matter, saith thus: After that Cesar being returned into Gallia, had placed his souldiors abroad in the countrie to soiorne for the winter season, he caused ships to be made readie, to the number of 600, with the which repassing into Britaine, whilest he marched foorth with a mightie armie against the enimies, his ships that lay at anchor being taken with a sore tempest, were either beaten one against another, or else cast vpon the flats and sands, and so broken; so that fortie of them were vtterlie perished, and the residue with great difficultie were repaired. The horssemen of the Romans at the first encounter were put to the worsse, and Labienus the tribune slaine. In the second conflict he vanquished the Britains, not without great danger of his people. After this, he marched to the riuer of Thames, which as then was passable by foord onelie in one place and not else, as the report goeth. On the further banke of that riuer, Cassibellane was incamped with an huge multitude of enimies, and had pitcht and set the banke, and almost all the [Sidenote: The stakes remained to be seene in Bedes daies.] foord vnder the water full of sharpe stakes, the tokens of which vnto this day are to be seene, and it seemeth to the beholders that euerie of these stakes are as big as a mans thigh, sticking fast in the bottome of the riuer closed with lead. This being perceiued of the Romans, and auoided, the Britains not able to susteine the violent impression of the Roman legions, hid themselues in the woods, out of the which by often issues, they greeuouslie and manie times assailed the Romans, and did them great damage. In the meane time the strong citie of Troinouant with hir duke Androgeus deliuering fortie hostages, yeelded vnto Cesar, whose example manie other cities following, allied themselues with the Romans, by whose information Cesar with sore fight tooke at length the towne of Cassibellane, situat betwixt two marches, fensed also with the couert of woods, & hauing within it great plentie of all things. After this Cesar returned into France, and bestowed his armie in places to soiorne there for the winter season.

The Scotish writers report, that the Britains, after the Romans were the first time repelled (as before ye haue heard) refused to receiue the aid of the Scotish men the second time, and so were vanquished, as in the Scotish historie ye may see more at length expressed. Thus much touching the war which Iulius Cesar made against the Britains, in bringing them vnder tribute to the Romans. But this tributarie subiection was hardlie mainteined for a season.

Now here is to be noted, that Cesar did not vanquish all the Britains: for he came not amongst the northerne men, onlie discouering and subduing that part which lieth towards the French seas: so that sith other of the Roman emperors did most earnestlie trauell to [Sidenote: Cornelius Tacitus. In vit. Agr. Dion Cassius.] bring the Britains vnder their subiection (which were euer redie to rebell so manie sundrie times) Cesar might seeme rather to haue shewed Britaine to the Romans, than to haue deliuered the possession of the same. This subiection, to the which he brought this Ile (what maner of one soeuer it was) chanced about the yeare of the world 3913, after the building of Rome 698, before the birth of our sauior 53, the first and second yeare of the 181 Olympiad, after the comming of Brute 1060, before the conquest made by William duke of Normandie 1120, and 1638 yeres before this present yere of our Lord 1585, after Harisons account.

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The state of Britaine when Caesar offered to conquer it, and the maner of their gouernement, as diuerse authors report the same in their bookes: where the contrarietie of their opinions is to be obserued.


After that Iulius Cesar had thus made the Britains tributaries to the Romans, and was returned into Gallia, Cassibellane reigned 7 yeares, and was vanquished in the ninth or tenth yeare after he began first to reigne so that he reigned in the whole about 15 or as some haue 17 yeares, and then died, leauing no issue behind him. There hath bin an [Sidenote: Fabian.] old chronicle (as Fabian recordeth) which he saw and followeth much in his booke, wherein is conteined, that this Cassibellane was not brother to Lud, but eldest sonne to him: for otherwise as may be thought (saith he) Cesar hauing the vpper hand, would haue displaced him from the gouernement, and set vp Androgeus the right heire to the crowne, as sonne to the said Lud. But whatsoeuer our chronicles or the British histories report of this matter, it should appere by that which Cesar writeth (as partlie ye haue heard) that Britaine in those [Sidenote: Caesar.] daies was not gouerned by one sole prince, but by diuers, and that diuers cities were estates of themselues, so that the land was diuided into sundrie gouernements, much after the forme and maner as Germanie and Italie are in our time, where some cities are gouerned by one onelie prince, some by the nobilitie, and some by the people. And whereas diuers of the rulers in those daies here in this land were called kings, those had more large seigniories than the other, as [Sidenote: Cassibellane a King.] Cassibellane, who was therefore called a king.

And though we doo admit this to be true, yet may it be, that in the beginning, after Brute entered the land, there was ordeined by him a monarchie, as before is mentioned, which might continue in his posteritie manie yeares after, and yet at length before the comming of Cesar, through ciuil dissention, might happilie be broken, and diuided into parts, and so remained not onelie in the time of this Cassibellane, but also long after, whilest they liued as tributaries to the Romans, till finallie they were subdued by the Saxons. In which meane time, through the discord, negligence, or rather vnaduised rashnes of writers, hard it is to iudge what may be affirmed and receiued in their writings for a truth; namelie, concerning the succession of the kings that are said to haue reigned betwixt the daies of Cassibellane, and the comming [Sidenote: Cor. Tacit. in uita. lib. Agr.] of the Saxons. The Roman writers (and namelie Tacitus) report, that the Britains in times past were vnder the rule of kings, and after being made tributaries, were drawne so by princes into sundrie factions, that to defend and keepe off a common ieopardie, scarselie would two or three cities agree togither, and take weapon in hand with one accord, so that while they fought by parts, the whole was ouercome. And after this sort they say that Britaine was brought into the forme of a prouince by the Romans, from whom gouernors vnder the name of legats and procurators were sent that had the rule of it.

But yet the same authors make mention of certeine kings (as hereafter shall appeare) who while the Romane emperors had the most part of the earth in subiection, reigned in Britaine. The same witnesseth [Sidenote: Gildas in epist.] Gildas, saieng: Britaine hath kings, but they are tyrants: iudges it hath, but the same are wicked, oftentimes spoiling and tormenting the innocent people. And Cesar (as ye haue heard) speaketh of foure kings that ruled in Kent, and thereabouts. Cornelius Tacitus maketh mention [Sidenote: Some take Prasutagus and Aruiragus to be one man.] of Prasutagus, and Cogidunus, that were kings in Britaine: and Iuuenal speaketh of Aruiragus: and all the late writers, of Lucius. Hereby it appeareth, that whether one or mo, yet kings there were in Britain, bearing rule vnder the Romane emperors.

[Sidenote: Gal. Mon.] On the other part, the common opinion of our chronicle-writers is, that the chiefe gouernment remained euer with the Britains, & that the Romane senat receiuing a yearelie tribute, sent at certeine times (Ex officio) their emperors and lieutenants into this Ile, to represse the rebellious tumults therein begun, or to beat backe the inuasion of the enimies that went about to inuade it. And thus would these writers inferre, that the Britains euer obeied their king, till at length they were put beside the gouernement by the Saxons. But whereas in the common historie of England, the succession of kings ought to be kept, so oft as it chanceth in the same that there is not anie to fill the place, then one while the Romane emperors are placed in their steads, and another while their lieutenants, and are said to be created kings of the Britains, as though the emperors were inferiors vnto the kings of Britaine, and that the Romane lieutenants at their appointments, and not by prescript of the senat or emperours, administred the prouince.

This may suffice here to aduertise you of the contrarietie in writers. Now we will go foorth in following our historie, as we haue doone heretofore, sauing that where the Romane histories write of things done here by emperors, or their lieutenants, it shall be shewed as reason requireth, sith there is a great appearance of truth oftentimes in the same, as those that be authorised and allowed in the opinion of the learned.

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Of Theomantius, the tearme of yeares that he reigned, and where he was interred; of Kymbeline, within the time of whose gouernment Christ Iesus our sauiour was borne, all nations content to obeie the Romane emperors and consequentlie Britaine, the customes that the Britaines paie the Romans as Strabo reporteth.


[Sidenote: THEOMĀDEUS ] AFTER the death of Cassibellane, Theomantius or Tenantius the yoongest sonne of Lud was made king of Britaine in the yeere of the [Sidenote: Fabian] world 3921, after the building of Rome 706, & before the comming of Christ 45. He is named also in one of the English chronicles Tormace: in the same chronicle it is conteined, that not he, but his [Sidenote: Gal. Mon.] brother Androgeus was king, where Geffrey of Monmouth & others testifie, that Androgeus abandoned the land clerelie, & continued still at Rome, because he knew the Britains hated him for treason he had committed in aiding Iulius Cesar against Cassibellane. Theomantius ruled the land in good quiet, and paid the tribute to the Romans which Cassibellane had granted, and finallie departed this life after he had reigned 22 yeares, and was buried at London.

[Sidenote: KYMBELINE] Kymbeline or Cimbeline the sonne of Theomantius was of the Britains made king after the deceasse of his father, in the yeare of the world 3944, after the building of Rome 728, and before the [Sidenote: Fabian out of Guido de Columna.] birth of our Sauiour 33. This man (as some write) was brought vp at Rome, and there made knight by Augustus Cesar, vnder whome he serued in the warres, and was in such fauour with him, that he was at libertie to pay his tribute or not. Little other mention is made of his dooings, except that during his reigne, the Sauiour of the world [Sidenote: Christ our saviour borne.] our Lord Iesus Christ the onelie sonne of God was borne of a virgine, about the 23 yeare of the reigne of this Kymbeline, & in the 42 yeare of the emperour Octauius Augustus, that is to wit, in the yeare of [Sidenote: 3966.] the world 3966, in the second yeare of the 194 Olympiad, after the building of the citie of Rome 750 nigh at an end, after the vniuersall floud 2311, from the birth of Abraham 2019, after the departure of the Israelits out of Egypt 1513, after the captiuitie of Babylon 535, from the building of the temple by Salomon 1034, & from the arriuall of Brute 1116, complet. Touching the continuance of the yeares of Kymbelines reigne, some writers doo varie, but the best approoued affirme, that he reigned 35 years and then died, & was buried at London, leauing behind him two sonnes, Guiderius and Aruiragus.

But here is to be noted, that although our histories doo affirme, that as well this Kymbeline, as also his father Theomantius liued in quiet with the Romans, and continuallie to them paied the tributes which the Britains had couenanted with Iulius Cesar to pay, yet we find in the Romane writers, that after Iulius Cesars death, when [Sidenote: Cor. Tacitus. in uita lu. Agr. Dion Cassius.] Augustus had taken vpon him the rule of the empire, the Britains refused to paie that tribute: whereat as Cornelius Tacitus reporteth, Augustus (being otherwise occupied) was contented to winke; howbeit, through earnest calling vpon to recouer his right by such as were desirous to see the vttermost of the British kingdome; at length, to wit, in the tenth yeare after the death of Iulius Cesar, which was about the thirteenth yeare of the said Theomantius, Augustus made [Sidenote: Dion Cassius.] prouision to passe with an armie ouer into Britaine, & was come forward vpon his iournie into Gallia Celtica: or as we maie saie, into these hither parts of France.

But here receiuing aduertisements that the Pannonians, which inhabited the countrie now called Hungarie, and the Dalmatians whome now we call Slauons had rebelled, he thought it best first to subdue those rebells neere home, rather than to seeke new countries, and leaue such in hazard whereof he had present possession, and so turning his power against the Pannonians and Dalmatians, he left off for a time the warres of Britaine, whereby the land remained without feare of anie inuasion to be made by the Romans, till the yeare after the building of the citie of Rome 725, and about the 19 yeare of king Theomantius reigne, that Augustus with an armie departed once againe from Rome to passe ouer into Britaine, there to make warre. But after his comming into Gallia, when the Britains sent to him certeine ambassadours to treat with him of peace, he staied there to settle the state of things among the Galles, for that they were not in verie good order. And hauing finished there, he went into Spaine, and so his iournie into Britaine was put off till the next yeare, that is, the 726 after the building of Rome, which fell before the birth of our sauiour 25, about which time Augustus eftsoons meant the third time to haue made a voiage into Britaine, because they could not agree vpon couenants. But as the Pannonians and Dalmatians had aforetime staied him, when [Sidenote: He kept not promise with the Romans. Those of Calice and Biskaie.] (as before is said) he meant to haue gone against the Britans: so euen now the Salassians (a people inhabiting about Italie and Switserland) the Cantabrians and Asturians by such rebellious sturrs as they raised, withdrew him from his purposed iournie. But whether this controuersie which appeareth to fall forth betwixt the Britains and Augustus, was occasioned by Kymbeline, or some other prince of the Britains, I haue not to auouch: for that by our writers it is reported, that Kymbeline being brought vp in Rome, & knighted in the court of Augustus, euer shewed himselfe a friend to the Romans, & chieflie was loth to breake with them, because the youth of the Britaine nation should not be depriued of the benefit to be trained and brought vp among the Romans, whereby they might learne both to behaue themselues like ciuill men, and to atteine to the knowledge of feats of warre.

But whether for this respect, or for that it pleased the almightie God so to dispose the minds of men at that present, not onlie the Britains, but in manner all other nations were contented to be obedient to the Romane empire. That this was true in the Britains, [Sidenote: Strab. Geog.] it is euident enough by Strabos words, which are in effect as followeth. "At this present (saith he) certeine princes of Britaine, procuring by ambassadors and dutifull demeanors the amitie of the emperour Augustus, haue offered in the capitoll vnto the gods presents or gifts, and haue ordeined the whole Ile in a manner to be appertinent, proper, and familiar to the Romans. They are burdened with sore customs which they paie for wares, either to be sent foorth into Gallia, or brought from thence, which are commonlie yuorie vessels, sheeres, ouches, or earerings, and other conceits made of amber & glasses, and such like manner of merchandize: so that now there is no need of anie armie or garrison of men of warre to keepe the Ile, for there needeth not past one legion of footmen, or some wing of horssemen, to gather vp and receiue the tribute: for the charges are rated according to the quantitie of the tributes: for otherwise it should be needfull to abate the customs, if the tributes were also raised: and if anie violence should be vsed, it were dangerous least they might be prouoked to rebellion." Thus farre Strabo.

* * * * *

Of Guiderius, who denied to paie tribute to the Romans, preparation for war on both sides, of the ridiculous voiage of the Emperour Caligula against the Britains, his vanitie and delight in mischiefe: Aulus Plautius a Romane senator accompanied with souldiers arrive on the British coasts without resistance, the Britains take flight and hide themselues.


[Sidenote: GUIDERIUS.] Guiderius the first sonne of Kymbeline (of whom Harison saieth nothing) began his reigne in the seuententh yeere after th' incarnation of Christ. This Guiderius being a man of stout courage, gaue occasion of breach of peace betwixt the Britains and Romans, denieng to paie them tribute, and procuring the people to new insurrections, which by one meane or other made open rebellion, as [Sidenote: Caligula.] Gyldas saith. Wherevpon the emperour Caligula (as some thinke) tooke occasion to leauie a power, and as one vtterlie misliking the negligence (as he called it) of Augustus and Tiberius his predecessors, he ment not onlie to reduce the Iland vnto the former subiection, but also to search out the vttermost bounds thereof, to the behoofe of himselfe, and of the Romane monarchie.

Great prouision therefore was made by the said Caligula to performe that noble enterprise, and this was in the fourth yeere of his reigne. The like preparation was made on the other side by Guiderius, to resist the forren enimies, so that hauing all things in a readinesse, he ceassed not dailie to looke for the comming of the emperour, whome [Sidenote: Dion Cassius. lib. 59.] he ment to receiue with hard enterteinment if he durst aduenture to set toward Britaine. But see the sequele: the maine armie being thus in a readinesse, departed from Rome in the 79 yeere after the building of the citie, and marching foorth, at length came vnto the Belgike shore, from whence they might looke ouer, and behold the cliffes and coast of Britaine, which Caligula and his men stood gazing vpon with great admiration and woonder.

Furthermore he caused them to stand in battell arraie vpon the coast, where he heard how the Britains were in a redinesse to withstand his entrance. But entring into his gallie, as nothing discouraged with these newes, he rowed a flight shot or two from the shore, and forthwith returned, and then going vp into an high place like a pulpit, framed and set vp there for the nonce, he gaue the token to fight vnto his souldiers by sound of trumpet, and therewith was ech man charged to gather cockle shells vpon the shore, which he called [Sidenote: The spoile of the Ocean.] the spoile of the Ocean, and caused them to be laid vp vntill a time conuenient. With the atchiuing of this exploit (as hauing none other wherewith to beautifie his triumph) he seemed greatlie exalted, thinking that now he had subdued the whole Ocean, and therefore highlie rewarded his souldiers for their paines susteined in that collection of cockle shells, as if they had doone him some notable peece of seruice. He also caried of the same shells with him to Rome, to the end he might there boast of his voyage, and brag how well he [Sidenote: * sic.] had sped: and required therefore verie earnestlie haue of * a triumph decreed vnto him for the accomplishment of this enterprise.

But when he saw the senat grudge at the free & liberall granting of a grace in that behalfe, and perceiued how they refused to attribute diuine honors vnto him, in recompense of so foolish an enterprise, it wanted little that he had not slaine them euerie one. From thence therefore he went vp into a throne or royall seate, and calling therewith the common people about him, he told them a long tale what aduentures had chanced to him in his conquest of the Ocean. And when he had perceiued them to shout and crie, as if they had consented that he should haue beene a god for this his great trauell and valiant prowesse, he to increase their clamour, caused great quantities of gold & siluer to be scattered amongst them, in the gathering whereof, manie were pressed to death, and diuers also slaine with the inuenomed caltrops of iron, which he did cast out with the same monie, of purpose to doo mischiefe, the same caltrops being in forme small & sharp, so that by reason of the prease of people, much hurt was doone by them yer they were perceiued. And this was the end of the ridiculous voiage of Caligula attempted against the Britains.

[Sidenote: Suetonius.] But after the death of this Caligula, the emperour Claudius (as Suetonius saith) moued warre against the Britains, because of a sturre and rebellion raised in that land, for that such fugitiues as were fled from thence, were not againe restored when request was made for the same.

[Sidenote: Dion Cassius.] Dion Cassius writeth, that one Bericus, being expelled out of Britaine, persuaded the emperour Claudius to take the warre in hand at this time against the Britains, so that one Aulus Plautius a senatour, and as then pretor, was appointed to take the armie that soiourned in France then called Gallia, and to passe ouer with the same into Britaine. The souldiers hearing of this voiage, were loth to go with him, as men not willing to make warre in another world: and therefore delaied time, till at length one Narcissus was sent from Claudius, as it were to appease the souldiers, & procure them to set forward. But when this Narcissus went vp into the tribunall throne of Plautius, to declare the cause of his comming, the souldiers taking great indignation therewith cried, O Saturnalia, as if they should haue celebrated their feast daie so called.

When the seruants apparelled in their maisters robes, represented the roome of their maisters, and were serued by them, as if they had beene their seruants, and thus at length constreined, through verie shame, they agreed to follow Plautius. Herevpon being embarked, he diuided his nauie into three parts, to the end that if they were kept off from arriuing in one place, yet they might take land in another. The ships suffered some impeachment in their passage by a contrarie wind that droue them backe againe: but yet the marriners and men of warre taking good courage vnto them, the rather because there was seene a fierie leame to shoot out of the east towards the west, which way their course lay, made forwards againe with their ships, and landed without finding anie resistance. For the Britains looked not for their comming: wherefore, when they heard how their enimies were on land, they got them into the woods and marishes, trusting that by lingering of time the Romans would be constreined to depart, as it had chanced in time past to Iulius Cesar aforesaid.


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