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Archbishop of Canterbury
Appointed 988
Term ended 13 February 990
Predecessor Dunstan
Successor Sigeric
Other posts Bishop of Selsey (980–988)
Consecration 2 May 980
Personal details
Died 13 February 990

Æthelgar (died 990) was Archbishop of Canterbury, and previously Bishop of Selsey.


Æthelgar was a monk at Glastonbury Abbey before he was the discipulus of Aethelwold the Bishop of Winchester.[1] He then continued as a monk at Abingdon Abbey, until 964 when he was appointed Abbot of the newly reformed monastery of New Minster, Winchester,[2][3] by Bishop Aethelwold.[1] He was consecrated Bishop of Selsey on 2 May 980.[3][4] He succeeded Dunstan as Archbishop of Canterbury, but "lived for a short time after that – no more than a year and three months".[5] He was transferred to Canterbury in 988.[4] He may have continued to hold his abbacy along with his bishopric and archbishopric until his death.[3] Æthelgar died on 13 February 990.[3][6]

While archbishop, Æthelgar received two letters from monasteries in Flanders, seeking support and prayers from Æthelgar. One was from the Falrad, the abbot of Saint Vaast Abbey, which requested that relations between the abbey and Canterbury remain good, as they had in Dunstan's time, and implies that Falrad had given verbal instructions to the messenger carrying the letter to seek further support on other issues. The second letter was from Odbert, the abbot of Saint Bertin Abbey, and congratulates Æthelgar on becoming archbishop and solicits financial aid for his monastery.[7]


  1. ^ a b Darlington "Ecclesiastical Reform" English Historical Review p. 389
  2. ^ Kelly Charters of Selsey p. xcii
  3. ^ a b c d Knowles, et al. Heads of Religious Houses pp. 80–81, 258
  4. ^ a b Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 221
  5. ^ Swanton (trans.) Anglo-Saxon Chronicle p. 125
  6. ^ Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 214
  7. ^ Vanderputten "Canterbury and Flanders" Anglo-Saxon England 35 pp. 225–235


Further reading

  • Hunt, William (2004). "Æthelgar (d. 990)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Smith, Mary Frances Smith, revised. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/8909. Retrieved 11 March 2011. (subscription or UK public library membership required)

External links

Christian titles
Preceded by
Bishop of Selsey
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Archbishop of Canterbury
c. 988–990
Succeeded by

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