Translation of 948AD Stoke Charter
- From the Latin This is the eleven hide (1,200 acre) 948AD Charter of Stoke that Eadred, the king, booked to Aelfric his thane, in perpetual inheritance.
- IN THE NAME OF THE ALMIGHTY and Bountiful Wisdom which, by the power of its Majesty, governs the Kingdom of the whole world, both in the height of the heavens and in the hidden depth of the surging seas, on high and overall, now and forever; just as it is perceived by three quarters of the world daily, through the evidence of their own eyes; and by manifest signs it is revealed to those passing through this world, how the change of the constant seasons, through growing, decreases, and through increasing, is diminished.
- Thus, from afar, we long to be honoured with supporting help from on high. In the name of which fervent longing, I Eadred, Emperor of the English, Ruler and Governor of the rest of the tribes situated round about; being pleased with the devotion and skill and also the obedience of a certain faithful thane of mine, called by name, Aelfric, have deigned to bestow on him eleven measures (of land) in that place where, now, for a long time, the cultivators of that region have imposed the name ‘A’t Stoke.
- Moreover, in handing over such a permanent and bountiful deed of gift, I have conceded that he may firmly possess and hold it, up to the end of his course of life, with all the necessities which the Lord of the Heavens has created in the grassy crops of the earth itself.
- Thus will I grant him freedom in causes known and unknown, great and small, in his fields, in his pastures, in his meadows, in his woods, in his forest thickets.
And after he will have abandoned the frailty of human kind, and will have come to the longed for path of happiness through the grace of the Judge on High, he may leave them for ever, to whosoever of his successors it shall please him, just as I have noted above.
- The land shall also be declared free from all public taxes, and exempted from all personal services except military service and the building of bridges and fortifications.
- If however anyone should, through his own rashness, presume to trespass with violence, let him know far and wide that he will certainly be brought to account, tottering and trembling before the tribunal of the district judge, unless, before this, he will have chosen to make amends with a fitting reparation.
- It appears the aforementioned lands are to be enclosed within these boundaries.
From the Anglo-Saxon
- These are the lands that belong to Stoke. First off the sea, over the stone ridge, onto the eastern road, then on to Galemoor. Then north and along those moors that belong to the inhabitants of Ruwanor (Rowner). Then east onto the old raised dike as far as the unoccupied waste-land, eastwards.
- Then north, and along the boundaries as far as the withies, westward. Then east by the old ‘warpath’ (Military path) to the meadows of the people of Aethelswitheton (Elson). Then south onto the old raised dike and along the dike out onto the sea, then out into the Solent, going westwards in mid-stream until it comes up, there where it began. And the furthest border is on the Stoke wood and that wood to the north of it.
And the meadow-lands and the mast (Woodland swine pasture) is held in common to the extent of one and twenty hides (2520 acres)
- The aforementioned gift was made in 978AD that is the number of years since the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ and the 6th year of the Indication (15 year tax period).
- I, EADRED, King of the English have agreed and do corroborate the aforesaid grant irrevocably under the seal of the Holy Cross.
I, EADGYFU, mother of the said King, confirm it with the seal of the Holy Cross.
I, ODA, Archbishop pf Canterbury have confirmed, under the seal of the Holy Cross, the princely generosity of the same King.
I, WULSTAN, Archbishop of the citizens of York, being delivered up in captivity to do my daily duty as Chief Magistrate, have pressed the seal of the Holy Cross.
I, THEODRED, Bishop of the Church of London, corroborate it.
I, AELFHEAH, Bishop of the Church of Winchester have subscribed and confirmed the testimony of the Holy Cross.