A.D. 772 (15 August). Offa, king of the English, to Oswald, bishop; grant, for the foundation of a minster, of 8 hides (cassati) at Bexhill, Sussex, with reversion to the bishopric of Selsey. With a list of gavel-land appurtenant to Bexhill, namely, Barnhorne, Worsham, on Ibbanhyrste, Crowhurst, on Hricge, on Gyllingan, Foxham (lost, in Crowhurst), on Blacanbrocan (? Black Brooks in Westfield), and Icklesham, all in Sussex. Latin with English bounds


Canterbury, Christ Church (? ex Selsey)


1. London, Lambeth Palace Library, 1212, pp. 387-388 (s. xiii)


B, 208; Kelly, Selsey, pp. 107-9

Printed and Translated:

Barker 1947, pp. 90-4


Stenton 1918, p. 448 n. 67, spurious (= Stenton 1970, p. 62 n. 2); Barker 1947, pp. 94-5; Dulley 1966, p. 26, on topography; Brooks 1971, p. 80 n. 4, of uncertain authority; Stenton 1971, p. 208 n. 5, text partly rewritten but portion of witness-list seems authentic; Brandon 1974, pp. 78-80, on topography; Scharer 1982, p. 261, a fabrication perhaps based on some genuine material; Edwards 1988, pp. 267-72, interpolated but authentic basis; Gardiner 1989, on estate history; Faith 1997, pp. 30, 31, 40, 44, 105-6, with map; Kelly, Selsey, pp. xxx, lxxxi-iii, 109-10, on provenance, on witness-list; authentic basis, but bounds and list of gavel-land are certainly additions and perhaps also the reference to reversion

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    • + In nomine Domini Dei saluatoris. Omne quod secundum presens seculum agitur uix usque ad mortem sufficit, quod uero pro eterna uita agatur, eciam post mortem permanet in eternum. Idcirco intenta mentis prouidentia, unicuique cogitandum considerandumque est, quatenus labentibus huius seculi possessionibus mansuras celestium promissionum diuiciis obteneat. Qua de re ego Offa rex Anglorum, pro remedio anime mee et pro Dei amore, aliquam partem terre Sudsex’, sicut ante promisi omnipotenti Deo, uenerando episcopo Osuualdo ad construendum in ea monasterium basilicamque augendam, que diuinis laudibus et sanctorum honoribus seruire uideatur, in perpetuam attribuo possessionem, id est .viii. <cassatos> in loco que appellatur Bixlea, sicut meta prenotatum est. Þis synd þaera .viii. hida land gemera þuer inlandes into Byxwarena lande. Arast on cneohta treou, of cneohta treuue suuae suð on saewe, swæ andlang strandes oð ongean codanclibe estewerd, and suuæ þearupp on ða ealdan merc dic, suuæ norð to kæia weorðe, and suuæ to bynetinge riðe, 7 suuæ norð þurch Sceorta wida to þaere mearc becean, of ðære becean to noðingforda, of þam forða andlang uuæteres to stratt brycge, of þaere brecge up andlang seohtran to bedanseaðe, of þam seaðe suð andlang mearce eft to cneohta treouue. + Þonne syndon þa gauolland þas utlandes into Bexlea in hiis locis qui appellantur hiis nominibus: on Berna hornan .iii. hida, on Wyrtlesham .i., on Ibbanhyrste .i., on Croghyrste .viii., on Hrigce .i., on Gyllingan .ii., on Fuccerham 7 and on Blacanbrocan .i., on Ikelesham .iii.; cum totis ad eum pertinentibus rebus, campis, siluis, pratis, piscuariis, ut ex hac die supradicta terra, in Dei ut dixi nomine per me donata, ab omni regali exaccione libera et Deo seruiencium utilitati mancipata iugiter permaneat, ea tamen condicione ut post diem illius hec donatio reddatur ad episcopalem sedem que dicitur Seleseig. Si quis hanc donacionem a me attributam in maximo uel in modico aliquando inminuere ausus sit, sciat se in districto omnipotentis Dei iudicio penam presumpsionis sue incurrere et ob auditu malo non liberari. Þis sint þa fangemerca to Icoleshamme: to binguuellan æt clibe, ut on ðone broc midne, suæ on tattingsnad, suæ ut on mor on þat eadwining dæn oð Cantwara mearce, þanon wuest andlangæs bedles broces middesweardes. Scripta est hec cartula anno ab incarnacione Domini nostri Iesu Christi .dcc.lxxii., indictione .x., mensis Augusti die .xv. + Ego Offa rex Merciorum, sicut michi a Deo regnandi potestas concessa est, hanc donacionis cartulam propria manu subscribens confirmaui et signum sancte crucis infixi. + Ego Ecberht rex Cantuariorum consensi et subscripsi. + Ego Iamberhtus gratia Dei archiepiscopus subscripsi. + Ego Cyneuulf rex occidentalium Saxonum hanc donacionem consensi et subscripsi. + Ego Eadberhtus episcopus consensi et subscripsi. + Ego Osuualdus episcopus ea que michi data sunt subscripsi. + Ego Righeah episcopus consensi. + Ego Diora antistes subscripsi. + Ego Osuualdus dux Suðsax’ consensi. + Ego Osmund dux confirmaui. + Ego Ælbuuald dux adquieui. + Ego Oslac dux consensi. Et hii testes quoque ibi aderant quorum nomina infra scripta sunt: Botuuine abbas. + Eata. + Heabercht. + Brorda. + Berhtuuald. + Oesne. + Huithyse. + Baldræd. + Bryne. + Stidberht. + Cyne. + Ealdred. + Lulling. + Berht. + Byrnhere. + Tota. + Scira. + Æmele prefectus. Omnes isti consensientes subscripserunt et confirmauerunt. Þis synd þa land gemæro to Byrna hornan. Aerest op meoswille, of ðam wille suþ on þone cumb, of þam cumbe up on hone lytland hæþfeld on pucan wylle, suuæ suð 7 east on ða ealdan rode, andlang rode on þa ealdan mearce becan þe stent on east healfe þare rode, on þone deopon cumb on wiþig mere, of þam mere to fifwegan, 7 swa suð to þare readan sihtran, andlang riðe on Pican glinde, swa suð \be/ eastwardan more oð ða hyrnan, swa east on iw edise, swa norð on þone woda, and swa east be ðam wuda, 7 swa suð to cyllan beorge, of ðam beorge to Cyllan wylle, west andlang streames on þunorslege, 7 swa andlang stremes west abutan þane sealtan merse, 7 swa norð to blacan riðe, up andlang riðe to Swinhamme, north andlang mores to siferþingc steorfan, 7 swa oð ðone norþran fulan ford, 7 swa up on þa ealden dic, andlang dice east and eft on meoswylle.
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    • + In the name of the Lord God the Saviour. All that is done according to the present world scarcely suffices until death; what is done for eternal life, also remains after death into eternity. On that account thought and consideration must be given by each person with strict forethought of the mind so that with the transitory possessions of this world he may obtain things that will remain with the riches of the heavenly promises. Wherefore I, Offa, king of the English, for the salvation of my soul and for the love of God grant in perpetual possession some portion of land of Sussex just as I promised before to Almighty God for the venerable bishop Oswald to construct on it a monastery and enlarge a church, which may be seen to be fit for divine praises and worship of the saints, that is, 7 hides in the place that is called Bexhill, just as is written down in the bounds. These are the boundaries of the eight hides of the inland belonging to the Bexhill people. First to the youths’ tree. From the youths’ tree, so south to the ?sea. So along the shore towards Coda’s cliff eastward. And so thereup [i.e., up the cliff] to the old boundary ditch or dyke. So north to key enclosure, and then to byneting stream. And so north through short wood to the boundary beacon. From the beacon to nothing ford, along the water to ?road bridge From the bridge up along the drain to ?Beda’s pit. From the pit south along the boundary back to the youth’s tree. Three hides at Barnhorne; one [hide] at Worsham; one [hide] at Ibbanhyrste [‘Ibba’s wood or wooded hill’]; eight [hides] at Crowhurst; one [hide] at Hricge; two [hides] on Gyllingan; two [hides] at Foxham [lost]; one [hide] at Blacanbrocan; three [hides] at Icklesham. With all things that belong to them, fields, woods, meadows, fisheries, so that from this day the aforementioned land has been given through me in the name of God, as I said, free from every royal exaction and should permanently remain devoted to the use of those serving God, with the stipulation, however, that after his day this gift should be handed back to the episcopal see that is called Selsey. If anyone should dare at any time to reduce in a very great or in a small way this gift granted by me, let him know that he will incur the penalty of the rigid judgment of Almighty God for his presumption and will not be freed because of not hearing this properly. These are the boundaries of Icklesham. To ?hollow spring [or ‘stream’] at the cliff [or ‘steep slope’]; out to the middle of the brook, so to Tatta’s woodland; so out on the marsh to Eadwine’s swine-pasture; to the boundary of the Kentishmen; then west along the middle of bedles brook. This charter was written in the year from the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ 772, in indiction 10, on day 15 of the month of August. + I, Offa, king of the Mercians, just as power has been granted to me by God in His rule, subscribing this charter of gift in my own hand, have confirmed [it] and imprinted the mark of the holy cross. + I, Ecgberht, king of the dwellers in Kent, agreed and subscribed. + I, Jænberht, by the Grace of God archbishop [of Canterbury], subscribed. + I, Cynewulf, king of the West Saxons, agreed and subscribed this [charter of] donation. + I, Eadberht, bishop [of Leicester], agreed and subscribed. + I, Oswald, bishop [of Selsey], subscribed those things that were given to me. + I, Wigheah, bishop [of London], agreed. + I, Deora, bishop [of Rochester], subscribed. + I, Oswald, dux of the South Saxons, agreed. + I, Osmund, dux, confirmed. + I, Ælfwald, dux, acquiesced. + I, Oslac, dux, agreed. And these witnesses also were present, whose names have been written below: Botwine, abbot. + Eata. + Heahberht. + Brorda. + Beorhtwald. + Esne. + Hwithyse. + Baldred. + Bryne. + Stithberht. + Cyne. + Ealdred. + Lulling. + Beorht. + Beornhere. + Tota. + Scira. + Æmele, prefectus. All these being in agreement subscribed and confirmed. These are the boundaries of Barnhorne. First to moss spring, from the spring south to the coomb. From the coomb up to [the small] heath-field to puck’s spring. So south and east to the old ride, along the ride to the old boundary beacon that stands to the east of the ride. To the deep coombe, to willow mere, from the mere to five-ways [i.e., a place where five routes met]. And so south to the red drain, along the stream to ?Pica’s enclosure [or ‘fence’]. So south by the east side of the moor as far as the corner, so east to yew enclosure, so north to the wood, and so east by the wood. And so south to Cylla’s barrow, from the barrow to Cylla’s spring, west along the stream to Thunor’s grove And so along the stream west around the salt marsh. And so north to black stream, up along the stream to swine meadow. North along the moor to Siferth’s poor pasture. And so to the northern foul ford, and so up to the old ditch [or ‘dyke’], along the ditch east(wards) and back to moss spring.
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    • + In nomine domini Dei salvatoris . Omne quod secundum presens seculum agitur vix usque ad mortem sufficit . quod vero pro eterna vita agatur . eciam post mortem permanet in eternum . Idcirco intenta mentis providentia unicuique cogitandum consi