John of Worcester. 1038. Æthelnoth, archbishop of Canterbury, departed this life on the fourth of the calends of November [29th September]. Seven days after, Ethelric, bishop of Sussex, died; for he had prayed to God that he might not long survive his beloved father Ethelnoth. Grimkytel succeeded him in the bishopric, and Eadsige, one of the king's chaplains, succeeded Ethelnoth in the archbishopric. In the same year died Ælfric, bishop of East-Anglia, and Brihteag, bishop of the Hwiccas [Worcester], ended his days on Wednesday the third of the calends of January [20th December], whose see king Harold (age 22) gave to Living, bishop of Crediton. Stigand, the king's chaplain, was appointed in Ælfric's place, but was afterwards ejected, and Grimkytel chosen in his stead; so that he held for the tune the two dioceses of Sussex and Essex; but Stigand was restored, and Grimkytel ejected, and Stigand kept the bishopric of Sussex for himself, and procured that of East-Anglia for his brother Ethelmar; but not satisfied with this, he was raised to the thrones of Winchester and Canterbury: he also strove hard to hold with them the bishopric of Sussex, and nearly carried his point. Ethelmar; was succeeded by Ærfast, bishop of Elmham, who, lest he should have seemed to have done nothing—for the Normans are very ambitious of future renown—transferred the see from Elmham to Thetford.
In 1047 Bishop Æthelmaer was consecrated Bishop of Elmham.
John of Worcester. 04 Apr 1070. In the octaves of Easter [4th April] a great synod was held at Winchester, by command of king William (age 42), who was present himself, and with the concurrence of the lord Alexander the pope; his legates, Ermenfrid, bishop of Sion, and John and Peter, cardinal-priests of the apostolic see, representing his authority. In this synod, Stigand, archbishop of Canterbury, was degraded on three charges: first, for having unlawfully held the bishopric of Winchester with the archbishopric; next, for having taken the archbishopric while archbishop Robert was living, and even sometimes, in saying mass, wearing the pallium which Robert left behind him at Canterbury when he was unjustly driven from England; and lastly, for having accepted the pallium from Benedict, who was excommunicated by the Holy Roman Church for having systematically usurped the apostolic see. His brother, Ethelmar;, bishop of the East-Angles, was also degraded; as were also a few abbots, the king doing his utmost to deprive the English of their dignities, that he might appoint persons of his own nation to their preferments, and thus confirm his power in his new kingdom. He also deprived several bishops and abbots, convicted of no open crimes either by the councils or the laws of the realm, and detained them in prison, to the end of their lives on mere suspicion, as we have said, of their being dangerous to his newly-acquired power. In this synod also, while the rest, aware of the king's bias, were trembling at the risk they ran of losing their appointments, Wulfstan (age 62), bishop of Worcester, boldly demanded the restoration of many of the possessions of his see which had been retained in his own power by archbishop Aldred, when he was translated from Worcester to York, and on his death had fallen into the king's hands; and demanded, not only from those who presided at the synod, but from the king himself, that justice should be done him. But as the church of York was silent, not having a pastor to plead her cause, it was decided that the suit should stand over until such time as, by the appointment of an archbishop, there should be some one who could reply to Wulfstan's (age 62) claims, and after hearing the pleadings on both sides, a clearer and more equitable judgement might be given. Thus the case was adjourned for the present.
Flowers of History. After 04 Apr 1070. Moreover, the whole Anglican Church held a great council in Easter week, at Winchester [Map], by the management of the king, where many of the things which concerned the kingdom were changed. At that council too, Stigand, archbishop of Canterbury, was ignominiously degraded, and his brother, Aylmer, bishop of East Anglia, and many other bishops and abbots were deposed at the same time. Aegelwin, bishop of Durham, alone, of all the prelates of England, seeing the unjust oppression of his brethren, and sympathizing with them, and feeling zeal for God, went of his own accord into banishment from England, wishing to entangle the oppressors in the knot of excommunication. Stigand was succeeded by Lanfranc (age 65), a monk, a man of elegant learning, and adorned with many and various other accomplishments, who, among other magnificent works, composed a treatise on the Sacrament of the Altar, confirming the Catholic Faith. Aylmer was succeeded by Arfast, the king's chaplain; and he transferred the seat of his diocese to Thetford.
Around 11 Apr 1070 Bishop Æthelmaer was deprived of his Bishopric by Ermenfrid, bishop of Sion, who was the papal legate to England.