Biography of Bishop Ealstan -867

Around 820 Bishop Ealstan was consecrated Bishop of Sherborne.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 845. This year Alderman Eanwulf, with the men of Somersetshire, and Bishop Ealstan, and Alderman Osric, with the men of Dorsetshire, fought at the mouth of the Parret [Map] with the Danish army; and there, after making a great slaughter, obtained the victory.

Assers Life of Alfred 855. 855. 12. Rebellion of Æthelbald.29 In the meantime, however, whilst King Æthelwulf was residing this short time beyond sea, a base deed was done in the western part of Selwood30, repugnant to the morals of all Christians. For King Æthelbald, Ealhstan, Bishop of the church of Sherborne, and Eanwulf, Ealdorman of Somerset, are said to have formed a conspiracy to the end that King Æthelwulf, on his return from Rome, should not again be received in his kingdom. This unfortunate occurrence, unheard-of in all previous ages, is ascribed by many to the bishop and ealdorman alone, since, say they, it resulted from their counsels. Many also ascribe it solely to the insolence of the king, because he was headstrong in this matter and in many other perversities, as I have heard related by certain persons, and as was proved by the result of that which followed. For on his return from Rome, Æthelwulf's son aforesaid, with all his counselors, or rather waylayers, attempted to perpetrate the crime of repulsing the king from his own kingdom; but neither did God suffer it, nor did the nobles of all Wessex consent thereto. For to prevent this irremediable danger to Wessex of a war between father and son, or rather of the whole nation waging civil war more fiercely and cruelly from day to day, as they espoused the cause of the one or the other, - by the extraordinary clemency of the father, seconded by the consent of all the nobles, the kingdom which had hitherto been undivided was parted between the two, the eastern districts being given to the father, and the western to the son. Thus where the father ought by just right to have reigned, there did his unjust and obstinate son bear rule; for the western part of Wessex is always superior to the eastern.

Note 29. Original.

Note 30. Comprising Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 867. The same year died Bishop Ealstan, who had the bishopric of Sherborn [Map] fifty winters, and his body lies in the town.

Assers Life of Alfred 867. 867. 28. Death of Ealhstan.66 In the same year, Ealhstan, Bishop of the church of Sherborne, went the way of all flesh, after he had honorably ruled his see fifty years; and in peace he was buried at Sherborne.

Note 66. From the Chronicle.

In 867 Bishop Ealstan died.