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Ceolnoth, archbishop of Canterbury

Ceolnoth, archbishop of Canterbury (833–70), had the difficult task of establishing working relations with the West Saxon kings who had won political control of Kent after many years of Mercian domination. In this he seems to have been largely successful, obtaining grants of land from King Egbert and his son Æthelwulf and confirmation of the cathedral's control of Kentish minsters which had been disputed in the archiepiscopate of his predecessor Wulfred. His period in office saw an intensification of Viking raids and an attack on Canterbury in 850 or 851. By the time of his death in 870 there seems to have been a severe decline in standards of literacy and writing in the Canterbury scriptorium though the reasons for this may be complex and not simply the result of Viking harassment.

Barbara Yorke

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