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Chapter XI, of Cassells Illustrated History of England, Volume 1

Reign of Edred - War with the Northumbrians - The Monastery of Glastone bury rebuilt - St. Dunstan - Death of Edred.
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Edred was a mere youth when he succeeded to the crown, a circumstance which the Northumbrians were not slow to take advantage of, and instantly attempted to throw oil their allegiance; but after a variety of contests they were ultimately subdued, and Earl Osulph appointed to govern them. The last-mentioned personage, who was au Englishman, appears to have acted with no less vigour than prudence, erecting many strongholds, and placing efficient garrisons within them, to keep the natives of the newly-conquered province in subjection. These methods were so efficacious that Northumbria remained for a long time tranquil: in fact, till the Danes, by the chance of war, once more re-possessed themselves of it.

The young king, perfectly master of his own kingdom, and respected by the Scots, had now time to direct his attention to religious affairs, in which he was entirely guided by the Abbot of Glastonbury, Dunstan, whom Le had made High Treasurer, and at whose instigation he undertook to rebuild the monastery with great magnificence.

It was in this reign that the first great division arose between the regular and secular clergy.

The monks, contrary to the laws of the kingdom, prevailed on the king, through Dunstan, to induct them into; ecclesiastical benefices - a proceeding which caused great dissatisfaction throughout the realm. But such was the influence of the abbot, that the malcontents were obliged to smother their hatred till the reign of Edred's successor.

Grateful for the benefits procured through the patronage of Dunstan, the monkish writers were lavish in their praises of their patron; declared that he was a saint, had divine revelations, and frequently worked miracles.

Edred appears to have died suddenly, certainly before the Completion of the new abbey of Glastonbury, after a reign of nine years. It is reported that Dunstan was informed of his death whilst on the way to visit him, by an angel, who spoke in so loud a tone that the horse the saint was riding fell dead!

Such ridiculous legends passed for truth in those semi-barbarous and unenlightened times.

Edred left two sons, who did not, however, succeed him, the crown descending to his nephew Edwy, the son of his elder brother Edmund.

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