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Title: Chronicles (1 of 6): The Historie of England (4 of 8)

Author: Raphael Holinshed

Release date: August 16, 2005 [eBook #16536]
Most recently updated: November 28, 2022

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Lesley Halamek and the Online
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[Page 482]






The Britains discomfited, sore wounded, slaine, and disabled by Plautius and his power, Claudius the Romane taketh the chiefe citie of Cymbeline the king of Britaine, he bereaueth the Britains of their armour, and by vertue of his conquest ouer part of the land is surnamed Britannicus.


Now Plautius had much adoo to find out the Britains in their lurking holes and couerts; howbeit when he had traced them out, first he vanquished Cataratacus, and after Togodumnus the sonnes of Cynobellinus: for their father was dead not verie long before. These therefore fléeing their waies, Plautus receiued part of the people called Bodumni Catuellani Bodumni (which were subiects vnto them that were called Catuellani) into the obeisance of the Romans: and so leauing there a garrison of souldiors, passed further till he came to a riuer which could not well be passed without a bridge: wherevpon the Britains tooke small regard to defend the passage, as though they had béene sure inough. But Plautius appointed a certeine number of Germans which he had there with him (being vsed to swim ouer riuers although neuer so swift) to get ouer, which they did, sleaing and wounding the Britains horsses, which were fastened to their wagons or chariots, so that the Britains were not able to doo anie péece of their accustomed seruice with the same.

Herewithall was Flauius Vespasianus (that afterwards was emperour) with his brother Sabinus sent ouer that riuer, which being got to the further side, slue a great number of the enimies. The residue of the Britains fled, but the next day proffered a new battell, in the which they fought so stoutlie, that the victorie depended long in doubtfull balance, till Caius Sidius Geta being almost at point to be taken, did so handle the matter, that the Britains finallie were put to flight: for the which his valiant dooings, triumphant honors were bestowed vpon him, although he was no consull.

The Britains after this battell, withdrew to the riuer of Thames, néere to the place where[Page 483] it falleth into the sea, and knowing the shallowes and firme places thereof, easilie passed ouer to the further side, whom the Romans following, through lacke of knowledge in the nature of the places, they fell into the marish grounds, and so came to lose manie of their men, namelie of the Germans, which were the first that passed ouer the riuer to follow the Britains, partlie by a bridge which lay within the countrie ouer the said riuer, and partlie by swimming, and other such shift as they presentlie made.

Togodumnus The Britains hauing lost one of their rulers, namelie Togodumnus (of whom ye haue heard before) were nothing discouraged, but rather more egerlie set on reuenge. Plautius perceiuing their fiercenesse, went no further, but staid and placed garrisons in steeds where néed required, to keepe those places which he had gotten, and with all spéed sent aduertisement vnto Claudius, according to that he had in commandement, if anie vrgent necessitie should so mooue him. Claudius therefore hauing all things before hand in a readinesse, straightwaies vpon the receiuing of the aduertisement, departed from Rome, and came by water vnto Ostia, and from thence vnto Massilia, and so through France sped his iournies till he came to the side of the Ocean sea, and then imbarking himselfe with his people, passed ouer into Britaine, and came to his armie which abode his comming néere the Thames side, where being ioined, they passed the riuer againe, fought with the Britains in a pitcht field, and getting the victorie, tooke the towne of Camelodunum (which some count to be Colchester) being the chiefest citie apperteining vnto Cynobelinus. He reduced also manie other people into his subiection, some by force, and some by surrender, whereof he was called oftentimes by the name of emperour, which was against the ordinance of the Romans: for it was not lawfull for anie to take that name vpon him oftener than once in anie one voiage. Moreouer, Claudius tooke from the Britains their armor and weapons, and committed the gouernment of them vnto Plautius, commanding him to endeuour himselfe to subdue the residue.

Dion Cassius Thus hauing brought vnder a part of Britaine, and hauing made his abode therin not past a sixtene daies, he departed and came backe againe to Rome with victorie in the sixt Suetonius month after his setting foorth from thence, giuing after his returne, to his sonne, the surname of Britannicus. This warre he finished in maner as before is said, in the fourth yéere of his reigne, which fell in the yéere of the world 4011, after the birth of our Sauiour 44, and after the building of Rome 797.

The diuerse opinions and variable reports of writers touching the partile conquest of this Iland by the Romans, the death of Guiderius.


There be that write, how Claudius subdued and added to the Romane empire, the Iles of Orknie situate in the north Ocean beyond Britaine: which might well be accomplished either by Plautius, or some other his lieutenant: for Plautius indéed for his noble prowesse and valiant acts atchieued in Britaine, afterwards triumphed. Titus the sonne of Vespasian also wan no small praise for deliuering his father out of danger in his time, being beset with a companie of Britains, which the said Titus bare downe, and put to flight with great slaughter. Beda following the authoritie of Suetonius, writeth bréeflie of this matter, and saith, that Claudius passing ouer into this Ile, to the which neither before Iulius Cesar, neither after him anie stranger durst come, within few daies receiued the most part of the countrie into his subiection without battell or bloudshed.

Gyldas also writing of this reuolting of the Britains, saith thus: "When information thereof was giuen to the senate, and that hast was made with a spéedie armie to reuenge the same, there was no warlike nauie prepared in the sea to fight valiantlie for the defense[Page 484] of the countrie, no square battell, no right wing, nor anie other prouision appointed on the shore to be séene, but the backes of the Britains in stead of a shield are shewed to the persecutors, and their necks readie to be cut off with the sword through cold feare running through their bones, which stretched foorth their hands to be bound like womanlie creatures; so that a common prouerbe followed thereof, to wit, That the Britains were neither valiant in warre, nor faithfull in peace: and so the Romans sleaing manie of the rebels, reseruing some, and bringing them to bondage, that the land should not lie altogither vntilled and desert, returned into Italie out of that land which was void of wine and oile, leauing some of their men there for gouernors to chastise the people, not so much with an armie of men, as with scourge and whip, and if the matter so required, to applie the naked sword vnto their sides: so that it might be accounted Rome and not Britaine. And what coine either of brasse, siluer or gold there was, the same to be stamped with the image of the emperour." Thus farre Gildas.

Gal. Mon. Matth. West. In the British historie we find other report as thus, that Claudius at his comming aland at Porchester, besieged that towne, to the rescue whereof came Guiderius, and giuing battell to the Romans, put them to the woorse, till at length one Hamo, being on the Romans side, changed his shield and armour, apparelling himselfe like a Britaine, and so entring into the thickest prease of the British host, came at length where the king was, and there slue him. But Aruiragus perceiuing this mischiefe, to the end the Britains should not be discouraged therewith, caused himselfe to be adorned with the kings cote-armor, and other abiliments, and so as king continued the fight with such manhood, that the Romans were put to flight. Claudius retired backe to his ships, and Hamo to the next woods, whom Aruiragus pursued, and at length droue him vnto the sea side, and there slue him yer he could take the hauen which was there at hand; so that the same tooke name of him, and was called a long time after, Hamons hauen, and at length by corruption of speach it was Hampton, why so called. called Hampton, and so continueth vnto this day, commonlie called by the name of Southhampton. Thus haue you heard how Guiderius or Guinderius (whether you will) came to his end, which chanced (as some write) in the 28 yéere of his reigne.

Aruiragus the Britaine & Claudius the Romane with their armies doo incounter, a composition concerning mariage concluded betweene them, Claudius returneth to Rome.


ARUIRAGUS. Hector Boet. Aruiragus the yoongest son of Kymbeline, and brother to Guinderius (bicause the same) Guinderius left no issue to succéed him) was admitted king of Britaine in the yeere of our Lord 45, or rather 46.

This Aruiragus, otherwise called by the Britains Meuricus or Mauus, of Tacitus Prasutagus, Caxton. is also named Armiger in the English chronicle, by which chronicle (as appéereth) he bare himselfe right manfullie against Claudius and his Romans in the war which they made Gal. Mon. against him: in so much that when Claudius had renewed his force and woone Porchester, and after came to besiege Winchester (in the which Aruiragus as then was inclosed) Aruiragus assembling his power, was readie to come foorth and giue Claudius battell: wherevpon Claudius doubting the sequele of the thing, sent messengers vnto Aruiragus to treat of concord, and so by composition the matter was taken vp, with condition, that Claudius should giue his daughter Genissa in marriage vnto Aruiragus, & Aruiragus should acknowledge to hold his kingdome of the Romans.

Ranulfus Cestrensis. Some write that Claudius in fauour of the valiant prowesse which he saw & found in Aruiragus, honored not onlie him with the mariage of his daughter the said Genissa, but[Page 485] also to the end to make the towne more famous where this marriage was solemnized, he therefore called it Claudiocestria, after his name, the which in the British toong was called before that daie Caerleon, and after Glouernia, of a duke that ruled in Demetia that hight Glunie, but now it is called Glocester.

Other there be that write, how Claudius being vanquished in battell by Aruiragus, was compelled by the said Aruiragus to giue vnto him his said daughter to wife, with condition as before is mentioned: and that then Aruiragus was crowned king of Britaine. But Sueton. Suetonius maie séeme to reprooue this part of the British historie, which in the life of Claudius witnesseth, that he had by thrée wiues onlie three daughters, that is to saie, Claudia, Antonia, and Octauia: and further, that reputing Claudia not to be his, caused hir to be cast downe at the doore of his wife Herculanilla, whome he had forsaken by waie of diuorcement: & that he bestowed his daughter Antonia first on C. Pompeius Magnus, and after on Faustus Silla, verie noble yoong gentlemen; and Octauia he matched with Nero his wiues son. Whereby it should appéere, that this supposed marriage betwixt Aruiragus and the daughter of Claudius is but a feined tale.

¶ And héere to speake my fansie also what I thinke of this Aruiragus, and other the kings (whome Galfrid and such as haue followed him doo register in order, to succéed one after another) I will not denie but such persons there were, and the same happilie bearing verie great rule in the land, but that they reigned as absolute kings ouer the whole, or that they succéeded one after another in manner as is auouched by the same writers, it seemeth most vnlike to be true: for rather it maie be gessed by that, which as well Gyldas as the old approoued Romane writers haue written, that diuerse of these kings liued about one time, or in times greatlie differing from those times which in our writers we find noted. As for example, Iuuenal maketh this Aruiragus, of whom we now intreat, to reigne about Domitians time. For my part therefore, sith this order of the British kinglie succession in this place is more easie to be flatlie denied and vtterlie reprooued, than either wiselie defended or trulie amended, I will referre the reforming therof vnto those that haue perhaps séene more than I haue, or more déepelie considered the thing, to trie out an vndoubted truth: in the meane time, I haue thought good, both to shew what I find in our histories, and likewise in forren writers, to the which we thinke (namelie in this behalfe, whilest the Romans gouerned there) we maie safelie giue most credit, doo we otherwise neuer so much content our selues with other vaine and fond conceits.

To procéed yet with the historie as we find it by our writers set foorth: it is reported, that after the solemnization of this marriage, which was doone with all honour that might Legions of souldiers sent into Ireland. be deuised, Claudius sent certeine legions of souldiers foorth to go into Ireland to subdue that countrie, and returned himselfe to Rome.

Aruiragus denieth subiection to the Romans, Vespasian is sent to represse him and his power, the Romane host is kept backe from landing, queene Genissa pacifieth them after a sharpe conflict: & what the Romane writers say of Vespasians being in Britaine, the end of Aruiragus.


Then did king Aruiragus ride about to view the state of his realme, repairing cities and townes decaied by the warre of the Romans, and saw his people gouerned with such iustice and good order, that he was both feared and greatlie beloued: so that in tract of time he grew verie welthie, and by reason thereof fell into pride, so that he denied his subiection Vespasian in Britaine. Cornel. Tacit. in uit. Agr. lib. 3 & li. 6. Gal. Mon. Rutupium.[Page 486] to the Romans. Wherevpon Claudius appointed Vespasian with an armie to go as lieutenant into Britaine. This iournie was to him the beginning of his advancement to that honour, which after to him most luckilie befell. But if we shall credit our Britaine writers, he gained not much at Aruiragus hands, for where he would haue landed at Sandwich or Richborough, Aruiragus was readie to resist him, so as he durst not once enter the hauen: for Aruiragus had there such a puissant number of armed men, that the Romans were afraid to approach the land.

Vespasian therefore withdrew from thence, and coasting westward, landed at Totnesse, and comming to Excester, besieged that citie: but about the seuenth day after he had planted his siege, came Aruiragus, and gaue him battell, in the which both the armies sustained great losse of men, and neither part got anie aduantage of the other. On the morrow after quéene Genissa made them friends, and so the warres ceassed for that time, by hir good mediation.

¶ But séeing (as before I haue said) the truth of this historie maie be greatlie mistrusted, ye shall heare what the Romane writers saie of Vespasianus being héere in Britaine, beside that which we haue alreadie recited out of Dion in the life of Guiderius.

In the daies of the emperor Claudius, through fauour of Narcissus (one that might doo all with Claudius) the said Vespasian was sent as coronell or lieutenant of a legion of Vespasian. Suetonius. Salcellicus. souldiers into Germanie, and being remooued from thence into Britaine, he fought thirtie seuerall times with the enimies, and brought vnto the Romane obeisance two most mightie nations, and aboue twentie townes, togither with the Ile of Wight; and these exploits he atchiued, partlie vnder the conduct of Aulus Plautius ruler of Britaine for the emperor Claudius, and partlie vnder the same emperor himselfe. For as it is euident by writers of good credit, he came first ouer into Britaine with the said Aulus Plautius, and serued verie valiantlie vnder him, as before in place we haue partlie touched. By Tacitus it appeareth, that he was called to be partener in the gouernment of things in Britaine with Claudius, and had such successe, as it appéered to what estate of honour he was predestinate, hauing conquered nations, and taken kings prisoners. But now to make an end with Aruiragus: when he perceiued that his force was too weake to preuaile against the Romane empire, Gal. Mon. and that he should striue but in vaine to shake the yoke of subiection from the necks of the Britains, he made a finall peace with them in his old age, and so continued in quiet the residue of his reigne, which he lastlie ended by death, after he had gouerned the land by the space of thirtie yéeres, or but eight and twentie, as some other imagine. He died in 73. the yéere of Grace 73, as one author affirmeth, and was buried at Glocester. Matth. West.

Ioseph of Aramathia came into Britaine and Simon Zelotes, the antiquitie of christian religion, Britaine gouerned by Lieutenants and treasurers of the Romane emperors, the exploits of Ostorius Scapula and the men of Oxfordshire, he vanquisheth the Welshmen, appeaseth the Yorkshiremen, and brideleth the rage of the Silures.


In the daies of the said Aruiragus, about the yeare of Christ 53, Ioseph of Arimathia, who buried the bodie of our sauiour, being sent by Philip the Apostle (as Iohn Bale following the authoritie of Gildas and other British writers reciteth) after that the Christians were dispersed out of Gallia, came into Britaine with diuers other godlie christian men, & Polydorus. preaching the gospell there amongst the Britains, & instructing them in the faith and lawes of Christ, conuerted manie to the true beliefe, and baptised them in the wholsome water of regeneration, & there continued all the residue of his life, obteining of the king a plot of ground where to inhabit, not past a foure miles from Wells, and there with his fellowes[Page 487] began to laie the first foundation of the true and perfect religion, in which place (or néere thereinto) was afterward erected the abbeie of Glastenburie.

Nicephorus writeth in his second booke and fourth chapter, that one Simon Zelotes came likewise into Britaine. And Theodoretus in his 9. booke "De curandis Græcorum affectibus," sheweth that Paule being released of his second imprisonment, and suffered to depart from Rome, preached the gospell to the Britains and to other nations in the west. The same thing in manner dooth Sophronius the patriarch of Ierusalem witnesse, Tertullian also maie be a witnesse of the ancientnes of the faith receiued here in Britaine, where he writing of these times saith: Those places of the Britains, to the which the Romans could not approch, were subiect vnto Christ, as were also the countries of Sarmatia, Dacia, Germania, Scithia, and others. ¶ Thus it maie appeare, that the christian religion was planted here in this land shortlie after Christes time, although it certeinlie appeareth not who were the first that preached the gospell to the Britains, nor whether they were Gréeks or Latins.

Cornelius Tacitus writeth, that the Romane emperours in this season gouerned this land Treasurers or receiuers. by lieutenants and treasurers, the which were called by the name of legats and procurators, thereby to kéepe the vnrulie inhabitants the better in order.

Aulus Plautius. And Aulus Plautius a noble man of Rome of the order of consuls, was sent hither as the Ostorius Scapula. first legat or lieutenant (in maner as before ye haue heard) & after him Ostorius Scapula, who at his comming found the Ile in trouble, the enimies hauing made inuasion into the countrie of those that were friends to the Romans, the more presumptuouslie, for that they Cor. Tacitus lib. 12. thought a new lieutenant, with an armie to him vnacquainted and come ouer now in the beginning of winter, would not be hastie to march foorth against them. But Ostorius vnderstanding that by the first successe and chance of warre, feare or hope is bred and augmented, hasted forward to encounter with them, and such as he found abroad in the countrie he slue out right on euerie side, and pursued such as fled, to the end they should not come togither againe. Now for that a displeasing and a doubtfull peace was not like to bring quietnesse either to him or to his armie, he tooke from such as he suspected, their armour. And after this, he went about to defend the riuers of Auon & Seuerne, with placing his souldiers in camps fortified néere to the same. But the Oxfordshire men and other of those parties would not suffer him to accomplish his purpose in anie quiet sort, being a puissant kind of people, and not hitherto weakened by warres: for they willinglie Cornelius Tacit. lib. 12. at the first had ioined in amitie with the Romans. The countries adjoining also being induced by their procurement, came to them, & so they chose forth a plot of ground, fensed with a mightie ditch, vnto the which there was no waie to enter but one, & the same verie narrow, so as the horssemen could not haue anie easie passage to breake in vpon them. Ostorius, although he had no legionarie souldiers, but certeine bands of aids, marched foorth towards the place within the which the Britains were lodged, and assaulting them in the same, brake through into their campe, where the Britains being impeached with their owne inclosures which they had raised for defense of the place, knowing how that for their rebellion they were like to find small mercie at the Romans hands, when they saw now no waie to escape, laid about them manfullie, and shewed great proofe of their valiant stomachs.

In this battell, the sonne of Ostorius the lieutenant deserued the price and commendation which was a certaine crowne, to be set on his head called ciuica corona. of preseruing a citizen out of the cruell enimies hands. But now with this slaughter of the Oxfordshire men, diuers of the Britains that stood doubtfull what waie to take, either to rest in quiet, or to moue warres, were contented to be conformable vnto a reasonable order Cangi. of peace, in so much that Ostorius lead his armie against the people called Cangi, who inhabited that part of Wales now called Denbighshire, which countrie he spoiled on euerie side, no enimie once daring to encounter him: & if anie of them aduentured priuilie to set vpon those which they found behind, or on the outsids of his armie, they were cut short yer they could escape out of danger. Wherevpon he marched straight to their campe and giuing them battell, vanquished them: and vsing the victorie as reason moued him, he lead his armie against those that inhabited the inner parts of Wales, spoiling the countrie on[Page 488] euerie side. And thus sharplie pursuing the rebels, he approched néere vnto the sea side, which lieth ouer against Ireland. While this Romane capteine was thus occupied, he was called backe by the rebellion of the Yorkshire men, whome forthwith vpon his comming vnto them, he appeased, punishing the first authors of that tumult with death.

Cor. Tacitus. lib. 12 In the meane time, the people called Silures, being a verie fierce kind of men, and valiant, prepared to make warre against the Romans, for they might not be bowed neither with roughnesse, nor yet with any courteous handling, so that they were to be tamed by an armie of legionarie souldiers to be brought among them.

Therefore to restraine the furious rage of those people and their neighbours, Ostorious peopled a towne néere to their borders, called Camelodunum with certeine bands of old souldiers, there to inhabit with their wiues and children, according to such maner as was vsed in like cases of placing naturall Romans in anie towne or citie, for the more suertie and defense of the same. Here also was a temple builded in the honor of Claudius the emperour, where were two images erected, one of the goddesse Victoria, and an other of Claudius himselfe.

The coniectures of writers touching the situation of Camelodunum supposed to be Colchester, of the Silures a people spoken of in the former chapter, a foughten field betwene Caratacus the British prince, and Ostorius the Romaine, in the confines of Shropshire; the Britains go miserablie to wracke, Caratacus is deliuered to the Romans, his wife and daughter are taken prisoners, his brethren yeeld themselues to their enimies.


But now there resteth a great doubt among writers, where this citie or towne called Camelodunum did stand, of some (and not without good ground of probable coniectures gathered vpon the aduised consideration of the circumstances of that which in old authors is Camelodunum, Colchester. found written of this place) it is thought to be Colchester. But verelie by this place of Tacitus it maie rather seeme to be some other towne, situat more westward than Colchester, sith a colonie of Romane souldiers were planted there to be at hand, for the repressing of the Silures where they inhabited. vnquiet Silures, which by consent of most writers inhabited in Southwales, or néere the Welsh marshes.

There was a castell of great fame in times past that hight Camaletum, or in British Caermalet, which stood in the marshes of Summersetshire; but sith there is none that hath so written before this time, I will not saie that happilie some error hath growne by mistaking the name of Camelodunum for this Camaletum, by such as haue copied out the booke of Cornelius Tacitus; and yet so it might be doon by such as found it short or vnperfectlie written, namelie, by such strangers or others, to whom onelie the name of Camelodunum was onelie knowne, and Camaletum peraduenture neuer séene nor heard of. As for example, an Englishman that hath heard of Waterford in Ireland, and not of Wexford, might in taking foorth a copie of some writing easilie commit a fault in noting the one for the other. We find in Ptolomie Camedolon to be a citie belonging to the Trinobants, and he maketh mention also of Camelodunum, but Humfrey Lhoyd thinketh that he meaneth all one citie.

Notwithstanding Polydor Virgil is of a contrarie opinion, supposing the one to be Colchester in déed, and the other that is Camelodunum to be Doncaster or Pontfret. Leland esteeming it to be certeinelie Colchester taketh the Iceni men also to be the Northfolke men. But howsoeuer we shall take this place of Tacitus, it is euident inough that Camelodunum stood not farre from the Thames. And therefore to séeke it with Hector Boetius in Scotland, or with Polydor Virgil so far as Doncaster or Pontfret, it maie be thought a[Page 489] plaine error.

But to leaue each man to his owne iudgement in a matter so doubtfull, we will procéed with the historie as touching the warres betwixt the Romans and the Silurians, against whome (trusting not onelie vpon their owne manhood, but also vpon the high prowesse & valiancie Cornelius Tacitus lib. Anna. 12. of Caratacus) Ostorius set forward. Caratacus excelled in fame aboue all other the princes of Britaine, aduanced thereto by manie doubtfull aduentures and manie prosperous exploits, which in his time he had atchiued: but as he was in policie and aduantage of place better prouided than the Romans: so in power of souldiers he was ouermatched. And therefore Hu. Lhoyd. he remoued the battell into the parts of that countrie where the Ordouices inhabited, which are thought to haue dwelled in the borders of Shropshire, Cheshire, and Lancashire, which people together with other that misliked of the Romane gouernment, he ioined in one, and chose a plot of ground for his aduantage, determining there to trie the vttermost hazard of battell.

The place which he thus chose was such, as the entries, the backwaies, and the whole situation thereof made for the Britains aduantage, and cleane contrarie to the Romans, as inclosed among high hils. And if there were anie easie passage to enter it vpon anie side, the same was shut vp with mightie huge stones in manner of a rampire, and afore it there ran a riuer without anie certeine foord to passe ouer it. This place is supposed to lie in the confines of Shropshire aloft vpon the top of an high hill there, enuironed with a triple rampire and ditch of great depth, hauing thrée entries into it, not directlie one against an other, but aslope. It is also (they saie) compassed about with two riuers, to wit, on the left hand with the riuer called Clun, & on the right hand with an other called Teuid. On thrée sides thereof the clime is verie stéepe and headlong, and no waie easie to come or reach vnto it, but onelie one.

Caratac hauing thus fortified himselfe within this place, and brought his armie into it: to encourage his people, he exhorted them to shew their manhood, affirming that to be the day, and that armie to be the same wherein should appeare the beginning either of libertie then to be recouered, or else of perpetuall bondage for euer to be susteined. He rehersed also speciallie by name those their elders, which had resisted Iulius Cesar, by whose high valiancie they liued free from the bloudie thraldome and tributes of the Romans, and enioied their wiues and children safe and vndefiled. Thus discoursing of manie things with them, in such hope of assured victorie, that they began to raise their cries, each one for him selfe, declaring that he was bound by the dutie he owght to the gods of his countrie, not to shrinke for feare of anie wounds or hurts that might chance vnto them by the enimies weapon.

This chéerefulnesse of the Britains greatlie astonished the Romane lieutenant. The hideous course also of the riuer before his face, the fortifications and craggie higth of the hils, all set full of enimies readie to beat him backe, put him in great feare: for nothing he saw afore him, but that which séemed dreadfull to those that should assaile. But the souldiers yet séemed to be verie desirous of battell, requesting him to bring them to it, protesting that nothing was able to resist the force of noble prowes. Herewith the capteins and tribunes discoursing the like, pricked forward the earnest willes which their souldiers had to fight.

Ostorius perceiuing such courage and readie wils in the men of warre, as well souldiers as capteins, began to bestirre himselfe, and left nothing vndone that might serue to set forward their earnest desire to battell. And hauing aduisedlie considered which waies were hard and Cornelius Tacitus Annal. lib. 12. vnpossible to be entered vpon, and which were most easie for his people to find passage by, he led them foorth, being most earnestlie bent to cope with the enimie.

Now hauing passed the water without any great difficultie, but comming to the rampire, he lost manie of his people, so long as the fight was continued with shot and casting of darts: but after that the Romans couering themselues with their targets, came once close togither, and approched vnder the rampire, they remooued away the stones which the Britains had roughlie couched togither, and so came to ioine with them at handblowes. The Britains[Page 490] being vnarmed, and not able to abide the force of the armed men, withdrew to the top of the hilles, but as well their enimies that were light armed, as the other with heauie armour, followed and brake in among them, so as the Britains could not turne them anie way to escape, for the light armed men with shot a farre off, and the heauie armed with weapons at hand, sought to make slaughter and wracke of them on ech side, so that this was a verie dolefull day to the Britains.

The wife and daughter of Caratake were taken prisoners, and his brethren also yéelded themselues. He himselfe escaped, and committing his person vnto the assurance & trust of Cartemandua queene of the Brigants, was by hir deliuered into the hands of the Romans. All this happened about nine yeres after the warres in Britaine first began.

The name of Caratacus famous in Italie, the maner how he and his alies were led captiues by the Romans in triumph, his courage and manlie speech to the emperour Claudius, whereby he and his obteine mercie and pardon: the Britains vndertake a new reuenge against the Romans; the cause why the Silures hated the Romans, Ostorius Scapula dieth, the citie of Chester builded.


Cornelius Tacit. lib. 12.Carataks name renowmed. The name of Caratacus being brought out of the Iles was alreadie spred ouer the prouinces adioining, and began now to grow famous through Italie. Men therefore were desirous to sée what maner of man he was that had so manie yéeres set at naught the puissant force of the empire. For in Rome the name of Caratacus was much spoken of, insomuch that the emperour whilest he went about to preferre his owne honour, aduanced the glorie of him also that was vanquished: for the people were called foorth as vnto some great notable sight or spectacle. The pretorian bands stood in order of battell armed in the field that laie before their lodgings, through which field Caratake shuld come. Then passed by the traine of his friends and seruants; and such armor, riches, iewels, and other things as had béene gotten in those warres, were borne forward, and openlie shewed, that all men might behold the same.

After these followed his brethren, wife, and daughters: and last of all came Caratacus himselfe, whose countenance was nothing like to theirs that went afore him. For whereas they fearing punishment for their rebellion with wailefull countenance craued mercie, he neither by countenance nor words shewd anie token of a discouraged mind, but being presented before the emperour Claudius sitting in his tribunall seat, he vttered this speach as followeth.

"If there had béene in me so much moderation in time of prosperitie, as there was nobilitie [* Sic.] of birth and puissance, I had come to this citie rather as a friend than as a capteine *: neither should I haue thought scorne, being borne of most noble parents, and ruling ouer many people, to haue accepted peace by waie of ioining with you in league. My present estate as it is to me reprochfull, so to you it is honorable. I had at commandement, horsses, men, armor, and great riches; what maruell is it if I were loth to forgo the same? For if you shall looke to gouerne all men, it must néeds follow that all men must be your slaues. If I had at the first yéelded my selfe, neither my power nor your glorie had béene set foorth to the world, & vpon mine execution I should straight haue béene forgotten. But if you now grant me life, I shall be a witnesse for euer of your mercifull clemencie."

The emperour with these words being pacified, granted life both to Caratake, and also to his wife and brethren, who being loosed from their bands, went also to the place where the empresse Agrippina sat (not farre off) in a chaire of estate, whom they reuerenced with the[Page 491] like praise and thanks as they had doone before to the emperour. After this the senat was called togither, who discoursed of manie things touching this honourable victorie atchiued by the taking of Caratake, estéeming the same no lesse glorious, than when P. Scipio shewed in Siphax. L. Paulus. triumph Siphax king of the Numidians, or L. Paulus the Macedonian king Perses, or other Romane capteins anie such king whom they had vanquished.

Héerevpon it was determined, that Ostorius should enter the citie of Rome with triumph like a conqueror, for such prosperous successe as hitherto had followed him: but afterwards his procéedings were not so luckie, either for that after Caratake was remooued out of the waie, or bicause the Romans (as though the warre had béene finished) looked negligentlie to themselues, either else for that the Britains taking compassion of the miserable state of Caratake, being so worthie a prince, through fortunes froward aspect cast into miserie, were more earnestlie set to reuenge his quarrell. Héerevpon they incompassed the maister of the campe, and those legionarie bands of souldiers which were left amongst the Silures to fortifie a place there for the armie to lodge in: and if succour had not come out of the next towns and castels, the Romans had béene destroied by siege. The head capteine yet, and eight centurions, and euerie one else of the companies being most forward, were slaine. Shortlie after they set vpon the Romane forragers, and put them to flight, and also such companies of horssemen as were appointed to gard them. Héerevpon Ostorius set foorth certeine bands of light horssemen, but neither could he staie the flight by that meanes, till finallie the legions entred the battell, by whose force they were staid, and at length the Romans obteined the better: but the Britains escaped by flight without great losse, by reason the daie was spent.

After this, manie bickerings chanced betwixt the Britains and Romans, & oftentimes they wrought their feats more like the trade of them that vse to rob by the high waies, than of those that make open warre, taking their enimies at some aduantage in woods and bogs, as hap or force ministred occasion vpon malice conceiued, or in hope of prey, sometimes by commandement, and sometimes without either commandement or knowledge of capteine or officer.

At one time the Britains surprised two bands of footmen that were with the Romans in aid, and sent foorth to forreie abroad vnaduisedlie, through couetousnesse of the capteins. This feat was atchiued by the Silures also, the which in bestowing prisoners and part of the spoile vpon other of their neighbours, procured them likewise to rebell against the Romans, and to take part with them. The Silures were the more earnestlie set against the Romans, by occasion of words which the emperor Claudius had vttered in their disfauour, as thus: that euen as the Sicambres were destroied and remooued into Gallia, so likewise must the Silures be dealt with, and the whole nation of them extinguished. These words being blowne abroad, and knowne ouer all, caused the Silures to conceiue a woonderfull hatred against the Romans, so that they were fullie bent, either to reteine their libertie, or to die in defense thereof vpon the enimies swoord.

In the meane time Ostorius Scapula departed this life, a right noble warrior, and one who by litle & litle insuing the steps of Aulus Plautius his predecessor, did what he could to bring the Ile into the forme of a prouince, which in part he accomplished.

W.H. in his chronologie. There be some led by coniecture grounded vpon good aduised considerations, that suppose this Ostorius Scapula began to build the citie of Chester after the ouerthrow of Caratacus: for in those parties he fortified sundrie holds, and placed a number of old souldiers either there in that selfe place, or in some other néere therevnto by waie of a colonie. And for somuch (saie they) as we read of none other of anie name thereabouts, it is to be thought that he planted the same in Chester, where his successors did afterwards vse to harbour their legions for the winter season, and in time of rest from iournies which they haue to make against their common enimies.

In déed it is a common opinion among the people there vnto this daie, that the Romans built those vaults or tauerns (which in that citie are vnder the ground) with some part of the Ran. Hig. alias Cestrensis.[Page 492] castell. And verelie as Ranulfe Higden saith, a man that shall view and well consider those buildings, maie thinke the same to be the woorke of Romans rather than of anie other people. That the Romane legions did make their abode there, no man séene in antiquities can doubt thereof, for the ancient name Caer leon ardour deuy, that is, The citie of legions vpon the water of Dée, proueth it sufficientlie enough.

Corn. Tacit. But to returne vnto Ostorius Scapula, we find in Corn. Tacitus, that during his time of Cogidune a king in Britane. being lieutenant in this Ile, there were certeine cities giuen vnto one Cogidune a king of the Britains, who continued faithfull to the Romans vnto the daies of the remembrance of men liuing in the time of the said Cornelius Tacitus, who liued and wrote in the emperor Domitianus time. This was doone after an old receiued custom of the people of Rome, to haue both subiects and kings vnder their rule and dominion, as who so shall note the acts and déeds of the Roman emperours from C. Iulius Cesar (who chased Pompeie out of Italie, and was the first that obteined the Romane empire to himselfe; of whom also the princes and emperours succéeding him were called Cesars) to Octauian, Tiberius, Caligula, &c: maie easilie marke and obserue. For they were a people of singular magnanimitie, of an ambitious spirit, gréedie of honour and renowme, and not vnaptlie termed "Romani rerum domini, &c.

A. Didius is sent to supplie Ostorius his roome in Britaine, the trecherie and lecherie of queene Cartimanda, Venutius keepeth the kingdome in spite of the Romans, by what meanes their confines in this Ile were inlarged; the error of Hector Boetius and others touching the Silures, Brigants, and Nouants notified, the Britains giue the Romans a shamefull ouerthrow.


A. Didius lieutenant. After the deceasse of Ostorius Scapula, one A. Didius was sent to supplie his roome, but yer he could come, things were brought out of order, and the Britains had vanquished the legion whereof Manlius Valens had the conduct: this victorie was set foorth by the Britains to the vttermost, that with the bruit thereof they might strike a feare into the lieutenants hart, now vpon his first comming ouer. And he himselfe reported it by letters to the emperour after the largest manner, to the end that if he appeased the matter, he might win the more praise; or if he were put to the woorst, and should not preuaile, that then his excuse might séeme the more reasonable and woorthie of pardon. The Silures were they that had atchiued this victorie, and kept a fowle stur ouer all the countries about them, till by the comming of Didius against them, they were driuen backe and repelled.

But héerewith began trouble to be raised in another part: for after that Caratac was Venutius ruler of the Iugants. taken, the chiefest and most skillfull capteine which the Britains had, was one Venutius, a ruler of the people named Iugants, a man that remained a long time faithfull to the Romans, Cartimanda. and by their power was defended from his enimies, who had married with Cartimanda queene of the Brigants or Yorkeshire men. This Cartimanda (as ye haue heard) had deliuered Catarac into the Romans hands, thereby ministring matter for the emperour Claudius to triumph, by which pleasure shewed to the Romans, she increased thorough their friendship in power and wealth, whereof followed riotous lust to satisfie hir wanton appetite, so as she Vellocatus. falling at square with hir husband, married Vellocatus, one of his esquires, to whom she gaue hir kingdome, and so dishonoured hir selfe. Héerevpon insued cruell warre, in so much that in the end Venutius became enimie also to the Romans. But first they tugged togither betwixt themselues, & the quéene by a craftie policie found meanes to catch the brother and coosens of Venutius, but hir enimies nothing therewith discouraged, but kindled the more in wrath against hir, ceassed not to go forward with their purpose.

Manie of the Brigants disdaining to be subiect vnto a womans rule that had so reiected hir[Page 493] husband, reuolted vnto Venutius: but yet the quéenes sensuall lust mixed with crueltie, mainteined the adulterer. Venutius therefore calling to him such aid as he could get, and strengthened now by the reuolting of the Brigants, brought Cartimanda to such a narrow point, that she was in great danger to fall into the hands of hir enimies: which the Romans forséeing, vpon suit made, sent certeine bands of horssemen and footmen to helpe hir. They had diuerse incounters with the enimies at the first, with doubtfull successe: but at Venutius kéepeth the kingdome in despite of the Romans. length they preuailed, and so deliuered the quéene out of perill, but the kingdome remained to Venutius: against whom the Romans were constreined still to mainteine warre.

About the same time, the legion also which Cesius Nasica led, got the vpper hand of those Britains against whom he was sent. For Didius being aged, and by victories past inough renowmed, thought it sufficient for him to make warre by his capteins, so to staie and kéepe off the enimie. Certeine castels and holds in déed he caused to be built and fortified, further within the countrie than had béene afore attempted by anie of his predecessors, and so thereby were the confines of the Romans in this Ile somewhat inlarged. Thus haue ye heard with what successe the Britains mainteined warre in defense of their libertie against the Romans, whilest Claudius ruled the empire (according to the report of the Romane writers.)

The error of Hector Boetius. ¶ But here you must note, that Hector Boetius, following the authoritie of one Veremond a Spaniard, of Cornelius Hibernicus, & also of Campbell, remooueth the Silures, Brigants, and Nouants, so farre northward, that he maketh them inhabitants of those countries which the Scots haue now in possession, and were euen then inhabited (as he affirmeth) partlie by the Scots, and partlie by the Picts (as in the Scotish historie ye may sée more at large) so that what notable feat soeuer was atchiued by the old Britains against the Romans, the same by him is ascribed to the Scots and Picts throughout his whole historie, whereas (in verie truth) forsomuch as may be gathered by coniecture und presumption of that which is left in writing by ancient authors, the Brigants inhabited Yorkshire, the Silures Wales and the Marches, and the Nouants the countrie of Cumberland.

But forsomuch as he hath diligentlie gathered in what maner the warres were mainteined by those people against the Romans, and what valiant exploits were taken in hand and finished thorough their stoutnesse and valiancie, ye may there read the same, and iudge at your A note to be considered in the reading of Hect. Boetius. pleasure what people they were whome he so much praiseth: aduertising you hereof by the way, that as we haue before expressed, none of the Romane writers mentioneth any thing of the Scots, nor once nameth them, till the Romane empire began to decay, about the time of the emperor Constantius, father of Constantine the great: so that if they had béene in this Ile then so famous both in peace and warre, as they are reported by the same Boetius; maruell might it séeme, that the Romane writers would so passe them ouer with silence.

Cor. Tac. lib. annal. 15. After the death of Claudius the emperor of Rome, Claudius Domitianus Nero succéeded him in gouernement of the empire. In the seuenth yéere of whose reigne, which was after the incarnation 53, the Romans receiued a great ouerthrow in Britaine, where neither the lieutenant A. Didius Gallus (whom in this place Cornelius Tacitus calleth Auitus) could during the time of his rule doo no more but hold that which was alreadie gotten, beside the building of certeine castels (as before ye haue heard) neither his successor Verannius, beating and forreieng the woods, could atchiue anie further enterprise, for he was by death preuented, so as he could not procéed forward with his purpose touching the warres which he had ment to haue folowed, whose last words (in his testament expressed) detected him of manifest ambition: for adding manie things by way of flatterie to content Neros mind, he wished to haue liued but two yéeres longer, in which space he might haue subdued prouinces vnto his dominion, meaning therby the whole Ile of Britaine. But this was a Romans brag, sauouring rather of ambition than of truth or likelihood.

[Page 494]

The gouernment of P. Suetonius in this Iland, he inuadeth Anglesey, and winneth it, a strange kind of women, of the Druides, the Britains lament their miserie and seruitude, and take aduise by weapon to redresse it against the Romans their enimies.


P. Suetonius lieutenant. But now when this great losse chanced to the Romans Paulinus Suetonius did gouerne here as lieutenant, a man most plentifullie furnished with all gifts of fortune and vertue, and therewith a right skilfull warrior. This Suetonius therefore wishing to tame such of Anglesey inuaded. the Britains as kept out, prepared to assaile the Ile of Anglesey, a countrie full of inhabitants, and a place of refuge for all outlawes and rebels. He builded certeine brigantins with flat kéeles to serue for the ebbes and shallow shelues here and there, lieng vncerteinlie in the straits which he had to passe. The footmen ferried ouer in those vessels, the horssemen following by the foords, and swimming when they came into the deepe, got likewise to the shore, where stood in order of battell and huge number of armed men close togither, redie to beat backe the Romans, and to staie them from comming to land. Amongst the men, A strange maner of women. a number of women were also running vp and downe as they had béene out of their wits, in garments like to wild roges, with their haire hanging downe about their shoulders, and bearing firebrands in their hands. There was also a companie of their priests or philosophers The Druids. called Druides, who with stretched forth hands towards heauen, thundered out curssings against the Romans in most bitter wise.

The souldiers were so amazed with the strangenesse of this sight, that (as men benummed of their lims and senses) they suffred themselues to be wounded and slaine like senselesse creatures, till by the calling vpon of their generall, and ech one incouraging other in no wise to feare a sort of mad & distract women, they preassed forward vnder their ensignes, bearing downe such as stood in their way, and with their owne fire smooldered and burnt them to ashes.

Anglesey won by the Romans. To conclude, the Romane lieutenant got possession of the whole Ile, wherein he placed garisons of men of warre to kéepe the people there in subiection. He also caused their Woods cut downe. woods to be cut downe, that were consecrated to their gods, within the which they were accustomed to sacrifice sush as they tooke prisoners, and by the view of their intrailes, in dismembring them, to learne of their gods some oracles and such other things as should come to passe.

But now in the meane time, whilest Paulinus was abroad about this enterprise, the Britains began to conferre togither of they great and importable miseries, of their grieuous state of seruitude, of their iniuries and wrongs, which they dailie susteined: how that by sufferance they profited nothing, but still were oppressed with more heauie burthens. Ech countrie Lieutenant & procurator. in times past had onelie one king to rule them: now had they two, the lieutenant by his capteins and souldiers spilling their bloud, and the procurator or receiuer (as we may call him) bereauing them of their goods and substance. The concord or discord betwixt those that were appointed to rule ouer them, was all alike hurtfull vnto the subiects, the lieutenant oppressing them by his capteins and men of warre, and the procurator or receiuer by force and reprochfull demeanours, polling them by insufferable exactions.

There was nothing frée from the couetous extortion and filthie concupiscence of these vnsatiable persons, for in these daies (say they) the greatest spoiler is the valiantest man, and most commonlie our houses are robbed and ransacked by a sort of cowardlie raskals that haue no knowledge of anie warlike feats at all. Our children are taken from us, we are forced to go to the musters, and are set foorth to serue in forren parties, as those that are ignorant which way to spend our liues in the quarell of our owne countrie. What a number of souldiers haue beene transported ouer from hence to serue in other lands, if a iust account were taken thereof: The Germans by manhood haue cast (said they) from[Page 495] their shoulders the heauie yoke of bondage, and are not defended as we are with the maine Ocean sea, but onelie with a riuer. Where the Britains haue their countrie, their wiues and parents, as iust causes of war to fight for: the Romans haue none at all, but a couetous desire to gaine by rapine, and to satisfie their excessiue lusts.

They might easilie be compelled to depart the countrie, as Iulius Cesar was, if the Britains would shew some proofe of the noble prowesse that was euidentlie found in their woorthie ancestors, and not shrinke or quaile in courage for the misaduenture that should happilie chance by fighting one battell or two. Greatest force and constancie alwaies remaineth with those that séek to deliuer themselues from miserie. Now appeared it that the gods had taken some pitie of the poore Britains, who by their diuine power did withhold the chiefe capteine of the Romans with his armie, as it were banished in an other Iland. Let Occasion not be neglected. vs then (said they) take the oportunitie of time and good occasion offered, and foorthwith procéed in our businesse: for lesse danger it is manfullie to aduenture, and to go forward with our purpose, than to be bewraied and taken in these our consultations. Thus hauing taken aduise togither, and wholie misliking their present state, they determined to take weapon in hand, and so by force to seeke for reformation.

A catalog of causes or greeuances inciting the Britains to rebell against the Romans, wherein is shewed what iniuries they susteined: of diuers strange wonders and apparitions; the chiefe cause of the Britains insurging against the Romans, they admitted as well women as men to publike gouernement. A description of queene Voadicia, hir personage and maner of attire.


Cor. Tac. lib. 14. The Britains indeed were occasioned to doo as they purposed, thorough manie euill parts practised by the Romans greatlie to their griefs and displeasures. For whereas Prasutagus Prasutagus. (who is supposed by Hector Boetius to be Aruiragus, king of the people called The Oxfordshire and Glocestershire men. Iceni) had made the emperour and two of his owne daughters his heires, supposing by that meane to haue his kingdome and familie preserued from all iniurie: it happened quite contrarie to that his expectation. For his kingdome was spoiled by the Romane capteins, his Voadicia alias Bunduica. wife named Voadicia beaten by the souldiers, his daughters rauished, the péeres of the realme bereft of their goods, and the kings friends made and reputed as bondslaues.

Dion Cassius. There was also an other great cause that stirred the Britains to this rebellion, which was the confiscating of their goods: for whereas Claudius himselfe had pardoned the chiefest persons of the forfeitures, Decianus Catus the procurator of that Ile mainteined that the Vsurie. same ought to be renewed againe. To this an other griefe was added, that where Seneca had lent to the nobilitie of the Ile, foure hundred sestercies, ech hundred being 500000 pounds starling, or thereabout, vpon great interest, he required the whole summe togither by great rigor and violence, although he forced them at the first to take this monie to vsurie.

Also such old souldiers as were placed by waie of a colonie, to inhabit the towne of Camelodunum, expelled manie of the Britains out of their houses, droue them out of their possessions and lands, and accounted the Britains as slaues, and as though they had bene captiue prisoners or bondmen. Besides this, the temple there that was built in honor of Claudius, as an altar of eternall rule and gouernment, was serued with préests, the which vnder colour of religion did spoile, consume and deuoure the goods of all men.

Moreouer, such strange sights and woonders as chanced about the same time, pricked the Britains the rather forward. For the image of the goddesse Victoria in the temple at Camelodunum, slipping downe, turned hir backe (as who should saie she gaue place as[Page 496] Dion Cassius. vanquished) to the enimies. Also in the hall where the courts of iustice were kept, there was a maruellous great noise heard, with much laughing, and a sturre in the theatre, with Strange woonders. great wéeping and lamentable howling, at such time as it was certeinlie knowne that there was no creature there to make anie noise. The sea at a spring tide appeared of a bloudie colour, and when the tide was gone backe, there were séene on the sands the shapes & Dion Cassius. figures of mens bodies. Women also as rauished of their wits, and being as it were in a furie, prophesied that destruction was at hand, so that the Britains were put greatlie in hope, and the Romans in feare.

Polydor. But those things, whether they chanced by the craft of man, or illusion of the diuell; or whether they procéeded of some naturall cause, which the common people oftentimes taketh superstitiouslie, in place of strange woonders signifieng things to follow, we would let passe, least we might be thought to offend religion; the which teaching all things to be doone by the prouidence of God, despiseth the vaine predictions of haps to come, if the order of an historie (saith Polydor Virgil) would so permit, the which requireth all things to be written in maner as they fall out and come to passe.

Cor. Tac. li. 15. Voadicia by Dion Cassius is called Bunuica. But the Britains were chiefelie mooued to rebellion by the iust complaint of Voadicia, declaring how vnséemelie she had beene vsed and intreated at the hands of the Romans: and because she was most earnestlie bent to séeke reuenge of their iniuries, and hated the name of the Romans most of all other, they chose hir to be capteine (for they in rule and gouvernment The ancient Britains admitted as well women as men to publike gouernment. made no difference then of sex, whether they committed the same to man or woman) and so by a generall conspiracie, the more part of the people hauing also allured the Essex men vnto rebellion, rose and assembled themselues togither to make warre against the Romans. There were of them a hundred and twentie thousand got togither in one armie vnder the leading of the said Voadicia, or Bunduica (as some name hir.)

She therefore to encourage hir people against the enimies, mounted vp into an high place raised vp of turfes & sods made for the nonce, out of the which she made a long & verie pithie oration. Hir mightie tall personage, comelie shape, seuere countenance, and sharpe voice, with hir long and yellow tresses of heare reaching downe to hir thighes, hir braue and gorgeous apparell also caused the people to haue hir in great reuerence. She ware a chaine of gold, great and verie massie, and was clad in a lose kirtle of sundrie colours, and aloft therevpon she had a thicke Irish mantell: hereto in hir hand (as hir custome was) she bare a speare, to shew hirselfe the more dreadfull.

The oration of quéene Voadicia full of prudence and spirit to the Britains, for their encouragement against the Romans, wherein she rippeth vp the vile seruitude and shamefull wrongs which their enimies inflicted vpon them, with other matters verie motiue, both concerning themselues and their enimies, hir supplication and praier for victorie.


Now Voadicia being prepared (as you heare) set foorth with such maiestie, that she greatlie incouraged the Britains; vnto whome for their better animating and emboldening, she vttered this gallant oration in manner and forme following.

The oration of Voadicia. "I doo suppose (my louers and friends) that there is no man here but dooth well vnderstand how much libertie and fréedome is to be preferred before thraldome and bondage. But if there haue bene anie of you so deceiued with the Romane persuasions, that ye did not for a time see a difference betwéene them, and iudged whether of both is most to be desired: now I hope that hauing tried what it is to be vnder both, ye will with me reforme[Page 497] your iudgement, and by the harmes alreadie taken, acknowledge your ouersight, and forsake your former error. Againe, in that a number of you haue rashlie preferred an externall souereigntie before the customes and lawes of your owne countrie, you doo at this time (I doubt not) perfectlie vnderstand how much free pouertie is to be preferred before great riches, wherevnto seruitude is annexed; and much wealth in respect of captiuitie vnder forren magistrats, wherevpon slauerie attendeth. For what thing (I beséech you) can there be so vile & grieuous vnto the nature of man, that hath not happened vnto vs, sithens the time that the Romans haue bene acquainted with this Iland?

"Are we not all in manner bereaued of our riches & possessions? Doo not we (beside other things that we giue, and the land that we till for their onelie profit) paie them all kinds of tributs, yea for our owne carcases? How much better is it to be once aloft and fortunate in deed, than vnder the forged and false title of libertie, continuallie to paie for our redemption a fréedome? How much is it more commendable to lose our liues in defense of our countrie, than to carie about not so much as our heads toll frée, but dailie oppressed & laden with innumerable exactions? But to what end doo I remember and speake of these things, since they will not suffer by death to become frée? For what and how much we paie for them that are dead, there is not one here but he dooth well vnderstand. Among other nations such as are brought into seruitude, are alwaies by death discharged of their bondage: onelie to the Romans the dead doo still liue, and all to increaes their commoditie and gaine.

"If anie of vs be without monie (as I know not well how and which way we should come by anie) then are we left naked, & spoiled of that which remaineth in our houses, & we our selues as men left desolate & dead. How shall we looke for better dealing at their hands hereafter, that in the beginning deale so vncourteouslie with vs: since there is no man that taketh so much as a wild beast, but at the first he will cherish it, and with some gentlenesse win it to familiaritie? But we ourselues (to saie the trueth) are authors of our owne mischiefe, which suffered them at the first to set foot within our Iland, and did not by and by driue them backe as we did Cesar, or slue them with our swords when they were yet farre off, and that the aduenturing hither was dangerous: as we did sometime to Augustus and Caligula.

"We therefore that inhabit this Iland, which for the quantitie thereof maie well be called a maine, although it be inuironed about with the Ocean sea, diuiding vs from other nations, so that we séeme to liue vpon an other earth, & vnder a seuerall heauen: we, euen we (I saie) whose name hath béene long kept hid from the wisest of them all, are now contemned and troden vnder foot, of them who studie nothings else but how to become lords & haue rule of other men. Wherefore my welbeloued citizens, friendes, and kinsfolkes (for I thinke we are all of kin, since we were borne and dwell in this Ile, and haue one name common to vs all) let vs now, euen now (I saie, because we haue not doone it heretofore, and whilest the remembrance of our ancient libertie remaineth) sticke togither, and performe that thing which dooth perteine to valiant and hardie courages, to the end we maie inioie, not onelie the name of libertie, but also freédome it selfe, and thereby leaue our force and valiant acts for an example to our posteritie: for if we which haue béene liberallie and in honest maner brought vp, should vtterlie forget our pristinate felicitie: what may we hope for in those that shall sucéed vs, and are like to be brought vp in miserie and thraldome?

"I doo not make rehearsall of these things vnfo you, to the end I would prouoke you to mislike of this present estate of things (for well I know you abhorre it sufficientlie alreadie) neither to put you in feare of those things that are likelie to fall hereafter (because you doo feare and sée them verie well before hand) but to the end I maie giue you heartie thankes and woorthie commendations, for that of your owne accord and meanes you determine so well to prouide for things necessarie (thereby to helpe both me and your selues with willing minds) as men that are nothing in doubt of all the Romane[Page 498] puissance.

"If you consider the number of your enimies, it is not greater than yours: if you regard their strength, they are no stronger than you: and all this dooth easilie appéere by the bassinets, habergeons, & greiues wherewith you be armed; and also by the walls, ditches and trenches that you haue made for your own defense, to kéepe off their excursions, who had rather fight with vs a farre off, than cope & deale with vs at hand strokes, as our custome of the warres and martiall discipline dooth require. Wherefore we doo so farre exceed them in force, that in mine opinion, our armie is more strong than stone walls, and one of our targets woorth all the armour that they doo beare vpon them: by meanes whereof, if the victorie be ours, we shall soone make them captiues: or if we lose the field, we shall easilie escape the danger.

"Furthermore, if after the flight we shall indeuour to méet anie where, we haue the marishes héere beneath to hide vs in, and the hils round about to kéepe them off, so that by no meanes they shall haue their purpose of vs, whereas they being ouercharged with heavie armour, shall neither be able to follow, if we flée; nor escape out of our danger, if they be put to flight: if they happen to breake out at anie time as desirous to make a rode, they returne by and by to their appointed places, where we maie take them as birds alreadie in cage. In all which things, as they are farre inferior to vs, so most of all in this, that they can not indure hunger, thirst, cold, heat, and sunneshine, as we can doo.

"In their houses also and tents, they make much account of their baked meates, wine, oile, and abroad of the shadow, that if anie of these doo faile them, they either die foorthwith, or else in time they languish and consume: whereas to vs euerie hearbe and root is meat, euerie iuice an oile, all water pleasant wine, and euerie trée an house. Beside this, there is no place of the land vnknowne to vs, neither yet vnfriendlie to succour vs at néed; whereas to the Romans they are for the most part vnknowne and altogither dangerous, if they should stand in néed: we can with ease swim ouer euerie riuer both naked and clad, which they with their great ships are scarse able to performe. Wherefore with hope and good lucke let vs set vpon them couragiouslie, and teach them to vnderstand, that since they are no better than hares and foxes, they attempt a wrong match, when they indeuour to subdue the grehounds and the woolues." With which words the quéene let an hare go out of hir lap, as it were thereby to giue prognostication of hir successe, which comming well to passe, all the companie showted, and cried out vpon such as not long before had doone such violence to so noble a personage. Presentlie vpon this action, Voadicia calling them togither againe, procéeded forward with hir praier, which she made before them all, holding vp hir hands after this manner:

"I giue thée thanks O Adraste, and call vpon thee thou woman of women, which reignest not ouer the burthen-bearing Aegyptians, as Nitocris; neither ouer their merchants, as dooth Semiramis, for these trifles we haue learned latelie of the Romans: neither ouer the people of Rome, as a little héeretofore Messalina, then Agrippina, and now Nero, who is called by the name of a man, but is in déed a verie woman, as dooth appéere by his voice, his harpe, and his womans attire: but I call vpon thee as a goddesse which gouernest the Britains, that haue learned not to till the field, nor to be handicrafts men, but to lead their liues in the warres after the best manner: who also as they haue all other things, so haue they likewise their wiues and children common, whereby the women haue the like audacitie with the men, and no lesse boldnesse in the warres than they.

"Therefore sithens I haue obteined a kingdome among such a mightie people, I beséech thée to grant them victorie, health, and libertie, against these contentious, wicked, and vnsatiable men (if they maie be called men, which vse warme bathings, delicate fare, hot wines, swéet oiles, soft beds, fine musicke, and so vnkindlie lusts) who are altogither giuen to couetousnesse and crueltie, as their dooings doo declare. Let not I beséech thée, the Neronian or Domitian tyrannie anie more preuaile vpon me, or (to saie truth) vpon thée, but let them rather serue thée, whose heauie oppression thou hast borne withall a long[Page 499] season, and that thou wilt still be our helper onlie, our defender, our fauourer, and our furtherer, O noble ladie, I hartilie beséech thée."

Queene Voadicia marcheth against the Romans, to whom she giueth a shamefull and bloudie ouerthrow without anie motion of mercie, dredfull examples of the Britains crueltie indifferentlie executed without exception of age or sex.


When Voadicia had made an end of hir praier, she set forward against hir enimies, who at that time were destitute in déed of their lieutenant Paulinus Suetonius, being as then in Corn. Tacit. Catus Decianus procurator. Anglesey (as before ye haue heard.) Wherefore the Romans that were in Camelodunum sent for aid vnto Catus Decianus the procurator, that is, the emperours agent, treasurer, or receiuer, for in that citie (although it were inhabited by Romans) there was no great garrison of able men. Wherevpon the procurator sent them such aid as he thought he might well spare, which was not past two hundred men, and those not sufficientlie furnished either with weapon or armour.

The citie was not compassed with anie rampire or ditch for defense, such as happilie were priuie to the conspiracie, hauing put into the heads of the Romans that no fortification néeded: neither were the aged men nor women sent awaie, whereby the yoong able personages might without trouble of them the better attend to the defense of the citie: but euen as they had béene in all suertie of peace, and frée from suspicion of anie warre, they were suddenlie beset with the huge armie of the Britains, and so all went to spoile and fire that could be found without the inclosure of the temple, into the which the Romane souldiers (striken with sudden feare by this sudden comming of the enimies) had thronged themselues. Where being assieged by the Britains, within the space of two daies the place was woonne, and they that were found within it, slaine euerie mothers sonne.

After this, the Britains incouraged with this victorie, went to méet with Petus Cerealis lieutenant of the legion, surnamed the ninth, and boldlie incountering with the same legion, gaue the Romans the ouerthrow and slue all the footmen, so that Cerealis with much adoo escaped with his horssemen, and got him backe to the campe, and saued himselfe within the trenches. Catus the procurator being put in feare with this ouerthrow, and perceiuing what hatred the Britains bare towards him, hauing with his couetousnesse thus brought the warre vpon the head of the Romans, got him ouer into Gallia.

But Suetonius aduertised of these dooings, came backe out of Anglesey, and with maruellous constancie marched through the middest of his enimies to London, being as then not greatlie peopled with Romans, though there was a colonie of them, but full of merchants, and well prouided of vittels: he was in great doubt at his comming thither, whether he might best staie there as in a place most conuenient, or rather séeke some other more easie to be defended. At length considering the small number of his men of warre, and remembring how Cerealis had sped by his too much rashnesse, he thought better with the losing of one towne to saue the whole, than to put all in danger of irrecouerable losse. And therewith nothing mooued at the praier & teares of them which besought him of aid and succour, he departed, and those that would go with him he receiued into his armie, those that taried behind were oppressed by the enimies: and the like destruction happened to them of Verolanium, a towne in those daies of great fame, situat néere to the place where the towne of Saint Albons now standeth.

The Britains leauing the castels and fortresses vnassaulted, followed their game in spoiling[Page 500] of those places which were easie to get, and where great plentie of riches was to be found, vsing their victorie with such crueltie, that they slue (as the report went) to the number of 80000, saith Dion. 70 thousand Romans, and such as tooke their part in the said places by the Britains thus woon and conquered. For there was nothing with the Britains but slaughter, fire, gallowes, and such like, so earnestlie were they set on reuenge. They spared neither age nor sex: women of great nobilitie and woorthie fame they tooke and hanged vp naked, and cutting off their paps, sowed them to their mouthes, that they might séeme as if they sucked and fed on them, and some of their bodies they stretched out in length, and thrust them on sharpe stakes. All these things they did in great despite whilest they sacrificed in their temples, and made feasts, namelie in the wood consecrated to the honour of Andates, for so they called the goddesse of victorie whom they worshipped most reuerentlie.

P. Suetonius the Romane with a fresh power assalteth the Britains, whose armie consisted as well of women as men: queene Voadicia incourageth hir souldiers, so dooth Suetonius his warriors, both armies haue a sharpe conflict, the Britains are discomfited and miserablie slaine, the queene dieth, Penius Posthumus killeth himselfe, the Britains are persecuted with fire, swoord, and famine, the grudge betweene Cassicianus and Suetonius, whome Polycletus is sent to reconcile, of his traine, and how the Britains repined at him.


In this meane time there came ouer to the aid of Suetonius, the legion surnamed the 14, and other bands of souldiers and men of warre, to the number of ten thousand in the whole, wherevpon (chieflie bicause vittels began to faile him) he prepared to giue battell to his enimies, and chose out a plot of ground verie strong within straits, and backed with a wood, so that the enimies could not assault his campe but on the front: yet by reason of their great The Britains were at that time 230000 men, (as Dion writeth.) multitude and hope of victorie conceiued by their late prosperous successe, the Britains vnder the conduct of quéene Voadicia aduentured to giue battell, hauing their women there to be witnesses of the victorie, whome they placed in charrets at the vttermost side of their field.

Corn. Tacit. li. 15
Dion Cassius.
Voadicia, or Boudicia (for so we find hir written by some copies, and Bonuica also by Dion) hauing hir daughters afore hir, being mounted into a charret, as she passed by the souldiers of ech sundrie countrie, told them "it was a thing accustomed among the Britains to go to the warres vnder the leading of women; but she was not now come foorth as one borne of such noble ancestors as she was descended from, to fight for hir kingdome and riches; but as one of the meaner sort, rather to defend hir lost libertie, and to reuenge hir selfe of the enimie, for their crueltie shewed in scourging hir like a vagabond, and shamefull deflouring of hir daughters: for the licentious lust of the Romans was so farre spred and increased, that they spared neither the bodies of old nor yoong, but were readie most shamefullie to abuse them, hauing whipped hir naked being an aged woman, and forced hir daughters to satisfie their filthie concupiscence: but (saith she) the gods are at hand readie to take iust reuenge.

"The legion that presumed to incounter with vs is slaine and beaten downe. The residue kéepe them close within their holds, or else séeke waies how to flée out of the countrie: they shall not be once able so much as to abide the noise and clamor of so manie thousands as we are héere assembled, much lesse the force of our great puissance and dreadfull hands. If ye therefore (said she) would wey and consider with your selues your huge numbers of men of warre, and the causes why ye haue mooued this warre, ye would surelie determine either in this battell to die with honour, or else to vanquish the enimie by plaine force, for so[Page 501] (quoth she) I being a woman am fullie resolued, as for you men ye maie (if ye list) liue and be brought into bondage."

"Neither did Suetonius ceasse to exhort his people: for though he trusted in their manhood, yet as he had diuided his armie into three battels, so did he make vnto ech of them a seuerall oration, willing them not to feare the shrill and vaine menacing threats of the Britains, sith there was among them more women than men, they hauing no skill in warrelike discipline, and heereto being naked without furniture of armour, would foorthwith giue place when they should féele the sharpe points of the Romans weapons, and the force of them by whom they had so often béene put to flight. In manie legions (saith he) the number is small of them that win the battell. Their glorie therefore should be the more, for that they being a small number should win the fame due to the whole armie, if they would (thronging togither) bestow their weapons fréelie, and with their swoords and targets preasse forward vpon their enimies, continuing the slaughter without regard to the spoile, they might assure themselues when the victorie was once atchiued to haue all at their pleasures."

Such forwardnesse in the souldiers followed vpon this exhortation of the couragious generall, that euerie one prepared himselfe so readilie to doo his dutie, and that with such a shew of skill and experience, that Suetonius hauing conceiued an assured hope of good lucke to follow, caused the trumpets to sound to the battell. The onset was giuen in the straits, greatlie to the aduantage of the Romans, being but a handfull in comparison to their enimies. The fight in the beginning was verie sharpe and cruell, but in the end the Britains being a let one to another (by reason of the narrownesse of the place) were not able to susteine the violent force of the Romans their enimies, so that they were constreind to giue backe, and so being disordered were put to flight, and vtterlie discomfited.

80000 Britains slaine. There were slaine of the Britains that day few lesse than 80000 thousand*[*sic], as Tacitus writeth. For the straits being stopped with the charrets, staied the flight of the Britains, so as they could not easilie escape: and the Romans were so set on reuenge, that they spared neither man nor woman, so that manie were slaine in the battell, manie amongst the charrets, and a great number at the woods side, which way they made their flight, and manie were taken prisoners. Those that escaped, would haue fought a new battell, but in the meane time Voadicia, or Bonuica deceassed of a naturall infirmitie, as Dion Cassius writeth, but other say that she poisoned hir selfe, and so died, because she would not come into the hands of hir bloodthirstie enimies. There died of the Romans part in this most notable battell 400, and about the like number were grieuouslie hurt and most pitifullie wounded.

Penius Posthumous sleieth himselfe. Penius Posthumous maister of the campe of the second legion, vnderstanding the prosperous successe of the other Romane capteins, because he had defrauded his legion of the like glorie, and had refused to obeie the commandements of the generall, contrarie to the vse of warre, slue himselfe.

After this all the Romane armie was brought into the field to make an end of the residue of the warre. And the emperour caused a supplie to be sent out of Germanie being 2000 legionarie souldiers, and 8 bands of aids, with 1000 horssemen, by whose comming the bands of the ninth legion were supplied with legionarie souldiers, and those bands and wings of horssemen were appointed to places where they might winter, and such people of the Britains as were either enimies, or else stood in doubt whether to be friends or enimies in déed, were persecuted with fire and sword.

But nothing more afflicted them than famine, for whilest euerie man gaue himselfe to the warre, and purposed to haue liued vpon the prouision of the Romans and other their enimies, they applied not themselues to tillage, nor to anie husbanding of the ground, and long it Julius Cassickinus procurator. was yer they (being a fierce kind of people) fell to embrace peace, by reason that Iulius Cassicianus, who was sent into Britaine as successor to Catus, fell at square with Suetonius, and by his priuat grudge hindered the prosperous successe of publike affaires. He sticked not to write to Rome, that except an other were sent to succéed in the roome that Suetonius[Page 502] did beare, there would be no end of the warres. Herevpon one Polycletus, which sometime had béene a bondman, was sent into Britaine, as a commissioner to surueie the state of the countrie, to reconcile the legat and procurator, & also to pacifie all troubles within the Ile.

The port which Polycletus bare was great, for he was furnished with no small traine that attended vpon him, so that his presence seemed verie dreadfull to the Romans. But the Britains that were not yet pacified, thought great scorne to see such honorable capteins and men of warre as the Romans were, to submit themselues to the order of such a one as had béene a bondslaue.

In what state the Iland stood whiles Aruiragus reigned; the dissolute and loose gouernement of Petronius Turpilianus, Trebellius Maximus, and Victius Volanus, thrée lieutenants in Brltaine for the Romane emperours, of Iulius Frontinus who vanquished the Silures.


PETRONIUS TURPILIANUS LIEUTENANT. In place of Suetonius, was Petronius Turpilianus (who had latelie béene consull) appointed to haue gouernance of the armie in Britaine, the which neither troubling the enimie, nor being of the enimie in anie wise troubled or prouoked, did colour slouthfull rest with the honest name of peace and quietnesse, and so sat still without exploiting anie notable enterprise.

TREBELLIUS MAXIMUS LIEUTENANT. After Turpilianus, Trebellius Maximus was made lieutenant of Britaine, who likewise with courteous demeanour sought to kéepe the Britains in rest rather than by force to compell them. And now began the people of the Ile to beare with pleasant faults and flattering vices, so that the ciuill warres that chanced in those daies after the death of the emperour Nero at home, might easilie excuse the slouthfulnesse of the Romane lieutenants.

Moreouer, there rose dissention amongest their men of warre, which being vsed to lie abroad in the field, could not agrée with the idle life; so that Trebellius Maximus was glad to hide himselfe from the sight of the souldiers being in an vprore against him, till at length humbling himselfe vnto them further than became his estate, he gouerned by waie of intreatie, or rather at their courtesie. And so was the commotion staied without bloudshed, the armie as it were hauing by couenant obtained to liue licentiouslie, and the capteine suertie to liue without danger to be murthered.

VICTIUS VOLANUS LIEUTENAT. Neither Victius Volanus that succéeded Maximus whilest the time of the ciuill warres as yet endured, did trouble the Britains, vsing the same slacknesse and slouth that the other lieutenants had vsed before him, and permitted the like licence to the presumptuous souldiers: but yet was Volanus innocent as touching himselfe, and not hated for anie notable crime or vice: so that he purchased fauour, although authoritie wanted.

But after that the emperour Vsepasianus had subdued his aduersaries, and atteined the imperiall gouernment, as well ouer Britaine as ouer other parts of the world, there were sent Cor. Tacitus. hither right noble capteins, with diuers notable bands of souldiers, and Petilius Cerialis being appointed lieutenant, put the Britains in great feare, by inuading the Brigants the mightiest nation of all the whole Iland: and fighting manie battels, and some right bloudie with those people, he subdued a great part of the countrie at the last.

IULIUS FRONTINUS LIEUTENAT. After him succéeded as lieutenant of Britaine, one Iulius Frontinus, who vanquished and brought to the Romane subiection by force of armes the people called Silures, striuing not onelie against the stout resistance of the men, but also with the hardnesse & combersome[Page 503] troubles of the places.

¶Thus may you perceiue in what state this Ile stood in the time that Aruiragus reigned in the same, as is supposed by the best histories of the old Britains: so that it may be thought that he gouerned rather a part of this land, than the whole, and bare the name of a king, the Romans not hauing so reduced the countrie into the forme of a prouince, but that the Britains bare rule in diuerse parts thereof, and that by the permission of the Romans, which neuerthelesse had their lieutenants and procuratours here, that bare the greatest rule vnder the aforesaid emperours.

The state of this Iland under Marius the sonne of Aruiragus, the comming in of the Picts with Roderike their king, his death in the field, the Picts and Scots enter into mutuall aliance, the monument of Marius, his victorie ouer the Picts, his death and interrement.


MARIUS. Hector Boetius saith that his Marius was a Romane. 73. After the decease of Aruiragus, his sonne Marius succeeded him in the estate, and began his reigne in the yeare of our Lord 73. In the old English chronicle he is fondlie called Westmer, & was a verie wise man, gouerning the Britains in great prosperitie, honour and wealth.

In the time of this mans reigne, the people called Picts inuaded this land, who are iudged Of these you maie reade more in pag.
Matth. West.
to be descended of the nation of the Scithians, neare kinsmen to the Goths, both by countrie and maners, a cruell kind of men and much giuen to the warres. This people with their ringleader Roderike, or (as some name him) Londorike, entering the Ocean sea after the maner of rouers, arriued on the coasts of Ireland, where they required of the Scots new seats to inhabit in: for the Scots which (as some thinke) were also descended of the Scithians, did as then inhabit in Ireland: but doubting that it should not be for their profit to receiue so warlike a nation into that Ile, feining as it were a friendship, and excusing the matter by the narrownesse of the countrie, declared to the Picts, that the Ile of Britaine was not farre from thence, being a large countrie and a plentifull, and not greatly inhabited: wherefore they counselled them to go thither, promising vnto them all the aid that might be.

The Picts more desirous of spoile than of rule or gouernment without delaie returned to the sea, and sailed towards Britaine, where being arriued, they first inuaded the north parts thereof, and finding there but few inhabiters, they began to wast and forrey the countrie: whereof when king Marius was aduertised, with all speed he assembled his people, and made Roderike king of Picts slaine. towards his enimies, and giuing them battell, obtained the victorie, so that Roderike was there slaine in the field, and his people vanquished.

Vnto those that escaped with life, Marius granted licence that they might inhabit in the north part of Scotland called Catnesse, being as then a countrie in maner desolate without habitation: wherevpon they withdrew thither, and setled themselues in those parties. And bicause the Britains disdained to grant vnto them their daughters in mariage, they sent vnto the Scots into Ireland, requiring to haue wiues of their nation. The Scots agréed to their request, with this condition, that where there wanted lawfull issue of the kings linage to succéed in the kingdome of the Picts, then should they name one of the womans side to be their king: which ordinance was receiued and obserued euer after amongst the Picts, so long as their kingdome endured.

Thus the Picts next after the Romans were the first of anie strangers that came into this land to inhabit as most writers affirme, although the Scotish chronicles auouch the Picts to be Polydor. Matth. West. inhabiters here before the incarnation of our sauiour. But the victorie which Marius obteined against their king Roderike, chanced in the yéere after the incarnation 87. In remembrance[Page 504] of which victorie, Marius caused a stone to be erected in the same place where the battell was fought, in which stone was grauen these words, Marij victoria. The English chronicle saith that this stone was set vp on Stanesmoore, and that the whole countrie thereabout taking name of this Marius, was Westmaria, now called Westmerland.

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 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 yéeres. Howbeit there be that write, that he died in the yéere of our Lord 78, and so reigned not past fiue or six yéeres at the most. He was buried at Caerleill, leauing a sonne behind him called Coill.

Humfrey Lhoyd séemeth 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 succéed in the Iulius Agricola lieutenant. 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, Cor. Tacit. in uit. Agr. thought themselues out of all danger, where the enimies neuerthelesse watched vpon the The first yéere of Agricola his gouernment. 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[Page 505] 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. 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 spéedilie, 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.

Anglesey yéelded 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 procéedings 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 Agricola his good gouernment. disquieting of the 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, yéelding 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 yéere.

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 frée from the Romane power, but stood still in danger to be brought vnder more and more.

The woorthie practises of Agricola to traine the Britains to ciuilitie. The second yéere 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 apt disposition to warre, they might through tasting pleasures be so inured[Page 506] 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 plées 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.

The third yéere. In the third yéere 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: The water of Tay. for he 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 stéeds, 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.

The fourth yéere 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 béene into a new Iland.

The fift yéere. 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 An Irish king expelled out of his countrie. of Ireland, which by ciuill discord was expelled and driuen out of his countrie. In déed 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 kéeping of the Britains in obedience, if they should sée the iurisdiction of the Romans euerie where extended, and the libertie of their neighbours suppressed.

The sixt yéere 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 kéepe course against him by the coast as he marched foorth by land, so that the Britains perceiuing how the secret hauens and créekes 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[Page 507] 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 béene 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.


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 féeble 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 sléepe 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 appéere 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.)

The seuenth yéere. The same summer, a band of such Dutch or Germaine souldiers as had béene 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 thrée pinesses, and became rouers on the coasts of Britaine, and incountring with diuerse of the Britains[Page 508] 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.

The eight yéere 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 armour. Galgagus whome the Scots name Gald and will néeds haue him a Scotish man. 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 thrée thousand horssemen to stand on the sides of them as wings. The Romane legions stood at their backs in stéed 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 Corn. Tacit. midst of the field was 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 fréelie 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 néere hand oppressed therewith, bicause they came so thicke in their faces, Betaui. Congri. till at length Agricola caused thrée 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 Hollanders. to atchiue the 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, & vnéeuennesse of[Page 509] 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 foreséene 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 fléeing, 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 néere 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 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 the Romans in Britains, not Scots, neither yet Picts. 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[Page 510] 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 yéere of his gouernement was now almost spent, he brought his armie Hector Boet. into the confines of the Horrestians, which inhabited the countries now called Angus & Cor. Tacitus. 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 An hauen called Trutulensis, peraduenture Rutupensis. the Ile, 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 succéeded 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 Cneus Trebellius alias Salustius Lucullus as some thinke. void by the 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 sée 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 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 héere, 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 Gréeke, 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 néere as they can. But to omit them, and returne to the continuation of our owne historie.

[Page 511] 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.


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 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 séeme 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 succéeded in the kingdome.

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 disagrée in that account, as by the same Fabian in the table before his booke partlie appeareth, wherevnto Matthæus 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 by antiquaries, 165. 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.

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 héere, wrote his aduice to Lucius in maner and forme following. "You[Page 512] 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, Britaine receiueth the faith. and therewith remoued the 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, & thrée 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 & thrée archbishops of the christian religion. One of the which archbishops held his sée at London, another at Yorke, and the third at Matth. West. 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 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.

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 séeme 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 néeded 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 béene 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 estéemed than all the rest) adorned with Christes religion, and perfectlie instructed with his most holie word and doctrine. He Polydor. Fabian. Iohn Hard. 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 yéere after the death of Lucius Aelius, Aurelius Verus, and in the 177 after the birth of our[Page 513] Sauiour Iesus Christ, as by some chronologies is easie to be collected. For Eleutherius began to gouerne the sée of Rome in the yéere 169, according to the opinion of the most diligent chronographers of our time, and gouerned fiftéene yeeres and thirtéene daies. And yet there Gal. Mon. Matth. West. are that affirme, how Lucius died at Glocester in the yéere 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 agrée 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 twelfe yéere Polydor. of his reigne, and in the yéere of our Lord 177. Other iudge that it came to passe in the eight yeere of his regiment, and in the yéere of our Lord 188, where other (as before is Nauclerus. said) alledge that it was in the yéere of the Lord 179. Nauclerus saith, that this happened Hen. Herf. about the yeare of our Lord 156. And Henricus de Herfordea supposeth, that it was in the yéere of our Lord 169, and in the nintéenth yéere of the emperor Marcus Antonius Verus; and after other, about the sixt yéere of the emperor Commodus.

But to conclude, king Lucius died without issue, by reason whereof after his deceasse the Fabian. Britains fell at variance, which continued about the space of fiftéene yéeres (as Fabian thinketh) howbeit the old English chronicle affirmeth, that the contention betwixt them remained fiftie Caxton.
Iohn Hard.
yéeres, though Harding affirmeth but foure yéeres. 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 yéeres.

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.


CNEUS TREBELLIUS LIEUTENANT. In the meane time the Romane lieutenant Cneus Trebellius that succéeded 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 [Page 514] 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. Lollius Vrbicus lieutenant. Whereof 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 Julius Capitol. An other wall built. in quiet, and causing 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.

CALPHURNIUS AGRICOLA. Of the doings of this Calphurnius in Britaine ye may read more in the Scotish chronicle. Dion Cassius. Wherevpon Marcus Antonius that succéeded Pius, sent Calphurnius Agricola to succéed 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.

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 sléepe, and desirous to haue his souldiers also vigilant and carefull to kéepe sure watch in the night season. Euerie euening he would write twelue tables, such as they vsed to make on the lind trée, 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 sléepe.

And although of nature he could well absteine from sléepe, 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.

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 ouersée and ouerrule the people, was to them an occasion of hartgrudge, and to him a meanes of finall mischéefe: both which it is likelie he might haue auoided, had he béene prouident in his deputation. For the Aelius Lampridius. 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 fiftéene 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[Page 515] 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, & beléeued 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.


Pertinax lieutenant of Britaine. Now will we saie somewhat of the tumults in Britaine. It was thought néedfull to send some sufficient capteine of autoritie thither; and therefore was one Pertinax that had béene 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 méet for such a charge, and also to satisfie his credit, for that he had béene 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 without danger to haue béene The lieutenant in danger. 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 méetelie 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.

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 néere 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 succéed 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.

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[Page 516] on this side Durham, he raised an host of Britains and Romans, with the which he marched towards his enimies: and méeting with the said Fulgentius in a place néere 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, succéeded 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 estéemed. In somuch that obteining of the senat of Rome the kéeping 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 cléerelie 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, Herodianus. Gréekes and Latines, 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 néedful 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. Héerevpon 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 féeblenesse of age, he was also troubled with the gout. He tooke with him his Antoninus and Geta. two sonnes, Antoninus Bassianus and Geta, vpon purpose as was thought, to auoid occasions[Page 517] 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.

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 the more part of Britaine in those daies (as Herodianus writeth) was full Herodianus. of fens & maresh ground, by reason of the often flowings and washings of the sea tides: He meaneth of the north Britains or sauage Britains as we may call them. 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 séene, which they estéemed a great brauerie.

They were as the same Herodianus writeth, a people giuen much to war, and delighted in The furniture of the sauage Britains. 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 headpéece or habergeon, they estéemed 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 flée 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 trées. 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 féele 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[Page 518] offered.

This maner of dealing sore troubled the Romans, and so hindered them in their procéedings, Dion Cassius. that no spéedie end could be made of that warre. The Britains would oftentimes of purpose laie their cattell, as oxen, kine, shéepe, 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 féeble that they could not through want of strength kéepe 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. Héereby 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) Meatæ. 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 méet within anie place without respect, and that his cruell commandement he expressed in these verses taken out of Homer: Iliados. 3.

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

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 Heriodianus. Dion Cassius. Eutropius.
Dion Cassius.
through 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 rodes wasted and Eutropius. Orosius. destroyed the borders of those countries which were subiect to the Romans. To kéepe them backe therefore and to represse their inuasions, Seuerus (as some write) either restored the Dion Cassius. former wall made by Adrian, or else newlie built an other ouerthwart the Ile, from the east Beda. sea to the west, conteining in length 232 miles. This wall was not made of stone, but of[Page 519] turfe and earth supported with stakes and piles of wood, and defended on the backe with a Hector Boetius déepe trench or ditch, and also fortified with diuerse towers and turrets built & erected vpon the same wall or rampire so néere 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.

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 Sextus Aurelius. doo the 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.


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 Galfrid. Polychron. Fabian. W.H. 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.

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[Page 520] 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.

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 Fabian.
Matth. West.
was Alectus slaine of the Britains, after he had reigned (as some suppose) about the terme of six yeares, or (as some other write) thrée yeares.

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 néere 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 Walbrooke. or Wallus brooke. 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 Asclepiodotus slaine. Matt. West. hath x. years. field, 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 héere in Britaine.

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 kéepe 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 The couetous practising of Carausius. seas. 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 Dioclesianus, remaining Maximianus purposeth to slea Carusius. then in Gallia, and aduertised of these dooings, commanded that Carausius should[Page 521] 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 Polydor. knowledge) when warres had béene 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 seuen Eutropius. yéeres, & then was slaine by his companion Alectus, the which after him ruled Britaine for the space of thrée yéeres, 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, 300. and about the yéere 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, I thinke it not Mamertinus. 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 Cæsar 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 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 Picts and Irishmen. but onelie to 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[Page 522] 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 Long sufferance of euill increaseth boldnesse in the authors. eare, 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 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 Fronto counted Ciceros match. and surnames appointed them of 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 to end in Britaine, although he sitting at home in his palace within 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[Page 523] 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 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 among these, the Alectus found dead. chiefe ringleader of the theeues was found, who had put off those robes which in his life[Page 524] time he had vsurped and dishonoured, so as scarse was he couered with one peece of apparell He had despoiled himselfe of the imperiall robes, bicause he would not be knowne if he chanced to be slaine. 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) Francones slue Franci. through 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 captiues of the The piracie of the Frankeners called Franci or Francones. 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 to haue tasted Britains restored to quietnes. 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 gladnesse, The Britains receiue Maximian with great ioy and humblenesse.[Page 525] 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.

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 Nations néere to Britaine obeie the emperours. by 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 lawes, hath peopled and The printed booke hath Heruij, but I take the H, to be thrust in for N. 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 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."

[Page 526] What is to be observed and noted out of the panegyrike oration of Mamertinus afore remembred, with necessarie collections out of other Antiquaries.


Now let vs consider what is to be noted out of this part of the foresaid oration. It should seeme that when the emperour Maximian was sent into Gallia by appointment taken betwixt him and Dioclesian, after he had quieted things there, he set his mind foorthwith to reduce Britaine vnder the obedience of the empire, which was at that present kept vnder subiection of such princes as mainteined their state, by the mightie forces of such number of ships as they had got togither, furnished with all things necessarie, & namelie of Franci, or Frankeneres, people of Germanie. able seamen, as well Britains as strangers, among whome the Frankeners were chiefe, a nation of Germanie, as then highly renowmed for their puissance by sea, néere to the which they inhabited, so that there were no rouers comparable to them.

But because none durst stirre on these our seas for feare of the British fléet that passed to and fro at pleasure, to the great annoiance of the Romane subiects inhabiting alongst the coasts of Gallia, Maximian both to recouer againe so wealthie and profitable a land vnto the obeisance of the empire, as Britaine then was, and also to deliuer the people of Gallia subiect to the Romans, from danger of being dailie spoiled by those rouers that were mainteined here in Britaine, he prouided with all diligence such numbers of ships as were thought requisite for so great an enterprise, and rigging them in sundrie places, tooke order for their setting forward to his most aduantage for the easie atchiuing of his enterprise. He appointed to passe himselfe from the coasts of Flanders, at what time other of capteines with their fleets from other parts should likewise make saile towards Britaine. By this meanes Alectus that had vsurped the title & dignitie of king or rather emperour ouer the Britains, knew not where to take héed, but yet vnderstanding of the nauie that was made readie in the mouth of Saine, he ment by that which maie be coniectured, to intercept that fléet, as it should come foorth and make saile forwards: and so for that purpose he laie with a great number of ships about the Ile of Wight.

But whether Asclepiodotus came ouer with that nauie which was rigged on the coasts of Flanders, or with some other, I will not presume to affirme either to or fro, because in déed Mamertinus maketh no expresse mention either of Alectus or Asclepiodotus: but notwithstanding it is euident by that which is conteined in his oration, that not Maximian, but some other of his capteins gouerned the armie, which slue Alectus, so that we maie suppose that Asclepiodotus was chiefteine ouer some number of ships directed by Maximians appointment to passe ouer into this Ile against the same Alectus: and so maie this, which Mamertinus Eutropius. writeth, agrée with the truth of that which we doo find in Eutropius.

Héere is to be remembred, that after Maximians had thus recouered Britaine out of their hands that vsurped the rule thereof from the Romans, it should séeme that not onelie great numbers of artificers & other people were conueied ouer into Gallia, there to inhabit and furnish such cities as were run into decaie, but also a power of warlike youths was transported thither to defend the countrie from the inuasion of barbarous nations. For we find that in the daies of this Maximian, the Britains expelling the Neruians out of the citie of Mons in Henaud, held a castell there, which was called Bretaimons after them, wherevpon the citie was afterward called Mons, retaining the last syllable onlie, as in such cases it hath often happened.

Moreouer this is not to be forgotten, that as Humfrey Lhoyd hath very well noted in his booke intituled "Fragmenta historiæ Britannicæ," Mamertinus in this parcell of his panegyrike oration dooth make first mention of the nation of Picts, of all other the ancient Romane writers: so that not one before his time once nameth Picts or Scots. But now to returne where we left.

[Page 527] The state of this Iland vnder bloudie Dioclesian the persecuting tyrant, of Alban the first that suffered martyrdome in Britaine, what miracles were wrought at his death, whereof Lichfield tooke the name; of Coilus earle of Colchester, whose daughter Helen was maried to Constantius the emperour, as some authours suppose.


After that Britaine was thus recouered by the Romans, Dioclesian and Maximian ruling the empire, the Iland tasted of the crueltie that Dioclesian exercised against the christians, in persecuting them with all extremities, continuallie for the space of ten yéeres. Amongst other, one Alban a citizen of Werlamchester, a towne now bearing his name, was the first that suffered here in Britaine in this persecution, being conuerted to the faith by the zealous christian Amphibalus, whom he receiued into his house: insomuch that when there Beda and Gyldas. came sergeants to séeke for the same Amphibalus, the foresaid Alban to preserue Amphibalus out of danger, presented himselfe in the apparell of the said Amphibalus, & so being apprehended in his stead, was brought before the iudge and examined: and for that he refused to doo sacrifice to the false gods, he was beheaded on the top of an hill ouer against the towne of Werlamchester aforesaid where afterwards was builded a church and monasterie in remembrance of his martyrdome, insomuch that the towne there restored, after that Werlamchester was destroied, tooke name of him, and so is vnto this day called saint Albons.

It is reported by writers, that diuers miracles were wrought at the time of his death, insomuch Beda. Sée the booke of acts and monuments set forth by master Fox. that one which was appointed to doo the execution, was conuerted, and refusing to doo that office, suffered also with him: but he that tooke vpon him to doo it, reioised nothing thereat, for his eies fell out of his head downe to the ground, togither with the head of that holie man which he had then cut off. There were also martyred about the same time two constant witnesses of Christ his religion, Aaron and Iulius, citizens of Caerleon Iohn Rossus. Warwicens. in lib. de Wigorniens. epis. Arwiske. Moreouer, a great number of Christians which were assembled togither to heare the word of life, preached by that vertuous man Amphibalus, were slaine by the wicked Lichfield whereof it tooke name. pagans at Lichfield, whereof that towne tooke name, as you would say, The field of dead corpses.

To be briefe, this persecution was so great and greeuous, and thereto so vniuersall, that Gyldas. in maner the Christian religion was thereby destroied. The faithfull people were slaine, Ran. Cestren. their bookes burnt, and churches ouerthrowne. It is recorded that in one moneths space Matth. West. Constantius. in diuers places of the world there were 17000 godlie men and women put to death, for professing the christian faith in the daies of that tyrant Dioclesian and his fellow Maximian.

COELUS. 262. Coelus earle of Colchester began his dominion ouer the Britains in the yeere of our Lord 262. This Coelus or Coell ruled the land for a certeine time, so as the Britains were well content with his gouernement, and liued the longer in rest from inuasion of the Romans, bicause they were occupied in other places: but finallie they finding time for their Fabian. purpose, appointed one Constantius to passe ouer into this Ile with an armie, the which Constantius put Coelus in such dread, that immediatlie vpon his arriuall Coelus sent to him an ambassage, and concluded a peace with him, couenanting to pay the accustomed tribute, Gal. Mon. Fabian. Caxton. & gaue to Constantius his daughter in mariage called Helen, a noble ladie and a learned. Shortlie after king Coell died, when he had reigned (as some write) 27 yeeres or (as other haue) but 13 yeeres.

¶ But by the way touching this Coelus, I will not denie, but assuredly such a prince there was: howbeit that he had a daughter named Helen, whom he maried vnto Constantius the Romane lieutenant that was after emperor, I leaue that to be decided of the learned. For if the whole course of the liues, as well of the father and the sonne Constantius and Constantine, as likewise of the mother Helen, be consideratelie marked from time to time,[Page 528] and yeere to yéere, as out of authors both Greeke and Latine the same may be gathered, Lib. 7. cap. 18. I feare least such doubt maie rise in this matter, that it will be harder to prooue Helen a Britane, than Constantine to be borne in Bithynia (as Nicephorus auoucheth.) But forsomuch as I meane not to step from the course of our countrie writers in such points, where the receiued opinion may séeme to warrant the credit of the historie, I will with other admit both the mother and sonne to be Britains in the whole discourse of the historie following, as though I had forgot what in this place I haue said.

A further discourse of the forenamed Constantius and Helen, his regiment ouer this Iland, his behauiour and talke to his sonne and councellors as he lay on his death-bed, a deuise that he put in practise to vnderstand what true Christians he had in his court, his commendable vertues, that the Britains in his time imbraced the christian faith is prooued.


CONSTANTIUS. Matth. West. saith 302. 289. Constantius a senatour of Rome began to reigne ouer the Britains, in the yeere of our Lord 289, as our histories report. This Constantius (as before ye haue heard) had to wife Helen the daughter of the foresaid king Coel, of whome he begat a sonne named Constantinus, which after was emperour, and for his woorthie dooings surnamed Constantine the great. S. Ambrose following the common report, writeth that this Helen was a maid Orosius. Beda. in an inne: and some againe write, that she was concubine to Constantius, and not his wife. Cuspinian. But whatsoeuer she was, it appeareth by the writers of the Romane histories, that Constantius Fabian. being the daughters sonne of one Crispus, that was brother to the emperour Claudius, came into Britaine, and quieted the troubles that were raised by the Britains, and there (as some write) maried the foresaid Helen, being a woman of an excellent beautie, whom yet [after he was constreined to forsake, and to marrie Theodora the daughter in law of Herculeus Maximianus, by whome he had six sonnes, and finallie was created emperour, togither with the said Galerius Maximianus, at what time Dioclesianus and his fellow Herculeus Maximianus renounced the rule of the empire, and committed the same vnto them. The empire was then diuided betwixt them, so that to Constantius the regions of Italie, Affrike, France Spaine and Britaine were assigned; & to Galerius, Illyricum, Grecia, and all the east parts. But Constantine being a man void of ambition, was contented to leaue Italie and Affrike, supposing his charge to be great inough to haue the gouernement in his hands of France, Spaine, and Britaine (as Eutropius saith.)

But as touching his reigne ouer the Britains, we haue not to say further than as we find in our owne writers recorded: as for his gouernement in the empire, it is to be considered, that first he was admitted to rule as an assistant to Maximian vnder the title of Cesar: and so from that time if you shall account his reigne, it maie comprehend 11, 12, or 13 yeeres, yea more or lesse, according to the diuersitie found in writers. Howbeit, if we shall reckon his reigne from the time onelie that Dioclesian and Maximian resigned their title vnto the empire, we shall find that he reigned not fullie thrée yéeres. For whereas betwéene the slaughter of Alectus, and the comming of Constantius, are accounted 8 yéeres and od moneths, not onelie those eight yéeres, but also some space of time before maie be ascribed vnto Constantius: for although before his comming ouer into Britaine now this last time (for he had béene here afore, as it well appéereth) Asclepiodotus gouerning as legat, albeit vnder Constantius, who had a great portion of the west parts of the empire vnder his regiment, by the title, as I haue said, of Cesar, yet he was not said to reigne absolutelie till Dioclesian and Maximian resigned. But now to conclude with the dooings of Constantius, 306. at length he fell sicke at Yorke, and there died, about the yéere of our Lord 306.

This is not to be forgotten, that whilest he laie on his death-bed, somewhat before he departed[Page 529] this life, hearing that his sonne Constantine was come, and escaped from the emperours Dioclesian and Maximian, with whom he remained as a pledge (as after shall be partlie touched) he receiued him with all ioy, and raising himselfe vp in his bed, in presence of his other sonnes & counsellours, with a great number of other people and strangers that were come to visit him, he set the crowne vpon his sonnes head, and adorned him with other Niceph. imperiall robes and garments, executing as it were him selfe the office of an herald, and withall spake these woords vnto his said sonne, and to his counsellours there about him: Tripartit. histo. "Now is my death to me more welcome, and my departure hence more pleasant; I haue héere a large epitaph and monument of buriall, to wit, mine owne sonne, and one whome in earth I leaue to be emperour in my place, which by Gods good helpe shall wipe away the teares of the Christians, and reuenge the crueltie exercised by tyrants. This I reckon to chance vnto me in stéed of most felicitie."

After this, turning himselfe to the multitude, he commanded them all to be of good comfort, meaning those that had not forsaken true vertue and godlinesse in Christ, which Christ he vndertooke should continue with his sonne Constantine in all enterprises, which in warres or otherwise he should take in hand. That deuise also is woorthie to be had in memorie, which he put in practise in his life time, to vnderstand what true and sincere Christians were remaining in his court. For whereas he had béene first a persecuter, and after was conuerted, it was a matter easie to persuade the world, that he was no earnest Christian: and so the policie which he thought to worke, was the sooner brought to passe, which was this.

He called togither all his officers and seruants, feining himselfe to choose out such as would doo sacrifice to diuels, and that those onelie should remaine with him and kéepe their office, and the rest that refused so to doo, should be thrust out, and banished the court. Héervpon all the courtiers diuided themselues into companies: and when some offered willinglie to doo sacrifice, and other some boldlie refused: the emperour marking their dealings, sharpelie rebuked those which were so readie to dishonour the liuing God, accounting them as treitours to his diuine maiestie, and not woorthie to remaine within the court gates: but those that constantlie stood in the profession of the christian faith, he greatlie commended, as men woorthie to be about a prince: and withall declared, that from thencefoorth they should be as chiefe counsellours and defenders both of his person and kingdome, estéeming more of them than of all the treasure he had in his coffers.

To conclude, he was a graue prince, sober, vpright, courteous and liberall, as he which kept his mind euer frée from couetous desire of great riches: insomuch that when he should make anie great feast to his friends, he was not ashamed to borow plate and siluer vessell to Pomponius Lænis. serue his turne, and to furnish his cupbord for the time, being contented for himselfe to be serued in cruses & earthen vessels. He was woont to haue this saieng in his mouth, that better it was that the subiects should haue store of monie and riches, than the prince to kéepe it close in his treasurie, where it serued to no vse. By such courteous dealing the prouinces which were in his charge flourished in great wealth and quietnesse. He was a verie wise He died in the yéere 306. as Matt. West. hath noted, and reigned over the Britains but 11. yéeres as Galf. saith. and politike prince in the ordering of all weightie matters, and verie skillfull in the practise of warres, so that he stood the Romane empire in great stéed, and was therefore highlie beloued of the souldiers, insomuch that immediatlie after his deceasse, they proclaimed his sonne Constantine emperour.

That the Christian faith was imbraced of the Britains in this season, it maie appéere, in that Hilarias bishop of Poictiers writeth to his brethren in Britaine, and Constantine in an epistle (as Theodoretus saith in his first booke and tenth chapter) maketh mention of the churches in Britaine: which also Sozomenus dooth affirme. For the Britains after they had receiued the faith, defended the same euen with the shedding of their bloud, as Amphibalus, 291. Iohn Bale. who in this Constantius daies being apprehended, suffered at Redburne neere to Werlamchester, about 15 yéeres after the martyrdome of his host S. Albane.

[Page 530] Constantine created emperour in Britaine, he is sollicited to take vpon him the regiment of those countries that his father gouerned, he is requested to subdue Maxentius the vsurping tyrant, Maximianus his father seeketh to depose him, Constantines death is purposed by the said Maximianus the father & his sonne Maxentius, Fausta the daughter of Maximianus & wife to Constantine detecteth hir fathers trecherie to hir husband, Maximianus is strangled at Constantines commandement, lèague and alliance betweene him and Licinius, he is slaine, the empresse Helen commended, the crosse of Christ found with the inscription of the same, what miracles were wrought thereby, of the nailes wherewith Christ was crucified, Constantine commended, the state of Britaine in his time.


CONSTANTINE. 306. Constantine being the son of the forenamed Constantius, begot of his first wife Helen, the daughter (as some affirme) of Coell late king of the Britains, began to reigne in the yéere of our Lord 306. This worthie prince begotten of a British woman, & borne of hir in Britaine (as our writers doo affirme) and created certeinlie emperour in Britaine, did doubtlesse make his natiue countrie partaker of his high glorie and renowme, which by his great prowes, politike wisedome, woorthie gouernment, and other his princelie qualities most abundantlie planted in his noble person, he purchased and got thorough the circuit of the whole earth, insomuch that for the high enterprises and noble acts by him happilie brought to passe and atchiued, he was surnamed (as before is said) the great Constantine. Whilest this Constantine remained at Rome in manner as he had béene a pledge with Galerius in his fathers life time, he being then but yoong, fled from thence, and with all post hast returned to his father into Britaine, killing or howghing by the waie all such horsses as were appointed Eutropius. Sextus Aurelius Victor. to stand at innes readie for such as should ride in post, least being pursued, he should haue béene ouertaken, and brought backe againe by such as might be sent to pursue him.

At his comming into Britaine, he found his father sore vexed with sicknesse, whereof shortlie after he died, and then was he by helpe of such as were about him, incouraged to Erocus king of the Almains. take vpon him as emperour: and namelie one Erocus king of the Almains, which had accompanied his father thither, assisted him thereto, so that being proclaimed emperour, he tooke vpon him the rule of those countries which his father had in gouernment, that is to saie, France, Spaine, the Alpes, and Britaine, with other prouinces héere in the west: and ruling the same with great equitie and wisdome, he greatly wan the fauour of the people, insomuch that the fame of his politike gouernment and courteous dealing being spred abroad, Maxentius the tyrant. when Maxentius the tyrant that occupied the rule of the empire at Rome, and in Italie by wrongfull vsurping & abusing the same, was grown into the hatred of the Romans and other Italians, Constantine was earnestlie by them requested to come into Italie, and to helpe to subdue Maxentius, that he might reforme the state of things there.

This Maxentius was sonne to Herculeus Maximianus, and Constantine had married Fausta the daughter of the said Maximianus. Now so it was, that Maximianus, immediatlie after that his sonne Maxentius had taken the rule vpon him, sought meanes to haue deposed him, and to haue resumed and taken eftsoones into his owne hands the gouernment of the empire. But solliciting Dioclesian to doo the like, he was much reprooued of him for his vnreasonable and ambitious purpose: so that when he perceiued that neither Dioclesian would be thereto agreeable, nor induce the souldiers to admit him, they hauing alreadie established his sonne, began to deuise waies how to assure the state more stronglie to his said sonne. And hearing that his sonne in law Constantine was minded to come into Italie against him, he purposed to practise Constantines destruction, insomuch that it was iudged by this which followed, that Dissimulation. Herculeus Maximianus did but for a colour séeme to mislike that which his said son Maxentius had doone, to the end he might the sooner accomplish his intent for the dispatching of[Page 531] Constantine out of the waie.

Ranulphus Cestrensis. Heerevpon (as it were) fléeing out of Italie, he came to Constantine, who as then hauing appointed lieutenants vnder him in Britaine, remained in France, and with all ioy and honour that might be, receiued his father in law: the which being earnestlie bent to compasse his Fausta the daughter of Maximianas and wife to Constantine. purpose, made his daughter Fausta priuie thereto: which ladie (either for feare least the concealing thereof might turne hir to displeasure, either else for the entire loue which she bare to hir husband) reuealed hir fathers wicked purpose. Wherevpon whilest Constantine went Marsiles. about to be reuenged of such a traitorous practise, Herculeus fled to Marsiles, purposing there to take the sea, and so to retire to his sonne Maxentius into Italie. But yer he could get Maximianus slaine. Ann. Chri. 322. awaie from thence, he was strangled by commandement of his sonne in law Constantine, and so ended his life, which he had spotted with manie cruell acts, as well in persecuting the professours of the christian name, as others.

Licinius chosen fellow with Maximianus in the empire. In this meane time had Maximianus adopted one Licinius to assist him in gouernance of the empire, proclaiming him Cesar. So that now at one selfe time Constantine gouerned France and the west parts of the empire, Maxentius held Italie, Affrike, and Aegypt: and Maximianus which likewise had beene elected Cesar, ruled the east parts, and Licinius Illyrium and Grecia. But shortlie after, the emperour Constantine ioined in league with Licinius, and gaue to him his sister in marriage, named Constantia, for more suertie of faithfull friendship to indure betwixt them. He sent him also against Maximianus who gouerning in the east part of the empire, purposed the destruction of Constantine and all his partakers: but being vanquished by Licinius at Tarsus, he shortlie after died, being eaten with lice. Constantine after this was called into Italie, to deliuer the Romans and Italians from the tyrannie of Maxentius, which occasion so offered, Constantine gladlie accepting, passed into Italie, and after certeine victories got against Maxentius, at length slue him.

After this, when Maximianus was dead, who prepared to make warre against Licinius, that had married Constantia the sister of Constantine, he finallie made warre against his brother in law the said Licinius, by reason of such quarrels as fell out betwixt them. In the which warre Licinius was put to the woorse, and at length comming into the hands of Constantine, was put to death, so that Constantine by this meanes got the whole empire vnder his rule and subiection. He was a great fauourer of the Christian religion, insomuch that to aduance the same, he tooke order for the conuerting of the temples dedicated to the honour of idols, vnto the seruice of the true and almightie God. He commanded also, that none Christians honoured and cherished. should be admitted to serue as a souldier in the warres, except he were a christian, nor yet to haue rule of anie countrie or armie. He also ordeined, the wéeke before Easter, and that which followed to be kept as holie, and no person to doo anie bodilie woorks during the same.

Polydor. The praise of the empresse Helen. 328. He was much counselled by that noble and most vertuous ladie his mother, the empresse Helen, who being a godlie and deuout woman, did what in hir laie, to mooue him to the setting foorth of Gods honour and increase of the christian faith, wherein as yet he was not fullie instructed. ¶ Some writers alledge, that she being at Ierusalem, made diligent search to find out the place of the sepulchre of our Lord, and at length found it, though with much adoo: for the infidels had stopped it vp, and couered it with a heape of filthie earth, and builded aloft vpon the place, a chappell dedicated to Venus, where yoong women vsed to sing songs in honour of that vnchast goddesse. Helen caused the same to be ouerthrowne, the earth to be remooued, and the place cleansed, so that at length the sepulchre appéered, and fast by were found there buried in the earth thrée crosses and the nailes. But the crosse wherevpon our Sauiour was crucified, was knowne by the title written vpon it, though almost worne out, in letters of Hebrew, Gréeke, and Latine: the inscription was this, Iesus Nazarenus rex Iudæorum. It was also perceiued which was that crosse by a miracle (as it is reported, but how trulie I can not tell) that should be wrought thereby: for being laid to a sicke woman, onlie with the touching thereof she was healed. It was also said, that a dead man was raised from death to life, his bodie onlie being touched therewith. Wherevpon[Page 532] Constantine mooued with these things, forbad that from thencefoorth anie should be put to death on the crosse, to the end that the thing which afore time was accounted infamous and reprochfull, might now be had in honour and reuerence.

The empresse Helen hauing thus found the crosse, builded a temple there,& taking with hir the nailes, returned with the same to hir sonne Constantine, who set one of them in the crest of Polydor. his helmet, an other in the bridle of his horsse, and the third he cast into the sea, to asswage and pacifie the furious tempests and rage thereof. She also brought with hir a parcell of that Polydor. holie crosse, and gaue it to hir sonne the said Constantine, the which he caused to be closed within an image that represented his person, standing vpon a piller in the market place of Constantine, or (as some late writers haue) he caused it to be inclosed in a coffer of gold, adorned with rich stones and pearls, placing it in a church called Sessoriana, the which church he indued with manie great gifts and precious ornaments. Manie works of great zeale and vertue are remembered by writers to haue béene doone by this Constantine and his mother Helen, to the setting foorth of Gods glorie, and the aduancing of the faith of Christ.

The commendation of Constantine. But to be briefe, he was a man in whome manie excellent vertues and good qualities both of mind and bodie manifestlie appéered, chieflie he was a prince of great knowledge and experience in warre, and therewith verie fortunate, an earnest louer of iustice, and to conclude, borne to all honour.

But now to speake somewhat of the state of Britaine in his time, ye shall vnderstand, that as before is recorded, at his going ouer into France, after that he was proclaimed emperour, he left behind him in Britaine certeine gouernours to rule the land, and amongst other one Maximinus a right valiant capteine. He tooke with him a great part of the youth of Britaine, and diuerse of the chiefe men amongst the nobilitie, in whose approoued manhood, loialtie, and constancie, he conceiued a great hope to go thorough with all his enterprises, as with the which being accompanied and compassed about, he passed ouer into Gallia, entred into Italie, and in euerie place ouercame his enimies.

Gulielmus Malmes. Britains seruing in the warres vnder Constantine. Some write that Constantine thus conueieng ouer sea with him a great armie of Britains, and by their industrie obteining victorie as he wished, he placed a great number of such as were discharged out of wages, and licenced to giue ouer the warre, in a part of Gallia towards the west sea coast, where their posteritie remaine vnto this daie, maruellouslie increased afterwards, and somewhat differing from our Britains, the Welshmen, in manners and language. Amongst those noble men which he tooke with him when he departed out Galfridus. Matt. West. of this land (as our writers doo testifie) were thrée vncles of his mother Helen, that is to say Hoelmus, Trahernus, and Marius, whome he made senators of Rome.

Of Octauius a British lord, his reigne ouer the Britains, he incountereth with Traherne first néere Winchester, and afterwards in Westmerland: Octauius being discomfited fléeth into Norway, Traherne is slaine, Octauius sendeth for Maximianus, on whom he bestoweth his daughter and the kingdome of Britaine: the death of Octauius, Helena builded the wals of Colchester and London, she dieth and is buried, Constantine departeth this life, Britaine reckoned among the prouinces that reteined the christian faith, Paulus a Spaniard is sent into Britaine, he dealeth roughlie with the people, Martinus the lieutenant excuseth them as innocent, his vnluckie end, Paulus returneth into Italie.


Now in the meane time that Constantine had obteined and ruled the whole empire, Britaine as it were hauing recouered libertie, in that one of hir children being hir king, had Octauius. Caxton. Gewisses inhabited the countrie which the west Saxons after held. The name of Gewisses came in with the Saxons of Guuy, &c. got the gouernment of the whole earth, remained in better quiet than afore time she had[Page 533] doone. But yet in the meane season, if we shall credit the British chronicle and Geffrey of Monmouth the interpretor thereof; there was a British lord, named Octauius or Octauian, as the old English chronicle nameth him, that was duke of the Gewisses, and appointed by Constantine to be ruler of the land in his absence, the which Octauius (after that Constantine had recouered Rome and Italie, and was so busied in the affaires of the empire in those parts, that as was thought, he could not returne backe into Britaine) seized into his hands the whole dominion of Britaine, and held himselfe for king.

OCTAUIUS. Galfridus.329. This Octauius then beginning his reigne ouer the Britains in the yéere of our Lord 329, prouoked Constantine to send against him one of his mothers vncles, the foresaid Traherne. This Trahernus, or as some name him Traherne, entred this land with three legions of souldiers, & in a field néere vnto Winchester, was incountered by Octauius and his Britains, by Fabian. Galfridus. This agréeth not altogither with that which Hector Boetius writeth, as in the Scotish chronicle appéereth. whome after a sore battell there striken betwixt them, in the end Traherne was put to flight and chased, insomuch that he was constreined to forsake that part of the land, and to draw towards Scotland. Octauius hauing knowledge of his passage, followed him, & in the countrie of Westmerland eftsoones gaue him battell, but in that battell Octauius was put to the woorsse, and constreined to forsake the land, fled into Norway, there to purchase aid: and being readie with such power as he there gathered, what of Britains and Norwegians, to returne into Britaine. Before his landing he was aduertised that an earle of Britaine which bare him Traherne slaine. See in the Scotish chronicles more of these matters. Matth. West. saith 316. heartie good will, had by treason slaine Traherne. Octauius then comming to land, eftsoones got possession of Britaine, which should be (as Fabian gathereth) about the yéere of our Lord 329, in the 20 yéere of the reigne of the emperour Constantine, and about two yéeres after that the said Octauius first tooke vpon him to rule as king.

After this (as the British chronicle affirmeth) Octauius gouerned the land right noblie, and greatlie to the contentation of the Britains. At length when he was fallen in age, and had Maximianus is sent for. Conan Meridoc duke of Cornewall. This agréeth not with that which is found in the Scotish chronicles. no issue but one daughter, he was counselled to send vnto Rome for one Maximianus, a noble yoong man, coosine to the emperour Constantine, on the part of his mother Helena, to come into Britaine, and to take to his wife the said daughter of Octauius, and so with hir to haue the kingdome. Octauius at the first meant to haue giuen hir in mariage vnto one Conan Meridoc duke of Cornewall, which was his nephue: but when the lords would not thereto agrée, at the length he appointed one Maurice sonne to the said Conan to go to Rome to fetch the forenamed Maximianus.

Maurice according to his commission and instruction in that behalfe receiued, came to Maximianus commeth into Britaine. Rome, and declared his message in such effectuall sort, that Maximianus consented to go with him into Britaine, and so taking with him a conuenient number, set forward, and did so much by his iournies, that finallie he landed here in Britaine. And notwithstanding that Conan Meridoc past not so much to haue béene dooing with him, for malice that he conceiued towards him, because he saw that by his meanes he should be put beside the crowne, yet at length was Maximianus safelie brought to the kings presence, and of him honorablie receiued, and finallie the mariage was knit vp, and solemnized in all princelie maner. Octauius departeth this life. Shortlie after, Octauius departed out of this life, after he had reigned the terme of fiftie and foure yeares, as Fabian gathereth by that which diuers authors doo write, how he reigned till the daies that Gratian and Valentinian ruled the Roman empire which began to gouerne 382. in the yeare of our Lord (as he saith) 382, which is to be vnderstood of Gratian his reigne after the deceasse of his vncle Valens, for otherwise a doubt maie rise, because Valentine the father of Gratian admitted the said Gratian to the title of Augustus in the yeare of our Lord 351.

But to leaue the credit of the long reigne of Octauius, with all his and others gouernement and rule ouer the Britains since the time of Constantius, vnto our British and Scotish writers, let vs make an end with the gouernement of that noble emperour Constantine, and assured branch of the Britains race, as borne of that worthie ladie the empresse Helen, daughter to Coell earle of Colchester, and after king of Britaine (as our histories doo witnesse.) Vnto[Page 534] the which empresse Constantine bare such dutifull reuerence, that he did not onelie honour hir with the name of empresse, but also made hir as it were partaker with him of all his wealth, and in manie things was led and ruled by hir vertuous and godlie admonitions, to the aduancement of Gods honour, and maintenance of those that professed the true christian religion. For the loue that she bare vnto Colchester and London, she walled them about, and caused great bricke and huge tiles to be made for the performance of the same, whereof there is great store to be séene euen yet to this present, both in the walls of the towne and Nicephorus. The empresse Helen departeth this life. castell of Colchester, as a testimonie of the woorkemanship of those daies. She liued 79 yeares, and then departed this life about the 21 yeare of hir sonnes reigne. First she was buried at Rome without the walls of the citie with all funerall pompe, as to hir estate apperteined: 340. The deceasse of the emperour Constantine. but after hir corps was remoued and brought to Constantinople, where it was eftsoones interred. Hir sonne the emperour Constantine liued till about the yeare of Christ 340, and then deceassed at Nicomedia in Asia, after he had ruled the empire 32 yeares and od moneths.

We find not in the Romane writers of anie great stur here in Britaine during his reigne more than the British and Scotish writers haue recorded: so that after Traherne had reduced this land to quietnesse, it maie be supposed, that the Britains liued in rest vnder his gouernement, and likewise after vnder his sonnes that succéeded him in the empire, till about the 360. yeare 360, at what time the Picts and Scots inuaded the south parts of the land.

But now to end with Octauius, that the christian faith remained still in Britaine, during the supposed time of this pretended kings reigne, it maie appeare, in that amongst the 36 prouinces, out of the which there were assembled aboue 300 bishops in the citie of Sardica Synodus anno. 354 in Dacia, at a synod held there against the Eusebians, Britaine is numbred by Athanasius in his second apologie to be one. And againe, the said Athanasius in an epistle which he writeth to the emperour Iouinianus reciteth, that the churches in Britaine did consent with the churches of other nations in the confession of faith articuled in the Nicene councell. Also mention is made by writers of certeine godlie & learned men, which liued in offices in the church in those daies, as Restitutus bishop of London, which went ouer to the synod held at Arles in France, and also one Kibius Corinnius sonne to Salomon duke of Cornewall, and bishop of Anglesey, who instructed the people that inhabited the parts now called Northwales, and them of Anglesey aforesaid verie diligentlie.

But now to speake somewhat of things chancing in Britaine about this season (as we find recorded by the Romane writers) some trouble was likelie to haue growne vnto the Britains by receiuing certeine men of warre that fled out of Italie into Britaine, whome the emperour Marcellinus. lib. 14. Constantius would haue punished, because they had taken part with Maxentius his aduersarie. Paulus a notarie. Paulus a Spaniard and notarie was sent ouer by him, with commission to make inquirie of them, and to sée them brought to light to answere their transgressions: which Paulus began to deale roughlie in the matter, whereof he was called Catera, and to rage against the Britains and partakers with the fugitiues, in that they had receiued and mainteined them, as Martinus lieutenant. he alledged: but in the end being certified by Martinus the lieutenant of their innocencie, and fearing least his extreame rigour might alienate the hearts of the inhabitants altogither, and cause them to withdraw their obedience from the Romane empire, he turned the execution of his furie from them vnto the Romans, and made hauocke of those that he suspected, till the said Martinus fell at square with him, & thinking on a time to kill him, he drew his sword and smote at him. But such was his age and weakenesse, that he was not able to kill him or giue him anie deadlie wound: wherefore he turned the point of his sword against himselfe, and so ended his life, being contented rather to die than sée his countriemen and subiects of the empire so to be abused. After this the said Paulus returned backe againe into Italie from whence he came, after whose departure, it was not long yer he also was slaine, and then all the Scots and Picts sore disquieted the Romane subiects, for the suppressing of whose attempts Lupicinus was sent ouer out of Gallia by Iulianus, as shall be declared out of Amianus Marcellinus, after we haue first shewed what we find written in our owne writers[Page 535] concerning the Scots and Picts, who now began to rob and spoile the British inhabitants within the Romane prouinces here in this Ile, and that euen in most outragious maner.

Maximianus or Maximus gouerneth this Ile, why writers speake ill of him, strife betwixt him and Conan duke of Cornewall, Maximus is proclaimed emperour in Britaine, he transporteth the British youth seruiceable for warres into France, little Britaine in France why so called, eleuen thousand maids sent thither to match with Conans people, whereof some were drowned, and other some murthered in the way by Guanius king of Hunnes and Melga king of Picts, they flie into Ireland, murther requited with murther, the words of Gyldas concerning Maximus.


MAXIMIANUS OR MAXIMUS. 383. After the deceasse of Octauius or Octauian (as the old English chronicle nameth him) Maximianus or Maximus (as the Romane writers call him) began to rule the Britains in the yéere of our Lord 383, he was the sonne of one Leonine, and coosen germane to Constantine the great, a valiant personage, & hardie of stomach: but yet because he was cruell of nature, and (as Fabian saith) somewhat persecuted the christians, he was infamed by writers: but the chiefe cause why he was euil reported, was for that he slue his souereigne lord the emperour Gratianus, as after shall appeare, for otherwise he is supposed woorthie to haue had the rule of the empire committed to his hands in ech respect. Betwixt him and the aboue-named Conan Meridoc duke of Cornewall, chanced strife and debate, so that Conan got him into Scotland, and there purchasing aid, returned, and comming ouer Humber, wasted the countrie on ech side. Maximianus thereof hauing aduertisement, raised his power and went against him, and so fighting with him diuers battels, sometime departed awaie with victorie, and sometime with losse. At length through mediation of friends, a peace was made betwixt them. Finallie this Maximianus, or (as the Romane histories say) Maximus, was by the souldiers chosen and proclaimed emperour here in Britaine: although some write that this was doone in Spaine.

Gal. Mon. Fabian. Caxton. Matth. West. The British youth led forth of the realme by Maximianus. Britaine in France. After he had taken vpon him the imperiall dignitie, vpon desire to haue inlarged his dominion, he assembled togither all the chosen youth of this land méet to doo seruice in the warres, with the which he passed ouer into France, & there (as our writers record) he first subdued the countrie ancientlie called Armorica, and slue in battell the king thereof called Imball. This doone he gaue the countrie vnto Conan Meridoc, which was there with him, to hold the same of him, and of the kings of great Britaine for euer. He also commanded that the said countrie from thencefoorth should be called litle Britaine, and so was the name changed. What people soeuer inhabited there before, the ancient name argueth that they were rather Britains than anie other: for Armorica in the British toong signifieth as much as a countrie lieng vpon the sea.

Conan then placing himselfe and his Britains in that quarter of Gallia, auoided all the old inhabitants, peopling that countrie onelie with Britains, which abhorring to ioine themselues with women borne in Gallia, Conan was counselled to send into Britaine for maids to be Dionethius duke of Cornwall. coupled with his people in mariage. Herevpon a messenger was dispatched vnto Dionethus at that time duke of Cornwall, and gouernour of Britaine vnder Maximianus, requiring him Maids sent foorth. to send ouer into little Britaine 11000 maids, that is to say, 8000 to be bestowed vpon the meaner sort of Conans people, and 3000 to be ioined in mariage with the nobles and gentlemen. Dionethus at Conans request, assembled the appointed number of maids, and amongst them he also appointed his daughter Vrsula, a ladie of excellent beautie, to go ouer and to be giuen in mariage to the foresaid Conan Meridoc, as he had earnestlie requested.,

[Page 536] Vrsula the daughter of Dionethus. These number of maids were shipped in Thames, and passing forward toward Britaine, were by force of weather and rage of wind scattered abroad, and part of them drowned, and the residue (among whom was the foresaid Vrsula) were slaine by Guanius king of the Hunnes, and Melga king of the Picts, into whose hands they fell, the which Guanius and Melga were sent by the emperour Gracian to the sea coasts of Germanie, to oppresse and subdue all such as were friends and mainteiners of the part of Maximianus. We find in some bookes, that there were sent ouer at that time 51000 maids, that is to say, 11000 gentlewomen, and 40000 other.

Guanius and Melga. After that Guanius and Melga had murthered the foresaid virgins, they entred into the north parts of Britaine, where the Scots now inhabit, and began to make sore warre on the Britains, whereof when Maximus was aduertised, he sent into Britaine one Gratianus with thrée legions of souldiers, who bare himselfe so manfullie against the enimies, that he constreined the said Guanius and Melga to flie out of the land, and to withdraw into Ireland. In this meane while, Maximus hauing slaine the emperor Gratian at Lions in France, and after entring into Italie, was slaine himselfe at Aquilia (after he had gouerned the Britains eight yéeres) by the emperour Theodosius, who came in aid of Valentinian, brother to the said emperor Gratian, as ye may find in the abridgement of the histories of Italie.

¶ But here yet before we make an end with this Maximus or Maximianus, I haue thought good to set downe the words which we find in Gyldas, where he writeth of the same Maximus, Consobrinus Helenæ imperatricis. vndoubtedlie a Britaine borne, nephue to the empresse Helen, and begotten by a Romane. "At length (saith Gyldas) the spring of tyrants budding vp, and now increasing into an huge wood, the Ile being called after the name of Rome, but holding neither maners nor lawes according to that name, but rather casting the same from it, sendeth foorth a branch of hir most bitter planting, to wit Maximus, accompanied with a great number of warriors to gard him, and apparelled in the imperiall robes which he neuer ware as became him, nor put them on in lawfull wise, but (after the custome of tyrants) was put into them by the mutining souldiers: which Maximus at the first by craftie policie rather than by true manhood winding in (as nets of his periurie and false suggestion) vnto his wicked gouernement the countries & prouinces next adioining, against the imperiall state of Rome, stretching one of his wings into Spaine, and the other into Italie, placed the throne of his most vniust empire at Trier, and shewed such rage in his wood dealing against his souereigne lords, that the one of the lawfull emperours he expelled out of Rome, and the other he bereft of his most religious and godlie life. Now without long tariance, compassed about with such a furious and bold gard as he had got togither, at the citie of Aquilia he loseth his wicked head, which had cast downe the most honourable heads of all the world from their kingdome and empire.

"From thencefoorth Britaine being depriued of all hir warlike souldiers and armies, of hir gouernors also (though cruell) and of an huge number of hir youth (the which following the steps of the foresaid tyrant, neuer returned home againe) such as remained being vtterlie vnskilfull in feats of warre, were troden downe by two nations of beyond the seas, the Scots Scotorum à circio, Pictorum ab aquilone. from the west, and the Picts from the north, and as men thus quite dismaid, lament their miserable case, not knowing what else to doo for the space of manie yéeres togither. By reason of whose gréeuous inuasion and cruell oppression wherewith she was miserablie disquieted, she sendeth hir ambassadors vnto Rome, making lamentable sute euen with teares to haue some power of men of warre sent to defend hir against the enimies, promising to be true subiects with all faithfulnes of mind, if the enimie might be kept off and remooued."

¶ Thus farre Gyldas, and more, as in place hereafter you shall find recited.

[Page 537] What Gratianus it was that was sent ouer from Rome into Britaine by Maximus, in what estimation the British souldiers haue béene, the priuie treason of Andragatius whereby Gratian came to his end: Maximus and his sonne Victor doo succéed him in the empire, they are both slaine, Marcus the Romane lieutenant sucéeding them is murthered, Gratianus also his successour hath the same end, the election of Constantine a Britaine borne, his praise and dispraise reported by writers, he goeth into France, maketh his sonne Constance partaker with him of the empire, a sharpe incounter betwixt his power and two brethrens that had the kéeping of the Pyrenine hils, the issue of the battell.


But now where the British histories, and such of our English writers as follow them, make mention of one Gratianus a Romane, sent ouer with thrée legions of souldiers by Maximus, as before ye haue heard: we maie suppose that it was Gratianus the Britaine, that afterwards vsurped the imperiall dignitie héere in Britaine, in the daies of the emperour Sextus Aurelius Honorius. For it standeth neither with the concurrence of time nor yet with reason of the historie, that it should be Gratianus, surnamed Funarius, father to Valentinian, and grandfather to the emperour Gratianus, against whome Maximus rebelled. And yet I remember not that anie of the Romane writers maketh mention of anie other Gratianus, being a stranger, that should be sent hither as lieutenant to gouerne the Romane armie, except of the foresaid Lib. 30. Gratianus Funarius, who (as appéereth by Amian. Marcellinus) was generall of the Romane armie héere in this Ile, and at length being discharged, returned home into Hungarie (where he was borne) with honour, and there remaining in rest, was at length spoiled of his goods by the emperour Constantius as confiscate, for that in time of the ciuill warres he had receiued Maxentius, as he past thorough his countrie.

But let vs grant, that either Gratianus the Britaine, or some other of that name, was sent ouer into Britaine (as before is said) by Maximus, least otherwise some errour may be doubted in the writers of the British histories, as hauing happilie mistaken the time and matter, bringing Gratianus Funarius to serue vnder Maximus, where peraduenture that which they haue read or heard of him, chanced long before that time by them suppposed: and so thorough mistaking the thing, haue made a wrong report, where neuerthelesse it standeth with great likelihood of truth, that some notable seruice of chiualrie was atchiued by the same Gratianus Funarius whilest he remained héere in this Ile, if the truth might be knowne of that which hath béene written by authors, and happilie by the same Am. Marcellinus, if his first thirtéene bookes might once come to light and be extant.

But now to end with Maximus. William of Malmesburie (as ye haue heard) writeth, that not Maximus, but rather Constantine the great first peopled Armorica: but yet he agréeth, that both Maximus, and also Constantinus the vsurper, of whome after ye shall heare, led with them a great number of the Britains out of this land, the which Maximus or Maximianus and Constantinus afterwards being slaine, the one by Theodosius, and the other by Honorius, the Britains that followed them to the warres, part of them were killed, and the residue escaping by flight, withdrew vnto the other Britains which Constantine the great had first placed in Armorica. And so when the tyrants had left none in the countrie but rude people, nor anie in the townes but such as were giuen to slouth and gluttonie, Britaine being void of all aid of hir valiant youth, became a prey to hir next neighbours the Scots and Picts.

Héere is yet to be considered, in what price the souldiers of the British nation were had in those daies, with whose onelie puissance Maximus durst take vpon him to go against all other the forces of the whole Romane empire: and how he prospered in that dangerous aduenture, it is expressed sufficientlie in the Romane histories, by whose report it appéereth, that W.H. out of Paulus Diaco. lib. 12. & alijs.[Page 538] he did not onlie conquer all the hither parts of France and Germanie, namelie on this side the Rhine, but also found meanes to intrap the emperour Gratian by this kind of policie. He had a faithfull friend called Andragatius, who was admirall of the seas perteining to the empire. It was therefore agréed betwixt them, that this Andragatius (with a chosen companie of the armie) should be carried in secret wise in a coch toward Lions, as if it had béene Tripart. hist. lib. 9. cap. 21. Constantia Posthumia the empresse, wife to the emperour Gratian, bruting abroad there withall, that the said empresse was comming forwards on hir waie to Lions, there to méet with hir husband, for that vpon occasion she was verie desirous to commune with him about certeine earnest businesse.

When Gratian heard héereof, as one mistrusting no such dissimulation, he made hast to meete his wife, and comming at length without anie great gard about him, as one not in doubt of anie treason, approched the coch, where supposing to find his wife, he found those that streightwaies murthered him: & so was he there dispatched quite of life by the said Andragatius, who leapt foorth of the coch to woorke that feate when he had him once within his danger.

Thus did the emperour Gratian finish his life in the 29 yéere of his age, on the 25 of 383. August, in the yéere of Christ 383, and then died. Maximus succéeded him (making his This Flauius Victor he begat of his wife Helen the daughter of Eudes. H. Lhoyd. sonne Flauius Victor Nobilissimus his assistant in the empire) reigning fiue yéeres and two daies. In the beginning of his reigne Valentinian the yoonger made great suit to him to haue his fathers bodie, but it would not be granted. Afterwards also Maximus was earnestlie requested to come to an enteruiew with the same Valentinian, who promised him not onelie a safe conduct, but also manie other beneficiall good turnes beside. Howbeit Maximus durst not put himselfe in anie such hazard, but rather ment to pursue Valentinian as an vsurper, and so at length chased him into Slauonie, where he was driuen to such a streight, that if Valentinian put in danger by Maximus. Theodosius had not come to releeue him, Maximus had driuen him thence also, or else by slaughter rid him out of the waie.

But when Maximus thought himselfe most assured, and so established in the empire, as he doubted no perils, he liued carelesse of his owne safegard, and therfore dismissed his British souldiers, who retiring into the northwest parts of Gallia, placed themselues there among their countriemen, which were brought ouer by the emperour Constantius, whilest Maximus Eutropius. 388. passing the residue of his time in delights and pleasures, was surprised in the end and slaine by Theodosius néere vnto Aquilia, the 27 of August, in the yéere of Grace 388, and in the beginning of the sixt yéere of his reigne, or rather vsurpation, as more rightlie it maie be tearmed. His sonne Flauius Victor surnamed Nobilissimus was also dispatched and brought to his end, not farre from the place where his father was slaine, by the practise of one Arbogastes Arbogastes. a Goth, which Flauius Victor was by the said Maximus made regent of the Frankeners, and partaker (as before is said) with him in the empire.

After this, the Ile of Britaine remained in méetlie good quiet by the space of twentie yéeres, till one Marcus (that was then legat, or as we maie call him lord lieutenant or deputie of Britaine for the Romans) was by the souldiers héere proclaimed emperour against Honorius, which Marcus was soone after killed in a tumult raised among the people within few daies Gratianus a Britaine. He reigned foure yéeres if we shal beléeue the British historie. after his vsurpation began. Then one Gratianus a Britaine borne succéeded in his place, who was also slaine in the fourth moneth, after he had taken vpon him the imperiall ornaments. The souldiers not yet heerewith pacified, procéeded to the election of an other emperour, or rather vsurper, and so pronounced a noble gentleman called Constantine, borne 409. also in Britaine, to be emperour, who tooke that honour vpon him in the 409 yéere after the birth of our Sauiour, continuing his reigne by the space of two yéeres and od moneths, as the Romane histories make mention. Some report this Constantine to be of no great towardlie disposition woorthie to gouerne an empire, and that the souldiers chose him rather for the name sake, bicause they would haue another Constantine, more than for anie vertues or sufficient qualities found in his person. But other commend him both for manhood and wisedome, wherein to speake a truth, he deserued singular commendation, if this one note of vsurpation of the imperiall dignitie had not stained his other noble qualities. But heerein[Page 539] he did no more than manie other would haue doone, neither yet after his inuesture did so much as was looked for at his hands.

Constantine being placed in the imperiall throne, gathered an armie with all possible indeuour, purposing out of hand to go ouer therwith into France, and so did, thinking thereby to win the possession of that countrie out of the hands of Honorius, or at the least to worke so, as he should not haue the souldiers and people there to be against him, if he missed to ioine in league with the Suabeiners, Alanes, and Vandales, which he sought to performe. But in the end, when neither of these his deuises could take place, he sent ouer for his sonne Constans (whome in his absence his aduersaries had shorne a moonke) & making him partaker with him in the empire, caused him to bring ouer with him another armie, which vnder the conduct of the same Constans he sent into Spaine to bring that countrie vnder his obeisance.

This Constans therefore comming vnder the passages that lead ouer the Pyrenine mountains, Dindimus and Verianianus two brethren, vnto whome the keeping of those passages His souldiers were Picts, and placed among other men of warre that serued vnder the ensignes of the empire, and named after Honorius, Honoriciani. Blondus. was committed to defend the same against the Vandals, and all other enimies of the empire, were readie to resist him with their seruants and countriemen that inhabited therabouts, giuing him a verie sharpe incounter, and at the first putting him in great danger of an ouerthrow, but yet at length by the valiant prowes of his British souldiers, Constans put his aduersaries to flight, and killed the two capteins, with diuers other men of name, that were partakers with him in the necessarie defense of that countrie against the enimies. When Constans had thus repelled those that resisted him, the custodie of the passages in the Pyrenine mounteins was committed vnto such bands of Picts and other, as were appointed to go with him about the atchiuing of this enterprise, who hauing the possession of those streicts or passages in their hands, gaue entrie vnto other barbarous nations to inuade Spaine, who being once entered, pursued the former inhabitants with fire and swoord, setled them selues in that countrie, and droue out the Romans.

Honorius sendeth earle Constantius to expell Constantine out of Gallia, the end of Constantinus the father and Constans the sonne, the valure and prowesse of the British souldiers, the British writers reprooued of necligences for that they haue inserted fables into their woorkes, whereas they might haue deposed matters of truth.


The emperour Honorius, perceiuing the réeling state of the empire, determined, foorthwith to recouer it, before it fell altogither into ruine: and therefore sent one Constantius an earle to driue Constantine out of Gallia, which he accordinglie performed: for after certeine bickerings, he slue the said Constantine at Arles, although not without great bloudshed. He pursued also the residue of the Britains, driuing them to the verie sea coasts, where they shrowded themselues among the other Britains, that before were setled in the countrie there, ancientlie called (as before we said) Armorica, that is, a region lieng on the sea coast: for Ar in the British toong signifieth vpon; and Moure, perteining to the sea. And as this Constantine the father was slaine by Constantius, so was Constans the sonne killed at Vienna by one of his owne capteines named Gerontius. Whereby it came to passe, that Honorius shortlie after, hauing thus obteined the victorie of both these vsurpers, recouered the Ile, but yet not till the yeare next following, and that by the high industrie and great diligence of that valiant gentleman earle Constantius. The slaughter of Constantine & his sonne happened in the 1 yeare of the 297 Olympiad, 465 after the comming of Cesar, 1162 after the building of Rome, the dominicall letter being A, and the golden number 13, so that the[Page 540] 411. recouering of the Iland fell in the yeare of our Lord 411.

Here also is eftsoones to be considered the valure of the British souldiers, who following this last remembred Constantine the vsurper, did put the Romane state in great danger, and by force brake through into Spaine, vanquishing those that kept the streicts of the mounteins betwixt Spaine and Gallia, now called France, an exploit of no small consequence, sith thereby the number of barbarous nations got frée passage to enter into Spaine, whereof insued manie battels, sacking of cities and townes, and wasting of the countries, accordinglie as the furious rage of those fierce people was mooued to put their crueltie in practise.

¶ If therefore the Britaine writers had considered and marked the valiant exploits and noble enterprisee which the Brittish aids, armies and legions atchiued in seruice of the Romane emperours (by whome whilest they had the gouernement ouer this Ile, there were at sundrie times notable numbers conueied foorth into the parties of beyond the seas, as by Albinus and Constantius, also by his sonne Constantine the great, by Maximus, and by this Constantine, both of them vsurpers) if (I saie) the British writers had taken good note of the numbers of the British youth thus conueied ouer from hence, & what notable exploits they boldlie attempted, & no lesse manfullie atchiued, they néeded not to haue giuen eare vnto the fabulous reports forged by their Bards, of Arthur and other their princes, woorthie in déed of verie high commendation.

And pitie it is, that their fame should be brought by such meanes out of credit, by the incredible and fond fables which haue béene deuised of their acts so vnlike to be true, as the tales of Robin Hood, or the gests written by Ariost the Italian in his booke intituled "Orlando furioso," sith the same writers had otherwise true matter inough to write of concerning the worthie feats by their countriemen in those daies in forren parts boldlie enterprised, and no lesse valiantlie accomplished, as also the warres which now and then they mainteined against the Romans here at home, in times when they felt themselues oppressed by their tyrannicall gouernment, as by that which is written before of Caratacus, Voadicia, Cartimandua, Venusius, Galgagus, or Galdus (as some name him) and diuers other, who for their noble valiancies deserue as much praise, as by toong or pen is able to be expressed. But now to returne vnto the British historie: we will procéed in order with their kings as we find them in the same mentioned, and therefore we haue thought good to speake somewhat further of Gratian, from whome we haue digressed.

Gratians rough regiment procureth his owne destruction, the comming of his two brethren Guanius and Melga with their armies, the Scots and Picts plague the Britains, they send for aid to Rome, Valentinian sendeth Gallio Rauenna to reléeue them, the Romans refuse anie longer to succour the Britains, whom they taught how to make armour and weapons, the Scots and Picts enter afresh into Britaine and preuaile, the Britains are brought to extreme miserie, ciuill warres among them, and what mischiefe dooth follow therevpon, their lamentable letter to Actius for succour against their enimies, their sute is denied, at what time the Britains ceased to be tributaries to the Romans, they send ambassadors to the K. of Britaine in France, and obteine their sute.


GRATIANUS. Gratianus then, whome Maximus or Maximinus had sent into Britaine (as before ye haue heard) hearing that his maister was slaine, tooke vpon him the rule of this our 390. Britaine, and made himselfe king therof, in the yeare 390. He was a Britaine borne, as Polydor writeth, coniecturing so, by that he is named of authors to be Municeps, that is to Of the Romane souldiers as Blondus saith.[Page 541] saie, a frée man of the countrie or citie where he inhabited. For his sternenesse and rough gouernement, he was of the Britains (as the histories alledge) slaine and dispatched out of the waie, after he had reigned the space of foure yeares, or rather foure moneths, as should séeme by that which is found in autentike writers. Then the forenamed kings Guantius and Galfrid. Caxton. Melga, which (as some write) were brethren, returned into this land with their armies increased with new supplies of men of warre, as Scots, Danes, the Norwegians, and destroied the countrie from side to side. For the Britains in this season were sore inféebled, and were Galfrid. Matth. West. Caxton. not able to make anie great numbers of souldiers, by reason that Maximus had led foorth of the land the floure and chiefest choise of all the British youth into Gallia, as before ye haue heard.

Gyldas. Gyldas maketh no mention of these two kings Guanius and Melga of the Hunnes, but rehearsing this great destruction of the land, declareth (as before ye haue heard) that the Scots and Picts were the same that did all the mischiefe, whome he calleth two nations of beyond the seas, the Scots comming out of the northwest, and the Picts out of the northeast, by whome (as he saith) the land was ouerrun, and brought vnder foot manie yeares after. Therefore the Britains being thus vexed, spoiled, and cruellie persecuted by the Scots and Picts (if we shall so take them) sent messengers with all spéed vnto Rome to make sute for some aid of men of war to be sent into Britaine. Wherevpon immediatlie a legion of 414. souldiers was sent thither in the yéere 414, which easilie repelled the enimies, and chased them backe with great slaughter, to the great comfort of the Britains, the which by this meanes were deliuered from danger of vtter destruction, as they thought.

But the Romans being occasioned to depart againe out of the land, appointed the Britains to make a wall (as had béene aforetime by the emperours Adrian, Antoninus and Seuerus) Beda and Polychron. ouerthwart the countrie from sea to sea, stretching from Penuelton vnto the citie of Aclud, whereby the enimies might be staid from entring the land: but this wall being made of turfs and sods, rather than with stones, after the departure of the Romans was easilie ouerthrowne by the Scots and Picts, which eftsoones returned to inuade the confines of the Britains, and so entring the countrie, wasted and destroied the places before them, according to their Gyldas. Polychron. Beda. Matth. West. former custome. Herevpon were messengers with most lamentable letters againe dispatched towards Rome for new aid against those cruell enimies, with promise, that if the Romans would now in this great necessitie helpe to deliuer the land, they should be assured to find the Britains euermore obedient subiects, and redie at their commandement. Valentinianus Blondus. Gallio Ravenna sent into Brittaine. (pitieng the case of the poore Britains) appointed another legion of souldiers (of the which one Gallio of Rauenna had the leading) to go to their succours, the which arriuing in Britaine set on the enimies, and giuing them the ouerthrow, slue a great number of them, and chased the residue out of the countrie.

The Romans thus hauing obteined the victorie, declared to the Britains, that from thencefoorth they would not take vpon them for euerie light occasion so painefull a iournie, alledging how there was no reason why the Romane ensignes, with such a number of men of warre, should be put to trauell so far by sea and land, for the repelling and beating backe of a sort of scattering rouers and pilfring théeues. Wherfore they aduised the Britains to looke to their dueties, and like men to indeuour themselues to defend their countrie by their owne force from the enimies inuasions. And because they iudged it might be an helpe to the Britains, they set in hand to build a wall yet once againe ouerthwart the Ile, in the same A wall built overthwart the Iland. Beda. place where the emperour Seuerus caused his trench and rampire to be cast. This wall which the Romans now built with helpe of the Britains, was 8 foot in bredth and 12 in length, trauersing the land from east to west, & was made of stone.

Gyldas and Beda. After that this wall was finished, the Romans exhorted the Britains to plaie the men, and shewed them the way how to make armor & weapons. Besides this, on the coast of the east sea where their ships lay at rode, & where it was douted that the enimies would land, they caused towers to be erected, with spaces betwixt, out of the which the seas might be Gyldas. discouered. These things ordered, the Romans bad the Britains farewell, not minding to returne thither againe. The Romans then being gon out of the land, the Scots and Picts[Page 542] knowing thereof, by & by came againe by sea, & being more emboldened than before, bicause of the deniall made by the Romans to come any more to the succor of the Britains, they tooke into possession all the north and vttermost bounds of the Ile, euen vnto the foresaid This chanced in the yere 43. as M. W. saith. wall, therein to remaine as inhabitants. And wheras the Britains got them to their wall to defend the same, that the enimies should not passe further into the countrie, they were in the end beaten from it, and diuers of them slaine, so that the Scots and Picts entred vpon them and pursued them in more cruell maner than before, so that the Britains being chased out of their cities, townes, and dwelling houses, were constreined to flie into desert places, and there to remaine and liue after the maner of sauage people, and in the end began to rob and spoile one another, so to auoid the danger of staruing for lacke of food: and thus at the last the countrie was so destroied and wasted, that there was no other shift for them that was left aliue to liue by, except onelie by hunting and taking of wild Hector Boet. Rebellion. beasts and foules. And to augment their miserie, the commons imputing the fault to rest in the lords and gouernors, arose against them in armes, but were vanquished and easilie put to flight at two seuerall times, being beaten downe and slaine (through lacke of skill) in such numbers, especiallie the latter time, that the residue which escaped, withdrew into the craggie mounteins, where within the bushes and caues they kept themselues close, sometimes comming downe and fetching away from the heards of beasts and flocks of shéepe which belonged to the nobles and gentlemen of the countrie, great booties to relieue them withall. But at length oppressed with extreme famine, when neither part could long remaine in this state, as néeding one anothers helpe, necessitie made peace betwixt the lords Ciuill warre decaied the force of the Britains. What mischiefe follow of ciuill warres. and commons of the land, all iniuries being pardoned and cléerelie forgiuen. This ciuill warre decaied the force of the Britains, little lesse than the tyrannicall practises of Maximus, for by the auoiding of the commons thus out of their houses, the ground laie vntilled, whereof insued such famine for the space of thrée yéeres togither, that a woonderfull number of people died for want of sustenance.

Thus the Britains being brought generallie into such extreame miserie, they thought good Actius. to trie if they might purchase some aid of that noble man Actius, which at that time remained in France as yet called Gallia, gouerning the same as lieutenant vnder the emperor Honorius: and herevpon taking counsell togither, they wrote a letter to him, the tenor whereof insueth.

To Actius thrise consull.

"The lamentable request of vs the Britains, beseeching you of aid to bee ministred vnto the prouince of the Romane empire, vnto our countrie, vnto our wiues and children at this present, which stand in most extreame perill. For the barbarous people driue vs to the sea, and the sea driueth vs backe vnto them againe. Hereof rise two kinds of death, for either we are slaine, or drowned, and against such euils haue we no remedie nor helpe at all. Therefore in respect of your clemencie, succor your owne we most instantlie require you, &c."

Notwithstanding the Britains thus sought for aid at Actius hands as then the emperours The Britains could get no aid frō the Romans. lieutenant, yet could they get none; either for that Actius would not, as he that passed litle how things went, bicause he bare displeasure in his mind against Valentinian as then emperor; or else for that he could not, being otherwise constreined to imploie all his forces in other places against such barbarous nations as then inuaded the Romane empire. And so by that means was Britaine lost, and the tribute which the Britains were accustomed to pay to the Romans ceassed, iust fiue hundred yéeres after that Iulius Cesar first entred the Ile.

The Britains being thus put to their shifts, manie of them as hunger-starued were constrained to yéeld themselues into the griping hands of their enimies, whereas other yet kéeping within the mounteins, woods and caues, brake out as occasion serued vpon their[Page 543] aduersaries, and then first (saith Gyldas) did the Britains not putting their trust in man but in God (according to the saieng of Philo, Where mans helpe faileth, it is needfull that Gods helpe be present) make slaughter of their enimies that had béene accustomed manie yéeres Punishment ceaseth, but sin increaseth. to rob and spoile them in maner as before is recited, and so the bold attempts of the enimies ceassed for a time, but the wickednesse of the British people ceassed not at all. The enimies departed out of the land, but the inhabitants departed not from their naughtie dooings, being not so readie to put backe the common enimies, as to exercise ciuill warre and discord among themselues. The wicked Irish people departed home, to make returne againe within a while after. But the Picts settled themselues first at that season in the vttermost bounds of the Ile, and there continued, making insurrections oftentimes vpon their neighbours, and spoiling them of their goods.

Galfridus. Gyldas his words are to be considered. This with more also hath Gyldas, and likewise Beda written of this great desolation of the British people: wherein if the words of Gyldas be well weighed and considered, it maie lead vs to thinke, that the Scots had no habitations here in Britaine, but onelie in Ireland, till after this season, and that at this present time the Picts, which before inhabited within the Iles of Orkenie, now placed themselues in the north parts of Scotland, and after by processe of time came and nestled themselues in Louthian, in the Mers, and other countries more neere to our borders. But to procéed.

The British histories affirme, that whilest the Britains were thus persecuted by these two most cruell and fierce nations the Scots and Picts, the noble and chiefest men amongst them An ambassage sent from the Britains vnto Aldroenus king of Britaine in France. consulted togither, & concluded to send an honorable ambassage vnto Aldroenus as then king of little Britaine in Gallia, which Aldroenus was the fourth from Conan Meridoc the first king there of the British nation. Of this ambassage the archbishop of London named Guetheline or Gosseline was appointed the chiefe and principall, who passing ouer into little Britaine, and comming before the presence of Aldroenus, so declared the effect of his message, Constantine the brother of Aldroenus that his suit was granted. For Aldroenus agréed to send his brother Constantine ouer into great Britaine with a conuenient power, vpon condition, that the victorie being obteined against the enimies, the Britains should make him king of great Britaine.

¶ Thus it is apparent, that this land of Britaine was without anie certeine gouernour (after that Gratian the vsurper was dispatched) a number of yéeres togither, but how manie, Fabian. writers in their account do varie. Fabian deposeth by diuers coniecturs that the space betwixt the death of Gratian, and the beginning of the reigne of the said Constantine, brother to Aldroenus, continued nine and thirtie yéeres, during which time the Britains were sore and miserablie afflicted by the inuasions of the Scots and Picts, as before ye haue heard by testimonies taken out of Beda, Gyldas, Geffrey of Monmouth, and other writers both British and English.

What the Roman historiographer Marcellinus reporteth of the Scots, Picts, and Britains vnder the emperour Iulianus, Valentinianus and Valens, they send their vicegerents into Britaine, the disquietnesse of that time, London called Augusta, the worthie exploits of Theodosius in this Iland against the enimie, Valentinus a banished malefactor deuiseth his destruction, he is taken and executed, he reformeth manie disorders and inconueniences, the first entring of the Saxons into Britaine, they are dawnted at the verie sight of the Romane ensignes, the Saxons lieng in wait for their enimies are slaine euerie mothers sonne.


Maximus. 383. But now sith no mention is made of the Scots in our histories, till the daies of Maximus the vsurper or tyrant, as some call him, who began his reigne here in Britaine about the [Page 544] yéere of our Lord 383, and that till after he had bereft the land of the chiefest forces thereof, in taking the most part of the youth ouer with him: we find not in the same histories of anie troubles wrought to the Britains by that nation. Therefore we haue thought good héere to come backe to the former times, that we may shew what is found mentioned in the Romane histories, both before that time and after, as well concerning the Scots and Picts, Ammianus Marcellinus lib. 20. The emperor Iulianius. as also the Saxons, and especiallie in Ammianus Marcellinus, where in the beginning of his twentith booke intreating of the doings of the emperour Iulianus, he saith as followeth.

In this state stood things in Illyricum or Slauonia, and in the east parts, at what time Constantius bare the office of consull the tenth time, and Iulianus the third time, that is to 360. say, in the yéere of our Lord 360, when in Britaine quietnesse being disturbed by roads made Scots and Picts trouble the state of this Ile. by the Scots and Picts, which are wild and sauage people, the frontiers of the countrie were wasted, and feare oppressed the prouinces wearied with the heape of passed losses. The emperor [he meaneth Iulianus as then remaining at Paris, and hauing his mind troubled with manie cares, doubted to go to the aid of them beyond the sea, as we haue shewed that Constantius did, least he should leaue them in Gallia without a ruler, the Almains being euen then prouoked and stirred vp to crueltie and warre.

Lupicinus sent into Britaine. He thought good therefore to send Lupicinus vnto these places to bring things into frame and order, which Lupicinus was at that time master of the armorie, a warlike person and skilfull in all points of chiualrie, but proud and high-minded beyond measure, and such one as it was doubted long whether he was more couetous or cruell. Herevpon the said Bataui now Hollanders. Lupicinus setting forward the light armed men of the Heruli and Bataui, with diuers companies also of the people of Mesia now called Bulgarie; when winter was well entred and come on, he came himselfe to Bulleine, and there prouiding ships, and imbarking his men, Rutupis. when the wind serued his purpose, he transported ouer vnto Sandwich, and so marched foorth unto London, from thence purposing to set forward, as vpon aduise taken according to the qualitie of his businesse he should thinke méet and expedient.

Of the displacing of these men the learned may sée more in Am. Mar. In the meane time, whilest Lupicinus was busie here in Britaine to represse the enimies, the emperour Constantius displaced certeine officers, and among other he depriued the same Lupicinus of the office of the master of the armorie, appointing one Gumobarius to succéed him in that roome, before anie such thing was knowen in these parties. And where it was doubted least that Lupicinus (if he had vnderstood so much whilest he was yet in Britaine) would haue attempted some new trouble, as he was a man of a stout and loftie mind, he was called backe from thence, and withall there was sent a notarie vnto Bulleine, to watch that none should passe the seas ouer into Britaine till Lupicinus were returned: and so returning ouer from thence yer he had anie knowledge what was doone by the emperour, he could make no sturre, hauing no such assistants in Gallia, as it was thought he might haue had in Britaine, if he should haue mooued rebellion there.

Lib. 26. The same Marcellinus speaking of the doings about the time that Valentinianus, being Ammianus Marcellinus lib. 26. elected emperour, had admitted his brother Valens as fellow with him in gouernement, hath these words. In this season as though trumpets had blowne the sound to battell through out the whole Romane empire, most cruell nations being stirred vp, inuaded the borders The Almans. The Sarmatians. The Quadi Picts and Saxons. Austorians. The Goths. next adioining, the Almans wasted and destroied the parts of Gallia and Rhetia, as the Sarmatians and Quadi did Paunonia, the Picts, the Saxons, the Scots, and the Attacots vexed the Britains with continuall troubles, and gréeuous damages; the Austorians and the people of the Moores ouerran the countrie of Affrike more sharpelie than in time past they had done; the pilfring troops of the Goths spoiled Thracia; the king of Persia set in hand to subdue the Armenians, and sought to bring them vnder his obeisance, hasting with all spéed toward Numonia, pretending (though vniustlie) that now after the deceasse of Iouinius, with whome he had contracted a league and bond of peace, there was no cause of let what he ought not to recouer those things, which (as he alledged) did belong to his ancestors: and so foorth.

Lib. 27. Moreouer, the same Marcellinus in another place writeth in this wise, where he speaketh of the said Valentinianus. Departing therefore from Amiens, and hasting to Trier, he was[Page 545] troubled with gréeuous newes that were brought him, giuing him to vnderstand, that Britaine Comes maritimi tractus. by a conspiracie of the barbarous nations was brought to vtter pouertie, that Nectaridus one of the emperours house earle of the sea coast, hauing charge of the parties towards the sea, was slaine, and that the generall Bulchobaudes was circumuented by traines of the enimies. These things with great horrour being knowne, he sent Seuerus as then erle, or (as I may Comes domesticorum. call him lord steward of his houshold) to reforme things that were amisse, if hap would so permit, who being shortlie called backe, Iouinius going thither, and with spéed hasting forward, sent for more aid and a great power of men, as the instant necessitie then required. At length, for manie causes, and the same greatlie to be feared, the which were reported and Theodosius sent into Britaine. aduertised out of that Ile, Theodosius was elected and appointed to go thither, a man of approoued skill in warlike affaires, and calling togither an hardie youthfull number of the legions and cohorts of men of warre, he went foorth, no small hope being conceiued of his good spéed; the fame wherof spred and went afore him.

A litle after, Marcellinus adding what people they were that troubled the Britains in this Picts diuided into two nations. Attacotti. wise, saith thus. This shall suffice to be said, that in this season the Picts diuided into two nations Dicalidones, and Victuriones, and in like maner the Attacotti a right warlike nation, and the Scots wandering here and there, made fowle woorke in places where they came. The confines of France were disquieted by the Frankeners and Saxons borderers vnto them, euerie one as they could breaking foorth, & dooing great harme by cruell spoile, fire, and taking of prisoners. To withstand those dooings if good fortune would giue him leaue, Theodosius passeth ouer into Britaine. that most able capteine going vnto the vttermost bounds of the earth, when he came to the coast of Bullen which is seuered from the contrarie coast on the other side by the sea, with a narrow streight, where sometime the water goeth verie high and rough, & shortlie after becommeth calme & pleasant, without hurt to those that passe the same, transporting ouer at leasure, he arriued at Sandwich (or rather Richburrow) where there is a quiet road for Bataui Hollanders. vessels to lie at anchor. Wherevpon the Bataui and Heruli, with the souldiers of the legions called Iouij, and Victores, being companies that trusted well to their owne strength, marched London called Augusta. foorth & drew towards London, an ancient citie, which now of late hath bin called Augusta. Herewith diuiding his armie into sundrie parts, he set vpon the troops of his enimies as they were abroad to forrey the countrie, pestered with burdens of their spoiles and pillage, and spéedilie putting them to flight, as they were leading away those prisoners which they had taken, with their booties of cattell, he bereft them of their preie, the which the poore Britains that were tributaries had lost. To be briefe, restoring the whole, except a small portion bestowed amongst the wearie souldiers, he entred the citie which before was opprest with troubles, but now suddenlie refreshed, bicause there was hope of reliefe and assured preseruation.

After this, when Theodosius was comforted with prosperous successe to attempt things of greater importance, and searching waies how with good aduise to woorke suerlie: whilest he remained doubtfull what would insue, he learned as well by the confession of prisoners taken, as also by the information of such as were fled from the enimies, that the scattered people of sundrie nations which with practise of great crueltie were become fierce and vndanted, could not be subdued but by policie secretlie practised, and sudden inuasions. At length therefore setting foorth his proclamations, and promising pardon to those that were gone awaie from their capteins or charge, he called them backe againe to serue: and also those that by licence were departed and laie scattered here and there in places abroad. By this meanes, when manie were returned, he being on the one side earnestlie prouoked, and Theodosius requireth to haue Ciuilis sent to him. on the other holden backe with thoughtfull cares, required to haue one Ciuilis by name sent to him to haue the rule of the prouinces in Britaine in steed of the other gouernours, a man Dulcitius. of sharpe wit, and an earnest mainteiner of iustice. He likewise required that one Dulcitius a capteine renowmed in knowledge of warlike affaires might be sent ouer to him for his better asistance. These things were doone in Britaine.

Againe, in his eight and twentith booke, the same Marcellinus reciting further what the[Page 546] same Theodosius atchiued in Britaine, hath in effect these words: Thedosius verelie a capteine London called Augusta. of woorthie fame, taking a valiant courage to him, and departing from Augusta, which men of old time called London, with souldiers assembled by great diligence, did succour and reléeue greatlie the decaied and troubled state of the Britains, preuenting euerie conuenient place where the barbarous people might lie in wait to doo mischiefe: and nothing he commanded the meane souldiers to doo, but that whereof he with a chéerefull mind would first take in hand to shew them an example. By this meanes accomplishing the roome of a valiant souldier, and fulfilling the charge of a noble capteine, he discomfited and put to flight sundrie nations, whome presumption (nourished by securitie) emboldened to inuade the Romane prouinces: and so the cities and castels that had béene sore endamaged by manifold losses and displeasures, were restored to their former state of wealth, the foundation of rest and quietnesse being laid for a long season after to insue.

But as these things were a dooing, one wicked practise was in hand & like to haue burst foorth, to the gréeuous danger of setting things in broile, if it had not béene staied euen in Valentinus. Valeria now Stiermarke. the beginning of the first attempt. For there was one Valentinus, borne in the parties of Valeria adioining to Pannonia, now called Stiermarke, a man of a proud and loftie stomach, brother to the wife of Maximinus, which Valentinus for some notable offense had béene banished into Britaine, where the naughtie man that could not rest in quiet, deuised how by some commotion he might destroy Theodosius, who as he saw was onelie able to resist his wicked purposes. And going about manie things both priuilie and apertlie, the force of his vnmeasurable desire to mischiefe still increasing, he sought to procure aswell other that were in semblable wise banished men, & inclined to mischiefe like him selfe, as also diuers of the souldiers, alluring them (as the time serued) with large promises of great wealth, if they would ioine with him in that enterprise. But euen now in the verie nicke, when they shuld haue gone in hand with their vngratious exploit, Theodosius warned of their intent, boldlie aduanced himselfe to sée due punishment executed on the offendors that were foorthwith taken and knowne to be guiltie in that conspiracie.

Dulcitius is appointed to put Valentinus to death. Theodosius committed Valentine with a few other of his trustie complices vnto the capteine Dulcitius, commanding him to see them put to death: but coniecturing by his warlike skill (wherein he passed all other in those daies) what might follow, he would not in anie wise haue anie further inquirie made of the other conspirators, least through feare that might be spread abroad in manie, the troubles of the prouinces now well quieted, should be againe reuiued. After this, Theodosius disposing himselfe to redresse manie things as néed required, all danger was quite remooued: so that it was most apparent, that fortune fauored him in such wise, that she left him not destitute of hir furtherance in anie one of all his attempts. He therefore restored the cities & castels that were appointed to be kept with garrisons, and the borders he caused to be defended and garded with sufficient numbers to keépe watch and ward in places necessarie. And hauing recouered the prouince which the enimies had gotten into their possession, he so restored it to the former state, that vpon A part of Britaine called Valentia. his motion to haue it so, a lawfull gouernour was assigned to rule it, and the name was changed, so as from thencefoorth it should be called Valentia for the princes pleasure.

The Areani, a kind of men ordeined in times past by our elders (of whome somewhat we haue spoken in the acts of the emperour Constance) being now by little and little fallen into vices, he remooued from their places of abiding, being openlie conuicted, that allured with bribes and faire promises, they had oftentimes bewraied vnto the barbarous nations what was doone among the Romans: for this was their charge, to runne vp and downe by long iournies, and to giue warning to our captains, what sturre the people of the next confines were about to make.

The praise of Theodosius. Theodosius therefore hauing ordered these & other like things, most woorthilie & to his high fame, was called home to the emperours court, who leauing the prouinces in most triumphant state, was highlie renowmed for his often and most profitable victories, as if he had béene an other Camillus or Cursor Papirius, and with the fauor and loue of all men[Page 547] was conueied vnto the sea side; and passing ouer with a gentle wind, came to the court, where he was receiued with great gladnesse and commendation, being immediatlie appointed to succéed in the roome of Valence Iouinus that was maister of the horsses. Finallie, he was called by the emperour Gratianus, to be associated with him in the imperiail estate, after 379. the death of Valence, in the yeare after the incarnation of our Sauior 379, and reigned emperour, surnamed Thodosius the great, about 16 yeares and 2 daies.

Wil. Har. Hereto also maie that be applied which the foresaid Marcellinus writeth in the same booke, Walf. Lazi. touching the inuasion of the Saxons, the which (as Wolf. Lazius taketh it) entred then first into great Britaine, but were repelled of the emperour Valentinianus the first, by the conduct Seuerus. and guiding of Seuerus. The same yéere (saith he) that the emperours were the third time consuls, there brake forth a multitude of Saxons, & passing the seas, entred stronglie into the Romane confines: a nation fed oftentimes with the slaughter of our people, the brunt Nonneus Comes. of whose first inuasion earle Nonneus sustained, one which was appointed to defend those parties, an approoued capteine, & with continuall trauell in warres verie expert. But then incountring with desperate and forlorne people, when he perceiued some of his souldiers to be ouerthrowne and beaten downe, and himselfe wounded, not able to abide the often assaults of his enimies, he obteined this by informing the emperour what was necessarie and Seuerus coronell of the footmen. ought to be doone, insomuch that Seuerus, maister or (as I maie call him) coronell of the footmen, was sent to helpe and reléeue things that stood in danger: the which bringing a sufficient power with him for the state of that businesse, when he came to those places, he diuiding his armie into parts, put the Saxons in such feare and trouble before they fought, that they did not so much as take weapon in hand to make resistance, but being amazed with the sight of the glittering ensignes, & the eagles figured in the Romane standards, they streight made sute for peace, and at length after the matter was debated in sundrie wise (because it was judged that it should be profitable for the Romane commonwealth) truce was granted vnto them, and manie yoong men (able for seruice in the warres) deliuered to the Romans according to the couenants concluded.

After this the Saxons were permitted to depart without impeachment, & so to returne from whence they came, who being now out of all feare, and preparing to go their waies, diuers bands of footmen were sent to lie priuilie in a certeine hid vallie so ambushed, as they might easilie breake foorth vpon the enimies as they passed by them. But it chanced far otherwise than they supposed, for certeine of those footmen stirred with the noise of them as they were comming, brake foorth out of time, and being suddenlie discouered whilest they hasted to vnite and knit themselues togither, by the hideous crie and shout of the Saxons they were put to flight. Yet by and by closing togither againe, they staied, and the extremitie of the chance ministring to them force (though not sufficient) they were driuen to fight it out, and being beaten downe with great slaughter, had died euerie mothers sonne, if a troope of horssemen armed at all points (being in like maner placed in an other side at the entring of the waie to assaile the enimies as they should passe) aduertised by the dolefull noise of them that fought, had not spéedilie come to the succour of their fellowes.

Then ran they togither more cruellie than before, and the Romans bending themselues towards their enimies, compassed them in on each side, and with drawne swords slue them downe right, so that there was not one of them left to returne home to their natiue countrie to bring newes how they had sped, nor one suffered to liue after anothers death, either to reuenge their ruine, or to lament their losse. Thus were the limits of the Romane empire preserued at that time in Britaine, which should séeme to be about the yéere of our Lord 399. 399.

¶ Thus were the Romans, as commonlie in all their martiall affaires, so in this incounter verie fortunate, the happie issue of the conflict falling out on their side. And strange it is to consider and marke, how these people by a celestiall kind of influence were begotten and borne as it were to prowesse and renowme; the course of their dealings in the field most[Page 548] aptlie answering to their name. For (as some suppose) the Romans were called of the Solinus. Adr. Iun. Gréeke word ´ρώμη, signifieng power and mightinesse: and in old time they were called Valentians, A valendo, of preuailing: so that it was no maruell though they were victorious subduers of forren people, sithens they were by nature created and appointed to be conquerors, and thereof had their denomination.

What the poet Claudianus saith of the state of Britaine in the decaie of the Romane empire, of the Scots and Picts cruellie vexing the Britains, they are afflicted by inuasion of barbarous nations, the practise of the Saxons, of the Scots first comming into this Iland, and from whence, the Scotish chonographers noted for curiositie and vanitie.


Honorius the emperour. After this, in the time of the emperour Honorius, the Scots, Picts, and Saxons, did eftsoones inuade the frontiers of the Romane prouince in Britaine, as appéereth by that which the poet Claudianus writeth, in attributing the honour of preseruing the same frontiers vnto 396. Claudianus. the said emperour, in his booke intituled "Panegerycus tertij consulatus" (which fell in the yéere 396) as thus:

Ille leues Mauros nec falso nomine Pictos
Edomuit, Scotúmq; vago mucrone secutus,
Fregit Hyperboreas remis audacibus vndas,
Et geminis fulgens vtróq; sub axe tropheis,
Tethyos alternae refluas calcauit arenas.

The nimble Mores and Picts by right
so cald, he hath subdude,
And with his wandring swoord likewise
the Scots he hath pursude:
He brake with bold couragious oare
the Hyperborean waue,
And shining vnder both the poles
with double trophies braue,
He marcht vpon the bubling sands
of either swelling seas.

The same Claudianus vpon the fourth consulship of Honorius, saith in a tetrastichon as followeth:

Quid rigor æternus cæli? quid frigora prosunt?
Ignotúmq; fretum? maduerunt Saxone fuso
Orcades, incaluit Pictonum sanguine Thule,
Scotorum cumulos fleuit glacialis Hyberne.

What lasting cold? what did to them
the frostie climats gaine?
And sea vnknowne? bemoisted all
with bloud of Saxons slaine
The Orknies were: with bloud of Picts
Thule some take to be Iseland, some Scotland. hath Thule waxed warme,
And ysie Ireland hath bewaild
the heaps of Scotish harme.

The same praise giueth he to Stilico the sonne in law of Honorius, and maketh mention[Page 549] of a legion of souldiers sent for out of Britaine in the periphrasis or circumlocution of the Gotish bloudie warres:

Venit & extremis legio prætenta Britannis,
Quas Scoto dat fræna truci, ferróq; notatas
Perleget exanimes Picto moriente figuras.

A legion eke there came from out
the farthest Britains bent,
Which brideled hath the Scots so sterne:
and marks with iron brent
Vpon their liuelesse lims dooth read,
whiles Picts their liues relent.

He rehearseth the like in his second "Panegerycus" of Stilico, in most ample and pithie manner insuing:

Inde Calidonio velata Britannia monstro,
Ferro Picta genas, cuius vestigia verrit
Cærulus, Oceaniq; æstum mentitur amictus,
Me quoq; vicinis pereuntem gentibus inquit,
Muniuit Stilico, totam quum Scotus Hybernam
Mouit, & infesto spumauit remige Thetis,
Illius effectum curis, ne bella timerem
Scotica, ne Pictum tremerem, ne littore toto
Prospicerem dubijs venturum Saxona ventis.

Then Britaine whom the monsters did
of Calidone surround,
Whose cheekes were pearst with scorching steele,
whose garments swept the ground,
Resembling much the marble hew
of ocean seas that boile,
Said, She whom neighbour nations did
conspire to bring to spoile,
Hath Stilico munited strong, when
raised by Scots entice
All Ireland was, and enimies ores
the salt sea fome did slice,
His care hath causd, that I all feare
of Scotish broiles haue bard,
Ne doo I dread the Picts, ne looke
my countrie coasts to gard
Gainst Saxon troops, whom changing winds
sent sailing hitherward.

Britaine afflicted by inuasion of barbarous nations. Thus maie it appéere, that in the time when the Romane empire began to decaie, in like manner as other parts of the same empire were inuaded by barbarous nations, so was that part of Britaine which was subiect to the Romane emperors grieuouslie assailed by the Scots and Picts, and also by the Saxons, the which in those daies inhabiting all alongst the sea coasts of low Germanie, euen from the Elbe vnto the Rhine, did not onelie trouble the sea by continuall rouing, but also vsed to come on land into diuerse parts of Britaine and Gallia, inuading the countries, and robbing the same with great rage and crueltie.

Apol. li. 8. Epist.
[Page 550] To the which Sidonius Apollinaris thus alludeth, writing to Namatius. "The messenger did assuredlie affirme, that latelie ye blew the trumpet to warre in your nation, and betwixt the office one while of a mariner, and another while of a souldier, wafted about the The pirasie of the Saxons. crooked shores of the ocean sea against the fléet of the Saxons, of whome as manie rouers as ye behold, so manie archpirats ye suppose to sée: so doo they altogither with one accord command, obeie, teach, and learne to plaie the parts of rouers, that euen now there is good occasion to warne you to beware. This enimie is more cruell than all other enimies. He assaileth at vnwares, he escapeth by forseeing the danger afore hand, he despiseth those that stand against him, he throweth downe the vnwarie: if he be followed he snappeth them vp that pursue him, if he flée he escapeth."

Of like effect for proofe héereof be those verses which he wrote vnto Maiorianus his panegyrike oration, following in Latine and in English verse.

Tot maria intraui duce te, longéq; remotas
Sole sub occiduo gentes, victricia Cæsar
Signa Calidonios transuexit ad vsq; Britannos,
Fuderit & quanquam Scotum, & cum Saxone Pictum,
Hostes quæsiuit quem iam natura vetabat,
Quærere plus homines, &c.

So manie seas I entred haue,
and nations farre by west,
By thy conduct, and Cæsar hath
his banners borne full prest
Vnto the furthest British coast,
where Calidonians dwell,
The Scot and Pict with Saxons eke,
though he subdued fell,
Yet would he enimies seeke vnknowne
whom nature had forbid, &c.

¶ Thus much haue we thought good to gather out of the Romane and other writers, that ye might perceiue the state of Britaine the better in that time of the decaie of the Romane empire, and that ye might haue occasion to marke by the waie, how not onelie the Scots, but also the Saxons had attempted to inuade the Britains, before anie mention is made of the same their attempts by the British and English writers. But whether the Scots had anie habitation within the bounds of Britaine, till the time supposed by the Britaine writers, we leaue that point to the iudgement of others that be trauelled in the search of such antiquities, onelie admonishing you, that in the Scotish chronicle you shall find the opinion which their writers haue conceiued of this matter, and also manie things touching the acts of the Romans doone against diuerse of the Britains, which they presume to be doone against their nation, though shadowed vnder the generall name of Britains, or of other particular names, at this daie to most men vnknowne. But whensoeuer the Scots came into this Ile, they made the third nation that inhabited the same, comming first out of Scithia, or rather out of Spaine Polydor. (as some suppose) into Ireland, and from thence into Britaine; next after the Picts, though their writers fetch a farre more ancient beginning (as in their chronicles at large appéereth) referring them to the reading thereof, that desire to vnderstand that matter as they set it foorth.

Thus farre the dominion and tribute of the Romans ouer this land of Britaine,
which had continued (by the collection of some chronographers)
the space of 483. yeeres. And heere we thinke it
conuenient to end this fourth booke