Archbishop Oswald

Oswald sent envoys to Pope John X111, and acquired his own privilege for the freedom and protection of the newly built and dedicated church at Ramsey.  He took great pains to make sure that all grants and favours that he bestowed on the church, were bought and obtained by lawful exchange and possessed by free and peaceful means.

He bought from King Edgar a Vill (village) called Needingworth, by exchange at a fair price, which consisted of many precious relics, which were enclosed in two crosses made from gold and weighing six score marks.

Oswald also received the Vill of Wistow, because it was nearer and more suitable for coming and going to the church of ramsey, he handed it over formally as a perpetual inheritance to the Abbey.

He also gave 5 hides at Burwell, which was extra to King Edgars gift.  This land, which was found written about in English in some very old documents at the Abbey, belonged to a certain man called Edwyn, son of Othulf, had formerly been granted to the venerable Archbishop Oda as a reward for helping to get King Eadred to agree to allow him (Edwyn) to get married to a woman he desired, the daughter of a certain man Ulf.

When a certain priest called Athelstan who was a kinsman of Archbishop Oda, denied this gift and tried to lay claim to half of the land for himself, Earldorman Ailwyn ( founder of the Abbey) blocked his dishonest claim opposing any loss of property to the Abbey.  He paid Athelstan 80 gold mancuses (10) in exchange for the same small piece of land, this was witnessed by King Edgar, Archbishop Dunstan and counts Alfhere and Oslec.

Unfortunately this was not the end of the problem involving the 5 hides of land.  After the death of King Edgar, a certain man Wynsig, laid claim to the land mentioned, trusting in hereditary succession and established his dwellings on them.  Because of this, Ailwyn wanted to avenge by the sword, this bold presumption, he was wisely talked out of this course of action by brother Eadnoth of Ramsey Abbey.  Eadnoth called together the great and wise of Cambridgeshire who worked out a plan to offer certain lands in Sawston in mutual exchange for the land in Burwell, and so it returned to the jurisdiction of Ramsey.

  After this success a certain man Alfgar, a friend of Earldorman Aliwyn , and his confidential advisor, congratulated him on the success of his labour and added to the aforesaid lands, his own houses and court, also 3 hides with 40 acres and 1 virgate besides and the church at Burwell of which he was advocate, out of pure generosity and for the souls of his ancestors.

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