Arthur West Haddan.

Councils and ecclesiastical documents relating to Great Britain and Ireland (Volume 1) online

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SEP iO 1981

BR 741 .H33 1869 v.l
Haddan, Arthur West, 1816-

Councils and ecclesiastical

documents relating to Great






Edited, after Spelman and Wilkins,



' Regius Professor of Modern History,



\All rights re!ierved'\

I. British Church during the Roman Period: A.D. 200-450.

II. British Church during the Period of Saxon Conquest :
A.D. 450-681.

III. Church of Wales: A.D. 681-1295.

IV. Church of Cornwall: A.D. 681-1072.

, MAR 10 I8f^5 ■

/^ ^ ~ V


The present volume contains the first portion of a work, based
upon the Concilia Magna Britannia et Hibernia of Wilkins, and aiming
at a reproduction of that great work, in accordance with the present
state of our knowledge and materials. The extent however of the
undertaking is at present limited to the period antecedent to the
Reform.ation. And as the book will thus cover less ground than
that of Wilkins, so it has seemed expedient to depart in it also from
the arrangement adopted by him, as well as of course (and very con-
siderably) from the contents themselves of his book. Acknowledging
fully our obligations to him, as having alone rendered a work like
the present possible at all, we have not felt bound to retain
everything which he admitted, any more than we have tied ourselves
to the limits of the materials which were accessible to him. We
have acted upon our own judgment, and to an extent that renders
our work almost a new work, both in omitting and in adding j
save that in the former, we design to omit nothing, except upon
the grounds of proved spuriousness, or as substituting a better and
earlier authority for a later, or as displacing documents wrongly
attributed to our own Church but really translations of e. g.
Prankish or other foreign documents.

In point of arrangement, it has seemed more convenient to
keep together the documents relating to each period and division
of the several national or local branches of the Churches of these
islands, placing them chronologically under each of those several
periods and divisions. We shall thus have the older British, the
Welsh, the Cornish, the Scottish (in the modern sense of the term),
the Irish, the Anglo-Saxon documents, besides those of minor or of


later divisions, grouped together so as to illustrate one another:
and this, at the cost of a very trifling amount of rather cross-
reference than repetition. Wilkins's single and purely chronolo-
gical arrangement results in the scattering of the few Welsh, Scot-
tish, or Irish documents within his reach, here and there, among
contemporary Anglo-Saxon or Norman documents, otherwise for
the most part wholly unconnected with them.

In respect to contents the present work varies even far more
widely from its predecessor and prototype. For the year 1737,
the Concilia of Wilkins was a monument of gigantic labour and
learning, and worthily claimed both to rival and to supplant
the work, for its date equally wonderful, of Wilkins's own
forerunner Spelman. But it is no imputation either upon that
indefatigable scholar's industry, or upon his critical skill, to say,
that for our present needs, and with our present materials, and
according to the sounder canons of present historical and philo-
logical knowledge, his work is inadequate, exceedingly defective
and incomplete, and (especially in its earlier portions) uncritical :
to say nothing of the not few blemishes which disfigure it, of
incorrect readings and inaccurate Anglo-Saxon translations. The
complete revolution effected in Anglo-Saxon scholarship by the
labours of such men as Rask, Grimm, Bosworth, Kemble, Thorpe,
etc., and the labours of the last-named upon the special class of
Anglo-Saxon documents with which we are concerned, supply ample
materials for the remedy of the last-named defect. And the aid
in this department kindly promised to us by the Rev. John Baron,
M.A., of Queen's College, Oxford, the careful and learned editor of
Johnson's English Canons^ will enable us we trust, notwithstanding
otir own very imperfect knowledge of Anglo-Saxon, to make ade-
quate use of them.

In respect to the collection of additional materials and their criti-
cal use, it is obvious that abundant helps have become accessible since
the days of Wilkins, although until now no attempt has been made
to employ them in one great and complete work. Not only are addi-
tional collections of MSS., as every one knows, now open, but both
their contents and those of other collections have been very largely
searched, and catalogued, and published in print. Of printed works,


the Anglo-Saxon Charters collected by Kemble, or in Thorpe's Diplo-
matar'ium^ — the laborious editions of Penitentials, and of Anglo-Saxon
laws, due to Kunstmanna^Wasserschlebenb^ Thorpe, and Schmidc^ —
the publications of the Record Commission, and especially (as bringing
together critically and thoroughly the entire series of historical sources
for the ante-Norman history of Church as well as State) the Monu-
menta Historica Brhannica^ and Mr. Hardy's Descriptive Catalogue of
MSS. relating to the History of Great 'Britain and Ireland (so far as it
is yet published), — with other scattered sources of information too
numerous to specify, — not only supply additional documents, many
of them previously buried in MSS. and unknown, but furnish also
copious critical help in their selection and arrangement. And the
specially ecclesiastical volume of the Ancient Laivs and Institutes
of England (Rec. Comm. 1840), although singularly unfortunate in
its choice of documents to be published, adds to our store never-
theless some that are both important and previously not in
print, in addition to the improved Anglo-Saxon text and English
version of Anglo-Saxon documents already referred to. Liverani ^
also, and above all Theinere, have so far disclosed the secrets
of the Vatican, as to furnish very much of additional material,
the latter principally for early mediseval Irish and Scottish Church
history; while they increase our curiosity to learn something more
still of the untold wealth of like documents, still waiting (we sup-
pose) for the kingdom of Italy to make them entirely accessible to
European scholars. Kunstmann, and with a more than German
thoroughness, Wasserschleben, as above mentioned, prosecuting enqui-
ries and investigations started by Knust, Mone, Hildenbrand, and
others, have critically and almost thoroughly exhausted the store
of Continental MSS. of Irish or Anglo-Saxon Penitentials, and have
left to us in that particular department the task only of using the

•'» F. Kunstmann, Die Lateinischen Poniten- und vermehrte Auflage : Leipzig 1858.
tialbiicher ' der Angel-Sachsen, mit geschicht- "1 Franc. Liverani, Spicilegium Liberianum :

liche einleitung : Mainz 1S44. Florent. 1864.

b F. W. H. Wasserschleben, Die Bussordnun- >-' Vetera Monumenta Hibernorum et Scotoium

gen der Abendlandischen Kirche, nebst einer Historiam illustrantia. quae ex Vaticani, Neapolis,

rechtsgeschichtlichen einleitung : Halle 1S51. ac Florenliaj Tabulariis depronipsit et ordine

"= Reinhold Schmid, Die Gesetze der Angel- chronologico disposuit Aug. Theiner, Presb.

Saciisen : in der Ursprache mit ijbersetzung und Congr. Oratorii etc. Ab Honorio PP. lil

Elauterungen herausgegeben, etc. Erster Theil : usque ad Paulum PP. IIL, 1216-I247: Roma?

Leipzig 1832. Zvveite, voUig umgearbeitete 1864.


additional but important MSS. (unknown to them) in the Bodleian
Library and in that of C. C. C. Cambridge. There still remain,
among the valuable MSS. at S. Gall, some Irish Canons and frag-
ments of liturgies, etc. yet unpublished, which will enrich our
collection of early Irish documents.

All the works, however, above named are either restricted to
special departments of Wilkins's comprehensive subject, or include
also foreign documents of the class they treat of, or simply help to
elucidate the Church history of the period. The task is still left to
be done, which we now hope to do, of combining and employing
all these various classes of information, in the preparation of a
single and complete series of the documentary evidence of the Church
history of these islands prior to the Reformation.

To specify a few particulars in a little more detail. — i. The
'' Origines" of the British Church were added by Wilkins as an
appendix at the end of his work, by an afterthought. And he
has merely reprinted there Spelman's long since obsolete specu-
lations upon the subject. The few documents relating to it at
the beginning of his first volume, like the mythical council held
by Ine A.D. 712, are almost all pure fable. For the period then
antecedent to the Saxon invasion, which has left behind no docu-
mentary evidence whatever of its own, we have thought it best to
collect and arrange every Patristic or Continental allusion to the
British Church that can be found. The period which follows, that
of S. David and the settlement of the Welsh Church, is somewhat
better provided from its own stores, although (with the exception
of Gildas) the preservation of such fragmentary remains as it has left,
is due either to Brittany or to Irish Churchmen. The former source
supplies some Penitential Canons (published first by Martene and
Durand) ; interesting, besides their curious contrast with the legen-
dary conception of the British Church of that time, as throwing
back the beginning of the great development of the Penitential
system in the West, which is usually attributed to Theodore, to the
Celtic Churches which he found in these islands. The latter have
preserved fragments of what seems like a second Ephtola of Gildas
(hitherto, in part, unpublished). The non-historical portion of Gildas'
well-known first Efistola is also here reprinted, as bearing upon the


probable hypothesis of a special British Old Latin Version of the
Bible : a supposition confirmed by the discovery also of a few frag-
ments of (apparently) such a version, here published for the first
time. The series, which follows, of the documents of the Welsh
Church down to the time of its absorption into the English, is one
now for the first time made, and has been collected (as will be
seen) from various sources, as e. g. from Peckham's Register, from
the Vatican Transcripts in the British Museum, etc., etc., but in
particular from the original MS., now again come to light, of the
Lii>er Landavensis^ and from the extracts from the Red Book of
S. Asaph preserved among the Peniarth (formerly Hengwrt) MSS. :
for the courteous loan of which two MSS. we desire to record our
obligations, respectively, to P. Davies Cooke, Esq., of Owston, co.
York, and W. W. E. Wynne, Esq., of Peniarth. It need hardly be
added, that we have taken our extracts from Howel Dda's Laws
from Mr. Aneurin Owen, not from Dr. Wotton.

2. The late lamented Mr. Robertson's unwearied research and his-
torical skill have anticipated a large portion of our labours in respect
to the Northern Churches of the island. His volumes of Scottish Coun-
cils (in the modern sense of the word Scottish) have already digested
and arranged the greater part of the mass of material relating to
the subject accumulated in various antiquarian publications or else-
where, and have advanced largely upon Father Innes's brief outline
prefixed to Wilkins. The task still remains for ourselves of working
up also the fragmentary information relating to the period before
King David, where Mr. Robertson begins j a task largely facilitated
by such publications as Mr. Skene's Early " Chronicles" of Scotland
(Edinb. 1867).

3. The labours of Dr. Reeves, Dr. Todd, Mr. King, and of the
other and non-ecclesiastical members of that great band of Irish
scholars who have recently converted Irish early history and arche-
ology out of an almost proverbial chaos of wild and uncertified
fable into something approaching to coherent and critically digested
knowledge, render it now possible, almost for the first time, to pro-
duce a similarly sifted and critically arranged and edited series of
Irish Church documents of the ante-Norman period. The S. Gall
MSS. enable us to add the interesting collection of Irish Canons,


which was made apparently for Irish continental monasteries and
missions in the early part of the 8th century, and of which hitherto
only a few extracts have appeared in print (viz. in D'Achery, and
in Martene and Diirand). The same source, and other Swiss
libraries, supply also some Irish liturgical fragments, published for
the first time (with the exception of one, which is also in a printed
but unpublished report of the Record Commission) in Bishop Forbes's
Preface to the Arhuthnot Missal. A Penitential of Vinniaus (S. Finian),
and other Irish Penitential Canons, collected by Wasserschleben, repre-
sent in our collection that class of Irish early documents. The work
of the kind attributed to Cummian, and which largely coincides with
the genuine Theodore, contains also so much that comes from later
sources, as to make it plain, either (if the well-known Cummian, who
wrote upon the Easter controversy about A.D. 634, be the author
of it) that we have only in our MSS. a work founded upon his, or
(if the work as it stands is to be assigned to some other Cummian)
that its compiler lived as late as the 8th century, when there cer-
tainly was a Bishop Cummian at Bobbio, viz. about A.D. 711-744
(see Wasserschleben's Einleitung, pp. 64, 65). The latter seems the
more likely guess. And the document, so far as it is not mere
repetition, will be placed by us according to that date. All these
departments of our work are in effect additional to Wilkins, who
was acquainted very scantily with their subjects.

But there remains very much to be done in even, 4. the Anglo-
Saxon period, upon which Wilkins bestowed especial pains, and
which Mr. Thorpe has handled subsequently. Mr. Kemble's char-
ters have disclosed a number of additional councils, although none
of much importance; besides throwing a great deal of light upon
questions of date or of genuineness. And Mr. Thorpe's ecclesias-
tical volume oi Ancient Latus adds as we have said some valuable
documents, such e. g. as that which he entitles Institutes of Polity^
Civil and Ecclesiastical^ and again iElfric's Pastoral Epistle^ and that
entitled ^)j4ando Dividis Chrisma^ besides some minor additions. In
the department however both of codes or digests of canons gene-
rally, and of penitential canons, both Wilkins and Thorpe are
unfortunate. The Uber Legum Ecclesiasticarum^ which is one of the
two representatives of the former class in Wilkins, and is repro-


duced as " Ecclesiastical Institutes'' by Thorpe, is (as Wilkins himself
tells us, from Johnson) a translation of a work of Bishop Theodulf
of Orleans, who flourished c. A.D. 797.

Penitentials are in still worse plight. Wilkins, omitting all
Irish or other Celtic documents of the kind, exhibits only one
specimen of those of Anglo-Saxon times, viz. the Penitential attri-
buted by him (as by others) to Egbert, which is in large part a
mere translation into Anglo-Saxon of three books of Halitgar of
Cambray, who flourished about A.D. 825. Mr. Thorpe, reprinting
a better text and translation of this, but still as Egbert's, has
added, under the pseudonym of Theodore's Penitential, the first
half, arbitrarily severed from the remainder, of what is really a
Frankish Penitential of the 9th century j of which Spelman, know-
ing nothing but its table of contents, had guessed that it was
the lost work of Theodore. And Kunstmann, noticing the diffi-
culty of the case, has followed Thorpe. The English editor indeed
has published only a part of the document in question, which
stands as a single whole in the MS. (C. C. C. C. 190, marked O by
him) ; omitting without notice six chapters at its commencement,
and twenty-two at its close, and the whole story of Furseus (as found
in Bseda) at the end of c. 45 j while he severs the last two chapters
of the portion which he does print (putting them in different type
from the rest) as plainly later than Theodore, and leaves the reader
to suppose that the MS. ended with them. The very title and
contents of the first chapter of the portion thus groundlessly cut
away from the rest for publication, sufficiently prove, that a work
written when the " Orientales provtncia G^rmania et Saxonia" con-
tained settled Christian Churches, and by a writer who had '•'■ learned
by experience" the customs of those Churches, could not possibly
be the work of one, in whose days those parts of Germany were sunk
in heathenism, and of whose life we know enough from Bseda to
know certainly that he never could have been in Germany at all. The
first paragraphs also of c. 20 are from a Roman Council of A.D. 721.
And other portions are from still later sources, as from Charle-
magne's Capitular e Ecclesiasticum of A.D. 789, and from Halitgar in
829 (see Wasserschleben, Einl. p. 18). And the entire Penitential
belongs to the Frankish family of such documents. Moreover, there


is literally no ground for assigning it to Theodore beyond the guess
of Spelman, who had never seen it. The genuine Penitential of the
great Archbishop (so to call it, — for it is in truth a general collec-
tion of canons not exclusively penitential, and it was not composed
by Theodore at all, which accounts for Bseda's omitting to mention
it, but was compiled by a disciple as a record of Theodore's de-
cisions), lies after all side by side with that which has thus figured
under its name, in the library of Corpus College at Cambridge. It is
in C. C. C. C. 320 (designated N by Mr. Thorpe, and by some unac-
countable oversight described by him as Cott. Tib. A 3, although
he gives its locality correctly in his Preface) j the MS., at the end
of which are the verses addressed to Bishop Hseddi, printed by
Mr. Thorpe, and which contains also the various readings (if those
can be so called, which are taken from one work and applied to
another and totally different one) printed also by Mr. Thorpe as
from N. Internal evidence led ourselves to pronounce this to be
the genuine Theodore. And the identical document has we find been
printed as Theodore's by Wasserschleben from ten foreign MSS., one
of them professedly a copy from the Cambridge MS. itself, while
another contains an express statement that the work was compiled
from the mouth of Theodore, and " consiliante venerabili Theodoro
Archiepiscopo/' and by a " discipulus Umbrensium" for the benefit
of the '' Angli," the greater part of it having been communicated
by Theodore first to one Eoda a presbyter. Obligation also to a
" libellus Scotorum," but to no other preceding work, is specially
acknowledged. The existence in the work of all the quotations
professing to come from Theodore's Penitential, — a fact for which
we must here refer ourselves to Wasserschleben, — and the parenthe-
tical remark of the scribe (twice, viz. in I. v. 2, and 6), that he
could hardly believe such and such a canon to have come from
Theodore, — with other arguments for which we must here refer to
Wasserschleben, — confirm the inference from suitability of contents,
and render it certain that here at length we have the genuine work.

The genuine Penitential of Baeda has also been discovered and
published from foreign MSS. by the same Wasserschleben. It had
previously lain hid in numerous works of the kind, founded upon it,
but (as is usually the case with such compositions) enlarged and


altered by subsequent Church authorities ad libitum: e.g. in the
works, one with Bseda's name and another without it, commonly
styled De Remediis Peccatorum ; both of which appear to have been
all but entirely made up of the shorter and genuine document
found by Wasserschleben and of a similar document belonging to

The last-named Archbishop has suffered even more in the same
way, viz. by the assigning to him of later compilations f, founded upon
his, but with much the same latitude with which our own work is
" founded " upon that of Wilkins. We have first a short Peniten-
tial, found by Wasserschleben in a Vienna MS. and elsewhere, and
especially also in one at S. Gall j which is attributed by its title to
Egbert, is independent of other documents in its contents, refers
to nothing subsequent to his date, and generally is suitable to
him as its compiler. And at the end of this are added in the
Vienna MS. two chapters, the second professing to be made up
" de dictis sancti Bonifacii Archiepiscopi" or, as it stands in another
entirely different compilation which happens to quote the same
chapter, " edictio sancti Bonifacii " while the MS. at S. Gall (which
Wasserschleben apparently had not himself seen) adds at the end,
but without these additional chapters, the words '■'■ editio Bonifacii
Episcopi." The constant interchange of MSS. between Egbert and
Boniface is known from Boniface's own letters j and those who
used in Germany the Penitential of the former, might naturally
add to their copy some further rules made by the latter. Here
then we believe we have the genuine and original work of the
York Archbishop. For we have, next, two works, as above said,
De Remediis Feccatorum^ one with Bseda's name, the other without it,
sometimes assigned to Bseda and sometimes to Egbert, but really
made up almost wholly of the two shorter and (as here assumed)
genuine works of both. And then, thirdly, we find in Bodl. MSS.
718 (a loth century MS., and one of Bishop Lcofric's valuable gifts

* That which Wilkins and Thorpe call Egbert's the smallest possible exception, of extracts from

Penitential, is, as above said, really a part of the genuine Theodore and Egbert themselves.

Halitgar's, and does not appear even to profess MS. S. Gall 243, which contains the Irish

to be Egbert's. His " Confessional," also in Canons, is styled Egbert's Penitential by mistake

Wilkins and Thorpe, claims only to be, and may in the S. Gall Catalogue, because its scribe's name

well be, a translation merely by Egbert from happens to have been Eadberct.
Latin into Saxon; and is really made up, with


to his cathedral, unknown to Wasserschleben) a very long and elabo-
rate treatise, described (in a title placed after the contents of its
first Book) as Excerptio de Canotiibus etc. penitentialis libr'i ad remedium
animarum Ecgberhu Archiepiscopi Ehurac^e Ctvitatis ,• but with this title
limited expressly (by the closing words of that book) to the first
book of the treatise, while the other three are " excerpts " from
Fathers, Canons, etc., and contain a systematically arranged trea-
tise, compiled by a member of a religious house at the bidding of his
rector, but without the slightest reference to Egbert. And the first
book of this compilation contains the identical genuine work of
Egbert as already assumed; but i. prefixes to it %i capltula^ mani-
festly belonging to time and country of Frank Emperors, the 7th
of them directing prayers to be made "pro vita et imperio domini
Imperatoris et filiorum ac filiarum salute j" and 2. inserts after it,
but apparently as Egbert's, forms of prayer and litanies etc. for con-
fession, which are certainly (judging by the invocations) Anglo-Saxon.
Lastly, we have, in Cott. MSS. Nero A. i, and in C. C. C. C. K. 3
(a Worcester MS.), these same 21 capitula^ followed by two com-
paratively short series of excerpts, agreeing largely but by no means
entirely both with each other and with the much longer series in the
Bodl. MS. Bk. IV., and both attributed to Egbert ; the first of them
printed as Egbert's Excerptiofpes by Wilkins and Thorpe, the second
abstracted and in part translated by Johnson, and both of them con-
taining extracts from the capitularies of Charles the Great. And
we have also a further statement of Leland and Bale, that " Hucarus
Levita," a Cornishman of probably the 1 1 th century, prefixed to some
homilies of his own, now lost, certain " Excerptiones Egberti." The
inference seems naturally to follow upon the case thus stated, that
the shorter work first named is the only genuine one, — that Bodl.
MSS. 718 is only Egbert's as regards this portion of its first Book,
and perhaps the confessional appended to that portion, — and that