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became their wives or husbands. Of the eight divisions of the country under the Saxons, for a very long time the largest and most important was Mercia.

LEADING EVENTS.

The Invasions by Julius Cæsar....

55 and 54 B.O. Caradog's last Battle ; after a struggle for nine years he was defeated by Ostorius Scapula

51 A.D. The Death of Ostorius Scapula

51 Suetonius Paulinus invades Anglesey, and massacres the Druids

61 Boadicea's successes, defeat, and death .....

61 Agricola defeats the Ordovices, and acquires the peaceable submission of Anglesey

78 The Battle of the Grampians

84 Departure of the Romans from Britain....

418 Arrival of Hengist and Horsa ..

449

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CHAPTER II.

FROM THE MASSACRE AT BANGOR TO THE OVERTHROW OF

THE KINGDOM OF MERCIA,

and Mercia

FIERCE, frequent, and bloody were the contests that Wales took place between the Celt and the Saxon, ere the latter had driven the warriors of the former beyond the banks of the Severn, into the narrow vales and among the lofty mountains of Cambria; and as equally fierce, frequent, and bloody were the contests that afterwards took place between the contending powers; and yet, strange as it may seem, the kings of Wales and the kings of Mercia were often stedfast allies and firm friends. Oft did they unite their forces against the foreign foe or the encroaching neighbour. The Welsh remembered that the Mercians had again and again waged war against those who had lifted up the armed hand against the unarmed and defenceless; that Ethelfrid, the pagan king of Northumbria, had at one The fell and foul stroke put an end to the seminary of learning, industry, and piety, with its ancient records, Students, which existed at Bangor Is Coed, and had unjustifiably massacred 1,200 men, whose chief fault was intense love of country, and a still more intense love for the faith and religious customs of their race.

Ethelfrid is described as a most worthy king, and

Massacre of Welsh

603.

· Bede, Eccl. Hist., book ii, c. 2, 603; Saxon Chronicle, 607, says 200.

2 Bede.

The

of Welsh

603.

ambitious of glory. It is stated that he ravaged the Massacre Welsh more than all the great men of the English. students, He is also compared to Saul, king of Israel. This king

met the Welsh in battle array at Chester. To the sympathetic and humane no sight could have been more affecting than that which met the eye of the Northumbrian monarch before he gave the word to attack the foe, for he was opposed by a twofold army. The one part was composed of men of war, the other of men of prayer. No incidents in British history is more thrilling than that in connection with the battle which took place in the vicinity of the City of Legions in the year 603. We are informed that the monastery of Bangor, the home of these men of prayer, was divided into seven parts, with a ruler over each, and that some of these parts contained no less than three hundred men who lived by the labours of their hands. They knew that the Northumbrians were approaching, and for three days they fasted, and on the fourth day they went forth and took their stand by their brothers, the soldiers of Wales. On their knees they prayed for their country and their religion. Whilst thus employed, Ethelfrid issued the order to fall upon them. The order was obeyed, and twelve hundred monks gave evidence of their patriotism and their faith with their blood. Bangor was soon deserted. Henceforth the small island of Bardsey, off the Carnarvonshire coast, gave shelter to the religious men of Wales; whilst the ruins of Bangor testified to succeeding ages! its once almost incredible prosperity.

Vengeance swift and terrible overtook the sacrilegious host of Northumbria. Cadwallawn, the last Celt save

· William of Malmesbury.

Cadwall. 2wn.

"8

one who bore the title of King of Britain," formed an alliance with the redoubtable Penda of Mercia. They Penda. united their forces and advanced into Northumbria. It is stated that, following the terrible example of Ethelfrid, they harassed the country with fire and sword, and spared neither age or sex. They killed the Bretwalda Edwin, and his sons Osfrid and Eanfrid. Edwin.

Osfrid. Osric, Edwin's nephew, besieged Cadwallawn in a

Eanfrid strong town. The Welsh monarch sallied out, and, Osric. taking Osric by surprise, destroyed him and his army. Eanfrid, son of Ethelfrid, met with the same fate,

Eanfrid. “ through the rightful vengeance of Heaven.” And the Welsh King reigned over the North of England for the space of one year, “like a rapacious and bloody tyrant." Cadwallawn fell by the hand of the Bret

1 Powel's Historie of Cambria, 688. From Matthew of Westminster we learn that Edwin defeated Cadwall

The latter fled to Ireland, but was unable to return, because an astrologer made known all his plans to Edwin. Then the Welsh King went to Brittany. From Brittany he sent his nephew Brian to York, to kill the astrologer. Brian met his sister at York. She pointed out the revealer of Cadwallawn's plans. Her brother succeeded in his design, and then fled to Exeter, where his fellow-countrymen received him.. He was here besieged by Penda, who was defeated and captured by Cadwall

As the price of his liberty Penda swore fealty to the Welsh King. • At this time the Welsh held part of Yorkshire and the whole of England west of a line drawn from Exeter to Winchester, thence to the Pennine Chain, and into part of the south-west of Scotland. Later on, this part of the country was known as :

(1) West Wales-Cornwall, Devon, and the Borders of the latter. (2) Wales—its present limits, together with Monmouth and Hereford,

and parts of Gloucester, Worcester, Salop, and Cheshire: its

capital was Shrewsbury. (3) Cumbria—Lancashire, Westmoreland, Cumberland, and part of

Yorkshire: its capital was Carlisle. (4) The country between the Firth of Clyde and the Solway Firth,

and which was known as Reged and Strathclyde. 2 Bede. This writer states that Cadwallawn determined to cut off all the race of the English within the borders of Britain. Religious zeal must bave warped Bede's judgment, for it was not likely that Penda, a Saxon, would ally himself with a Welshman to kill all the Saxons, himself included i

3 Bede.

&wn.

awa.

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