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  Liber Eliensis

This medieval source from Ely, possibly completed as late as 1169-74, conflicts with the earlier accounts and is not considered an accurate record:

(AD 987)

‘Accordingly, at one time, when the Danes landed at Maldon, and he (Brihtnoth) heard the news, he met them with an armed force and destroyed nearly all on the bridge over the water. Only a few of them escaped and sailed to their own country to tell the tale.’

(AD 991)

‘When Ealdorman Brihtnoth returned quickly to Northumbria after this victory, the Danes, greatly saddened by the news, fitted out another fleet, hastened to England, and landed at Maldon again four years later to avenge the killing of their men, with Justin and Guthmund, the son of Stecta, as their leaders. When they reached the harbour and learned that it was Brihtnoth who had done these things to their men, they at once sent word that they had come to avenge them, and that they would hold him a coward, if he would not dare join battle with them. Moved to boldness by their messengers, Brihtnoth summoned together his former comrades for this matter and, led by the hope of victory and his excessive boldness, he set out with a few warriors on the road to battle ... On arrival there, he was neither shaken by the small number of his men, nor fearful of the multitude of the enemy, but attacked them at once, and fought them fiercely for fourteen days. On the last day, with few of his men remaining (and) realising that he was going to die, he did not fight the less actively against the enemy, but almost put them to flight after inflicting great slaughter on them. In the end, heartened by the small number of his men, the enemy made a wedge and, grouping together, rushed with one resolve upon him and with great effort, just managed to cut off his head as he fought. They took this away from there with them as they fled to their native land.’

For Liber Eliensis see:

Blake. Liber Eliensis, Camden third series ; . 92, London, Offices of the Royal Historical Society, 1962


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