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This essay represents the fourth chapter of Charles Hardwick's snappily-titled On Some Ancient Battle-Fields in Lancashire and their Historical, Legendary, and Aesthetic Associations, originally published in 1882.
In the essay, Hardwick - Preston's local historian - develops ideas first mooted in his history of that city in Central Lancashire, with the area around Brindle being the site he defends.

HAROLD. - (On the morn of the battle of Senlac or Hastings) - Our guardsmen have slept well since we came in?
LEOFWIN. - ** They are up again
And chanting that old song of Brunanburg,
Where England conquer'd.
- Tennyson's Harold.

Upwards of three centuries had elapsed since the departure of the Roman legions from Britain, and the presumedly first regularly organised invasion of the island by the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, when a new enemy of the same Teutonic blood and language appeared upon her shores. The country had been but partially conquered by the first Teutonic invaders. Picts and Scots held their own in Ireland and that portion of Great Britain to the north of the estuaries of the Clyde and the Forth. The Britons were not only masters in old Cornwall and in a more extended territory than is now included in the present principality of Wales, but they remained dominant in Strathclyde and Cumberland, which comprised the lands on the western side of the island between the Clyde estuary and Morecambe Bay. Christianity had become the recognised religious faith of both the Britons and the Teutons, but the newly arrived kinsmen of the latter were still worshippers of Odin, and marched to battle with his sacred "totem" or cognizance, the "swart raven" emblazoned on their banners. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, under the date 787, says - "This year king Bertric took to wife Eadburga, King Offa's daughter; and in his days first came three ships of Northmen, out of Hœretha-land [Denmark.] And then the reve rode to the place, and would have driven them to the king's town, because he knew not who they were: and they there slew him. These were the first ships of Danish men which sought the land of the English nation." These three ships landed in Dorsetshire, and the gerefa or reve, named Beaduheard, of Dorchester, supposed them to be contraband traders rather than pirates. This mistake cost him his life, as well as the lives of the whole of his retinue.

The conflicts which followed for many years afterwards between these heathen pirates and their Christianised kinsmen were characterised by deeds of remorseless atrocity as well as of indomitable valour. Truly, every now relatively civilized nation has had to pass through what may not be inaptly termed its Bashi-Bazouk stage of culture before from it evolved its present more highly developed intellectual and moral human features. Mr. Jno. R. Green ("Short History of the English People,") sums up the more prominent characteristics of this internecine strife as follows: -

The first sight of the Danes is as if the hand of the dial of history had gone back three hundred years. The same Norwegian fiords, the same Frisian sandbanks, pour forth their pirate fleets as in the days of Hengest and Cerdic. There is the same wild panic as the black boats of the invaders strike inland along the river reaches, or moor round the river islets, the same sights of horror—firing of homesteads, slaughter of men, women driven off to slavery or shame, children tossed on pikes or sold in the market-place - as when the English invaders attacked Britain. Christian priests were again slain at the altar by worshippers of Woden, for the Danes were still heathen. Letters, arts, religion, governments disappeared before these Northmen as before the Northmen of old. But when the wild burst of the storm was over, land, people, government reappeared unchanged. England still remained England; the Danes sank quietly into the mass of those around them; and Woden yielded without a struggle to Christ. The secret of this difference between the two invasions was that the battle was no longer between men of different races. It was no longer a fight between Briton and German, between Englishmen and Welshmen. The Danes were the same people in blood and speech with the people they attacked; and were in fact Englishmen bringing back to an England that had forgotten its origins the barbaric England of its pirate forefathers. Nowhere over Europe was the fight so fierce, because nowhere else were the combatants men of one blood and one speech. But just for this reason the fusion of the Northmen with their foes was nowhere so peaceful and complete.

The chief Danish ravages for nearly a century were confined to the southern coast and the coast of East Anglia. In 855, the Chronicle says - "The heathen men for the first time remained over winter in Sheppey." In 867, it records that "this year the Danish army went from East Anglia over the mouth of the Humber to York, in North-humbria. And there was much dissention among that people, and they had cast out their king Osbert, and had taken to themselves a king, Ælla, not of royal blood; but late in the year they resolved that they would fight against the army, and therefore they gathered a large force, and fought the army at the town of York, and stormed the town, and some of them got within and there was an excessive slaughter made of the North-humbrians, some within, some without, and the kings were both slain, and the remainder made peace with the army."

Some writers say that Ælla was put to death with the most frightful tortures in revenge for similar cruel treatment, on his part, of his conquered foe, Ragnar Lodbrock, by the three sons of that somewhat mythical hero, named Halfden, Ingwar, and Hubba, who commanded the expedition. The story runs that Ragnar, being taken prisoner by Ælla, was thrown into a dungeon, and bitten to death by vipers. This Ragnar, however, has proved so troublesome to northern scholars, that many regard him as a mythical personage, belonging to an earlier, or what they term the "heroic period." Scandinavian reliable history only dates from about the middle of the ninth century. Ælla usurped the Northumbrian throne in the year 862, and Mr. J. A. Blackwell, in his edition of Mallett's "Northern Antiquities," says "Ragnar's death is placed by Suhm, who has brought it down to the latest possible epoch, in 794, and by other writers at a much earlier period." Some of the deeds attributed to this hero are unquestionably mythical. From the "Death Song," said to have been written by him, but which Mr. Blackwell regards as more probably the composition of a Skald of the ninth century, we learn that Ragnar succeeded, like Indra, Perseus, St. George, and other solar heroes, in conquering a monster serpent that held in captivity Thora, the daughter of a chieftain of Gothland, and received the lady in marriage, as the reward of his prowess. In order to protect himself against the serpent's venom, it is said that Ragnar "put on shaggy trousers, from which circumstance he was afterwards called Lodbrok (Shaggy-brogues)." Be this as it may, Ingwar, his presumed son, on the defeat of Ælla and Osbert, ascended the Northumbrian throne, and the Danes remained masters of the situation, until the partition of the kingdom between Godrun and Alfred the Great gave them peaceful possession of the territory. In the year 876, Halfden, a famous Danish viking, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, "appropriated the lands of Northumbria; and they thenceforth continued ploughing and tilling them." Consequently, from this period, the great mass of the men of Scandinavian blood in Northumbria must be regarded rather in the light of emigrants or settlers than roving pirates, although, doubtless, with them the sword was always ready to supersede the ploughshare whenever the arrival of a fleet of their buccaneering relatives on the coast afforded an opportunity for a successful foray on the lands of their Anglo-Saxon neighbours.

On the death of Edward the Elder, in the year 925, the "right royal" grandson of the Great Alfred, the "golden haired" Athelstan, succeeded to the kingdom of Wessex and its dependencies, which included the whole of England south of the Humber and the Mersey, with the exception of Cornwall and East Anglia, and the "overlordship" of the whole of the Anglo-Saxon and Danish rulers, as well as those of the Welsh and Scots, whose kings rendered him homage and acknowledged him the legitimate successor to his father Edward, whom they regarded as "their Father, Lord, and Protector." Edward the Elder was, at the time of his highest prosperity, unquestionably the most powerful "Bretwalda" or "overlord" that had ruled in Britain since the departure of the Romans.

Soon after Athelstan's succession, however, the kings of the present Principality, or North Wales, as the whole country from the Severn to the Dee was then called, rebelled against the authority of the hated fair-haired Sassenach. Athelstan instantly attacked Edwall Voel, king of Gwynnedd, and wrested the entire sovereignty of his dominion from him. He, however, on the submission of the other Welsh princes, and their performance of homage to him at his court held at Hereford, generously restored it to him. Afterwards the country between the Severn and the Wye were added to Mercia, and a heavy tribute was imposed on all the revolted Welsh monarchs. Twenty pounds weight of gold and three hundred pounds of silver were to be yearly paid into the treasury, or, as it was then styled, the "Hoard" of the "King of London." To this was to be added an annual gift of twenty thousand beeves and the swiftest hounds and hawks that the country possessed.

The Cornish Britons, or West Welsh, as they were then termed, were afterwards subdued, and thus all Britain south of the Humber and the Mersey again acknowledged Athelstan's supremacy or "overlordship."

In the year 925, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle informs us that Athelstan and Sihtric (or Sigtryg), king of the North-humbrians, "came together at Tamworth, on the 3rd before the Kalends of February; and Athelstan gave him his sister." But this marriage failed to secure the proposed future alliance between the Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon sovereigns. The Dane, who had embraced Christianity, relapsed into the faith of his forefathers and returned his wife to her former home. Sihtric's death, however, intervened between the repudiation of Queen Editha, who afterwards became Abbess of Tamworth, and the vengeance of Athelstan, which fell upon Anlaf and Godefrid, sons of Sihtric by a former marriage. Anlaf fled to Ireland, on the east coast of which the Danes held the supreme authority, and his brother sought refuge with Constantine, king of the Scots. Referring to these events the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says - "A. 926. This year fiery lights appeared in the north part of the heavens. And Sihtric perished; and king Athelstan obtained the kingdom of the North-humbrians. And he ruled all the kings who were in the island; first, Howel, king of the West-Welsh; and Constantine, king of the Scots; and Owen, king of the Monmouth people; and Aldred, son of Ealdulf, of Bambrough: and they confirmed the peace by pledge, and by oaths, at the place which is called Eamot, on the 4th before the Ides of July; and they renounced all idolatry, and after that submitted to him in peace."

But the peace was not of very long duration, for the king of the Scots raised the standard of revolt, and the old Chronicler, or perhaps a successor, tells us that in the year 933, "Athelstan went into Scotland, as well with a land army as with a fleet, and ravaged a great part of it." This defeat of the Scottish king for a time restored Athelstan's dominion, but the peace which followed was, four years afterwards, broken by a powerful combination of Athelstan's enemies, which shook the "overlordship" of the English monarch to its foundation, and threatened the safety of his inherited kingdoms. The Scots, the Cumbrian Britons, the North and West Welsh, entered into a league with Anlaf of Dublin and the Danish chiefs of Northumbria and their Scandinavian allies to lower the prestige of the English monarch, and to seat the son of Sihtric on the throne of his ancestors. This fierce conflict culminated in the great battle of Brunanburh, in the year 937, in which, after a desperate two days' struggle, the confederate forces of his enemies were utterly routed, and Athelstan reigned supreme monarch to the end of his kingly career.

There is some difficulty in determining the exact date of this celebrated engagement. Sharon-Turner gives it as 934. Worsaae in his "Danes and Norwegians in England," says 937. Ethelwerd's Chronicle says 939. Sharon-Turner refers to the fact that one MS. of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle gives the date 937, notwithstanding which he prefers 934. Dr. Freeman in his "Old English History" adheres to 937, which seems to be the most probable date.

We find that British Christians, as on previous occasions, espoused the cause of the heathen Danes, rather than fraternize with their hated Anglo-Saxon rivals, the disciples of Augustine and Paulinus. Thus many elements combined to render this battle one of the bloodiest and most destructive ever fought on British soil. The great struggle did not take place immediately on the arrival of Anlaf and his allies. Athelstan's two governors, Gudrekir and Alfgeirr first confronted the invaders. The former was slain and the latter fled to his sovereign, with the news of their discomfiture. Athelstan, with wise forethought, tried the effect of diplomacy, if only for the purpose of gaining sufficient time for the assembling of all his forces before staking his sovereignty upon the issue of a single battle.

The authorities, contemporary or nearly so, for the details of this decisive campaign, although meagre in comparison with those of more recent struggles, are nevertheless fuller than usual for the period. We have the poem in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, a notice in Ethelwerd's Chronicle, and some Scandinavian accounts, notably Egil's Saga. Sharon-Turner, however, regards the northern authorities as not entitled to implicit reliance, as their great object was the laudation of Egil and Thorolf, Scandinavian mercenaries in the pay of Athelstan, who, they contend, mainly contributed to the victory by the annihilation of the "disorderly Irish" contingent.

Athelstan, when his diplomatic finesse had answered his purpose, suddenly appeared at Brunanburh, and pitched his camp in front of the enemy. It is related that Anlaf, taken by surprise, imitated Alfred's stratagem, and entered the royal camp in the disguise of a harper. He was admitted into the presence of Athelstan, who was ever liberal in his patronage of poets and musicians, and the Danish king played, sang, and danced before the assembled chieftains, at a banquet, in the enjoyment of which he found them engaged previously to the holding of a council of war. On his dismissal a purse, filled with silver groats, was given to him as a reward for his services. Anlaf's observant military eye had detected the weakest point in his adversary's position, and the exact locality in which the royal tent was pitched, and he determined to surprise the camp by a sudden night attack, and either slay or carry off the king a prisoner. One false step, however, robbed him of the advantage his daring had gained. On leaving the enemy's lines, he was observed by a sentinel, who had formerly served under him, to bury the king's gratuity, which he disdained to appropriate to other use, in a hole in the earth. This aroused the soldier's suspicion, and Athelstan was informed of the circumstance. The king, in the first instance, was disposed to treat the man somewhat harshly, and demanded why the information as to the identity of the pretended itinerant minstrel had not been communicated to him before his departure. To this the faithful soldier replied, "Nay, by the same oath of fealty which binds me to thee, O king, was I once bound to Anlaf; and had I betrayed him, with equal justice mightest thou have expected treachery from me. But hear my counsel. Whilst awaiting further reinforcements, take away thy tent from the spot upon which it now stands, and thus mayest thou ward off the blow of thine enemy." This advice Athelstan followed, and shortly afterwards the Bishop of Sherborne arrived with his contingent, and pitched his tent in the locality vacated by his royal master, which circumstance cost him his life during the night surprise which followed. We have Alfred's harper story on the authority of Ingulf and William of Malmesbury, the former of whom was born in 1030, and the latter in 1095 or 1096, so that they were recording events which had transpired between one and two centuries before their own adult experience. The Anlaf tale is too exact a counterpart of the one related about Alfred, not to suggest doubt as to its veracity; or, if it be a veritable incident in the life of the Scandinavian warrior, the doubt will have to be transferred to the story related of his Saxon predecessor. It is not very probable so transparent an artifice would succeed a second time, especially when played upon such a clear-headed chieftain as Alfred's grandson.* But, however Anlaf gained his information, the night the attack took place, Adils, a Welsh prince, detected the strategy of Athelstan. After the death of the Bishop of Sherborne, he and Hyngr (a chieftain described in Egil's Saga as a Welshman, but whose name, Sharon-Turner thinks, sounds very like a Danish one), led the attack on the main body of the English army. But Athelstan was prepared, and Thorolf and Alfgeirr's detachments were instantly opposed to them. Alfgeirr was soon overpowered and fled, on perceiving which Thorolf threw his shield behind him, and hewed his way with his heavy two-hand sword through the opposing mass until he reached the standard of Hyngr. A few moments decided the fate of that chieftain. Thorolf ordered Egil, though weakened by the defeat and flight of Alfgeirr, to resist Adils, but to be prepared to retreat to the cover of a neighbouring wood, if necessary. Adils, mourning the death of his colleague, at length gave way, and the preliminary nocturnal combat ended. After a day's rest,* Egil led the van of the Anglo-Saxon army, and Thorolf opposed the "irregular Irish," which formed part of Anlaf's own division, and extended to the wood previously mentioned. Turketal, the English chancellor, a man of stalwart proportions, who commanded the citizens of London, and Singin of Worcestershire, were opposed to Constantine, king of the Scots, while Athelstan, at the head of his West Saxons, confronted Anlaf in person. Thorolf attempted to turn the enemies' flank, when Adils rushed from his ambush in the wood, and countered the movement. Egils saw with dismay Thorolf's banner retreating. He knew by this that he must have fallen; and, rushing to the spot, he rallied the scattered band, successfully renewed the attack, and, in Sharon-Turner's words, "sacrificed Adils to the manes of Thorolf." The Councillor pierced the enemy's centre, heedless of the arrows and spears which fastened on his armour. Constantine and he met and fought hand to hand for some time, and Singer slew the prince, his son, who fought valiantly by his father's side. This vigorous and successful onslaught produced a panic among the Scots, and correspondingly elated the English. In the meanwhile Athelstan and his brother, Edmund, the Atheling, were engaged with the main body of the enemy under Anlaf. The grandson of the Great Alfred and the presumed grandson of Radnor Lodbrog contended both for dominion and renown. In the midst of the fight Athelstan's sword-blade snapped near the handle. Another was supplied to him, it was said, by miraculous agency, which saved his life. At length the tremendous struggle, which lasted throughout the day, was brought to a close by Turketal chasing the Scots from the battle-field, and turning Anlaf's flank. Immense slaughter ensued; the enemy's ranks began rapidly to thin; the English shouted "victory!" and Athelstan, profiting by the auspicious opportunity, ordered his banner to the front, and by a determined and well-directed onslaught, broke the enemy's now enfeebled ranks. They fled in various directions, and, according to Egil's saga, "the plain was filled with their bodies." Anlaf and his immediate followers narrowly escaped to their ships and embarked for Ireland. Sharon-Turner says -

Thus terminated this dangerous and important conflict. Its successful issue was of such consequence, that it raised Athelstan in the eyes of all Europe. The kings of the continent sought his friendship, and England began to assume a majestic port amid the other nations of the west. Amongst the Anglo-Saxons it excited such rejoicings that not only their poets aspired to commemorate it, but the songs were so popular, that one of them is inserted in the Saxon Chronicle as the best memorial of the event.


Some of the MSS. of the Chronicle have the following additional reference to the battle: -

A. 937. This year King Athelstan and Edmund his brother led a force to Brunanburh, and there fought against Anlaf; and Christ helping, had the victory; and they there slew five kings and seven earls.

Simeon, of Durham, says one of these five monarchs was "Eligenius, an under-king of Deira," or the eastern portion of the then kingdom of Northumbria.

Athelstan died in 940, and, in the following year, the Chronicle says his successor "Edmund received king Anlaf at baptism." In 942, it says - "This year King Anlaf died." There were, however, two other chieftains of the same name, who flourished somewhat later.

Historians are scarcely, even at the present day, unanimous in their views as to what monarch ought to be regarded as the first "king of England." Some say Egbert; but his authority rarely if ever extended over the whole of the country now so named, and a very large proportion of it was merely a kind of nominal "over lordship," which carried with it very little governing influence, and, such as it was, it was held on a very precarious tenure. Others contend that the distinction belongs to Alfred the Great. Yet Alfred, though beloved by all the English-speaking people in the land, was compelled to share the territory with his Danish rival, Gothrun. Sharon-Turner says - "The truth seems to be that Alfred was the first monarch of the Anglo-Saxons, but Athelstan was the first monarch of England." He adds - "After the battle of Brunanburh, Athelstan had no competitor; he was the immediate Sovereign of all England. He was even nominal lord of Wales and Scotland." This seems to be the true solution of the query.

It is a most remarkable circumstance that the site of this great victory, notwithstanding the magnitude of the contending armies and the importance of its political and social results, was, until recently, at least, absolutely unknown, and it cannot yet be said that the true locality has been demonstrated with sufficient clearness to entirely remove all doubt. Many places have been suggested on the most frivolous grounds. The question where is, or was, Brunanburh is still sounding in the ear of the historical student, and echo merely answers "Where?" Yet I think I have made the nearest approach to the solution of this problem, in the "History of Preston and its Environs," that has yet been attempted, and further investigation enables me to add considerably to the evidence there adduced.

It is, perhaps, necessary that some attempt should be made to determine the cause or causes why the site of so important a victory, celebrated in the finest extant short poem in the Anglo-Saxon tongue, and so important in its political results, should have become lost both to the history and tradition of the English victors. At first sight there appears something singularly exceptionable in the fact. But a closer inspection of the details of what may be termed the Anglo-Saxon period of conflict with their Scandinavian enemies, Danish, Norwegian, or Norman-French, soon removes this impression, the sites of many other, almost equally important struggles, and notoriously some of those in which the Great Alfred was engaged, having been subjected to similar doubt, if not oblivion.

In the first place it must not be forgotten that after the death of Athelstan, the Danish invasions were renewed, and, after various successes and defeats, the Scandinavian monarchs, Sweyn and Canute, before the end of the tenth century, ruled despotically over all England. Even the temporary restoration of the Anglo-Saxon dynastic element, in the person of Edward the Confessor, in consequence of his Norman-French connection and early education, did little to remove the pressure of the foreign yoke, in the provinces at least; and what influence it may have exerted was speedily eradicated by the decisive victory of William the Norman, near Hastings, in the middle of the following century. Conquest, in those days, meant subjugation to the extent of a deprivation of all rights - at least all political rights - and many social privileges, and absolute serfdom for the great mass of the population. Consequently it was the policy of the conquerors to ignore, and, as far as possible, enforce the ignorement of all past glorious achievements of the ancestors of the subjugated peoples. Doubtless, tradition would still, with its tenacious grasp, retain some recollection of the great exploits of their forefathers, and, in secret, the people would cherish their memory with a more intense love, on account of the persecution to which its open expression would be subjected. But in those days there were no printing presses, nor journalism, local or metropolitan. The people could not read, and even the nobles, in the main, like old King Cole, in the song, because he could afford to salary a secretary, "scorned the fetters of the four and twenty letters, and it saved them a vast deal of trouble." Now, these secretaries were almost, if not entirely, ecclesiastics; and they were likewise the only literary, or learned men, existing during the period to which I refer. These ecclesiastics, in different monasteries, kept records of the general events of the period in which they lived, of a very meagre character, and devoted more time and space to matters ecclesiastical, as might reasonably be anticipated. Again, when the Danish and Norman warriors obtained the supreme power, it is easy to understand that the ecclesiastical domination was speedily transferred to their clerical confreres; and, of course, whatever obscurity rested on the details of previous victories or glories of the subject race, would be intensified rather than lessened, by any action of theirs, even supposing (which is anything but probable), that they themselves possessed much authentic information respecting such events. Subsequent writers, of course, dealt largely in mere conjecture, on the flimsiest of evidence; and, as they sometimes differ so widely from each other, or as they are so obscure in their topographical definitions and nomenclature, little is derivable from their labours of value to the modern historian and antiquary. Consequently, although there are many references to the great battle itself, both in the several chronicles, the poem to which I have referred, and in some Scandinavian sagas, written in honour of two of their warriors of the free-lance, or Dugal Dalgetty class, who fought on the side of the English monarch, the site of the great conflict has remained doubtful to the present time.

Henry of Huntingdon, who wrote in the earlier portion of the twelfth century, referring to the twelve presumed victories of Arthur, accounts for the then loss of their sites in the following characteristic fashion - "These battles and battle-fields are described by Gildas," [Nennius,] "the historian, but in our times the places are unknown, the Providence of God, we consider, having so ordered it that popular applause and flattery, and transitory glory, might be of no account."

The clerical historian seems to have thoroughly understood the motives of his predecessors in the destruction of the records of a heretical or pagan race.

Mr. Daniel H. Haigh, in his "Conquest of Britain by the Saxons," referring to the absence of Runic inscriptions in the south of England, and their partial preservation in the Northumbrian kingdom, has the following pertinent observations: -

The first missionaries, St. Augustine and his brethren, used all their endeavours to destroy every monument of Runic antiquity, because runes had been the means of pagan augury, and of preserving the memory of pagan hymns and incantations; for, knowing how prone the common people were to their ancient superstitions (of which even after the lapse of twelve centuries many vestiges still remain), and how difficult it would be to teach them to distinguish the use of a thing from its abuse, they feared that their labours would be in vain so long as the monuments of ancient superstition remained. So every Runic writing disappeared; and we may well believe, that records which to us would be invaluable, perished in the general destruction. In the first instance S. Gregory had commanded that everything connected with paganism should be destroyed; but afterwards, in a letter to S. Milletus, he recommended that the symbols only of paganism should be done away with, but that the sanctuaries should be consecrated and used as churches. These instructions were in force when S. Paulinus evangelized Northumbria; and we cannot doubt that the work of destruction would be effectively done under the auspices of a prince whose police was so vigorous as we are informed that Eadwine's was. But after his death, and the flight of S. Paulinus, the restoration of Christianity in Northumbria was effected by missionaries of the Irish school, whose fathers in Ireland had pursued from the first a different policy, by allowing the memorials of antiquity to remain, and contenting themselves with consecrating the monuments of paganism, and marking them with the symbols of Christianity. Under their auspices Runic writing was permitted, for we can trace its use in Northumbria to the very times of S. Oswald, whilst every vestige has disappeared of the Runic records of an earlier period. Mercia received its Christianity from the Irish school of Lindisfarne, and we have runes on the coins of the first Christian kings, Peada and Œthelræd.

But for the zealous labour of Archbishop Parker, in the sixteenth century, even few of the remaining Anglo-Saxon MSS. would have been preserved to the present day. John Bale, writing in 1549, says - "A great number of them that purchased the monasteries reserved the books of those libraries; some to scour their candlesticks, some to rub their boots, some they sold to grocers and soapsellers, some they sent over sea to the book-binders, not in small numbers, but at times whole ships full, to the wondering of foreign nations." Religious and political rancour has too often consigned to destruction the archives and monuments of hated rivals. Cardinal Ximines, somewhat earlier, committed to the flames an immense mass of valuable Arabic MSS. and, not long afterwards, Archbishop Zumarraga committed a similar act of insensate vandalism on the picture-written national archives of Mexico. Our mediæval historians, indeed, have themselves much to answer for in this direction. Strype says that Polydore Vergil, having, by licence from Henry VIII., when writing his history, procured many valuable books from various libraries in England, on its conclusion, piled "those same books together, and set them all on a light fire."

Mr. Frederick Metcalf ("Englishman and Scandinavian") waxed wrath as he contemplated the irreparable loss sustained through the ignorance and fanaticism of our forefathers. He exclaims - "Cart loads of Old English mythical and heroic epics, finished histories in the vernacular, heaps of pieces teeming with sprightly humour, with vivid portraiture, with precious touches of nature, may or may not have been destroyed by the Danes, by the Normans, in their contempt for everything Anglo-Saxon, by insensate scribes in want of vellum - who scraped out things of beauty to make room for their own doting effusions, or pasted the leaves of MSS. together to make bindings - by the Reformers, by the Roundheads, by fire, by crass folly."

Independently of wilful neglect or active destruction, the Anglo-Norman transcripts of previous Anglo-Saxon MSS. now existing are not only rarities, but wretchedly deficient, owing to both accidental damage, and the carelessness, or ignorance, of their monkish transcribers. Thorpe, referring to the only existing early MS. of the poem "Beowulf," in his preface to his work on the "Anglo-Saxon Poems of Beowulf, the Scôp or Gleeman's Tale, and the Fight at Finnesburg," says - "Unfortunately, as of Cædmon and the Codex Exoniensis, there is only a single manuscript of Beowulf extant, which I take to be of the first half of the eleventh century (MS. Cott. Vitellius A. 15). All manuscripts of Anglo-Saxon poetry are deplorably inaccurate, evincing, in almost every page, the ignorance of an illiterate scribe, frequently (as was the monastic custom) copying from dictation; but of all Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, that of Beowulf may, I believe, be conscientiously pronounced the worst, independently of its present lamentable condition, in consequence of the fire at Cotton House, in 1731, whereby it was seriously injured, being partially rendered as friable as touchwood. In perfect accordance with this judgment of the manuscript and its writer is the testimony of Dr. Grundtvig, who says - 'The ancient scribe did not rightly understand what he himself was writing; and, what was worse, the conflagration in 1731 had rendered a part wholly or almost illegible.' Mr. Kemble's words are to the same effect - 'The manuscript of Beowulf is unhappily among the most corrupt of all the Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, and corrupt they all are without exception.'"

My attention was first called to the probable site of Athelstan's great victory at Brunanburh, when dealing with the "great Cuerdale Find," of May, 1840. Mr. Hawkins, vice-president of the Numismatic Society, who devoted much attention to the contents of this remarkable chest, says "the hoard consisted of about 975 ounces of silver in ingots, ornaments, etc., besides about 7,000 coins of various descriptions." From my own knowledge many of the coins and some of the ornaments were never seen by Mr. Hawkins. Referring to this subject, in the "History of Preston," I say - "Many of the coins unquestionably found their way surreptitiously into the hands of collectors; consequently there is some difficulty in determining the precise number discovered. It is pretty generally believed, however, that the chest originally contained about ten thousand coins." These coins were all of silver. "Many of the silver rings and smaller bars were, likewise, 'appropriated' before any record of the 'find' was made."

The collection contained numismatic treasures both of English and foreign mintage, and all were coined antecedent to the great battle, although the most modern amongst them date within a very few years of that event. Dr. Worsaae, the celebrated Danish antiquary, speaking of this "find," says - "To judge from the coins, which, with few exceptions, were minted between the years 815 and 930, the treasure must have been buried in the first half of the tenth century, or about a hundred years before the time of Canute the Great."

My position, therefore, is that this great treasure chest was buried near the "pass of the Ribble," at Cuerdale, opposite Preston, during this troubled period, and probably on the retreat of the confederated Irish, Scotch, Welsh, Scandinavian, and Anglo-Danish armies, after their disastrous defeat by the English under Athelstan, at the great battle of Brunanburh, in 937, which may not inaptly be styled, on account of its magnitude and important results, the Waterloo of the tenth century.

Various places have from time to time been suggested as the probable locality of the conflict, but upon the very slenderest of evidence. Some say Colecroft, near Axminster, Devonshire. One authority assigns the following reason for this site - "Axminster is supposed to have derived its present name from a college of priests, founded here by Athelstan, to pray for the souls of those who fell in the conflict, and who were buried in the cemetery of Axminster; there were five kings and eight earls amongst them." A claim has been advanced for Beverley in Yorkshire, for a similar reason. But the founding of a monastery, or other expression of thanksgiving for a victory, does not necessarily indicate the locality of the conflict. William the Conqueror did certainly found Battle Abbey on the site of his great victory; but such a practice is by no means of ordinary occurrence, and without corroborative evidence is valueless. Camden thought the battle was fought at Ford, near Bromeridge, in Northumberland. Skene, in his "Celtic Scotland," prefers Aldborough, on the Ouse, and regards the huge monoliths, known as "the devil's arrows," as memorials of the victory. Gibson and others suggest Bromborough, in Cheshire. The editor of the "Imperial Gazetteer" assigns Broomridge, no doubt on Camden's authority, and Brinkburn, in the Rothsay district, in Northumberland, or some other, as probable sites of the battle. Brinkburn is said to be the "true situation of Brunanburh," in "Beauties of England and Wales." The name was written in 1154, by John of Hexham, Brincaburgh. Banbury, in Oxfordshire, and Bourne, and the neighbourhood of Barton-on-Humber, in Lincolnshire, and a Bambro', a Bambury, and some other places have likewise found advocates.

Dr. Giles, in his annotation of Ethelwerd's Chronicle, fixes Brunanburh at Brumby, in Lincolnshire, but he assigns no reasons for his preference. Brunton, in Northumberland, and, I believe, some other places, have been suggested. The mere identity of the name Brunanburh, in some corrupted form, though important, is insufficient, without corroborative evidence, simply because the names of so many places, in various parts of the country, admit of such derivation. There are several even in Lancashire, to which I shall afterwards call attention. Localities on the east, the south, and the west coasts of England have each found advocates, some, certainly, on very slight grounds. Mr. Weddle, of Wargrove, near Warrington, in his essay on the site, in 1857, pertinently reminds the investigator that the very "uncertainty of the whereabouts of the battle-field" is a good reason why it should be sought for "in some place half-forgotten." Such being the case, I may, without much presumption, after studying the subject now for five and twenty years, adhere to my previously suggested solution of this great historical and topographical enigma.

The available evidence is very diversified in its character, and may be dealt with under several distinct heads. In the first place I will endeavour to show why I maintain that the discovery of the long buried treasure at Cuerdale, in 1840, has furnished the key by which we may probably unlock the mystery.

From its great value in the tenth century, the evidence of recent mintage at the time of its deposition, and the vast number of rare and foreign coins, many of which were struck by Scandinavian kings or jarls, all lead to the conjecture that the treasure had not originally belonged to some private individual or inferior chieftain. It must not be forgotten that coin was first made "sterling" in the year 1216, before which time Stowe says rents were mostly paid in "kind," and money was found only in the coffers of the barons.

The great probability, therefore, appears to be that some powerful monarch, or confederacy, owned the chest, and that its burial near one of the three fords at the "pass of the Ribble" was caused by some signal discomfiture or military defeat, in order to prevent its falling into the hands of the enemy. Its non-recovery afterwards would naturally result from the slaughter of the parties acquainted with the precise locality of its deposit in the disastrous riot attendant upon so great victory as that achieved by Athelstan at Brunanburh. Tradition had, however, preserved the memory of its burial, but the exact site was unknown. It was popularly thought, however, that it could be seen from the hill on which the church of Walton-le-dale stands, and which overlooks all the three fords which constituted the "famous pass of the Ribble." The late Mr. Barton F. Allen, of Preston, remembered that in his youth a farmer ploughed a field which had remained in pasture from time immemorial, in hope of finding the treasure. At the time I came upon the Roman remains, near the great central ford, 1855, I was surprised to learn a rumour was abroad that we had "come on't goud" at last. This resulted from the fact that the Anglo-Danish hoard consisted entirely of silver, and the belief of the workmen that the Roman brass coins, found at the time, from their colour, when polished, were golden ones. I therefore contend that these facts (taken in conjunction with the more important one, that the date of the deposit, as demonstrated by the coins themselves, coincides with that of Athelstan's great victory), indicate, in a very high degree, the probable connection of the two events. The burial of treasure, in times of great disaster, was a very ordinary occurrence during the Roman dominion in Britain, and was not unusual with their successors, the Anglo-Saxons and Danes. Two hoards, one found at Walmersley, to the north of Bury, and the other at Whittle, near the present presumed site of Athelstan's victory, to the south of the Ribble, from the date of the coins, coincide with the time of the defeat of the usurpers Carausius and Allectus, commanders of the Roman fleet stationed to protect the shores of Britain from the ravages of Saxon pirates. Later the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says - "A. 418, this year the Romans collected all the treasures that were in Britain, and some they hid in the earth, so that no one has since been able to find them; and some they carried with them into Gaul." Ethelwerd's Chronicle furnishes further details - "A. 418. In the ninth year also, after the sacking of Rome by the Goths, those of Roman race who were left in Britain, not bearing the manifold insults of the people, bury their treasures in pits, thinking that hereafter they might have better fortune, which never was the case; and, taking a portion, assembled on the coasts, spread their canvass to the winds, and seek an exile on the shores of Gaul."

The "pass of the Ribble" is marked on the old map, published by Dr. Whitaker, with the crossed swords, indicative of a battle having been fought there, but this, though not unimportant in most cases, is of little value as evidence in favour of my hypothesis, inasmuch as, from its geographical position, it has, of necessity, often been the site of military conflicts, several of which are recorded in both local and other historical works.

The site now suggested agrees best, in a topographical sense, with the various descriptions of the conflict, the primary object of the war, and the necessary movements of the several combatants engaged. The great Roman road from the north passed through the county, and entered Cheshire at Latchford near Warrington. This road would serve both the invading Scots and Athelstan, and his army of West Saxons, Mercians, and other allies. A Roman road, from the Ribble and Wyre, called "Watling-street," crossed the country to York and the eastern coast. We have distinct information that Anlaf's great object was the re-conquest of the kingdom of Northumbria, and that, in the first instance, success crowned his efforts. Athelstan's two governors, Gudrekir and Alfgeirr, were defeated, and the former slain. His colleague fled to his sovereign with the tidings of their discomfiture. The grandson of the Great Alfred immediately assembled his army and marched northward to confront in person his successful rival and his powerful allies. It appears, therefore, nearly absolutely certain that the struggle took place in Northumbria, or on its border, and, consequently other localities outside this region may almost be said to be "not in the hunt." Anlaf was the ruling chief of Dublin, and the virtual organizer and head of the confederacy. One wing of his army, according to Egil's saga, "was very numerous, and consisted of the disorderly Irish." The coast of Lancashire being part of the then Danish kingdom of Northumbria, was, in every respect, adapted for the landing of this portion of the invading army. Hoveden, Mailros, and Simeon of Durham certainly say that Anlaf commenced the warfare by "entering the Humber with a fleet of 615 ships." This, however, may refer merely to the "fleets of the warriors from Norway and the Baltic," who joined in the confederacy. If Anlaf himself commanded this expedition in person, then he must have deputed the leadership of his "disorderly Irish" to one of his lieutenants. From an inspection of the map it will be found, after the defeat of Gudrekir and Alfgeirr, that the "pass of the Ribble," from a military point of view, was one of the most probable places at which the junction of the allies would take place. The Cumbrian Britons and the North and West Welsh could easily, by good Roman roads, join the Scottish monarch, as well as Anlaf's Irish troops and the warriors from Norway and the Baltic, at this spot, and dispute the passage of the fords with Athelstan's forces from the south. The "pass of the Ribble," from a topographical and military point of view, may therefore be assumed as very probably the site of the conflict.

I have previously referred to the fact that the name Brunanburh, in any corrupted form, is of little value in the present investigation without very strong supporting evidence, simply because so many localities have equal claim to it. The name itself is likewise variously written by the older writers when referring to the battle. It is termed "Bellum Brune," or the "Battle of the Brune," in the Brut y Tywysogion, or the "Chronicle of the Princes of Wales," and the "Annales Cambria." Henry of Huntingdon calls the locality Brunesburh; and the name is variously written by Geffrei Gaimar as Brunewerche, Brunewerce, and Brunewest. Ethelwerd, a contemporary chronicler, calls the place Brunandune. The author of Egil's saga calls the site Vinheid. Simeon of Durham says the battle was fought near Weondune or Ethrunnanwerch, or Brunnan byrge. William of Malmesbury gives the name Brunsford, and Ingulph says Brunford in Northumbria. Notwithstanding the very important fact that the southern portion of the county of Lancaster suffered so much in the raids of Gilbert de Lacy and his soldiery after the Norman conquest, and the consequent non-productive character of much of the territory at the time of the Domesday survey, which caused very few names of places to be recorded in that valuable historical document, still I think present topographical nomenclature south of the "pass of the Ribble" sufficient to identify the locality from etymological evidence equal or superior in value to that yet advanced in favour of any other site. The word brunan means simply, in modern English, springs, and burh refers to any work of military defence of an artificial character. Brun has been corrupted, according to the conjectures of the authorities which I have previously cited, into Burn, Brom, Brum, Broom, Bran, Ban, Bourne, Brink, and Brin.

The name of the parish of Brindle, to the south-east of the "pass of the Ribble," has been written in various documents during the past few centuries, Burnhull, Brinhill, Brandhill, and, after becoming Brandle and Bryndhull, ends in its present Brindle. Now, burn and brun are acknowledged to be identical, the metathesis, as philologists term it, or transposition of the letter r under such circumstances being very common, especially in Lancashire. We say brid for bird, brun for burn, brunt for burnt, brast for burst, thurst for thrust, and some others. Birmingham is often called "Brummigem." Indeed, Taylor, the "Water Poet," in his account of Old Parr, writes it "Brimicham." The short u with us is ofttimes sounded nearly like i, as in burst, burn, etc., like the German ü in Reüter, Müller, Prüssien, etc. Hence the interchangeability of brin for brun, of which the following are examples: The Icelandic Brynhildr, of the Eddaic poems, is the Brunhild of the Nibelungenlied; Brinsley, in Nottinghamshire, is sometimes written Brunsley; Burnside, near Kendal, was once Brynshead; Brynn, the seat of Lord Gerrard, between Wigan and Newton-in-Mackerfield, was, as I have shown in a previous chapter, anciently written Brun; and, in addition, I have recently seen, in Herman Moll's atlas, published in 1723, this same Brindle, south of Ribble, written Brunall, and, what is still further corroborative, in Christopher Saxton's much earlier map, published in Camden's "Britannia," it is written Brundell, while Bryne and Burnley are spelled as at present. Bryn or bron signifies a little hill, or the slope of a hill. As burh sometimes signifies a hill or eminence, as well as a fortification, the interchange of the British bryn with its Teutonic neighbour is in no way remarkable, but rather what might have been anticipated. Indeed, we find this phonetic substitution in Bernicia (the northern portion of Northumbria), the British equivalent being Bryneich. Brunan, as I have before said, signifies springs. Brindle church is situated on the slope of a hill, and the district, as a personal visit, or a glance at the six-inch ordnance map, will show, is remarkable for its numerous "wells," from which pure water issues from the surface of the ground. Dalton springs, Denham springs, and the well-known Whittle springs are in the neighbourhood, and one hamlet is named Manysprings.

In addition to Brindle we have Brinscall and Burnicroft, and Brownedge or Brunedge within the district. Between what I will now term Brunhull and Brunedge, we have the hamlet Bamber, now termed Bamber Bridge. Baumber, in Lincolnshire, is sometimes written Bamburgh. Bramber, in Sussex, in Herman Moll's map (1723) is written Bamber, and in the Domesday survey Branber. Bromley, sometimes written Bramley, in Kent, is Brunlei, in the Domboc, and Bromborough, in Cheshire, is written Brunburgh, in Herman Moll's map. Hence if bam be likewise a corruption of brun, we have Brunberg, with Brunhull and Brunedge in immediate contiguity. The Rev. Jno. Whitaker and the Rev. E. Sibson say bam signifies war. This is a very significant corruption, if a great battle were fought in its neighbourhood. Other authorities say bam means a "beam, a tree, a wood." This might imply that a fortification or stockade occupied the spot, or it might mean the fort in the wood, or in the neighbourhood of the wood, like the Welsh Bettws-y-coed. In Egil's saga "the wood" is often referred to in the detailed description of the battle. We have yet Worden-wood, Whittle-le-woods, Clayton-le-woods, and some others contiguous.

Kemble, in his (appendix) list of "patronymical names," which he regards as "those of ancient Marks," has two references, from the "Codex Diplomaticus," to "Bruningas," but he gives no conjecture as to the locality of its modern representative.

Mr. C. A. Weddle, of Wargrove, near Warrington, in 1857, when advocating the claims of Brunton, in Northumberland, after summing up the various names mentioned by the old writers, and referring to their evident corruption and variation, says -

Two of them in particular, Weardune and Wendune, I have never seen noticed by any modern writer, yet Weardune appears to me the most important name, if Brunanburh be excepted, and EVEN THIS IS NOT MORE SO. As to Wendune it is evidently a mistake in the transcribing for Werdune, the Anglo-Saxon r being merely n, with a long bottom stroke on the left.

Mr. Weddle finds a Warden Hill, about two miles from the farm-house in "Chollerford field," in the neighbourhood of Brunton. This he considers as very conclusive evidence in favour of the locality being the Brunanburh of which we are in search. If such be the case, the existence of Wearden, or Worden, in the immediate neighbourhood of Brunhill, Bamber, and Brunedge, must unquestionably be more so, and especially when taken in connection with the large amount of corroborative evidence with which it is surrounded. The term Weardune is sometimes written Weondune, which, after the correction of the n, as suggested by Mr. Weddle, is Weorden. The ancient seat of the Faringtons, of Leyland and Farington, is variously written Werden, Worden, and Wearden, and it is pronounced by the inhabitants of the neighbourhood Wearden at the present day. It must have been a place of some importance in the time of the Roman occupation. Many coins, and a heavy gold* signet ring, bearing the letters S P Q R, have been found there. The place is situated near the great Roman highway, and, if Anlaf's troops covered the "pass of the Ribble" near Brunhull, Brunburh and Brunedge, Wearden is precisely the neighbourhood where Athelstan's forces, coming from the south, would encamp in front of them. Dr. Kuerden, upwards of two centuries ago, describes the northern boundary of the township of Euxton-burgh as the "Werden broke." Mr. Baines states that there is in Leyland churchyard "a stone of the 14th century, covering all that remains of the Weardens of Golden Hill." It is highly probable that the present Cuerden is itself a corruption of Wearden. The prefix Cuer is found in Cuerden, Cuerdale (where the great hoard was found), and Cuerdley near Prescot, and in no other part of England. The names in the locality, as I have previously said, are not recorded in the Domesday survey, but the Norman-French generally represented the English sound w by gu. Philologists regard the consonants c, q, ch, and g, as "identical" or "convertible," consequently, if I assume the initial C in Cuerden to be equivalent to G, we have a Norman-French method of writing Wearden. That cu was used to represent the sound of our w, is demonstrated by a reference to the survey itself, for in the Domesday record, Fishwick, now a portion of the borough of Preston, and situated on the opposite bank of the Ribble to Cuerdale, is actually written Fiscuic. Leland, too, in his Itinerary, spells the river Cocker indifferently with the initials C, G, and K. The district in the parish of Leyland, anciently styled Cunnolvesmores, is sometimes found written Gunoldsmores.

Simeon of Durham says the battle was fought near Weondune, or Ethrunanwerch, or Brunnan byrge. I have never seen any attempt to identify this Ethrunanwerch with any modern locality in any part of the country. There is no such name to be found now, nor anything suggestive of it, in a gazetteer of England and Wales, and I therefore presume that it has either entirely disappeared or become so altered as to be unrecognizable. Consequently, if I fail in an attempt to identify it, not much injury will result therefrom. The termination werch presents no difficulty. It is evidently worth, as in Saddleworth, Shuttleworth, etc., and could easily give place to some other suffix indicating residence or occupation, or even locality. The prefix Ethrunan is more difficult to deal with, and I should perhaps not have attempted its solution, if I had not seen on a map the name Rother applied to one of the head waters which, uniting near Stockport, form the Mersey. This stream is generally called the Etherow.* This is the nearest approach to Ethrunan that I have been able to meet with. If rother, by a kind of metathesis, is an equivalent to ether, perhaps I can detect two distinct remains of the word Ethrunanwerch, in the neighbourhood of Wearden. On the ordnance map we have, about a mile from Werden Hall, Rotherham Top, and a stream, recently diverted for the purpose of the Liverpool water supply, named the Roddlesworth. This word implies a place on the bank of a stream, and as the d and th are phonetic equivalents, it may be read Rothelsworth or Ethrunlesworth; indeed, Mr. Baines expressly says, "Withnall, or Withnell, also a part of the lordship of Gunoldsmores, containing Rothelsworth, a name derived from Roddlesworth, or Mouldenwater, a rapid stream." On the one-inch to the mile ordnance map there is a name which preserves the form of the first part of the word without the transposition, or metathesis, to which I have referred. Not far from Worden Hall is a small hamlet named "Ethrington." The fact that these names exist in the neighbourhood strengthens the probability that the etymology is not altogether fanciful, and consequently lends support to the presumption that the locality suggested may be the true site of Athelstan's great victory.

I have said that there are several places in Lancashire, even, which answer to Brunan or Brun. The following are amongst the number: On the Wyre, near the commencement of the Roman agger or "Danes' Pad," as it is locally termed, which led from the Portus Setantiorum of Ptolemy to York, is a place named Bourne, written in the Domesday survey Brune. Bourne Hall is situated upon a "dune" or hill, which commands a relatively recently blocked up channel of the Wyre. Therefore Brunnandune or Brunford would strictly apply to it. Bryning-with-Kellamergh, near Warton, in the parish of Kirkham, is described in a charter of the reign of John, as Brichscrach Brun and Kelmersburgh. In the time of Henry III. it is described as Brininge. Not far from Rochdale is a spot named "Kildanes," near Bamford. The site is not much more than two miles from a place named Burnedge or Brunedge. There is a Burnage between Manchester and Stockport. Burnley is situated on the river Burn, generally, however, called the Brun. This demonstrates how utterly impossible it is to identify the locality by the name Brunanburh. The Manchester, Rochdale, and Burnley sites are too far from the seashore. The fine old poem, describing the battle, says emphatically - "There were made flee the Northman's chieftain, By need constrained, To the ship's prow, With a little band. The bark drove afloat - The king departed - On the fallow flood his life he preserved." And, again, the poem says - "The Northmen departed In their nailed barks; Bloody relic of darts; On roaring ocean, O'er the deep water, DUBLIN to seek; Again Ireland shamed in mind." And further - "West Saxons onwards Throughout the day, In numerous bands, Pursued the footsteps of the loathed nations." I therefore contend that, in this particular, as well as those already disposed of, the "pass of the Ribble" answers to the locality of the struggle, as described by contemporary authority. Where this topographical feature is wanting, I hold it to be fatal. The ships of Anlaf might be attending the army in the estuaries of the Ribble or Wyre, and to them the defeated and routed forces would, of course, repair with headlong speed, after crossing the fords, the defence of which they had so gallantly, if unsuccessfully, attempted. During this hasty retreat, I contend it is highly probable the great Cuerdale hoard was deposited, and, owing to death, or other disaster, the precise locality could not be determined in after times, although the tradition of its deposition remained. There is plenty of analagous evidence in support of such a conjecture, to some of which I have already referred. In the seventh volume of "Collectania Antiqua," Mr. Charles Roach Smith, referring to the then recent discovery near the Roman station, "Procolitia," near the great Roman Wall, of an enormous mass (15,000) of Roman coins, weighing about 400 pounds, says he regards the hoard as part of the money set apart for the payment of the troops occupying the adjoining castrum, which, owing to some sudden panic in the reign of Gratian, was concealed in the well or fountain dedicated to a local divinity, Conesstina. The Saxon Chronicle, as well as Ethelwerd, as I have already stated, refer to the burying of treasure under similar circumstances. The former says - "This year (A.D. 418) the Romans collected all the treasures that were in Britain, and some they hid in the earth, so that no one has since been able to find them, and some they carried with them into Gaul."

Athelstan's connection with Preston and its neighbourhood, at the head of his army, is attested by stronger evidence than mere tradition. In the year 930 he granted the whole of the hundred of Amounderness to the cathedral church at York. He is said to have "purchased" the territory with his own money, a somewhat remarkable financial operation for a conquering king in the tenth century, in Anglo-Saxon and Pagan Danish times. But perhaps a previous grant to the church at Ripon influenced him in this matter.

In the early part of the seventeenth century lived one William Elston, who, in a MS. entitled, "Mundana Mutabilia, or Ethelestophylax," now in the Harleian collection in the British Museum, placed upon record the following interesting particulars relative to this monarch - "It was once told me by Mr. Alexander Elston, who was uncle to my father and sonne to Ralph Elston, my great grandfather, that the said Ralph Elston had a deede or a copy of a deede in the Saxon tongue, wherein it did appear that king Ethelstan lying in camp in this county upon occacon of warres, gave the land of Ethelston vnto one to whom himself was Belsyre." (godfather).

The township of Elston, in the parish of Preston, formerly written Ethelstan, is situated on the north bank of the Ribble a little above Cuerdale and Red Scar.

To the south of Brindle and the east of Worden, near Whittle Springs, is a large tumulus, and the hill side on which it is situated has the appearance of having been, at some time, disturbed by human agency. A Roman vicinal way, from Wigan to Blackburn, or Mellor, where it joins the main highway from Manchester to Ribchester, passes near it. Remains of this road were discovered near Adlington not many years ago. Another ancient road, probably of similar origin, leaves the main Roman military way from Warrington to Lancaster at Bamberbridge, and running in the direction of Manchester, crosses this in its neighbourhood. This tumulus is named "Pickering Castle;" which has an important significance. Tumuli are often termed "castles." We have the "Castle Hill" near Newton-in-Mackerfield, and the "Castle Hill" at Penwortham, near Preston. The tumulus near to "Whittle Springs" is very similar to these in appearance, and may, on excavation, prove to be a sepulchral mound. Pickering, according to the method of interpretation adopted by John Mitchell Kemble, in his "Saxons in England," should indicate the "Mark" of a sept or clan bearing that name, like the Faringas as at Farington, Billingas as at Billington, and many others. But there is not the slightest reference by any writer of such a name ever holding property in the neighbourhood, and Mr. Kemble places the Pickering, in Yorkshire, only among the probable instances, as he had never met with any account of a Saxon family or mark answering to it. As the letters P and V are interchangeable sounds, "vikingring" has been suggested as the original form of the word. Dr. Smith, in his annotations to Marsh's "Lectures on the English Languages," speaks of the "Danes being led by the vikings, the younger sons of their royal houses." As the old poem says - "Five kings lay on the battle-stead. Youthful kings By swords in slumber laid. So seven eke Of Anlaf's earls, Of the army countless." This interpretation seems not improbable; yet it may be no more than an accidental coincidence rather than a legitimate derivation. As P and B are equally interchangeable consonants, I am inclined to think that "Bickering Castle" may have been the original name of the tumulus. Bicra, in the modern Welsh, means to fight, from whence our word bickering. In this case, ing meaning field, the interpretation would be the "Castle of the Battle-Field." There is some good analogy in support of this view. Mr. Thos. Baines, in his "Lancashire and Cheshire: Past and Present," says - "The Peckforton Hills extend from Beeston Castle to the Dee. On one of them Bickerton Hill, 500 feet high, is a strong camp with a double line of earthworks. One front overlooks the plain of Cheshire. The earthwork is called the "Maiden Castle." Not far from Bickerton Hill is Bickley, where, according to Ormerod, certain brass tablets were recently discovered, recording a grant of the freedom of the city of Rome to certain troops serving in Britain in the reign of Trajan, A.D. 98-117, some of whom may have been stationed in the neighbourhood where the tablets were found. We have in Lancashire the township of Bickerstaffe, and an adjoining wood named Bickershaw. Bickerstaffe was anciently written Bickerstat and Bykyrstath. Stadt, stad, or stead means a station or settlement. Thus we have battle-wood and battle-stead. We have seen that the old poem says - "Five kings lay on the battle-stead, youthful kings, by swords in slumber laid." Besides, we find Bicker and Bickering in Lincolnshire, and Bickerton in both Northumberland and the East Riding of Yorkshire. Whatever this may be worth, it is most desirable that this tumulus should be dug into, for remains might, and probably would, be found which could throw additional light upon the subject of the present investigation.

In the yard of Brindle Parish Church, beneath the chancel window, is an ancient stone coffin, with a circular hollow for the head of the corpse. Nothing further is known respecting it, beyond that it was dug up somewhere in the neighbourhood, and had been removed to its present position with a view to its preservation.

In 1867 I examined the Ancient British burial mound and its contents, then recently discovered in the park land attached to Whitehall, and contiguous to that of Low Hill House, the residence of Mr. Ellis Shorrock, at Over Darwen, and contributed a paper respecting it to the Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Historic Society. In that paper I say - "I heard that there is a tradition, yet implicitly relied on, which speaks of a battle fought in the olden time somewhere in the neighbourhood of Tockholes in the Roddlesworth valley, and stories that remains, including those of horses, have been found, which are believed to confirm it. Respecting this I may have something to say in a future paper." What I have to say is this: that if a severe struggle took place near the tumulus to which I have referred, the routed army, following the Roman vicinal way to Ribchester, would pass by the locality, which is not far distant. This adds another link in the chain of evidence by which I have sought to demonstrate that the most probable site of Athelstan's great victory at Brunanburh is that which I have indicated near the famous "pass of the Ribble," to the south of Preston, and that the great Cuerdale hoard of treasure was buried on the bank of the stream, during the disastrous retreat of the routed confederate armies.

In the appendix to the "History of Preston and its Environs," published in 1857, after discussing Mr. Weddle's objections to a Lancashire site, I concluded with the following words - "These reasons, in conjunction with those advanced in the second chapter of this work, induce the author to prefer the locality, in the present state of the evidence, as the most probable site of the 'battle of the Brun.'"

Although the evidence advanced in its favour on the present occasion is considerably in excess of that previously obtainable, I still merely reassert my previous conviction, without dogmatism, that, on weighing the whole of the evidence yet adduced, I am justified in maintaining that the site I name is the most probable which has yet been suggested; indeed, there is very little reliable evidence in favour of any other. But, in conclusion, I again reiterate what I wrote twenty-five years ago, when dealing with the Roman topography of the county, that "no permanent settlement of so difficult a question ought to be insisted upon, until every means of investigation and all the resources of logical inference have been fairly exhausted."

I have already said that the neighbourhood of Preston and "the pass of the Ribble," as might have been expected from its topographical position, and consequent strategical importance, has been the scene of many known conflicts. Robert Bruce, in 1323, burned the town, but ventured no further southward. Holinshed says he "entered into England, by Carlisle, kept on his way through Cumberland, Westmoreland, and Lancaster, to Preston, which town he burnt, as he had done others in the counties he had passed through, and, after three weeks and three days, he returned into Scotland without engaging."

Dr. Kuerden, writing shortly before the guild of 1682, laments the destruction of documentary evidence relating to this famous Preston festival during the turmoil of civil war. After enumerating the dates of those still preserved, in his day, in the Corporation records, he says - "These are such as doth appeare within the Records and Gild Books, that yet remain extant and in being, though some I conceive to be omitted, as one Gild in Henry 6th dayes occasion'd, as I conceive, in those distractions and civil wars betwixt the Houses of Lancaster and York; another Gild Merchant omitted to be kept in K. H. 8th dayes, occasioned, as may be thought, by the Revolutions at that time in Church affayres; the next that are wanting may be through the loss of Records in K. Edw. 3rd dayes [sic.] wheras the Scottish army burnt the Burrough of Preston to the very ground." Kuerden is in error with reference to the king's reign in which this disaster occurred; Bruce's foray took place in the reign of Edward II.

In the "History of Preston and its Environs," p. 50, I say - "A tradition still remains that Roman Ribchester was destroyed by an earthquake; another that it was reduced to ashes in the early part of the fourteenth century, during the great inroad of the Scots under Bruce. Both are highly improbable. Had Roman Ribchester remained a place of any importance till the period referred to, it could scarcely have failed to have attracted the notice of some of the elder chroniclers or topographers. True, the Saxon village may have shared the fate of Preston, in the celebrated foray of our northern neighbours, and hence the tradition! An earthquake in England, of sufficient magnitude to bury a Roman 'city,' (to use the elder Whitaker's emphatic style,) 'must' have found some one to record it. Other facts, however, demonstrate that this tradition can have no better foundation than the vague conjecture of ignorant peasants; who, on first discovering remains of ancient buildings beneath the soil, naturally attributed their subterranean location to the action of some earthquake, in that mysterious period usually denominated the 'olden time.'" In Leland's day, the remains of the Roman temple dedicated to Minerva were believed to have been connected with Jewish religious rites and ceremonies, from the simple fact that they knew of no other non-Christian sect with whom to associate them.

At the commencement of the campaign in 1643 between Charles I. and the Parliament, General Fairfax, from his head quarters at Manchester, ordered an attack upon Preston, then garrisoned by the king's troops. The town was at that time fortified by "inner and outer walls of brick," no vestige of which now remains, although it was recently not very difficult to trace their site. The command was entrusted to General Sir John Seaton. Captain Booth led the attack, and scaled the outer wall. The garrison defended the inner wall with great valour, "with push of pike," until Sir John Seaton, having stormed the defences on the eastern side, entered the town by Church-street, when they were overpowered, and the Parliamentary army obtained complete possession of the town, but not before the mayor, Adam Morte, and his son, had fallen in the conflict.

Colonel Rosworm, the celebrated Parliamentary engineer, afterwards refortified the town. Shortly afterwards Major-General Seaton and Colonel Ashton marched from Preston, with the view to relieve Lancaster, then besieged by the Earl of Derby. The earl drew off his troops on their approach, and falling suddenly on Preston, in its then defenceless state, stormed the works in three places. After an hour's severe fighting the place surrendered. Lord Derby secured the magazine, and destroyed the military works, fearing the place might again fall into the enemy's hands.

In August, 1664, a smart little struggle took place at Ribble Bridge, which Colonel Shuttleworth thus describes in his dispatch - "Right Honourable, - Upon Thursday last, marching with three of my troops upon Blackburn towards Preston, where the ennemie lay, I met eleven of their colours at Ribble Bridge, within a mile of Preston, whereupon, after a sharp fight, we took the Lord Ogleby, a Scotch Lord, Colonel Ennis, one other colonel slaine, one major wounded, and divers officers and soldiers to the number of forty in all taken, besides eight or nine slaine, with the losse of twelve men taken prisoners, which afterwards were released by Sir John Meldrum upon his coming to Preston the night following, from whence the enemy fled."

Four years afterwards, Cromwell achieved his great victory over the Duke of Hamilton and the Marquis of Langdale. Reference has been made, in the previous chapter, to the rapid march of the Parliamentary forces from Skipton, by Clitheroe, to Stonyhurst, where they encamped on the evening of August 16th, 1648. Some difference respecting the then famous "Covenant" prevented Langdale's forces from combining heartily with those of the Duke. His English troops were encamped on Ribbleton Moor, to the east of Preston. Hamilton's Scotch forces were widely scattered. Some of his advanced horse lay at Wigan; his main army occupied Preston, while his rear, under Monro, were in the neighbourhood of Garstang. Short work was made, notwithstanding the great numerical superiority, with such discipline and divided councils, by a soldier of Cromwell's calibre. In the words of Thomas Carlyle, he "dashed in upon him, cut him in two, drove him north and south, into as miserable ruin as his worst enemy could wish." "The bridge of Ribble" was fiercely contested. When the Parliamentary troops, with "push of pike" (Cromwell's equivalent for the modern phrase "at the point of the bayonet"), at length prevailed, the duke's army retreated over the Darwen, which joins the Ribble in the immediate neighbourhood. Night put an end to the conflict. Before daylight the Royalist army decamped, but was hotly pursued, through Chorley, Wigan, and Warrington, into the midland counties, and rapidly destroyed. The Duke of Hamilton was taken prisoner at Uttoxeter, and a similar fate befel Langdale at Nottingham.*

This victory is celebrated as one of Cromwell's greatest military achievements, by Milton, in his famous sonnet: -

Cromwell, our chief of men, who, through a cloud
Not of war only, but detractions rude,
Guided by faith and matchless fortitude,
To peace and truth thy glorious way has plough'd,
And on the neck of crowned Fortune proud
Hast reared God's trophies and his work pursued,
While Darwen stream with blood of Scots imbued,
And Dunbar field resound thy praises loud,
And Worcester's laureat wreath. Yet much remains
To conquer still; Peace hath her victories
No less renown'd than War; new foes arise
Threat'ning to bind our souls with secular chains:
Help us to save free conscience from the paw
Of hireling wolves, whose gospel is their maw.

The number of the troops engaged in this short but brilliant campaign is stated variously by different authorities. There is an entry in the records of the Corporation of Preston which says "Decimo Septimo die Augustie, 1648, 24 Car, - That Henry Blundell, gent., being mayor of this town of Preston, the daie and yeare aforesaid, Oliver Cromwell, lieutenant-general of the forces of the Parliament of England, with an army of about 10,000 at the most, (whereof 1500 were Lancashire men, under the command of Colonel Ralph Assheton, of Middleton), fought a battail in and about Preston aforesaid, and over-threw Duke Hamilton, general of the Scots, consisting of about 26,000, and of English, Sir Marmaduke Langdale and his forces, joined with the Scots, about 4,000; took all their ammunition, about 3,000 prisoners, killed many with very small losse to the parliament army; and in their pursuit towards Lancaster, Wigan, Warrington, and divers other places in Cheshire, Staffordshire, and Nottinghamshire, took the said Duke and Langdale, with many Scottish earls and lords, and about 10,000 prisoners more, all being taken [or] slayne, few escaping, and all their treasure and plunder taken. This performed in less than one week."

Captain Hodgson notices the plundering propensities of the enemy, but, as we have seen in the previous chapter, he entertained no higher an opinion of his Lancashire allies, with respect to their "looting" proclivities. His estimate of the numbers of the army of the Parliament is somewhat less than that in the Corporation record. He says - "The Scots marched towards Kendal, we towards Rippon; where Oliver met us with horse and foot. We were then betwixt eight and nine thousand; a fine smart army, and fit for action. We marched up to Skipton; and the forlorn of the enemy's horse was come to Gargrave, and took some men away, and made others pay what money they pleased; having made havock in the country, it seems intending never to come there again."

Cromwell, in his despatch "to the Honourable William Lenthall, Esquire, Speaker of the House of Commons," dated "Warrington, 20th August, 1648," of course attributes all the honour and glory to the Almighty, yet, modestly enough, he claims some credit as due to the Parliamentary army, if it rested merely upon the disparity in the number of the combatants. He says - "Thus you have a Narrative of the particulars of the success which God hath given you; which I could hardly at this time have done, considering the multiplicity of business, but truly, when I was once engaged in it, I could hardly tell how to say less, there being so much of God in it; and I am not willing to say more, lest there should seem to be any of man. Only give me leave to add one word, showing the disparity of forces on both sides, that you may see, and all the world acknowledge, the great hand of God in this business. The Scots army could not be less than twelve thousand effective foot, well armed, and five thousand horse; Langdale not less than two thousand five hundred foot, and fifteen hundred horse; in all Twenty-one-Thousand: and truly very few of their foot but were as well armed if not better than yours, and at divers disputes did fight two or three hours before they would quit their ground. Yours were about two thousand five hundred horse and dragoons of your old Army; about four thousand foot of your old Army; also about sixteen hundred Lancashire foot, and about five hundred Lancashire horse; in all about Eight thousand Six hundred. You see by computation about two thousand of the Enemy slain; betwixt eight and nine thousand prisoners; besides what are lurking in hedges and private places, which the County daily bring in or destroy."

Notwithstanding the great social and political importance of this victory, and the renown of the general by whom it was achieved, whose very name is yet associated in the minds of some with every odious moral feature, and, in the judgment of others, with the highest English statesmanship, unselfish patriotism, and sincere religious conviction, the amount of legendary story which it has left behind is singularly limited. I have heard of several localities in Lancashire, and some neighbouring counties, where tradition records that Oliver Cromwell once visited the district and slept in some specified house or mansion, although there exists not the slightest reliable evidence that Oliver was ever in the neighbourhood. This, in some instances, I fancy, may be accounted for by the fact that Cromwell's name has become a typical or generic one, and has done duty for nearly a couple of centuries with the public generally, for every commander, either generals or subordinate officers, belonging to the Parliamentary armies.

One tradition, however, was well-known in my youthful days. The mound planted with trees on "Walton Flats" was always regarded as "the grave of the Scotch warriors." The place was rather a solitary one at night, and some superstitious fear was often confessed by others than children, when passing it after nightfall. It was in this mound, in 1855, whilst looking for remains of the said "Scotch warriors," that I came upon evidences of Roman occupation. Faith in the legend was attested when one of the workmen informed me that he had found in the mound a halfpenny with the figure of a Scotchman in the place of Britannia, on the reverse. I found it to be a Roman second brass coin, the military costume of a soldier suggesting to the labourer a kilted Highlander. Although at various times relics of the fight have been picked up, they are now extremely rare. The flood waters of the Ribble have occasionally dislodged human bones, including skulls, from the banks, and these are almost universally, if somewhat vaguely, associated with "Scotch warriors," but without any definite notion as to the period or cause of their presence in the neighbourhood. I remember, many years ago, suggesting to a very old man employed on a rope-walk near the south bank of the river, that, as a number of English, including some Lancashire men, were slain in the great battle in 1648, it was possible a portion of the bones might belong to them. He did not deny the possibility; but simply remarked that he had never heard the remains attributed to any but the aforesaid "Scotch warriors;" and he was evidently, from his point of view, too "patriotic" to entertain, himself, the slightest doubt on the subject.

A Protestant minister of Annandale, a Mr. Patten, who accompanied the Stuart army, and published a "History of the Rebellion" in 1715, condemns the Jacobite leaders for not defending the "Pass of the Ribble." The approach to the old bridge down the steep incline from Preston was by a lane, which was, he says, "very deep indeed." This lane was situated about midway between the present road and the hollow, yet visible, by which the Roman road passed to the north. He adds - "This is that famous lane at the end of which Oliver Cromwell met with a stout resistance from the King's forces, who from the height rolled down upon him and his men (when they had entered the lane) huge large millstones; and if Oliver himself had not forced his horse to jump into a quicksand, he had luckily ended his days there." Commenting on this passage in the "History of Preston," I say - "Notwithstanding Mr. Patten's political conversion afterwards, and his horror of the 'licentious freedom' of those who 'cry up the old doctrines of passive obedience, and give hints and arguments to prove hereditary right,' he appears to have retained all the antipathy of a Stuart partizan to the memory of Oliver Cromwell. Yet the loyalty of 1648 became rebellion in 1715, when Mr. Patten's head was in danger. Such is the mutation of human dogmatism."

Cromwell, in a letter to the Solicitor-General, "his worthy friend, Oliver St. John, Esquire," shortly after the battle, relates an incident which illustrates one of the phases of religious thought amongst our Puritan ancestors, and which is by no means extinct at the present time. He says - "I am informed from good hands, that a poor godly man died in Preston, the day before the fight; and being sick, near the hour of his death, he desired the woman that cooked to him, to fetch him a handful of grass. She did so; and when he received it, he asked, whether it would wither or not, now it was cut? The woman said 'yea.' He replied, 'So should this Army of the Scots do, and come to nothing, so soon as ours did but appear,' or words to this effect, and so immediately died."

Thomas Carlyle's old Puritan blood is up, as he contemplates the possibility of some adverse critic citing this story as evidence of Cromwell's intellectual weakness, or, at least, of his proneness to superstition. He almost fiercely exclaims - "Does the reader look with any intelligence into that poor old prophetic, symbolic, Death-bed scene at Preston? Any intelligence of Prophecy and Symbol, in general; of the symbolic Man-child Mahershalal-hashbaz at Jerusalem, or the handful of Cut Grass at Preston - of the opening Portals of Eternity, and what departing gleams there are in the Soul of the pure and the just? Mahershalal-hashbaz ('Hasten-to-the-spoil,' so called), and the bundle of Cut Grass are grown somewhat strange to us! Read; and having sneered duly, - consider."

In August, 1651, Colonel Lilburne defeated the Earl of Derby at Wigan-lane, in which engagement the gallant Major-general Sir Thomas Tildesley fell. On the day previous to the battle, a skirmish took place between the Royalists and the Parliamentary troops at the "pass of the Ribble." In his letter to Cromwell, Lilburne says - "The next day, in the afternoone, I having not foot with me, a party of the Enemies Horse fell smartly amongst us where our Horses were grazing, and for some space put us pretty hard to it; but at last it pleased the Lord to strengthen us so as that we put them to flight, and pursued them to Ribble-bridge, (this was something like our business at Mussleburgh), and kild and tooke about 30 prisoners, most Officers and Gentlemen, with the loss of two men that dyed next morning; but severall wounded, and divers of our good Horses killed."

ANNO DOMINI 1715. "Time's whirligig" hath brought about strange changes. A "Restoration" and a "Glorious Revolution" have passed across the stage. The faithful followers of the dethroned Stuarts, the "royalists" of the last century, have been transformed into the "rebels" of this. The partizans of Prince James Francis Edward Stuart, styled the "Elder Pretender," after a successful march from Scotland, arrived at Preston, and took possession of the town.

The "Chevalier" was proclaimed king. Brigadier Macintosh was anxious to defend the "pass" at Ribble-bridge, but, as the previous fortifications of the town had been destroyed, it was determined instead to barricade the entrance to the principal streets. The town was besieged for two days by Generals Wills and Carpenter. After a brave defence, notwithstanding the incompetency of "General" Forster, the partizans of the Stuart were compelled to surrender at discretion.*

In 1745, Prince Charles Edward, or the "Young Pretender," as he was styled, marched from Scotland on his way to Derby, through Preston; and again, a little more expeditiously on his return therefrom.

Mr. Robert Chambers says - "The clansmen had a superstitious dread, in consequence of the misfortunes of their party at Preston, in 1715, that they would never get beyond this town; to dispel the illusion, Lord George Murray crossed the Ribble, and quartered a number of men on the other side." A single repulse could scarcely justify such foreboding. The name of the Ribble had evidently become associated with previous disasters, as well as with the relatively recent surrender of the Scotch and English forces under Forster, Derwentwater, and Macintosh in 1715.

Considering the many exquisite poetical effusions which the misfortunes of the Stuarts added to Scottish literature, it is surprising that nothing, but some of the veriest doggrels in relation thereto, can be met with on the southern side of the border. "Brigadier Macintosh's Farewell to the Highlands" is beneath criticism, and "Long Preston Peggy to Proud Preston went" is not much better. In May, 1847, a story appeared in "New Tales of the Borders and the British Isles." It is introduced by the first stanza of the ballad. The scene is laid at Walton-le-dale and Preston, 1815. It is a sad jumble of fact and fiction. It confounds with one another events in the campaigns of 1715 and 1745, and illustrates, to some extent, the confusion of history and artistic fiction discussed in the preceding pages of this work. Peggy, who, in her old age, after a somewhat profuse indulgence in ardent spirits, had still some remains of a handsome face and fine person, frequently sung the song of which she was the heroine, five and twenty years after the occurrence of the events which gave rise to it.*

Mr. F. Metcalfe, in his "Englishman and Scandinavian," says, - "It is this same historian (William of Malmesbury), and not Asser, who relates the story of Alfred masquerading as a minstrel, and so gaining free access to the Danish camp, meanwhile learning their plans. It is not mentioned in the most ancient Saxon accounts. Indeed, it sounds more like a Scandinavian than a Saxon story, an echo of which has reached us in the tale of King Estmere, who adopted a similar disguise. A story was current of Olaf Cuaran entering Athelstan's camp disguised as a harper two days before the battle of Brunanburh."

Some writers say two days intervened, and Sir Francis Palgrave says the main battle was but a continuation of the night attack, and was therefore fought on the following day.

Mr. Thompson Watkins, His. Soc. Trans., says the metal is bronze.

In Herman Moll's map, the Etherow, before its junction with the Goyt and Tame, is written Mersey.

For details of this battle see "History of Preston and its Environs."

For details respecting this siege, see His. Preston, c. v.

Mr. J. P. Morris, in Notes and Queries, says - "Many collectors have endeavoured, but in vain, to find more of this old Lancashire ballad than the two verses given by Dr. Dixon, in his 'Songs and Ballads of the English Peasantry,' and by Mr. Harland, in his 'Ballads and Songs of Lancashire.' I have much pleasure in forwarding to Notes and Queries the following version, which is much more complete than any yet given:

Long Preston Peggy to Proud Preston went,
To view the Scotch Rebels it was her intent;
A noble Scotch lord, as he passed by,
On this Yorkshire damsel did soon cast an eye.

He called to his servant, who on him did wait -
'Go down to yon maiden who stands in the gate,
That sings with a voice so soft and so sweet,
And in my name do her lovingly greet.'

So down from his master away he did hie,
For to do his bidding, and bear her reply;
But ere to this beauteous virgin he came,
He moved his bonnet, not knowing her name.

'It's, oh! Mistress Madame, your beauty's adored,
By no other person than by a Scotch lord,
And if with his wishes you will comply,
All night in his chamber with him you shall lie.'

Sir Graham