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E05869: A probably authentic Anglo-Saxon charter records a grant of Earconwald, bishop (of London, south-east Britain) of freedom from episcopal control to the monastery at Chertsey (near London), whose church is dedicated to *Peter (the Apostle, S00036), by whose authority any transgressors will be excommunicated. Written in Latin, probably in London, July 678.

online resource
posted on 2018-06-22, 00:00 authored by bsavill
Charter of Bishop Earconwald (Sawyer 1247, excerpted)

[I]n nomine Domini Dei saluatoris Iesu Christi. Ego Erkenuualdus episcopus dilectissimis fratribus habitantibus in monasterio quod appellatur Certeseya [...] Et ne fortassis quicumque presul, cuiuslibet ordinis uel in loco meo successerit, nullam in eodem monasterio exerceat potestatem [...] Quisquisue episcoporum cuiuslibet dignitatis uel secularium omnium potestatum contra hanc cartulam [...] aliquid exinde subtrahendo contraire presumpserit, tunc ex auctoritate beati Petri apostolorum principis, in cuius nomine ipsa ecclesia est dedicata, sit seperatus a participatione corporis et sanguinis Domini nostri Iesu Christi [...] Actum in Londonia ciuitate in mense Iulio, indictione sexta [...]

'In the name of our Lord Saviour Jesus Christ. I, Earconwald, bishop, to the most beloved brothers living in the monastery which is called Chertsey ... No bishop whatsoever, of whatever order, or any who succeed me in my place, may possibly exercise power in that same monastery ... And if any of the bishops of whatever rank, or anyone of any secular power should presume henceforth to do anything against this charter ... then by the authority of blessed Peter, prince of the apostles, in whose name this church is dedicated, they will be separated from participation in the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ ... Enacted in the city of London in the month of July, in the sixth indiction ...'

Text: Kelly 2015, no. 4, 118-19. Translation: B. Savill.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Peter the Apostle : S00036

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Documentary texts - Charter or diploma


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Britain and Ireland

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

London St Albans St Albans Verulamium

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - monastic

Cult activities - Places Named after Saint

  • Monastery

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Awarding privileges to cult centres

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits


This charter survives only as a much later copy, in a manuscript of the 13th century. Its most recent editor argues that 'there seems to be a very good chance that this episcopal charter has a genuine basis' (Kelly 2015, 119-22). For further details, see this charter's entry on the Electronic Sawyer:


We know from Bede, writing in 731, that Chertsey was Earconwald's own foundation, although he does not say to whom it was dedicated (Ecclesiastical History 4.6).


Edition: Kelly, S.E., Charters of Chertsey Abbey (Oxford, 2015). Further reading: Sawyer, P.H., Anglo-Saxon Charters: an Annotated List and Bibliography (London, 1968); revd. S.E. Kelly and R. Rushforth et al. online at

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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