Ecclesiastical History of England, by Bede

Table of Contents

Editor's Preface


Life Of Bede


Book I

Chap. I. Of the Situation of Britain and Ireland, and of their ancient inhabitants.
Chap. ii. How Caius Julius Caesar was the first Roman that came into Britain.
Chap. iii. How Claudius, the second of the Romans who came into Britain, brought the islands Orcades into subjection to the Roman empire; and Vespasian, sent by him, reduced the Isle of Wight under the dominion of the Romans.
Chap. iv. How Lucius, king of Britain, writing to Pope Eleutherus, desired to be made a Christian.
Chap. V. How the Emperor Severus divided from the rest by a rampart that part of Britain which had been recovered.
Chap. vi. Of the reign of Diocletian, and how he persecuted the Christians.
Chap. vii. The Passion of St. Alban and his companions, who at that time shed their blood for our Lord.
Chap. viii. How, when the persecution ceased, the Church in Britain enjoyed peace till the time of the Arian heresy.
Chap. ix. How during the reign of Gratian, Maximus, being created Emperor in Britain, returned into Gaul with a mighty army.
Chap. X. How, in the reign of Arcadius, Pelagius, a Briton, insolently impugned the Grace of God.
Chap. xi. How during the reign of Honorius, Gratian and Constantine were created tyrants in Britain; and soon after the former was slain in Britain, and the latter in Gaul.
Chap. xii. How the Britons, being ravaged by the Scots and Picts, sought succour from the Romans, who coming a second time, built a wall across the island; but when this was broken down at once by the aforesaid enemies, they were reduced to greater distress than before.
Chap. xiii. How in the reign of Theodosius the younger, in whose time Palladius was sent to the Scots that believed in Christ, the Britons begging assistance of Ætius, the consul, could not obtain it. [446 a.d. ]
Chap. xiv. How the Britons, compelled by the great famine, drove the barbarians out of their territories; and soon after there ensued, along with abundance of corn, decay of morals, pestilence, and the downfall of the nation.
Chap. xv. How the Angles, being invited into Britain, at first drove off the enemy; but not long after, making a league with them, turned their weapons against their allies.
Chap. xvi. How the Britons obtained their first victory over the Angles, under the command of Ambrosius, a Roman.
Chap. xvii. How Germanus the Bishop, sailing into Britain with Lupus, first quelled the tempest of the sea, and afterwards that of the Pelagians, by Divine power. [429 a.d. ]
Chap. xviii. How the some holy man gave sight to the blind daughter of a tribune, and then coming to St. Alban, there received of his relics, and left other relics of the blessed Apostles and other martyrs. [429 a.d. ]
Chap. xix. How the same holy man, being detained there by sickness, by his prayers quenched a fire that had broken out among the houses, and was himself cured of his infirmity by a vision. [429 a.d. ]
Chap. xx. How the same Bishops brought help from Heaven to the Britons in a battle, and then returned home. [430 a.d. ]
Chap. xxi. How, when the Pelagian heresy began to spring up afresh, Germanus, returning to Britain with Severus, first restored bodily strength to a lame youth, then spiritual health to the people of God, having condemned or converted the Heretics. [447 a.d. ]
Chap. xxii. How the Britons, being for a time at rest from foreign invasions, wore themselves out by civil wars, and at the same time gave themselves up to more heinous crimes.
Chap. xxiii. How the holy Pope Gregory sent Augustine, with other monks, to preach to the English nation, and encouraged them by a letter of exhortation, not to desist from their labour. [596 a.d. ]
Chap. xxiv. How he wrote to the bishop of Arles to entertain them. [596 a.d. ]
Chap. xxv. How Augustine, coming into Britain, first preached in the Isle of Thanet to the King of Kent, and having obtained licence from him, went into Kent, in order to preach therein. [597 a.d. ]
Chap. xxvi. How St. Augustine in Kent followed the doctrine and manner of life of the primitive Church, and settled his episcopal see in the royal city. [597 a.d. ]
Chap. xxvii. How St. Augustine, being made a bishop, sent to acquaint Pope Gregory with what had been done in Britain, and asked and received replies, of which he stood in need. [597-601 a.d. ]
Chap. xxviii. How Pope Gregory wrote to the bishop of Arles to help Augustine in the work of God. [601 a.d. ]
Chap. xxix. How the same Pope sent to Augustine the Pall and a letter, along with several ministers of the Word. [601 a.d. ]
Chap. xxx. A copy of the letter which Pope Gregory sent to the Abbot Mellitus, then going into Britain. [601 a.d. ]
Chap. xxxi. How Pope Gregory, by letter, exhorted Augustine not to glory in his miracles. [601 a.d. ]
Chap. xxxii. How Pope Gregory sent letters and gifts to King Ethelbert. [601 a.d. ]
Chap. xxxiii. How Augustine repaired the church of our Saviour, and built the monastery of the blessed Peter the Apostle; and concerning Peter the first abbot of the same.
Chap. xxxiv. How Ethelfrid, king of the Northumbrians, having vanquished the nations of the Scots, expelled them from the territories of the English. [603 a.d. ]

Book ii

Chap. I. Of the death of the blessed Pope Gregory. 143 [604 a.d. ]
Chap. ii. How Augustine admonished the bishops of the Britons on behalf of Catholic peace, and to that end wrought a heavenly miracle in their presence; and of the vengeance that pursued them for their contempt. [ Circ. 603 a.d. ]
Chap. iii. How St. Augustine made Mellitus and Justus bishops; and of his death. [604 a.d. ]
Chap. iv. How Laurentius and his bishops admonished the Scots to observe the unity of the Holy Church, particularly in keeping of Easter; and how Mellitus went to Rome.
Chap. V. How, after the death of the kings Ethelbert and Sabert, their successors restored idolatry; for which reason, both Mellitus and Justus departed out of Britain. [616 a.d. ]
Chap. vi. How Laurentius, being reproved by the Apostle Peter, converted King Eadbald to Christ; and how the king soon recalled Mellitus and Justus to preach the Word. [617-618 a.d. ]
Chap. vii. How Bishop Mellitus by prayer quenched a fire in his city. [619 a.d. ]
Chap. viii. How Pope Boniface sent the Pall and a letter to Justus, successor to Mellitus. [624 a.d. ]
Chap. ix. Of the reign of King Edwin, and how Paulinus, coming to preach the Gospel, first converted his daughter and others to the mysteries of the faith of Christ. [625-626 a.d. ]
Chap. X. How Pope Boniface, by letter, exhorted the same king to embrace the faith. [ Circ. 625 a.d. ]
Chap. xi. How Pope Boniface advised the king's consort to use her best endeavours for his salvation. [ Circ. 625 a.d. ]
Chap. xii. How Edwin was persuaded to believe by a vision which he had once seen when he was in exile. [ Circ. 616 a.d. ]
Chap. xiii. Of the Council he held with his chief men concerning their reception of the faith of Christ, and how the high priest profaned his own altars. [627 a.d. ]
Chap. xiv. How King Edwin and his nation became Christians; and where Paulinus baptized them. [627 a.d. ]
Chap. xv. How the province of the East Angles received the faith of Christ. [627-628 a.d. ]
Chap. xvi. How Paulinus preached in the province of Lindsey; and of the character of the reign of Edwin. [ Circ. 628 a.d. ]
Chap. xvii. How Edwin received letters of exhortation from Pope Honorius, who also sent the pall to Paulinus. [634 a.d. ]
Chap. xviii. How Honorius, who succeeded Justus in the bishopric of Canterbury, received the pall and letters from Pope Honorius. [634 a.d. ]
Chap. xix. How the aforesaid Honorius first, and afterwards John, wrote letters to the nation of the Scots, concerning the observance of Easter, and the Pelagian heresy. [640 a.d. ]
Chap. xx. How Edwin being slain, Paulinus returned into Kent, and had the bishopric of Rochester conferred upon him. [633 a.d. ]

Book iii

Chap. I. How King Edwin's next successors lost both the faith of their nation and the kingdom; but the most Christian King Oswald retrieved both. [633 a.d. ]
Chap. ii. How, among innumerable other miracles of healing wrought by the wood of the cross, which King Oswald, being ready to engage against the barbarians, erected, a certain man had his injured arm healed. [634 a.d. ]
Chap. iii. How the same king Oswald, asking a bishop of the Scottish nation, had Aidan sent him, and granted him an episcopal see in the Isle of Lindisfarne. [635 a.d. ]
Chap. iv. When the nation of the Picts received the faith of Christ. [565 a.d. ]
Chap. V. Of the life of Bishop Aidan. [635 a.d. ]
Chap. vi. Of King Oswald's wonderful piety and religion. [635-642 a.d. ]
Chap. vii. How the West Saxons received the Word of God by the preaching of Birinus; and of his successors, Agilbert and Leutherius. [635-670 a.d. ]
Chap. viii. How Earconbert, King of Kent, ordered the idols to be destroyed; and of his daughter Earcongota, and his kinswoman Ethelberg, virgins consecrated to God. [640 a.d. ]
Chap. ix. How miracles of healing have been frequently wrought in the place where King Oswald was killed; and how, first, a traveller's horse was restored and afterwards a young girl cured of the palsy. [642 a.d. ]
Chap. X. How the dust of that place prevailed against fire. [After 642 a.d. ]
Chap. xi. How a light from Heaven stood all night over his relics, and how those possessed with devils were healed by them. [679-697 a.d. ]
Chap. xii. How a little boy was cured of a fever at his tomb.
Chap. xiii. How a certain person in Ireland was restored, when at the point of death, by his relics.
Chap. xiv. How on the death of Paulinus, Ithamar was made bishop of Rochester in his stead; and of the wonderful humility of King Oswin, who was cruelly slain by Oswy. [644-651 a.d. ]
Chap. xv. How Bishop Aidan foretold to certain seamen that a storm would arise, and gave them some holy oil to calm it. [Between 642 and 645 a.d. ]
Chap. xvi. How the same Aidan, by his prayers, saved the royal city when it was fired by the enemy [Before 651 a.d. ]
Chap. xvii. How a prop of the church on which Bishop Aidan was leaning when he died, could not be consumed when the rest of the Church was on fire; and concerning his inward life. [651 a.d. ]
Chap. xviii. Of the life and death of the religious King Sigbert. [ Circ. 631 a.d. ]
Chap. xix. How Fursa built a monastery among the East Angles, and of his visions and sanctity, to which, his flesh remaining uncorrupted after death bore testimony. [ Circ. 633 a.d. ]
Chap. xx. How, when Honorius died, Deusdedit became Archbishop of Canterbury; and of those who were at that time bishops of the East Angles, and of the church of Rochester. [653 a.d. ]
Chap. xxi. How the province of the Midland Angles became Christian under King Peada. [653 a.d. ]
Chap. xxii. How under King Sigbert, through the preaching of Cedd, the East Saxons again received the faith, which they had before cast off. [653 a.d. ]
Chap. xxiii. How Bishop Cedd, having a place for building a monastery given him by King Ethelwald, consecrated it to the Lord with prayer and fasting; and concerning his death. [659-664 a.d. ]
Chap. xxiv. How when King Penda was slain, the province of the Mercians received the faith of Christ, and Oswy gave possessions and territories to God, for building monasteries, as a thank offering for the victory obtained. [655 a.d. ]
Chap. xxv. How the question arose about the due time of keeping Easter, with those that came out of Scotland. 454 [664 a.d. ]
Chap. xxvi. How Colman, being worsted, returned home; and Tuda succeeded him in the bishopric; and of the state of the church under those teachers. [664 a.d. ]
Chap. xxvii. How Egbert, a holy man of the English nation, led a monastic life in Ireland. [664 a.d. ]
Chap. xxviii. How, when Tuda was dead, Wilfrid was ordained, in Gaul, and Ceadda, among the West Saxons, to be bishops for the province of the Northumbrians. [664 a.d. ]
Chap. xxix. How the priest Wighard was sent from Britain to Rome, to be ordained archbishop; of his death there, and of the letters of the Apostolic Pope giving an account thereof. [667 a.d. ]
Chap. xxx. How the East Saxons, during a pestilence, returned to idolatry, but were soon brought back from their error by the zeal of Bishop Jaruman. [665 a.d. ]

Book iv

Chap. I. How when Deusdedit died, Wighard was sent to Rome to receive the episcopate; but he dying there, Theodore was ordained archbishop, and sent into Britain with the Abbot Hadrian. [664-669 a.d. ]
Chap. ii. How Theodore visited all places; how the Churches of the English began to be instructed in the study of Holy Scripture, and in the Catholic truth; and how Putta was made bishop of the Church of Rochester in the room of Damianus. [669 a.d. ]
Chap. iii. How the above-mentioned Ceadda was made Bishop of the province of Mercians. Of his life, death, and burial. [669 a.d. ]
Chap. iv. How Bishop Colman, having left Britain, built two monasteries in the country of the Scots; the one for the Scots, the other for the English whom he had taken along with him. [667 a.d. ]
Chap. V. Of the death of the kings Oswy and Egbert, and of the synod held at the place Herutford, 560 in which Archbishop Theodore presided. [670-673 a.d. ]
Chap. vi. How Wynfrid being deposed, Sexwulf received his bishopric, and Earconwald was made bishop of the East Saxons. [675 a.d. ]
Chap. vii. How it was indicated by a light from heaven where the bodies of the nuns should be buried in the monastery of Berecingum. [675 a.d.?]
Chap. viii. How a little boy, dying in the same monastery, called upon a virgin that was to follow him; and how another nun, at the point of leaving her body, saw some small part of the future glory. [675 a.d.?]
Chap. ix. Of the signs which were shown from Heaven when the mother of that community departed this life. [675 a.d.?]
Chap. X. How a blind woman, praying in the burial-place of that monastery, was restored to her sight. [675 a.d.?]
Chap. xi. How Sebbi, king of the same province, ended his life in a monastery. [694 a.d. ]
Chap. xii. How Haedde succeeded Leutherius in the bishopric of the West Saxons; how Cuichelm succeeded Putta in the bishopric of the church of Rochester, and was himself succeeded by Gebmund; and who were then bishops of the Northumbrians. [673-681 a.d. ]
Chap. xiii. How Bishop Wilfrid converted the province of the South Saxons to Christ. [681 a.d. ]
Chap. xiv. How a pestilence ceased through the intercession of King Oswald. [681-686 a.d. ]
Chap. xv. How King Caedwalla, king of the Gewissae, having slain Ethelwalch, wasted that Province with cruel slaughter and devastation. [685 a.d. ]
Chap. xvi. How the Isle of Wight received Christian inhabitants, and two royal youths of that island were killed immediately after Baptism. [686 a.d. ]
Chap. xvii. Of the Synod held in the plain of Haethfelth, Archbishop Theodore being president. [680 a.d. ]
Chap. xviii. Of John, the precentor of the Apostolic see, who came into Britain to teach. [680 a.d. ]
Chap. xix. How Queen Ethelthryth always preserved her virginity, and her body suffered no corruption in the grave. [660-696 a.d. ]
Chap. xx. A Hymn concerning her.
Chap. xxi. How Bishop Theodore made peace between the kings Egfrid and Ethelred. [679 a.d. ]
Chap. xxii. How a certain captive's chains fell off when Masses were sung for him. [679 a.d. ]
Chap. xxiii. Of the life and death of the Abbess Hilda. [614-680 a.d. ]
Chap. xxiv. That there was in her monastery a brother, on whom the gift of song was bestowed by Heaven. 709 [680 a.d. ]
Chap. xxv. Of the vision that appeared to a certain man of God before the monastery of the city Coludi was burned down.
Chap. xxvi. Of the death of the Kings Egfrid and Hlothere. [684-685 a.d. ]
Chap. xxvii. How Cuthbert, a man of God, was made bishop; and how he lived and taught whilst still in the monastic life. [685 a.d. ]
Chap. xxviii. How the same St. Cuthbert, living the life of an Anchorite, by his prayers obtained a spring in a dry soil, and had a crop from seed sown by the labour of his hands out of season. [676 a.d. ]
Chap. xxix. How this bishop foretold that his own death was at hand to the anchorite Herebert. [687 a.d. ]
Chap. xxx. How his body was found altogether uncorrupted after it had been buried eleven years; and how his successor in the bishopric departed this world not long after. [698 a.d. ]
Chap. xxxi. Of one that was cured of a palsy at his tomb.
Chap. xxxii. Of one who was lately cured of a disease in his eye at the relics of St. Cuthbert.

Book V

Chap. I. How Ethelwald, successor to Cuthbert, leading a hermit's life, calmed a tempest by his prayers when the brethren were in danger at sea. [687-699 a.d. ]
Chap. ii. How Bishop John cured a dumb man by his blessing. [687 a.d. ]
Chap. iii. How he healed a sick maiden by his prayers. [705 a.d. ]
Chap. iv. How he healed a thegn's wife that was sick, with holy water.
Chap. V. How he likewise recalled by his prayers a thegn's servant from death.
Chap. vi. How, both by his prayers and blessing, he recalled from death one of his clerks, who had bruised himself by a fall.
Chap. vii. How Caedwalla, king of the West Saxons, went to Rome to be baptized; and his successor Ini, also devoutly journeyed to the same threshold of the holy Apostles. [688 a.d. ]
Chap. viii. How, when Archbishop Theodore died, Bertwald succeeded him as archbishop, and, among many others whom he ordained, he made the learned Tobias bishop of the church of Rochester. [690 a.d. ]
Chap. ix. How the holy man, Egbert, would have gone into Germany to preach, but could not; and how Wictbert went, but because he availed nothing, returned into Ireland, whence he came. [Circ. 688 a.d. ]
Chap. X. How Wilbrord, preaching in Frisland, converted many to Christ; and how his two companions, the Hewalds, suffered martyrdom. [690 a.d. ]
Chap. xi. How the venerable Suidbert in Britain, and Wilbrord at Rome, were ordained bishops for Frisland. [692 a.d. ]
Chap. xii. How one in the province of the Northumbrians, rose from the dead, and related many things which he had seen, some to be greatly dreaded and some to be desired. [Circ. 696 a.d. ]
Chap. xiii. How another contrarywise before his death saw a book containing his sins, which was shown him by devils. [704-709 a.d. ]
Chap. xiv. How another in like manner, being at the point of death, saw the place of punishment appointed for him in Hell.
Chap. xv. How divers churches of the Scots, at the instance of Adamnan, adopted the Catholic Easter; and how the same wrote a book about the holy places. [703 a.d. ]
Chap. xvi. The account given in the aforesaid book of the place of our Lord's Nativity, Passion, and Resurrection.
Chap. xvii. What he likewise wrote of the place of our Lord's Ascension, and the tombs of the patriarchs.
Chap. xviii. How the South Saxons received Eadbert and Eolla, and the West Saxons, Daniel and Aldhelm, for their bishops; and of the writings of the same Aldhelm. [705 a.d. ]
Chap. xix. How Coinred, king of the Mercians, and Offa, king of the East Saxons, ended their days at Rome, in the monastic habit; and of the life and death of Bishop Wilfrid. [709 a.d. ]
Chap. xx. How Albinus succeeded to the godly Abbot Hadrian, and Acca to Bishop Wilfrid. [709 a.d. ]
Chap. xxi. How the Abbot Ceolfrid sent master-builders to the King of the Picts to build a church, and with them an epistle concerning the Catholic Easter and the Tonsure. [710 a.d. ]
Chap. xxii. How the monks of Hii, and the monasteries subject to them, began to celebrate the canonical Easter at the preaching of Egbert. [716 a.d. ]
Chap. xxiii. Of the present state of the English nation, or of all Britain. [725-731 a.d. ]
Chap. xxiv. Chronological recapitulation of the whole work: also concerning the author himself.


Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52