Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 01.djvu/263

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Aldred
Aldred
249

written about the year 700 in honour of St. Cuthberht (Brit. Mus., Cotton MS., Nero D. iv.). In a note at the end of the manuscript Aldred calls himself the son of Alfred and Tilwin—‘Alfredi natus Aldredus vocor; bonæ mulieris (i.e. Tilwin) filius eximius loquor.’ It has been maintained that he wrote with his own hand only the glosses to St. John, and that the rest were penned by other scribes under his direction; but there is reason to believe that he wrote the whole of them himself.

It has been suggested (Bibl. MS. Stowensis, 1818–19, vol. ii. p. 180) that Aldred may have been the bishop of Durham (Chester-le-Street) of that name, 957–68. He has also been wrongly identified with Aldred the Provost, the writer of a few collects inserted at the end of a manuscript known as the ‘Durham Ritual’ (Durham Chapter Library, MS. A. iv. 19). The body of this manuscript contains glosses which, from a certain resemblance, have been erroneously thought to be in the same handwriting as those of the Lindisfarne Gospels. The writing of the above-mentioned collects is quite different. But when once it was assumed that the glosses in the two manuscripts were the work of one writer, it was only a step further to confuse the two Aldreds; and this, although the provost had no hand even in the glosses of the Ritual.

[T. Wright's Biographia Brit. Literaria, Anglo-Saxon Period, 1842, p. 426; Orig. Letters of Eminent Literary Men (Camden Society), 1843, p. 267; The Lindisfarne and Rushworth Gospels (Surtees Society), 1854–1865, vol. iv. proleg. p. xlvi; Facsimiles of the Palæographical Society, plates 240, 241.]

E. M. T.

ALDRED (d. 1069), archbishop of York, first appears as a monk of Winchester. He succeeded Lyfing as abbot of Tavistock, and was therefore probably appointed in 1027. In 1044 he was made bishop of Worcester. He was an active, politic, self-seeking man, more given to secular than to ecclesiastical life, a traveller, an ambassador, even a soldier. He did not escape the frequent accusations of simony and lack of learning, and was certainly greedy of gain. At the same time he was magnificent and courageous. King Eadward was much under his influence, for he valued the bishop's power of pacifying quarrels and winning over enemies. In 1046 Aldred probably arranged a peace with Gruffydd of North Wales. The same year Gruffydd of South Wales and pirates from Ireland invaded Gloucestershire. Aldred led a force against them. He was betrayed by some Welsh in his army, was defeated, and forced to flee. In 1050 he went over to Flanders, and brought back with him Sweyn, the son of Godwine, who had taken refuge there after the murder of Beorn, and procured the restoration of his earldom. About this time he was sent to Rome ‘on the king's errand,’ which is said to have been to gain the papal absolution for the non-fulfilment of a vow of pilgrimage. When, in 1051, Godwine and his sons were outlawed by the witan, Aldred was sent to intercept Harold and Leofwine as they fled to Bristol, which was then in his diocese of Worcester, to take ship there; but he did not overtake them, and probably did not care to do so. In 1053 he had a chance which he did not neglect. The abbot of Winchcombe died, and Aldred took the abbey into his own hands. He was not able to hold it long, for the next year the king sent him on an embassy to the Emperor Henry III, and, as he could not leave the abbotship vacant, he gave up his profitable guardianship before he left. The object of his mission was to prevail on the emperor to persuade the king of Hungary to send Eadgar, the son of Eadmund Ironside, to England, for Eadward wished that he should succeed him. Aldred was received with great honour by the emperor, and stayed for a year with Archbishop Hermann at Cöln. There he saw the discipline and the splendour which that magnificent prelate had introduced into the German church, and did not fail to learn some lessons in these matters. His embassy was successful. In 1056 the vacant see of Hereford was committed to him, and he held it for four years, along with his own bishopric, and for about two years during the retirement of Hermann, he also took charge of the diocese of Ramsbury. He did not become bishop of these dioceses, but had charge of them, and received their revenues. In 1058 he finished rebuilding the monastic church of St. Peter at Gloucester and consecrated it. Then having brought this work to an end, he gave over the bishopric of Ramsbury to its former bishop, and went on pilgrimage. In doing this he was following a fashion which then obtained on the Continent. No English bishop, however, had as yet journeyed to Jerusalem. Thither Aldred went, ‘with such worship as none other ever did before,’ and offered at the Lord's tomb a gold chalice of wonderful work (Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, sub an. 1058).

On Christmas day, 1060, Aldred was elected archbishop of York. On his election he gave up the vacant bishopric of Hereford which he held, and another bishop was appointed. The bishopric of Worcester, however, he did not give up, but held it along with the see of York, as some of his prede-