In this history Bede is said, "at the request of Doctor Wilfrid, and at the bidding of Abbot Ceolfrid, to have left the territory belonging to the Monastery of St. Peter and St. Paul, and being even then a monk in mind and regular discipline, though not in dress, to have gone, in the year 682, to Cambridge, where by sowing the seeds of knowledge for himself and others, by writing books and teaching the ignorant, he was of use before God and man in eradicating prevailing errors:"—"rogatu Wilfridi doctoris, jubente Ceolfrido Abbate, de territorio monasterii Petri et Pauli Wiremuder, mente licet non habitu monasticus, jam disciplinis inhærens, anno 682 (ætatis igitur decimo!) pervenisse Cantabrigiam, ubi sibi et aliis fructus scientiæ seminando, libros scribendo, inscios informando, profecerit coram Deo ethominibus in erroribus enervandis."
It is hardly necessary to observe, that this is said to have happened at a time when Bede was little more than nine years old! Seven years after he is stated to have had public honours conferred on him by the University, and at a later period to be still pursuing the duties of a teacher.
In support of these statements a letter is produced, purporting to be addressed to the Students of the University of Cambridge, by Albinus or Alcuin, the preceptor of Charlemagne. The following is a copy:—