Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 09.djvu/429

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liam of Malmesbury points out that this is impossible, mentions it as one of the unfounded assertions of Faricius, and says that in King Alfred's Handbook it is clearly stated that Kenten (or Centwine) was not the brother, but a near kinsman of Ine. It certainly seems impossible to refuse to believe that the Kenten of Aldhelm's poem was other than King Centwine, and equally impossible to suppose that Aldhelm could have been writing about his own father. Centwine's retirement from the throne may have been only a very short time before his death, which took place in 685. He is said to have been buried at Winchester. He was succeeded by Ceadwalla [q. v.], in whose person the house of Ceawlin [q. v.] regained the kingship. Centwine is claimed as one of the benefactors of Glastonbury.

[Anglo-Saxon Chronicle; Florence of Worcester; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 718, Mon. Hist. Brit.; William of Malmesbury's Gesta Regum, i. c. 29, 36 (Eng. Hist. Soc.); Gesta Pontiff. 332, 352, 354, 360 (Rolls Ser.); Eddius's Vita Wilfridi, c. 40, ap. Historians of York (Rolls Ser.); Aldhelmi Opera, 114 (ed. Giles); Haddan and Stubbs's Councils and Eccl. Docs. iii. 141–4; Freeman's King Ine, Somerset Archæological Society's Journal, xviii. ii. 39–43, xx. ii. 24.]

W. H.

CENWALH, KENWEALH, or COINWALCH (d. 672), king of the West Saxons, succeeded his father Cynegils [q. v.] in 643. Although his father had been baptised, Cenwalh still remained a pagan, influenced probably by his wife, the sister of the Mercian king Penda. Soon after his accession he put away his wife and took another. To avenge his sister Penda made war upon him, and drove him from his kingdom. Cenwalh fled to Anna, the king of the East Angles, and tarried with him for three years. From Anna Cenwalh heard and received the truths of christianity. He was baptised by Felix, the bishop of the East Angles (Flor. Wig. i. 20). In 648 he was restored to his kingdom by the help of his nephew Cuthred, the son of Cwichelm [q. v.], and gave him in return three thousand hides of land about Æscesdun (Ashdown in Berkshire), or, as William of Malmesbury says, a third part of his kingdom (A.-S. Chron. an. 648; Hen. Hunt. 716; Will. Malm. i. c. 29). After his restoration he received a visit from the Frankish Agilberht, who had gone over into Ireland, and had dwelt there for some time in order to study the Scriptures. Agilberht pleased the king by his energy in preaching to his people, for the accession of Cenwalh appears to have been followed by a general relapse into paganism. Cenwalh, immediately on his return to his land, built St. Peter's at Winchester, and on the death of Birinus persuaded Agilberht to become his bishop, and established his see in his new church. In 652 the chronicle-writer says ‘Cenwealh fought at Bradford by the Avon.’ William of Malmesbury must refer to this campaign when he speaks of a rising of the Welsh, and of a victory gained by the West Saxons at a place called Wirtgernesburg. The battle of Bradford gave the West Saxons the long strip of forest land extending to Malmesbury that was left unconquered by Ceawlin [q. v.] On the site of Cenwalh's victory still stands the little church built by St. Aldhelm [q. v.], who has been supposed, though on insufficient grounds, to have been his nephew [see Centwine]. In 658 Cenwalh again fought with the Welsh. He defeated them at ‘Pens,’ and drove them as far as the Parret, making that river the western boundary of West-Saxon conquest instead of Ceawlin's frontier, the Axe. The renewed energy of the West Saxons seems to have excited the jealousy of Wulfhere, king of the Mercians, who may well have feared lest they should attempt to recover the lost territory of the Hwiccas (Green). In 661 he defeated Cenwalh, and ravaged his land as far as Ashdown. After a while Cenwalh, who knew no other tongue besides his own, grew weary of the foreign speech of his bishop Agilberht. Accordingly, about 660, without consulting him, he quietly invited a certain Wini who had been consecrated in Gaul, and who spoke his tongue, to come to him. He divided his kingdom into two bishoprics, and gave Wini the see of Winchester. Deeply offended at this treatment, Agilberht left Wessex and returned to Gaul, where he was made bishop of Paris. After a while, however, Cenwalh expelled Wini, and the West Saxons remained for some time without a bishop. The constant attacks of his enemies led the king to think that by keeping his kingdom without a bishop he was depriving it of divine protection, so he sent messengers to Gaul to pray Agilberht to return. Agilberht answered that he could not leave his bishopric, and sent over his nephew Leutherius (Hlodhere), who was a priest, instead of coming himself. Cenwalh and his people received Leutherius with honour, and he was ordained bishop in 670. Cenwalh died in 672. On his death Bæda says that the under-kings rid themselves of the supremacy of their overlord, and divided the kingdom between them for about ten years [see Centwine]. The chronicle-writer and Henry of Huntingdon, however, say that his queen, Sexburh, reigned for a year after him. Cen-