Ealdred (archbishop of York)

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Archbishop of York
Gloucester catedral anglosajon.JPG
Crypt of Gloucester Cathedral, which predates the Norman Conquest, and would have been contemporary with Ealdred's administration of Gloucester Abbey
Elected25 December 1060
Term ended11 September 1069
Predecessor Cynesige
Successor Thomas of Bayeux
Other post(s) Abbot of Tavistock
Bishop of Worcester
Personal details
Died11 September 1069
Buried York Minster

Ealdred (or Aldred; [1] died 11 September 1069) was Abbot of Tavistock, Bishop of Worcester, and Archbishop of York in early medieval England. He was related to a number of other ecclesiastics of the period. After becoming a monk at the monastery at Winchester, he was appointed Abbot of Tavistock Abbey in around 1027. In 1046 he was named to the Bishopric of Worcester. Ealdred, besides his episcopal duties, served Edward the Confessor, the King of England, as a diplomat and as a military leader. He worked to bring one of the king's relatives, Edward the Exile, back to England from Hungary to secure an heir for the childless king.


In 1058 he undertook a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, the first bishop from England to do so. [2] As administrator of the Diocese of Hereford, he was involved in fighting against the Welsh, suffering two defeats at the hands of raiders before securing a settlement with Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, a Welsh ruler.

In 1060, Ealdred was elected to the archbishopric of York but had difficulty in obtaining papal approval for his appointment, managing to do so only when he promised not to hold the bishoprics of York and Worcester simultaneously. He helped secure the election of Wulfstan as his successor at Worcester. During his archiepiscopate, he built and embellished churches in his diocese, and worked to improve his clergy by holding a synod which published regulations for the priesthood.

Some sources say that following King Edward the Confessor's death in 1066, it was Ealdred who crowned Harold Godwinson as King of England. [3] Ealdred supported Harold as king, but when Harold was defeated at the Battle of Hastings, Ealdred backed Edgar the Ætheling and then endorsed King William the Conqueror, the Duke of Normandy and a distant relative of King Edward's. Ealdred crowned King William on Christmas Day in 1066. William never quite trusted Ealdred or the other English leaders, and Ealdred had to accompany William back to Normandy in 1067, but he had returned to York by the time of his death in 1069. Ealdred supported the churches and monasteries in his diocese with gifts and building projects.

Early life

Ealdred was probably born in the west of England, and could be related to Lyfing, his predecessor as bishop of Worcester. [1] His family, from Devonshire, may have been well-to-do. [4] Another relative was Wilstan or Wulfstan, who under Ealdred's influence became Abbot of Gloucester. [1] Ealdred was a monk in the cathedral chapter at Winchester Cathedral before becoming abbot of Tavistock Abbey about 1027, an office he held until about 1043. [5] Even after leaving the abbacy of Tavistock, he continued to hold two properties from the abbey until his death. [4] No contemporary documents relating to Ealdred's time as abbot have been discovered. [6]

Ealdred was made bishop of Worcester in 1046, a position he held until his resignation in 1062. [7] He may have acted as suffragan, or subordinate bishop, to his predecessor Lyfing before formally assuming the bishopric, [1] [8] as from about 1043 Ealdred witnessed as an episcopus, or bishop, and a charter from 1045 or early 1046 names Sihtric as abbot of Tavistock. [6] Lyfing died on 26 March 1046, and Ealdred became bishop of Worcester shortly after. However, Ealdred did not receive the other two dioceses Lyfing had held, Crediton and Cornwall; King Edward the Confessor (reigned 1043–1066) granted these to Leofric, who combined the two sees at Crediton in 1050. [6]

Bishop and royal advisor

Ealdred was an advisor to King Edward the Confessor, and was often involved in the royal government. [9] He was also a military leader, and in 1046 he led an unsuccessful expedition against the Welsh. [9] This was in retaliation for a raid led by the Welsh rulers Gruffydd ap Rhydderch, Rhys ap Rhydderch, and Gruffydd ap Llywelyn. Ealdred's expedition was betrayed by some Welsh soldiers who were serving with the English, and Ealdred was defeated. [10]

In 1050, Ealdred went to Rome "on the king's errand", [11] apparently to secure papal approval to move the seat, or centre, of the bishopric of Crediton to Exeter. It may also have been to secure the release of the king from a vow to go on pilgrimage, if sources from after the Norman Conquest are to be believed. [1] While in Rome, he attended a papal council, along with his fellow English bishop Herman. [12] That same year, as Ealdred was returning to England he met Sweyn, a son of Godwin, Earl of Wessex, and probably absolved Sweyn for having abducted the abbess of Leominster Abbey in 1046. [13] Through Ealdred's intercession, Sweyn was restored to his earldom, which he had lost after abducting the abbess and murdering his cousin Beorn Estrithson. [14] [15] Ealdred helped Sweyn not only because Ealdred was a supporter of Earl Godwin's family but because Sweyn's earldom was close to his bishopric. As recently as 1049 Irish raiders had allied with Gruffydd ap Rhydderch of Gwent in raiding along the River Usk. Ealdred unsuccessfully tried to drive off the raiders, but was again routed by the Welsh. This failure underscored Ealdred's need for a strong earl in the area to protect against raids. [16] Normally, the bishop of Hereford would have led the defence in the absence of an Earl of Hereford, but in 1049 the incumbent, Æthelstan, was blind, so Ealdred took on the role of defender. [17]

Diplomatic travels

Harold Godwinson, from the Bayeux Tapestry, whom Ealdred failed to catch in 1051 Harold2.jpg
Harold Godwinson, from the Bayeux Tapestry, whom Ealdred failed to catch in 1051

Earl Godwin's rebellion against the king in 1051 came as a blow to Ealdred, who was a supporter of the earl and his family. Ealdred was present at the royal council at London that banished Godwin's family. [18] Later in 1051, when he was sent to intercept Harold Godwinson and his brothers as they fled England after their father's outlawing, Ealdred "could not, or would not" capture the brothers. [19] [20] The banishment of Ealdred's patron came shortly after the death of Ælfric Puttoc, the Archbishop of York. York and Worcester had long had close ties, and the two sees had often been held in plurality, or at the same time. Ealdred probably wanted to become Archbishop of York after Ælfric's death, but his patron's eclipse led to the king appointing Cynesige, a royal chaplain, instead. [18] In September 1052, though, Godwin returned from exile and his family was restored to power. [21] By late 1053 Ealdred was once more in royal favour. [18] At some point, he was alleged to have accompanied Swein on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, but proof is lacking. [22] [lower-alpha 1]

In 1054 King Edward sent Ealdred to Germany to obtain Emperor Henry III's help in returning Edward the Exile, son of Edmund Ironside, to England. Edmund (reigned 1016) was an elder half-brother of King Edward the Confessor, and Edmund's son Edward was in Hungary with King Andrew I, having left England as an infant after his father's death and the accession of Cnut as King of England. [24] In this mission Ealdred was somewhat successful and obtained insight into the working of the German church during a stay of a year [25] with Hermann II, the Archbishop of Cologne. [26] He also was impressed with the buildings he saw, and later incorporated some of the German styles into his own constructions. [27] The main objective of the mission, however, was to secure the return of Edward; but this failed, mainly because Henry III's relations with the Hungarians were strained, and the emperor was unable or unwilling to help Ealdred. [28] Ealdred was able to discover that Edward was alive, and had a place at the Hungarian court. [29] [lower-alpha 2] Although some sources say Ealdred attended the coronation of Emperor Henry IV, this is not possible, as on the date Henry was crowned, Ealdred was in England consecrating an abbot. [27]

Ealdred had returned to England by 1055, and brought with him a copy of the Pontificale Romano-Germanicum , a set of liturgies. An extant copy of this work, currently manuscript Cotton Vitellus E xii, has been identified as a copy owned by Ealdred. [27] It appears likely that the Rule of Chrodegang , a continental set of ordinances for the communal life of secular canons, was introduced into England by Ealdred sometime before 1059. Probably he brought it back from Germany, possibly in concert with Harold. [31]

After Ealdred's return to England he took charge of the sees of Hereford [32] and Ramsbury. [19] Ealdred also administered Winchcombe Abbey and Gloucester Abbey. [33] The authors of the Handbook of British Chronology Third Edition say he was named bishop of Hereford in 1056, holding the see until he resigned it in 1060, [34] but other sources say he merely administered the see while it was vacant, [35] or that he was bishop of Hereford from 1055 to 1060. [36]

Ealdred became involved with the see of Ramsbury after its bishop Herman got into a dispute with King Edward over the movement of the seat of his bishopric to Malmesbury Abbey. Herman wished to move the seat of his see, but Edward refused permission for the move. Ealdred was a close associate of Herman's, [27] and the historian H. R. Loyn called Herman "something of an alter ego" to Ealdred. [37] According to the medieval chronicler John of Worcester, Ealdred was given the see of Ramsbury to administer while Herman remained outside England. Herman returned in 1058, and resumed his bishopric. There is no contemporary documentary evidence of Ealdred's administration of Ramsbury. [27]

Welsh affairs, Jerusalem, and Worcester

The king again employed Ealdred as a diplomat in 1056, when he assisted Earls Harold and Leofric in negotiations with the Welsh. [38] Edward sent Ealdred after the death in battle of Bishop Leofgar of Hereford, who had attacked Gruffydd ap Llywelyn after encouragement from the king. However, Leofgar lost the battle and his life, and Edward had to sue for peace. [39] Although details of the negotiations are lacking, Gruffydd ap Llywelyn swore loyalty to King Edward, [38] but the oath may not have had any obligations on Gruffydd's part to Edward. The exact terms of the submission are not known in total, but Gruffydd was not required to assist Edward in war nor attend Edward's court. [39] Ealdred was rewarded with the administration of the see of Hereford, which he held until 1061, and was appointed Archbishop of York. [38] The diocese had suffered a serious raid from the Welsh in 1055, and during his administration, Ealdred continued the rebuilding of the cathedral church as well as securing the cathedral chapter's rights. [38] Ealdred was granted the administration in order that the area might have someone with experience with the Welsh in charge. [40]

In 1058 Ealdred made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, the first English bishop to make the journey. [2] He travelled through Hungary, and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle said that "he went to Jerusalem in such state as no-one had done before him." [41] While in Jerusalem he made a gift of a gold chalice to the church of the Holy Sepulchre. [42] It is possible that the reason Ealdred travelled through Hungary was to arrange the travel of Edward the Exile's family to England. Another possibility is that he wished to search for other possible heirs to King Edward in Hungary. [43] It is not known exactly when Edward the Exile's family returned to England, whether they returned with Edward in 1057, or sometime later, so it is only a possibility that they returned with Ealdred in 1058. [44]

Very little documentary evidence is available from Ealdred's time as Bishop of Worcester. Only five leases that he signed survive, and all date from 1051 to 1053. Two further leases exist in Hemming's Cartulary as copies only. How the diocese of Worcester was administered when Ealdred was abroad is unclear, although it appears Wulfstan, the prior of the cathedral chapter, performed the religious duties in the diocese. On the financial side, the Evesham Chronicle states that Æthelwig, who became abbot of Evesham Abbey in 1058, administered Worcester before he became abbot. [45]

Archbishop of York

The funeral cortege of Edward the Confessor, from the Bayeux Tapestry Bayeux Edward Funeral.jpg
The funeral cortège of Edward the Confessor, from the Bayeux Tapestry

Cynesige, the archbishop of York, died on 22 December 1060, and Ealdred was elected Archbishop of York on Christmas Day, 1060. Although a bishop was promptly appointed to Hereford, none was named to Worcester, and it appears Ealdred intended to retain Worcester along with York, which several of his predecessors had done. [43] There were a few reasons for this, one of which was political, as the kings of England preferred to appoint bishops from the south to the northern bishoprics, hoping to counter the northern tendency towards separatism. Another reason was that York was not a wealthy see, and Worcester was. Holding Worcester along with York allowed the archbishop sufficient revenue to support himself. [46]

In 1061 Ealdred travelled to Rome to receive the pallium, the symbol of an archbishop's authority. Journeying with him was Tostig, another son of Earl Godwin, who was now earl of Northumbria. [47] William of Malmesbury says that Ealdred, by "amusing the simplicity of King Edward and alleging the custom of his predecessors, had acquired, more by bribery than by reason, the archbishopric of York while still holding his former see." [48] On his arrival in Rome, however, charges of simony, or the buying of ecclesiastical office, and lack of learning were brought against him, and his elevation to York was refused by Pope Nicholas II, who also deposed him from Worcester. [48] The story of Ealdred being deposed comes from the Vita Edwardi, a life of Edward the Confessor, but the Vita Wulfstani, an account of the life of Ealdred's successor at Worcester, Wulfstan, says Nicholas refused the pallium until a promise to find a replacement for Worcester was given by Ealdred. [49] Yet another chronicler, John of Worcester, mentions nothing of any trouble in Rome, and when discussing the appointment of Wulfstan, says Wulfstan was elected freely and unanimously by the clergy and people. [49] John of Worcester also claims that at Wulfstan's consecration, Stigand, the archbishop of Canterbury extracted a promise from Ealdred that neither he nor his successors would lay claim to any jurisdiction over the diocese of Worcester. Given that John of Worcester wrote his chronicle after the eruption of the Canterbury–York supremacy struggle, the story of Ealdred renouncing any claims to Worcester needs to be considered suspect. [50]

For whatever reason, Ealdred gave up the see of Worcester in 1062, when papal legates arrived in England to hold a council and make sure Ealdred relinquished Worcester. [51] This happened at Easter in 1062. [40] Ealdred was succeeded by Wulfstan, chosen by Ealdred, but John of Worcester relates that Ealdred had a hard time deciding between Wulfstan and Æthelwig. [52] The legates had urged the selection of Wulfstan because of his saintliness. [53] Because the position of Stigand, the archbishop of Canterbury, was irregular, Wulfstan sought and received consecration as a bishop from Ealdred. Normally, Wulfstan would have gone to the archbishop of Canterbury, as the see of Worcester was within Canterbury's province. [54] Although Ealdred gave up the bishopric, the appointment of Wulfstan was one that allowed Ealdred to continue his considerable influence on the see of Worcester. Ealdred retained a number of estates belonging to Worcester. Even after the Norman Conquest, Ealdred still controlled some events in Worcester, and it was Ealdred, not Wulfstan, who opposed Urse d'Abetot's attempt to extend the castle of Worcester into the cathedral after the Norman Conquest. [55]

While archbishop, Ealdred built at Beverley, expanding on the building projects begun by his predecessor Cynesige, [56] as well as repairing and expanding other churches in his diocese. [33] He also built refectories for the canons at York and Southwell. [57] He also was the one bishop who published ecclesiastical legislation during Edward the Confessor's reign, attempting to discipline and reform the clergy. [58] He held a synod of his clergy shortly before 1066. [59]

After the death of Edward the Confessor

A penny from the time of William I William the Conqueror silver coin.jpg
A penny from the time of William I

John of Worcester, a medieval chronicler, said Ealdred crowned King Harold II in 1066, although the Norman chroniclers mention Stigand as the officiating prelate. [3] Given Ealdred's known support of Godwin's family, John of Worcester is probably correct. [1] Stigand's position as archbishop was canonically suspect, and as earl Harold had not allowed Stigand to consecrate one of the earl's churches, it is unlikely Harold would have allowed Stigand to perform the much more important royal coronation. [60] Arguments for Stigand having performed the coronation, however, rely on the fact that no other English source names the ecclesiastic who performed the ceremony; all Norman sources name Stigand as the presider. [61] In all events, Ealdred and Harold were close, and Ealdred supported Harold's bid to become king. [19] [62] Ealdred perhaps accompanied Harold when the new king went to York and secured the support of the northern magnates shortly after Harold's consecration. [63]

According to the medieval chronicler Geoffrey Gaimar, after the Battle of Stamford Bridge Harold entrusted the loot gained from Harald Hardrada to Ealdred. [64] Gaimar asserts that King Harold did this because he had heard of Duke William's landing in England, and needed to rush south to counter it. [65] After the Battle of Hastings, Ealdred joined the group who tried to elevate Edgar the Ætheling, Edward the Exile's son, as king, but eventually he submitted to William the Conqueror at Berkhamsted. [66] [67] John of Worcester says the group supporting Edgar vacillated over what to do while William ravaged the countryside, [68] which led to Ealdred and Edgar's submission to William. [69]

Ealdred crowned William king on Christmas Day 1066. [70] An innovation in William's coronation ceremony was that before the actual crowning, Ealdred asked the assembled crowd, in English, if it was their wish that William be crowned king. The Bishop of Coutances then did the same, but in Norman French. [70] In March 1067, William took Ealdred with him when William returned to Normandy, along with the other English leaders Earl Edwin of Mercia, Earl Morcar, Edgar the Ætheling, and Archbishop Stigand. [71] Ealdred at Whitsun 1068 performed the coronation of Matilda, William's wife. [48] The Laudes Regiae , or song commending a ruler, that was performed at Matilda's coronation may have been composed by Ealdred himself for the occasion. [72] In 1069, when the northern thegns rebelled against William and attempted to install Edgar the Ætheling as king, Ealdred continued to support William. [67] He was the only northern leader to support William, however. [73] Ealdred was back at York by 1069. He died there on 11 September 1069, [7] and his body was buried in his episcopal cathedral. He may have taken an active part in trying to calm the rebellions in the north in 1068 and 1069. [48] The medieval chronicler William of Malmesbury records a story that when the new sheriff of Worcester, Urse d'Abetot, encroached on the cemetery of the cathedral chapter for Worcester Cathedral, Ealdred pronounced a rhyming curse on him, saying "Thou are called Urse. May you have God's curse." [74] [lower-alpha 3]


After Ealdred's death, one of the restraints on William's treatment of the English was removed. [75] Ealdred was one of a few native Englishmen who William appears to have trusted, and his death led to fewer attempts to integrate Englishmen into the administration, although such efforts did not entirely stop. [76] In 1070, a church council was held at Westminster and a number of bishops were deposed. By 1073 there were only two Englishmen in episcopal sees, and by the time of William's death in 1087 there was only one, Wulfstan II of Worcester. [75]

Ealdred did much to restore discipline in the monasteries and churches under his authority, [1] [58] and was liberal with gifts to the churches of his diocese. He built the monastic church of St Peter at Gloucester (now Gloucester Cathedral, though nothing of his fabric remains), then part of his diocese of Worcester. He also repaired a large part of Beverley Minster in the diocese of York, adding a presbytery and an unusually splendid painted ceiling covering "all the upper part of the church from the choir to the tower ... intermingled with gold in various ways, and in a wonderful fashion." [77] He added a pulpit "in German style" of bronze, gold and silver, surmounted by an arch with a rood cross in the same materials; these were examples of the lavish decorations added to important churches in the years before the conquest. [33] [78]

Ealdred encouraged Folcard, a monk of Canterbury, to write the Life of Saint John of Beverley. [79] This was part of Ealdred's promotion of the cult of Saint John, [80] who had been canonised only since 1037. Along with the Pontificale, Ealdred may have brought back from Cologne the first manuscript of the Cambridge Songs to enter England, a collection of Latin Goliardic songs which became famous in the Middle Ages. [81] The historian Michael Lapidge suggests that the Laudes Regiae, which are included in Cotton Vitellius E xii, might have been composed by Ealdred, or a member of his household. Another historian, H. J. Cowdrey, argued that the laudes were composed at Winchester. These praise songs are probably the same performed at Matilda's coronation, but might have been used at other court ceremonies before Ealdred's death. [82]

Historians have seen Ealdred as an "old-fashioned prince-bishop". [83] Others say he "raised the see of York from its former rustic state". [84] He was known for his generosity and for his diplomatic and administrative abilities. [83] After the Conquest, Ealdred provided a degree of continuity between the pre- and post-Conquest worlds. [85] One modern historian feels it was Ealdred who was behind the compilation of the D version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and gives a date in the 1050s as its composition. [86] Certainly, Ealdred is one of the leading figures in the work, and it is likely one of his clerks compiled the version. [87]


  1. If he did accompany Swein, the historian Frank Barlow argues that it was probably in 1058. [23]
  2. Edward eventually returned to England in 1057, but died shortly thereafter. [30]
  3. The exact sentence in Bates is "Urse's refusal to move it drew a poetic Old English curse from the archbishop, which began "Thou are called Urse. May you have God's curse."" [74]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Lawson "Ealdred" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  2. 1 2 Barlow Edward the Confessor pp. 208–209
  3. 1 2 Hindley Brief History of the Anglo-Saxons p. 335
  4. 1 2 King "Ealdred" Anglo-Norman Studies XVIII p. 124
  5. Knowles Monastic Order in England p. 72
  6. 1 2 3 King "Ealdred" Anglo-Norman Studies XVIII p. 125
  7. 1 2 Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 224
  8. Barlow Edward the Confessor p. 86
  9. 1 2 Huscroft Ruling England p. 49
  10. Maund Welsh Kings pp. 89–90
  11. Huscroft Ruling England p. 50
  12. Smith, et al. "Court and Piety" Catholic Historical Review p. 574
  13. Barlow Godwins p. 55
  14. Rex Harold II p. 37
  15. Barlow Edward the Confessor p. 103
  16. Mason House of Godwine pp. 57–58
  17. King "Ealdred" Anglo-Norman Studies XVIII pp. 126–127
  18. 1 2 3 King "Ealdred" Anglo-Norman Studies XVIII p. 127
  19. 1 2 3 Walker Harold pp. 132–133
  20. Barlow Edward the Confessor p. 114
  21. Huscroft Ruling England pp. 6–7
  22. Fleming Kings & Lords in Conquest England pp. 79–80
  23. Barlow English Church 1000–1066 p. 88
  24. Huscroft Ruling England p. 8
  25. Walker Harold p. 76
  26. Barlow Edward the Confessor pp. 215–218
  27. 1 2 3 4 5 King "Ealdred" Anglo-Norman Studies XVIII p. 128
  28. Mason House of Godwine p. 88
  29. Rex Harold II p. 126
  30. Rex Harold II p. 127
  31. Rex Harold II p. 77
  32. Mason House of Godwine p. 94
  33. 1 2 3 Barlow Edward the Confessor pp. 197–199
  34. Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 217
  35. Huscroft Ruling England p. 45
  36. Greenway "Archbishops" Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066–1300: Volume 6: York
  37. Loyn English Church p. 61
  38. 1 2 3 4 King "Ealdred" Anglo-Norman Studies XVIII pp. 128–129
  39. 1 2 Maund Welsh Kings pp. 94–95
  40. 1 2 Darlington "Ecclesiastical Reform" English Historical Review pp. 399–400
  41. Quoted in King "Ealdred" Anglo-Norman Studies XVIII p. 130
  42. Barlow English Church 1000–1066 p. 89
  43. 1 2 King "Ealdred" Anglo-Norman Studies XVIII p. 130
  44. Rex Harold II p. 129
  45. King "Ealdred" Anglo-Norman Studies XVIII pp. 134–137
  46. Loyn Governance p. 158
  47. Hindley Brief History of the Anglo-Saxons p. 330
  48. 1 2 3 4 Powell and Wallis House of Lords pp. 13–14
  49. 1 2 King "Ealdred" Anglo-Norman Studies XVIII p. 131
  50. King "Ealdred" Anglo-Norman Studies XVIII pp. 131–132
  51. Walker Harold p. 50
  52. Knowles Monastic Order p. 76
  53. Barlow English Church 1000–1066 pp. 106–107
  54. Brooks Early History of the Church of Canterbury p. 306
  55. King "Ealdred" Anglo-Norman Studies XVIII pp. 132–133
  56. Huscroft Ruling England p. 46
  57. Darlington "Ecclesiastical Reform" English Historical Review p. 404
  58. 1 2 Barlow English Church, 1066–1154 p. 122
  59. Barlow English Church 1000–1066 p. 246
  60. Rex Harold pp. 199–200
  61. Barlow English Church 1000–1066 p. 60 footnote 4
  62. Walker Harold p. 117
  63. Douglas William the Conqueror p. 183
  64. Lawson Battle of Hastings p. 42 footnote 93
  65. Lawson Battle of Hastings p. 75
  66. Huscroft Ruling England p. 19
  67. 1 2 Williams English and the Norman Conquest p. 32
  68. Rex Harold II p. 130
  69. Douglas William the Conqueror p. 206
  70. 1 2 Powell and Wallis House of Lords p. 1
  71. Walker Harold pp. 185–187
  72. Stafford Queen Emma & Queen Edith p. 183
  73. Kapelle Norman Conquest of the North p. 109
  74. 1 2 Quoted in Bates William the Conqueror p. 153
  75. 1 2 Barlow English Church, 1066–1154 p. 57
  76. Bates William the Conqueror p. 156
  77. Dodwell Anglo-Saxon Art p. 93, quoting the Chronica Ecclesiae Eboracensis (York chronicle). None of these works remain.
  78. Dodwell Anglo-Saxon Art p. 65 and note 151 on pp. 264–265
  79. Palliser "John of Beverley (St John of Beverley) (d. 721)" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  80. Blair Church in Anglo-Saxon Society p. 314
  81. Lapidge "Ealdred" Blackwell Encyclopedia of Anglo-Saxon England p. 153
  82. Lapidge "Ealdred of York" Yorkshire Archaeological Journal pp. 16–18
  83. 1 2 Loyn English Church p. 62
  84. Harper-Bill "Anglo-Norman Church" Companion to the Anglo-Norman World p. 158
  85. Loyn English Church p. 67
  86. Lawson Battle of Hastings p. 62 footnote 34
  87. Wormald Making of English Law pp. 130–131

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wulfstan (died 1095)</span> 11th-century Bishop of Worcester and saint

Wulfstan was Bishop of Worcester from 1062 to 1095. He was the last surviving pre-Conquest bishop. Wulfstan is a saint in the Western Christian churches.

Wulfstan was an English Bishop of London, Bishop of Worcester, and Archbishop of York. He is thought to have begun his ecclesiastical career as a Benedictine monk. He became the Bishop of London in 996. In 1002 he was elected simultaneously to the diocese of Worcester and the archdiocese of York, holding both in plurality until 1016, when he relinquished Worcester; he remained archbishop of York until his death. It was perhaps while he was at London that he first became well known as a writer of sermons, or homilies, on the topic of Antichrist. In 1014, as archbishop, he wrote his most famous work, a homily which he titled the Sermo Lupi ad Anglos, or the Sermon of the Wolf to the English.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gisa (bishop of Wells)</span> 11th-century Bishop of Wells

Gisa was Bishop of Wells from 1060 to 1088. A native of Lorraine, Gisa came to England as a chaplain to King Edward the Confessor. After his appointment to Wells, he travelled to Rome rather than be consecrated by Stigand, the Archbishop of Canterbury. As bishop, Gisa added buildings to his cathedral, introduced new saints to his diocese, and instituted the office of archdeacon in his diocese. After the Norman Conquest, Gisa took part in the consecration of Lanfranc, the new Archbishop of Canterbury, and attended Lanfranc's church councils. His tomb in Wells Cathedral was opened in the 20th century and a cross was discovered in his tomb.

Grimketel was an English clergyman who went to Norway as a missionary and was partly responsible for the conversion of Norway to Christianity. He initiated the beatification of Saint Olaf. On his return to England he became Bishop of Selsey and also for a time Bishop of Elmham. He was accused, by some, of being guilty of simony.

Æthelric was the second to last medieval Bishop of Selsey in England before the see was moved to Chichester. Consecrated a bishop in 1058, he was deposed in 1070 for unknown reasons and then imprisoned by King William I of England. He was considered one of the best legal experts of his time, and was even brought from his prison to attend the trial on Penenden Heath where he gave testimony about English law before the Norman Conquest of England.

Ælfric Puttoc was Archbishop of York from 1023 to his death, and briefly Bishop of Worcester from 1040 to 1041. He may have crowned Harold Harefoot in 1036, and certainly assisted in that king's disinterment in 1040 and at the coronation of Edward the Confessor in 1043. He founded houses of canons and encouraged the cult of John of Beverley.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cynesige</span> 11th-century Anglo-Saxon Archbishop of York

Cynesige was a medieval English Archbishop of York between 1051 and 1060. Prior to his appointment to York, he was a royal clerk and perhaps a monk at Peterborough. As archbishop, he built and adorned his cathedral as well as other churches, and was active in consecrating bishops. After his death in 1060, the bequests he had made to a monastery were confiscated by the queen.

Godfrey was a medieval Bishop of Chichester. The first Bishop of Chichester was Stigand, who died in 1087; it seems that he was followed by Godfrey. Confusion over the succession was generated by William of Malmesbury, who suggested that Stigand was succeeded by a Bishop William.

Walter of Lorraine was a medieval Bishop of Hereford.

Events from the 1060s in England.

Urse d'Abetot was a Norman who followed King William I to England, and became Sheriff of Worcestershire and a royal official under him and Kings William II and Henry I. He was a native of Normandy and moved to England shortly after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, and was appointed sheriff in about 1069. Little is known of his family in Normandy, who were not prominent, but he probably got his name from the village Abetot. Although Urse's lord in Normandy was present at the Battle of Hastings, there is no evidence that Urse took part in the invasion of England in 1066.

Æthelwig was an Abbot of Evesham before and during the Norman Conquest of England. Born sometime around 1010 or 1015, he was elected abbot in 1058. Known for his legal expertise, he administered estates for Ealdred, the Bishop of Worcester prior to his election as abbot. After his election, he appears to have acted as Ealdred's deputy, and was considered as a possible successor when Ealdred was elected Archbishop of York. Æthelwig worked during his abbacy to recover estates that had been lost to Evesham, as well as acquiring more estates.

Regenbald was a priest and royal official in Anglo–Saxon England under King Edward the Confessor. His name suggests that he was not a native Englishman, and perhaps was German or Norman. He first appears in history as a witness to a royal document in 1050, and remained a royal chaplain and clerk throughout the rest of King Edward's reign. Many royal documents give Regenbald the title of "chancellor" but whether this means that he acted in a manner similar to the later Lord Chancellor is unclear, as some of the documents may be forgeries or have been tampered with. Whatever Regenbald's actual title, King Edward rewarded him with lands and also granted him the status, but not the actual office, of bishop. Regenbald continued to serve the English kings after the Norman Conquest of England, although whether he served King Harold II of England is unclear. His date of death is unknown, but it was probably during the reign of either King William I or William II. After his death, some of his lands became part of the endowment of Cirencester Abbey in 1133.

The English embassy to Rome in 1061 was a deputation sent by king Edward the Confessor to the pope, Nicholas II, to deal with various ecclesiastical matters, particularly the ordination of Giso, Bishop of Wells, Walter, Bishop of Hereford, and Ealdred, Archbishop of York. They travelled to Rome under the protection of Tostig, earl of Northumbria and his brother Gyrth. Ealdred was initially refused ordination by the pope because he was adjudged guilty of pluralism and other breaches of canon law, and the embassy received a further setback when they were despoiled by robbers as they began their journey home. When they returned indignantly to Rome, however, Ealdred was granted the archbishopric after all, and the party was able to make its way home to England with almost all its objectives achieved.


Further reading

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Abbot of Tavistock
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Hereford
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Worcester
Succeeded by
Preceded by Archbishop of York
Succeeded by