The Sussex Coast - online book

A Literary & Historical travel guide to the Sussex Coast

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PEVENSEY                             295
defence it was captured amid frightful scenes of slaughter, and in the emphatic language of the Saxon Chronicle not one Briton remained alive. Whether this was the usual practice of our heathen Saxon forefathers has been hotly debated. Evidence is strong that it was not. Henry of Huntingdon, writing in the early twelfth century, gives a much fuller account. " The Britons swarmed together like wasps, assailing the besiegers by daily ambuscades and nightly sallies. There was neither day nor night in
which some new alarm did not harass the minds of the Saxons; but the more they were provoked, the more vigorously did they press the siege. Whenever they advanced to the assault of the town, the Britons from without, falling on their rear with archers and slingers, drew the pagans away from the walls to resist the attacks upon themselves, when the Britons, lighter of foot, avoided them, taking refuge in the woods; and when they turned again to assault the town, again the Britons hung on their rear. The Saxons were for some time harassed by these manoeuvres, till having lost a great number of men they
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