An English In Kentucky


















Tuesday September 11th 2012    Tim Candler

    Eanbald became Bishop of York.  The world around him was very much less than peaceful.  Heathen and pirate raids. Something terrible happened to the Church in Anglesey. As well, kings and princes competing for territory and political advantage. Hostages taken.  King Offa, who died the year before Eanbald received the pall, had during his life secured the Kingdom of Mercia against the Welsh to his west. His soldiers won battle after battle against  the powerful Kings of  Wessex.  They occupied Kent, defeated the East Anglians, and they were able to frighten the northerners by marching an army to the Humber River.  For all of fifteen years Offa owned most of southern England, except for Cornwall, which belonged to the Welsh Celts.  Offa's son and successor Ecgfrith, lasted one hundred and fourteen troubled days.  In 825 Egbert of Wessex won the battle of Ellendun.  Danish raiders decided they wanted land to occupy.  East Anglians took to revolt.  And chaos waited for the ambitions of Alfred.

    Those Early Middle Ages, for the tribes of the English, must have been an exciting place for a young, athletic man who could lift a battle axe or maybe a sword, and perhaps wear a helmet, and who had ambition and drive and a yearning to succeed.  It was simpler too, far fewer career choices, and life so much shorter.  In those days a person did indeed die before he or she had the audacity to become old and burdensome.  An injury beyond a minor abrasion, or blow to the head, pretty much meant painful and agonizing moments while waiting for a miracle.  Few survived the loss of an eye, or arm, or foot, sometimes a toothache was enough.  You could wake up in the morning, see pirate sails in the estuary, and by the evening if you were not in chains, your home was burned, the vegetable patch trampled, your livestock and all the girls taken away to Denmark, or Norway and winter just round the corner.  And in the end, if Bishop Eanbald were alive today he'd probably be able to give me as good a reason as any why Lee Davidson from just south of York, died in Helmand Province yesterday.

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