The Battle of Maldon in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles
The Anglo-Saxon chronicles were lists of events kept at numerous monasteries scattered around England and Ireland during the period between the seventh and eleventh centuries when the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms preserved their precarious independence against invaders from the Continent. Many monasteries shared the same basic entries for events relevant to the region as a whole, adding events of local interest as they occured (e.g., a steeple falling, a new abbot). The entire entry for the battle described in the poem is this:
"A.D. 991. This year was Ipswich plundered; and very soon afterwards was Alderman Britnoth slain at Maldon. In this same year it was resolved that tribute should be given, for the first time, to the Danes, for the great terror they occasioned by the sea-coast. That was first 10,000 pounds. The first who advised this measure was Archbishop Siric."
Moreover, the context in which the reader encounters news of this battle is
hardly such that one might readily think it memorable. To consult the
online version of the Everyman translated edition,
click here and
scroll forward to 991.