A.D. 871 x 899. Will of Alfred, ealdorman, including bequests of 32 hides at Sanderstead and Selsdon in Surrey, 20 at Westerham in Kent, 6 at Lingfield and 10 at Horsley, both in Surrey, and 6 at Nettlestead, Kent [to his wife, Werburg, and their daughter, Alhthryth]; of a annual render of 200 pence from an estate at Clapham, Surrey [to Chertsey minster]; of 2 hides at Waddington and 1 at Gatton, Surrey [to his son, Æthelwald]; of 1 hide at Linkfield in Reigate, Surrey, to his kinsman Beorhtsige; of land at Nettlestead, Kent, to his kinsman Sigewulf, burdened with an annual render to Christ Church, Canterbury; of land at Farleigh, Kent, burdened with an annual render to Rochester, to Eadred, after Æthelred's time, with reversion to Alfred's maternal relatives. English


Canterbury, Christ Church


1. London, British Library, Stowe Charters 20 (s. ix 2; Making of England, no. 239; OS Facs., iii. 20)
2. London, British Library, Stowe 945, ff. 19r-23r (s. xviii)


Lye 1772, Appendix, ii, no. 2; K, 317; Sweet, OET, pp. 451-3 (no. 45); B, 558; Earle, pp. 149-51; Sweet, Reader, pp. 202-4; Sweet, Second Reader, pp. 216-18 (no. 27)


Whitelock, EHD, no. 96 (pp. 534-7); Whitelock, EHD, no. 97 (pp. 537-9)

Printed and Translated:

Thorpe, pp. 480-4; Harmer, SEHD, no. 10 (pp. 13-15, 47-9)


Vinogradoff 1893, pp. 9-11, 16; Maitland 1897, pp. 245-6; Harmer, SEHD, pp. 88-91; Wallenberg, KPN, p. 227, on Kentish names; Parsons 1939, pp. 14, 23-5, genuine; Sisam 1953, p. 124, cited; Wilson 1959, pp. 302-4, on language; Sweet, Reader, p. 288; Stenton 1971, pp. 310-11, on reference to folkland; Finberg 1972, p. 497, cited; Gelling, ECTV, no. 321, original; Whitelock, EHD, p. 537; Brooks 1984, p. 173; Dumville 1987, pp. 157-8, script of MS 1 may be slightly later; Campbell 1989, pp. 26-7 n. 28, on reference to 'value' of land; Keynes 1990, p. 253; The Making of England, pp. 263-4 (no. 239); Foot 1992, p. 191, on a formula; Reynolds 1992, p. 217 (= 1994, p. 329); Fleming 1993, p. 120, on bequest to Christ Church; Gretsch 1994, pp. 76-7, on orthography; Lowe 2001, Appendix I.10; Wormald 2001, p. 265, on hereditary possession; Nelson 2004, p. 3; Thompson 2006, pp. 7, 70, on script; Pratt, Alfred, p. 86

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    • + Christus Ic Elfred dux hatu writan 7 cyðan an ðissum gewrite Elfrede regi 7 allum his weotum 7 geweotan 7 ec swylce minum megum 7 minum gefeorum þa men þe ic mines erfes 7 mines boclondes seolest onn ðet is þonne Werburg min wif 7 uncer gemene b[earn] þæt is þonne et erestan an Sonden stede 7 on Selesdune .xxxii. hida 7 on Westarham xx hida 7 on Cloppaham .xxx. hida 7 on Leangafelda vi. hida 7 on Horsalege .x. hida 7 on Netelam\styde/ .vi. hida Ic Elfred dux sello Werburge 7 Alhdryðe uncum gemenum bearne æfter minum dege þas lond mid cwice erfe 7 mid earðe 7 mid allum ðingum ðe to londum belimpað 7 twa þusendu swina ic heom sello mid þem londum gif hio[t] hio gehaldeð mid þare clennisse þe uncer word gecweodu seondan 7 hio gebrenge et sancte Petre min twa wergeld gif þet Godes willa seo þet heo þæt fereld age Ond efter Werburge dege seo Alhðryðe þa lond unbefliten on Sondem styde 7 on Selesdune 7 on Leangafelda Ond gif heo bearn hebbe feo ðet bearn to ðem londum efter hire Gif heo bearn nebbe feo ðonne an hire rehtfederen sio neste hond to þem londe ond to ðem erfe 7 swa hwylc minra fedrenmega swa ðet sio þæt hine to ðan gehagige þæt he þa oðoro lond begeotan mege 7 wille þonne gebygcge he þa lond et hire mid halfe weorðe Ond swe hwylc mon swa ðet sio þet ðes londes bruce ofer minne deg on Cloppaham þanne geselle he .cc. peninga eghwylce gere to Ceortesege for Elfredes sawle to feormfultume Ond ic sello Eðelwalde minum sunu .iii. hida boclondes .ii. hida on Hwetedune [an]es hides an Gatatune 7 him sello þerto .c. swina 7 gif se cyning him geunnan wille þes folclondes to ðem boclonde þonne hebbe he 7 bruce Gif hit þet ne sio þonne selle hio him swa hwaðer swa hio wille swa ðet lond an Horsalege swa ðet an Leangafelda On\d/ ic sello Berhtsige minum mege an hide boclondes on Lencanfelda 7 þerto .c. swina 7 geselle hio .c. swina to Cristes cirican for me 7 fer mine sawle 7 .c. to Ceortesege 7 þone oferecan mon gedele gind mynsterhamas to Godes ciricum in Suþregum 7 in Cent þa hwile þe hio lestan willen Ond ic sello Sigewulfe minum mege ofer Werburge deg þet lond an Netelhæmstyde Ond Sigulf geselle of ðem londe .c. peninga to Cristes cirican Ond eghwylc þara erfewearda þe efter him to ðem londe foe þonne ageofen hio þa ilcan elmessan to Cristes cirican for Elfredes sawle þa hwile þe fulwiht sio 7 hit man on ðem londe begeotan mege Ond ic sello Eadrede minum mege þet lond on Fearnlege efter Eðelredes dege gif he hit to him geearnian wile 7 he geselle of ðem londe .xxx. omb[ras] cornes eghwelce gere to Hrofescestre Ond sio ðis lond gewriten 7 unbefliten efter Eadredes dege in Aelfredes rehtmeodrencynn ða hwile þe fulwihte sio on Angelcynnes ealonde Ðeos foresprec 7 þas gewriotu þe herbeufan awreotene stondað ic Ælfred willio 7 wille þæt hio sion soðfestlice forðweard getrymed me 7 minum erfeweardum Gif ðet ðonne God ællmehtig geteod habbe ond me þet on lene gelið þet me gesibbra erfeweard forðcymeð wepnedhades 7 acenned weorðeð ðanne ann ic ðem ofer minne deg alles mines erfes to brucenne swa him leofust sio . And swa hwylc mon swa ðas God 7 þas geofe 7 þas gewrioto 7 þas word mid rehte haldan wille ond gelestan gehalde hine heofones cyning in þissum life ondwardum 7 eac swa in þem towardan life . ond swa hwylc mon swa hio wonie 7 breoce gewonie him God almahtig his weorldare ond ea\c/ swa his sawle are in eona eonum. + Her sindon ðæra manna naman awritene ðe ðeosse wisan geweotan sindon. + Ic Æðered arcebiscop mid ðære halgan Cristes rode tacne ðæs word 7 ðas wisan festnie 7 write. + Ælfred dux + Beorhtuulf dux + Beornhelm ab’ + Earduulf ab’ + Wærburg + Sigfreð pr’ + Beonheah pr’ + Beagstan pr’ + Wulfheah + Æðelwulf pr’ + Earduulf pr’ + Beornoð diac’ + Wealdhelm diac’ + Wine subdia’c + Sæfreð. + Ceolmund minister + Eadmund minister + Eadwald minister + Siguulf minister
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    • + Christus. I Ealdorman Ælfred order to be written and declared in this deed to King Alfred and to all his councillors and advisors, and also to my kinsmen and to my friends, the persons on whom I most happily bestow my inheritance and my bookland, that is indeed to Wærburh my wife, and our joint child. That is, first thirty-two hides in Sanderstead [Surrey] and Selsdon [Surrey], and twenty hides in Westerham [Kent] and thirty hides in Clapham [Surrey] and six hides in Lingfield [Surrey] and ten hides in Horsley [Surrey] and six hides in Nettlestead [Kent]. I Ealdorman Ælfred give after my day to Wærburh and to Ealhthryth, our joint child, these estates with livestock and with crops and with everything which belongs to the properties — and I give them two thousand swine with the estates — if Wærburh remains unmarried as we agreed. And she is to take to St Peter’s my two wergilds, if it be by God’s will that she make that journey. And after Wærburh’s day, let the estates at Sanderstead and Selsdon and at Lingfield is to belong undisputed to Ealhthryth. And if she has a child, the child is to succeed to the estates after her; and if she has no child, the nearest kinsman from her father’s side is to succeed to the estates and to that inheritance. And whichever of my paternal kinsmen there be who has the means and the desire to obtain the other estates, is to buy the lands from her at half price. And whatever man it may be who shall have the use of the land at Clapham after my day, he is to pay two hundred pence every year to Chertsey for Ælfred’s soul as a contribution to their provisions. And I give to Æthelwald, my son, three hides of bookland: two hides at Waddington [Surrey], one hide at Gatton [Surrey]; and I give to him with them one hundred swine. And if the king is willing to grant him the folkland along with the bookland, let him have it and enjoy it; if that shall not be, then she is to give him whichever he prefers, either the land at Horsley or that at Lingfield. And I give to my kinsman Beorhtsige one hide of bookland at Linkfield [Surrey], and thereto one hundred swine. And she is to give one hundred swine to Christ Church for me and for my soul, and one hundred to Chertsey; and the surplus is to be divided throughout the minster-houses [belonging to] God’s churches in Surrey and in Kent, as long as they desire to endure. And I give to my kinsman Sigewulf the land at Nettlestead after Wærburh’s day; and Sigewulf is to give from the land one hundred pence to Christ Church; and each of the heirs who succeed to the lands after him is to render the same alms to Christ Church for Ælfred’s soul, as long as baptism lasts and the money can be obtained from that estate. And I give to my kinsman Eadred the land at Farleigh [probably Kent] after Æthelred’s day, if he desires to earn it from him; and he is to pay from that land thirty ambers of corn every year to Rochester. And let this estate be ascribed and without dispute after Eadred’s day to Ælfred’s direct maternal kin, as long as there be baptism on the English people’s island. This provision and these enactments which stand written here above — I Ælfred desire and wish that they be henceforward truly confirmed for me and my heirs. If then Almighty God has ordained and shall grant be as a gift that a nearer male heir shall be born to me, I grant to him all my inheritance after my day to enjoy as he pleases. And whosoever is willing to maintain and duly perform these benefactions and grants, and these written enactments and declarations, the King of Heaven shall maintain him in this present life and and in the life to come; and whosoever shall diminish or infringe them, may God Almighty diminish his worldly wealth and also the glory of his soul for ever and ever. + Here are written the names of the men who are witnesses of these provisions. + I Æthelred, archbishop, confirm and inscribe these statements and provisions with the sign of the Holy Cross of Christ. + Ælfred, dux + Beorhtwulf, dux + Beornhelm abbot + Eardwulf, abbot + Wærburg + Sigfrith, priest + Beornheah, priest + Beagstan, priest + Wulfheah + Æthelwulf, priest + Eardwulf, priest + Beornoth, deacon + Wealdhelm, deacon + Wine, subdeacon + Sæfrith. + Ceolmund, minister + Eadmund, minister + Eadwald, minister + Sigwulf, minister
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    • Endorsements: (1) in a contemporary hand: ˝is is Elfredes Erfegewrit (2) in a hand of s. xii: Testamentum Elfredi ducis. Anglice. + Xs~ Ic Elfred dux hatu writan 7 cy∂an an ∂issum gewrite Elfrede regi 7 allum his weotum 7 geweotan, 7 ec swylce minum megum 7 minum gefeorum, ˇa mEn ˇe ic mines Erfes 7 mines boclondes seolest onn, ∂Et is ˇonne Werburg min wif 7 uncer gemene bearn. ˇæt is ˇonne et Erestan an Sondenstede 7 on Selesdune xxxii hida 7 on Westarham xx hida 7 on Cloppaham xxx hida 7 on Leangafelda vi hida 7 on HorsalEge x hida 7 on Netelam'styde' vi hida. Ic Elfred dux sello Werburge 7 Alhdry∂e uncum gemenum bearne, æfter minum dege, ˇas lond mid cwice Erfe 7 mid ear∂e 7 mid allum ∂ingum ∂e to londum belimpa∂; 7 twa ˇusendu swina ic heom sello mid ˇem londum, gif hio hio gehalde∂ mid ˇare clEnnisse ˇe uncer wordgecweodu seondan. 7 hio gebrenge Et Sancte Petre min twa wergeld, gif ∂et Godes willa seo ˇEt heo ˇæt fEreld age. Ond Efter Werburge dEge seo Alh∂ry∂e ˇa lond unbefliten on Sondemstyde 7 on Selesdune 7 on Leangafelda. Ond gif heo bearn hEbbe, feo ∂Et bearn to ∂Em londum Efter hire; gif heo bearn nEbbe, feo ∂onne an hire rehtfEderen sio neste hond to ˇem londe ond to ∂em Erfe. 7 swa hwylc minra fEdrenmega swa ∂Et sio ˇæt hine to ∂an gehagige ˇæt he ˇa o∂oro lond begeotan mEge 7 wille, ˇonne gebygcge he ˇa lond Et hire mid halfe weor∂e. Ond swe hwylc mon swa ∂Et sio ˇEt ∂es londes bruce ofer minne dEg on Cloppaham, ˇanne geselle he cc peninga Eghwylce gere to Ceortesege for Elfredes sawle to feormfultume. Ond ic sello E∂elwalde minum sunu iii hida boclondes: ii hida on HwEtedune, [ane]s hides an Gatatune, 7 him sello ˇerto c swina; 7 gif se cyning him geunnan wille ˇEs folclondes to ∂Em boclonde, ˇonne hEbbe he 7 bruce; gif hit ˇEt ne sio, ˇonne selle hio him swa hwa∂er swa hio wille, swa ∂Et lond an Horsalege, swa ∂Et an Leangafelda. On'd' ic sello Berhtsige minum mege an hide boclondes on LEncanfelda 7 ˇerto c swina. 7 geselle hio c swina to Cristes cirican for me 7 fer mine sawle, 7 c to Ceortesege; 7 ˇone oferEcan mon gedEle gind mynsterhamas to Godes ciricum in Suˇregum 7 in CEnt ˇa hwile ˇe hio lestan willEn. Ond ic sello Sigewulfe minum mege ofer Werburge dEg ˇEt lond an Netelhæmstyde; ond Sigulf geselle of ∂em londe c pEninga to Cristes cirican; ond eghwylc ˇara Erfewearda ˇe Efter him to ∂Em londe foe, ˇonne ageofen hio ˇa ilcan elmessan to Cristes cirican for Elfredes sawle, ˇa hwile ˇe fulwiht sio, 7 hit man on ∂Em londe begeotan mege. Ond ic sello Eadrede minum mege ˇet lond on Fearnlege Efter E∂elredes dEge, gif he hit to him geearnian wile; 7 he geselle of ∂em londe xxx omb[ras] cornes Eghwelce gere to Hrofescestre; ond sio ∂is lond gewriten 7 unbefliten Efter Eadredes dege in Aelfredes rehtmeodrencynn ∂a hwile ˇe fulwihte sio on Angelcynnes ealonde. ˘eos foresprec 7 ˇas gewriotu ˇe herbeufan awreotene stonda∂, ic Ælfred willio 7 wille ˇæt hio sion so∂fEstlice for∂weard getrymed me 7 minum Erfeweardum. Gif ∂Et ∂onne God ællmEhtig geteod habbe ond me ˇEt on lene geli∂ ˇEt me gesibbra Erfeweard for∂cyme∂ wepnedhades 7 acEnned weor∂e∂, ∂anne ann ic ∂Em ofer minne dEg alles mines Erfes to brucenne swa him leofust sio. And swa hwylc mon swa ∂as god 7 ˇas geofe 7 ˇas gewrioto 7 ˇas word mid rehte haldan wille ond gelEstan, gehalde hine heofones cyning in ˇissum life ondwardum 7 eac swa in ˇEm towardan life; ond swa hwylc mon swa hio wonie 7 breoce, gewonie him God almahtig his weorldare?f ond ea'c' swa his sawle are in eona eonum. + Her sindon ∂æra manna naman awritene ∂e ∂eosse wisan geweotan sindon. + Ic Æ∂ered arcebisceop mid ∂ære halgan Cristes rode tacne ∂as word 7 ∂as wisan fEstnie 7 write. + Ælfred dux + Beorhtwulf dux + Beornhelm abbas + Earduulf abbas + Wærburg + Sigfre∂ pr' + Beonheah pr' + Beagstan pr' + Wulfheah + Æ∂elwulf pr' + Eardullf pr' + Beorno∂ diaconus + Wealdhelm diaconus + Wine subdiaconus + Sæfre∂ + Ceolmund m' + Eadmund m' + Eadwald m' + Siguulf m'.