A.D. 924 x 939. King Athelstan to St Paul's minster; confirmation of privileges. Latin and English versions


London, St Paul's


London, British Library, Lansdowne 269 (s. xvii)
London, British Library, Lansdowne 447 (s. xvii)
Oxford, Bodleian Library, Dugdale 21 (S.C. 6511) (s. xvii)


Mon. Angl., iii. 301-2, ex MS; Dugdale, St Paul's, p. 185, ex MS; Dugdale, St Paul's (rev. edn), Appendix, pp. 9-10; K, 1126; Thorpe, pp. 176-8; B, 735-6


Hart, ECE, no. 10, spurious; Whitelock 1975, pp. 7 n.1, 9, spurious, English version is a translation of the Latin; Gelling, ECTV, no. 214, spurious, English version is earlier than 13th century and may be pre-Conquest

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    • On þam halgan naman ures halendes Cristes, se þe us gescop, þa þe sylfe næron, 7 us eft alysde mid his agenum life, þa þa fordone wæron þurh þaes deofles lare, 7 mid ealle forscylgode into þam ecan susle, ac his myccle arfæstnesse us alysde of ðam. Nu ic Aðelstan, cyning ofer Ængla þeode, cyþe minum witum 7 on þisum gewrite mid wordum afæstnige, þæt ic wille friðian ealle þa lande are into S. Paules mynstre, 7 þæreto gesetan þysne priuilege, þæt is synderlic freols, S. Paul to lofe, þan halgan apostle þe þeos stow is halig, minre saule to alysednesse 7 mine synnan to forgifenesse, be þam þe Sybba cyng hit ærest hit gefreode 7 se halga Erkenwold, 7 hig begen þæreto gebugen mid ealle Gode geþeowode, 7 þa stowe gegodeden, 7 se mære Biscop S. Erkenwold þæne freols gefette on Romebirig, þe on þisse Cartan is awriten, 7 manega oþre freolsas heron gewriten synd þe mine forgengan gesetten, heora saule to alysednesse. Se þe þysne freols geeacnige, God his lief her on life 7 him heofona rices myrhþe sylle, þonne he heonon faran sceole. Se þe þænne þa are þænce to þeofigenne, oððe on oððre wison to awadenne on oðre hit her beforen awriten is, sy his lif her gelittled, 7 þenne he heonon faran sceole, sig a his wunung on helle grund, buton he hit her ær his ænde þes tiþelicor gebete wið þæne æcan God þe ah ealra þinga geweald. Forþi we swa fæstlice þysne freols bebeodað, þæt we swa moten eft ealle æt gædere heofonan rices myrhþe habban mid þam ecan Gode þe ah ealra þinge geweald. Amen.
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    • In the holy name of our Saviour Christ, Who created us when we ourselves did not exist, and later released us with His own life, when we were undone through the teaching of the Devil and were completely condemned to the eternal torment, but with His great mercy has freed us from that. Now I, Æthelstan, king over the English people, make known to my witan and confirm by words in this document, that I wish to free all the land in the ownership of St Paul’s Minster, and to that end I am establishing this privilege, that is, an especial immunity, in praise of St Paul, that Holy Apostle, to whom this place is consecrated, for the salvation of my soul and the remission of my sins, in accordance with that by which King Sebbe first freed it, and St Eorcenwald, and they both submitted themselves to it, completely served God and enriched that place, and that great bishop St Eorcenwald procured that immunity in Rome, which is written in this charter. And many other immunities have been written here, which my predecessors established for the redemption of their souls. He who might augment this immunity, may God preserve him while he is alive and grant to him the joys of the Kingdom of Heaven when he must go from here. He who henceforth might consider stealing this property, or alter it in a way other than has been written here above, may his life in this world be shortened, and when he must depart from here, may his dwelling always be in the bottom of Hell, unless before his end he makes a more acceptable recompense for that here to Eternal God, Who has the power over all things. On that account we firmly proclaim this immunity, that we thus may later all have together the joys of the Kingdom of Heaven with the Eternal God, Who has power over all things. Amen.
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    • On ˇam halgan naman ures halendes Cristes se ˇe us gescop ˇa ˇe sylfe næron 7 us eft alysde mid his agenum life ˇa ˇa fordone wæron ˇurh ˇaes deofles lare 7 mid ealle for-scylgode into ˇam ecan susle, ac his myccle arfæstnese us alysde of ∂am. Nu ic A∂elstan cyning ofer Ængla ˇeode cyˇe minum witum 7 on ˇisum gewrite mid wordum afæstnige ˇæt ic wille fri∂ian ealle ˇa lande are into S. Paules mynstre 7 ˇæreto gesetan ˇysne priuilege ˇæt is synderlic freols S. Paul to lofe, ˇan halgan apostle ˇe ˇeos stow is halig minre saule to alysednesse 7 mine synnan to forgifenesse be ˇam ˇe Sybba cyng hit gefreode 7 se halga Erkenwold 7 hig begen ˇæreto gebugen mid ealle gode geˇeodwode 7 ˇa stowe ge godeden 7 se mære Biscop S. Erkenwold ˇæne freols gefette on Romebirig ˇe on ˇisse Cartan is awriten 7 manega oˇre freolsas heron gewriten synd ˇe mine forgengan gesetten heora saule to alysednesse se ˇe ˇysne freols ge eacnige god his lief her on life 7 him heofona rices myrhˇe sylle ˇonne he heonon faran sceole, se ˇe ˇænne ˇa are ˇænce to ˇeofigenne o∂∂e on o∂∂re wison to awadenne on o∂re hit her beforen awriten is, sy his lif her gelittled, 7 ˇenne he heonon faran sceole sig a his wunung on helle grund; buton he hit her ær his ænde ˇes tiˇelicor gebete wi∂ ˇæne æcan god ˇe ah ealra ˇinga geweald. Forˇi ˇe swa fæstlice ˇysne freols bebeoda∂ ˇæt ˇe swa moten est ealle æt gædere heofonan rices myrhˇe habban mid ˇam ecan gode ˇe ah ealra ˇinge geweald. Amen. In sancto nomine nostri servatoris Christi, qui nos creavit, quando nosmet ipsi non eramus, et nos redemit cum sua propria vita, quando perditi fuimus ex Diabolici doctrina, et penitus damnati in æternum sulphur. sed eius magna clementia nos liberavit ab eo. Nunc ego Athelstanus Rex super Anglicam gentem, notum facio meis sapientibus, et in hoc scripto verbis confirmo; quod liberabo omnem terram ad S. Pauli Monasterium (spectantem:) Et insuper constituam istud priuilegium; hoc est, singularem immunitatem, in laudem S. Pauli, illius sancti Apostoli, cui hic locus est sacratus; in animæ meæ redemptionem, et peccatorum meorum remissionem, secundum quod Sebba Rex eundem (locum) primo liberavit, et S. Erkenwaldus; quorum ambo se consulerunt, omnino Deo inservierunt, et illum locum locupletarunt, magnusque ille Episcopus S. Erkenwaldus, illud Privilegium impetravit Romæ, quod in hac Charta scribitur: et plura alia Privilegia hic inscribuntur, quæ mei prædecessores irrogarunt in animarum suarum redemptionem. Qui hoc Privilegium adauxerit, Deus eius vitam in hoc mundo (conservet) et ei coelorum regni gaudia concedat, quando hinc decesserit. Qui vero abhinc abstulerit, sive in alium usum convertit, aliter (scilicet) quam hic suprascripta est; sit eius vita hic decurtata; et quando hinc decesserit, semper sit eius habitatio in Inferni fundo, nisi id hic ante finem suum diligentius compenset apud æternum Deum, qui omnium rerum habet potestatem. Idcirco tam firmiter privilegium (observari) præcipimus, ut ita nos omnes denuo possimus simul coelorum regni gaudia assequi æterno Deo, qui omnium rerum habet potestatem. Amen.