During the reign of Theodosius the younger, (in whose time Palladius was sent to the Scots, who had embraced the Christian faith,) the Britons, petitioning the Consul Boetius to send them succours, cannot obtain them.
Theodosius, the younger, was created Emperor after Honorius, and the 45th from Augustus, in the year 423. He swayed the sceptre twenty-seven years. In the eighth year of his reign, Palladius was sent by Celestine, Pontiff or the Roman church, as the first Bishop of the Scots who had received the Christian faith. Boetius, a person of an illustrious rank, and a Patrician, was chosen a third time to be Consul with Symachus; in the twenty-third year of his reign. To him the wretched remnant of the Britons sent a letter, which begins thus: "To Boetius, thrice Consul, the sighs of the Britons." And in the sequel of the letter they thus express their calamities. "Our enemies drive us to the sea, the sea drives us back again to them; so that we are reduced to the necessity of either being drowned or killed."
But with all this lamentation they could procure no assistance from him, as he was then engaged in a most important war against Bleda and Attila, kings of the Huns. And although Bleda had been assassinated by the secret machinations of his brother Attila, the year before this, yet Attila continued so dangerous an enemy to the empire, that he almost ravaged all Europe, storming and destroying every city in his way.
Moreover, at the same time, there was a famine at Constantinople, which was immediately succeeded by the plague, and most of the walls, with fifty-seven towers of that city, fell down. Many other cities also falling to ruin, the famine and pestilential air destroyed many thousands of men and cattle.
Have mercy, O Lord, upon Thy servants the translator and priest William and the scribe Earl.