Page:St. Oswald and the Church of Worcester.djvu/24

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ST OSWALD AND

at all of any kind of friction in the course of Oswald's great reform. It is right, however, to point out that the designation monachus is by no means the only peculiarity which marks the attestations of K. C. D. 615. We note also (1) the strangeness of the order by which three clerici are interposed between the first six and the last four of the monachi: (2) the late position of Eadgar, the only witness described as presbiter: (3) the absence of Wulfric presbiter, who headed the list before Wynsige arrived and stands second in the other charters of this year: (4) the description of Eadweard as clericus, though in the other charters of this year he is styled presbiter. In view of all this we can hardly think that the attestations of this charter have come down to us in their original form; and it will be more prudent to abstain from basing any conclusions upon it.

In the following years, from 978 to Oswald's death in 992, there is little change. Wulfric, who apparently does not become a monk, disappears after 983. Wynsige signs for the last time in 986; and Æthelstan, the next name on the list, hereafter takes the first place.

The exact date at which Wynsige and the monks came from Ramsey cannot be fixed. All that we can say with certainty is that they were at Worcester in 977. Two charters which bear the dates 969 and 974 (B. C. S. 1243 and 1298) give no lists of signatures, but contain Saxon notes to the effect that they were witnessed by 'Wynsige monk (or 'dean') and all the monks at Worcester'. It is obvious that this cannot represent the original form of these charters, and the evidence cannot be accepted without hesitation. The date 969 is in any case inconsistent with the fact that Wynsige had been trained for some time at Ramsey, which itself was not founded until about that year, if so early.[1]


Lastly, a Worcester tradition of the end of the eleventh century throws some light on the events which we have been considering, and as it has been seriously misinterpreted it will be well to notice it here. The evidence comes from the Acts of a Synod held by Bishop Wulstan at Worcester in 1092, printed by Hearne (pp. 527 ff.) from Vitellius C. 9 (the extracts made by Patrick Young); and also by Wharton (Anglia Sacra, i. 542) from a contemporary document in the archives of the cathedral church. A dispute had arisen between the presbyters of St Helen's and St Alban's as to the rights of their respective churches.

  1. See Appendix B.