Source: Textual EditionBates39
King William informs all the faithful men of his kingdom that Bishop Arfast’s claim that the abbey of Bury St Edmunds should be his episcopal church has been brought to his attention and that he has decided that the matter should be heard in his court. On the set day, the bishop made his case eloquently, but produced neither written documents nor witnesses. Abbot Baldwin then told how King Cnut expelled the clerks and introduced monks, how the church had then been dedicated to on that king’s order by Archbishop Æthelnoth of Canterbury, how the first abbot had been consecrated by the bishop of London, the second by the bishop of Winchester, and Baldwin himself by the archbishop of Canterbury, and how the monks had been ordained by the bishops of their choice over a period of fifty-three years without any objection from Arfast’s predecessors. He also produced orders of King Cnut and Edward the Confessor which granted that the monastery should be free of all episcopal domination. Those present then decided in Bury St Edmunds favour.
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