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Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum:
The History of the Primitive Church of England.
Book I, Chapter 13

Translated by Rev. William Hurst, 1814.

Chapter XIII

During the reign of Theodosius the younger, (in whose time Palladius was sent to the Scots, who had embraced the Christian faith,) the Britons, petitioning the Consul Boetius to send them succours, cannot obtain them.

Theodosius, the younger, was created Emperor after Honorius, and the 45th from Augustus, in the year 423. He swayed the sceptre twenty-seven years. In the eighth year of his reign, Palladius was sent by Celestine, Pontiff or the Roman church, as the first Bishop of the Scots who had received the Christian faith. Boetius, a person of an illustrious rank, and a Patrician, was chosen a third time to be Consul with Symachus; in the twenty-third year of his reign. To him the wretched remnant of the Britons sent a letter, which begins thus: "To Boetius, thrice Consul, the sighs of the Britons." And in the sequel of the letter they thus express their calamities. "Our enemies drive us to the sea, the sea drives us back again to them; so that we are reduced to the necessity of either being drowned or killed."

But with all this lamentation they could procure no assistance from him, as he was then engaged in a most important war against Bleda and Attila, kings of the Huns. And although Bleda had been assassinated by the secret machinations of his brother Attila, the year before this, yet Attila continued so dangerous an enemy to the empire, that he almost ravaged all Europe, storming and destroying every city in his way.

Moreover, at the same time, there was a famine at Constantinople, which was immediately succeeded by the plague, and most of the walls, with fifty-seven towers of that city, fell down. Many other cities also falling to ruin, the famine and pestilential air destroyed many thousands of men and cattle.

The History of the Primitive Church of England.
Book One, Chapter Fourteen

Translated by Rev. William Hurst, 1814.

Chapter XIV

The Britons, compelled by famine, at length drive their enemies out of their territories. After which succeed abundance, luxury, the plague, and the subversion of the nation.

In the mean time, the before-mentioned famine afflicting the Britons more and more; and leaving lasting marks of its malignity to posterity, constrained many of them to deliver themselves as prisoners to their enemies. But others would never do so. On the contrary, placing so much the greater confidence in the divine assistance, as they were destitute of any that was human, they continually made excursions from the mountains, caves, and woods, and then first began to slaughter them who had for so many years successfully plundered their country. The Scots, observing that now their numbers were much diminished, thought it prudent to retreat for a while to their own country, intending to return soon after. The Picts also withdrew their forces; and after this, they generally remained quiet in the farthest part of the island. From time to time, however, they would make inroads, and carry off plunder from the Britons. The ravages of these enemies thus ceasing, the island began to abound with such plenty of grain, as had never been known in any former age. With plenty luxury increased, and this was immediately followed by all sorts of crimes; particularly cruelty, hatred of truth, and love of falsehood; in so much, that if any one among them happened to be more mild, or more inclined to speak the truth than the rest, they all abhorred and persecuted him, as if he had been a common enemy of the country. These disorders were not committed by the laity only; for the pastors of the church, who should be regarded as the chosen flock, of Christ, were also addicted to intemperance, anger, contention, quarrelling, and other crimes; thus exchanging the sweet yoke of Christ, for the heavy one of their passions. In the mean time, a dreadful plague suddenly attacked this wicked race, and in a short time destroyed so many of them, that the living were scarcely sufficient to bury the dead; yet could not those who survived, be raised from the spiritual death which they had incurred by sin, either by the fortunate death of their friends or the fear of their own. For which reason, not long afterwards, a more severe vengeance also fell upon this sinful nation for their horrid impiety: for, holding a consultation with their king Vortigern, what they should do, or where they should seek for assistance, to prevent or repel the cruel and frequent incursions of the northern nations, they unanimously determined to call over the Saxon nation from beyond the seas to their aid: which, as the event soon after clearly shewed, happened by the disposition of the providence of God, designing to punish them for their manifold crimes.

The History of the Primitive Church of England.
Book One, Chapter Fifteen

Translated by Rev. William Hurst, 1814.

Chapter XV

The Angles and Saxons, being invited, come over to Britain; and at first assist the Britons in repelling their enemies; but not long after, confederating with the latter, turn their arms against their former allies.

MARTIAN, who was the 46th Emperor from Augustus, having with Valentinian obtained the empire in the year 409, reigned seven years; during which period, the king, whom we just now mentioned, inviting the Angles, or Saxons, into Britain, they immediately sailed over to this island in three large vessels, and by his appointment took up their residence on the eastern coast, as if they were come to fight for the defence of the country; whereas, in reality, they intended to subdue it. Having accordingly engaged with the hostile army which advanced from the North to give them battle, they obtained the victory; the news of which being carried home to the country from which they originally came, with a description of the fertility of the island, and of the indolence of the Britons, a much more numerous fleet was immediately equipped and sent over, armed with a far greater force than the former. These, all uniting, composed an invincible army. The new adventurers had a place for their habitation assigned them by the liberality of the Britons, on condition that they should fight for the peace and safety of the country, and receive their pay for it.

Those, who came from Germany on this occasion, were of the three bravest nations, Saxons, Angles, and Jutes. From the Jutes are descended the people of Kent, and of the Isle of Wight; and those who to this day are called Jutes in the province of the West Saxons, situated opposite to the Isle of Wight. From the Saxons, that is to say from that country, which is now called Old Saxony, came the East, the West, and the South Saxons. From the Angles, or the country called Anglia, (which is said to have remained almost destitute of inhabitants ever since,) and is situated between the countries of the Jutes and Saxons, are descended the East Angles, the Mercians, the Midland Angles, and the whole race of the Northumbrians, who possess that part of the island which lies to the North of the river Humber, and the rest of the English People.

The two first commanders are said to have been Hengist and Horsa. The latter, having been afterwards killed in battle, was honoured with a stately monument, erected to his memory, which is still to be seen in the eastern parts of Kent. They were the sons of Victgilsus, whose father was Vecta, and his grandfather Woden; from whom the royal families of many kingdoms trace their descent. Immense multitudes, following the example of these adventurers, soon poured into the island, till they increased so, that the natives who had invited them began to be alarmed, at seeing so formidable an army of foreigners in the heart of their country. Nor was this apprehension groundless; for they had no sooner collected all their forces, and vanquished the Picts and Scots, than they treacherously entered into a confederacy with them, and turned their arms against their former allies, the Britons. At first they obliged them to furnish their troops with a greater plenty of provisions; and, seeking for a pretext to break peace with them, they declared that, unless more abundant stores were immediately provided for them, they would separate from them, and carry devastation over the whole island. Nor did they delay long the execution of these menaces. For the fire kindled by the hands of these Pagans proved the just vengeance of God for the crimes of the people: not unlike that which formerly, being lighted by the Chaldeans, consumed the walls and all the buildings of Jerusalem. So this, carried on by the impious fury of the conquerors, or rather by the decree of the just Judge, spreading desolation over every town and city from East to West, continued its conflagration without any opposition, till it nearly covered the whole island with ruins. Neither private nor public edifices of any kind were spared; the priests were every where assassinated as they stood by the altars; prelates and people, without any distinction of rank or dignity, were destroyed both by fire and sword: nor was there any one to bury them after they had been thus cruelly massacred. Some of the wretched remains fled to the mountains, where they were soon overtaken and butchered in heaps. Others, perishing with hunger, surrendered themselves into the hands of their enemies; and, for the common necessaries of life, were doomed to perpetual slavery, unless they were immediately killed. Others with heavy hearts crossed the seas to distant climes, whilst others again, remaining in their own country, led a miserable life, in continual dread and agitation of mind, on the summits of high mountains and craggy rocks, or in the midst of forests.