Site logo

The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

from its origins to circa AD 700, across the entire Christian world

An authentic Anglo-Saxon charter records a grant by Wihtred, king of the people of Kent (south-east Britain), of land to the church at Lyminge, Kent, dedicated to *Mary (mother of Christ, S00033). Written in Latin, probably in Kent, July 697 or 712.

Evidence ID


Type of Evidence

Documentary texts - Donation document

Late antique original manuscripts - Parchment sheet

Documentary texts - Charter or diploma

Charter of King Wihtred (Sawyer 19, excerpted)

☩ In nomine Domini Dei nostri Iesu Christi Ego Uithredus rex Cantuariorum prouidens mihi in futuro decreui dare aliquid omnia mihi donanti et consilio accepto bonum uisum est conferre bassilicae beatae Mariae genitricis Dei quae sita est in loco qui dicitur Lymingae terram .iiii. aratrorum quae dicitur Pleghelmestun [...] Actum in mense Iulio indictione xma.

'☩ In the name our Lord God Jesus Christ. I, Wihtred, king of the people of Kent, mindful of the future, have resolved to give something to the one who grants all things to me, and having received counsel, it seems good to grant to the basilica of blessed Mary, mother of God, which is situated in the place which is called Lyminge, three
sulungs of land at the place called Pleghelmestun... Enacted in the month of July, in the tenth indiction.'

Text: Brooks and Kelly 2013, no. 5, 286-7. Translation: B. Savill.

Cult Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Places Named after Saint


Non Liturgical Activity

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings

Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Monarchs and their family


This charter survives as a single-sheet, parchment manuscript (London, British Library, Stowe Ch. I), apparently an original production (or contemporary copy) of the late 7th or early 8th century (Brooks and Kelly 2013, i. 287-93).

For further details, see this charter's entry on the
Electronic Sawyer:


This is the third earliest Anglo-Saxon charter to survive as an apparently original manuscript (Brooks and Kelly 2013, i. 290), and the first to record a dedication to a saint.


Brooks, N.P., and Kelly, S.E., Charters of Christ Church, Canterbury, 2 vols. (Oxford, 2013).

Further reading:
Sawyer, P.H., Anglo-Saxon Charters: an Annotated List and Bibliography (London, 1968); revd. S.E. Kelly and R. Rushforth et al. online at

Record Created By

Benjamin Savill

Date Last Modified


Related Saint Records
IDNameName in SourceIdentity
S00033Mary, Mother of ChristMariaCertain

Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL:
Benjamin Savill, Cult of Saints, E05868 -