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For the given name Ernulf, Earnulf, see Arnulf.
Bishop of Rochester
Vitrail Ernulf.jpg
Appointed28 September 1114
Term ended15 March 1124
Predecessor Ralph d'Escures
Successor John
Other postsPrior of Christ Church, Canterbury
Abbot of Peterborough
Consecration26 December 1115
Personal details
Died15 March 1124

Ernulf (1040– 15 March 1124) was a French Benedictine monk who became prior of Christ Church in Canterbury, abbot of Peterborough, and bishop of Rochester in England. A jurist and an architect as well, he was responsible for greatly expanding Canterbury Cathedral during his time there.

Monk religious occupation of Monasteries

A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism by monastic living, either alone or with any number of other monks. A monk may be a person who decides to dedicate his life to serving all other living beings, or to be an ascetic who voluntarily chooses to leave mainstream society and live his or her life in prayer and contemplation. The concept is ancient and can be seen in many religions and in philosophy.

Prior of Christ Church

The Prior of Christ Church was the prior of Christ Church Cathedral Priory in Canterbury, attached to Canterbury Cathedral.

Canterbury Cathedral city in Kent, England

Canterbury is a historic English cathedral city and UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated in the heart of the City of Canterbury, a local government district of Kent, England. It lies on the River Stour.



Ernulf studied under Lanfranc at the monastery of Bec, entered the Benedictine Order, and lived at the monastery of St-Lucien, Beauvais. At the suggestion of Lanfranc, he went to England some time after 1070 and joined the monks of Canterbury. [1] He studied under Ivo of Chartres and was considered an expert on canon law. [2]

Lanfranc 11th-century Archbishop of Canterbury, jurist and theologian

Lanfranc was a celebrated Italian jurist who renounced his career to become a Benedictine monk at Bec in Normandy. He served successively as prior of Bec Abbey and abbot of St Stephen in Normandy and then as archbishop of Canterbury in England, following its Conquest by William the Conqueror. He is also variously known as Lanfranc of Pavia, Lanfranc of Bec, and Lanfranc of Canterbury.

Bec Abbey Benedictine monastic foundation in Normandy, France

Bec Abbey, formally the Abbey of Our Lady of Bec, is a Benedictine monastic foundation in the Eure département, in the Bec valley midway between the cities of Rouen and Bernay. It is located in Le Bec Hellouin, Normandy, France, and was the most influential abbey of the 12th-century Anglo-Norman kingdom.

Beauvais Prefecture and commune in Hauts-de-France, France

Beauvais is a city and commune in northern France. It serves as the capital of the Oise département, in the Hauts-de-France region. Beauvais is located approximately 75 kilometres from Paris. The residents of the city are called Beauvaisiens.

Ernulf was made prior by Archbishop Anselm in 1096 and began the expansion of Lanfranc's rebuilt Canterbury Cathedral, taking down the eastern part of the church which Lanfranc had built and erecting a far more magnificent structure. This included the famous crypt (Our Lady of the Undercroft), as far as Trinity Tower. The chancel was finished by his successor Conrad. The chapel of St. Andrew is also part of Ernulf's work. In 1107, he was made Abbot of Peterborough, [1] where he was one of the teachers of Hugh Candidus. [3] On 28 September 1114, he was invested as bishop of Rochester by Ralph d'Escures, the archbishop of Canterbury. [4] He was consecrated on 26 December 1115. [5] At Peterborough and Rochester, Ernulf had the old buildings torn down and erected new dormitories, refectories, chapter houses, etc.

Canterbury Cathedral Church in Kent, England

Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, Kent, is one of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England. It forms part of a World Heritage Site. It is the cathedral of the Archbishop of Canterbury, currently Justin Welby, leader of the Church of England and symbolic leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Its formal title is the Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Christ at Canterbury.

A list of the abbots of the abbey of Peterborough, known until the late 10th century as "Medeshamstede".

Hugh Candidus was a monk of the Benedictine monastery at Peterborough, who wrote a Medieval Latin account of its history, from its foundation as Medeshamstede in the mid 7th century up to the mid 12th century.

Ernulf is associated with the production of the Textus Roffensis (a large collection of documents relating to the early Church of Rochester which also included the early Kentish law code attributed to King Aethelberht); "Collectanea de rebus eccl. Ruffensis". [2] [6] The collection reflects his interest in and sympathy towards pre-Conquest traditions apparent elsewhere. Aspects of Anglo-Saxon liturgical practice were revived at Canterbury and he may also have influenced the restoration of the shrines and altars to Anglo-Saxon saints to their former prominence during the development of the Cathedral. His abbacy at Peterborough additionally seems to have coincided with renewed interest in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle there. [7] He also authored several canonical and theological treatises.

<i>Textus Roffensis</i> medieval manuscript

The Textus Roffensis, fully entitled the Textus de Ecclesia Roffensi per Ernulphum episcopum and sometimes also known as the Annals of Rochester, is a mediaeval manuscript that consists of two separate works written between 1122 and 1124. It is catalogued as "Rochester Cathedral Library, MS A.3.5" and is currently on display in a new exhibition at Rochester Cathedral, Rochester, Kent. It is thought that the main text of both manuscripts was written by a single scribe, although the English glosses to the two Latin entries were made by a second hand. The annotations might indicate that the manuscript was consulted in some post-Conquest trials. However, the glosses are very sparse and just clarify a few uncertain terms. For example, the entry on f. 67r merely explains that the triplex iudiciu(m) is called in English, ofraceth ordel.

<i>Anglo-Saxon Chronicle</i> Set of related medieval English chronicles

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is a collection of annals in Old English chronicling the history of the Anglo-Saxons. The original manuscript of the Chronicle was created late in the 9th century, probably in Wessex, during the reign of Alfred the Great. Multiple copies were made of that one original and then distributed to monasteries across England, where they were independently updated. In one case, the Chronicle was still being actively updated in 1154.

Ernulf died on 15 March 1124. [5]


  1. 1 2 British History Online Priors of Canterbury accessed on 30 October 2007
  2. 1 2 Williams English and the Norman Conquest p. 156
  3. Dictionary of National Biography :Hugh Candidus. Oxford University Press. 1885–1900. Retrieved 8 August 2010.
  4. British History Online Bishops of Rochester Archived 14 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine accessed on 30 October 2007
  5. 1 2 Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 267
  6. In Patrologia Latina , CLXIII, 1443 sqq.
  7. R.W. Southern, St Anselm: A Portrait in a Landscape (Cambridge, 1993 edn.), pp. 322-3

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<i>Catholic Encyclopedia</i> English-language encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia: An International Work of Reference on the Constitution, Doctrine, Discipline, and History of the Catholic Church, also referred to as the Old Catholic Encyclopedia and the Original Catholic Encyclopedia, is an English-language encyclopedia published in the United States and designed to serve the Roman Catholic Church. The first volume appeared in March 1907 and the last three volumes appeared in 1912, followed by a master index volume in 1914 and later supplementary volumes. It was designed "to give its readers full and authoritative information on the entire cycle of Catholic interests, action and doctrine".

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Ralph d'Escures
Bishop of Rochester
Succeeded by

PD-icon.svg  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "article name needed". Catholic Encyclopedia . New York: Robert Appleton.

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