A.D. 676 (= 675, 6 Nov.). Osric, king, to Bertana, abbess; grant of 100 hides (manentes) at Bath, Somerset, for the foundation of a nunnery. Latin




1. Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, 111, pp. 55-131, pp. 59-60 (s. xii 2)


K, 12; Mon. Angl. (rev. edn), ii. 264 (no. 2); B, 43, ex K; Earle, pp. 6-7; Hunt, Bath Carts., p. 6; Pierquin, Recueil, pt 1, no. 12


HS, p. 129, doubtful, the indiction is wrong and there are two bishops of the West Saxons; Finberg, ECW, no. 355, authentic basis; Finberg, ECWM, pp. 172-4, perhaps amplified from a shorter authentic charter; Harrison 1973a, pp. 553-4, 556, authentic basis, discusses dating-clause; Brooks 1974, p. 225, cited with reference to Harrison's discussion of date; Sims-Williams 1975, especially pp. 1-6, sanction and witness-list at least derive for genuine earlier charter, other details (e.g. abbess's name) depend on early records; Harrison 1976, pp. 67-9, some very early features; Scharer 1982, p. 76 n. 32, spurious; Cunliffe 1984, pp. 347-8, on Bath; Wormald 1985, p. 25, broadly trustworthy; Edwards 1988, pp. 218-23, authentic basis but substantially interpolated and rewritten, may not originally have referred to a minster in Bath; Sims-Williams 1988, pp. 165-74, entire charter may belong to 675, literary proem may show Aldhelm's influence; Sims-Williams 1990, pp. 56-7, 104, 111-13, 120, may have genuine basis.

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    • Regnante ac gubernante regimonia regni Osrici regis, anno recapitulationis Dionisii, id est ab incarnatione Domini nostri Iesu Christi sexcentesimo septuagesimo sexto, indictione .iiiita., mense Nouembrio, .viii. idus Nouembris. Cum nobis euangelica et apostolica dogmata post baptismi sacramentum Deo suffragante fuissent delata et omnia simulachrorum figmenta ridiculosa funditus diruta, tum primitus ad augmentum catholice et orthodoxe fidei pontificalem dumtaxat cathedram erigentes iuxta sinodalia decreta construere censuimus. At uero nunc cum gratia superna longe lateque profusius enitesceret, cenobialia etiam loca sparsim uirorum sparsimque uirginum Deo famulantium erigenda statuimus, ut ubi truculentus et nefandus prius draco errorum deceptionibus seruiebat, nunc uersa uice ecclesiasticus ordo in clero conuersantium Domino patrocinante gaudens tripudiet. Quam ob rem ego supradictus Osricus rex, pro remedio anime mee et indulgentia piaculorum meorum, hoc priuilegium impendere ad laudem nominis Domini nostri decreueram, id est Bertane abbatisse, que pro Christiana deuotione ac pro spe eterne beatitudinis Dei famulam se profitetur, centum manentes qui adiacent ciuitati que uocatur hat Bathu tribuens ad construendum monasterium sanctarum uirginum. Igitur subnixis precibus imploro ut nullus post obitum meum de ea cespitis conditione tollere uel auferre quippiam contra canonice auctoritatis interdictum pertinaciter presumat. Si quis uero quod absit succedentium episcoporum seu regum contra hanc nostre diffinitionis cartulam propria temeritate presumere temptauerit, sit sequestratus a communione corporis Domini nostri Iesu Christi et a consortio omnium sanctorum in euum priuatus. Signum manus Osrici regis qui hanc cartam donationis fieri rogauit. + Ego Æðelredus rex consensi et subscripsi. + Ego Theodorus gratia Dei archiepiscopus testis subscripsi. + Ego Leutherius acsi indignus episcopus subscripsi. + Ego Wilfridus episcopus consensi et subscripsi. + Ego Hedda episcopus consensi et subscripsi. + Ego Ergnualdus episcopus consensi et subscripsi. + Ego Saxuulfus episcopus consensi et subscripsi. + Signum Baldredi Osuualdi Gadfridi Æðelmodi.
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    • Under the ruling and governing control of the kingdom of King Osric, in the year of the reckoning of Dionysius, that is, the six hundred and seventy-sixth from the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, the fourth indiction, in the month of the November, the sixth [day]. When the evangelic and apostolic dogmas were brought to us after the sacrament of baptism, by the Grace of God, and all foolish figments of idols had been wholly razed to the ground, then for the first time, for the increase of the catholic and orthodox faith— as far as the setting up of an episcopal see in accordance with the synodal decisions— we resolved to establish [it, i.e., a see]. But now, when the Higher Grace had shone out more profusely far and wide, we have commanded the establishment of monastic places, here for men and there for women serving God, so that where the truculent and horrible serpent of sins used to devote himself to deceptions, now on the contrary the ecclesiastical order of those living in the clerical condition rejoices under the Lord’s protection. Wherefore, I, the aforementioned King Osric, for the salvation of my soul and the remission of my sins, had decided to grant this charter in praise of the name of our Lord, that is, bestowing on Abbess Berta, who out of Christian devotion and in the hope of eternal blessing declares herself to be a handmaiden of God, one hundred hides that adjoin the city which is called Bath for the building of a monastery for holy virgins. Therefore, with humble prayers I beseech that after my death no-one should obstinately presume to take or carry off anything from that legal provision of land, contrary to the prohibition of canon law. If any subsequent bishops or kings should attempt through their own criminality to presume against this record of our decision, which truly God forbid!, may he be removed from the fellowship of the body of our Lord Jesus Christ and deprived of the company of all the saints forever. The mark of the hand of Osric, king, who asked that this charter of gift be made. + I, Æthelred, king, agreed and subscribed. + I, Theodore, by the grace of God archbishop [of Canterbury], subscribed as a witness. + I, Leuthhere, although unworthy, bishop [of Winchester], subscribed. + I, Wilfrid, bishop [of York], agreed and subscribed. + I, Hædde, bishop [of Winchester], agreed and subscribed. + I, Eorcenwald, bishop [of London], agreed and subscribed. + I, Seaxwulf, bishop [of Lichfield], agreed and subscribed. + The mark of Baldred Of Oswald Of Gadfrid Of Æthelmod
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    • + Regnante ac gubernante regimonia regni Osrici regis , anno recapitulationis Dionysii , id est , ab incarnatione domini nostri Jhesu Christi sexcentesimo septuagesimo sexto , indictione quarta , mense Novembris . viiio idus Novembris . Cum nobis evang