Becomes Abbot, Bishop and Archbishop

Book 2, Chapter 8, Edwy the Fair from 955 AD to 975 – Dunstan

All the monks, subject to him, were commanded in the morning to learn and to sing it, while Dunstan shouted his protestations of the truth of the vision. To the credulous, the assertion of Dunstan was sufficient evidence of this impious story. The more investigating were silenced by attempts to allegorise it. The mother so married was Dunstan’s church in its new reformation. Thus, whether it was believed literally, or interpreted allegorically, Dunstan derived from it the benefit he wished. It would seem that many thought him mad, but as his madness was systematically, persevering, and popular, it was more generally believed to be prophetic intuition.

The see of Crediton was offered to him by King Edred, but he refused it, on the pretence of unfitness. The king entreated his mother to invite him to dinner, and to add her persuasions, but Dunstan declared he could not leave the king, and would not, in his days, even accept the metropolitan honour. He went home. In the morning he told the king he had seen a vision, in which Saint Peter struck him, and said, “This is your punishment for your refusal, and a token to you not to decline hereafter the primacy of England.” The king saw not the art of his friend, but interpreting the vision to his wishes, declared that it foretold he was to be the archbishop of Canterbury. In 957 he was appointed Bishop of Winchester by King Edgar, and three years afterwards he attained to the primacy on the death of Odo. Thus he acquired the highest ecclesiastical dignity in England at the comparatively early age of thirty five years, and henceforward his career was one of unbroken prosperity and triumph, both as a prelate and as a statesman.  

Chapter 8, Edwy the Fair


Origin of Anglo Saxon Surnames

Conflicting Testimony Concerning Edwy

Incident on His Coronation Day

Treatment of Elgiva

Edgar the Pacific

Chapter 8, Origin of Monasteries in England

Introduction of Celibacy

Their Rules and Practice

The Benedictines

Chapter 8, Dunstan

Sketch of Dunstan

His Alleged Visions and Miracles

Becomes Abbot, Bishop and Archbishop

Chapter 8, Archbishop Dunstan and the Clergy

His Character and Policy

Aided by Bishops Oswald and Ethelwald

The Secular Clergy Supplanted by the Monks

King Edgar’s Private Life

The Worth of the Eulogies Pronounced on Him by the Monks

The Canons of Edgar

His Position Among the Anglo-Saxon Kings

Policy Towards the Danes of Northumbria


Categories: Book 2

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