Pre-Conquest Anglo-Saxon Charters
Grant of Special Privileges 1021x1023 AD

Showing the latin or Old English text, its sources, and a summary of its authenticity according to several authors.
The reference number S 980 refers to P. H. Sawyer's catalogue of Anglo-Saxon charters dated 1968.

S 980

A.D. 1021 x 1023. King Cnut to Bury St Edmunds Abbey; grant of privileges and of renders of fish from Welle (Upwell and Outwell, Norfolk) and of eels from Lakenheath, Suffolk. Latin and English versions.

Archive: Bury St Edmunds

MSS: 1. King's Lynn, Borough Archives, KL/C2/61 (s. xi/xii; BA Facs., 33; Hervey 1907, facing p. 596)
2. Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, 111, pp. 284-5 (s. xvi; Latin)
3. Cambridge, U.L., Ee. 3. 60, 125v-126v (s. xiv)
4. Cambridge, U.L., Ff. 2. 33, 20rv (s. xiii2)
5. Cambridge, U.L., Gg. 4. 4, 94v-95r (s. xv; Latin)
6. Cambridge, U.L., Gg. 4. 4, 101v-102r (s. xv)
7. Cambridge, U.L., Gg. 4. 4, 270rv (s. xv)
8. Cambridge, U.L., Mm. 4. 19, 85r-87r (s. xii)
9. BL Cotton Aug. ii. 8 (s. xv)
10. BL Harley 76, 138r-139r (s. xii/xiii)
11. BL Harley 258, 59rv (s. xvii; Latin)
12. BL Harley 358, 44v-45r (s. xvi)
13. BL Harley 638, 25rv (s. xiv)
14. BL Harley 743, 57rv (s. xiv; Latin)
15. PRO Ch.R. 8 Edw. II, no. 11 (Latin)
16. PRO Ch.R. 4 Edw. III, no. 58 (Latin)
17. PRO Ch.R. 7-8 Ric. II, no. 11 (Latin)
18. PRO Ch.R. 1 Hen. IV, pt 2, no. 2
19. PRO Ch.R. 1 Hen. V, pt 2, no. 6
20. PRO Pat. R. 2 Hen. VI, pt 2, m. 38 (Latin)
21. PRO Pat. R. 2 Edw. IV, pt 6, m. 21 (Latin)
22. PRO Conf. R. 2 Ric. III, pt 3, no. 9
23. PRO Conf. R. 3 Hen. VII, pt 1, no. 10
24. PRO Conf. R. 8 Hen. VIII, no. 5
25. PRO E. 32/16, m. 6 (s. xiv; Latin)
26. London, Soc. Ant. 128, 149v (s. xvii; incomplete)
27. Bodleian, Bodley 297, pp. 353-4 (s. xii; Latin)
28. Bodleian, Dodsworth 10, 72rv (s. xvii; Latin)
29. Bodleian, Dodsworth 110, 138rv (s. xvii; Latin)
30. Bodleian, Dugdale 11, 18rv (s. xvii)
31. Bodleian, Gough Cambridge 22, 12v-13r (s. xiv2)
32. Bodleian, Junius 62, 3r-5v (s. xvii)

<Add:

Bod. Eng. hist. c. 241, 23v - and other Prise-Say copies

Bod. Rawl. B. 102, 24rv

BL Lansdowne 269, 98rv (s. xvii)

BL Lansdowne 447, 25rv (s. xvii)

Cambridge, Trinity Coll. R.5. 40, flyleaf (s. xv)>

Printed: Alford 1663, iii. 481, ex MS 24; Hickes, Diss. Epist., p. 65, English only; Battely 1745, pp. 132-3, Latin only; K 735 from MSS 4, 11, 12; Mon. Angl. (rev. edn), iii. 137-8 (no. 5) ex MS 15; Goodwin 1855, pp. 108-11, with translation of English, pp. 111-12; Thorpe, pp. 305-8; Arnold, Memorials, i. 342-4; Hervey 1907, p. 596, English only, with translation p. 597; John of Worcester, ii. 643-5.

Comments: Goodwin 1855, pp. 94-104, authentic, dates it 1021 x 1022; Larson 1910, p. 725 n. 28; Galbraith 1925, p. 224; Lobel 1935, pp. 4, 5, form dubious but no reason to doubt content; Harmer, Writs, pp. 433-4, authenticity in present form questionable, cf. S 1046; Hart, ECEE, no. 86, may be authentic; HRH, p. 233, dubious, dates 1022 x 1023; Keynes 1980, p. 126 n. 136, p. 143 n. 212, dubious; Gransden 1985, pp. 10-11, forged; BA Facs., p. 10, late-11th-century forgery; Dumville 1993, p. 37 n. 141, pp. 40-1, 133; Lawson 1993, p. 66 n. 29, p. 239, likely forgery, links with S 984; Keynes 1994/1, p. 49 n. 39, p. 52 n. 51, spurious, partly modelled on S 984; Wormald 1995, p. 128; Wormald 1996, p. 123.

+ In nomine poliarchis Iesu Christi saluatoris mundi totiusque creaturae creatoris, cuius diuino dominatui quaeque dominationes debito seruitio subnixe deseruiunt, cuius etiam omnipotentatui uniuersi potentatus obsecundari examussim properant, quia bonitas eius bonitas est incomprehensibilis et miseratio interminabilis, dapsilitas bonitatis ineffabilis, longanimitas quoque super prauorum nequitias quantitatis prolixitate cuiuslibet longior, qui cotidianis admonitionibus religiosam conuersationem ducentes monet, ut pie sectando iustitiae culturam non eam deserendo linquant, quin potius perseuerabili instantia in eius cultura, ut permaneant paterno affectu hortatur, qui nihilominus eadem affectione mandet peccatoribus ut resipiscant a suis iniquitatibus conuertentes, quia eorum execratur mortem. Eius amoris stimulo et fide suffultus, cuius largiflua miseratione, ego Cnut rex totius Albionis insulae aliarumque nationum plurimarum in cathedra regali promotus, cum consilio et decreto archiepiscoporum, episcoporum, abbatum, comitum, aliorumque omnium meorum fidelium, elegi sanciendum atque perpeti stabilimento ab omnibus confirmandum, ut monasterium quod Beadriches worðe nuncupatur sit per omne aeuum monachorum gregibus deputatum ad inhabitandum, et ab omni dominatione omnium episcoporum comitatus illius funditus liberum, ut in eo domino seruientes monachi sine ulla inquietudine pro statu regni dominum praeualeant precari. Placuit etiam in hanc optionis electionem roborare priuilegio isto in quo uidere praecepi libertatis donum, quod iam olim Eadmundus rex Occidentalium Saxonum largitus est suo aequiuoco, pro nanciscenda eius gratia et mercede aeterna, scilicet, Eadmundo regi et martyri, quod bono uoto augere cupimus, quatinus eius promereri precibus merear portionem eius beatitudinis post huius uitae cursum, tali libertate concedo fundo frui illi, in quo idem sanctus pausat, ut quotiens populus uniuersus persoluit censum Danis, uel ad naues seu ad arma, persoluant inhabitantes in ipso fundo eadem ad usus quos elegerint fratres illius loci. Sitque nobis remedio hoc mihi quippe aeque reginae meae Ælfgife ac filiis nostris, omnibusque qui pridem ei hoc contulerunt. Huic libertati concedo additamentum, scilicet, maritimos pisces, qui mihi contingere debeant annualiter per thelonii lucrum et piscationem quam Ulfkitel habuit in Welle, et omnia iura quarumcunque causarum in uillis quae monasterio adiacent et quae adiiciendae sunt per gratiam dei. Dedi, quoque regina mea assensu concedens ei, pro sua eleemosyna dare .iiii. millia anguillarum cum muneribus quae pertinent ad illas pro annuali censu in uilla quae cognominatur Lakingheðe. Si quislibet, quod absit, istam libertatem quolibet conatu nititur seruitutis iugo subigere, uel praua intentione transmutare, ut rursus clericos in eo collocet loco, sit addictus captiuitati aeternae carens sempiterna libertate, et mancipatus seruitio diaboli eiusque consortio sit inextricabilibus habenis constitutus, nisi satisfactio eius erratui subueniat, quod prorsus optamus.

+ Ego Cnut rex gentis Anglorum aliarumque nationum nihilominus hoc priuilegium iussi componere et compositum cum signo dominicae crucis confirmando inpressi.
+ Ego Ælgifa regina omni alacritate mentis hoc confirmaui.
+ Ego Wlfstanus archiepiscopus consensi.
+ Ego Æðelnoðus archiepipscopus confirmaui.
+ Ego Godwinus episcopus corroboraui.
+ Ego Ælfwinus episcopus assensum dedi.
+ Ego Ælfsinus episcopus consignaui.
+ Ego Æðelricus episcopus conclusi.
+ Ego Ælfwinus episcopus roboraui.
+ Ego Brihtwaldus episcopus.
+ Ego Iric dux.
+ Ego Godwinus dux.
+ Ego Ulf dux.
+ Ego Eglaf dux.
+ Ego Hakun dux.
+ Ego Leofwinus dux.
+ Ego Godricus dux.
+ Ego Ælfwinus abbas.
+ Ego Leofwinus abbas.
+ Ego Wlfredus abbas.
+ Ego Oskitellus abbas.
+ Ego Leofricus abbas.
+ Ego Ælfwardus abbas.
+ Ego Æðelstanus abbas.
+ Ego Oslacus miles.
+ Ego Ðord miles.
+ Ego Ðurkil miles,.
+ Ego Ðrim miles.
+ Ego Broðor miles.
+ Ego Ælfricus miles.
+ Ego Ælwinus miles.
+ Ego Ælfwinus.
+ Ego Ælfricus.
+ Ego Leofsius.
+ Ego Leofricus.
+ Ego Ælfricus.
+ Ego Leofricus.

In ælmichtin drichtines name.

Ic Cnut kyng kiðe alle manne ða wed ðat ic mid mine redgiuen red habbe for mine saule þearfe, and for alle mine þedschipes sendfulnesse. ðat is, ðat ic an ece fredomes ðan halegen kinge seint Eadmund so forð so he firmest hauede into ðere stowe ðat he on resteð. And so wille ic ðat se fredom stonde on his welde unawend buten alkes bisschopes anwelde ðere schire ekilike fre. And so fele siðe so men gildeð hire geld oðer to schipgeld, gelde se tunschipe so oðere men don to ðere moneke nede ðe ðer binnen schulen for hus þewien. And we curan ðat it nefre ne schulde ani man wenden to oðre Godes manne, buten he wolde ben aschired from Godis manne and alle hise halegen. And ic an ðo monekes to fode al ðat fischnoðe ðat Wlfketel aichte at Welle and min gouelfisch ðe me arist be selonde. And min quen ælgiue an ðen halegen four þusend ele mid hire looc ðe ðerto bireð at lakingheðe. And ic an hem alle here tune socne of alle hire lond ðe he nu habben and get bigeten schulen on Godes este.


Material translation by Cyril Hart, 1966

"The monastery at Bedericesworth shall always be inhabited by monks, and free from domination by the bishops of that shire; the monks are to elect their abbot freely, as granted by King Edmund. When censum danis is levied, either for ships or arms, the inhabitants of Bury are to pay their share to the monastery, for its own use. He grants the fish due to him annually by way of fine, and the fishery which Ulfketel had in Welle, and the profits of justice from all the vills belonging to the monastery, now or in the future. He confirms the queen's annual gift of 4,000 eels to the monastery, which was rendered to her from the villa called Lakenheath."


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