A.D. 870 x 889. Alfred, dux, makes an agreement with Archbishop Æthelred and the community at Christ Church. Alfred receives life-use of an estate at Croydon, Surrey, in return for bequeathing an estate at Chartham, Kent, to Christ Church after his death. Old and Middle English versions


Canterbury, Christ Church


1. Canterbury, D.C., Reg. C, f. 148v (s. xv; Old English; note)
2. London, British Library, Stowe 853, f. 27r-v (s. xvii; Old English)
3. London, Lambeth Palace Library, 1212, p. 407 (s. xiii; Old English)
4. Canterbury, D.C., Reg. A, f. 141r (s. xiii; Middle English)
5. Canterbury, D.C., Reg. C, f. 148v (s. xv; Middle English)
6. Canterbury, D.C., Reg. E, f. 42r-v (s. xiii ex.; Middle English)


K, 301, ex MS 6; B, 529, ex MS 3; B, 530, ex MSS 4, 6

Printed and Translated:

Harmer, SEHD, no. 8 (pp. 11-12, 46), ex MS 3


Harmer, SEHD, p. 87, Middle English version dated 871, which seems acceptable; Wallenberg, KPN, p. 221, on place-names; Gelling, ECTV, no. 320, authentic; Brooks 1984, pp. 151-2, 355 n. 78, treats as authentic, date 871 has no authority; Kelly 1990, p. 55, cited

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    • + In nomine Domini . Ic Ælfred dux . 7 Æðered archiepiscopus . 7 ða higan æt Cristes cirican habbað ðas wisan areded ymb ðet land an Certham . ðet is ðonne ðet Elfred efter his daege hæfþ becweden ðet land an Certham inn ðam higum to agenre æhte . 7 gif ðet sio ðet higan ðæs landes ænigem mænn unnan willen buton him . seolfum . ðonne sellen hio hit Ælfredes bearne . oðða his mæga swelcum swa his willie an ða gerad ðe he wið higan aræde swæ an feoh swae an feorme swæðer he abiddan mæge . 7 se arcepiscop selð Ælfrede ðæt land æt Crogdene . his dagas to brucenne . 7 ðonne Ælfrede forðsid gebyrge 7 his bearn ðæs landes beðirfe . ðonne begete hio land . gif hio mæge æt swelcum hlafarde swæ ðær ðonne sio 7 æt higum . 7 gif æniman aht ef<t> sacie ymb ðæt land an Certham . ðonne hæfð Ælfred ge\h/aldene Herewinne an æghwelcre wihte ðæs ðe hio an geworden wæs ðæs ðe hio sevlf geðafigan wolde . 7 ðæt wæs an byrg gereht beforan ðæ<m> weotum ðe hevro noman here benevðan awritene sindon . Ædred archiepiscopus . Ædelwald dux . Ælfred dux . Bihornhelm abbot . Earduulf abbot . Ciolmund . Siguulf . Eadmund 7 eall’ higan
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    • In the name of the Lord, I Ealdorman Ælfred and Archbishop Æthelred, and the community at Christ Church have settled these dispositions concerning the estate at Chartham: that is therefore that Alfred has bequeathed the estate at Chartham after his day to the community, as their own property. And if it be that the community wish to grant the estate to anyone apart from themselves, then they are to give it to Ælfred’s child or to such of his kin as may wish it, on condition that he settles with the community, either for a money-rent or a food-rent, whichever he may obtain. And the archbishop is to give to Ælfred the estate at Croydon to use for his days. And when death buries Ælfred and his child strives for the land, then she is to receive the land, if she may, from whatever lord as shall then be there and from the community. And if anyone hereafter disputes the land at Chartham, then Alfred has supported Herewyn in every whit of that which she was agreed upon, of which she herself would approve. And this was established in the burh [i.e., in Canterbury] before the councillors whose names are written here beneath. Æthelred archbishop. Æthelwald, dux. Ælfred, dux. Beornhelm, abbot. Eardwulf, abbot. Ceolmund. Sigwulf. Eadmund and all the members of the community.
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    Old Text

    • + In nomine Domini. Ic Ælfred dux 7 Æ∂ered archiepiscopus 7 ∂a higan æt Cristes cirican habba∂ ∂as wisan areded ymb ∂et land an Certham: ∂et is ∂onne ∂et Elfred efter his daege hæf∂ becweden &e