c. A.D. 903. Settlement of a dispute between Wærferth, bishop, and Eadnoth, concerning land at Sodbury, Gloucs. English




1. Lost original
2. London, British Library, Cotton Tiberius A. XIII, ff. 1-118, ff. 56r-57r (s. xi 1)
3. London, British Library, Cotton Vespasian A. V, ff. 148-94, f. 176v (s. xvi; ex 2)


Hearne, Heming, pp. 119-21; K, 327; B, 582; Pierquin, Recueil, pt 2, no. 49

Printed and Translated:

Thorpe, pp. 166-9; Essays, pp. 335-7; Harmer, SEHD, no. 15 (pp. 25-7, 57-9)


Harmer, SEHD, pp. 109-10; Wilson 1959, pp. 301-2, on language; Finberg, ECWM, no. 89, authentic; Kennedy 1985, p. 187 n. 49; Wormald 1988, no. 28; Sims-Williams 1990, pp. 156-7; Whybra 1990, p. 44; Kennedy 1995, p. 172 n. 159, cited

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    • In the name of our Lord the Saviour Christ. I Bishop Werferth declare -- as I learnt from the Bishop Alhhun and also as my charters informed me, -- that Bishop Milred gave the estate at Sodbury to Eanbald with this injunction, -- and Eanbald subsequently gave the estate to Eanstmund -- that is to say, Bishop Milred laid this injunction upon him, in the name of Almighty God and of the Holy Trinity, that so long as there was any man in their family who was willing to take holy orders, and qualified to do so, he should succeed to the estate at Sodbury; but that if it turned out otherwise, the estate should never pass to a layman, but should subsequently revert to the bishop's see at Worcester, on behalf of the souls of all of them. Now Eastmund before he died gave command in the name of the living God, that the man who succeeded to the estate should succeed thereto on the condition laid down by Bishop Milred; but if he were so presumptuous as to violate it, he should know that he would be found guilty before God's throne at the Great Judgment. Then after Eastmund's death, his family robbed of this very estate both the sipirts of the departed, and also the bishop and the church of Worcester. And Bishop Heaberht often brought this to remembrance and even asked for the estate, and so afterwards did Bishop Alhhun, very often, as long as he lived; and I too, Bishop Werferth, have often demanded its restoration; but we could not obtain any justice until Aethelred became lord of the Mercians. When he summoned the Mercian council to Droitwich to deal with many necessary matters, both spiritual and temporal, I made a claim against that family, adducing the testament and demanding justice. Then Eadnoth and Aelfred and Aelfstan gave me security that they would either give me back the estate or find within their family a man who would take orders with the estate, and be obedient to me in both ecclesiastical and secular concerns. When Eadnoth, who had the estate, said he would give it to any member of the family who might be willing to acquire it on this condition, each replied that he would rater forego the property than take orders. Then Eadnoth went to Aethelred and Aethelfled and also to Aethelnoth, the friend of us all; and they all entreated me to allow him to acquire the estate from me for his own property, to give to whatsoever heir he pleased. And I did so, chiefly because of their entreaty; and he also gave me forty mancuses. Then, with the leave of my community at Worcester, I gave him the estate as a perpetual heritage, together with the charters, and Eastmund's testament, and also our own written agreement that the estate should be made over to him on condition that fifteen shillings of good money should be given every year to the bishop at Tetbury, and also that the penance should be carried out (?). And I Eadnoth, for my part, enjoin upon my successors, in the name of God Almighty, that they never curtail this money, but be always duly faithful to the bishop and to the community at Worcester. May God Almighty preserve both in this life and in the life to come, those who consent that this agreement shall endure to all eternity. And the names which are written below, are those of the men who were present and witnessed this agreement.
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    Old Text

    • + In usses Dryhtnes naman Hælendes Cristes. Ic Werfer∂ bisceop cy∂e -- swa me Alchun bisceop sægde 7 eac mine gewrytu wisodon -- ˇæt Mired bisceop gesealde Eanbalde ˇæt land æt Soppanbyrg mid ˇis be