Archive: Canterbury, Christ Church

A.D. 870 x 889. Alfred, dux, makes an agreement with Archbishop Æthelred and the community at Christ Church. Alfred receives life-use of an estate at Croydon, Surrey, in return for bequeathing an estate at Chartham, Kent, to Christ Church after his death. Old and Middle English versions.


+ In nomine Domini.INVOCATION Ic Ælfred dux 7 Æðered archiepiscopus 7 ða higan æt Cristes cirican habbað ðas wisan areded ymb ðet land an Certham: ðet is ðonne ðet Elfred efter his daege hæfð becweden ðet land an Certham inn ðam higum to agenre æhte. 7 gif ðet sio ðet higan ðæs landes ænigem mænn unnan willen buton him sevlfum, ðonne sellen hio hit Ælfredes bearne, oðða his mæga swelcum swa his willie, an ða gerad ðe he wið higan aræde swæ an feoh swae an feorme swæðer he abiddan mæge. 7 se arcepiscop selð Ælfrede ðæt land æt Crogdene his dagas to brucenne. 7 ðonne Ælfrede forðsið gebyrge 7 his bearn ðæs landes beðirfe, ðonne begete hio land, gif hio mæge, æt swelcum hlafarde swæ ðær ðonne sio 7 æt higum. 7 gif æniman aht eft sacie ymb ðæt land an Certham, ðonne hæfð Ælfred ge'h'aldene Herewinne an æghwelcre wihte ðæs ðe hio an geworden wæs ðæs ðe hio sevlf geðafigan wolde. 7 ðæt wæs an byrg gereht beforan ðæm weotum ðe hevro noman here benevðan awritene sindon.

Ædred archiepiscopus
Ædelwald dux
Ælfred dux
Bihornhelm abbas
Earduulf abbas
Eadmund 7 eall' higan.

In nomine Domini. I, Earl Aelfred, and Archbishop Aethelred, and the community at Christ Church, have decided upon the following arrangements as to the estate at Chartham: that is, Aelfred has bequeathed the estate at Chartham after his time to the community, as their own property. And if it come to pass that the community desire to grant the estate to any other person than themselves, they are to give it to Aelfred's child, or to whichever of his kinsmen may desire it, on condition that he makes terms with the community either for a rent in money or a food-rent, whichever he may succeed in gaining their consent to. And the archbishop gives to Aelfred the estate at Croydon, for his use during his lifetime. And when Aelfred dies and his child needs the land, then she is to acquire the land, if she can, from the community and whoever may at that time be their lord. And if anyone in the future raise any dispute about the estate at Chartham, [it is to be made clear that] Aelfred has upheld Herewyn in every particular of their agreement in so far as she would consent thereto. And this declaration was made in the city, before the councillors whose names are written below.