A.D. 1052 x 1066. Will of Ketel, including bequests of land at Sisted, Essex, to Christ Church, Canterbury; at Harling, Norfolk, to Archbishop Stigand; the reversion of land at Great Melton, Norfolk, to St Benedict's at Holme and at Thorpe near Fundenhall, Norfolk, to Bury St Edmund's, after the deaths of Ketel and his uncle, Wulfric; land at Ketteringham, Norfolk, to his sister Bote, if she outlive him (if not, he is to have the land at Somerledetone [Somerton or Somerleyton, Suffolk]); land at Walsingham in East Carlton, Norfolk, to his sister Gode, if she outlive him (if not, he is to have the land at Preston, Suffolk); land at Hainford, Norfolk, and Coggeshall, Essex, to his brother Godric, and also land at Strattune (? Stratton Strawless, Norfolk), on payment of two pounds to Ælwig, Ketel's servant; the reversion of land at Onehouse, Suffolk, to Bury St Edmunds, after the deaths of Ketel and his stepdaughter, Ælfgifu; the half estate at Moran, Norfolk, to Earl Harold; land at Frating, Essex, according to an agreement made by (? Earl Harold) and Archbishop Stigand; land at Rashford, Suffolk, to Ælfric, his priest and kinsman. English


Bury St Edmunds


1. Cambridge, University Library, Ff.2.33, ff. 45v-46r (s. xiii 2)
2. London, British Library, Add. 14847, f. 16r (s. xiii/xiv)


K, 1339


Douglas and Greenaway, EHD II, no. 189 (pp. 905-6)

Printed and Translated:

Thorpe, pp. 581-4; Whitelock, Wills, no. 34 (pp. 88-91)


Whitelock, Wills, pp. 201-4; Douglas 1932, pp. cxii-xv; John 1960, p. 17 n. 1; Hart, ECEE, no. 118 (pp. 77, 95), authentic; Hart, ECE, no. 66, authentic; Finberg 1972, p. 509, cited; Brooks 1978, pp. 87-91, on heriot; Reynolds 1994, p. 338 n. 72; Pelteret 1995, pp. 123-4, 130; Faith 1997, p. 63, cited

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    • Here in this document is Ketel's will: namely, that I grant Stisted to Christchurch after my time, for the sake of my father's soul and for Sæflæd's. And it is my will that all my men shall be free, and that my reeve, Mann, shall occupy the free land which I have given over into his possession, for ever freely during his life, and after his death that estate is to go with the other. And I grant to the church the land which Wihtric had in his possession, and Leofwine and Siric and Goding, to where the fence reaches Leofric's hedge; and [I enjoin] that no one shall refuse him egress. And I desire that all the men to whom I grant freedom shall have all things which are in their possession except the land. And I grant to Archbishop Stigand, my lord, the estate at Harling just as it stands, except that the men shall al be free, and that I grant ten acres to the church. And if I do not come back again, I grant to him as my heriot a helmet and a coat of mail and a horse with harness and a sword and a spear. And I desire that in accordance with the agreement Edwin and Wulfric shall after my time succeed to everything which is mine everywhere in the village, except so much as I grant to the church; namely, the land let for services which my man Ælfwold holds; and he is to occupy the other during his lifetime. And afterwards all the land which comes into his possession is to go with the other to the church. If Edwin my uncle will maintain the partnership with me and my uncle Wulfric with regard to the estate at Melton, if we outlive him we are to succeed to the estate at Thorpe, on condition that after the death of both of us, the estate at Melton shall go to St Benedict's at Holme, for our ancestors' souls and for our own souls: and the estate at Thorpe to Bury St Edmunds. And this is the agreement between me and my sister Bote: if I end my life before her, that she is to succeed to the estate at Ketteringham and a mark of gold or the equivalent: and if I outlive her, then I shall have the land at Somerleyton. And my sister Gode and I have made a similar agreement: if she survive me, she is to take possession of the estate at Walsingham, except ten acres which are to go to the church: and if I live longer than she, then I shall have the estate at Preston. And I grant to my brother Godric the estate at Hainford just as it stands in my possession, and Coggeshall. And for the land at Stratton (?) he shall give Ælfwig my servant two pounds. And I and my stepdaughter Ælfgifu have made an agreement about the estate at Onehouse that whichever of us shall live the longer, is to have as much land as the two of us have there. And if death befall us both on the way to Rome, the estate is to go to Bury St Edmunds for me and for Sæflæd and for Ælfgifu, but the men are all to be free. And I grant to Earl Harold after my time the half estate at Moran, as fully and completely as I rightfully acquired it with my wife in the witness of God and many men: and I have since neither lost it by lawsuit (?) nor forfeited it. And I beseech you by the Lord who created you and all creatures, that if I do not come back, you will never let it be possessed after my time by my enenmies who wrongfully occupy it and make use of it to my continual injury. And I grant the estate at Frating according to the agreement which you yourself and Archbishop Stigand my lord made. And I grant to Ælfric, my priest and relation, the estate at Rushford. And if anyone be so foolish as to wish to detract from my will, may God and all his saints destroy him on the Day of Judgment.
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    • Her is on ˇis write Keteles quide ˇat is ˇat ic an Stistede after mine tyme for mine fader soule and for Sefledan into Cristes kirke. And ic wille ˇat mine men ben alle fre 7 Mann myne refe ˇat he sitte on ˇe fre lond ˇat ic him to honde habbe leten; his time euer fre. and after his time folege ˇat lond ˇen oˇere. And ic an into ˇere kirke ˇat lond ˇat Withrich hauede vnder hande and Lewine and Siric and Goding so so geard go∂ to Leueriches hyge. And ˇat no mam him ne forwerne ˇan vtgang. And ic wille ˇat alle ˇo men ˇe ic an fre; ˇat he habben alle ˇinge ˇe he vnder hande habben buten ˇat lond. And ic an ˇat lond at Herlinge Stigand Archebisscop mine louerd so it stant buten ˇo men ben alle fre. and ten acres ic an into ˇe kirke. and gif ic ongein ne cume; ˇan an ic him to min heregete an helm and a brenie. and hors. and gereade. and sverd and spere. and ic wille after ˇe forwarde ˇat ic and Eadwine. and Wlfric after mine time fon to alkere ˇinge ˇe min ower is ˇer on tune buten so mikel so ic an into ˇe kirke. ˇat is ˇat erninglond ˇat Alfwold mine man haue∂ vnder hande. and he sitte on ˇat other his time. And sithen al ˇat lond ˇat him to honde bege∂ folege mid ˇe oˇere into ˇe kirke. gif Eadwine min Em wille helden se felageschipe mid me 7 Wlfric min em ymbe ˇat lond at Meˇeltune gif wit him ouerbiden; fon we to ˇat londe at Thorpe into ˇat forwarde. ˇat vre boˇere time go ˇat lond at Metheltone for vre heldren soule. and vre awene soule into seinte Benedicte at Holm. And ˇat lond at Thorpe into seynt Eadmundes biri. And ˇat is min and mine sustres Boten 'ˇat' forwarde. gif ic mine day do her his; ˇat ic fon to ˇat lond at Keteringham. and an marc goldes oˇer ˇe wrth. and gif ic hire ouerbide; ˇanne schal ic habben ˇat lond at Somerledetone. and ˇat ilke forwarde Ic and Gode mine suster habbed speken gif he me ouerbide. gripe he to ˇat lond at Walsingham. buten ten acres ˇo schulen into ˇere kirke. And gif ic libbe leng ˇanne hio. ˇanne schal ic habben ˇat lond at Prestone. And ic an Godric mine brother ˇat lond at Hemfordham so it me on hande stand. And Kockeshale. And he scal for ˇat lond at Strattune gifen Alwy mine cnihte to pund. And Ic and Algif mine stepdouhter wit habben wrouth ˇe forwarde ymbe ˇat lond at Anhus ˇat so wether vnker so lengere libbe. habbe ˇat lond so mikel so wit ˇer habben. and gif vnc ban fordsith sceot on Rome weye; ˇanne go ˇat lond for me and for Sefle∂ and for Algiue into seint Eadmundes biri. bute ˇo men ben alle fre. And ic an Harold erl after mine time ˇe halue lond at Moran so ful and so forth so ic it richtlike on godes witnesse and mani manne mid mine wife bigat. and ic it sithen nawer ne forswat ne forspilde. And ic bidde ˇe ˇurh ˇene drichtin se ˇe and alle schefte schop. gif ic ongen ne cume ˇat ˇu it nefre ne let welden mine vnwinan after me ˇe mid unrichte sitte∂ ˇeron. and nitta∂ it me euere to vnˇanke. And ic an ˇe lond at Fretinge after ˇat ilke forwarde ˇat ˇu ˇe self and Stigand Archebiscop mine louerd wrouhten. And ic an Alfric mine prest and mine cuthen ˇat lond at Rissewrthe. And gif ani man si so disi ˇat wille mine quide bereuen. god him fordo on domesday and alle his halegan.