Comets is in Astronomical Events.

1472 Great Comet

1556 Great Comet

1618 Great Comet

1664 Comet

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 678. This year appeared the comet-star in August, and shone every morning, during three months, like a sunbeam. Bishop Wilfrid being driven from his bishopric by King Everth (age 33), two bishops were consecrated in his stead, Bosa over the Deirians, and Eata over the Bernicians. About the same time also Eadhed was consecrated bishop over the people of Lindsey, being the first in that division.

Bede. 678. In the year of our Lord's incarnation 678, which is the eighth of the reign of Egfrid (age 33), in the month of August, appeared a star, called a comet, which continued for three months, rising in the morning, and darting out, as it were, a pillar of radiant flame. The same year a dissension broke out between King Egfrid (age 33) and the most reverend prelate, Wilfrid, who was driven from his see, and two bishops substituted in his stead, to preside over the nation of the Northumbrians, namely, Bosa, to preside over the nation of the Deiri; and Eata over that of the Bernicians; the latter having his see in the city of York [Map], the former in the church of Hagulstad [Map], or else Lindisfarne [Map]; both of them promoted to the episcopal dignity from a society of monks. With them also was Edhed ordained bishop in the province of Lindsey, which King Egfrid (age 33) had but newly subdued, having overcome and vanquished Wulfhere; and this was the first bishop of its own which tliat province had; the second was Ethelwin; the third Eadgar; the fourth Cynebert, who is there at present. Before Edhed, Sexwulf was bishop as well of that province, as of the Mercians and Midland Angles; so that when expelled from Lindsey, he continued in the government of those provinces. Edhed, Bosa, and Eata, were ordained at York [Map] by Archbishop Theodore (age 76); who also, three years after the departure of Wilfrid, added two bishops to their number; Trumbert, in the church of Hagulstad [Map], Eata still continuing in that of Lindisfarne; and Trumwine in the province of the Picts, which at that time was subject to the English. Edhed returning from Lindsey, because Ethelred had recovered that province, was placed by him over the church of Ripon.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 729. This year appeared the comet-star, and St. Egbert (age 90) died in Iona. This year also died the etheling Oswald; and Osric was slain, who was eleven winters king of Northumberland; to which kingdom Ceolwulf succeeded, and held it eight years. The said Ceolwulf was the son of Cutha, Cutha of Cuthwin, Cuthwin of Leodwald, Leodwald of Egwald, Egwald of Ealdhelm, Ealdhelm of Occa, Occa of Ida, Ida of Eoppa. Archbishop Bertwald died this year on the ides of January. He was bishop thirty-seven winters, and six months, and fourteen days. The same year Tatwine (age 59), who was before a priest at Bredon in Mercia, was consecrated archbishop by Daniel Bishop of Winchester, Ingwald Bishop of London, Aldwin Bishop of Lichfield, and Aldulf Bishop of Rochester, on the tenth day of June. He enjoyed the archbishopric about three years.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 891. This year went the army eastward; and King Arnulf fought with the land-force, ere the ships arrived, in conjunction with the eastern Franks, and Saxons, and Bavarians, and put them to flight. And three Scots came to King Alfred (age 42) in a boat without any oars from Ireland; whence they stole away, because they would live in a state of pilgrimage, for the love of God, they recked not where. The boat in which they came was made of two hides and a half; and they took with them provisions for seven nights; and within seven nights they came to land in Cornwall, and soon after went to King Alfred. They were thus named: Dubslane, and Macbeth, and Maelinmun. And Swinney, the best teacher that was among the Scots, departed this life. And the same year after Easter, about the gang-days or before, appeared the star that men in book-Latin call "cometa": some men say that in English it may be termed "hairy star"; for that there standeth off from it a long gleam of light, whilom on one side, whilom on each.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 905. This year Ethelwald enticed the army in East-Anglia to rebellion; so that they overran all the land of Mercia, until they came to Cricklade [Map], where they forded the Thames; and having seized, either in Bradon or thereabout, all that they could lay their hands upon, they went homeward again. King Edward (age 31) went after, as soon as he could gather his army, and overran all their land between the foss and the Ouse quite to the fens northward. Then being desirous of returning thence, he issued an order through the whole army, that they should all go out at once. But the Kentish men remained behind, contrary to his order, though he had sent seven messengers to them. Whereupon the army surrounded them, and there they fought. There fell Aldermen Siwulf and Sigelm; Eadwold, the king's thane; Abbot Kenwulf; Sigebriht, the son of Siwulf; Eadwald, the son of Acca; and many also with them; though I have named the most considerable. On the Danish side were slain Eohric their king, and Prince Ethelwald, who had enticed them to the war. Byrtsige, the son of Prince Brihtnoth; Governor Ysop; Governor Oskytel; and very many also with them that we now cannot name. And there was on either hand much slaughter made; but of the Danes there were more slain, though they remained masters of the field. Ealswitha died this same year; and a comet appeared on the thirteenth day before the calends of November.

William of Malmesbury Book 2 Chapter 9. 975In the year of our Lord 975, Edward (age 13) the son of Edgar (age 32) began to reign, and enjoyed the sovereignty for three years and a half. Dunstan (age 66), in common consent with the other bishops, elevated him to the royal dignity, in opposition, as it is said, to the will of some of the nobility, and of his stepmother (age 30); who was anxious to advance her son Ethelred (age 9), a child scarcely seven years of age, in order that herself might govern under colour of his name. Then, from the increasing malice of men, the happiness of the kingdom was impaired; then too, comets were seen, which were asserted certainly to portend either pestilence to the inhabitants, or a change in the government. Nor was it long ere there followed a scarcity of corn; famine among men; murrain among cattle; and an extraordinary accident at a royal town called Calne. For as soon as Edgar (age 32) was dead, the secular canons who had been for some time expelled their monasteries, rekindled the former feuds, alleging, that it was a great and serious disgrace, for new comers to drive the ancient inmates from their dwellings; that it could not be esteemed grateful to God, who had granted them their ancient habitations: neither could it be so to any considerate man, who might dread that injustice as likely to befall himself, which he had seen overtake others. Hence they proceeded to clamour and rage, and hastened to Dunstan (age 66); the principal people, as is the custom of the laity, exclaiming more especially, that the injury which the canons had wrongfully suffered, ought to be redressed by gentler measures. Moreover, one of them, Elferius, with more than common audacity, had even overturned almost all the monasteries which that highly revered monk Ethelwold, bishop of Winchester (age 71), had built throughout Mercia. On this account a full synod being convened, they first assembled at Winchester. What was the issue of the contest of that place, other writings declare;1 relating, that the image of our Saviour, speaking decidedly, confounded the canons and their party. But men's minds being not yet at rest on the subject, a council was called at Calne; where, when all the senators of England, the king being absent on account of his youth, had assembled in an upper chamber, and the business was agitated with much animosity and debate; while the weapons of harsh reproach were directed against that firmest bulwark of the church, I mean Dunstan (age 66), but could not shake it; and men of every rank were earnestly defending their several sides of the question; the floor with its beams and supporters gave way suddenly and fell to the ground. All fell with it except Dunstan (age 66), who alone escaped unhurt by standing on a single rafter which retained its position: the rest were either killed, or subjected to lasting infirmity. This miracle procured the archbishop peace on the score of the canons; all the English, both at that time and afterwards, yielding to his sentiments.

Note 1. When the question was agitated, whether the monks should be supported or the canons restored, the crucifix is said to have exclaimed, "Far be it from you: you have done well; to change again would be wrong". See Edmer, and Osberne, Angl. Sacra, ii. 219, 112.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 975. Here ended his earthly dreams Edgar, of Angles king (age 32); chose him other light, serene and lovely, spurning this frail abode, a life that mortals here call lean he quitted with disdain. July the month, by all agreed in this our land, whoever were in chronic lore correctly taught; the day the eighth, when Edgar young, rewarder of heroes, his life-his throne-resigned. Edward (age 13) his son, unwaxen child, of earls the prince, succeeded then to England's throne. Of royal race ten nights before departed hence Cyneward the good- prelate of manners mild. Well known to me in Mercia then, how low on earth God's glory fell on every side: chaced from the land, his servants fled,- their wisdom scorned; much grief to him whose bosom glow'd with fervent love of great Creation's Lord! Neglected then the God of wonders, victor of victors, monarch of heaven,- his laws by man transgressed! Then too was driv'n Oslac beloved an exile far from his native land over the rolling waves,- over the ganet-bath, over the water-throng, the abode of the whale,- fair-hair'd hero, wise and eloquent, of home bereft! Then too was seen, high in the heavens, the star on his station, that far and wide wise men call- lovers of truth and heav'nly lore- "cometa" by name. Widely was spread God's vengeance then throughout the land, and famine scour'd the hills. May heaven's guardian, the glory of angels, avert these ills, and give us bliss again; that bliss to all abundance yields from earth's choice fruits, throughout this happy isle.45

Note 45. The following passage from Cotton Tiberius B iv., relating to the accession of Edward the Martyr (age 13), should be added here- In his days, On account of his youth, The opponents of God Broke through God's laws; Alfhere alderman, And others many; And marr'd monastic rules; Minsters they razed, And monks drove away, And put God's laws to flight-Laws that King Edgar (age 32) Commanded the holy Saint Ethelwold (age 71) bishop Firmly to settle-Widows they stript Oft and at random. Many breaches of right And many bad laws Have arisen since; And after-times Prove only worse. Then too was Oslac The mighty earl Hunted from England's shores.

Florence of Worcester Continuation. 978. Elfwold, bishop of Dorchester, died, and was buried at Sherborne. A meteor was seen all over England at midnight, which was sometimes the colour of blood, and at other times fiery; it afterwards formed rays of light of various colours, and disappeared about day-break.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 995. This year appeared the comet-star.

John of Worcester. 24 Apr 1066. The same year a comet was seen on the eighth of the calends of May [24th April], not only in England, but, as it is reported, all over the world: it shone with excessive brilliance for seven days. Soon afterwards earl Tosti (age 40) returned from Flanders, and landed in the Isle of Wight [Map]; and, having compelled the islanders to give him pay and tribute, he departed, and plundered along the sea-coast, until he arrived at Sandwich, Kent [Map]. King Harold (age 44), who was then at London, having been informed of this, ordered a considerable fleet and a body of horse to be got ready, and prepared to go in person to the port of Sandwich, Kent [Map]. On receiving this intelligence, Tosti (age 40) took some of the boatmen of the place, willing or unwilling, into his service, and, departing thence, shaped his course for Lindsey [Map], where he burnt several vills and slew a number of men. Thereupon Edwin, earl of Mercia, and Morcar, earl of Northumbria, flew to the spot with some troops, and drove him out of that neighbourhood; and, on his departure, he repaired to Malcolm (age 35), king of the Scots, and remained with him during the whole summer. Meanwhile king Harold (age 44) arrived at the port of Sandwich, Kent [Map], and waited there for his fleet. When it was assembled, he sailed to the Isle of Wight [Map]; and as William (age 38), earl of Normandy, king Edward's cousin, was preparing an army for the invasion of England, he kept watch all the summer and autumn, to prevent his landing; besides which, he stationed a land army at suitable points along the sea-coast; but provisions failing towards the time of the feast of the Nativity of St. Mary [8th September], both the fleet and army were disbanded.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1106. In the first week of Lent, on the Friday, which was the fourteenth before the calends of March, in the evening appeared an unusual star; and a long time afterwards was seen every evening shining awhile. The star appeared in the south-west; it was thought little and dark; but the train of light which stood from it was very bright, and appeared like an immense beam shining north-east; and some evening this beam was seen as if it were moving itself forwards against the star. Some said that they saw more of such unusual stars at this time; but we do not write more fully about it, because we saw it not ourselves.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Jun 1110. Afterwards, in the month of June, appeared a star north-east, and its train stood before it towards the south-west. Thus was it seen many nights; and as the night advanced, when it rose higher, it was seen going backward toward the north-west.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. May 1114. This year, in the latter end of May, was seen an uncommon star with a long train, shining many nights. In this year also was so great an ebb of the tide everywhere in one day, as no man remembered before; so that men went riding and walking over the Thames eastward of London bridge. This year were very violent winds in the month of October; but it was immoderately rough in the night of the octave of St. Martin; and that was everywhere manifest both in town and country.

Florence of Worcester Continuation. 08 Oct 1132. A comet was seen on the eighth of the ides of October (8th October), and remained visible for nearly five days.

Chronicle of Gregory 1433. Around Oct 1433. Ande that same year apperyde stella comata, othyr wyse namyde a blasynge starre, yn the sowthe weste, etc.

Warkworth's Chronicle 1468. 1468. And the viij, yere of the regne of Kynge Edwarde, a lytelle before Michaelmasse, there apperyde a blasynge sterre in the weste, a iiij, fote hyghe by estymacyone, in evenynge, goynge fro the weste towarde the northe, and so endurede v, or vj, wekes.

1472 Great Comet

Warkworth's Chronicle 1472. Jan 1472. And in [the] same xj. yere of the Kynge, in the begynnynge of of Januarij, there apperyd the moste mervelous blasynge sterre1 that hade bene seyne. It aroose in the southe este, at ij. of the cloke at mydnyghte, and so contynuede a xij. nyghtes; and it arose ester and ester, tille it aroose fulle este; and rather, and rather2; and so whenne it roose playne est, it rose at x. of cloke in the nyght, and kept his cours flamynge westwarde overe England; and it hade a white flaume of fyre fervently brennynge, and it flammede endlonges fro the est to the weste, and noʒt upryght, and a grete hole therin, whereof the flawme came oute of, And aftyre a vj. or vij. dayes, it aroose north-est, and so bakkere and bakkere; and so enduryd a xiiij. nyghtes, fulle lytelle chaungynge, goynge from the north-este to the weste, and some tyme it wulde seme aquenchede oute, and sodanly it brent fervently ageyne. And thenne it was at one tyme playne northe, and thenne it compassede rounde aboute the lodesterre, for in the evynynge the blase went ageyns the southe, and in the mornynge playne northe, and thenne afterwarde west, and so more west, flaumyng up ryghte; and so the sterre contynuede iiij. wekys, tylle the xx. day of Feveryere; and whenne it appered yest in the fyrmament, thenne it lasted alle the nyghte, somewhat discendyng withe a grettere smoke one the heyre. And some menne seyde that the blassynges of the seide sterre was of a myle length. And a xij. dayes afore the vanyschynge therof, it appereryd in the evynynge, and was downe anone within two oures, and evyr of a colour pale stedfast; and it kept his course rysynge west in the northe, and so every nyght, it apperide lasse and lasse tylle it was as lytelle as a hesylle styke; and so at the laste it waneschede away the xx. day of Februarij. And some menne saide that this sterre was seene ij. or iij. oures afore the sunne rysynge in Decembre, iiij. days before Crystynmasse, in the south-west; so by that reasoune it compassed rounde abowte alle the erthe, alle way chaungynge his cours, as is afore reherside.

Note 1. The most mervelous blasynge sterre. See an account of this comet in the Nuremburgh Chronicle, Edit. 1493, fol. 254, rº. " Longum radium in modum flamme ingentis ignis emittens." - MS. Arundel, Mus. Brit. 220, fol. 279, v °. This comet is a return of the one described in a manuscript of the fourteenth century in Sion College Library )xix. 2, fol. 155, vº, b.), and of which there is a drawing on fol. 155, vº, a. Cf. MS. Trin. Cantab. R. xv. 18; Bib. Publ. Cantab. KK. IV. 7.; MS. Cotton. Jul. F. xi.

I give the following fragment relative to this comet from a MS. in the library of Pembroke College, Cambridge:

"Quidam presumpcionis filius in consulto sermone procacique oracione, volgari verbo tenus ornata, preter phisicas et astrologicas tradiciones, quas tamen similabat, terrenda populo prenunciavit; sed quoniam sermones sui a tradicionibus antiquorum sapientium similiter et a via veritatis omnino semoti, indignos memoria eos putavi. Dicebat quidem, caudam comete moveri motu simili motui martis in epiciclo, ex quo plura nitebatur concludere. Sed quoniam, ut posterius dicitur, ipsa minus mobilis erat capite comete, imo etiam semper versus occidentem verum [quid] em ex circumvolucione ejus promotum diurno cauda ipsius quandoque respiciebat orientem, sed nunquam movebatur versus orientem. Etiam uno die omnes differencias posicionis mundi respiciebat; mars autem in suo epiciclo nequaquam ita faciebat. Et forsan nullus planetarum epiciclum habet quod magis putandum opinor. Dicebant et alii, cometam a suo astro sicut ferrum a magnete trahi; cui dissonant dicta partis prime de motu cometarum. Et etiam quoniam motus tractus per lineam fit brevissimam. Alio non existenti impedimento continuo mobili ad trahens approximante. Ipso quoque mobili existenti cum trahente, fixum, ad modum ligati, detineretur; quoniam ibi finis est motus tractus. Hæc patent septimo phisicorum libro ad concavum orbis lune delatus fuisset; horum contrarium experiencia lucidissime edocuit, quoniam nulli planetarum conabatur ab omnibus. Discedendo ab eclipticâ diversitas, etiam aspectus ejus, ad stellas sibi vicinas, certificavit ipsum magis distare a concavo orbis lune quam a terra, in triplo ferè. Aliqui eciam ni"... ατελ

Some son of presumption, in a deliberate and bold discourse, adorned with common words, beyond the physical and astrological traditions, which, however, he feigned, foretold terrifying things to the people; but because his speeches were altogether devoid of the traditions of the ancient sages and of the way of truth, I considered them unworthy of memory. Indeed, he said that the tail of the comet moved in a motion similar to the motion of Mars in its epicycle, from which he attempted to conclude many things. But because, as it is said later, the tail of the comet was less mobile than its head, and indeed sometimes turned towards the west due to its circumvolution, while during the day the tail itself sometimes faced the east, but never moved towards the east. Also, on one day, it observed all the differences in the position of the world; but Mars did not do so in its epicycle, as I think no other planet does. Others said that the comet was attracted to its star like iron to a magnet, which contradicted the statements of the first part regarding the motion of comets. And also because the motion along the line occurs very quickly, with no continuous obstacle to the moving object approaching the puller. Also, with the mobile object present with the puller, it remained fixed, as if bound, because there the motion along the line ends. These things would have been explained in the seventh book of physics concerning the concavity of the moon's orbit; experience has most clearly taught the opposite of these, as no planet attempted to escape from all. By departing from the ecliptic, the difference in its appearance also assured it was more distant from the concavity of the moon's orbit than from the earth, by almost threefold. Some even ni....

Much more matter relative to this comet might have been given, but, as these notes have already been extended disproportionately to the length of the text, I reserve them for another occasion.

Cf. MS. Tann. Bodl. 2. fol. 56, rº.

Note 2. Rather = earlier.

1556 Great Comet

Henry Machyn's Diary. 07 Mar 1556. The vij day of Marche be-gane the blassyng [star] at nyght, and yt dyd shutt owt fyre to grett [wonder] and marvell to the pepull, and contynud serten [nights].

Note. The blasyng star. This is recorded by Stowe to have appeared on the 4th March, and continued for twelve days (Summarie 1566); but in his chronicle 1580 he limits its continuance to five nights from the 6th to the 10th of March.

Note. P. 101. The blazing star which is noticed in this page, and of which Stowe's account has been quoted in p. 348, was calculated by Halley to have been the same comet which had before appeared in the year 1264, and which, having completed its presumed revolution of two hundred and ninety-two years, may be expected to appear again in the present year, 1848. The learned Fabricius described the comet of 1556 as of a size equal to half that of the moon. Its beams were short and flickering, with a motion like that of the flame of a conflagration or of a torch waved by the wind. It alarmed the Emperor Charles the Fifth, who, believing his death at hand, is said to have exclaimed "His ergo indiciis me mea fata vocant." This warning, it is asserted, contributed to the determination which the monarch formed, and executed a few months later, of resigning the imperial crown to his brother Ferdinand.

Diary of Anne Clifford 1603. Aug 1603. About this time my cousin Ann Vavisor1 was married to Sir Richard Warburton. From Hampton Court my Mother went to Lancilwell, Sir Francis Palmer’s house, with my Aunt of Bath, myself, and all our company, where we continued as long as the Court lay at Basingstoke, and I went often to the Queen (age 28) and my Lady Arabella [Stuart] (age 28). Now was my Lady Rich grown great with the Queen (age 28), in so much as my Lady of Bedford was something out with her, and when she came to Hampton Court was entertained, but even indifferently, and yet continued to be of the bedchamber. One day the Queen (age 28) went from Basingstoke and dined at Sir Henry Wallop’s (age 34), where my Lady, my aunt and I had lain two or three nights before and did help to entertain her. As we rode from my Lady Wallop’s (age 20) to Lancilwell, riding late by reason of our stay at Basingstoke, we saw a strange comet in the night like a canopy in the air, which was a thing observed all over England.

Note. It isn't clear who this Anne Vavasour is. She shouldn't be confused with Anne Vavasour (age 43).

1618 Great Comet

Between 06 Sep 1618 and 25 Sep 1618 a comet was visible to the naked eye.

1664 Comet

Pepy's Diary. 15 Dec 1664. So to the Coffeehouse, where great talke of the Comet seen in several places; and among our men at sea, and by my Lord Sandwich (age 39), to whom I intend to write about it to-night.

Pepy's Diary. 17 Dec 1664. So home and to my office, where late, and then home to bed. Mighty talke there is of this Comet that is seen a'nights; and the King (age 34) and Queene (age 55) did sit up last night to see it, and did, it seems. And to-night I thought to have done so too; but it is cloudy, and so no stars appear. But I will endeavour it. Mr. Gray did tell me to-night, for certain, that the Dutch, as high as they seem, do begin to buckle; and that one man in this Kingdom did tell the King (age 34) that he is offered £40,000 to make a peace, and others have been offered money also. It seems the taking of their Bourdeaux fleete thus, arose from a printed Gazette of the Dutch's boasting of fighting, and having beaten the English: in confidence whereof (it coming to Bourdeaux), all the fleete comes out, and so falls into our hands.

Pepy's Diary. 21 Dec 1664. My Lord Sandwich (age 39) this day writes me word that he hath seen (at Portsmouth, Hampshire [Map]) the Comet, and says it is the most extraordinary thing that ever he saw.

Evelyn's Diary. 22 Dec 1664. This year I planted the lower grove next the pond at Sayes Court [Map]. It was now exceedingly cold, and a hard, long, frosty season, and the comet was very visible.

Pepy's Diary. 23 Dec 1664. This day Sir W. Batten (age 63) sent and afterwards spoke to me, to have me and my wife come and dine with them on Monday next: which is a mighty condescension in them, and for some great reason I am sure, or else it pleases God by my late care of business to make me more considerable even with them than I am sure they would willingly owne me to be. God make me thankfull and carefull to preserve myself so, for I am sure they hate me and it is hope or fear that makes them flatter me. It being a bright night, which it has not been a great while, I purpose to endeavour to be called in the morning to see the Comet, though I fear we shall not see it, because it rises in the east but 16 degrees, and then the houses will hinder us.

Pepy's Diary. 24 Dec 1664. So home and to my office, where late. This evening I being informed did look and saw the Comet, which is now, whether worn away or no I know not, but appears not with a tail, but only is larger and duller than any other star, and is come to rise betimes, and to make a great arch, and is gone quite to a new place in the heavens than it was before: but I hope in a clearer night something more will be seen.

Pepy's Diary. 24 Dec 1664. Having sat up all night to past two o'clock this morning, our porter, being appointed, comes and tells us that the bellman tells him that the star is seen upon Tower Hill [Map]; so I, that had been all night setting in order all my old papers in my chamber, did leave off all, and my boy and I to Tower Hill [Map], it being a most fine, bright moonshine night, and a great frost; but no Comet to be seen. So after running once round the Hill, I and Tom, we home and then to bed. Rose about 9 o'clock and then to the office, where sitting all the morning.

Pepy's Diary. 27 Dec 1664. The Comet appeared again to-night, but duskishly. I went to bed, leaving my wife and all her folks, and Will also, too, come to make Christmas gambolls to-night.

Culture, General Things, Natural Events, Astronomical Events, Comets, Halley's Comet

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 1066. This year came King Harold (age 44) from York to Westminster, on the Easter succeeding the midwinter when the king (Edward) died. Easter was then on the sixteenth day before the calends of May. Then was over all England such a token seen as no man ever saw before. Some men said that it was the comet-star, which others denominate the long-hair'd star. It appeared first on the eve called "Litania major", that is, on the eighth before the calends off May; and so shone all the week. Soon after this came in Earl Tosty (age 40) from beyond sea into the Isle of Wight [Map], with as large a fleet as he could get; and he was there supplied with money and provisions. Thence he proceeded, and committed outrages everywhere by the sea-coast where he could land, until he came to Sandwich, Kent [Map]. When it was told King Harold (age 44), who was in London, that his brother Tosty (age 40) was come to Sandwich, Kent [Map], he gathered so large a force, naval and military, as no king before collected in this land; for it was credibly reported that Earl William from Normandy (age 38), King Edward's (age 63) cousin, would come hither and gain this land; just as it afterwards happened. When Tosty (age 40) understood that King Harold (age 44) was on the way to Sandwich, Kent [Map], he departed thence, and took some of the boatmen with him, willing and unwilling, and went north into the Humber with sixty skips; whence he plundered in Lindsey [Map], and there slew many good men. When the Earls Edwin and Morkar understood that, they came hither, and drove him from the land. And the boatmen forsook him. Then he went to Scotland with twelve smacks; and the king of the Scots entertained him, and aided him with provisions; and he abode there all the summer. There met him Harold, King of Norway (age 51), with three hundred ships. And Tosty (age 40) submitted to him, and became his man.87 Then came King Harold (age 44)88 to Sandwich, Kent [Map], where he awaited his fleet; for it was long ere it could be collected: but when it was assembled, he went into the Isle of Wight [Map], and there lay all the summer and the autumn. There was also a land-force every where by the sea, though it availed nought in the end. It was now the nativity of St. Mary, when the provisioning of the men began; and no man could keep them there any longer. They therefore had leave to go home: and the king rode up, and the ships were driven to London; but many perished ere they came thither.

Note 87. These facts, though stated in one MS. only, prove the early cooperation of Tosty with the King of Norway. It is remarkable that this statement is confirmed by Snorre, who says that Tosty was with Harald, the King of Norway, in all these expeditions. Vid "Antiq. Celto-Scand." p. 204.

Note 88. i.e. Harold, King of England; "our" king, as we find him. Afterwards called in B iv., to distinguish him from Harald, King of Norway.

Evelyn's Diary. 20 Aug 1682. This night I saw another comet, near Cancer, very bright, but the stream not so long as the former.

Calendars. Oct. 14. Sanuto Diaries, v. lvii. p. 243. 816. Carlo Capello to the Signory.

On Friday the 7th instant the King left Greenwich and crossed to Calais. It is said he goes to terminate the divorce, and espouse Marchioness Anne; but one of the doctors who wrote in favour of his Majesty, declares that he will take for wife the daughter of the most Christian King, and give the Marchioness in marriage in France, so as to unite himself with the Pope and satisfy the Emperor; and for this purpose the Bishop of Langres, who had been to the Emperor, came hither. A week ago King Henry sent another ambassador in haste to his Majesty (King Francis?).

The Papal ambassador tells me this interview is not about the divorce, and still less for the marriage of the Marchioness; they will not assume the Pope's office (non si vorano far si stessi Pontifici) but will negotiate matters of extreme importance. He (the Papal ambassador) said, "The Signory would do well to have a secret agent with them, to bear in mind the League of Cambrai." I replied thanking him, but said that the Signory merely employed ambassadors.

A few days ago, on the northern coast of this island, the sea stranded a dead fish of marvellous size, 90 feet long. Sends a letter addressed to Dom. Polydore Vergil "de quì" [in London], together with the engraved likeness of this fish.1

Three weeks since there appeared here a comet, which is still visible, two hours before daybreak, to the eastward, its tail extending towards the south, five yards in length; well nigh in the form of a luminous silver beard. (De qui già xx. giorni, di quì è aparso una Cometa, ch'ancor a pare do hove inanzi giorno in le parte di Oriente, e stende la coda sua, verso mezo dì, di longeza, di hraza 5, in forma qvasi di una lunga barba, e d'arzento splendulo)

On the morrow of the King's departure from Greenwich, the people here declare that the tide flowed for nine hours, the water having nearly reached Greenwich Chapel; a thing never hitherto seen or heard of. The English consider these things prodigies.

Nothing more is known about the affairs of Scotland. King Henry is mustering considerable forces for the Scottish borders, and here every night diligent guard is kept.

The plague increases daily, and makes everybody uneasy.

London, 14th October. Registered by Sanuto 22nd November.


Note 1. "In 1526, Polydore Vergil published a treatise de Prodigiis (8vo., Lond.), consisting of Dialogues and Attacks upon Divination. This work was reprinted at Basle by Bebelius, in 1531, and again by Hingrim in 1545." See pp. xiii. xiv., Sir Henry Ellis's Preface to "Three Books of Polydore Vergil's English History," printed for the Camden Society, 1844.

Note 2. In date 5 August 1531, the ambassador Falier mentioned the appearance in London of Halley's comet; and of the comet of 1532, a Venetian dictionary of dates, contains the following notice: "From the 23rd September to the 20th November, with a long tail towards the south." (Cronologia del P. Coronelli, p. 509; ed. Venice 1707 )