A.D. 956 (i). King Eadwig to Hehelm, his fidelis; grant of 5 hides (mansae) at Bathampton, Somerset, with a note that Hehelm promised the land to Bath Abbey after his death. Latin with English bounds




1. Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, 111, pp. 55-131, pp. 76-75* (s. xii 2)


K, 440 and vol. iii. 436-7; B, 973; Hunt, Bath Carts., pp. 20-1; Pierquin, Recueil, pt 2, no. 100


Grundy, Somerset, pp. 213-14, on bounds; Finberg, ECW, no. 474, authentic; Keynes 1980, pp. 52-3, 62 n. 110, 67 n. 127, 'Group One'

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    • Prouidentia summi architectoris uniuersa ualde bona fabricans, celum sibimet, terram autem dedit filiis hominum. Cuius incole laboriose et cum dolore quasi ex debito morientes, celum ipsum fas est promereri, illis inquam ratione uiuentibus, ut sint et ipsi dii gratia Dei. Sed cum scimus nos pignoribus acceptis esse uocatos ad id, ignorantibus tamen utrum sumus electi nobis adeo timendum est ne nos cupido huius mundi uel pompa immittat in os leviathan Iordanem expectantis, ne regni sullimitas, ne omnino ulla prosperitas inflet, immo deiciat. Unde ego Eadwig, Dei gratia rex Anglorum, pro Christi nomine, familiarissimo meo fideli qui dicitur Hehelm .v. mansas Hamtun nomine in hereditatem concedo perhennem, cum omnibus ad se pertinentibus, pratis, siluis, pascuis, uenationibus, sine fisco regali, absque tribus communibus, expeditione uidelicet, arcis pontisque constructione. Anno primo mei regni, ab incarnatione uero dominica .dcccclvi., indictione .xiiii. Ille uero pro me et pro se post sui obitum ecclesie Christi que sita est Baðum illam prefatam terram iam offert in elemosinam. Þis synd þa land gemæra to Hamtune. Upp of Afene on mærbroc on ðyrllan stan, upp on gerihte on herces næs suðewearde andlang mærhagan on herces dic, andlan<g> dic on herces get, of þam gete on cyninga þyrnan eastewerde andlang weges on hemlec lege eastewearde, andlang stige on ulfan treow, west andlang weges adune on þone crundel æcer eastewearde, adune on þone mær hægan on þone nearuan byge on Afene, upp andlang stremes þet eft upp on mær broc. Ego Eadwig totius Albionis monarchus hoc monogramum signo crucis Christi sigillo. + Ego Odo archipresul signaculum crucis apposui. + Ego Ælfsige antistes sponte annui. + Ego Osulf pontifex confirmaui. + Ego Byrhtelm episcopus annotaui. + Ego Daniel episcopus subscripsi. + Æþelstan dux. + Æþelsige dux. + Eadmund dux. + Æþelstan dux. + Ælfhere dux. + Ælfsige minister. + Æþelmer minister. + Æþelgerd minister. + Ælfred minister. + Æþelsige minister. + Siquis igitur hoc donum custodiendo munierit, trabeatus inueniat stolam immortalitatis; rapere uero machinans, precipitetur in Cociti palude, nisi prius emendare satagerit.
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    • The universal providence of the Highest Architect forming truly good things [gave] heaven for Himself; on the other hand, earth He gave to the sons of men. Its inhabitants dying with hardship and with grief as if from their guilt, it is right to gain heaven itself, I say with reason to those who are living, that they should even themselves be gods through the Grace of God. But when we know that we have been called to that, the pledges having been accepted, yet it must be feared much more by us who are ignorant as to whether we be the chosen, lest the desire of this world and its pomp sends us, who are expecting Jordan, into the mouth of Leviathan, lest the elevation of the kingdom and any prosperity in general should puff up, yet cast down. Wherefore, I, Eadwig, by the Grace of God king of the English, in the name of Christ, grant to my most faithful liegeman who is called Hehelm 5 hides, Bathampton by name, as a perpetual inheritance, with all that belongs to it, meadows, woods, pastures, hunting grounds, without royal tax and without the three common [burdens], namely military service [and] the construction of fortress and bridge. In the first year of my reign, from the incarnation of the Lord 956, indiction 14. He now offers to the church of Christ which is located at Bath that aforementioned land as alms for me and for himself after his death. These are the bounds of the land at Bathampton. Up from the Avon on boundary brook to pierced stone; straight up to the southern part of Heric’s headland; along the boundary hedge to Heric’s ditch [or dyke]; along the ditch to Heric’s gate; from the gate to the east of the kings’ thorns; along the way to the east of hemlock clearing; along the track to Ulf’s tree; west along the way down to the east of chalk-pit field; down along boundary hedge to the narrow bend in the Avon; along the stream back to boundary brook. I, Eadwig, sole ruler of the whole of Albion, mark this single symbol with the sign of the cross of Christ. + I, Oda, archbishop [of Canterbury], placed the sign of the cross. + I, Ælfsige, bishop [of Winchester], voluntarily assented. + I, Oswulf, bishop [of Ramsbury], affirmed. + I, Beorhthelm, bishop [of London], subscribed. + I, Daniel, bishop [of Cornwall], subscribed. + Æthelstan, dux. + Æthelsige, dux. + Edmund, dux. + Æthelstan, dux. + Ælfhere, dux. + Ælfsige, minister. + Æelmær, minister. + Æthelgeard, minister. + Alfred, minister. + Æthelsige, minister. + If anyone therefore should defend this gift through their guardianship, may he, enrobed, find the vestment of immortality; he who is, however, scheming to seize it, may he be cast into the swamp of Cocytus, unless he first tries to reform.
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    • De Quinque hidis Hamtone . Providentia summi architectoris universa valde bona fabricans cælum sibimet . terram autem dedit filiis hominum . cujus incolæ laboriose et cum dolore quasi ex debito morientes . cælum ipsum fas est promereri . illis inquam ratione viventibus . ut sint et ipsi Dii gratia Dei . Set cum scimus nos pignoribus acceptis esse vocatos ad id . ignorantibus tamen utrum sumus electi nobis adeo timendum est ne nos cupido huius mundi vel pompa immittat in os Leviathan Jordanen expectantis . ne regni sullimitas . ne omnino ulla prosperitas inflet ; immo deiciat . Unde ego Eadwig Dei gratia rex Anglorum . pro Christi nomine familiarissimo meo fideli qui dicitur Hehelm . V . mansas Hamtun nomine . in hæreditatem concedo perhennem cum omnibus ad se pertinentibus . pratis . silvis . pascuis . venationibus . sine fisco regali . absque tribus communibus . expeditione videlicet . arcis . pontisque constructione . Anno primo regni mei . Ab incarnatione vero dominica . DCCCC . LVI o . Indictione . XIIII a . Ille vero pro me et pro se post sui obitum æcclesiæ Christi quæ sita est Ba∂um . illam præfatam terram jam offert in elemosynam . Divisiones. ˝is synd ˇa land gemæra to Hamtune . Vpp of afene on mærbroc on ∂ryllen stan upp on gerihte on herces næs . su∂e wearde and lang mærhagan on herces dic . And lan dic on herces get . Of ˇam gete on Cyninga ˇyrnan . eastewerde and lang weges on hemlec lege eastewearde and lang stige on ulfan treow west andlang weges adune on ˇone crundel æcer eastewearde adune on ˇone mær hagan on ˇone nearuan byge on afene . upp andlang stremes ˇæt eft upp on mær broc . Ego Eadwig totius Albionis monarchus hoc monogrammum signo crucis Christi sigillo . + . Ego Odo archipræsul . signaculum crucis apposui . + . Ego Ælfsige antistes sponte annui . + . Ego Osulf pontifex confirmavi . + . Ego Byrhtelm episcopus annotavi . + . Ego Daniel episcopus subscripsi . + . Æˇelstan dux . + . Æˇelsige dux . + . Eadmund dux . + . Æˇelstan dux . + . Ælfhere dux . + . Ælfsige minister . + . Æˇelmer minister . + . Æˇelgeard minister . + . Ælfred minister . + . Æˇelsige minister . + . Si quis igitur hoc donum custodiendo munierit . trabeatus inveniat stolam immortalitatis . rapere vero machinans præcipitetur in Cociti palude . nisi prius emendare sategerit .