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Northumberland paid Him homage, so that having no Enemy to disturb Him, He was at leisure to improve his Country, & Cultivate the peaceful Arts. He first begun with repairing & adorning the Towns & Citys many of which had been demolish'd by the incursions of the Danes; London was entir'ly ruin'd, which Ethelred Earl of Mercia by the King's orders rebuilt, & repeopl'd; for this purpose He gave great encouragement to all Foreign Artificers, which produc'd a great resort of them from the Continent; many of whom setl'd at Oxford, & laid the foundation of that famous Seminary of Learning; not but what we read of Schools there before. When Alfred came to the Crown, the English had entir'ly neglected Fortresses & Wall'd Towns; many of these He surrounded with good Fortifications, & is reckon'd to have built 50. Castles, besides those erected by His orders in Mercia. Notwithstanding the Continual Wars the English had to sustain, they were little better than Militia