Alfred The Great Essay Research Paper King — страница 3

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far from his fiftieth birthday. The History of Saint Cuthbert, found in a manuscript of the twelfth century, tells among its stories that in Alfred’s last hours he “called to his side his son Edward, intrusted to his care gifts for Saint Cuthbert’s honoring, two circlets for the arm and a golden censer, and earnestly bade him to love God and this Saint and to place in them his hope, as he himself ever had done and still most zealously was doing” (Duckett 198). He was buried in the Old Minster at Winchester, where, its clergy soon declared, “in insane imaginings, that his ghost in human form was roaming amid its buildings at night” (Duckett 199). We may still read the king’s last will and testament, drawn up sometime between 873 and 888, in its Old English original.

In a preface Alfred writes of disagreements arising out of the inheritance of lands once owned by his brother, King Ethelred. Alfred resolves any problems that may arise by dividing his land fairly. The king divided out his lands and money among his family, his sons, his daughters, his nephews, and his wife. Gifts of money, also, were left to each of his ealdormen; to his archbishop and his bishops; to the officials and personal attendants who gave him their service at court. Further instructions bade that those who inherited the king’s lands should leave these in legacy, in possible, to their male children. Finally, the king wrote, “I pray in the Name of God and His Saints that none of my kin or of my heirs vex any of those dependents for whom I have paid money. Let these

choose whatever lord they will” (Duckett 200). Alfred the Great will always be remembered as a great king, and as one of the greatest leaders to ever rule mankind.