A.D. 896 (Gloucester). Record of an agreement between Wærferth, bishop of Worcester, and Æthelwold concerning woodland at Woodchester, Bisley, Avening, Gloucs.; and at Scorranstone (? Sherston, Wilts.) and Thornbyrig (? Thornbury, Gloucs.) and swine-pasture at Longridge, Gloucs. English with bounds




1. London, British Library, Cotton Tiberius A. XIII, ff. 1-118, ff. 43r-44r (s. xi 1)
2. London, British Library, Cotton Vespasian A. V, ff. 148-94, f. 169r (s. xvi; ex 1)


Hearne, Heming, pp. 93-5; K, 1073; B, 574; Wyatt 1919, pp. 110-11

Printed and Translated:

Earle 1888, pp. 150-3; Thorpe, pp. 139-42; Earle, pp. 154-7; Harmer, SEHD, no. 14 (pp. 24-5, 56-7)


Harmer, SEHD, pp. 107-9; Stenton 1918, p. 242 n. 44, (= Stenton 1970, p. 57 n. 2); Watson 1932, p. 208, on bounds; Grundy, Gloucs., pp. 276-8, on suggested identifications for Scorranstone and Thornbyrig; Wilson 1959, pp. 301-2, on language; Ekwall, D.E.P.N., pp. 417, 467, accepts Grundy's identifications; PN Gloucs., i. 98, 102, 103, 116; Finberg, ECWM, no. 85, authentic, disputes Grundy's identifications, Scorranstone and Thornbyrig must be near Woodchester; Finberg 1972, p. 515, cited; Sawyer 1978, pp. 146-7, cited, appears to accept identification with Thornbury, Gloucs; Hooke 1985, pp. 52, 87, 156, accepts Grundy's identifications; Wormald 1988, no. 21; Whybra 1990, p. 40; Cox 1992, on bounds; Kennedy 1995, p. 172 n. 159, cited with reference to legal background; Keynes 1998, p. 28; Pratt, Alfred, p. 54, on dispute settlement

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    • In the reign of our Lord Christ the Saviour, when eight hundred and ninety-six years had passed since His birth, and in the fourteenth Indiction, -- in that year Earl Aethelred summoned together at Gloucester all the Mercian council, the bishops and the earls and all his nobility; and this he did with the cognisance and leave of King Alfred. And then they deliberated there how they could most justly govern their people, both in spiritual and temporal matters, and also do justice to many men, both clerical and lay, with regard to lands and other things in which they had been wronged. Then Bishop Werferth informed the council that he had been robbed of nearly all the woodland belonging to Woodchester, which King Aethelbald had given to Worcester, [handing it over] to Bishop Wilferth for mastland and woodland, and as a perpetual gift for the good of his own soul. And Werferth said that part of it had been abstracted at Bisley, part at Avening, part at Scorranstan and part at Thornbury, as far as he knew. Then all the council declared that justice should be done to that church as well as to [any] other. Thereupon, Aethelwald said that he would not dispute the claim, and stated that Aldberht and Bishop Alhhun had formerly been occupied with this very matter; and he added that he was always ready to accede to the claims of every church to the best of his ability (?), and so very generously restored it to the bishop. And he ordered his geneat, whose name was Ecglaf, to ride with a priest from Worcester, Wulfhun by name; and Ecglaf led Wulfhun along all the boundaries, as Wulfhun read out from the old charters, how they had been determined of old by the grant of King Aethelbald. Then, however, Aethelwald requested of the bishop and the community, that they would graciously allow him to have the use of the land as long as he lived, and also Alhmund his son; and they would hold it on lease of the bishop and the community; and neither he nor his son would ever deprive the bishop of the swine-pasture at Longridge, which he had granted him for as long as God should give it to him. And Aethelwald then declared that whosoever held this land would hold it under God's displeasure, except it be the lord of the church, to whom he had given it, with a reservation in favour of Alhmund; and this reservation, moreover, was to stand only for as long as Alhmund maintained the friendship which his father had had with the bishop. If, however, it should come to pass that Alhmund would not maintain his friendship, or if there should be proved against him a charge which disqualified him from holding land, or thirdly, if he died before [his father], then the lord of the church should take possession of his estate, as the Mercian council declared in this assembly, and as the charters of the estate directed him (or them). This was done with the cognisance of Earl Aethelred and of Aethelfled, and of Earl Aethelwulf, Earl Aethelferth, Earl Alhhelm, Eadnoth, Alfred and Werferth, and of the priest Aethelwald, and his own kinsmen Aethelstan and Aethelhun, and also of Alhmund his own son. And the following are the boundaries that the priest from Worcester rode over, and Aethelwald's geneat with him. First to Gemythleg, and then to Rodborough itself, then to Smececumb, then to Sengetleg, then to Heardanleg, otherwise called Dryganleg, and so to the lesser Næglesleg and then to Aethelferth's land. In this manner, Aethelwald's man showed him the boundaries, as the old charters directed and indicated to him.
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    • + Rixiendum ussum Dryhtene ˇem Helendan Criste, Efter ∂on ˇe agan was ehta hund wintra 7 syx 7 hundnigontig Efter his acennednesse, 7 ˇy feowerteoˇan gebonngere, ˇa ∂y gere gebeon Æˇelred alderman alle Mer