645-56
A.D. 645 . This year King Kenwal was driven from his dominion by King Penda.

A.D. 646 . This year King Kenwal was baptized.

A.D. 648 . This year Kenwal gave his relation Cuthred three
thousand hides of land by Ashdown. Cuthred was the son of
Cwichelm, Cwichelm of Cynegils.

A.D. 650 . This year Egelbert, from Gaul, after Birinus the
Romish bishop, obtained the bishopric of the West-Saxons.

((A.D. 650 . This year Birinus the bishop died, and Agilbert the
Frenchman was ordained.))

A.D. 651 . This year King Oswin was slain, on the twentieth day
of August; and within twelve nights afterwards died Bishop Aidan,
on the thirty-first of August.

A.D. 652 . This year Kenwal fought at Bradford by the Avon.

A.D. 653 . This year, the Middle-Angles under alderman Peada
received the right belief.

A.D. 654 . This year King Anna was slain, and Botolph began to
build that minster at Icanhoe. This year also died Archbishop
Honorius, on the thirtieth of September.

A.D. 655 . This year Penda was slain at Wingfield, and thirty
royal personages with him, some of whom were kings. One of them
was Ethelhere, brother of Anna, king of the East-Angles. The
Mercians after this became Christians. From the beginning of the
world had now elapsed five thousand eight hundred and fifty
winters, when Peada, the son of Penda, assumed the government of
the Mercians. In his time came together himself and Oswy,
brother of King Oswald, and said, that they would rear a minster
to the glory of Christ, and the honour of St. Peter. And they
did so, and gave it the name of Medhamsted; because there is a
well there, called Meadswell. And they began the groundwall, and
wrought thereon; after which they committed the work to a monk,
whose name was Saxulf. He was very much the friend of God, and
him also loved all people. He was nobly born in the world, and
rich: he is now much richer with Christ. But King Peada reigned
no while; for he was betrayed by his own queen, in Easter-tide.
This year Ithamar, Bishop of Rochester, consecrated Deus-dedit to
Canterbury, on the twenty-sixth day of March.

A.D. 656 . This year was Peada slain; and Wulfhere, son of
Penda, succeeded to the kingdom of the Mercians. In his time waxed
the abbey of Medhamsted very rich, which his brother had begun.
The king loved it much, for the love of his brother Peada, and for
the love of his wed-brother Oswy, and for the love of Saxulf the
abbot. He said, therefore, that he would dignify and honour it
by the counsel of his brothers, Ethelred and Merwal; and by the
counsel of his sisters, Kyneburga and Kyneswitha; and by the
counsel of the archbishop, who was called Deus-dedit; and by the
counsel of all his peers, learned and lewd, that in his kingdom
were. And he so did. Then sent the king after the abbot, that
he should immediately come to him. And he so did. Then said the
king to the abbot: "Beloved Saxulf, I have sent after thee for
the good of my soul; and I will plainly tell thee for why. My
brother Peada and my beloved friend Oswy began a minster, for the
love of Christ and St. Peter: but my brother, as Christ willed,
is departed from this life; I will therefore intreat thee,
beloved friend, that they earnestly proceed on their work; and I
will find thee thereto gold and silver, land and possessions, and
all that thereto behoveth." Then went the abbot home, and began
to work. So he sped, as Christ permitted him; so that in a few
years was that minster ready. Then, when the king heard say
that, he was very glad; and bade men send through all the nation,
after all his thanes; after the archbishop, and after bishops:
and after his earls; and after all those that loved God; that
they should come to him. And he fixed the day when men should
hallow the minster. And when they were hallowing the minster,
there was the king, Wulfere, and his brother Ethelred, and his
sisters, Kyneburga and Kyneswitha. And the minster was hallowed
by Archbishop Deusdedit of Canterbury; and the Bishop of
Rochester, Ithamar; and the Bishop of London, who was called
Wina; and the Bishop of the Mercians, whose name was Jeruman;
and Bishop Tuda. And there was Wilfrid, priest, that after was
bishop; and there were all his thanes that were in his kingdom.
When the minster was hallowed, in the name of St. Peter, and St.
Paul, and St. Andrew, then stood up the king before all his
thanes, and said with a loud voice: "Thanks be to the high
almighty God for this worship that here is done; and I will this
day glorify Christ and St. Peter, and I will that you all confirm
my words. -- I Wulfere give to-day to St. Peter, and the Abbot
Saxulf, and the monks of the minster, these lands, and these
waters, and meres, and fens, and weirs, and all the lands that
thereabout lye, that are of my kingdom, freely, so that no man
have there any ingress, but the abbot and the monks. This is the
gift. From Medhamsted to Northborough; and so to the place that
is called Foleys; and so all the fen, right to Ashdike; and from
Ashdike to the place called Fethermouth; and so in a right line
ten miles long to Ugdike; and so to Ragwell; and from Ragwell
five miles to the main river that goeth to Elm and to Wisbeach;
and so about three miles to Trokenholt; and from Trokenholt right
through all the fen to Derworth; that is twenty miles long; and
so to Great Cross; and from Great Cross through a clear water
called Bradney; and thence six miles to Paxlade; and so forth
through all the meres and fens that lye toward Huntingdon-port;
and the meres and lakes Shelfermere and Wittlesey mere, and all
the others that thereabout lye; with land and with houses that
are on the east side of Shelfermere; thence all the fens to
Medhamsted; from Medhamsted all to Welmsford; from Welmsford
to Clive; thence to Easton; from Easton to Stamford; from Stamford
as the water runneth to the aforesaid Northborough." -- These are
the lands and the fens that the king gave unto St. Peter's
minster. -- Then quoth the king: "It is little -- this gift --
but I will that they hold it so royally and so freely, that there
be taken there from neither gild nor gable, but for the monks
alone. Thus I will free this minster; that it be not subject
except to Rome alone; and hither I will that we seek St. Peter,
all that to Rome cannot go." During these words the abbot
desired that he would gant him his request. And the king granted
it. "I have here (said he) some good monks that would lead their
life in retirement, if they wist where. Now here is an island,
that is called Ankerig; and I will request, that we may there
build a minster to the honour of St. Mary; that they may dwell
there who will lead their lives in peace and tranquillity." Then
answered the king, and quoth thus: "Beloved Saxulf, not that only
which thou desirest, but all things that I know thou desirest in
our Lord's behalf, so I approve, and grant. And I bid thee,
brother Ethelred, and my sisters, Kyneburga and Kyneswitha, for
the release of your souls, that you be witnesses, and that you
subscribe it with your fingers. And I pray all that come after
me, be they my sons, be they my brethren, or kings that come
after me, that our gift may stand; as they would be partakers of
the life everlasting, and as they would avoid everlasting
punishment. Whoso lesseneth our gift, or the gift of other good
men, may the heavenly porter lessen him in the kingdom of heaven;
and whoso advanceth it, may the heavenly porter advance him in
the kingdom of heaven." These are the witnesses that were there,
and that subscribed it with their fingers on the cross of Christ,
and confirmed it with their tongues. That was, first the king,
Wulfere, who confirmed it first with his word, and afterwards
wrote with his finger on the cross of Christ, saying thus: "I
Wulfere, king, in the presence of kings, and of earls, and of
captains, and of thanes, the witnesses of my gift, before the
Archbishop Deus-dedit, I confirm it with the cross of Christ."
(+) -- "And I Oswy, king of the Northumbrians, the friend of this
minster, and oú the Abbot Saxulf, commend it with the cross of
Christ." (+) -- "And I Sighere, king, ratify it with the cross of
Christ." (+) -- "And I Sibbi, king, subscribe it with the cross
of Christ." (+) -- "And I Ethelred, the king's brother, granted
the same with the cross of Christ." (+) -- "And we, the king's
sisters, Kyneburga and Kyneswitha, approve it." -- "And I
Archbishop of Canterbury, Deus-dedit, ratify it." -- Then
confirmed it all the others that were there with the cross of
Christ (+): namely, Ithamar, Bishop of Rochester; Wina, Bishop of
London; Jeruman, Bishop of the Mercians; and Tuda, bishop; and
Wilfrid, priest, who was afterwards bishop; and Eoppa, priest,
whom the king, Wulfere, sent to preach christianity in the Isle
of Wight; and Saxulf, abbot; and Immine, alderman, and Edbert,
alderman, and Herefrith, alderman, and Wilbert, alderman, and
Abo, alderman; Ethelbald, Brord, Wilbert, Elmund, Frethegis.
These, and many others that were there, the king's most loyal
subjects, confirmed it all. This charter was written after our
Lord's Nativity 664 -- the seventh year of King Wulfere -- the
ninth year of Archbishop Deus-dedir. Then they laid God's curse,
and the curse of all saints, and all christian folks, on
whosoever undid anything that there was done. "So be it," saith
all. "Amen." -- When this thing was done, then sent the king to
Rome to the Pope Vitalianus that then was, and desired, that he
would ratify with his writ and with his blessing, all this
aforesaid thing. And the pope then sent his writ, thus saying:
"I Vitalianus, pope, grant thee, King Wulfere, and Deus-dedit,
archbishop, and Abbot Saxulf, all the things that you desire.
And I forbid, that any king, or any man, have any ingress, but
the abbot alone; nor shall he be Subject to any man, except the
Pope of Rome and the Archbishop of Canterbury. If any one
breaketh anything of this, St. Peter with his sword destroy him.
Whosoever holdeth it, St. Peter with heaven's key undo him the
kingdom of heaven." -- Thus was the minster of Medhamsted
begun, that was afterwards called Peter-borough. Afterwards came
another archbishop to Canterbury, who was called Theodorus; a
very good man and wise; and held his synod with his bishops and
with his clerk. There was Wilfrid, bishop of the Mercians,
deprived of his bishopric; and Saxulf, abbot, was there chosen
bishop; and Cuthbald, monk of the same minster, was chosen abbot.
This synod was holden after our Lord's Nativity six hundred and
seventy-three winters.

Chronicle Years: 601-44
Chronicle Years: 658-75


CONTENTS DIRECTORY
History | Monarchs | Prime Ministers | Travel | London | Wales | Earth Mysteries
Church | News | People | Science | Arts | State | Catalog | Sports | Panorama | Links

Comments: e-mail us at history@britannia.com
© 1995, 1996, 1997 Britannia Internet Magazine, LLC