A.D. 902. Denewulf, bishop, and the community at Winchester, to Beornwulf; lease of 15 hides at Ebbesborne, Wilts., with witnessed post-script giving details about the fate of ceorls, penal serfs and slaves attached to the estate. English


Winchester, Old Minster


1. London, British Library, Add. 15350, ff. 61v-62r (s. xii med.)


K, 1079; Thorpe, pp. 151-3; B, 599

Printed and Translated:

Harmer, SEHD, no. 17 (pp. 29-30, 60)


Harmer, SEHD, pp. 112-14; Darlington 1955, pp. 14, 84; Finberg, ECW, no. 223, authentic; Hart 1970a, p. 30 (no. 106), authentic; Pelteret 1986, p. 488 n. 50; Pelteret 1995, pp. 181-2, 293; Pratt, Alfred, pp. 20 n. 17, 101 n. 46

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    • In nomine Domini. Denewulf bisceop 7 ˇa hiwan in Wintanceastre leton to Beornulfa hiora landes xv hida æt Eblesburnan wi∂ ˇam gafole ∂e he wi∂ bisceop 7 wi∂ hiwan ared: ∂æt is xlv scillingas to hærfestes emnihte sie simle agyfen on ∂a gerad ∂æt hine nage nan man of to aceapienne ne his bearn æfter his dege ˇa [h]wile ˇe hi ∂a gerihta for∂bringan a magen; 7 eac ælce geare fultumien to ˇære cyrican bote ˇe ∂et land to hyr∂ be ∂em dæle ˇe ∂et o∂er fol[c] do, ælc be his landes me∂e; 7 ˇa cyricsceattes mid rihte agyfe, 7 fyrde 7 brycge 7 festengeweorc hewe swa mon ofer eall folc do. 7 ∂is wes gedon on ∂ara witena gewitnesse 7 ∂afunge ∂e hiora naman her benio∂an standa∂ awritene, ∂e geare ∂e wes agan fram Cristes acennesse twa winter 7 nigan hund. 7 ∂et wes gedon on ˇære mæran stowe on Wintanceastre. Bisceop lyfde Beornulfe his mege ˇæt he moste ˇa inber∂an menn hamettan to Eblesburnan. Nu hebbe ic hi hamet - Lufe 7 hire ∂reo bearn 7 Luhan 7 his seax bearn. ˘onne geærendodon me ∂a hiwan on Wintanceastre ∂et ˇa men mostan on ˇan londe wunien, hæfde swa ic swa minra freonda swelce hit hæfde. ˝onne weron ˇær ∂reo wite∂eowe men burbærde 7 ∂reo ∂eowberde; ∂a me salde bisceop 7 ˇa hiwan to ryhtre æhta 7 hire team. ˘is wes gedon ∂a man ˇa cyricean halgode æt Hysseburnan, on ∂ara manna gewitnessa ˇe hira naman her beneo∂an standa∂: Ærest Denewulf bisceop And Tata prb And Beornstan prb And Wigea diac And Æˇelstan prb And Eadwulf pr And Dyrewine pr And Wulfhere Cidding And Wulfstan pr And Eadulf cempa And Beorhtsige pr And Windsige pr And Ælfsige pr And Denewulf Bisceop And Tata pbr And Byrnstan pb And Eadstan Diac And Æˇelstan pb And Eadulf pb And Ædelstan pb And Ælfstan pb And Wulfstan pb And Wigea pb And Wulfric pb And Eahtan pb And Winsige min And Wulfred min And Beorsige min And Ælfsige min And Eadulf min And Wulfhelm min And Wulsige min h The first thirteen names in this list occupy three lines i A second set of signatures, arranged in two columns, begins here Translation from Harmer, SEHD, no. 17 In nomine Domini. Bishop Denewulf and the community at Winchester have let to Beornwulf fifteen hides of their land at Ebbesbourne at the rent which he has settled with the bishop and the community: that is, forty-five shillings are always to be paid at the autumnal equinox, on condition that no one be permitted by offering a higher rent to turn him out, or his children after his time, so long as ever they can produce the dues; and they are also to contribute every year to the repair of the church to which the estate belongs, in the proportion that the rest of the population do, each according to the extent of his property; and he shall duly pay the church-scots and perform (?) military service and the construction of bridges and fortresses, as is done throughout the whole nation. And this was done with the cognisance and permission of the councillors whose names are written below, in the nine hundred and second year after Christ's birth and in the famous foundation at Winchester. The bishop gave permission to his kinsman Beornwulf to take into his service (?) the persons born on the estate at Ebbesbourne. I have now taken then into my service (?) - Lufu and her three children and Luha and his six children. Now the community at Winchester has begged from me that these persons might remain on the estate, whether I had it or any of my friends. Moreover there were on it three penal serfs of peasant birth and three persons of servile birth; these the bishop and the community gave me as my rightful property, with their offspring. This was done when the church at Hurstbourne was consecrated, with the cognisance of the men whose names stand written below.