Visit Winchester > Events > A Tale of Two Royal Charters

A Tale of Two Royal Charters

21 Sep 2019

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As a royal foundation the New Minster, Winchester (established by King Edward the Elder in 901 as a dynastic mausoleum for the family of Alfred the Great) had a close relationship with successive kings in the 10th and 11th centuries.

Prof. Simon Keynes (Professor of Anglo-Saxon, and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge) will talk about the special interest of two royal charters given to the New Minster, which illustrate the active involvement of the monarchs in maintaining the status, the role and the wealth of the institution.

In 966 King Edgar, working closely with Æthelwold, bishop of Winchester, issued a splendidly ornate and illustrated 60-page charter which protected the newly established community of Benedictine monks in the New Minster from any threats to its rights or autonomy.

Over 50 years later, in 1019, very soon after the conquest of England by Canute of Denmark, the New Minster fell victim to a land-grab of its manor at Drayton ( north of Winchester) by a young English fraudster. The claim was resisted, and the charter (now in the archives of Winchester College, and celebrating its 1,000th anniversary this year) was issued by King Canute to re-confirm the rights of the New Minster.

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Free

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3pm