A.D. 679 (Reculver, May). Hlothhere, king of Kent, to Abbot Beorhtwald and his minster; grant of land at Westanae on the Isle of Thanet, and in Sturry, Kent. Latin


Canterbury, Christ Church (ex Reculver)


1. London, British Library, Cotton Augustus ii. 2 (s. vii 2; BM Facs., i. 1; Lowe, Uncial, pl. xxi; Ch.L.A., iii, no. 182; Campbell 1982, p. 98; Wormald 1985, p.2; Making of England, no. 27)
2. Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, 189, ff. 195-201v, f. 195r-v (s. xii; short version)
3. Canterbury, D.C., Reg. P, f. 11r-v (s. xiii in.; short version)
4. London, Lambeth Palace Library, 1212, p. 304 (s. xiii; short version)
5. Oxford, Bodleian Library, Tanner 223, f. 8r-v (s. xvi 1; short version)


Twysden, X Scriptores, col. 2207, ex MS 2; Smith, Bede, p. 784; K, 16, ex MSS 1, 4; Mon. Angl. (rev. edn), i. 455 (no. 2) ex MS 5; Birch 1876, pp. 78-80; B, 45, ex K and MS 1; Earle, pp. 8-9; Pierquin, Recueil, pt 1, no. 13; Fleming 1997, pp. 109-10 (no. 3), ex MS 3


Whitelock, EHD, no. 56 (pp. 482-3)


BM Facs., iv, p. 7, contemporary; Birch 1876, pp. 78-80; Sweet, OET, pp. 427-8 (no. 4); Earle, p. 8, absolute original; Stevenson 1914, p. 703, authentic; Stenton 1918, pp. 434, 437 nn. 19 & 20, original (= Stenton 1970 pp. 49, 51 n. 5, p. 52 n. 1); Wallenberg, KPN, pp. 10-13, on place-names; Levison 1946, p. 230, earliest original; John 1960, pp. 5, 36, 49, certainly authentic, discusses formulation and legal basis; Lowe, Uncial, pp. 8, 20, apparently an original document; Ch.L.A., iii. no. 182, MS 1 contemporaneous, probably original; Ch.L.A., iv. pp. xvi-vii, xxiii, on script and production; Bruckner 1965, pp. 25-6, p. 24 n. 63 and p. 39, p. 44, oldest surviving Anglo-Saxon charter in contemporary form; autograph cross in king's subscription; production; Chaplais 1965, pp. 49, 51-2, 53-4, original (= 1973, pp. 29, 32, 33-4); Wright 1967, p. 56, MS 1 probably a later copy; Chaplais 1968, pp. 317-27, original, witness-list added later probably by same scribe, discusses latinity, formulation, date (= 1973 pp. 65-78); Chaplais 1969, pp. 538-40, compares formulation with that of S 19 (= 1973 pp. 102-5); Stenton 1971, pp. 141, 282, contemporary; Finberg 1972, pp. 406, 434, cited; Cox 1976, pp. 25-6, 27, 28, 42, on place-names; Harrison 1976, p. 118, on indiction; Whitelock 1976, pp. 142, 143, on witnesses and date; Sawyer 1978, pp. 146, 155, 157, earliest original; Rollason 1979, pp. 14-15, on estate; Scharer 1982, pp. 65-8, original; Wormald 1982, p. 98; Wormald 1985, pp. 3-5, 25, original; The Making of England, pp. 43-4; Kelly, St Augustine's, pp. lxxiii-lxxxv passim, on Kentish diplomatic.; Gameson 1999a, pp. 324-5, on script of original; Dumville 1999, p. 105, on script; Thompson 2006, pp. 3 et passim, on script

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    • + In nomine . Domini nostri saluatoris . Iesu Christi . ego Hlotharius rex Cantuariorum pro remedium animae meae dono terram . in Tenid . que appellatur . Uuestan . ae tibi Bercuald . tuoque monasterio cum omnibus ad se pertinentibus campis pascuis meriscis . siluis modicis . fon<ta>nis piscaris omnibus ut dictum est ad eandem terram pertinentia . sicuti nunc usque possessa est . iuxta notissimos terminos a me demonstratus et proacuratoribus meis . eodem modo tibi tuoque monasterio conferimus . Teneas possedeas tu . posterique tui inperpetuum defendant A nullo contradicitur . Cum consensu archiepiscopi Theodori et Edrico . filium fratris mei necnon et omnium principum . Sicuti tibi donata est ita tene et posteri tui :- Quisquis contra hanc donationem uenire temptauerit sit ab omni christianitata separatus . et a corpore et sanguini Domini nostri Iesu Christi suspensus . manentem . hanc donationis chartulam in sua nihilominus firmitate Et pro confirmatione eius manu propria signum sancte . crucis expraessi et testes ut subscriberent rogaui . Actum in ciuitate Recuulf . in mense Maio indictione septima :- In ipsa antememorato die adiunxi aliam terram in Sturia iuxta notissimos terminos a me demonstratus et proacuratoribus meis cum campis et siluis et pratis sicuti antememorabimus supra dictam terram . ita ista sit a me donata eodem modo cum omnibus ad se pertinentia In potestate abbatis sit . inperpetuum . a me donata . a nullo contradicitur quod absit : neque a me neque a parentibus meis neque ab aliis . Si aliquis aliter fecerit a Deo se damnatum sciat . et in die iudicii rationem reddet Deo in anima sua :- + Signum manus Hlothari regis donatoris + Signum manus Gumbercti . + Signum manus Gebredi:- + Signum manus Osfridi :- + Signum manus Irminredi + Signum manus Aedilmaeri . + Signum manus Hagani . + Signum manus Aeldredi: + Signum manus Aldhodi:- + Signum manus Gudhardi : + Signum manus Bernhardi . + Signum manus Uelhisci Short version: [A]nno dominice incarnationis .dclxxix. Ego Lotharius rex Cantuariorum, pro remedio anime mee, concedo terram in insula Tanatos in loco qui appellatur Uuestanea tibi Brithuolde abba tuoquo monasterio cui nomen Raculf, cum omnibus ad illam rite pertinentibus, campis, pascuis, marascis. Adieci adhuc eidem ecclesie tue terram .xii. mansionum in loco qui dicitur Stureie, liberam ut superiorem ab omni seculari seruitio, exceptis istis tribus, expeditione, pontis et arcis constructione. Si quis quod non optamus hanc meam donationem uiolare presumpserit, sociatus diabolo et angelis eius locus eius fiat in inferno inferiori.
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    • + In the name of our Lord, the Saviour Jesus Christ. I, Hlothhere, king of the dwellers in Kent, for the salvation of my soul give the land in Thanet that is called Westana to you, Beorhtwald and to your monastery with all that belongs to it, fields, pastures, marshes, small woods, streams, fisheries, all, as has been said, belonging to this same land, just as has ever been possessed up until now, in conformity with its very well-known boundaries pointed out by me and by my procuratores [?reeves]. In the same way we grant to you and your monastery [that] you should hold [and] possess [it] and your successors warrant title to it in perpetuity, opposed by no one, with the agreement of Archbishop Theodore and Eadric, son of my brother, and also all the principes, just as it was given to you, so that you and your successors should hold [it]. Should anyone attempt to contravene this gift, may he be separated from all Christendom and suspended from the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. In order that this charter remain likewise in its steadfastness and as a confirmation, I have imprinted the mark of the holy cross with my own hand, and have asked that witnesses should subscribe [it]. Executed in the city of Rochester in the month of May, the seventh indiction. On the same aforementioned day I added another estate in Sturry nearby, the very well-known bounds being indicated by me and by my procuratores with fields and woods and meadows, just as we recounted the above-mentioned land earlier. May that [land] so given by me in the same way with all belonging to it into the power of the abbot in perpetuity be opposed by no one, God forbid!, neither by me nor by my parents nor by others. If anyone should do otherwise, let him know that he be damned by God, and let his soul render an account to God on the Day of Judgment. + Mark of the hand of Hlothhere, king, the donor. + Mark of the hand of Gumberht. + Mark of the hand of Gæbred. + Mark of the hand of Osfrith. + Mark of the hand of Eormenred. + Mark of the hand of Æthelmær. + Mark of the hand of Hagana. + Mark of the hand of Ealdred. + Mark of the hand of Ealdhad. + Mark of the hand of Guthheard. + Mark of the hand of Beornheard. + Mark of the hand of Welhisc.
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    Old Text

    • + In nomine domini nostri salvatoris Jhesu Christi. Ego Hlotharius rex Cantuariorum pro remedium animæ meæ dono terram . in tenid . quæ appellatur . Uuestan.ae tibi Bercuald . tuoque monasterio cum omnibus ad se pertinentibus campis pasc