Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Sigeric

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SIGERIC or SIRIC (d. 994), archbishop of Canterbury, was brought up as a monk at Glastonbury, was elected abbot of St. Augustine's, Canterbury, in 980, and received the benediction from Archbishop Dunstan [see Dunstan, Saint]. He was made bishop of Ramsbury in 985 through the influence of Dunstan, who consecrated him. Being elected to Canterbury, either at the end of 989 or the beginning of 990, he went to Rome for his pall. An account of his doings there records the churches that he visited and his dining with John XV, and notes the seventy-eight stages of his homeward journey from Rome to the place of his embarkation for England at or near Calais (MS. Cotton. Tib. B. v. 22 b, printed by Hook). In conjunction with the ealdormen Ethelwerd [q. v.] and Ælfric (fl. 950?–1016?) [q. v.], he advised Ethelred or Æthelred II the Unready [q. v.] to purchase peace of the Northmen in 991. He is said to have turned out the secular clerks from Christ Church, Canterbury, and to have put monks in their place. The same is said of Ælfric (d. 1005) [q. v.], his successor. It points to a revival of monastic discipline at Christ Church, and probably to the expulsion about this time of some clerks who had had a share in the services and revenues of the monastery, though they were not monks. He died in old age on 28 Oct. 994, and was buried in the crypt of Christ Church. He seems to have been learned; for Abbot Ælfric, called Grammaticus (fl. 1006) [q. v.], in dedicating his book of homilies to him, requested him to correct any errors in it; and he had a valuable collection of books, which he left to his church. While archbishop he gave seven palls to Glastonbury Abbey, with which the whole of the ‘ancient church’ was hung on his anniversary.

[Anglo-Saxon Chron. ann. 989–94, ed. Plummer; Flor. Wig. ann. 989–91; Kemble's Codex Dipl. Nos. 624, 655, 673, 687 (both Engl. Hist. Soc.); Will. Malm. Gesta Regum, ii. c. 184, and Gesta Pontiff. pp. 32, 33, 181, Gerv. Cant. i. 15, ii. 357 (all Rolls Ser.); Thorn's Chron. ap. Decem Scriptt. col. 1780; Anglia Sacra, i. 54; Freeman's Norman Conquest, i. 304–5 (1st ed.); Hook's Archbishops of Canterbury, i. 431, 522.]

W. H.