M. (Paul) Rapin de Thoyras.

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conteft between the two Metropolitans, which was not de-
cided 'till many ages after. Alcuinus gives Egbert, whom
he calls his mafter, the character of an able and learned
Prelate, and takes notice of his building a librarv at York,
and furnifhing it with a noble collection of Books. Ean-
bald, who fucceeded Egbert, was living at the time of the
difiblution of the Heptarchy.

The C h it r c h of W E S S E X.

IT does not appear, that Aujl'tn fent any of his com-
panions to preach the Gofpel in the kingdom of
Weffex. It was not 'till forty years after his arrival in
Britain that the Wejl-Saxons were converted by the mi-
niftry of Birinus. This Prieft, zealous for the advance- 634.
ment of the kingdom of Chrift, being informed there Ecic ' 3 "
were ftill in England nations to whom the Golpel was
unpreached, defircd Pope Honorius to fend him thi-
ther (1). His requeft being granted, he received the epif-
copal character, and fet out for England, not know ing
for certain on what nation providence would tlirow him,
or on whom in particular he defigned to lay out his cha-
ritable care. He accidentally arrived in the kingdom of
IVcJJ'ex ; and finding the inhabitants Idolaters, refolved to
ftay among them and endeavour their converfion. After
fome time he had the fatisfadtion to baptize Cinigifil the
King, and Quicelm hi? Brother (2). 80011 after Birinus °3 5-
found his Audience very numerous, multitudes following !' . n "
the example of their Kings. He continued for four- „ , ,
teen years to edify his converts by his dilcourfes and c . 7.'
example, and at length, after a confiderable progrefs,
died at Dorchejler, where he had built a Ciiurch and fixed
his epifcopal See.

After Birinus's death, Weffex was involved in frefh
troubles. Cenowalch, who fucceeded his father Cinigi-
fil, being as yet a Pagan, was no favourer of the Chri-
ltians. But what was ftill worfe, Penda King of Mercia
became mafter of the kingdom and kept it three years,
Cenowalch being forced to fly into Eajl-Anglia. It may
be eafily judged Chriftianity, during thele three years,
made no great progrefs. Befides Peuda's being an Ido-
later, it is unlikely religion fhould flourifh in the midft of
wars and commotions. Cenowalch had the good fortune
to be converted during his retreat in Eajl-Anglia, and af-
terwards to be reftored to his dominions. The peaceable
times that enfued afforded him means to promote religion
again in Weffex, where, after Birinus's death, none had
been very forward to go and ftrengthen the new Chrifti-
ans. Whilft the King was looking out for fome fit per-
fon to preach to his fubjects, Agilbert a French Man, $ '
who was juft come from his ftudies in Ireland, paficd
through Winchifter in his way home. Cenowalch having
feen him, invited him to ftay with him, and inftruct the
people. Agilbert complied with his requeft ; and being
confecrated Bifhop, went and refided at Dorchejler. But
as he had not the gift of languages, he made but little
progrefs. Cenowalch perceiving he could not learn the
Englijh tongue, and that it was impofiible his fubjects
fhould edify by the inftructions of one who fpoke to them
in a foreign dialect, began to grow weary of him. At ,- /•
length he divided his kingdom into two Diocefes, and
leaving Agilbert at Dorchejler, made one Wina a Saxon
that had been bred and confecrated in France, Bifhop of
Winchefler (3). Agilbert could not bear the King fhould
make this partition without confulting him, much lefs
that he fhould give the preference to the new Bifhop by
placing him in his capital. His complaints upon this oc-
cafion not being much regarded, lie took his leave and re-
tired into France, where he was made Bifhop of Paris.
He returned afterwards into England, to affift at the council
of Whitlry. In the mean time, Cenowalch not agreeing ccr
with Wina, difmiffed him alfo.

Weffex remaining thus without a Bifhop (4), and Eccle-
fiafticks fit for fuch an employment not being very com-
mon in England, Cenowalch would have recalled Agilbert,
who did not think proper to quit Paris for Winchejler.
However, he made an offer to the King of his Nephew
Eleutherius, a Prieft, whom he recommended, as well
qualified for the epifcopal function. Eleutherius being ac-
cepted of, and confecrated by Theodorus, became fole Bi- • °-
fhop of the We/l-Saxons.

After the death of Cenowalch, Weffex was troubled with
civil wars for ten years. Eleutherius dying during the ,!* ' '"
troubles, was fucceeded by Hcda ; after whofe death,
the number of Chriftians being very much increaled in
Weffex, it was found ncceffary to divide the kingdom

(1) Bcde fays, he undertook their Converfion by the Advice of Pope Hcmriui, 1. 3. c. 7.

(2) Hirden relates from fome ancient Chronicles, that King Ciirigifil gave all the Lands feven Miles round Winebtfitr tor the crtfting an Epifcopal Sec

) tr.gaen relates rrom icme aneicin tjjiuii^its, nu. m^ ...»..£./.. t .. .*. «... ..... ...-.■. .v . . .. .....

in that City, and for the Maintenance of the Pcrfons that were to officiate in the Cathedral, ;. 232.
I Where Ctmr.valih built a fine Cathedral. V/.MahnJb. p. 13.


(4) And that for a confiderable time. Butt, 1.3. c. 7.


Book III.

The Church »/ MERCIA.


again into two Diocefes, the Sees whereof were fixed at
IVinchefler and Sherborn. Daniel was made Bifhop ot the
tuft and Aldhtlm of the laft, who was nephew to King
fiia and the rirft Englijhman that wrote in Latin, a
language he was better skilled in than any of his coun-
trymen before him. When he was promoted to his Bi-
fhoprick, he was abbot of the Monaftery of Malmsbury,
fo named from Maidulph a Scotch-man the firft abbot,
and Aldhelm, his fuccefibr (i). Fortherc, who, according
to Bede, was well verfed in the Holy Scriptures, was
Bifhop of Sherborn after Aldhelm, and to Daniel fucceeded
Almund in the Bifhoprick of Winchejler. From that time
to the diflblution of the Heptarchy, I meet with no-
thing in the Eccleliaftical Hiftory of Wejfex worth no-

'The Church of MERC I A.

Upon the death of Chad, Thndorus promoted to the 67
See of Lichfield IVinfrid a Prieft, whom he depofed foonBcde,
after for daring to expoftukite with him for afluming too"
great authority over the other Bifhops. He had ferved
another in the fame manner in Northumberland upon the
like account. Saxulph, Abbot of Mcdes-kamfted (1), was
made Bifhop in Winjri&i room. But as the Chriftiars
daily increafed in A'lcrcia, Elhelred, fucceffor to li'itlfcr,

finding, one Bifhop was not fufficient for fo large a flock,






Bede, 1. 3.



Rob. de


Bede, 1. 3
c. 28, 30.
and 1. 4. c



IT was above fifty years after the converfion of Kent,
that the Mercians embraced the Chrijlian Faith. Pen-
da, v/ho fat on the throne of Mercia above thirty years,
was of a too haughty and turbulent fpirit to embrace a
religion fo contrary to his temper and character. How-
ever, divine providence fo ordered matters, that this
Prince was induced, though not to profefs, yet at leaft
to tolerate the Chriftian Religion in his dominions. Pen-
da his eldeft Son, whom he had made King of Leicejler,
being gone to Northumberland to demand Alfieda King
Ofwy's daughter in marriage, could obtain her upon no
other terms but his turning Chriftian (2). Whether the
young Prince was apprehenfive of the fame obftruction
to his marriage in all the other kingdoms, which were
already converted, or had a favourable opinion of Chri-
ftianity, he received baptifm before he left Northumber-
land ( 3 ). At his return, he brought with him four
Priefts, Cedda, Adda, Beti and Diuma, to preach the
Golpel to the Mercians : Which the King his father op-
pofed not, either out of complailance to his Son, or be-
caufe all religions were indifferent to him (4). Diuma,
who was a Scotch-man, and the only Bifhop of the
four, governed the Mercian Church profperoufly for fome
years ; he and his companions having met with a plen-
tiful harveft in Mercia, the largeft of the feven king-
doms, and the laft that was converted. Cellach fucceed-
ed Diuma.

After the death of Pen da, Mercia was fubject three
years to Ofwy King of Northumberland : but he being a
Chriftian, religion received no detriment from that revo-
lution. But when IVulpher afcended the throne, being
yet an idolater, he was carried by a taile zeal to perfecute
his Chriftian Subjects, even to the putting to death two
of his own Sons, who refufed to renounce their Faith, if
they may be credited who relate this fail, which docs
not feem to be well fupported. Happily for the Chriftians
this ftorm was foon blown over, IVulpher being converted
prefently after.

During the perfecution, Cellach retired into Scotland:
So that Mercia being without a Bifhop when IVulpher
embraced the Gofpel, he fent for an Englijh Prieft, na-
med Trumhcre, who had been educated in Scotland, and
caufed him to be confecrated Bifhop of Mercia. To him
fucceeded 'Jaruman, who had the honour of replanting
the Chriftian Religion in the kingdom of Ejfex, as will
. be related hereafter. Upon 'Jarumaris death IVulpher de-
fired Theodorus to fend him a Bifhop. Theodoras gladly
complied with his requeft, as giving him a good opportu-
nity of promoting Chad (5), whom he had deprived of
the See of York, in the manner before related in the hiftory
of the Church of Northumberland. Chad being come to
Mercia, fixed his See at Lichfield (6), where he died, af-
ter he had governed the Church prudently and happily for
many years. I am perfwaded it will not be taken amifs,
that I refer thofe to Bede's Ecclefiaftical Hiftory, who are
defirous of feeing a lift of St. Chad's miracles, and the
hymns the Angels fung in the air over his houfe when he
lay a dying.

. 291.

7 3 4 .

divided his kingdom into four Diocefes, the Sees whereof
were eftabliflied at Lichfield, IVorccJler, Hereford, and 7 1
celler (8). Saxulph continued at Lichfield. Faddric was
fent to IVorceJler, but dying before he was confecrated,
Bofelus was put in his place. Cuthwin was Bifhop of
Leicejler, and Putta of Hereford. After Cuthwin', ^eath
Leicejler was united to Lichfield ; but ibme time after
they were feparated again upon Wilfrid's account, who
was difpoilefled of the See of York, and held not this
long. Hedda fucceeded Saxulph in the Bifhoprick of
Lichfield (9).

I pafs over in filence the particulars of no moment
relating to the Mercian Churches, with the fucceffion of
their Bifhops ( 1 o), to come at the change that happened
in the reign of Offa, by the erecting of Lichfield into an
Archbijhoprici. Ojfa, jealous of the authority exercifed
by the Archbifhop of Canterbury over the Churches of
Mercia, and having befidei. a particular quarrel to Lam-
bert who then filled the Archiepifcopal See, refolved to
withdraw the Churches of Mercia from his jurifdiclion.
To this end, he privately follicited Pope Adrian I. to make
the Bifhop of Lichfield an Archbifhop, and the Bifhops of
Mercia and Eajl-Anglia his Suffragans. The Pope will- s r <™ n
ingly confented to his requeft, as glad of the opportunity, n<
by obliging this Prince, to extend over the Church of
England his jurifdiction, which was not yet thoroughly
fubmitted to, or at leaft not to that degree he defircd.
With this view he fent Gregory Bifhop of OJiia, and Theo-
phylacl Bifhop of Todi, with the character of Legates to
tranfadt this affair. To prevent Lambert from taking
meafures to avoid the blow that v/as aiming at him,
the fending of thefe Legates was pretended to be on account
of calling Synods in England for confirming the Churches
in the Faith. Upon the arrival of the Legates, Theophylatl
ftayed fome time with Offa to concert mealures how to
accomplifh their defigns, whilft Gregory went on to Nor-
thumberland, where he convened a Synod, of which I fhall
fpeak in another place. At his return to Mercia, the two
Legates fummoned a national council of the feven king-
doms at Calcuith, where King Offa was prefent. After
ratifying the Canons ot the Northumberland-Synod, the
erecting of Lichfield into an Archiepifcopal See was propofed.
Lambert oppofed it to the utmoft of his power, but all in
vain. The matter having been fettled before-hand, the
authority of Offa and the Legates bore down all oppofition,
Higbert, then Bifhop of Lichfield was declared an Arch-
bifhop, and the Bifhops of Mercia and Eajl-Anglia were
made his Suffragans (n). He was prevented by death from
receiving the Pall, but Adulph his fucceffor, had that ho-
nour from the Pope, who ratified what the council had
done. Some are of opinion Offa purchafed this favour
with the tax of the Peter-Pence levied on Mercia and
Eajl-Anglia : but this is only a groundlefs conjecture.
Lichfield enjoyed the title of an Archbifhoprick not above
fourteen years. After the death of Offa and Egfirid his Son,
Cenulph was fo far prevailed upon by the preffing inftances
of the Archbifhops of Canterbury and York, who reprefent-
ed to him, that according to the regulation of Gregory I.
there ought to be but two Archbifhops in England, that
he wrote to the Pope with his own hand, to defire him
to put things upon the ancient foot again. Adclard, Arch-
bifhop of Canterbury, took upon him the management of
this affair at Rome, where (after a nine years follicitation)
he obtained of Pope Leo III. that Mercia and Eajl-Anglia
fhould again be under the jurifdiction of the See of Can-
terbury. From that time to the reign of Egbert nothing
remarkable relating to the Church happened in Mercia,
except the Councils, of which I intend to fpeak elfewhere.



(1) Maidulph- Aldhelm-bury , by contraction Malmjhury, i. e. the tomb of Maidulph and Aldhelm. Rapin. Aldhelm was alive in Bede's time.
1. 5. c. 19.

(2) Bede lays, that upon his having preach'd to him the doctrines of a heavenly Kingdom, of a RefurreSrion, and future Immortality, he decla-
red he would embrace the Chriftian Religion, even though he were not to have the young Princefs in marriage. Bede, 1. 5. c. 21.

(3) With all his Attendants. Bede, ibid.

(4) Hei~eems to havL- acted upon another principle, if what Bede relates be true, that he hated and defpifed thofe, who, after they had embraced Chri-
stianity, lived in a manner unbecoming their prutelhun: laying. They were defpicable wretches, who would not obey their God in whom they believed.
I.3. c. 11.

(5) Or Ceadda. Bide.

(6) This was a very large Dioceft, comprehending the country of the Mercians, Middle-Angles, and what was afterwards called Lincoln. For
fo far King Wulfers dominions extended. Bede , 1. 4. c. 3.

(7) Afterwards Peteibaougb.

(8) Or rather Chejler.

(9) Etbelhald, King of Mercia, dikharged all the Monafteries and Churches of his kingdom from all publick Taxes, Impefitiotis, &c. except Pontage, and
the Tax tor building of Forts. Ingulpb, p. 5. Spelman Cone. Vol.1, p. 157.

(10) See them in Mahnjh. de Gejhs Pontif. Gervas, &c.

(11) Viz.. the Bifhops of kVtrceJler, Leicejler, Sinacejhr, Hereford, Helmbam, Dommuc, Vit. Offa* apud Mat. Paris. See alfo SpeJm, Cone. Vol.I.
p. 302. and Camden,

2 Th:



Vol. L


Bedc, 1. I

c. 2,j. and
Kb. 2.
c > 3» 5> 6.

m 4.

BeJc, 1.



Bede, I.3.
c. 30.



G. Pontif.
J. 2.


The Church of E S S E X,

'ELLITUS one of the Alijfionaries fent over to
Aujlin, was the firft that preached the Gofpel to the
Eajl-Saxons, particularly at London. As far as can be
ind^,'d, he made no great progrefs among the people.
Probably what fuccefs he met with was entirely owing to
the authority of Sebert King of Ejfcx, and Ethclbert King
oi Kent (1); fince upon their deaths, all the Eajl-Saxon
Chriftians fell back to Paganifm, and expelled Mcllitus
(2), without ever admitting him any more. The con-
verfion therefore of the Ea/i-Saxons is not properly to be
dated from this time, but rather from die reign of Sige-
bert the Good. This Prince living in Uriel: friendihip
with OJhvy King of Northumberland, and paying him fre-
quent vifits, had the good fortune to be initructed in the
knowledge of the Gofpel at his court, where he was bap-
tized. He brought home with him Cedd, a Northumbrian
Prieft, of whom I have fpoken before, and who being
confecrated Bifhop, heartily fet about inftruding the Eajl-
Saxons, among whom in a fhort time he made a very great
pro°Tcfs (3). He was the only Scotch Man that after the
council of JVhitby was unwilling to leave his flock, tho'
the controverfy about Eafter was decided contrary to his
opinion. Nay, he went fo far as to blame Column and the
reft of his countrymen, for deferring their flocks for a mat-
ter of fo little moment. His ftrid adherence to ecclefi-
ajlkal difcipline was the occalion of Sigebcrt's, death, or at
leaft was pretended to be fo, as was laid in the hiftory of
the kingdom of EJfex. As Cedd went often to Northum-
berland, where he had fpent great part of his life, Adel-
walt King of De'i'ra, made him a prefent of certain lands
lying near Lejlingham, where he founded a monaftery.
Thither he ull-d to retire and pradife the greateft Aujleri-
ties. Here alio it was that he died of the plague after he
had governed the Church of EJfex feveral years. Bcdc,
who gives Cedd great encomiums, and mentions his au-
ftere way of living,, takes occafion from thence to fay, that
Fajling was religioully pradifed by all who pretended to
any thing of a regular life, and adds, that fome farted
every Wednefday and Friday 'till three o'clock in the after-
noon. The Saxon Homilies alfo molt earneftly recommend
Fajling; but withal take care to warn Chriftians againft
over-ading their part in this refped, as fome did, and talk
very rationally upon this article.

After the death of Sigebert the Good, and Swithelm his
brother, it happened that in the reign of Sebba and Sigcr
the plague raged terribly in the kingdom of EjJ'ex, particu-
larly at London. Siger being perfuaded that the plague was
fent upon the Etjl-Saxons, as a punifhment from the Gods
for abandoning the religion of their anceftors, returned
to idolatry, and drew after him thofe of his fubjeds who
had not been thoroughly converted. But Scbba ftedfaftly
adhered to the Chriftian Religion. JVulpbcr King of Mer-
cia, on whom thefe two Princes were then in dependance,
having been informed of what parted in Effex, fent thither
Jaruman his Bifhop to endeavour to reftorc the Eajl-Sax-
ons to the way of truth. Jaruman's pains were crowned
with i'u good fuccefs, that the people at length returned to
the Faith. Shortly after Il'ulpher, who aded as he pleafed
in the Kingdom of Effex, gave the firft inftance oi Simony
in England, by felling the Bilhoprick of London to IVma,
who had been driven from JVinchcjler. He governed the
Church of EJfex 'till his death in 675. His fucceilor was
Erkenzvahl, famous for his great aftedion to the city of
London, as well as for the holinefs of his life, on account
of which he was enrolled in the catalogue of the Saints.
After his deatJia great conteft arofe between the Canons of
St. Paul's at London, and the Monks of Barking, who
fhould bury him. The firft carried their point, and in-
terred him in their Cathedral, where it is affirmed he

wrought feveral miracles (4). It will be needlefs to carry
down the fucccllion of the Bifhops of London to the diflb-
lution of the Heptarchy, fince nothing remarkable happen-
ed concerning them (5).

1"be Church c/East-Anglia.

TH E firft converfion of the Eajl- Angles is faid to Eede, !. 2,
be in the reign of Rcdowald ; but by whom is not c - '5-
known. There is reafon to believe, that during this
Prince's life the Chriftian Religion made no great progrefs
in Eajl-Anglia. All that can be probably conjectur'd is,
that Rcdowald, out of refped for Ethclbert King of Kent
(at whofe court fome fay he was baptized) gave leave to
fome of Aujlin's companions to preach in his dominions,
and perfecuted not thofe who had a mind to embrace the
Gofpel. What is faid of his fuffering the true God and
the Pagan deities to be worfhipped in the fame temple,
feems to infer that he was not himfelf a Chriftian (6), and
that the number of converts in Eajl-Anglia was very in-
confiderable. Thus much at leaft is certain, Chriftianity
flourifh'd not in that kingdom, in his or hi; Sen Erp-
wald's reign (7). And therefore we can't be greatly mi- Bed?, ibid,
ftaken in placing the converfion of the Eaji-Angles in the ani ' '• >
reign of Sigebert, fucceffor to Erpwald. c - lS-

Sigebert, who had fpent great part of his time in France,
where he had been baptized, was thoroughly mftruded in
the Chriftian Religion. When he returned to England to
take poffeflion of the crown, he brought along with him a
Burgundian Prieft, named Felix, whom he got to be con-
fecrated Bilhop of Canterbury. Felix, upon his arrival in
Eajl-Anglia, ufed his utmoft endeavours to bring back to
the right way fuch as were gone aftray, and inftrud thofe
that had not yet any knowledge of the truth. His endea-
vours met with fuch fuccefs, that in a fhort time he had
the pleafure to fee the Eajl-Angles come in crowds to be
baptized. In the mean time, Sigebert knowing nothing
would make more for the benefit of his fubjeds, than per-
manent and continual inftrudions to confirm them in the
Faith, ereded fchools, after the manner of thofe he had
feen in France (8). Some will have it (9) that the Uni-
vtrfity of Cambridge owes its original to thefe fchools; but
tiiis opinion feems not to be well grounded.

Whilft Sigebert was thus employed in works of piety,
he received farther afliftance from one Furfeus an Ir'ifh
Monk, who preached to the Eajl-Angles with good fuc-
cefs. Bedt gives him an extraordinary commendation ; L 3. c, 10,
attributes feveral miracles to him, and affurcs us he was,
like St. Paul, wrapt up into Heaven. This fame Furfeus
built a monaftery at Cnobersburgh ( 1 o), which was largely
endowed at feveral times by the Kings of Eajl-Anglia.
The troubles that arofe after Sigebert's refigning the crown,
obliged Furfeus to retire into France, where he founded the
monartery of Lagny in the jurifdidion of Meaux.

Felix was Bifhop of the Eajl-Angles feventeen years ; Malm*.
his See was fixed at Ditmmoc, a little town by tire Sea-fide, c. Pontif.
now called Dunwich (11). Here it was he had the fatif-
fadion to convert and baptize Cenoivalch King of IVeJJ'ex,
who had fled for refuge into Eajl-Anglia. Felix was fuc-
ceeded by Thomas a deacon of his Church ; after him came
Berehtgijlus, firnamed Boniface, whom Bifus fucceeded.
Bifus being grown old and infirm, Bccca and Badwin were
made his affiftants, and Eajl-Anglia divided into two Dio-
cefes. Becca refided at Dummoc, and Badwin at El/r.bam,
a poor village now in Norfolk. Thefe two Bifhopricks
continued in being, 'till the Danes becoming matters of
Eajl-Anglia, they both lay vacant for above one hundred
years. After which the Diocefe oi Dummoc was united to
that of Elmham : From whence the Epifcopal See was re-
moved toThetford (iz), and afterwards to Norwich (13),
where it remains to this day.

(1) This King Elbelbert founded the Cathedral Church of St. Paul's, about the year 6 10. See Stew's Survey, 1. 3. p. 14.1. Bcdt,].i. c. 3. Malmfb.
p. 235. Tho' others fay it was done by King Sebtrt. See Higden Pelycbrott. p. 227, 228.

(2) In the year 614, Mtllitui, with the afliftance of King Elbelbert, founded a Church and Monaftery near London, in a place called Ihorney ; which
he dedicated to St. Peter: As it lay Weft ot London, it came afterwards to be called Weflmirfttr , Malmfb. p. 235. Sec Stem's Survey, 1.6.

(3) He built feveral Churches, Bedt, 1. 3. c. 22. He taught and baptized chiefly at bhancefier, near the river Pent, fuppofed to be about St. Pcter'i
en tbeWall \n Dengy-Hundred; and at Tllaburg, or tilbury, near the Ibames. One may infer from Bede's words, that he erected fome kind, of Mona-
fteries, or rather Scbooh, there. Sec Btde, 1. 3. c. 22. Camden, in Effex. Hunthgd. p. 333. Brcinpion, &c.

(4) In regard of the miracles wrought at his tomb, as was generally believed, the Corpfe was enclofed in a very rich Shnce, and a great many offerings
of value made at it. In the year 13S6, Robert Braybnke Bilhop of Linden, made a Conftitution for the revival of St. Erkenviald's hoi) -day, which .1
late had been neglected. The folemnity was kept upon the laft day of April. Dugdale's HIJl. of St. Paul's, p. 20, 1S1.

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