Chronicles (1 of 6): The Historie of England (4 of 8) - The Fovrth Booke Of The Historie Of England
by Raphael Holinshed
Previous Part     1  2  3  4     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

King Marius hauing thus subdued his enimies, and escaped the danger of their dreadfull inuasion, gaue his mind to the good gouernement of his people, and the aduancement of the common wealth of the realme, continuing the residue of his life in great tranquillitie, and [Sidenote: Matt. West. Thus find we in the British and English histories touching this Marius.] finallie departed this life, after he had reigned (as most writers say) 52, or 53 yeeres. Howbeit there be that write, that he died in the yeere of our Lord 78, and so reigned not past fiue or six yeeres at the most. He was buried at Caerleill, leauing a sonne behind him called Coill.

Humfrey Lhoyd seemeth to take this man and his father Aruiragus to be all one person, whether mooued thereto by some catalog of kings which he saw, or otherwise, I cannot affirme: but speaking of the time when the Picts and Scots should first come to settle themselues in this land, he hath these words; Neither was there anie writers of name, that made mention either of Scots or Picts before Vespasianus time, about the yeere of the incarnation 72: at what time Meurig or Maw, or Aruiragus reigned in Britaine, in which time our annales doo report, that a certeine kind of people liuing by pirasie and rouing on the sea, came foorth of Sueden, or Norwaie, vnder the guiding of one Rhithercus, who landed in Albania, wasting all the countrie with robbing and spoiling so farre as Caerleill, where he was vanquished in battell, and slaine by Muragus, with a great part of his people; the residue that escaped by flight, fled to their ships, and so conueied themselues into the Iles of Orkney and Scotland, where they abode quietlie a great while after.

Thus farre haue I thought good to shew of the foresaid Lhoyds booke, for that it seemeth to carie a great likelihood of truth with it, for the historie of the Picts, which vndoubtedlie I thinke were not as yet inhabiting in Britaine, but rather first placing themselues in the Iles of Orkney, made inuasion into the maine Ile of Britaine afterwards, as occasion was offred. In the British toong they are called Pightiaid, that is Pightians, and so likewise were they called in the Scotish, and in their owne toong. Now will we shew what chanced in this Ile, during the time of the foresaid Marius his supposed reigne, as is found in the Romane histories.

* * * * *

Iulius Agricola is deputed by Vespasian to gouerne Britaine, he inuadeth the Ile of Anglesey, the inhabitants yeeld vp them selues, the commendable gouernement of Agricola, his worthie practises to traine the Britains to ciuilitie, his exploits fortunatelie atchiued against diuerse people, as the Irish, &c.


After Iulius Frontinus, the emperor Vespasian sent Iulius Agricola to [Sidenote: Iulius Agricola lieutenant.] succeed in the gouernement of Britaine, who comming ouer about the midst of summer, found the men of warre thorough want of a lieutenant negligent inough, so those that looking for no trouble, thought [Sidenote: Cor. Tacit in uit. Agr.] themselues out of all danger, where the enimies neuerthelesse watched [Sidenote: The first yeere of Agricola his gouernment.] vpon the next occasion to worke some displeasure, and were readie on ech hand to mooue rebellion, For the people called Ordouices, that inhabited in the countrie of Chesshire, Lancashire and part of Shropshire, had latelie before ouerthrowne, and in maner vtterlie destroied a wing of such horssemen as soiourned in their parties, by reason whereof all the prouince was brought almost into an assured hope to recouer libertie.

Agricola vpon his comming ouer, though summer was now halfe past, and that the souldiers lodging here & there abroad in the countrie, were more disposed to take rest, than to set forward into the field against the enimies, determined yet to resist the present danger: and therewith assembling the men of warre of the Romans, and such other aids as he might make, he inuaded their countrie that had done this foresaid displeasure, and slue the most part of all the inhabitants thereof. Not thus contented (for that he thought good to follow the steps of fauourable fortune, and knowing that as the begining proued, so would the whole sequele of his affaires by likelihood come to passe) he purposed to make a full conquest of the Ile of Anglesey, [Sidenote: The Ile of Anglesey.] from the conquest wherof the Romane lieutenant Paulinus was called backe by the rebellion of other of the Britains, as before ye haue heard.

But whereas he wanted ships for the furnishing of his enterprise, his wit and policie found a shift to supplie that defect: for choosing out a piked number of such Britains as he had there with him in aid, which knew the foords and shallow places of the streames there, and withall were verie skilfull in swimming (as the maner of the countrie then was) he appointed them to passe ouer on the sudden into the Ile, onelie with their horsses, armor, and weapon: which enterprise they so speedilie, and with so good successe atchiued, that the inhabitants much amazed with that dooing (which looked for a nauie of ships to haue transported ouer their enimies by sea, and therefore watched on the coast) began to thinke that nothing was able to be defended against such kind of warriors that got ouer into the Ile after such sort and maner.

[Sidenote: Anglesey yeelded to Agricola.] And therefore making sute for peace, they deliuered the Ile into the hands of Agricola, whose fame by these victories dailie much increased, as of one that tooke pleasure in trauell, and attempting to atchiue dangerous enterprises, in stead whereof his predecessors had delighted, to shew the maiesties of their office by vaine brags, statelie ports, and ambitious pomps. For Agricola turned not the prosperous successe of his proceedings into vanitie, but rather with neglecting his fame, increased it to the vttermost, among them that iudged what hope was to be looked for of things by him to be atchiued, which with silence kept secret these his so woorthie dooings.

Moreouer, perceiuing the nature of the people in this Ile of Britaine, and sufficientlie taught by other mens example, that armor should little auaile where iniuries followed to the disquieting of the [Sidenote: Agricola his good gouernment.] people, he thought best to take away and remooue all occasions of warre. And first beginning with himselfe and his souldiers, tooke order for a reformation to be had in his owne houshold, yeelding nothing to fauor, but altogither in respect of vertue, accounting them most faithfull which therein most excelled. He sought to know all things, but not to doo otherwise than reason mooued, pardoning small faults, and sharpelie punishing great and heinous offenses, neither yet deliting alwaies in punishment, but oftentimes in repentance of the offendor. Exactions and tributes he lessened, qualifieng the same by reasonable equitie. And thus in reforming the state of things, he wan him great praise in time of peace, the which either by negligence or sufferance of the former lieutenants, was euer feared, and accounted woorse than open warre. This was his practise in the winter time of his first yeere.

[Sidenote: His diligence.] But when summer was come, he assembled his armie, and leading foorth the same, trained his souldiers in all honest warlike discipline, commending the good, and reforming the bad and vnrulie. He himselfe to giue example, tooke vpon him all dangers that came to hand, and suffered not the enimies to liue in rest, but wasted their countries with sudden inuasions. And when he had sufficientlie chastised them, and put them in feare by such manner of dealing, he spared them, that they might againe conceiue some hope of peace. By which meanes manie countries which vnto those daies had kept themselues out of bondage, laid rancor aside, and deliuered pledges, and further were contented to suffer castels to be builded within them, and to be kept with garrisons, so that no part of Britaine was free from the Romane power, but stood still in danger to be brought vnder more and more.

[Sidenote: The second yeere of Agricola his gouernment.] In the winter following, Agricola tooke paines to reduce the Britains from their rude manners and customs, vnto a more ciuill sort and trade of liuing, that changing their naturall fiercenesse and [Sidenote: The woorthie practises of Agricola to traine the Britains to ciuilitie.] apt disposition to warre, they might through tasting pleasures be so inured therewith, that they should desire to liue in rest and quietnesse: and therefore he exhorted them priuilie, and holpe them publikelie to build temples, common halls where plees of law might be kept, and other houses, commending them that were diligent in such dooings, and blaming them that were negligent, so that of necessitie they were driuen to striue who should preuent ech other in ciuilitie. He also procured that noble mens sonnes should learne the liberall sciences, and praised the nature of the Britains more than the people of Gallia, bicause they studied to atteine to the knowledge of the Romane eloquence. By which meanes the Britains in short time were brought to the vse of good and commendable manners, and sorted themselues to go in comelie apparell after the Romane fashion, and by little and little fell to accustome themselues to fine fare and delicate pleasures, the readie prouokers of vices, as to walke in galleries, to wash themselues in bathes, to vse banketting, and such like, which amongst the vnskilfull was called humanitie or courtesie, but in verie deed it might be accounted a part of thraldome and seruitude, namelie being too excessiuelie vsed.

[Sidenote: The third yeere.] In the third yeere of Agricola his gouernment in Britaine, he inuaded the north parts thereof (vnknowne till those daies of the Romans) being the same where the Scots now inhabit: for he [Sidenote: The water of Tay.] wasted the countrie vnto the water of Tay, in such wise putting the inhabitants in feare, that they durst not once set vpon his armie, though it were so that the same was verie sore disquieted and vexed by tempest and rage of weather. Wherevpon finding no great let or hinderance by the enimies, he builded certeine castels and fortresses, which he placed in such conuenient steeds, that they greatlie annoied his aduersaries, and were so able to be defended, that there was none of those castels which he builded, either woon by force out of the Romans hands, or giuen ouer by composition, for feare to be taken: so that the same beeing furnished with competent numbers of men of warre, were safelie kept from the enimies, the which were dailie vexed by the often issues made foorth by the souldiers that laie thus in garrison within them: so that where in times past the said enimies would recouer their losses susteined in summer by the winters aduantage, now they were put to the woorse, and kept backe as well in the winter as in the summer.

[Sidenote: The fourth yeere of Agricola his gouernment. Clota Bodotria.] In the fourth summer, after that Agricola was appointed vnto the rule of this land, he went about to bring vnder subiection those people, the which before time he had by incursions and forreies sore vexed and disquieted: and therevpon comming to the waters of Clide and Loughleuen, he built certeine fortresses to defend the passages and entries there, driuing the enimies beyond the same waters, as it had beene into a new Iland.

[Sidenote: The fift yeere.] In the fift summer, Agricola causing his ships to be brought about, and appointing them to arriue on the north coasts of Scotland, he passed with his armie ouer the riuer of Clide; and subdued such people as inhabited those further parts of Scotland, which till those daies had not beene discouered by the Romans. And bicause he thought it should serue well to purpose, for some conquest to be made of Ireland, if that part of Scotland which bordereth on the Irish seas might be kept in due obedience, he placed garrisons of souldiers in those parties, in hope verelie vpon occasion to passe ouer into Ireland, and for the more easie aduancement of his purpose therein, he interteined with honourable prouision one of the kings of Ireland, [Sidenote: An Irish king expelled out of his countrie.] which by ciuill discord was expelled and driuen out of his countrie. In deed Agricola perceiued, that with one legion of souldiers, and a small aid of other men of warre it should be an easie matter to conquer Ireland, and to bring it vnder the dominion of the Romans: which enterprise he iudged verie necessarie to be exploited, for better keeping of the Britains in obedience, if they should see the iurisdiction of the Romans euerie where extended, and the libertie of their neighbours suppressed.

[Sidenote: The sixt yeere of Agricola his government.] In the sixt summer of Agricola his gouernment, he proceeded in subduing the furthermost parts of Scotland northwards, causing his nauie to keepe course against him by the coast as he marched foorth by land, so that the Britains perceiuing how the secret hauens and creekes of their countries were now discouered, and that all hope of refuge was in maner cut off from them, were in maruellous feare. On the other part the Romans were sore troubled with the rough mounteins and craggie rocks, by the which they were constreined to passe beside the dangerous riuers, lakes, woods, streicts, and other combersome waies and passages.

The danger also of them that were in the ships by sea was not small, by reason of winds and tempests, and high spring tides, which tossed and turmoiled their vessels verie cruellie: but by the painfull diligence of them that had beene brought vp and inured with continuall trauell and hardnesse, all those discommodities were ouercome to their great reioising, when they met and fell in talke of their passed perils. For oftentimes the armie by land incamped so by the shore, that those which kept the sea came on land to make merrie in the campe, and then ech one would recount to others the aduentures that had happened, as the manner is in semblable cases.

* * * * *

The Britains of Calenderwood assalt the Romans upon aduantage, bloudie battels fought betwixt them, great numbers slaine on both sides, the villanous dealing of certeine Dutch souldiers against their capteins and fellowes in armes, the miserie that they were driven vnto by famine to eate one another, a sharpe conflict betweene the Romans and Britains, with the losse of manie a mans life, and effusion of much bloud.


[Sidenote: Calenderwood.] The Britains that inhabited in those daies about the parts of Calenderwood, perceiuing in what danger they were to be vtterlie subdued, assembled themselues togither, in purpose to trie the fortune of battell: whereof Agricola being aduertised, marched foorth with his armie diuided in three battels, so that the enimies doubting to trie the matter in open field, espied their time in the night, and with all their whole puissance set vpon one of the Romane legions, which they knew to be most feeble and weake, trusting by a camisado to distresse the same: and first sleaing the watch, they entred the campe, where the said legion laie, and finding the souldiers in great disorder, betwixt sleepe and feare, began the fight euen within the campe.

Agricola had knowledge of their purposed intent, and therefore with all speed hasted foorth to come to the succours of his people, sending first his light horssemen, and certeine light armed footmen to assaile the enimies on their backs, and shortlie after approched with his whole puissance, so that the Romane standards beginning to appeere in sight by the light of the daie that then began to spring, the Britains were sore discouraged, and the Romans renewing their force, fiercelie preassed vpon them, so that euen in the entrie of the campe, there was a sore conflict, till at length the Britains were put to flight and chased, so that if the mareshes and woods had not saued them from the pursute of the Romans, there had beene an end made of the whole warre euen by that one daies worke. But the Britains escaping as well as they might, and reputing the victorie to haue chanced not by the valiancie of the Romane soldiers, but by occasion, and the prudent policie of their capteine, were nothing abashed with that their present losse, but prepared to put their youth againe into armour: and therevpon they remooued their wiues and children into safe places, and then assembling the chiefest gouernours togither, concluded a league amongst themselues, ech to aid other, confirming their articles with dooing of sacrifice (as the manner in those daies was.)

[Sidenote: The seuenth yeere.] The same summer, a band of such Dutch or Germaine souldiers as had beene leuied in Germanie & sent ouer into Britaine to the aid of the Romans, attempted a great and woonderfull act, in sleaing their capteine, and such other of the Romane souldiers which were appointed to haue the training and leading of them, as officers and instructors to them in the feats of warre: and when they had committed that murther, they got into three pinesses, and became rouers on the coasts of Britaine, and incountring with diuerse of the Britains that were readie to defend their countrie from spoile, oftentimes they got the vpper hand of them, and now and then they were chased awaie, insomuch that in the end they were brought to such extremitie for want of vittels, that they did eate such amongst them as were the weakest, and after, such as the lot touched, being indifferentlie cast amongst them: and so being caried about the coasts of Britaine, & losing their vessels through want of skill to gouerne them, they were reputed for robbers, and therevpon were apprehended, first by the Suabeners, and shortlie after by the Frizers, the which sold diuerse of them to the Romans and other, whereby the true vnderstanding of their aduentures came certeinlie to light.

[Sidenote: The eight yeere of Agricola his gouernment.] In summer next following, Agricola with his armie came to the mounteine of Granziben, where he vnderstood that his enimies were incamped, to the number of 30 thousand and aboue, and dailie there came to them more companie of the British youth, and such aged persons also as were lustie and in strength, able to weld weapon and beare [Sidenote: Galgagus whome the Scots name Gald and will needs haue him a Scotish man.] armour. Amongst the capteins the chiefest was one Galgagus whom the Scotish chronicles name Gald. This man as chiefteine and head capteine of all the Britains there assembled, made to them a pithie oration, to incourage them to fight manfullie, and likewise did Agricola to his people: which being ended, the armies on both sides were put in order of battell. Agricola placed 8 thousand footmen of strangers which he had there in aid with him in the midst, appointing three thousand horssemen to stand on the sides of them as wings. The Romane legions stood at their backs in steed of a bulworke. The Britains were imbattelled in such order, that their fore ward stood in the plaine ground, and the other on the side of an hill, as though they had risen on heigth one ranke aboue another. The midst of the field was [Sidenote: Corn. Tacit.] couered with their charrets and horssemen. Agricola doubting by the huge multitude of enimies, least his people should be assailed not onlie afront, but also vpon euerie side the battels, he caused the ranks so to place themselues, as their battels might stretch farre further in bredth than otherwise the order of warre required: but he tooke this to be a good remedie against such inconuenience as might haue followed, if the enimie by the narrownesse of the fronts of his battels should haue hemmed them in on ech side.

This done, and hauing conceiued good hope of victorie, he alighted on foot, and putting his horsse from him, he stood before the standards as one not caring for anie danger that might happen. At the first they bestowed their shot and darts freelie on both sides. The Britains aswell with constant manhood, as skilfull practise, with broad swords and little round bucklers auoided and beat from them the arrowes and darts that came from their enimies, and therewithall paid them home againe with their shot and darts, so that the Romans were neere hand oppressed therewith, bicause they came so thicke in their faces, [Sidenote: Betaui. Congri.] till at length Agricola caused three cohorts of Hollanders, & two of Lukeners to presse forward, & ioine with them at hand-strokes, so as the matter might come to be tried with the edge of the swoord, which thing as to them (being inured with that kind of fight) it stood greatlie with their aduantage, so to the Britains it was verie dangerous, that were to defend themselues with their mightie huge swoords and small bucklers. Also by reason their swoords were broad at the ends, and pointlesse, they auailed little to hurt the armed enimie. Wherevpon when the Hollanders came to ioine with them, they made fowle worke in sleaing and wounding them in most horrible wise.

The horssemen also that made resistance they pulled from their horsses, and began to clime the hill vpon the Britains. The other bands desirous to match their fellowes in helping to atchiue the [Sidenote: Hollanders.] victorie, followed the Hollanders, and beat downe the Britains where they might approch to them: manie were ouerrun and left halfe dead, and some not once touched with anie weapon, were likewise ouerpressed, such hast the Romans made to follow vpon the Britains. Whilest the British horssemen fled, their charets ioined themselues with their footmen, and restoring the battell, put the Romans in such feare, that they were at a sudden stay: but the charets being troubled with prease of enimies, & vneeuennesse of the ground, they could not worke their feat to anie purpose, neither had that fight anie resemblance of a battell of horssemen, when ech one so encumbred other, that they had no roome to stirre themselues. The charets oftentimes wanting their guiders were caried awaie with the horsses, that being put in feare with the noise and stur, ran hither and thither, bearing downe one another, and whomsoeuer else they met withall.

Now the Britains that kept the top of the hils, and had not yet fought at all, despising the small number of the Romans, began to come downewards and to cast about, that they might set vpon the backs of their enimies, in hope so to make an end of the battell, and to win the victorie: but Agricola doubting no lesse, but that some such thing would come to passe, had aforehand foreseene the danger, and hauing reserued foure wings of horssemen for such sudden chances, sent them foorth against those Britains, the which horssemen with full randon charging vpon them as they rashlie came forwards, quicklie disordered them and put them all to flight, and so that purposed deuise and policie of the Britains turned to their owne hinderance. For their horssemen by their capteins appointment trauersing ouerthwart by the fronts of them that fought, set vpon that battell of the Britains which they found before them. Then in those open and plaine places a greeuous & heauie sight it was to behold, how they pursued, wounded, and tooke their enimies: and as they were aduised of other to slea those that they had before taken, to the end they might ouertake the other, there was nothing but fleeing, taking, and chasing, slaughter, spilling of bloud, scattering of weapons, grunting and groning of men and horsses that lay on the ground, gasping for breath, & readie to die.

The Britains now and then as they saw their aduantage, namelie when they approched neere to the woods, gathered themselues togither, and set vpon the Romans as they followed vnaduisedlie, and further (through ignorance of the places) than stood with their suertie, insomuch that if Agricola had not prouided remedie, and sent foorth mightie bands of light armed men both on foot and horssebacke to close in the enimies, and also to beat the wood, some greater losse would haue followed through too much boldnes of them that too rashlie pursued vpon the Britains: who when they beheld the Romans thus to follow them in whole troops and good order of battell, they slipt awaie and tooke them to flight, ech one seeking to saue himselfe, and kept not togither in plumps as before they had doone. The night made an end of the chase which the Romans had followed till they were [Sidenote: Ten thousand Britains slaine. Aulus Atticus slaine.] throughlie wearied. There were slaine of the Britains that day 10000, and of the Romans 340, among whom Aulus Atticus a capteine of one of the cohorts or bands of footmen was one, who being mounted on horssebacke (through his owne too much youthfull courage, and fierce vnrulines of his horsse) was caried into the middle throng of his enimies, and there slaine.

* * * * *

The lamentable distresse and pitifull perplexitie of the Britains after their ouerthrow, Domitian enuieth Agricola the glorie of his victories, he is subtilie depriued of his deputiship, and Cneus Trebellius surrogated in his roome.


The night insuing the foresaid ouerthrow of the Britains was spent of [Sidenote: Britains, not Scots, neither yet Picts.] the Romans in great ioy & gladnes for the victorie atchiued. But among the Britains there was nothing else heard but mourning and lamentation, both of men and women that were mingled togither, some busie to beare away the wounded, to bind and dresse their hurts; other calling for their sonnes, kinsfolkes and friends that were wanting. Manie of them forsooke their houses, and in their desperate mood set them on fire, and choosing foorth places for their better refuge and safegard, foorthwith misliking of the same, left them and sought others: herewith diuerse of them tooke counsell togither what they were best to doo, one while they were in hope, an other while they fainted, as people cast into vtter despaire: the beholding of their wiues and children oftentimes mooued them to attempt some new enterprise for the preseruation of their countrie and liberties. And certeine it is that some of them slue their wiues and children, as mooued thereto with a certeine fond regard of pitie to rid them out of further miserie and danger of thraldome.

The next day the certeintie of the victorie more plainlie was disclosed, for all was quiet about, and no noise heard anie where: the houses appeared burning on ech side, and such as were sent foorth to discouer the countrie into euerie part thereof, saw not a creature stirring, for all the people were auoided and withdrawne a farre off.

When Agricola had thus ouerthrowne his enimies in a pitcht field at the mountaine of Granziben, and that the countrie was quite rid of all appearance of enimies: bicause the summer of this eight yeere of his gouernement was now almost spent, he brought his armie into the [Sidenote: Hector Boet.] confines of the Horrestians, which inhabited the countries now called [Sidenote: Cor. Tacitus.] Angus & Merne, and there intended to winter, and tooke hostages of the people for assurance of their loialtie and subiection. This doone, he appointed the admirall of the nauie to saile about the Ile, [Sidenote: An hauen called Trutulensis, peraduenture Rutupensis.] which accordinglie to his commission in that point receiued, luckilie accomplished his enterprise, and brought the nauie about againe into an hauen called Trutulensis.

In this meane time, whiles Iulius Agricola was thus occupied in Britaine, both the emperour Vespasianus, and also his brother Titus that succeeded him, departed this life, and Domitianus was elected emperor, who hearing of such prosperous successe as Agricola had against the Britains, did not so much reioise for the thing well doone, as he enuied to consider what glorie and renowme should redound to Agricola thereby, which he perceiued should much darken the glasse of his fame, hauing a priuate person vnder him, who in woorthinesse of noble exploits atchiued, farre excelled his dooings.

To find remedie therefore herein, he thought not good to vtter his malice as yet, whilest Agricola remained in Britaine with an armie, which so much fauoured him, and that with so good cause, sith by his policie and noble conduct the same had obteined so manie victories, so much honor, and such plentie of spoiles and booties. Wherevpon to dissemble his intent, he appointed to reuoke him foorth of Britaine, as it were to honor him, not onelie with deserued triumphs, but also with the lieutenantship of Syria, which as then was void by the [Sidenote: Cneus Trebellius alias Salustius Lucullus as some thinke.] death of Aulius Rufus. Thus Agricola being countermanded home to Rome, deliuered his prouince vnto his successor Cneus Trebellius, appointed thereto by the emperour Domitianus, in good quiet and safegard.

Thus may you see in what state Britaine stood in the daies of king Marius, of whome Tacitus maketh no mention at all. Some haue written, that the citie of Chester was builded by this Marius, though other (as before I haue said) thinke rather that it was the worke of [Sidenote: Fabian.] Ostorius Scapula their legat. Touching other the dooings of Agricola, in the Scotish chronicle you maie find more at large set foorth: for that which I haue written heere, is but to shew what in effect Cornelius Tacitus writeth of that which Agricola did here in Britaine, without making mention either of Scots or Picts, onelie naming them Britains, Horrestians, and Calidoneans, who inhabited in those daies a part of this Ile which now we call Scotland, the originall of which countrie, and the inhabitants of the same, is greatlie controuersed among writers; diuerse diuerslie descanting therevpon, some fetching their reason from the etymon of the word which is Greeke, some from the opening of their ancestors as they find the same remaining in records; other some from comparing antiquities togither, and aptlie collecting the truth as neere as they can. But to omit them, and returne to the continuation of our owne historie.

* * * * *

Of Coillus the sonne of Marius, his education in Rome, how long he reigned: of Lucius his sonne and successor, what time he assumed the gouernment of this land, he was an open professor of christian religion, he and his familie are baptised, Britaine receiueth the faith, 3 archbishops and 28 bishops at that time in this Iland, Westminster church and S. Peters in Cornehill builded, diuers opinions touching the time of Lucius his reigne, of his death, and when the christian faith was receiued in this Iland.


[Sidenote: COILLUS. 125.] Coillus the sonne of Marius was after his fathers deceasse made king of Britaine, in the yeare of our Lord 125. This Coillus or Coill was brought vp in his youth amongst the Romans at Rome, where he spent his time not vnprofitablie, but applied himselfe to learning & seruice in the warres, by reason whereof he was much honored of the Romans, and he likewise honored and loued them, so that he paied his tribute truelie all the time of his reigne, and therefore liued in peace and good quiet. He was also a prince of much bountie, and verie liberall, whereby he obteined great loue both of his nobles and commons. Some [Sidenote: Colchester built.] saie, that he made the towne of Colchester in Essex, but others write, that Coill which reigned next after Asclepiodotus was the first founder of that towne, but by other it should seeme to be built long before, being called Camelodunum. Finallie when this Coill had reigned the space of 54 yeares, he departed this life at Yorke, leauing after him a sonne named Lucius, which succeeded in the kingdome.

[Sidenote: LUCIUS.] Lucius the sonne of Coillus, whose surname (as saith William Harison) is not extant, began his reigne ouer the Britains about the yeare of our Lord 180, as Fabian following the authoritie of Peter Pictauiensis saith, although other writers seeme to disagree in that account, as by the same Fabian in the table before his booke partlie appeareth, wherevnto Matthaeus Westmonasteriensis affirmeth, that this Lucius was borne in the yeare of our Lord 115, and was crowned king in the yeare 124, as successor to his father Coillus, which died the same yeare, being of great age yer the said Lucius was borne. It is noted [Sidenote: 165.] by antiquaries, that his entrance was in the 4132 of the world, 916 after the building of Rome, 220 after the comming of Cesar into Britaine, and 165 after Christ, whose accounts I follow in this treatise.

This Lucius is highlie renowmed of the writers, for that he was the first king of the Britains that receiued the faith of Iesus Christ: for being inspired by the spirit of grace and truth, euen from the beginning of his reigne, he somewhat leaned to the fauoring of Christian religion, being moued with the manifest miracles which the Christians dailie wrought in witnesse and proofe of their sound and perfect doctrine. For euen from the daies of Ioseph of Arimathia and his fellowes, or what other godlie men first taught the Britains the gospell of our Sauiour there remained amongest the same Britains some christians which ceased not to teach and preach the word of God most sincerelie vnto them: but yet no king amongst them openlie professed that religion, till at length this Lucius perceiuing not onelie some of the Romane lieutenants in Britaine as Trebellius and Pertinax, with others, to haue submitted themselues to that profession, but also the emperour himselfe to begin to be fauorable to them that professed it, he tooke occasion by their good example to giue eare more attentiuelie vnto the gospell, and at length sent vnto Eleutherius bishop of Rome two learned men of the British nation, Eluane and Meduine, requiring him to send some such ministers as might instruct him and his people in the true faith more plentifullie, and to baptise them according to the rules of christian religion.

[Sidenote: Fol. 119. (*)] The reuerend father Iohn Iewell, sometime bishop of Salisburie, writeth in his * replie vnto Hardings answer, that the said Eleutherius, for generall order to be taken in the realme and churches heere, wrote his aduice to Lucius in maner and forme following. "You haue receiued in the kingdome of Britaine, by Gods mercie, both the law and faith of Christ; ye haue both the new and the old testament, out of the same through Gods grace, by the aduise of your realme make a law, and by the same through Gods sufferance rule you your kingdome of Britaine, for in that kingdome you are Gods vicar."

Herevpon were sent from the said Eleutherius two godlie learned men, the one named Fugatius, and the other Damianus, the which baptised the king with all his familie and people, and therewith remoued the [Sidenote: Britaine receiueth the faith.] worshipping of idols and false gods, and taught the right meane and waie how to worship the true and immortall God. There were in those daies within the bounds of Britaine 28 Flamines, & three Archflamines, which were as bishops and archbishops, or superintendents of the pagan or heathen religion, in whose place (they being remoued) were instituted 28 bishops & three archbishops of the christian religion. One of the which archbishops held his see at London, another at Yorke, [Sidenote: Matth. West.] and the third at Caerleon Arwiske in Glamorganshire. Vnto the archbishop of London was subiect Cornewall, and all the middle part of England, euen vnto Humber. To the archbishop of Yorke all the north parts of Britaine from the riuer of Humber vnto the furthest partes of Scotland. And to the archbishop of Caerleon was subiect all Wales, within which countrie as then were seuen bishops, where now there are but foure. The riuer of Seuern in those daies diuided Wales (then called Cambria) from the other parts of Britaine. Thus Britaine [Sidenote: Iosephus of Arimathia.] partlie by the meanes of Ioseph of Arimathia (of whome ye haue heard before) & partlie by the wholesome instructions & doctrines of Fugatius and Damianus, was the first of all other regions that openlie receiued the gospell, and continued most stedfast in that profession, till the cruell furie of Dioclesian persecuted the same, in such sort, that as well in Britaine as in all other places of the world, the christian religion was in manner extinguished, and vtterlie destroied.

[Sidenote: Polydor. Westminster Church built.] There be that affirme, how this Lucius should build the church of saint Peter at Westminster, though manie attribute that act vnto Sibert king of the east Saxons, and write how the place was then ouergrowne with thornes and bushes, and thereof tooke the name, and was called Thorney. They ad moreouer that Thomas archbishop of London preached, read, and ministred the sacraments there to such as made resort vnto him. Howbeit by the tables hanging in the reuestrie of saint Paules at London, and also a table sometime hanging in saint Peters church in Cornehill, it should seeme that the said church of saint Peter in Cornehill was the same that Lucius builded. But herein (saith Harison anno mundi 4174) dooth lie a scruple. Sure Cornell might soone be mistaken for Thorney, speciallie in such old records, as time, age, & euill handling haue oftentimes defaced.

But howsoeuer the case standeth, truth it is, that Lucius reioising much, in that he had brought his people to the perfect light and vnderstanding of the true God, that they needed not to be deceiued anie longer with the craftie temptations and feigned miracles of wicked spirits, he abolished all prophane worshippings of false gods, and conuerted all such temples as had beene dedicated to their seruice, vnto the vse of christian religion: and thus studieng onlie how to aduance the glorie of the immortall God, and the knowledge of his word, without seeking the vaine glorie of worldlie triumph, which is got with slaughter and bloudshed of manie a giltlesse person, he left his kingdome; though not inlarged with broder dominion than he receiued it, yet greatlie augmented and inriched with quiet rest, good ordinances, and (that which is more to be esteemed than all the rest) adorned with Christes religion, and perfectlie instructed with his [Sidenote: Polydor. Fabian. Iohn Hard.] most holie word and doctrine. He reigned (as some write) 21 yeares, though other affirme but twelue yeares. Againe, some testifie that he reigned 77, others 54, and 43.

Moreouer here is to be noted, that if he procured the faith of Christ to be planted within this realme in the time of Eleutherius the Romane bishop, the same chanced in the daies of the emperour Marcus Aurelius Antonius; and about the time that Lucius Aurelius Commodus was ioined and made partaker of the empire with his father, which was seuen yeere after the death of Lucius Aelius, Aurelius Verus, and in the 177 after the birth of our Sauiour Iesus Christ, as by some chronologies is easie to be collected. For Eleutherius began to gouerne the see of Rome in the yeere 169, according to the opinion of the most diligent chronographers of our time, and gouerned fifteene yeeres and thirteene [Sidenote: Gal. Mon. Matth. West.] daies. And yet there are that affirme, how Lucius died at Glocester in the yeere of our Lord 156. Other say that he died in the yere 201, and other 208. So that the truth of this historie is brought into doubt by the discord of writers, concerning the time and other circumstances, although they all agree that in this kings daies the christian faith was first by publike consent openlie receiued and professed in this land, which as some affirme, should chance in the [Sidenote: Polydor.] twelfe yeere of his reigne, and in the yeere of our Lord 177. Other iudge that it came to passe in the eight yeere of his regiment, and in the yeere of our Lord 188, where other (as before is said) [Sidenote: Nauclerus.] alledge that it was in the yeere of the Lord 179. Nauclerus saith, [Sidenote: Hen. Herf.] that this happened about the yeare of our Lord 156. And Henricus de Herfordea supposeth, that it was in the yeere of our Lord 169, and in the ninteenth yeere of the emperor Marcus Antonius Verus; and after other, about the sixt yeere of the emperor Commodus.

But to conclude, king Lucius died without issue, by reason whereof [Sidenote: Fabian.] after his deceasse the Britains fell at variance, which continued about the space of fifteene yeeres (as Fabian thinketh) howbeit the old English chronicle affirmeth, that the contention betwixt them [Sidenote: Caxton. Iohn Hard.] remained fiftie yeeres, though Harding affirmeth but foure yeeres. And thus much of the Britains, and their kings Coilus and Lucius. Now it resteth to speake somewhat of the Romans which gouerned here in the meane while. After that Agricola was called backe to Rome, the Britains (and namelie those that inhabited beyond Tweed) partlie being weakned of their former strength, and partlie in consideration of their pledges, which they had deliuered to the Romans, remained in peace certeine yeeres.

* * * * *

The Britains after the deceasse of Lucius (who died without issue) rebell against the Romans, the emperor Adrian comming in his owne person into Britaine appeaseth the broile, they go about to recouer their libertie against the Romans, but are suppressed by Lollius the Romane lieutenant; the vigilantnesse or wakefulnesie of Marcellus, and his policie to keepe the souldiers waking, the Britains being ruled by certeine meane gentlemen of Perhennis appointing doo falselie accuse him to the emperor Commodus, he is mangled and murthered of his souldiers.


[Sidenote: CNEUS TREBELLIUS LIEUTENANT.] In the meane time the Romane lieutenant Cneus Trebellius that succeeded Iulius Agricola, could not foresee all things so preciselie but that the souldiers waxing vnrulie by reason of long rest, fell at variance among themselues, and would not in the end obey the lieutenant, but disquieted the Britains beyond measure. Wherefore the Britains perceiuing themselues sore oppressed with intollerable bondage, and that dailie the same incresed, they conspired togither, vpon hope to recouer libertie, and to defend their countrie by all meanes possible, and herewith they tooke weapon in hand against the Romans, and boldlie assailed them: but this they did yet warilie, and so, that they might flie vnto the woods and bogs for refuge vpon necessitie, according to the maner of their countrie. Herevpon diuers slaughters were committed on both parties, and all the countrie was now readie to rebell: whereof when the emperour Adrian was aduertised from Trebellius the lieutenant, with all conuenient speed he passed ouer into Britaine, and quieted all the Ile, vsing great humanitie towards the inhabitants; and making small account of that part where the Scots now inhabit, either bicause of the barrennesse thereof, or for that by reason of the nature of the countrie he thought it would be hard to be kept vnder subiection, he deuised to diuide it from the [Sidenote: The wall of Adrian built. Spartianus.] residue of Britaine, and so caused a wall to be made from the mouth of Tine vnto the water of Eske, which wall contained in length 30 miles.

After this, the Britains bearing a malicious hatred towards the Romane souldiers, and repining to be kept vnder the bond of seruitude, eftsoones went about to recouer libertie againe. Whereof [Sidenote: Lollius Vrbicus lieutenant.] aduertisement being giuen, the emperour Pius Antoninus sent ouer Lollius Vrbicus as lieutenant into Britaine, who by sundrie battels striken, constreined the Britains to remaine in quiet, and causing [Sidenote: Julius Capitol. An other wall built.] those that inhabited in the north parts to remooue further off from the confines of the Romane prouince, raised another wall beyond that which the emperor Adrian had made, as is to be supposed, for the more suertie of the Romane subiects against the inuasion of the enimies. But yet Lollius did not so make an end of the warrs, but that the Britains shortlie after attempted afresh, either to reduce their state into libertie, or to bring the same into further danger.

[Sidenote: CALPHURNIUS AGRICOLA. Of the doings of this Calphurnius in Britaine ye may read more in the Scotish chronicle. Dion Cassius.] Wherevpon Marcus Antonius that succeeded Pius, sent Calphurnius Agricola to succeed Lollius in the gouernement of Britaine, the which easilie ouercame and subdued all his enimies. After this there chanced some trouble in the daies of the emperour Commodus the son of Marcus Antonius and his successor in the empire: for the Britans that dwelled northwards, beyond Adrians wall, brake through the same, and spoiled a great part of the countrie, against whom the Romane lieutenant for that time being come foorth, gaue them battell: but both he and the Romane souldiers that were with him, were beaten downe and slaine.

[Sidenote: Vlpius Marcellus lieutenant.] With which newes Commodus being sore amazed, sent against the Britains one Vlpius Marcellus, a man of great diligence and temperance, but therewith rough and nothing gentle. He vsed the same kind of diet that the common souldiers did vse. He was a capteine much watchfull, as one contented with verie little sleepe, and desirous to haue his souldiers also vigilant and carefull to keepe sure watch in the night season. Euerie euening he would write twelue tables, such as they vsed to make on the lind tree, and deliuering them to one of his seruants, appointed him to beare them at seuerall houres of the night to sundrie souldiers, whereby supposing that their generall was still watching and not gone to bed, they might be in doubt to sleepe.

And although of nature he could well absteine from sleepe, yet to be the better able to forbeare it, he vsed a maruellous spare kind of diet: for to the end that he would not fill himselfe too much with bread, he would eat none but such as was brought to him from Rome, so that more than necessitie compelled him he could not eat, by reason that the stalenesse tooke awaie the pleasant tast thereof, and lesse prouoked his appetite. He was a maruellous contemner of monie, so that bribes might not mooue him to doo otherwise than dutie required. This Marcellus being of such disposition, sore afflicted the Britains, and put them oftentimes to great losses: through fame wherof, Cōmodus enuieng his renowme was after in mind to make him away, but yet spared him for a further purpose, and suffered him to depart.

[Sidenote: Perhennis capteine of the emperours gard.] After he was remooued from the gouernment of Britaine, one Perhennis capteine of the emperors gard (or pretorian souldiers as they were then called) bearing all the rule vnder the emperor Commodus, appointed certeine gentlemen of meane calling to gouerne the armie in Britaine. Which fond substituting of such petie officers to ouersee and ouerrule the people, was to them an occasion of hartgrudge, and to him a meanes of finall mischeefe: both which it is likelie he might haue auoided, had he beene prouident in his [Sidenote: Aelius Lampridius.] deputation. For the souldiers in the same armie grudging and repining to be gouerned by men of base degree, in respect of those that had borne rule ouer them before, being honorable personages, as senators, and of the consular dignitie, they fell at square among themselues, and about fifteene hundred of them departed towards Rome to exhibit their complaint against Perhennis: for whatsoeuer was amisse, the blame was still laid to him. They passed foorth without impeachment at all, and comming to Rome, the emperour himselfe came foorth to vnderstand what they meant by this their comming in such sort from the place where they were appointed to serue. Their answer was, that they were come to informe him of the treason which Perhennis had deuised to his destruction, that he might make his son emperor. To the which accusation when Commodus too lightlie gaue eare, & beleeued it to be true, namelie, through the setting on of one Cleander, who hated Perhennis, for that he brideled him from dooing diuerse vnlawfull acts, which he went about vpon a wilfull mind (without all reason and modestie) to practise; the matter was so handled in the end, that Perhennis was deliuered to the souldiers, who cruellie mangled him, and presentlie put him to a pitifull death.

* * * * *

Pertinax is sent as lieutenant into Britaine, he is in danger to be slaine of the souldiers, he riddeth himselfe of that perilous office: Albinus with an armie of Britains fighteth against Seuerus and his power neere to Lions, Seuerus is slaine in a conflict against the Picts, Geta and Bassianus two brethren make mutuall warre for the regiment of the land, the one is slaine, the other ruleth.


[Sidenote: Pertinax lieutenant of Britaine.] Now will we saie somewhat of the tumults in Britaine. It was thought needfull to send some sufficient capteine of autoritie thither; and therefore was one Pertinax that had beene consull and ruler ouer foure seuerall consular prouinces, appointed by Commodus to go as lieutenant into that Ile, both for that he was thought a man most meet for such a charge, and also to satisfie his credit, for that he had beene discharged by Perhennis of bearing anie rule, and sent home into Liguria where he was borne, and there appointed to remaine. This Pertinax comming into Britaine, pacified the armie, but not [Sidenote: The lieutenant in danger.] without danger to haue beene slaine by a mutinie raised by one of the legions: for he was stricken downe, and left for dead among the slaine carcasses. But he woorthilie reuenged himselfe of this iniurie. At length, hauing chastised the rebels, and brought the Ile into meetelie good quiet, he sued and obteined to be discharged of that roome, because as he alledged, the souldiers could not brooke him, for that he kept them in dutifull obedience, by correcting such as offended the lawes of armes.

[Sidenote: CLODIUS ALBINUS LIEUTENAT.] Then was Clodius Albinus appointed to haue the rule of the Romane armie in Britaine: whose destruction when Seuerus the emperour sought, Albinus perceiued it quicklie: and therefore choosing foorth a great power of Britains, passed with the same ouer into France to encounter with Seuerus, who was come thither towards him, so that neere to the citie of Lions they ioined in battell and fought right sore, in so much that Seuerus was at point to haue receiued the ouerthrow by the high prowesse and manhood of the Britains: but yet in the end Albinus lost the field, and was slaine. Then Heraclitus as lieutenant began to gouerne Britaine (as writeth Spartianus) being sent thither by Seuerus for that purpose before. And such was the state of this Ile about the yeare of our Lord 195. In which season, because that king Lucius was dead, and had left no issue to succeed him, the Britains (as before ye haue heard) were at variance amongst themselues, and so continued till the comming of Seuerus, whome the British chronographers affirme to reigne as king in this Ile, & that by right of succession in bloud, as descended of Androgeus the Britaine, which went to Rome with Iulius Cesar, as before ye haue heard.

[Sidenote: SEUERUS] This Seuerus as then emperour of Rome, began to rule this Ile (as authors affirme) in the yeare of our Lord 207, and gouerned the same 4 yeares and od moneths. At length hearing that one Fulgentius as then a leader of the Picts was entred into the borders of his countrie on this side Durham, he raised an host of Britains and Romans, with the which he marched towards his enimies: and meeting with the said Fulgentius in a place neere vnto Yorke, in the end after sore fight Seuerus was slaine, when he had ruled this land for the space almost of fiue yeares, as before is said, and was after buried at Yorke, leauing behind him two sonnes, the one named Geta, and the other Bassianus. This Bassianus being borne of a British woman, succeeded his father in the gouernement of Britaine, in the yeare of the incarnation of our Lord 211. The Romans would haue had Geta created king of Britaine, bearing more fauour to him because he had a Romane ladie to his mother: but the Britains moued with the like respect, held with Bassianus. And thervpon warre was raised betwixt the two brethren, who comming to trie their quarrell by battell, Geta was slaine, and Bassianus with aid of the Britains remained victor, and so continued king, till at length he was slaine by one Carausius a Britaine, borne but of low birth, howbeit right valiant in armes, and therefore well esteemed. In somuch that obteining of the senat of Rome the keeping of the coasts of Britaine, that he might defend the same from the malice of strangers, as Picts and others, he drew to him a great number of souldiers and speciallie of Britains, to whome he promised that if they would make him king, he would cleerelie deliuer them from the oppression of the Roman seruitude. Wherevpon the Britains rebelling against Bassianus, ioined themselues to Carausius, who by their support vanquished and slue the said Bassianus, after he had reigned 6 or (as some affirme) 30 yeares.

Thus farre out of the English and British writers, the which how farre they varie from likelihood of truth, you shall heare in the next chapter what the approued historiographers, Greekes and Latines, [Sidenote: Herodianus.] writing of these matters, haue recorded.

* * * * *

The ambitious mind of the old emperour Seuerus, he arriueth in Britaine with a mightie power to suppresse the rebellious Britains, the emperours politike prouision for his souldiers in the fens and bogs: the agilitie of the Britains, their nimblenesse, the painting of their bodies with diuerse colours, their furniture, their great sufferance of hunger, cold, &c: diuerse conflicts betweene the Romans and the Britains, their subtile traines to deceiue their enimies, the Romans pitifullie distressed, Seuerus constreineth the Caledonians to conclude a league with him; he falleth sicke, his owne sonne practiseth to make him away: the Britains begin a new rebellion, the cruell commandement of Seuerus to kill and slea all that came to hand without exception, his age, his death, and sepulchre: Bassianus ambitiouslie vsurpeth the whole regiment, he killeth his brother Geta, and is slaine himselfe by one of his owne souldiers.


The emperour Seuerus receiuing aduertisment from the lieutenant of Britaine, that the people there mooued rebellion, & wasted the countrie with roads and forraies, so that it was needful to haue the prince himselfe to come thither with a great power to resist the enimies, he of an ambitious mind reioised not a little for those newes, bicause he saw occasion offered to aduance his renowne and fame with increase of new victories now in the west, after so manie triumphs purchased and got by him in the east and north parts of the world. Heerevpon though he was of great age, yet the desire that he had still to win honour, caused him to take in hand to make a iournie into this land, and so being furnished of all things necessarie, he set forwards, being carried for the more part in a litter for his more ease: for that beside his feeblenesse of age, he was also troubled with the gout. He tooke with him his two sonnes, Antoninus [Sidenote: Antoninus and Geta.] Bassianus and Geta, vpon purpose as was thought, to auoid occasions of such inconuenience as he perceiued might grow by discord mooued betwixt them through flatterers and malicious sycophants, which sought to set them at variance: which to bring to passe, he perceiued there should want no meane whilest they continued in Rome, amidst such pleasures & idle pastimes as were dailie there frequented: and therefore he caused them to attend him in this iournie into Britaine, that they might learne to liue soberlie, and after the manner of men of warre.

[Sidenote: The emperor Seuerus arriueth in Britaine.] Seuerus being thus on his iournie towards Britaine, staied not by the waie, but with all diligence sped him foorth, and passing the sea verie swiftlie, entred this Ile, and assembled a mightie power togither, meaning to assaile his enimies, and to pursue the warre against them to the vttermost. The Britains greatlie amazed with this sudden arriuall of the emperour, and hearing that such preparation was made against them, sent ambassadours to him to intreat of peace, and to excuse their rebellious dooings. But Seuerus delaieng time for answere, as he that was desirous to atchiue some high enterprise against the Britains, for the which he might deserue the surname of Britannicus, which he greatlie coueted, still was busie to prepare all things necessarie for the warre; and namelie, caused a great number of bridges to be made to lay ouer the bogs and mareshes, so that his souldiers might haue place to stand vpon, and not to be incumbered for lacke of firme ground when they should cope with their enimies: for [Sidenote: Herodianus.] the more part of Britaine in those daies (as Herodianus writeth) was full of fens & maresh ground, by reason of the often flowings and [Sidenote: He meaneth of the north Britains or sauage Britains as we may call them.] washings of the sea tides: by the which maresh grounds the enimies being thereto accustomed, would run and swim in the waters, and wade vp to the middle at their pleasure, going for the more part naked, so that they passed not on the mud and mires, for they knew not the vse or wearing cloths, but ware hoopes of iron about their middles and necks, esteeming the same as an ornament token of riches, as other barbarous people did gold.

Moreouer they marked, or (as it were) painted their bodies in diuerse sorts and with sundrie shapes and figures of beasts and fowles, and therefore they vsed not to weare anie garments, that such painting of their bodies might the more apparantlie be seene, which they esteemed a great brauerie.

They were as the same Herodianus writeth, a people giuen much to war, [Sidenote: The furniture of the sauage Britains.] and delighted in slaughter and bloudshed, vsing none other weapons or armour but a slender buckler, a iaueline, and a swoord tied to their naked bodies: as for headpeece or habergeon, they esteemed not, bicause they thought the same should be an hinderance to them when they should passe ouer anie maresh, or be driuen to swim anie waters, or flee to the bogs.

Moreouer, to suffer hunger, cold, and trauell, they were so vsed and inured therewith, that they would not passe to lie in the bogs and mires couered vp to the chin, without caring for meate for the space of diuerse daies togither: and in the woods they would liue vpon roots and barks of trees. Also they vsed to prepare for themselues a certeine kind of meate, of the which if they receiued but so much as amounted to the quantitie of a beane, they would thinke themselues satisfied, and feele neither hunger nor thirst. The one halfe of the Ile or little lesse was subiect vnto the Romans, the other was gouerned of themselues, the people for the most part hauing the rule in their hands.

Seuerus therefore meaning to subdue the whole, and vnderstanding their nature, and the manner of their making warre, prouided him selfe of all things expedient for the annoiance of them and helpe of his owne souldiers, and appointing his sonne Geta to remaine in that part of the Ile which was subiect to the Romans, he tooke with him his other sonne Antoninus, and with his armie marched foorth, and entred into the confines of the enimies, and there began to waste and forrey the countrie, whereby there insued diuerse conflicts and skirmishes betwixt the Romans and the inhabitants, the victorie still remaining on the Romans side: but the enimies easilie escaped without anie great losse vnto the woods, mountains, bogs, and such other places of refuge as they knew to be at hand, whither the Romans durst not follow, nor once approch, for feare to be intrapped and inclosed by the Britains that were readie to returne and assaile their enimies vpon euerie occasion of aduantage that might be offered.

This maner of dealing sore troubled the Romans, and so hindered them [Sidenote: Dion Cassius.] in their proceedings, that no speedie end could be made of that warre. The Britains would oftentimes of purpose laie their cattell, as oxen, kine, sheepe, and such like, in places conuenient, to be as a stale to the Romans; and when the Romans should make to them to fetch the same awaie, being distant from the residue of the armie a good space, they would fall vpon them and distresse them. Beside this, the Romans were much annoied with the vnwholesomnesse of the waters which they were forced to drinke, and if they chanced to straie abroad, they were snapped vp by ambushes which the Caledonians laid for them, and when they were so feeble that they could not through want of strength keepe pace with their fellowes as they marched in order of battell, they were slaine by their owne fellowes, least they should be left behind for a prey to the enimies. Heereby there died in this iournie of the Romane armie, at the point of fiftie thousand men: but yet would not Seuerus returne, till he had gone through the whole Ile, and so came to the vttermost parts of all the countrie now called Scotland, and at last backe againe to the other part of the Ile subiect to the Romans, the inhabitants whereof are named (by Dion Cassius) Meatae. But first he forced the other, whom the same Dion nameth Caledonij, to conclude a league with him, vpon such conditions, as they were compelled to depart with no small portion of the countrie, and to deliuer vnto him their armour and weapons.

In the meane time, the emperour Seuerus being worne with age fell sicke, so that he was constreined to abide at home within that part of the Ile which obeied the Romans, and to appoint his sonne Antoninus to take charge of the armie abroad. But Antoninus not regarding the enimies, attempted little or nothing against them, but sought waies how to win the fauour of the souldiers and men of warre, that after his fathers death (for which he dailie looked) he might haue their aid and assistance to be admitted emperour in his place. Now when he saw that his father bare out his sicknesse longer time than he would haue wished, he practised with physicians and other of his fathers seruants to dispatch him by one meane or other.

Whilest Antoninus thus negligentlie looked to his charge, the Britains began a new rebellion, not onlie those that were latelie ioined in league with the emperour, but the other also which were subjects to the Romane empire. Seuerus tooke such displeasure, that he called togither the souldiers, and commanded them to inuade the countrie, and to kill all such as they might meet within anie place without respect, and that his cruell commandement he expressed in these verses taken out of Homer: [Sidenote: Iliados. 3.]

Nemo manus fugiat vestras, caedemque cruentam, Non foetus grauida mater quern gessit in aluo Horrendam effugiat caedem.

But while he was thus disquieted with the rebellion of the Britains, and the disloiall practises of his sonne Antoninus, which to him were not vnknowne, (for the wicked sonne had by diuers attempts discouered his traitorous and vnnaturall meanings) at length, rather through [Sidenote: Heriodianus. Dion Cassius. Eutropius. Dion Cassius.] sorrow and griefe, than by force of sicknesse, he wasted awaie, and departed this life at Yorke, the third daie before the nones of Februarie, after he had gouerned the empire by the space of 17 yeares, 8 moneths, & 33 daies. He liued 65 yeres, 9 moneths, & 13 daies: he was borne the third ides of April. By that which before is recited out of Herodian and Dion Cassius, of the maners & vsages of those people, against whome Seuerus held warre here in Britaine, it maie be coniectured, that they were the Picts, the which possessed in those daies a great part of Scotland, and with continuall incursions and [Sidenote: Eutropius. Orosius.] rodes wasted and destroyed the borders of those countries which were subiect to the Romans. To keepe them backe therefore and to represse their inuasions, Seuerus (as some write) either restored [Sidenote: Dion Cassius.] the former wall made by Adrian, or else newlie built an other ouerthwart the Ile, from the east sea to the west, conteining in [Sidenote: Beda.] length 232 miles. This wall was not made of stone, but of turfe and earth supported with stakes and piles of wood, and defended on the [Sidenote: Hector Boetius] backe with a deepe trench or ditch, and also fortified with diuerse towers and turrets built & erected vpon the same wall or rampire so neere togither, that the sound of trumpets being placed in the same, might be heard betwixt, and so warning giuen from one to another vpon the first descrieng of the enimies.

[Sidenote: Polydorus. Herodianus. 211.] Seuerus being departed out of this life in the yere of our Lord 211, his son Antoninus otherwise called also Bassianus, would faine haue vsurped the whole gouernment into his owne hands, attempting with bribes and large promises to corrupt the minds of the souldiers: but when he perceiued that his purpose would not forward as he wished in that behalfe, he concluded a league with the enimies, and making peace with them, returned backe towards Yorke, and came to his mother and brother Geta, with whome he tooke order for the buriall of his father. And first his bodie being burnt (as the maner was) the ashes were put into a vessell of gold, and so conueied to Rome by the two brethren and the empresse Iulia, who was mother to Geta the yonger brother, and mother in law to the elder, Antoninus Bassianus, & by all meanes possible sought to maintaine loue and concord betwixt the brethren, which now at the first tooke vpon them to rule the empire equallie togither. But the ambition of Bassianus was such, that finallie vpon desire to haue the whole rule himselfe, he found meanes to dispatch his brother Geta, breaking one daie into his chamber, and slaieng him euen in his mothers lap, and so possessed the gouernment alone, till at length he was slaine at Edessa a citie in Mesopotamia by one of his owne souldiers, as he was about to vntrusse his points to doo the [Sidenote: Sextus Aurelius.] office of nature, after he had reigned the space of 6 yeares, as is aforesaid. Where we are to note Gods judgment, prouiding that he which had shed mans bloud, should also die by the sword.

* * * * *

Of Carausius an obscure Britaine, what countries he gaue the Picts, and wherevpon, his death by Alectus his successor, the Romans foiled by Asclepiodotus duke of Cornewall, whereof Walbrooke had the name, the couetous practise of Carausius the usurper.


[Sidenote: CARAUSIUS. 218.] Carausius a Britan of vnknowne birth, as witnesseth the British histories, after he had vanquisht & slaine Bassianus (as the same histories make mention) was of the Britains made king and ruler ouer them, in the yeare of our Lord 218, as Galfridus saith: but W.H. [Sidenote: Galfrid. Polychron. Fabian.] noteth it to be in the yeare 286. This Carausius either to haue the aid & support of the Picts, as in the British historic is conteined, either else to be at quietnesse with them, being not otherwise able to resist them, gaue to them the countries in the south parts of Scotland, which ioine to England on the east marshes, as Mers, Louthian, and others.

[Sidenote: Galfridus.] But here is to be noted, that the British writers affirme, that these Picts which were thus placed in the south parts of Scotland at this time, were brought ouer out of Scithia by Fulgentius, to aid him against Seuerus, and that after the death of Seuerus, and Fulgentius, which both died of hurts receiued in the batell fought betwixt them at Yorke: the Picts tooke part with Bassianus, and at length betraied him in the battell which he fought against Carausius: for he corrupting them by such subtile practises as he vsed, they turned to his side, to the ouerthrow and vtter destruction of Bassianus: for the which traitorous part they had those south countries of Scotland giuen vnto them for their habitation. But by the Scotish writers it should appeare, that those Picts which aided Fulgentius and also Carausius, were the same that long before had inhabited the north parts of Britaine, now called Scotland. But whatsoeuer they were, truth it is (as the British histories record) that at length one Alectus was sent from Rome by the senat with 3 legions of souldiers to subdue Carausius, which he did, and slue him in the field, as the same histories make mention, after he had reigned the space of 7, or 8, yeares: and in the yeare of our saluation two hundred, ninetie, three.

[Sidenote: ALECTUS. Of whom our British histories doo write after their maner. 293.] Alectus in hauing vanquished and slaine Carausius tooke vpon him the rule and gouernment of Britaine, in the yeare of our Lord 293. This Alectus, when he had restored the land to the subiection of the Romans, did vse great crueltie against such Britains as had maintained the part of Carausius, by reason whereof he purchased much euill will of the Britains, the which at length conspired against him, and purposing to chase the Romans altogither out of their countrie, they procured one Asclepiodotus (whome the British chronicles name duke of Cornewall) to take vpon him as chiefe captaine that enterprise. Wherevpon the same Asclepiodotus assembling a great armie, made such sharpe warres on the Romans, that they being chased from place to place, at length withdrew to the citie of London, and there held them till Asclepiodotus came thither, and prouoked Alectus and his Romans so much, that in the end they issued foorth of the citie, and gaue battell to the Britans, in the which much people on both parts were slaine, but the greatest number died on the Romans side: and amongst others, Alectus himselfe was slaine, the residue of the Romans that were left aliue, retired backe into the citie with a capteine of theirs named Liuius Gallus, and defended themselues within the walles for a time right valiantlie. Thus was Alectus slaine of the [Sidenote: Fabian. Matth. West.] Britains, after he had reigned (as some suppose) about the terme of six yeares, or (as some other write) three yeares.

[Sidenote: ASCLEPIODOTUS. Gal. Mon. Matt. West.] Asclepiodotus, duke of Cornewall, began his reigne ouer the Britains in the yeare of our Lord 232. After he had vanquished the Romans in battell, as before is recited, he laid his siege about the citie of London, and finallie by knightlie force entred the same, and slue the forenamed Liuius Gallus neere vnto a brooke, which in those daies ran through the citie, & threw him into the same brooke: by reason whereof long after it was called Gallus or Wallus brooke. [Sidenote: Walbrooke.] And at this present the streete where the same brooke did run, is called Walbrooke.

Then after Asclepiodotus had ouercome all his enimies, he held this land a certeine space in good rest and quiet, and ministred iustice vprightlie, in rewarding the good, and punishing the euill. Till at length, through slanderous toongs of malicious persons, discord was raised betwixt the king and one Coill or Coilus, that was gouernour of Colchester: the occasion whereof appeareth not by writers. But whatsoeuer the matter was, there insued such hatred betwixt them, that on both parts great armies were raised, and meeting in the field, [Sidenote: Asclepiodotus slaine. Matt. West. hath x. years.] they fought a sore and mightie battell, in the which Asclepiodotus was slaine, after he had reigned 30 yeares. Thus haue Geffrey of Monmouth and our common chroniclers written of Carausius, Alectus, and Asclepiodotus, which gouerned heere in Britaine.

[Sidenote: Eutropius.] But Eutropius the famous writer of the Romane histories, in the acts of Dioclesian hath in effect these woords. "About the same time Carausius, the which being borne of most base ofspring, attained to high honour and dignitie by order of renowmed chiualrie & seruice in the warres, receiued charge at Bolein, to keepe the seas quiet alongst the coasts of Britaine, France, and Flanders, and other countries thereabouts, bicause the Frenchmen, which yet inhabited within the bounds of Germanie, and the Saxons sore troubled those seas. [Sidenote: The couetous practising of Carausius.] Carausius taking oftentimes manie of the enimies, neither restored the goods to them of the countrie from whome the enimies had bereft the same, nor yet sent anie part therof to the emperours, but kept the whole to his owne use. Whervpon when suspicion arose, that he should of purpose suffer the enimies to passe by him, till they had taken some prises, that in their returne with the same he might incounter with them, and take that from them which they had gotten (by which subtile practise he was thought greatly to haue inriched him selfe) Maximianus that was fellow in gouernment of the empire with [Sidenote: Maximianus purposeth to slea Carusius.] Dioclesianus, remaining then in Gallia, and aduertised of these dooings, commanded that Carausius should be slaine, but he hauing warning thereof rebelled, and vsurping the imperiall ornaments and title, got possession of Britaine, against whom (being a man of great experience in all warlike knowledge) when warres had beene [Sidenote: Polydor.] attempted and folowed in vaine, at length a peace was concluded with him, and so he enioied the possession of Britaine by the space of [Sidenote: Eutropius.] seuen yeeres, & then was slaine by his companion Alectus, the which after him ruled Britaine for the space of three yeeres, and was in the end oppressed by the guile of Asclepiodotus gouernour of the pretorie, or (as I maie call him) lord lieutenant of some precinct and iurisdiction perteining to the Romane empire." And so was Britaine recouered by the foresaid Asclepiodotus about ten yeeres after that Carausius had first vsurped the gouernment there, and about the [Sidenote: 300.] yeere of our Lord 300, as Polydor iudgeth, wherein he varieth much from Fabian and others.

But to shew what we find further written of the subduing of Alectus, [Sidenote: Mamertinus.] I thinke it not amisse to set downe what Mamertinus in his oration written in praise of Maximianus dooth report of this matter, which shall be performed in the chapter following.

* * * * *

The substance of that which is written touching Britaine in a panegyrike oration ascribed to Mamertinus, which he set foorth in praise of the emperors Dioclesian and Maximian: it is intituled onelie to Maximian, whereas neuerthelesse both the emperors are praised; and likewise (as ye may perceiue) Constantius who was father to Constantine the great is here spoken of, being chosen by the two foresaid emperors, to assist them by the name of Caesar in rule of the empire: of whom hereafter more shall be said.


"All the compasse of the earth (most victorious emperor) being now recouered through your noble prowesse, not onelie so farre as the limits of the Romane empire had before extended, but also the enimies borders beeing subdued, when Almaine had beene so often vanquished, and Sarmatia so often restrained & brought vnder, the people called [Sidenote: Vitungi, Quadi, Carpi, and people of Germanie and Polonie.] Vitungi, Quadi, Carpi so often put to flight, the Goth submitting himselfe, the king of Persia by offering gifts suing for peace: one despitefull reproch of so mightie an empire and gouernement ouer the whole greeued vs to the heart, as now at length we will not sticke to confesse, and to vs it seemed the more intollerable, bicause it onlie remained to the accomplishing of your perfect renowme and glorie. And verilie as there is but one name of Britaine, so was the losse to be esteemed smal to the common wealth of a land so plentifull of corne, so abundant with store of pastures, so flowing with veines of mettall, so gainfull with reuenues rising of customs and tributes, so enuironed with hauens, so huge in circuit, the which when Cesar, the founder of this your honourable title, being the first that entered into it, writ that he had found an other world, supposing it to be so big, that it was not compassed with the sea, but that rather by resemblance the great Ocean was compassed with it. Now at that time Britaine was nothing furnished with ships of warre; so that the Romans, soone after the warres of Carthage and Asia, had latelie beene exercised by sea against pirats, and afterwards by reason of the warres against Mithridates, were practised as well to fight by sea as land; besides this, the British nation then alone was accustomed but onelie to [Sidenote: Picts and Irishmen.] the Picts and Irishmen, enimies halfe naked as yet & not vsed to weare armor, so that the Britains for lacke of skill, easilie gaue place to the Romane puissance, insomuch that Cesar might by that voiage onelie glorie in this, that he had sailed and passed ouer the Ocean sea.

"But in this wicked rebellious robberie, first the nauie that in times past defended the coasts of Gallia, was led away by the pirat when he fled his waies: and beside this, a great number of other ships were built after the mould of ours, the legion of Romane souldiers was woon, and brought to take part with the enimie, and diuers bands of strangers that were also souldiers were shut vp in the ships to serue also against vs. The merchants of the parties of Gallia were assembled and brought togither to the musters, and no small numbers of barbarous nations procured to come in aid of the rebels, trusting to inrich themselues by the spoile of the prouinces: and all these were trained in the wars by sea, through the instruction of the first attemptors of this mischieuous practise.

"And although our armies were inuincible in force and manhood, yet were they raw and not accustomed to the seas, so that the fame of a greeuous and great trouble by warre that was toward by this shamefull rebellious robberie was blowne and sounded in ech mans eare, [Sidenote: Long sufferance of euill increaseth boldnesse in the authors.] although we hoped well of the end. Vnto the enimies forces was added a long sufferance of their wicked practises without punishment, which had puffed vp the presumptuous boldnesse of desperate people, that they bragged of our stay, as it had bene for feare of them, whereas the disaduantage which we had by sea, seemed as it were by a fatall necessitie to deferre our victorie: neither did they beleeue that the warre was put off for a time by aduise and counsell, but rather to be omitted through despaire of dooing anie good against them, insomuch that now the feare of common punishment being laid aside, one of [Sidenote: Carausius slaine.] the mates slue the archpirat or capteine rouer as I may call him, hoping in reward of so great an exploit, to obteine the whole gouernement into his hands.

"This warre then being both so necessarie, so hard to enter vpon, so growne in time to a stubborne stiffenesse, and so well prouided for of the enimies part, you noble emperour did so take it in hand, that so soone as you bent the thundering force of your imperiall maiestie against that enimie, ech man made account that the enterprise was alreadie atchiued. For first of all, to the end that your diuine power being absent, the barbarous nations should not attempt anie new trouble (a thing chieflie to be foreseene) it was prouided for aforehand by intercession made vnto your maiestie: for you your selfe, you (I say) mightie lord Maximian eternall emperour, vouchedsafe to aduance the comming of your diuine excellence by the neerest way that might be, which to you was not vnknowne. You therefore suddenlie came to the Rhine, and not with anie armie of horssemen or footmen, but with the terrour of your presence did preserue and defend all that frontire: for Maximian once being there vpon the riuage, counteruailed anie the greatest armies that were to be found. For you (most inuincible emperour) furnishing and arming diuers nauies, made the enimie so vncerteine of his owne dooing and void of counsell, that then at length he might perceiue that he was not defended, but rather inclosed with the Ocean sea.

"Here commeth to mind how pleasant and easefull the good lucke of those princes in gouerning the common wealth with praise was, which sitting still in Rome had triumphs and surnames appointed them of [Sidenote: Fronto counted Ciceros match.]such nations as their capteins did vanquish. Fronto therefore, not the second, but match with the first honor of the Romane eloquence, when he yeelded vnto the emperor Antoninus the renowme of the warre brought the citie, had committed the conduct and successe of that warre ouer vnto the same Fronto, it was confessed by him, that the emperour sitting as it were at the helme of the ship, deserued the praise, by giuing of perfect order to the full accomplishing of the enterprise. But you (most inuincible emperour) haue bene not onlie the appointer foorth how all this voiage by sea, and prosecuting the warre by land should bee demeaned, as apperteined to you by vertue of your imperiall rule and dignitie, but also you haue beene an exhorter and setter forward in the things themselues, and through example of your assured constancie, the victorie was atchiued. For you taking the sea at Sluice, did put an irreuocable desire into their hearts that were readie to take ship at the same time in the mouth of the riuer of Saine, insomuch that when the capteins of that armie did linger out the time, by reason the seas and aire was troubled, they cried to haue the sailes hoised vp, and signe giuen to lanch foorth, that they might passe forward on their iournie, despising certeine tokens which threatened their wrecke, and so set forward on a rainie and tempestuous day, sailing with a crosse wind, for no forewind might serue their turne.

"But what was he that durst not commit himselfe vnto the sea, were the same neuer so vnquiet, when you were once vnder saile, and set forward? One voice and exhortation was among them all (as report hath gone thereof) when they heard that you were once got forth vpon the water, What doo we dout? what mean we to staie? He is now loosed from land, he is forward on his waie, and peraduenture is alreadie got ouer: Let vs put all things in proofe, let vs venter through anie dangers of sea whatsoeuer. What is there that we may stand in feare of? we follow the emperour. Neither did the opinion of your good hap deceiue them: for as by report of them selues we doo vnderstand, at that selfe time there fell such a mist and thicke fog vpon the seas, that the enimies nauie laid at the Ile of wight watching for their aduersaries, and lurking as it were in await, these your ships passed by, and were not once perceiued, neither did the enimie then staie although he could not resist.

"But now as concerning that the same vnuanquishable army fighting vnder your ensignes and name, streightwaies after it came to land, set fire on their ships; what mooued them so to doo, except the admonitions of your diuine motion? Or what other reason persuaded them to reserue no furtherance for their flight, if need were, nor to feare the doubtfull chances of war, nor (as the prouerbe saith) to thinke the hazard of martiall dealings to be common, but that by contemplation of your prosperous hap, it was verie certeine that there needed no doubt to be cast for victorie to be obteined? There were no sufficient forces at that present among them, no mightie or puissant strength of the Romans, but they had onelie consideration of your vnspeakable fortunate successe comming from the heauens aboue. For whatsoeuer battell dooth chance to be offered, to make full account [Sidenote: The good lucke in a capteine.] of victorie, resteth not so much in the assurance of the souldiers, as in the good lucke and felicitie of the capteine generall.

"That same ringleader of the vngratious faction, what ment he to depart from that shore which he possessed? Why did he forsake both his nauie and the hauen? But that (most inuincible emperour) he stood in feare of your comming, whose sailes he beheld readie to approch towards him, how soeuer the matter should fall out, he chose rather to trie his fortune with your capteins, than to abide the present force of your highnes. Ah mad man! that vnderstood not, that whither so euer he fled, the power of your diuine maiestie to be present in all places where your countenance & banners are had in reuerence. But he fleeing from your presence, fell into the hands of your people, of you was he ouercome, of your armies was he oppressed.

"To be short, he was brought into such feare, and as it were still looking behind him, for doubt of your comming after him, that as one out of his wits and amazed, he wist not what to doo, he hasted forward to his death, so that he neither set his men in order of battell, nor marshalled such power as he had about him, but onlie with the old authors of that conspiracie, and the hired bands of the barbarous nations, as one forgetfull of so great preparation which he had made, ran headlong forwards to his destruction, insomuch (noble emperour) your felicitie yeeldeth this good hap to the common wealth, that the victorie being atchiued in the behalfe of the Romane empire, there almost died not one Romane: for as I heare, all those fields and hills lay couered with none but onelie with the bodies of most wicked enimies, the same being of the barbarous nations, or at the leastwise apparelled in the counterfet shapes of barbarous garments, glistering with their long yellow haires, but now with gashes of wounds and bloud all deformed, and lieng in sundrie manners, as the pangs of death occasioned by their wounds had caused them to stretch foorth or draw in their maimed lims and mangled parts of their dieng bodies. And [Sidenote: Alectus found dead.] among these, the chiefe ringleader of the theeues was found, who had put off those robes which in his life time he had vsurped and [Sidenote: He had despoiled himselfe of the imperiall robes, bicause he would not be knowne if he chanced to be slaine.] dishonoured, so as scarse was he couered with one peece of apparell whereby he might be knowne, so neere were his words true, vttered at the houre of his death, which he saw at hand, that he would not haue it vnderstood how he was slaine.

"Thus verelie (most inuincible emperour) so great a victorie was appointed to you by consent of the immortall gods ouer all the enimies whome you assailed, but namelie the slaughter of the Frankeners and those your souldiers also, which (as before I haue said) 24 through [Sidenote Francones slue Franci.] missing their course by reason of the mist that lay on the seas, were now come to the citie of London, where they slue downe right in ech part of the same citie, what multitude soeuer remained of those hired barbarous people, which escaping from the battell, ment (after they had spoiled the citie) to haue got awaie by flight. But now being thus slaine by your souldiers, the subiects of your prouince were both preserued from further danger, and tooke pleasure to behold the slaughter of such cruell enimies. O what a manifold victorie was this, worthie vndoubtedlie of innumerable triumphes! by which victorie Britaine is restored to the empire, by which victorie the nation of the Frankeners is vtterlie destroied, & by which manie other nations found accessaries in the conspiracie of that wicked practise, are compelled to obedience. To conclude, the seas are purged and brought to perpetuall quietnesse.

"Glorie you therefore, inuincible emperour, for that you haue as it were got an other world, & in restoring to the Romane puissance the glory of conquest by sea, haue added to the Romane empire an element greater than all the compasse of the earth, that is, the mightie maine ocean. You haue made an end of the warre (inuincible emperour) that seemed as present to threaten all prouinces, and might haue spred abroad and burst out in a flame, euen so largelie as the ocean seas stretch, and the mediterrane gulfs doo reach. Neither are we ignorant, although through feare of you that infection did fester within the bowels of Britaine onelie, and proceeded no further, with what furie it would haue aduanced it selfe else where, if it might haue beene assured of means to haue ranged abroad so far as it wished. For it was bounded in with no border of mounteine, nor riuer, which garrisons appointed were garded and defended but euen so as the ships, although we had your martiall prowes and prosperous fortune redie to releeue vs, & was still at our elbowes to put vs in feare, so farre as either sea reacheth or wind bloweth.

"For that incredible boldnesse and vnwoorthie good hap of a few sillie [Sidenote: The piracie of the Frankeners called Franci or Francones.] captiues of the Frankeners in time of the emperour Probus came to our remembrance, which Frankeners in that season, conueieng awaie certeine vessels from the coasts of Pontus, wasted both Grecia and Asia, and not without great hurt and damage, ariuing vpon diuers parts of the shore of Libia, at length tooke the citie of Saragose in Sicile (an hauen towne in times past highlie renowmed for victories gotten by sea:) & after this passing thorough the streicts of Giberalterra, came into the Ocean, and so with the fortunate successe of their rash presumptuous attempt, shewed how nothing is shut vp in safetie from the desperate boldnesse of pirats, where ships maie come and haue accesse. And so therefore by this your victorie, not Britaine alone is deliuered from bondage, but vnto all nations is safetie restored, which might by the vse of the seas come to as great perils in time of warre, as to gaine of commodities in time of peace.

"Now Spaine (to let passe the coasts of Gallia) with hir shores almost in sight is in suertie: now Italie, now Afrike, now all nations euen vnto the fens of Meotis are void of perpetuall cares. Neither are they lesse ioifull, the feare of danger being taken awaie, which to feele as yet the necessitie had not brought them: but they reioise so much the more for this, that both in the guiding of your prouidence, and also furtherance of fortune, so great a force of rebellion by seamen is calmed, vpon the entring into their borders, and Britaine it selfe which had giuen harbour to so long a mischiefe, is euidentlie knowne [Sidenote: Britains restored to quietnes.] to haue tasted of your victorie, with hir onelie restitution to quietnesse. Not without good cause therfore immediatlie, when you hir long wished reuenger and deliuerer were once arriued, your maiestie was met with great triumph, & the Britains replenished with all inward [Sidenote: The Britains receiue Maximian with great ioy and humblenesse.] gladnesse, came foorth and offered themselues to your presence, with their wiues and children, reuerencing not onlie your selfe (on whom they set their eies, as on one descended downe to them from heauen) but also euen the sailes and tackling of that ship which had brought your diuine presence vnto their coasts: and when you should set foot on land, they were readie to lie downe at your feet, that you might (as it were) march ouer them, so desirous were they of you.

"Neither was it anie maruell if they shewed them selues so ioifull, sith after their miserable captiuitie so manie yeeres continued, after so long abusing of their wiues, and filthie bondage of their children, at length yet were they now restored to libertie, at length made Romans, at length refreshed with the true light of the imperiall rule and gouernement: for beside the fame of your clemencie and pitie, which was set forth by the report of all nations, in your countenance (Cesar) they perceiued the tokens of all vertues, in your face grauitie, in your eies mildnesse, in your ruddie cheekes bashfulnesse, in your words iustice: all which things as by regard they acknowledged, so with voices of gladnesse they signified on high. To you they bound themselues by vow, to you they bound their children: yea and to your children they vowed all the posteritie of their race and ofspring.

[Sidenote: Dioclesian and Maximian.] "We trulie (O perpetuall parents and lords of mankind) require this of the immortall gods with most earnest supplication and heartie praier, that our children and their children, and such other as shall come of them for euer hereafter, may be dedicated vnto you, and to those whom you now bring vp, or shall bring vp hereafter. For what better hap can we wish to them that shall succeed vs, than to be enioiers of that felicitie which now we our selues enioy? The Romane common wealth dooth now comprehend in one coniunction of peace, all whatsoeuer at sundrie times haue belonged to the Romans, and that huge power which with too great a burden was shroonke downe, and riuen in sunder, is now brought to ioine againe in the assured ioints of the imperiall gouernment. For there is no part of the earth nor region vnder heauen, but that either it remaineth quiet through feare, or subdued by force of armies, or at the lestwise bound by clemencie. And is there anie other thing else in other parts, which if will and reason should mooue men thereto, that might be obteined? Beyond the Ocean, what is there more than Britaine, which is so recouered by [Sidenote: Nations neere to Britaine obeie the emperours.] you, that those nations which are nere adioining to the bounds of that Ile, are obedient to your commandements? There is no occasion that may mooue you to passe further, except the ends of the Ocean sea, which nature forbiddeth should be sought for. All is yours (most inuincible princes) which are accounted woorthie of you, and thereof commeth it, that you may equallie prouide for euerie one, sith you haue the whole in your maiesties hands. And therefore as heretofore (most excellent emperour Dioclesian) by your commandement Asia did supplie the desert places of Thracia with inhabitants transported thither, as afterward (most excellent emperour Maximian) by your appointment, the Frankeners at length brought to a pleasant subiection, and admitted to liue vnder [Sidenote: The printed booke hath Heruij, but I take the H, to be thrust in for N.] lawes, hath peopled and manured the vacant fields of the Neruians, and those about the citie of Trier. And so now by your victories (inuincible Constantius Cesar) whatsoeuer did lie vacant about Amiens, Beauois, Trois, and Langres, beginneth to florish with inhabitants of sundrie nations: yea and moreouer that your most obedient citie of Autun, for whose sake I haue a peculiar cause to reioise, by meanes of this triumphant victorie in Britaine, it hath receiued manie & [Sidenote: Artificers foorth of Britaine.] diuerse artificers, of whom those prouinces were ful, and now by their workemanship the same citie riseth vp by repairing of ancient houses, and restoring of publike buildings and temples, so that now it accounteth that the old name of brotherlie incorporation to Rome, is againe to hir restored, when she hath you eftsoones for hir founder. I haue said (inuincible emperour) almost more than I haue beene able, & not so much as I ought, that I may haue most iust cause by your clemencies licence, both now to end, & often hereafter to speake: and thus I ceasse."

Previous Part     1  2  3  4     Next Part
Home - Random Browse