c. A.D. 968 x 971. Will of Ælfheah, ealdorman, including bequests of land at Wroughton, Wilts., to God (or King Edgar); at Crondall, Hants., to Old Minster, Winchester; at Charlton, Wilts., to Malmesbury Abbey and at Sutton (? Somerset) to Bath Abbey; also land at Worth (probably Littleworth in Faringdon), Cookham and Thatcham, Berks.; Chelworth, Wilts.; Incgenæsham (? Inglesham, Wilts.); Aylesbury and Wendover, Bucks., to King Edgar; land at Scyræburnan to Queen Ælfthryth; at Walkhampstead (now Godstone), Surrey, to Æthelred, Edgar's son; land at Faringdon, Berks., and Aldbourne, Wilts., to Ælfhere, his brother; land at Tudincgatun (? Teddington, Middx) to Godwine, his son; at Wyritunæ (? Purton, Wilts.) to Ælfweard; at Wycombe, Bucks., to Æthelweard, his kinsman; and at Froxfield, Hants., to Ælfwine, his nephew; also land at Batcombe, Somerset, to Ælfswyth, his wife, with ultimate reversion to Glastonbury Abbey. English


Winchester, Old Minster


1. London, British Library, Add. 15350, ff. 95v-96r (s. xii med.)


K, 593; B, 1174


Hart 1992, pp. 455-6

Printed and Translated:

Thorpe, pp. 526-8; Whitelock, Wills, no. 9 (pp. 22-5); Baigent 1891, pp. 3-4, in part


PN Bucks., pp. 145, 157, 200; Whitelock, Wills, pp. 121-5; PN Middx, p. 24; Darlington 1955, pp. 68, 85; Finberg, ECW, no. 120 (pp. 54, 98, 145), authentic; Hart 1970a, p. 35 (no. 166), authentic; PN Berks., ii. i. 79, 188, ii. 365-7; Brooks 1978, pp. 87-91, on heriot; Gelling, ECTV, no. 105, authentic; Keynes 1980, pp. 164-5; Fleming 1985, p. 252; Yorke 1988a, p. 84; Dumville 1992, p. 41 n. 57, 43-4, queries Purton identification; discusses Chelworth; Pelteret 1995, pp. 123, 129; Abrams 1996, p. 85, on Chelworth; Wareham 2001, pp. 383-5

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    • Here in this document it is declared how the ealdorman Ælfheah has declared his will with his royal lord's consent. Firstly, that for his soul's need he gives to his Lord the estate at Ellandun, and that at Crondall to the Old Minster at Winchester; and the twenty hides at Charlton to Malmesbury; and the fifteen hides at Sutton to Bath. And he grants to his royal lord the hundred and twenty hides at Worth and the estates at Cookham, Thatcham, Chelworth, Inglesham (?), Aylesbury and Wendover; and three hundred mancuses of gold and a dish of three pounds and a drinking-cup of three pounds and a short sword; and [on] the scabbard (?) there are eight mancuses of gold; and six swords and six horses with trappings and as many spears and shields. And to Ælfthryth the King's wife, his gefædere, he grants the estate at Shirburn (?) just as it stands; and to the elder Ætheling, the King's son and her's, thirty mancuses of gold and a sword; and to the younger the estate at Walkhampstead. And he grants to his brother Ælfhere the estates at Faringdon and Aldbourn. And to his son Godwine the estate at Tudingtun and Purton (?) to Ælfweard and Wycombe to his kinsman Æthelweard; and Froxfield to his sister's son Ælfwine. Then to my wife Ælfswith, if she live longer than I and maintains my property in accordance with the confidence I have in her, I grant all the other estates which I leave; and she is to remember God zealously [with almsgiving] from the property, and be zealous for the welfare of our souls. And she is to possess the estate at Batcombe for her time and after her death it is to pass into the possession of our son Ælfweard if he is still alive. If he is not, my brothers are to succeed to it for as long as they live, and after their death it is to go to Glastonbury for the sake of our father and of our mother and of us all. And I wish that every penally enslaved man be freed on each of the estates which I have bequeathed to my friends. And the witnesses of this permission which the King has granted to me are: Ælfthryth the King's wife, and Bishop Æthelwold and the Ealdorman Ælfhere and the Ealdorman Æthelwine and Ælfwine and the Abbot Æscwig.
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    Old Text

    • Her is geswutelod an ∂is gewrite hu Ælfheah ealdorman his cwidæ gecwæ∂en hæf∂. be his cynehlafordæs geˇafuncge ˇæt is ˇonnæ æræst ˇæt he gean his drihtne for his sawlæ ˇæarfæ ˇæs landæs æt Ællændune and ˇæs æt Crundelom to ealdan mynstære to Winticeastræ. And ˇæra twæntiga hida æt Ceorlatunæ into Mealdælmæsbyrig and ˇæra fiftyna hida æt Su∂tune into Ba∂an and he gean his cynehlafordæ ˇæra hundtwæntiga hida æt Wyr∂æ and ˇæs landæs æt Coccham and æt ˝æcham. and æt Ceolæswyr∂æ. And æt Incgenæsham. and æt Ægelesbyrig and æt Wændofron. And ˇreo hund mancusa goldæs. and annæ dics an ˇrym pundom. And anæ soppcuppan an ˇrym pundan 7 an handsex. and ˇæræ lecge is hundeahtati mancussa goldæs. 7 seax swur∂ and seax hors. mid geredan. and swa fæla spæra and scylda. And he gean Ælfri∂æ ∂æs cyninges wifæ his gefæ∂eran. ˇæs landæs æt Scyræburnan ealswa hit stænt. And ˇam yldran æˇælingæ ˇæs cyngæs suna. and hiræ ˇritiga mancussa goldæs and anæs swurdæs. And ˇam gincgran ∂æs landes æt Wolcnæsstedæ. And he gean Ælfhære his bre∂ær ˇæs landæs æt Færndunæ. and æt Ealdincburnan. And Godwinæ his suna ˇæs æt Tudincgatunæ. and Ælfwerdæ æt Wyritunæ. And Æˇelwerdæ his mege æt Wicumun. And Ælfwine his swustur suna ˇæs æt Froxafelda. ˝onnæ an ic Ælfsiˇæ minon wifæ gyf heo leng beo∂ ˇonne ic and it swa gehylt swa ic hiræ truwan to hæbbe ealra ˇara o∂æra landa ˇæ ic læfæ. And heo ˇanne gæornlicæ of ˇam god geˇæncæ and for uncre sawle geornlicæ beo and brucæ heo ˇæs landæs æt Batancumbæ hyræ dæg and æfter hire dæge ga hit an Ælfwærdes hand uncres suna gif hæ lifæs beo gyf hæ næ beo gyf hæ næ beo for mine bro∂orn to ˇa hwilæ ˇæ hi beon and æfter hyra dege ga into Glæstingabyrig for urnæ fædær and for uræ modor and for us eallæ. And ic wullan ˇæt man gefreogen ælcne witeˇeowne man on ælcum ˇæra landæ ˇæ ic minon freondon bæcwedden hæbbæ. And ˇisseræ geˇafiuncga ˇæ sæ cyning geuˇæ is to gewitnæssæ Ælfˇryˇ ˇæs cynincges wif and Aˇelwold bisceop. and Ælfhære ealdorman and Æˇelwine ealdorman and Ælfwinæ and Æscwig abbod.