A.D. 805 x 832. Extract from a charter of Wulfred, archbishop of Canterbury, concerning the alienability of bookland.


Canterbury, Christ Church

Printed and Translated:

Somner 1726, pp. 88-9, source of charter

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    • .....Gif ðonne huelc mon ðæt uord cwæðe ðæt ne me siae min wic ðon alefedran ðon oþrum higum to brucenne ne minum aerfreweardum. ðonne wite he ðæt hit naes nefre Cristes cirican land ne nenges monnes boclond ær min. 7 ðonne se monne ieond ðence 7 asmeaie be oðerra monna boclondum ie in friþstolum ie butan. huader hio megen hiora agen sellan oððe on hiora lif <a>gan sue him leof siae oððe for huðu min scyle beon unie[....]lðenre ðon oðrum monnum hiora.
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    • If then any man should say that it is not more permissible for me or my heirs to enjoy my property than other members of the community, then he should know that it was never Christ Church land nor any man’s bookland before it was mine. And then that person should consider and think about other people’s bookland, both in consecrated places and outside, whether they are able to give away their own [bookland] or possess [it] during their lifetime as may be pleasing to them, or why mine ought to be more restricted than that of other people.