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[Page] 18
Parish of Athelstaneford

In the reign of Achaius the 65th King of Scotland in the 9th century Buchanan mentions an account of a wasting
war between the Picts and the Anglosaxons Hungus the King of the Picts obtained 10,000 auxiliaries from Achaius .
"Athelstan, the Anglo Saxon king, however being an enterprising warrior marched with such celerity that he came
up with Hungus not far from Haddington. The Picts dismayed at the sudden approached of their enemies stood
immediately to their arms and kept themselves in their stations till very late. Having set the watch for the night Hungus
being inferior in other respects desired the divine aid and gave himself wholly up to prayer. At last his
body being weary with labour and his mind oppressed with anxiety, he seemed to behold Andrew
the Apostle standing by him in his sleep and promising him the victory. This vision being declared to the Picts filled
them full of Hope, so that they prepared themselves with great alacrity for a combat which could not be
avoided. The next day was wholly spent in light skirmishes and on the third they came to a pitched battle. Some say
that another prodigy appeared in the heavens bearing the semblance of a diagonal cross or that of St Andrew at
the time of the engagement which so terrified the English that they could hardly sustain the first onset of the Picts.
Athelstan who was slain there gave name to the place of battle which is yet called Athelstan's Ford.
Hungus ascribed the victory to St Andrew, to whom besides other offerings he devoted the tithes of his Royal demesnes.
I am of opinion that this was the Athelstan Commander of the Danes to whom the English affirm Northumberland
to have been granted by Alfred. Achaius died in the 32nd year of his reign and in that of our Lord 819."
Buchanan's Hist [History] by Watkin p. [pages] 113-4.

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Trondragirl- Moderator, Ian Anderson

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