Charter

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This record is held by West Sussex Record Office

Details of Charter
Title: Charter
Reference: Cap/I/17/1
Description:

Transcription

 

1 [Regnante perhennit. deo ac domino nostro] ihesu christo simulque spiritu sancto par [aclit]o in tribus personis una deitas sine fi[ne permansura. Qua de re unicuique cogitandum quantum sibi suf]ficiat possessio ut cum rebus tran[s]itoriis labentibusque sibi aeterna pre[paret premia quod huius vite presentis quibusque nolentibus ve]1 volentibus apropinquat ter[min]us. Quam ob rem Ego nunna rex a[ustralium Saxonum aliquas telluris partes pro amore dei et cele]stis patriae venerando episcopo eadberhto in suum et in dei servitium liberata [assensu seculari eternaliter conscribo et firmiter ad] episcopalem sedem adtingens cum totis ad eam pertinentibus. In campis in silvis [montanis pascuis piscuariis terra que vocitatur (sic) at H]uga beorgum et aet dene X X tributarios libenti animo attribuo. Si quis au[tem successorum meorum quod absit hanc donacionem] meam in modico vel in magno minuere vel invadere temptaverit sciat se in trem [endo examine coram christo racionem reddere nisi ante satisfacione emendaverit] Istis terminibus circumgirata esse videntur ...... dices ondeo ... nord ofer pone weg ... [Lav?]ingtunes dices eastende o....aere dic nord ..... 7 panan east to freccehlince of pa hlince to halignesse beorge of pa beorge east to stae .....m garan of pa garan to pam byrgelsan of pan byrgelsan to billinga byrig 7 swa andlun ..... laese 7 da daenn aerest paer scealces burna 7 bollanea hi ge gaderiad on nord healfe paes br.... 7 bulanhol 7 isenan aedwylm 7 saengelwicos 7 feale beag tibban hol [Scripta est autem hec cartula anno] ab incarnatione domini 775 Indictione [II] Testium ergo et consentientum huic donacion[i signa eterna demonstrabo + Ego Nunna rex primus cr] ucis christi signo munio [+ Ego Eadbrigh episcopus michi terram] tribuatam confirmo signo crucis christi [+ Ego Ine consensi et] propria manu scripsi (2nd col.) + Ego u[uattus rex consensi et subscripsi] + Ego c[oenredus rex Westsaxonum roboravi +]

 

Endorsed:

 

Pisis seo land boc pe nunna cyng gebocade eadberhte bisceope into hugubeorgum X X hida [miniscule A/S]

 

A part of a Saxon grant forged to support the estates of the church against Norman C[laims?] but probably an honest fraud [18th century hand ? William Clark]

 

Translation

 

God and our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Holy Ghost and Spirit, one God in three persons, reign eternally, without end. Because of this each one must consider to what extent his possessions are sufficient so that he may with transitory and fleeting things prepared for himself eternal rewards, since the end of this present life approaches everyone, willing or unwilling. Therefore, I Nunna, king of the South Saxons, for the love of God and the heavenly kingdom, with the free assent of the laity, grant in writing for ever to the venerable Bishop Eadberht, certain pieces of land, for his service and God's. I gladly assign them to him, 20 hides with all the appurtenances, the fields, woods, hills, pastures and fishponds, in the land called Hugabeorgum and aet dene. If, however, which God forbid, any of my successors attempt, to a small or great degree, to diminish or encroach on this my grant, let him know that he must render account before Christ, at the terrible judgement, unless he previously makes satisfactory amends. The land is seen to be bounded as follows :-

 

.......... along the dyke ..... north over the road ..... east end of Lavington dyke, from the dyke north ..... and then east to the dangerous hill, from the hill to the sanctuary hill, from that hill east to stony ..... to the triangle of land, from the triangle to the burial places, from the burial places to swordmen's hill and so along ..... pasture and firstly where the soldiers brook and the bulls brook join on the north side of ..... and the bulls hollow and the iron spring and the thicket dwelling and the yellow crown. Tibba's hollow. This charter was written in the year of the incarnation of the Lord 775, in the 2nd year of the indiction. I will show the eternal signs of those who witness and agree to this grant. First I Nunna, king, strengthen it with the sign of the cross of Christ [1st Col.] I Eadbrigh, bishop, confirm the land granted to me with the sign of the cross of Christ. I Ine have agreed and signed with my own hand. [2nd Col.] I Wattus, king, have agreed and signed. I Coenredus, king of the West Saxons, have confirmed this.

 

Endorsed: This is the charter by which Nunna, king, granted 20 hides at Hugubeorgum to Bishop Eadberht.

 

Interpretation

 

This charter is dated 775, but this must be an error, since this date agrees with neither the Indiction nor the witness list. To agree with the Indiction, the year could be 689 or 704 which have been suggested as possible dates. The date has also been given as 725.

 

Professor H.L. Rogers, McCaughey Professor of Early English Literature and Language at the University of Sidney, Australia, has examined Cap/I/17/1 and 2. He concludes that Cap/I/17/1 is a late copy or forgery, written c. 1000, for the following reasons:

 

(i) The handwriting, especially in the bounds, shows the influence of Carolingian miniscule.

 

(ii) Bounds in Anglo-Saxon do not usually occur until the 9th century. (see English Historical Documents Vol. I p. 344)

 

(iii) The proem and anathema are very elaborate for such an early date. (see F.M. Stenton, The Latin Charters of the Anglo-Saxon period, p. 34)

 

(iv) The variations in phrasing in the witness list are very different from the usual list of "Ego N consensi et subscripsi".

 

(v) Certain word forms in the Anglo-Saxon bounds may be indicative of a later date.

Date: ?689-?circa 1000 and circa 1700-1799
Held by: West Sussex Record Office, not available at The National Archives
Language: English
Physical condition: Only a fragment 7¼" x 5½" remains of this charter.
Unpublished Finding Aids:
  • The translation of the bounds is taken mostly from Eric Barker's translation in S.A.C. Vol. 86.

     

    Refs: Barker - S.A.C. Vol. 86, pp. 65-67.

     

    Birch - Cartularium Saxonicum, 144.

     

    Earle - Handbook to land charters, pp. 22, 23.

     

    Kemble - Codex Diplomaticus, 1000.

     

    Dugdale - Monasticon (1846 ed.) vi, 1164.

Related Material:
  • The missing text from the fragment has been supplied from the episcopal cartulary Liber B (Ep.VI/1/2) f. 17v. The scribe who copied this document into Liber B seems to have been a very careful and reliable copyist, although he omitted the Anglo Saxon bounds.

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