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of the decay of their dominion. On the same side of the Thames as Sydvirke, or Southwark, but somewhat higher up, lies Lambeth (formerly Lambythe, Lambethe), which is now a part of London, and the residence of the Primate of England, but which in olden times was a village outside the capital. At a country-house there a Danish jarl celebrated his marriage in the year 1042. King Hardicanute, with a number of his followers, was present at the banquet; but just as he was drinking to the bride, he suddenly fell to the ground, in a fit of apoplexy, and shortly afterwards breathed his last at the age of only twenty-six years. Hardicanute was the last Danish king in England.

Section IV.

Watlinga-Strset South England.—Legends about the Danes.—The

graves of Canute the Great and Hardicanute.

In the heart of the city of London, near St. Paul's Cathedral, is a street called " Watling-Street." Anciently it was connected with the great high road of the same name (or more properly Watlinga-Strset), which had been made by the Britons from the Channel and London through the midst of England to the north-east of Wales, Chester, and the Irish Channel. On account of the importance of this road, as communicating with the interior of England as well as with Ireland, the Romans improved it. But, like most of the high roads of ancient times, it was 'carried over heights, with the constant view of avoiding streams which would require the erection of bridges. It followed, as nearly as possible, the natural division of the watercourse in England, or the ridge of the land watershed whence rivers take their course in all directions.

About the year 1000 this road not only showed the natural boundary between the northern and southern rivervalleys, but likewise indicated in the clearest possible manner a political boundary between the inhabitants of different extraction, and different manners and customs. The districts to the north and east of this road belonged for the most part to the so-called " Dena-lagu," or " Danelagh," that is, the Dane's community (from lag, whence in the north itself, in Norway, for instance, Throndelagen, and in Sweden, Roslagen). For here the Danes, and other conquerors or immigrants of Scandinavian origin, had gradually subdued and expelled the Anglo-Saxons, and here the Danish laws, habits, and customs, chiefly prevailed.

In the districts to the south, on the contrary, the repulsed Anglo-Saxons had concentrated the last remnants of their former power. A great number of wealthy and leading Danes were indeed also settled here, either in the country, or, with a view to commerce, in the principal towns on the coast; as in Winchester, which, like London, long had its "Hunting;" Exeter, where a church was in later times dedicated to St. Olave; and Bristol. But, out of London, the Danes scarcely formed at that time any really strong and united power in the south of England. The predominating people was the Anglo-Saxon, and in general the old Saxon characteristics had been preserved.

To the south of Watlinga-Strat, which had already often been agreed upon between the Danish conquerors and the Anglo-Saxon kings as the boundary between,the Danish and Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, Edmund Ironsides received his share of England by agreement with Canute. It was in these districts that the Anglo-Saxon kings had always found their truest and most numerous adherents, and they had therefore generally been the theatre of the more important battles between the Anglo-Saxons and the Danes. Near Wareham, in Dorsetshire, Alfred purchased peace with a host of the latter, who swore on their armlets to observe it; but, though this oath was regarded by the Danes as very sacred, they are said to have broken it immediately During his exile Alfred concealed himself for a long time at Athelney, in Somersetshire; and near Eddington he again beat the Danes. In the neighbourhood of Athelney, Alfred also induced Gudrun (Gorm), the king of the Danish Vikings, to receive baptism. The oppressed inhabitants were in these parts scarcely ever free from the devastating attacks of the Vikings and conquerors. The Danes frequently established themselves in castles near the coast, as at Exeter, in Devonshire; Dorchester and Wareham, in Dorsetshire; Winchester, in Hampshire; and Chichester, in Sussex. At Southampton, in Hampshire, and under the Isle of Wight, they generally wintered with large fleets. Thence they made incursions into the land of the Anglo-Saxons; and if they could not entirely expel them, and colonize the south of England in their stead, they at least endeavoured to weaken and exhaust it as much as possible.

On the whole, it would not have been very easy for the Danes to settle themselves entirely in any parts of the south, or south-west, of England; not even on the coasts near the harbours, though regularly visited by the ships of the Norwegian Vikings. The inhabitants in these parts were mostly of pure Saxon descent, and consequently already prejudiced against the Danes, on account of the old disputes between the Scandinavian and Saxon races; at all events, they somewhat differed from the Danes in character, manners, and customs. These districts were, besides, too remote from Denmark; and in case of an attack from the Anglo-Saxons, which might naturally be expected to take place, assistance might come too late. The Danes were not so safe there as on the east coast of England, which lay opposite to Jutland, and where, if any danger threatened them, a ship could easily be sent with a message to their friends over the sea, so that, with a tolerably favourable wind, a strong fleet could be speedily brought within sight of the AngloSaxons. The Angles, whose descendants inhabited these eastern and northern districts, seem too, with regard to language and national manners, to have borne a greater

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resemblance to the Danes than the inhabitants of any other part of England, so that it was by no means difficult for the Danes speedily to amalgamate with them. In addition to this, the eastern coasts offered much the same allurements to the Danes as the more southern provinces. They were remarkable for their fertility and for the riches of their inhabitants, acquired as well by agriculture as by trade with Saxony, Belgium, and Gaul. Precisely on the east coast, indeed, were situated at that time some of the largest commercial towns in England.

It is not surprising, therefore, that, with the exception of London and its environs, there are not found in the south of England, as is the case farther north, many names of places of well-defined Danish or Norwegian origin, which have preserved the old northern forms down to the present day, and which thus clearly testify that a genuine Scandinavian population must long have lived there. It is only at the extremities of the coasts that an occasional promontory, or "Nses," and small islands whose names end in ey and holm, remind one of the Northmen: as Flatholmes (Dan., Fladholmene) and Steepholmes in the Severn, where there are said to be remains of Danish fortifications; Grasholm {Dan., Grsesholm), to the west of Pembrokeshire; Bardsey, west of Caernarvonshire; Priestholm (Dan., Prsesteholm), near the northern inlet of the Menai Straits; and several others.

In the south of England one cannot discover any striking resemblance to the Danes either in the language, features, or frame of body of the people. What they have chiefly left behind them here is a name, which will certainly never be entirely eradicated from the people's memory. Centuries after the Danish dominion was overthrown in England, the dread of the Danes was handed down from one generation to another, and even to this day they occupy a considerable share in the remembrance of the English nation. Throughout England the common people—nay, even a great number of the more educated classes—know of no other inhabitants of the north of Europe than "the Danes;" and as they include under this name both Swedes and Norwegians, the idea of the unity of Scandinavia has unconsciously taken root amongst them. That they have so implicitly awarded the first place in Scandinavia to the Danes, has not originated solely from the fact that, anciently, the Danes were really regarded as the leading people in the north—whence also the old Norwegian language was often called "donsk tunga" (Danish tongue); nor because the Danes at that time undoubtedly exercised a more important influence on the British Isles than the other inhabitants of the north: it may, likewise, have arisen from the circumstance that, partly in consequence of its situation, Denmark has continued to stand, even down to our time, in much closer relations both of peace and war with England, than Sweden has; and that the separation of Norway from Denmark is still too recent an event to have completely penetrated to the knowledge of the less informed part of the English people. Even had the remembrance of the Danes in England lain slumbering there, such events as the battle in Copenhagen roads in 1801, and the seizure of the Danish fleet in 1807, must at once have brought all the old tales respecting the doings of the Danes in England to the lips of the English people.


Legends about " the Danes" are very much disseminated among the people, even in the south of England. There is scarce a parish that has not in some way or another preserved the remembrance of them. Sometimes they are recorded to have burnt churches and castles, and to have destroyed towns, whose inhabitants were put to the sword; sometimes they are said to have burnt or cut down forests; here are shown the remains of large earthen mounds and fortifications which they erected; there, again, places are pointed out where bloody battles were fought with them. To this must be added the names of places; as, the Danes-walls, the Danish forts, the Dane-field, the

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