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Unformatted text preview: lived at Merton in Surrey, whither having secretly retired, he was on a sudden invironed, in the night-time, by Kynehard and his followers, and after making a vigorous resistance, was murdered, with all his attendants. The nobility and people of the neighbourhood, rising next day in arms, took revenge on Kynehard for the slaughter of their king, and put every one to the sword, who had been engaged in that criminal enterprize. This event happened in 784. Brithric next obtained possession of the government, though remotely descended from the royal family; but he enjoyed not that dignity without inquietude. Eoppa, nephew to king Ina, by his brother Ingild, who died before that prince, had begot Eata, father to Alchmond, from whom sprung Egbert,d a young man of the most promising hopes, who gave great jealousy to Brithric, the reigning prince, both because he seemed by his birth better intitled to the crown, and because he had acquired, to an eminent degree, the affections of the people. Egbert, sensible of his danger from the suspicions of Brithric, secretly withdrew into France;e where he was well received by Charlemagne. By living in the court, and serving in the armies of that prince, the most able and most generous that had appeared in Europe during several ages, he acquired those accomplishments, which afterwards enabled him to make such a shining figure on the throne. And familiarizing himself to the manners of the French, who, as Malmesbury observes,f were eminent both for valour and civility, above all the western nations, he learned to polish the rudeness and barbarity of the Saxon character: His early misfortunes thus proved of singular advantage to him. It was not long ere Egbert had opportunities of displaying his natural and acquired talents. Brithric, King of Wessex, had married Eadburga, natural daughter of Offa, king of Mercia, a profligate woman, equally infamous for cruelty and for incontinence. Having great influence over her husband, she often instigated him to destroy such of the nobility as were obnoxious to her; and where this expedient failed, she scrupled not being herself active in traiterous attempts against them. She had mixed a cup of poison for a young nobleman, who had acquired her husband’s friendship, and had on that account become the object of her jealousy: But unfortunately, the king drank of the fatal cup along with his favourite, and soon after expired.g This tragical incident, joined to her other crimes, rendered Eadburga so odious, that she was obliged to fly into France; whence Egbert was at the same time recalled by the nobility, in order to ascend the throne of his ancestors.h He attained that dignity in the last year of the eighth century. In the kingdoms of the Heptarchy, an exact rule of succession was either unknown or not strictly observed; and thence the reigning prince was continually agitated with jealousy against all the princes of the blood, whom he still considered as rivals, and PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 50 http://oll.l...
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This note was uploaded on 02/12/2011 for the course CHIN 101 taught by Professor Dr.yu during the Spring '08 term at University Of Southern Mississippi .
- Spring '08