A.D. 966 x 975. Will of Ælfgifu, including bequests of land at Princes Risborough, Bucks., to Old Minster, Winchester; at Bledlow, Bucks., to New Minster, Winchester; at Whaddon, Bucks., to Romsey Abbey; at Chesham, Bucks., to Abingdon and at Wicham to Bath; also at Wing, Linslade and Haversham, Bucks., Hatfield (? Herts.), Masworth, Bucks., and at Gussage (All Saints), Dorset, to the king; at Newnham Murren, Oxon, to the ætheling; at Tæafersceat to Bishop Æthelwold; at Mongewell, Oxon., and at Berkhampstead, Herts., to Ælfweard, Æthelweard and Ælfwaru in common, for life, with reversion to Old Minster, Winchester. English.
Archive: Winchester, Old Minster
MSS: BL Add. 15350, 96rv (s. xii)
Printed: K 721; Thorpe, pp. 552-5, with translation; Whitelock, Wills, pp. 20-3 (no. 8), with translation.
Translated: Baines 1983, pp. 115-16; Hart 1992, pp. 455-6.
Comments: PN Bucks., pp. 8, 79, 86, 98, 167, 223; Whitelock, Wills, pp. 118-21; PN Oxon., i. 48-9; Finberg, ECW, no. 610, authentic; Barker 1967, pp. 89-90; Hart 1970/1, p. 35 (no. 168), authentic; Brooks 1978, pp. 87-91, on heriot; Gelling, ECTV, no. 152 (pp. 75, 84, 133), authentic; Baines 1983, pp. 115-17; PN Dorset, ii. 276; Hart 1992, pp. 455-65, on estates, dates 967 x 968; Pelteret 1995, pp. 122-3, 129, 312; Keynes 1996, p. 26 n. 106, p. 28 n. 121; Williams 1997/1, p. 44 nn. 9, 10; cf. S 737.
Þis ys Ælfgyfæ gegurning to hiræ cinehlafordæ. þæt is þæt heo hyne bitt for godæs lufun and for cynescypæ þæt heo mote beon hyre cwydes wyrðæ. Þonnæ cyð heo þæ leof bæ þinre geþafiunga hwæt heo for þæ and for þyræ sawlæ to godæs ciricean don wylæ. Þæt is æræst þæt heo ann into ealdan mynstær. þær heo hiræ licaman ræstan þæncþ þæs landæs æt Hrisanbeorgan eallswa hit stænt buton þæt heo wylæ bæ þinre geþafunga þæt man freoge on ælcum tunæ ælne witæþæownæ mann þæ undær hiræ geþeowuð wæs. and twa hund mandcussa goldæs to þam mynstær. and hire scrin mid hiræ haligdomæ. And heo an innto nigean mynstær þæs landæs æt Bleddanhlæwe. and hund mancussa goldæs. And annæ offringdisc into nunna mynstær. and þæs landæs æt Hwætædunæ into Rummæsigæ xriste & sanctan Marian. and æt Cæstæleshammæ Into Abbadunæ. And æt Wicham into Baþum. And ic ann minæn cinæhlafordæ þæs landæs æt Weowungum and æt Hlincgeladæ. and æt Hæfæresham. and æt Hæðfælda. and æt Mæssanwyrðæ and æt Gyssic and twegea bæagas æigþær ys on hundtwælftigum. mancussum and anræ sopcuppan and syx horsa and swa fala scylda and spæra. and þam æþelingæ þæs landæs æt Niwanham. and anæs beages on þritægum mancussum. And þæra hlæfdigan anæs swyrbeages on hundtweltifgum mancussum and anæs beages on þritegum mancussum. and anre sopcuppan. And ic ann Aþelwoldæ bisceopæ þæs landæs æt Tæafersceat. And bidde hinæ þæt hæ symlie þingiæ for minæ modor an for me. And ic ann bæ minæs hlafordæs geþafiungæ þæs landæs æt Mundingwillæ. and æt Beorhþanstædæ. Ælfwerdæ and Æþelwærdæ and Ælfwaræ him to gemanan hira dæg. and ofær hira dæg into ealdan mynstær for minnæ cynehlaforð and for mæ. And syllan hi ælcæ geare twa dægfæorman into þam twam mynstrum. þa wilæ þæ hi his brucæn. And ig an Ælfwæræ miræ swystær eallæs þæs þæ ic hiræ alenæð hæfdæ. And Æþælfledæ minæs broþur wifæ þæs bændes þæ ic hire alæneð hæfdæ. And ælchum abbodæ fif pund pæniga to hira mynstres bote. And leof be þinre geþafiunga þæt ic motæ bætæcen þam bisceope. and þam abbodæ. þonæ ofæreacan to þære stowe botæ. and earmum mannum for me to dælænne swa swa him þincæ þæt mæ for Godæ þearflucustþ si. And ic biddæ minnæ cinelaford for godæs lufum. þæt næ forlæte minæ mænn þe hinæ gesæcen. and him wyrðæ syn. And ic ann Ælfwerdæ anræ sopcuppan. and Æþelwerdæ anæs gerænodæs drincæhornæs.
This is Ælfgifu's request of her royal lord; she prays him for the love of God and for the sake of his royal dignity, that she may be entitled to make her will.
Then she makes known to you, Sire, by your consent what she wishes to give to God's church for you and for your soul. First, she grants to the Old Minster, where she intends her body to be buried, the estate at Risborough just as it stands, except that, with your consent, she wishes that at each village every penally enslaved man who was subject to her shall be freed' and [she grants] two hundred mancuses of gold to that minster and her shrine with her relics. And she grants to the New Minster the estate at Bledlow, and a hundred mancuses of gold; and a paten to the Nunnery and the estate at Whaddon to Christ and St Mary at Romsey; and Chesham to Abingdon, and Wickham to Bath.
And I grant to my royal lord the estates at Wing, Linslade, Haversham, Hatfield, Masworth and Gussage; and two armlets, each of a hundred and twenty mancuses, and a drinking-cup and six horses and as many shields and spears. And to the Ætheling the estate at Newnham and an armlet of thirty mancuses. And to the queen a necklace of a hundred and twenty mancuses and an armlet of thirty mancuses, and a drinking-cup.
And I grant to Bishop Æthelwold the estate at Tæafersceat and pray him that he will always intercede for my mother and for me. And with my lord's permission I grant the estates at Mongewell and Berkhampstead to Ælfweard and Æthelweard and Ælfwaru in common for their lifetime, and after their death to the Old Minster for my royal lord and for me. And they are to pay a two-days' food-rent every year to the two minsters, as long as they possess the estates. And to my sister Ælfwaru I grant all that I have lent her; and to my brother's wife Æthelflæd the headband which I have lent her.
And to each abbot five pounds of pence for the repair of their minster. And, Sire, with your consent, [I wish] that I may entrust the surplus to the Bishop and the Abbot for the repair of the foundation, and for them to distribute for me among poor men according as seems to them most profitable for me in God's sight.
And I beseech my royal lord for the love of God, that he will not desert my men who seek his protection and are worthy of him. And I grant to Ælfweard a drinking-cup and to Æthelweard an ornamented drinking-horn.