Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Wulfstan (d.1023)

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WULFSTAN (d. 1023), archbishop of York, a man of good family, whose sister's son was Brihtheah (d. 1038), bishop of Worcester, is said to have been brought into the world by an operation that cost his mother's life. He was a monk, probably of Ely, and an abbot, succeeded Aldulf [q. v.] or Ealdulf as archbishop of York in 1003, and, like his two predecessors, held the see of Worcester along with the archbishopric. His name occurs as present at various councils and royal acts during the reign of Ethelred the Unready, and specially as advising the king at the undated council held at Enham (Wilkins, Concilia, i. 285). Canute held him in esteem, and, the see of Canterbury probably being vacant at the time, caused him to dedicate his church at Achingdon in Essex in 1026. He died at York on 28 May 1023, and was buried according to his request at Ely, of which monastery he was a benefactor. When the new choir of Ely was built in 1106 his body was removed into it. The pastoral epistle and the epistle ‘Quando dividis Chrisma’ of Abbot Ælfric (fl. 1006) [q. v.] were written for Wulfstan and probably for the use of other bishops also (Thorpe, Ancient Laws, ii. 365–93). Wulfstan's homilies, written before 1000, have been ascribed to the archbishop, but not apparently for any convincing reason, as there is nothing to show that their author was in episcopal orders, though manuscript editions bear dates later than 1003; they have for the first time been printed by Professor Napier in ‘Sammlung englischer Denkmäler’ (Bd. 4, 1880); the most famous of them, however, ‘Lupi Sermo ad Anglos,’ had previously been printed with a translation by George Hickes [q. v.] in his ‘Thesaurus.’ Archbishop Wulfstan must not be confused (as in Freeman, Norman Conquest, i. 342) with Wulfstan, bishop of London, who was consecrated in 996.

[A.-S. Chron. E. an. 1023, ed. Plummer; Flor. Wig. i. 156, 183–4 (Engl. Hist. Soc.); Will. of Malmesbury's Gesta Pontiff. p. 250; Liber Elien. ed. Stewart, i. 205–6; Raine's Fasti Ebor. pp. 131–4; Ramsay's Foundation of England, i. 349, 354, 362.]

W. H.