Milred (DNB00)

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MILRED or MILRET (d. 775), bishop of Worcester, was perhaps coadjutor bishop to Wilfrith, bishop of the Hwiccas, the people of the present Worcestershire and Gloucestershire (Green, Making of England, pp. 129, 130). His name appears as bishop along with that of Wilfrith in the attestation of a charter (Codex Diplomaticus, No. 95) of Ethelbald or Æthelbald (d. 757) [q. v.], king of the Mercians, and on the death of Wilfrith he succeeded to the see in 743 (Florence, sub an.; 744 A.-S. Chronicle; 745 Symeon, Historia Regum, c. 40, and Hoveden, i. 6). William of Malmesbury (Gesta Pontificum, 3. 9) records his presence at the council of Clovesho held in 747. In 754, or early in 755, he visited Boniface, archbishop of Mentz, and Bishop Lullus in Germany, and on hearng less than a year afterwards of the martyrdom of Boniface (5 June 755), wrote to Julius expressing his grief, and sending some small presents, but not sending a book (‘librum pyrpyri metri’), for which Lullus had ipparently asked, because Archbishop Cuthbert (d. 758) [q. v.] had delayed to return it (Monumenta Moguntina, pp. 267, 268). During the reign of Offa of Mercia Milred received many grants, some of which are historically important, as evidence of the absorption of small monasteries by episcopal churches, and of the growth alongside St. Peter's, the old cathedral church of Worcester, of the newer monastic foundation of St. Mary's, which afterwards became the church of the see (Green, History and Antiquities of Worcester, i. 24, 25; Monasticon, i. 567, and specially Bishop Stubbs sub ‘Milred,’ ap. Dictionary of Christian Biography). Some of the following charters are marked as spurious by Kemble, but Bishop Stubbs considers that they represent actual grants. From Offa Milred received for himself as hereditary property land at Wick, ‘to the west of the Severn’ (Codex Diplomaticus, No. 126), and at ‘Pirigtun’ (ib. No. 129), and from Eanbert and his brothers, under-kings of the Hwiccas, lands for the church of St. Peter's (ib. No. 102); he attests a grant of Uhtred, one of these under-kings, in 770, giving Stoke in Worcestershire to the monastery of St. Mary's at Worcester (ib. No. 118), and another by which Uhtred gave lands on the Stour ‘at the ford called Scepesuuasce (Sheepwash),’ now Shipston in Worcestershire, to the same monastery (ib. No. 128). He also attests a grant by Abbot Ceolfrith, who had inherited his abbey or abbeys from his father Cynebert, of the monasteries of Heanburh or Hanbury, and Sture in Usmorn, now Kidderminster, in Worcestershire, to St. Peter's (ib. No. 127). A monastery had been founded at Withington in Gloucestershire by Oshere [q. v.] (comp. ib. No. 36), and had been left to his daughter, the abbess Hrothwara, who had made it over to Mildred. In 774 Milred made over this monastery to Æthelburga, an abbess who appears to have inherited from her father Alfred a monastery at Worcester, on condition that at her death these monasteries at Withington and Worcester should pass to the church of St. Peter (ib. No. 124). Milred died in 775 (Florence; 772, A.-S. Chronicle), and was succeeded by Weremund.

[Kemble's Codex Dipl. i. 114, 123, 145, 152-155 (Engl. Hist. Soc.); A.-S. Chron. ann. 744, 772; Flor. Wig. ann. 743, 774 (Engl. Hist. Soc.); Will. of Malmesbury's Gesta Pontiff, p. 9 (Rolls Ser.); Mon. Moguntina, pp. 267, 268, ed. Jaffé; Symeon of Durham's Hist. Reg. ap. Op. ii. 39 (Rolls Ser.); Hoveden, i. 6 (Rolls Ser.); Green's Hist. and Antiq. of Worcester, i. 24, 25; Dugdale's Monasticon, i. 567; Bishop Stubbs's art. ‘Milred’ ap. Dict. Chr. Biog. iii. 915.]

W. H.