World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Lyfing (Archbishop of Canterbury)

Article Id: WHEBN0000098076
Reproduction Date:

Title: Lyfing (Archbishop of Canterbury)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Æthelnoth (archbishop of Canterbury), Ælfheah of Canterbury, John of Tours, Wulfhelm, Athelm
Collection: 1020 Deaths, 11Th-Century Archbishops, Archbishops of Canterbury, Bishops of Wells, Year of Birth Unknown
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Lyfing (Archbishop of Canterbury)

Archbishop of Canterbury
Province Canterbury
Diocese Diocese of Canterbury
See Archbishop of Canterbury
Appointed 1013
Term ended 12 June 1020
Predecessor Ælfheah
Successor Æthelnoth
Other posts Abbot of Chertsey Abbey
Bishop of Wells
Consecration 1013
Personal details
Birth name Ælfstan
Died 12 June 1020
Buried Canterbury Cathedral

Lyfing (died 12 June 1020) was an Anglo-Saxon Bishop of Wells and Archbishop of Canterbury.


  • Life 1
  • Citations 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Lyfing was born "Ælfstan" and took his ecclesiastical name from leof-carus (= "darling").

Lyfing was abbot of Chertsey Abbey from about 989.[1][2] He became Bishop of Wells in 998 or 999,[3] and in 1013 King Æthelred the Unready appointed him to the see of Canterbury.[4] Lyfing was taken captive by Vikings and held prisoner for a time, but he was released in time to attend the Witenagemot in 1014, and he started repairs of the damage the Vikings had done to Canterbury Cathedral.

Lyfing was unable to go to Rome for his pallium during King Æthelred's reign, for every bishop that was consecrated during the remainder of the king's reign was consecrated by Archbishop Wulfstan of York.[5] By 1018, however, he was named as archbishop, having returned to England from Rome with letters from Pope Benedict VIII.[6] As Archbishop of Canterbury, Lyfing crowned two English kings: Ethelred's son Edmund Ironside in 1016 and Cnut the Great in 1017.[1] He seems to have gone to Rome on behalf of Cnut at least once.[7]

Lyfing died on 12 June 1020.[4] He was buried in Canterbury Cathedral, near the altar of St. Martin.[1] The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle called him "a sagacious man, both before God and before the world".[8]


  1. ^ a b c Mason "Lyfing" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  2. ^ Knowles, et al. Heads of Religious Houses pp. 38, 244
  3. ^ Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 222
  4. ^ a b Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 214
  5. ^ Williams Æthelred the Unready p. 111
  6. ^ Brooks Early History of the Church of Canterbury pp. 287–290
  7. ^ O'Brien Queen Emma and the Vikings p. 122
  8. ^ Quoted in Barlow English Church 1000–1066 p. 66


  • (subscription or UK public library membership required)

External links

  • Prosopography of Anglo Saxon England: Lyfing
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Bishop of Wells
c. 999–1013
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Archbishop of Canterbury
Succeeded by
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.