Event: Charter-witnessing, Disputing/dispute-settling, Property-buying/purchasingS1439 - settlement of dispute between Ęthelwulf 14 and some Kentish churches

Scholarly Info
Description Account of the settlement of a dispute concerning estates belonging to Oswulf 4, dux, bequeathed by him in reversion to the Church and now held by the Kentish monasteries of Christ Church, Folkestone, Dover and Lyminge. They are claimed by a certain Ęthelwulf 14 who said that his father, Ęthelheah 10 had bought the inheritance with gold and silver. The rights of the churches were upheld.
Year 844
Primary Source Info


Oswulf 4, by the grace of God dux and princeps of the province of eastern Kent, determined to make legal disposition of his inheritance, and in the presence of Wulfred 6, of blessed memory, and Węrnoth 3, and Feologeld 2, and other most trusted and Christian men, - namely Ceolstan 2, Ęthelhun 9, and Heremod 2, priest, - of his most faithful friends, he showed what disposition he wished to be made of his property after his death; after the life of his wife and of her son Eardwulf 11 and his daughter Ealfthryth 1, he directed that all his property should be given to the churches of God and to his saints, according tot heir testimony as is clearly shown in another charter. But nevertheless after the death of Oswulf 4, a question and contention arose excited by certain men, concerning the inheritance of Oswulf 4, against his wife Beornthryth 1. And this conflict of altercation could not be settled by the Lord Archbishop nor by any inferior persons. Both parties therefore were summoned to the Synodal Council. And when they had come thither, and by a diligent investigation of the truth, the opinion of both parties had been inquired into, which was done in the eminent place called Aclea, it was found that nothing could be more just or right than that Oswulf 4's inheritance should continue in the same state in which he had decreed at all points that it should be bestowed, in the presence of the aforesaid witnesses. And thus it was resolved by the synod that it should continue to do forever. But O! grief - that old venomous serpent who led our first parent into sin hath again endeavoured to afflict and injure the Church of Christ and his Saints, and to reawaken and renew the aforesaid conflict even after the synodical decrees, and the sanctions of the fathers who had decided them. Wherefore a multitude of spiritual and secular persons was gathered together in the city of Canterbury in the year 844. Ęthelwulf 1 the King and his son Ęthelstan 3 being present, together with the Metropolitan Archbishop Ceolnoth 3 and Tatnoth 1 the priest, Bishop-elect of Rochester, with the principes, duces, abbots, &c. among whom was that most venomous serpent Ęthelwulf 14 who said that the inheritance of Dux Oswulf 4 was bought by the gold and silver of his father Ęthelheah 10, and thus endeavoured to spoil the church of God and the most holy monasteries to which that inheritance belonged. Then Archbishop Ceolnoth 3 and his family (that is the family of Christ Church) replied to him in order, showing how it was determined and agreed upon in that holy synod. But he being unwilling to acquiesce either in the judgement of the synod or the sanction of the fathers who examined the case, it was resolved by the wise and prudent, that the family of Christ Church, the family at Folkestone, the family at Dover, and also the family at Lyminge, to whom that inheritance belonged, should establish their heirship to it by oath against that of Ęthelheah 10 and this they did. Thirty men of the aforesaid families, twelve of them priests the rest of common degree, made oath, and thus it was determined that the contention between the two parties should be forever settled, and should never after that day again be renewed.

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