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SOME GREAT EVENTS.
ground, and not necessarily by a person who lived there. Shortly after this burning of the town by the Danes came the settlement of the two great Scandinavian leaders, Olaf of Norway and Swein of Denmark. They followed up the depredation of their predecessors, and made permanent camps at Hampton : one on the Western side of the Itchen—very likely on the very spot upon which we are standing—and the other across the river at Woolston. There are some people who think that the name Woolston means Olafs town. Here Swein and Olaf remained till Ethelred the Unready raised ^16,000 as tribute and paid them to depart. The struggle with the Danes, however, went on until Ethelred fled to Normandy, and Cnut, the Dane, son of Swein, established himself as King in England. It was from Southampton that Ethelred in 1014 escaped to the Continent ; it was in Southampton three years later that the English Witan assented to recognise Cnut as King. This is the second of the striking events, or series of events, to which I call your attention.
III.
From this date we must step over a great stretch of history till we come, passing through and beyond the Norman period, to the reign of Henry II. and the year 1174. Archbishop Becket had quarrelled with his King, had spent seven years in exile, and on his return from exile had done several acts which highly incensed Henry, who in a fit of anger pronounced the words which led to Becket's murder. The King was intensely sorry for what had happened—it was not only a great crime, but an act of supreme folly—and he was very ready to do penance. He met the Papal legates at Avranches in Normandy, and there received absolution. The spot on which the King knelt for pardon is still shown—it is almost the only relic of the magnificent cathedral which once stood in that most glorious Norman town. In course of time the cathedral fell in, the stones were used to repair neighbouring buildings, so that scarcely a fragment remains. But in an open place in the town is a slab of stone, on the stone a chalice is engraved, and near at hand there stands an inscription which states that on that stone Henry II. received absolution. From Avranches Henry crossed over to Southampton and went on to Canterbury, and thus he was the first to make the great pilgrimage which became so popular in the middle ages among the faithful, who went first to the tomb of St. Swithun at Winchester, and then along the famous Pilgrims' Way to the Cathedral Church at Canterbury. The Pilgrims' Way is still in many places clearly marked, running, as it does, from Winchester through Alton and Farnham to Canterbury, and it is very likely that God's House, the ancient Hospital dedicated to
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