A.D. 995 x 999 (Cookham). King Æthelred confirms the will of Æthelric (i.e. S 1501), including the bequest of land at Bocking, Essex, to Christ Church, Canterbury. English


Canterbury, Christ Church


1. Canterbury, D.C., B 1 (s. x ex.; OS Facs., i. 17)
2. Canterbury, D.C., Reg. A, f. 142r (s. xiii)
3. Canterbury, D.C., Reg. E, f. 43r (s. xiii ex.)
4. London, British Library, Stowe 853, ff. 28v-29v (s. xvii)


K, 704; Earle, pp. 217-18


Whitelock, EHD, no. 121 (pp. 579-80)

Printed and Translated:

Thorpe, pp. 539-41; Essays, Appendix, no. 26, in part; Whitelock, Wills, pp. 44-7 (no. 16/2)


Plummer 1892; 1899, ii, p. 177, dates it 997 x 1001; Whitelock, Wills, pp. 148-51; Hart, ECE, no. 29, original; HRH, p. 236, genuine, subscriptions few but consistent; Whitelock, EHD, pp. 579-80, MS 1 contemporary, discusses background; Keynes 1980, pp. 129-30, 148, 161-2, 208 n. 198, 222 n. 244; Keynes 1988, p. 190; Wormald 1988, no. 62; Ramsay and Sparks 1992, p. 311, cited; Lawson 1993, pp. 22-3, 241; Stafford 1994, pp. 234, 238; Wormald, English Law, p. 146

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    • + Her swutelað on þison gewrite hu Æðelred kyning geuðe þæt Æþerices cwyde æt Boccinge standan moste . Hit wæs manegon earon ær Æðeric forðferde þæt ðam kincge wæs gesæd þæt he wære on þam unræde þæt man sceolde on Eastsexon Swegen underfon ða he ærest þyder mid flotan com . 7 se cincg hit on mycele gewitnysse Sigerice arcebisceope cyðde þe his forespeca þa wæs for ðæs landes þingon æt Boccinge ðe he into Cristes cyrcean becweden hæfde . Þa wæs he þisse spæce ægþer ge on life . ge æfter ungeladod ge ungebett oð his laf his hergeatu þam cincge to Cocham brohte þær he his witan widan gesomnod hæfde . þa wolde se cing ða spæce beforan eallon his witan uphebban 7 cwæð þæt Leofsige ealdorman . 7 mænige men þære spæce gecnæwe wæron . þa bæd seo wuduwe Ælfric arcebisceop ðe hire forespeca wæs . 7 Æðelmær þæt hig þone cincg bædon þæt heo moste gesyllan hire morgengyfe into Cristes cyrcean for ðone cincg . 7 ealne his leodscype wið ðam ðe se cing ða egeslican onspæce alete . 7 his cwyde standan moste þæt is swa hit herbeforan cwyð . þæt land æt Boccinge into Cristes cyrcean . 7 his oðre landare into oðran halgan stowan swa his cwyde swutelað . þa God forgylde þam cincge getiðode he ðæs for Cristes lufan . 7 sca Marian . 7 sce Dunstanes . 7 ealra þæra haligra ðe æt Cristes cyrcean restað . þæs costes ðe heo þis gelæste . 7 his cwyde fæste stode . þeos swutelung wæs þærrihte gewriten . 7 beforan ðam cincge 7 ðam witon gerædd ; Þis syndon ðæra manna naman ðe ðises to gewittnesse wæron . Ælfric arcebisceop . 7 Ælfheh bisceop on Wintaceastre . 7 Wulfsige bisceop on Dorsæton . 7 Godwine bisceop on Hrofeceastre . 7 Leofsige ealdorman . 7 Leofwine ealdorman . 7 Ælfsige abbot . 7 Wulfgar abbot . 7 Byrhtelm abbot . 7 Lyfincg abbot . 7 Alfwold abbot . 7 Æðelmær . 7 Ordulf . 7 Wulfget . 7 Fræna. 7 Wulfric Wulfrune sunu : 7 ealle ða ðegnas ðe þær widan gegæderode wæron ægðer . ge of Westsexan . ge of Myrcean . ge of Denon . ge of Englon . þissa gewrita syndon ðreo . an is æt Cristes cyrcean . oðer æt þæs cinges haligdome . þridde hæfþ seo wuduwe.
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    • Here in this document is declared how King Æthelred granted that Æthe(l)ric’s will should stand in relation to Bocking. It was many years before Æthe(l)ric had died that the King was told that he was in the plot that Swein was supposed to be received in Essex when he first came thither with a fleet. And the King, with many witnesses, informed Archbishop Sigeric, who was his advocate for the sake of the estate at Bocking, which he had bequeathed to Christ Church. Then, both in his lifetime and afterwards, he remained both unacquitted of this charge and unatoned, until his widow brought his heriot to the King at Cookham, where he had assembled his witan from far. Then the king wished to raise the charge before all his witan and declared that Ealdorman Leofsige and many men were aware of the charge. Then the widow bade Archbishop Ælfric, who was her advocate, and Æthelmær that they request the King that she might give her morning-gift to Christ Church, for the King and for all his nation, provided that the King would lay aside the dreadful accusation, and that his testament might stand, namely as it says previously: the estate at Bocking to Christ Church and his other landed possessions to the other holy places as his will declares. Then— may God reward the King— he permitted it, for the love of Christ, of St Mary, and of St Dunstan and all the saints who rest at Christ Church, on the understanding that she should carry this out and that his will should stand. This declaration was immediately written and read before the King and the witan. These are the names of the men who served as witnesses of it: Archbishop Ælfric, and Bishop Ælfheah of Winchester, and Bishop Wulfsige of Dorset, and Bishop Godwine of Rochester, and Ealdorman Leofsige, and Ealdorman Leofwine, and Abbot Ælfsige, and Abbot Wulfgar, and Abbot Byrhthelm, and Abbot Lyfincg, and Abbot Ælfwold, and Æthelmær, and Ordulf, and Wulfgeat, and Fræna, and Wulfric Wulfrun’s son, and all the thegns who were gathered there from far, both West Saxons and Mercians, and Danes and English There are three of these documents: one is at Christ Church, another with the king’s sacred treasury, the widow has the third.
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    • + Her swutela∂ on ˇison gewrite hu Æ∂elred kyning geu∂e ˇæt Æˇerices cwyde æt Boccinge standan moste. hit wæs manegon earon ær Æ∂eric for∂ferde ˇæt &