A.D. 966 x 975. Will of Ælfgifu, including bequests of land at Princes Risborough, Bucks., to Old Minster, Winchester; at Bledlow, Bucks., to New Minster, Winchester; at Whaddon, Bucks., to Romsey Abbey; at Chesham, Bucks., to Abingdon and at Wicham to Bath; also at Wing, Linslade and Haversham, Bucks., Hatfield (? Herts.), Masworth, Bucks., and at Gussage (All Saints), Dorset, to the king; at Newnham Murren, Oxon, to the ætheling; at Tæafersceat to Bishop Æthelwold; at Mongewell, Oxon., and at Berkhampstead, Herts., to Ælfweard, Æthelweard and Ælfwaru in common, for life, with reversion to Old Minster, Winchester. English


Winchester, Old Minster


1. London, British Library, Add. 15350, f. 96r-v (s. xii med.)


K, 721


Baines 1983, pp. 115-16

Printed and Translated:

Thorpe, pp. 552-5; Whitelock, Wills, pp. 20-3 (no. 8)


PN Bucks., pp. 8, 79, 86, 98, 167, 223; Whitelock, Wills, pp. 118-21; PN Oxon., i. 48-9; Finberg, ECW, no. 610, authentic; Barker 1967, pp. 89-90; Hart 1970a, p. 35 (no. 168), authentic; PN Dorset, ii. 276; Brooks 1978, pp. 87-91, on heriot; Gelling, ECTV, no. 152 (pp. 75, 84, 133), authentic; Baines 1983, pp. 115-17; Yorke 1988a, p. 76; Hart 1992, pp. 455-65, on estates, dates 967 x 968; Pelteret 1995, pp. 122-3, 129, 312; Keynes 1996, pp. 26 n. 106, 28 n. 121; Williams 1997a, p. 44 nn. 9 & 10; Foot 2000, II. 153, 250; Miller, New Minster, p. xxxvii, once in New Minster archive?

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    • This is Ælfgifu's request of her royal lord; she prays him for the love of God and for the sake of his royal dignity, that she may be entitled to make her will. Then she makes known to you, Sire, by your consent what she wishes to give to God's church for you and for your soul. First, she grants to the Old Minster, where she intends her body to be buried, the estate at Risborough just as it stands, except that, with your consent, she wishes that at each village every penally enslaved man who was subject to her shall be freed' and [she grants] two hundred mancuses of gold to that minster and her shrine with her relics. And she grants to the New Minster the estate at Bledlow, and a hundred mancuses of gold; and a paten to the Nunnery and the estate at Whaddon to Christ and St Mary at Romsey; and Chesham to Abingdon, and Wickham to Bath. And I grant to my royal lord the estates at Wing, Linslade, Haversham, Hatfield, Masworth and Gussage; and two armlets, each of a hundred and twenty mancuses, and a drinking-cup and six horses and as many shields and spears. And to the Ætheling the estate at Newnham and an armlet of thirty mancuses. And to the queen a necklace of a hundred and twenty mancuses and an armlet of thirty mancuses, and a drinking-cup. And I grant to Bishop Æthelwold the estate at Tæafersceat and pray him that he will always intercede for my mother and for me. And with my lord's permission I grant the estates at Mongewell and Berkhampstead to Ælfweard and Æthelweard and Ælfwaru in common for their lifetime, and after their death to the Old Minster for my royal lord and for me. And they are to pay a two-days' food-rent every year to the two minsters, as long as they possess the estates. And to my sister Ælfwaru I grant all that I have lent her; and to my brother's wife Æthelflæd the headband which I have lent her. And to each abbot five pounds of pence for the repair of their minster. And, Sire, with your consent, [I wish] that I may entrust the surplus to the Bishop and the Abbot for the repair of the foundation, and for them to distribute for me among poor men according as seems to them most profitable for me in God's sight. And I beseech my royal lord for the love of God, that he will not desert my men who seek his protection and are worthy of him. And I grant to Ælfweard a drinking-cup and to Æthelweard an ornamented drinking-horn.
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    Old Text

    • ˝is ys Ælfgyfæ gegurning to hiræ cinehlafordæ. ˇæt is ˇæt heo hyne bitt for godæs lufun and for cynescypæ ˇæt heo mote beon hyre cwydes wyr∂æ. ˝onnæ cy∂ heo ˇæ leof bæ ˇinre geˇafiunga hwæt heo for ˇæ and for ˇyræ sawlæ to godæs ciricean don wylæ. ˝æt is æræst ˇæt heo ann into ealdan mynstær. ˇær heo hiræ licaman ræstan ˇæncˇ ˇæs landæs æt Hrisanbeorgan eallswa hit stænt buton ˇæt heo wylæ bæ ˇinre geˇafunga ˇæt man freoge on ælcum tunæ ælne witæˇæownæ mann ˇæ undær hiræ geˇeowu∂ wæs. and twa hund mandcussa goldæs to ˇam mynstær. and hire scrin mid hiræ haligdomæ. And heo an innto nigean mynstær ˇæs landæs æt Bleddanhlæwe. and hund mancussa goldæs. And annæ offringdisc into nunna mynstær. and ˇæs landæs æt Hwætædunæ into Rummæsigæ xriste & sanctan Marian. and æt Cæstæleshammæ Into Abbadunæ. And æt Wicham into Baˇum. And ic ann minæn cinæhlafordæ ˇæs landæs æt Weowungum and æt Hlincgeladæ. and æt Hæfæresham. and æt Hæ∂fælda. and æt Mæssanwyr∂æ and æt Gyssic and twegea bæagas æigˇær ys on hundtwælftigum. mancussum and anræ sopcuppan and syx horsa and swa fala scylda and spæra. and ˇam æˇelingæ ˇæs landæs æt Niwanham. and anæs beages on ˇritægum mancussum. And ˇæra hlæfdigan anæs swyrbeages on hundtweltifgum mancussum and anæs beages on ˇritegum mancussum. and anre sopcuppan. And ic ann Aˇelwoldæ bisceopæ ˇæs landæs æt Tæafersceat. And bidde hinæ ˇæt hæ symlie ˇingiæ for minæ modor an for me. And ic ann bæ minæs hlafordæs geˇafiungæ ˇæs landæs æt Mundingwillæ. and æt Beorhˇanstædæ. Ælfwerdæ and Æˇelwærdæ and Ælfwaræ him to gemanan hira dæg. and ofær hira dæg into ealdan mynstær for minnæ cynehlafor∂ and for mæ. And syllan hi ælcæ geare twa dægfæorman into ˇam twam mynstrum. ˇa wilæ ˇæ hi his brucæn. And ig an Ælfwæræ miræ swystær eallæs ˇæs ˇæ ic hiræ alenæ∂ hæfdæ. And Æˇælfledæ minæs broˇur wifæ ˇæs bændes ˇæ ic hire alæne∂ hæfdæ. And ælchum abbodæ fif pund pæniga to hira mynstres bote. And leof be ˇinre geˇafiunga ˇæt ic motæ bætæcen ˇam bisceope. and ˇam abbodæ. ˇonæ ofæreacan to ˇære stowe botæ. and earmum mannum for me to dælænne swa swa him ˇincæ ˇæt mæ for Godæ ˇearflucustˇ si. And ic biddæ minnæ cinelaford for godæs lufum. ˇæt næ forlæte minæ mænn ˇe hinæ gesæcen. and him wyr∂æ syn. And ic ann Ælfwerdæ anræ sopcuppan. and Æˇelwerdæ anæs gerænodæs drincæhornæs.