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Anglo-Saxon Charters

Chair: Professor Nicholas Vincent, FBA



The term 'Anglo-Saxon charter' covers a multitude of documents ranging in kind from the royal diplomas issued in the names of Anglo-Saxon kings between the last quarter of the seventh century and the Norman Conquest, which are generally in Latin, to the wills of prominent churchmen, laymen, and women, which are generally in the vernacular. The corpus comprises about 1500 texts, of which about 200 are preserved in single-sheet form (including originals, later copies, and forgeries), and of which the remainder are preserved as copies entered in medieval cartularies, or as transcripts made by early modern antiquaries. It has long been recognised that the charters form a vital part of the evidence for our understanding of all aspects of the history and culture of Anglo-Saxon England.