Edgar, King of the English:
Grant of Exemption from Taxation to Glastonbury, 965
The varieties of taxes and tolls from which a monastery might be exempt were
specifically mentioned in King Edgar's charter to Glastonbury.
In consequence, it seems proper that the church of the most blessed mother of God,
the eternal virgin Mary, of Glastonbury, inasmuch as it has always possessed the chief
dignity in my kingdom, should be honoured by us with some especial and unusual privilege.
Dunstan, therefore, and Oswald, archbishops of Canterbury and York, exhorting thereto, and
Brithelm, bishop of Wells, and other bishops, abbots, and chiefs assenting and approving,
I, Edgar, by the grace of God, King of the English, and ruler and governor of the adjacent
nations, in the name of the blessed Trinity, for the soul of my father who reposes there,
and of my predecessors, do by this present privilege decree, appoint, and establish, that
the aforesaid monastery and all its possessions shall remain free and exonerated from all
payments to the Exchequer now and forever: they shall have soc and sac, on stronde
and on wude, on felde, on grithbrice, on burghrice, hundredsetena, and mortheras, athas,
and ordelas, ealle hordas bufan corthan, and beneothan: infangentheof, utfangentheof,
flemenefertha, hamsocne, friderbrice, foresteal, toll and team, just as free and
peaceably as I have in my kingdom: let the same liberty and power also as I have in my own
court, as well in forgiving as in punishing, and in every other matter, be possessed by
the abbot, and monks of the aforesaid monastery within their court....
J. A. Giles, ed., William of Malmesbury's Chronicle of the Kings of England,
(London: H. G. Bohn, 1847), Book II, p. 150; reprinted in Roy C. Cave & Herbert H.
Coulson, A Source Book for Medieval Economic History, (Milwaukee: The Bruce
Publishing Co., 1936; reprint ed., New York: Biblo & Tannen, 1965), p. 361.
Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by
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© Paul Halsall, October 1998