Came to Ramsey Abbey in the year 985 and stayed until 987, to establish a school, he brought with him a comprehensive range of basic texts from the Fleury curriculam. No other house in England at this time had received such a personal and detailed instruction in the new learning.


Was a Biographer, Chronicler, Historian, Mathematician, Monk, Prose Writer ( scientific treatises ), and Teacher.

He began as a novice at Ramsey Abbey, and he spent almost his whole life at the Abbey and became its first schoolmaster. The two year visit by Abbo of Fleury to Ramsey in (985-87) proved highly influential on the young Byrhtferth, and it is said that his writings are, to a considerable extent, the product of Abbo’s teaching.

Because Abbo was the greatest scholar of the time, and an expert in the scientific disciplines of the Quadrivium (geometry, astronomy, arithmetic, music) and the arts of grammar, rhetoric, and dialetic. It is no surprise that Byrhtferth’s first work (988-96) was a computistical commonplace book called Computus, written in Latin, and included tables on arithmetic, formulae for the calculation of the date of Easter. He also wrote his Enchiridion (or manual), composed in 1010-1012. Which was written in Latin and Old English, the Enchiridion was more like a teaching resource, designed to explain the intricacies of computistical theory to ill-educated students.

(Ref 15)

In his time, Byrhtferth, would have known Oswald, Germanus likewise Earldorman Ailwyn, Eadnoth Senior and Eadnoth Junior and would have had access to the Abbey’s extensive Archives. Byrhtferth was commissioned by Archbishop Wulfstan of Worcester and York in the second half of the 10th century to write the life of Oswald, known as the “Vita S Oswaldi”

Byrhtferth tells us in the VSO, that services were rich and elaborate, with sophisticated choir and organ. He also tells that a school had taken root and its scriptorium had built up a capability for producing manuscripts of the highest quality.