Page:The dialect of the southern counties of Scotland - Murray - 1873.djvu/25

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Wilfrid in the church of York, Æthelwald in that of Lindisfarne, Acca in that of Hexham, and Pectelm or Peht-helm in that which is called Candida Casa (Whitherne)." On Pecthelm's death, in 735, he was succeeded by Frithewald, and at his decease, in 763, Pechtwin held the see till 776. Four bishops—Æthelberht, Baldwulf, Heathored, and Ecgred succeeded in due course. Not only do the names of these bishops indicate their nationality, but their existence proves that this part of the country was under the rule of the Northumbrian kings, for the rivalry between the Scoto-Irish and Latin-English branches of the church was so strong, that the expulsion of the ecclesiastics of either party followed as a matter of course when a territory changed hands.

But with the eighth century the tide of Northumbrian prosperity decisively turned. During the greater part of that century the North Anglian kingdom was torn and distracted by internal feuds and disputes for the crown, while its closing years brought the first instalments of those heathen hordes, whose devastations were continued with unabated fury for more than a century. The Danes were closely related kinsmen of the original Angle settlers, but being still heathens, their ravages were as terrible to the Christians of Northumbria, as those of Ida and his followers had been to the British. The final result of their invasion was to people the southern part of the Northan-hymbra-land (Deira) with a considerable Danish and half-Danish population, forming an important element in the ethnology, and what was of more immediate consequence, constituting a barrier which long retarded the incorporation of Northumbria, and permanently prevented that of the country between the Tweed and the Forth, with the rest of England. During this period the Northumbrian kingdom relapsed into utter anarchy and dismemberment, and the territories beyond the Tweed and Solway would have fallen an easy prey to the attacks of a powerful neighbour on the north. But the final struggle for mastery between the Scots and Picts, north of the Forth, on one or other side of which the Strathclyde Britons were generally engaged, occupied all the energies of these tribes, and restrained them from taking advantage of the weakness of the Angles. After the union of the Picts and Scots under Kenneth Mac Alpin in 843, "Saxonia" or Lothian was, according to the Pictish Chronicler, six times invaded and pillaged by him, in which incursions he is recorded to have "burnt the fortress of Dunbar, and spoiled the Abbey of Melrose." But he and his immediate successors made no attempt to retain possession of these districts, having enough to do in holding their own against the turbulence of their new Pictish subjects, the hostilities of the Britons of Strathclyde, and the inroads of the Danes and Norwegians, who, having now permanently occupied the east of England, the Orkneys and Caithness, the Isles and coasts of the West of Scotland and the Irish Sea, used these