The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation

By Bede | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXII.
HOW A CERTAIN CAPTIVE'S CHAINS FELL OFF WHEN MASSES WERE
SUNG FOR HIM.

In the aforesaid battle, wherein Elfwin, the kings's brother, was killed, a memorable fact is known to have happened, which I think ought not to be passed by in silence; for the relation of the same will conduce to the salvation of many. In that battle, one Imma, a youth belonging to the king, was left as dead, and having lain so all that day and the next night among the dead bodies, at length he came to himself, and sitting, bound up his wounds in the best way he could. Then having rested a while, he stood up, and began to go off to seek some friends that might take care of him; but in so doing he was discovered and taken by some of the enemy's army, and carried before their lord, who was an earl belonging to King Ethilred. Being asked by him who he was, and fearing to own himself a soldier, he answered, "He was a peasant, poor and married, and that he came to the army with others to bring provisions to the soldiers." The earl entertained him, and ordered his wounds to be dressed; and when he began to recover, to prevent his escaping, he ordered him to be bound, but that could not be performed, for as soon as they that bound him were gone, his bonds were all loosened. He had a brother called Tunna, who was a priest and abbot of a monastery in the city, which from him is still called Tunnacester. Hearing that his brother had been killed in the fight, he went to see whether he could find his body; and finding another very like him in all respects, concluding it to be his, he carried the same to his monastery, and buried it honourably, and took care often to say masses for the absolution of his soul; the celebration whereof occasioned what I have said, that none could bind him but he was

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