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Ine, King of Wessex


Reigned 688 to 726. He succeeded a distant cousin, Ceadwalla, on the latter's abdication and retirement to Rome. His own father was still living and apparently enjoyed some authority in the kingdom; Ine, however, had the title of king and the chief authority. He was the first West Saxon king to issue a written code of law. He was following Kentish example here but his laws show some original features. They are preserved only because al fred, his more famous descendant, quoted them extensively in his own code. The laws show great respect for the Church. Slaves may not work on Sundays, and the payment of church dues is enforced. The position of Ine's conquered Welsh subjects was fixed, by contemporary standards, in very lenient terms. The association of the great Abbey of glastonbury and the West Saxon royal house began probably in this period. After a long reign Ine abdicated and went on pilgrimage to Rome. He is said to have founded the first English school in that city.

Bibliography: f. liebermann, ed., Die Gesetze der Angelsachsen, 3 v. (Halle 18981916; reprint 1960) 3:6382. Acta Santorum Feb. 1:913923. f. m. stenton, Anglo-Saxon England (2d ed. Oxford 1947). r. gazeau, Catholicisme 5:163637.

[e. john]

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