THE CHRONICLE FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD TO A.D. 975
reign, Cynewulf, invading his kingdom, took it from him, and drew away all the wise men of the west country, in consequence of the perverse deeds of the aforesaid king ; nor was any part of his kingdom left to him except one province only, named Hamptonshire [Hampshire]. And he remained there no long time ; for, instigated by an old affront, he slew a certain duke, and Cynewulf drove him into the wilds of Andred: and so he fled from thicket to thicket, until he was at last slain by a herdsman at a place named Pryffetesflodan,* and so the blood of duke Cumbra was avenged.
CHAP. XVIII.— O f the reign of Cynewulf, hie war and deeds.
A. "755. These things having been premised, Cynewulf frequently fought no slight battles against the Britons. For when thirty-one years had passed, he tried to expel from his territories a certain chief named Cyneard, brother to Sigebert, whose deeds have been related above. He was afterwards besieged by this prince, for it was told him that he was in company of a certain courtezan at a place called Merari ton [Merton], and though he had with him only a few men, who knew nothing of the matter, he surrounded the house with arms. The king, seeing how he was situated, leaped to the door, and bravely repelled their weapons ; but making up his mind he rushed upon the prince, and inflicted no slight wounds upon him ; his companions, not forgetting his threats, raised their weapons and slew the king. The report being spread, the king's soldiers, who had been in his company, each for himself, as was their custom, made an attack, uttering shouts. But the prince, soothing them, promised them gifts and ample honours. They desire death, now that their lord is dead ; nor do they attend to his promises, but rush with one accord upon death. None of them escaped with life except one British hostage, and he had received severe wounds. When, therefore, the day dawned, it became known to the soldiers, who had remained behind the king's back, they assembled together and set forth, and with them Osric the duke and Wigferth the knight. They found the prince in the house, where their master was lying dead. The doors are beleaguered on both sides. Within are the one party, and the
* Privett, Hampshire.