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A charter of Kenred, In An Evesham Cartulary

A charter of Kenred, In An Evesham Cartulary

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1405

Shelfmark: Harley MS 3763

Item number: f.66v

Length: 25.6

Width: 17.6

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated Manuscript

St Ecgwine, bishop of Worcester, founded Evesham in 700, in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia. This cartulary, or book of charters, is one of two which survive from Evesham, along with a 'Book of the Acts of the Abbots', which Thomas of Marlborough put together in the 1220s. Charters can represent important documentary sources for study of medieval history and society, but sometimes they were 'tweaked' in the middle ages for purposes beyond documentation. For example, they could be used to create a house history, an assemblage which usually veers into a literary category. The Evesham Cartularies seem to belong with that group, as their contents show little consistency with each other.

Among the documents on this page, a charter of Kenred, king of Mercia (704-709), supports Ecgwin in his efforts to establish an abbey dedicated to the Virgin at the site where she appeared in a vision to Eoves (a herdsman after whom Evesham was named) and the bishop. The names of Brithwold, archbishop of Canterbury, and Waldhere, bishop of London, appear among the witnesses.

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