Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/47

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xxxix
THE LIFE OF BEDE.

Gaehle, who does not examine the subject at much length, explains the favour which Sergius names as having granted to Abbot Ceolfrid, to be the privilege or charter of which Bede makes mention in his Lives of the Abbots of Weremouth and Jarrow,—"Missis Romam monachis tempore beatæ recordationis Sergii Papæ, privilegium ab eo pro tuitione sui monasterii instar illius, quod Agatho Papa Benedicto dederat, accepit Ceolfridus. Quod Britanniæ perlatum, et coram Synodo patefactum, prsæsentium Episcoporum siniul et magnifici Regis Alfridi subscriptione confirmatum est, quomodo etiam prius illud sui temporis Regem et Episcopos in Synodo publice confirmasse non latet."

"Some monks were sent to Rome in the time of Pope Sergius, of blessed memory, and through them Ceolfrid received from him a privilege for the protection of his monastery, as Benedict had before received from Pope Agatho. Which, being brought back to Britain, and laid before a Synod, was confirmed by the subscription of the bishops who were present, and his highness King Alfrid, in the same way as we know the former was subscribed in a Synod by the king and bishops of that time."

This fact seems to throw some light on the letter of Sergius. If, as is probable, he therein alludes to this charter, he does so in terms not so clear as would have been made to appear by Malmesbury, if the letter were a forgery, and yet sufficiently clear