The Early History of Glastonbury Abbey: A Hypothesis Regarding the 'British Charter " 2224"
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-25, 21:55 authored by Martin GrimmerMartin Grimmer
The so-called 'British charter' of Glastonbury Abbey in Somerset, contained in William of Malmesbury's De antiquitate Glastonte ecclesieof c.I 129, records a grant made in AD 601 by an unnamed king of British Dumnonia of land at '/neswitrin'. As William regarded this to be the British Celtic name for Glastonbury, the charter has been used to proclaim a pre-Saxon foundation for the Abbey. When the characteristics of the charter are considered, in particular the use of a scribal attestation, it appears however that it is West Saxon in form and should be dated to the later seventh century when Somerset was within West Saxon control. The charter cannot therefore substantiate the Abbey's existence before thistime, though it does imply somelevel of cooperation between the West Saxon Church and the kingdom of Dumnonia.
Publication titleParergon: bulletin of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Renaissance Studies