Edward Hunt's Forest of Dean Miscellany

Fact, Fiction and Fantasy

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles

Archenfield - 918 A.D.

Here in this year a great raiding ship-army came over here from the south from Brittany, and with them two jarls (viking earls). Ohter and Hroald, and went around west until they got into the mouth of the Severn, and raided Wales everywhere by sea, where it suited them, and took Cameleac, bishop in Archenfield, and led him with them to the ships; and then King Edward (Edward the Elder - 899-924 A.D.) ransomed him back for 40 pounds.

Then after that the whole raiding-army went up and wanted to go on a raid against Archenfield; then they were met by the men from Hereford and Gloucester and from the nearest strongholds, and fought against them and put them to flight, and killed the jarl Hroald and the other jarl Ohter's brother and a great part of their raiding-army, and drove them into an enclosure and besieged them there until they gave them hostages, that they would leave King Edward's domain.

And the king had arranged that there should be positions on the southern side of the Severn mouth from Cornwall in the west, eastwards as far as Avonmouth, so that they dared seek land nowhere on that side. However, they then stole up by night on two occasions: on one occasion east of Watchet, and on another occasion at Porlock; then on each occasion they were hit, so that few came away, except only those who swam out to the ships. And then they settled on the island of Flatholme . . .

This text was taken from "The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" Translated and edited by Michael Swanton (publisher: Phoenix Press 1996)

Edward Hunt