Biography of Archbishop Justus -627

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 604. This year Augustine (age 64) consecrated two bishops, Mellitus and Justus. Mellitus he sent to preach baptism to the East-Saxons. Their king was called Seabert, the son of Ricola, Ethelbert's (age 54) sister, whom Ethelbert (age 54) placed there as king. Ethelbert (age 54) also gave Mellitus the bishopric of London; and to Justus he gave the bishopric of Rochester, which is twenty-four miles from Canterbury, Kent [Map].

In 604 Archbishop Justus was was appointed the first Bishop of Rochester.

Charter S1. 28 Apr 604. Regnante in perpetuum domino nostro Iesu Christo saluatore . mense Aprilio . sub die iiii . kalendas Maias . indictione vii . ego Æthelberhtus (age 54) rex filio meo Eadbaldo admonitionem catholice fidei optabilem. Nobis est aptum semper inquirere . qualiter per loca sanctorum pro anime remedio uel stabilitate salutis nostre aliquid de portione terre nostre in subsidiis seruorum dei deuotissimam uoluntatem debeamus offerre . Ideoque tibi Sancte Andrea tueque ecclesiae que est constituta in ciuitate Hrofibreui ubi preesse uidetur Iustus episcopus . trado aliquantulum telluris mei .

Hic est terminus mei doni . Fram suðgeate west andlanges wealles oð norðlanan to stræte . 7 swa east fram st'r'æte oð Doddinghyrnan ongean bradgeat .

Siquis uero augere uoluerit hanc ipsam donationem; augeat illi dominus dies bonos . Et si presumpserit minuere aut contradicere; in conspectu dei sit damnatus et sanctorum eius hic et in eterna secula . nisi emendauerit ante eius transitum quod inique gessit contra Christianitatem nostram . Hoc cum consilio Laurentii episcopi et omnium principum meorum signo sancte crucis confirmaui . eosque iussi ut mecum idem facerent . Amen .

A.D. 604 (28 April). Æthelberht (age 54), king, to St Andrew and his church at Rochester; grant of land at Rochester. Latin with English bounds.

Archive: Rochester

MSS: 1. BL Harley 1866, 9rv (s. xviii)

Note 2. Maidstone, Kent Archives Office, DRc/R1 (Textus Roffensis), 119rv (s. xii1; facsimile)

Note 3. Maidstone, Kent Archives Office, DRb/Ar2 (Liber Temporalium), 3v (s. xiv)

Printed: Mon. Angl., i. 27; Hearne, Textus Roffensis, pp. 62-3; Thorpe, Reg. Roff., pp. 13-14; K 1 ex MS 2; Mon. Angl. (rev. edn), i. 162 (no. 3); HS, p. 52; B 3 ex HS, Hearne, K, and Mon. Angl.; Earle, pp. 3-4 ex K and Hearne; Pierquin, Recueil, pt 1, no. 1; Pierquin, Conciles, p. 43; Campbell, Rochester, no. 1, ex MS 2; Morris 1995, pp. 101-2, ex B.

Comments: Wallenberg, KPN, p. 3, on place-names and bounds; Deanesly 1941, pp. 101-4; Deanesly 1941/1, pp. 53-69; Deanesly 1942, p. 110, authentic; Levison 1946, pp. 174, 223-5, suspicious features; Ward 1949, on topography; Campbell, Rochester, pp. xv, xxii, fabricated, partly based on S 266; Brooks 1974, p. 217, possibly some authentic basis; Tatton-Brown 1984, p. 14, cited in discussion of topography; Scharer 1982, pp. 59-60, spurious; Morris 1995, pp. 89-98, authentic.

Death of Æthelberht King of Kent

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 616. This year died Ethelbert (age 66), king of Kent, the first of English kings that received baptism: he was the son of Ermenric. He reigned fifty-six winters, and was succeeded by his son Eadbald. And in this same year had elapsed from the beginning of the world five thousand six hundred and eighteen winters. This Eadbald renounced his baptism, and lived in a heathen manner; so that he took to wife the relict of his father. Then Laurentius, who was archbishop in Kent, meant to depart southward over sea, and abandon everything. But there came to him in the night the apostle Peter, and severely chastised him19, because he would so desert the flock of God. And he charged him to go to the king, and teach him the right belief. And he did so; and the king returned to the right belief. In this king's days the same Laurentius, who was archbishop in Kent after Augustine, departed this life on the second of February, and was buried near Augustine. The holy Augustine in his lifetime invested him bishop, to the end that the church of Christ, which yet was new in England, should at no time after his decease be without an archbishop. After him Mellitus, who was first Bishop of London, succeeded to the archbishopric. The people of London, where Mellitus was before, were then heathens: and within five winters of this time, during the reign of Eadbald, Mellitus died. To him succeeded Justus, who was Bishop of Rochester, whereto he consecrated Romanus bishop.

Note 19. Literally, "swinged, or scourged him." Both Bede and Alfred begin by recording the matter as a vision, or a dream; whence the transition is easy to a matter of fact, as here stated by the Norman interpolators of the "Saxon Annals".

In 624 Archbishop Justus was appointed 4th Archbishop of Canterbury.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 625. This year Paulinus was invested bishop of the Northumbrians, by Archbishop Justus, on the twelfth day before the calends of August.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 627. This year was King Edwin (age 41) baptized at Easter, with all his people, by Paulinus, who also preached baptism in Lindsey [Map], where the first person who believed was a certain rich man, of the name of Bleek, with all his people. At this time Honorius  succeeded Boniface in the papacy, and sent hither to Paulinus the pall; and Archbishop Justus having departed this life on the tenth of November, Honorius was consecrated at Lincoln [Map] Archbishop of Canterbury by Paulinus; and Pope Honorius sent him the pall. And he sent an injunction to the Scots, that they should return to the right celebration of Easter.

On 10 Nov 627, or 628, 629, 639 or 631 Archbishop Justus died.