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King Edgar's Charter for Pershore (AD 972)

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31 - 78
Number of pages48
JournalAnglo-Saxon England
PublishedDec 2008


King's Authors


S 786 is one of the so-called Orthodoxorum charters, a group of documents which provide important evidence about the Anglo-Saxon chancery, the development of charters in the tenth century, and the history of Pershore Abbey and the tenth-century Benedictine reforms. The document has therefore received a great deal of attention over the past century or so, but this attention has been focussed on the surviving tenth-century single sheet, and so a second, significantly different version of the text has lain unnoticed. This second version is preserved in a copy made by John Joscelyn, Latin Secretary to Archbishop Matthew Parker. Among the material uniquely preserved in this copy are Old English charter bounds for Wyegate (GL), Cumbtune (Compton, GL?) and part of the bounds probably for Lydney (GL), as well as a reference to a grant by Bishop Werferth of Worcester. In this article both versions of the document are discussed and are published together for the first time, and a translation of the single sheet is provided. The history of the two versions is discussed in some detail, and the text of a twelfth-century letter which refers to the charter is also edited and translated.

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