Ine, King of the West Saxons:
Grant of Lands to the Church of St. Mary at Glastonbury, 725
After the Saxon conquest of England, the king, at the distribution of land among his
followers, retained some as a royal domain. Much of England was covered with forests and
the monasteries, being dependent on land, performed a useful service by clearing it. A
grant of sixty-one hides was probably quite a large gift.
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: I, Ine, supported in my royal dignity by God,
with the advice of my queen, Saxburga, and the permission of Brihtwald, Archbishop of
Canterbury, and of all his suffragans; and also at the instance of the princes Baltred and
Athelard, to the ancient church, situated in the place called Glastonbury .. ., do grant
out of those places, which I possess by paternal inheritance, and hold in my demesne, they
being adjacent and fitting for the purpose, for the maintenance of the monastic
institution, and the use of the monks, Brente ten hides, Sowy ten hides, Pilton twenty
hides, Dulting twenty hides, Bledenhida one hide, together with whatever my predecessors
have contributed to the same church---to wit, Kenwalk, who at the instance of archbishop
Theodore, gave Ferramere, Bregarai, Coneneie, Martineseie, Etheredseie: Kentwin, who used
to call Glastonbury, "the mother of saints," and liberated it from every secular
and ecclesiastical service, and granted it this dignified privilege, that the brethren of
that place should have the power of electing and appointing their ruler according to the
rule of St. Benedict: Hedda the bishop, with permission of Cadwalla, who, though a
heathen, confirmed it with his own hand, gave Lantokay: Baltred, who gave Pennard six
hides: Athelard who contributed Poelt, sixty hides; I, Ine permitting and confirming
it.... Wherefore the chief pontiff, Gregory, assenting, and taking the mother of his Lord,
and me, however, unworthy, together with her, into the bosom and protection of the holy
Roman church; and all the princes, archbishops, bishops, dukes, and abbots of Britain
consenting, I appoint and establish, that all lands, places, and possessions of St. Mary
of Glastonbury be free, quiet, and undisturbed, from all royal taxes and works, which are
wont to be appointed, that is to say, expeditions, the building of bridges or forts, and
from the edicts or molestations of all archbishops or bishops, as is found to be confirmed
and granted by my predecessors, Kenwalk, Kentwin, Cadwalla, Baltred, in the ancient
charters of the same church. And whatsoever questions shall arise, whether of homicide,
sacrilege, poison, theft, rapine, the disposal and limits of churches, the ordination of
clerks, ecclesiastical synods, and all judicial inquiries, they shall be determined by the
decision of the abbot and convent, without the interference of any person whatsoever....
The charter of this donation was written in the year of our Lord's incarnation 725, the
fourteenth of the indiction, in the presence of the king Ine, and of Brihtwald, archbishop
From: J. A. Giles, trans., William of Malmesbury's Chronicle of the Kings of
England, (London: H. G. Bohn, 1847), Book I, p. 33, reprinted in Roy C. Cave &
Herbert H. Coulson, A Source Book for Medieval Economic History, (Milwaukee: The
Bruce Publishing Co., 1936; reprint ed., New York: Biblo & Tannen, 1965), pp. 310-311.
Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by
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© Paul Halsall, September 1998