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Author Topic: Ethilric of Durnham: "Orthodox Rebel"?  (Read 969 times) Average Rating: 0
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John of Patmos
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« on: October 13, 2013, 09:48:15 AM »

So on multiple Orthodox sources, including Orthodox Wiki, I have seen the claim that Ethilric of Durnham was the last Orthodox bishop of England.  They claim that after the Norman invasion, he was imprisoned, and anathematized the pope.  True, or Polemics?
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« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2013, 09:53:39 AM »

Never heard of him.
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« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2013, 10:22:54 AM »

Nor me, but a web search found:

Ethelric of Durham, +1072, bishop who it was alleged died in prison after appropriating treasure found in a tomb.

Can find no reference to his denouncing of the then Pope save for a sentence long entry without any references in Orthodox Wikipedia.



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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2013, 10:43:25 AM »

According to wikipedia :

Oct. 14 - Eastern Orthodox Church calendar - Oct. 16

October 15 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics) :

Æthelric, Bishop of Durham

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_15_%28Eastern_Orthodox_liturgics%29
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« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2013, 11:33:16 AM »

If it is Æthelric, Bishop of Durham mentioned in the OP, since "Ethilric" and "Durnham" don't make sense, then he was not an active bishop for a number of years prior to the Norman Invasion. He had ceased being a bishop due to some shady allegations.  If you're interested I can look up more information on my books on the period.

 There was an Æthelric who was the Bishop of Selsey, which is in Sussex, who was still in that office in 1070 and was removed. He was quite knowledgeable on Anglo-Saxon Law. There could be confusion since this was not an uncommon name in Anglo-Saxon times.  Here is the Wiki page on him:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%86thelric_II





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« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2013, 09:09:55 PM »

Thanks.  Sorry I misspelled that...huhh.  If you could find anymore about Aethelric (Durham)  that'd be great
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« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2013, 10:11:50 PM »

Thanks.  Sorry I misspelled that...huhh.  If you could find anymore about Aethelric (Durham)  that'd be great

I hope that I did not come across as being rude or harsh in my post and I apologize for any such impression.  Anglo-Saxon England is one of my particular interests (as may be read in oth4r threads here on OC.net) so I'm more familiar with some of the patterns/spelling and so forth in Old English. 

Just to be clear, Æthelric was not the Bishop of Durham during the 1060s-1070s.  His years were from 1042-1056.
http://www.crockford.org.uk/listing.asp?id=822

The link is the list of the Bishops of Durham (or the equivalent area since the name changed at times), There you can see that at the time of the Norman Conquest Æthelwine, who was Æthelric's brother, was Bishop of Durham. from 1056 until 1071. 

So, if I may ask so that I understand better what is wanted - Are you looking for information on Æthelric in particular, though he was not a ruling bishop during the early years of Norman rule or is it more details on the last Anglo-Saxon Bishop of Durham that are wanted?

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« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2013, 09:26:26 PM »

You're fine!
Thanks for so much effort in actually researching this really obscure bishop.  I was just curious, if from an Orthodox standpoint, he was the last "Western orthodox" bishop "holdout" of Anglo-Saxon England, as Orthodox Wiki claims, and if he actually anathematized the Pope.
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« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2013, 09:53:28 PM »

You're fine!
Thanks for so much effort in actually researching this really obscure bishop.  I was just curious, if from an Orthodox standpoint, he was the last "Western orthodox" bishop "holdout" of Anglo-Saxon England, as Orthodox Wiki claims, and if he actually anathematized the Pope.

I'm glad to do it since Anglo-Saxon history, literature and life are quite fascinating (at least to me  Smiley ).  You can find some other threads on the forum on Anglo-Saxon England that I have been part of *with citations and links* even!. So if/when I find things I will provide my sources for you.  However, since Æthelric had not had a see for more than a decade prior to the Norman Conquest, the claim that he would have been a "holdout" does not necessarily follow.  Does the site that you found this mention give any sources for this please?   I speculate that there may be some confusion with his brother Æthelwine.  I'll try to go over there and look, too. 

May I ask if you know much about the Anglo-Saxon period and what materials we have on it?  For example, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is a primary source.  There are several manuscripts that have survived with some variations among them.   

There are also some scholars that are/were brilliant in this period.  One that I will be mentioning is the late Frank Barlow, who was a professor at the University of Exeter in England.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Barlow_%28historian%29

Anyway, I'll see what I can find and apologize for the delay as a stomach flu has been going through the family which has made things... "interesting". 
 


 
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« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2013, 11:07:34 PM »

I'll leave the deep detail to Ebor but I don't see that feast commemorated on anyone's liturgical calendar (I checked GOARCH, AOCANA, and the MP), despite what Wikipedia (not Orthodox Wiki) says.

Æthelric was Bishop of Durham, resigned or was deposed as such in about 1056 - 4 years before the Norman Conquest, and later died a captive at Westminster on October 15, 1072. The reasons for his captivity by the Normans aren't clear in my limited sources but I'd surmise that, as a former bishop with ties to an Anglo-Saxon noble (his patron), he was considered potentially disloyal to William the Conqueror.

Certainly, his brother, Æthelwine, who succeeded him as Bishop of Durham, made it a point to pledge his fealty to William. It didn't do him much good though because one of William's nobles was killed while in Æthelwine's home and William exacted revenge for that. He imprisoned Æthelwine, who remained a captive until his own death, a year or so before his brother.

It seems unlikely that either of the two would have had any particular incentive or reason to anathematize the Roman Pope.

Btw, I can find absolutely no reference to him on Orthodox Wiki - See Saints of the British Isles

Many years,

Neil
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« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2013, 06:18:05 AM »

One minor correction, Neil: 1066 was the year of the Norman Conquest so Æthelric had not held the See of Durham for 10 years. Not to be nit-picking but dates are important.  Smiley

I went to Ortho-Wiki and found the one reference to him on the page with a "Timeline" for the British Isles, fyi, where his name is spelt "Ethelric".  There is no source or link for it, which, I will be frank, does not surprise me.
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« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2013, 09:06:34 PM »

One minor correction, Neil: 1066 was the year of the Norman Conquest so Æthelric had not held the See of Durham for 10 years. Not to be nit-picking but dates are important.  Smiley 

Whoops, I knew that  Embarrassed  Sorry, too little coffee when I posted it.

Many years,

Neil (whose earliest introduction to the Norman Conquest was the discovery, as a 12 or 13 year old. of Seller and Yeats' wonderful parody "1066 and All That: A Memorable History of England") 
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« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2013, 10:23:29 PM »

The Norman Conquest had the papal blessing.
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« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2013, 11:04:11 PM »

One minor correction, Neil: 1066 was the year of the Norman Conquest so Æthelric had not held the See of Durham for 10 years. Not to be nit-picking but dates are important.  Smiley 

Whoops, I knew that  Embarrassed  Sorry, too little coffee when I posted it.

Many years,

Neil (whose earliest introduction to the Norman Conquest was the discovery, as a 12 or 13 year old. of Seller and Yeats' wonderful parody "1066 and All That: A Memorable History of England") 

A most entertaining little book that one. There's a copy somewhere on my shelves along with the ummm more Tome-like volumes of history.   But yes, with not holding the office of bishop for a decade the claim that made about Æthelric in that one line on Ortho-Wiki is quite peculiar.  I wonder if the person who wrote it had confused the two brothers and why it was put there at all without any documentation. 

Right now I'm trying to recall which shelf has my copy of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and then there's getting Barlow's books and others together.  (My books on things Japanese are at least organized on two bookshelves, but I think that the history books need some ordering  Wink )
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« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2013, 11:06:50 PM »

The Norman Conquest had the papal blessing.

But do you know the reasons?  They can be part of this topic if the OP is interested; if so, I shall add them with citations.
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« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2013, 01:34:32 AM »

The Norman Conquest had the papal blessing.


That's quite ironic I think, we all know that Normans were not very.... pious Christians.
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« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2013, 02:19:43 AM »

The Norman Conquest had the papal blessing.

But do you know the reasons?  They can be part of this topic if the OP is interested; if so, I shall add them with citations.

Regardless of the OP's interest, I am, and that's pretty important.


we all know that Normans were not very.... pious Christians.

Depends on your perspective, I suppose.  Their conquests, particularly in Italy, Spain, and the Near East are, or perhaps more accurately, were frequently associated with Christian piety and the bidding of the Roman Catholic Church.

I'm unsure if your comment stems from this being an Orthodox perspective, i.e. Normans doing acts that sometimes fought against the Orthodox Church, or that you are taking the position that warring and conquering is a trait of impiety.

For what it's worth, I find it hard to argue that acts such as William I's Harrying of the North had anything to do with genuine Christian piety.  So in that case, I'm in agreement.  Other portions, hoping to avoid derailment of the thread, may be more debatable. 
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« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2013, 06:34:24 AM »

The Norman Conquest had the papal blessing.


That's quite ironic I think, we all know that Normans were not very.... pious Christians.

I must disagree with your assumption.
I beg your pardon, but on what are you basing this please?

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« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2013, 08:09:20 AM »

Mainly on books I read (some historians are more likely to see them as opportunistic, greedy, though it would be a cliché to generalize)

But I admit I must review my point, I generalized too much, they were not bloodthirsty people, but they had some clashes with for instance the Papacy, or even in Crusades, some were more adventurers than pious soldiers.

On the other hand yes, they built churches, donations, they had a significant part in the Crusades, they fought against the muslims in Sicily, etc.
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« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2013, 06:08:15 PM »

The Norman Conquest had the papal blessing.


That's quite ironic I think, we all know that Normans were not very.... pious Christians.

They were fairweather henchmen of the papacy, 'tis true, but they weren't agents of the French king or German or Byzantine emperors, who were the papal nemeses of the day.
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« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2013, 06:11:47 PM »

From an Orthodox perspective, the Normans have little commending themselves. But from the contemporary Roman Catholic perspective, they were instrumental in the enterprise of Crusading (even if the result was perhaps not what the popes had envisioned--no matter since it was the new papacy which had turned warfare into penance).
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« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2013, 07:55:24 PM »

You're fine!
Thanks for so much effort in actually researching this really obscure bishop.  I was just curious, if from an Orthodox standpoint, he was the last "Western orthodox" bishop "holdout" of Anglo-Saxon England, as Orthodox Wiki claims, and if he actually anathematized the Pope.

I've been thinking on how to go on and going though some of my books.  One thing that is important is that Æthelric was a fairly common name so it is possible that whoever it was who put that one line on Ortho-wiki did not have the right person of that name.

 As a side note (and please let me know if you find these not helpful)  "Æthel" means "noble" in Anglo-Saxon/Old English and was the first part of many names including Æthelred, Æthelstan, Æthelbert, Æthelwulf (male names) and Æthelflaed, Æthelgifu, Æthelhild, Æthelswith (female names)

I have found references to several Bishops of various sees who were named Æthelric, including one who was in office both before and after the Conquest.  So this is not an simple question.

Also, since Cognomen said that he was interested, I was wondering if it would be helpful to have a bit of an overview of the situation, people and setting in History.  If so, may I ask how much you know about the Anglo-Saxons and England and Northwestern Europe in the 10th-11th centuries?  For example (since an important part of this is who ruled in England and other areas) do you know about who the kings were before Harald Godwinson and the political situation?

King Edward III, now known as St. Edward the Confessor, was the king before Harald but he was not only of Anglo-Saxon lineage.  His mother was Emma of Normandy, the daughter of Duke Richard I "the Fearless" and his father was Æthelred II "the Unready".
Note 2: This did not mean the same as it would to us i.e. not prepared. "unready" would be "unræd" which means things like "ill-advised" or "evil counsel"  Here is a link to a page of Bosworth Toller's Anglo Saxon Dictionary. 
http://lexicon.ff.cuni.cz/png/oe_bosworthtoller/b1124.png
"unræd" is in the left column about halfway down.

Just to complicate things Æthelred was king twice due to the invasion by Sweyn I "Forkbeard" the King of Denmark (the Danes were Christian by the way) and his son Cnut/Canute.  After Æthelred died Emma married Cnut and had a son.  Also, Emma was William the Conqueror's great-aunt. 

Oh and this line of kings did not rule what is "England" today.  In the 11th Century there was the southern and some of the middle part of the island where they ruled and the "Danelaw" which covered a large area including East Anglia and parts north.  There were also separate kingdoms/areas of Scots to the north and Welsh to the west.  Here is the Wiki link on the Danelaw some maps of how areas changed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danelaw

Please let me know of any of this is interesting or helpful in understanding the situation. (or if it is causing people to crash over sideways due to extreme history-geekery  Wink )  A couple of the books that I am using are:
 Harold the Last Anglo-Saxon King by Ian W. Walker and
Bloodfeud Murder and Revenge in Anglo-Saxon England by Richard Fletcher

The second one, in particular, has several references to the Æthelric who was the bishop of Durham from 1042-1056. 





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« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2013, 09:50:22 PM »

Re: Harald Godwinson- He wasn't of only Anglo-Saxon heritage either.  His father Godwin was from Sussex. His mother, Gytha Thorkellsdottir, was a Dane and an in-law of King Cnut. 
Godwin rose to great wealth and power under the rules of Cnut, Harald Harefoot, and Harthacnut the three Danish kings who were in power after Æthelred and before Edward the Confessor.

All of persons that I have mentioned so far were Christian, just to that's clear,

 
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« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2013, 07:11:06 PM »

Just to keep you up to date, John of Patmos, in between Life, the Universe and Everything i have been going through my books and looking for some that are here and there on the shelves.  The Æthelric of the single reference and no citation in OrthoWiki has several references in the historical documents.  But there are other clerics of that name and some of them were of some importance.  It is possible that the person who put that item in the "Timeline" was confused by this and referred to the wrong one. 

The fact is that the  Æthelric who was the Bishop of Durham (in the farther north of England in the ecclesiastical province of York) had not been in anywise in control for more than a decade prior to 1066. He was also something of an "outsider" as he was originally a monk from Peterborough, which is in what is now Cambridgeshire.  He wasn't a local man but had been brought north by Bishop Edmund as "an instructor of the monastic life" (Bloodfeud p. 137). It's also important to know that it was those in power, Earls and the King who had the power to appoint who they wished to church offices.  It wasn't a matter of those of a monastic or cathedral community choosing the new leader.  For reference it was Earl Siward who was the Earl at the time of  Æthelric's consecration.

  Even after he became the Bishop there in 1042, being consecrated at York on January 11 (Bloodfeud p. 137) his time was not peaceful. He did something that roused those of the cathedral against him such that he fled in 1044 and had to ask Earl Siward for help to get back. There is some possibility that he gave the Earl some properties that were part of the lands belonging to the diocese in return.  Then came the incident that caused him to leave or be removed from the See of Durham: he wanted to rebuilt the church in Chester-le-Street, north of Durham, in stone replacing a wooden building.  But when the foundations were being dug some sort of treasure, possibly a hoard of Roman coins, was found.   Æthelric took it and sent it south to Peterborough. He followed in 1056 and was no longer the Bishop of Durham.  His brother Æthelwine was appointed to that office by the King and the Earl of Northumbria who by that time was Tostig, the brother of Harold Godwinson. (ibid p. 156).  The new bishop was counted as worse that his brother. 

I have to go do some things.  But there is more to tell and then there is the matter of why that Cognomen said was of interest. 

Does anyone have any questions or are there things that aren't clear or that aren't understood?

Ebor
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