Berhtwald (Brightwald, or Beorthtwald)

Berhtwald (Brightwald, Or Beorthtwald)

an early English prelate, according to Bede. was originally abbot of Reculver, and a man well instructed in ecclesiastical and monastic discipline. A charter of Hothari, king of Kent, is preserved, dated at Reculver in May, 679, in which lands in Thanet are bestowed upon him and his monastery (Kemble, Cod. Dipl. i, 20); and he is also mentioned in a spurious charter of 689 as an abbot of Kent. The Glastonbury writers claim him as an abbot of that monastery, but they have confounded him with Beorwald. He was chosen archbishop of Canterbury, July 1, 692, and went to Lyons for consecration, which he obtained from Godwins, June 29, 693. In the same year he attested an act of Oshere, king of the Hwiccas, done in a Mercian Witenagernot; in 696 he took part in the legislation of Wihtred, king of Kent, at the council of Berghamstede (or Bersted); and between that year and 716 he obtained, in a council at Baccanceld, or Bapchild (q.v.), the famous privilege of Wihtred, which secured the liberties of the Kentish monasteries. In 705, at the command of the pope, he attended the council at Nidd, at which Wilfrid was reconciled. The same year. he held the synod at Brentford, for the pacification of Essex and Wessex. The division of Wessex being accomplished, he consecrated Aldhelm as bishop of the new see of Sherborne; in 706 he attested a charter founding the monastery of Evesham; between 709 and 712 we find him writing to Fsorthere, bishop of Sherborne, to obtain the release of a captive girl from Boerwald, abbot of Glastonbury. In 716. in a council at Clovesho, he obtained a confirmation of Wihtred's privilege. Bede records his ddeath, Jan. 13, 731, and mentions that he was buried near his predecessor, within the Church of St. Peter, at Canterbury. The Life of St. Egwin, ascribed to him, belongs unquestionably to a later Berchtwald.

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