In the year of our Lord 1018, while Cnut was ruling the Kingdom of the English, there appeared to the Northumbrian peoples a comet, which persisted for thirty nights, presaging in a terrible way the future devastation of the province. For soon afterwards (that is after thirty days) the whole people between the river Tees and the river Tweed fought a battle at Carham against a countless multitude of Scots and almost all perished, including even their old folk. When the bishop heard of the miserable death of the people of St. Cuthbert, he was stricken with deep sorrow of heart and sighed, saying “O why – wretched as I am – was I spared to see these times?”.
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Another text attributed, in part to our friend Symeon of Durham was again written in the 12th Century. It covers the period 532 – 1199 AD. The original Latin text relating to the Battle of Carham is as follows: Cometa late spargens flammas visa est per Northymbrian per XXX noctes. Transactis post hoc XXX diebus fuit Carrum illud famosum bellum inter Northanhymbros et Scottos, ubi pene totus sancti Cuthberti populus interiit, inter quos etiam XVIII sacerdotes, qui inconsulte se intermiscuerant bello; quo audito prescriptus episcopus dolorem et vitam morte finivit. The English translation: A comet spewing flames was seen across Northumbria for thirty nights. When it passed after thirty days, the infamous battle of Carham was fought between the Northumbrians and Scots, where the entire populus of St Cuthbert met with the penalty of destruction, among them eighteen priests who had rashly got themselves involved in the fray; when he heard the news, the bishop, having ordered his affairs, ended his sadness and his life with death.