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Eanbald (died 796)

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Title: Eanbald (died 796)  
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Subject: 796 deaths, Archbishops of York, Æthelbald of York, Hrotheweard, Wulfsige of York
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Eanbald (died 796)

Archbishop of York
Province York
Diocese Diocese of York
See Archbishop of York
Elected 780
Term ended 10 August 796
Predecessor Æthelbert
Successor Eanbald II
Consecration circa 780
Personal details
Birth name Eanbald
Born unknown
Died 10 August 796
Buried York Minster

Eanbald (usually known as Eanbald I to distinguish him from a later archbishop also named Eanbald; died 10 August 796) was an eighth century Archbishop of York.


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


Eanbald was a fellow student at York with Alcuin under Æthelbert, his predecessor at York. Alcuin called him a "brother and most faithful friend."[1] Ethelbert put Alcuin and Eanbald in charge of rebuilding York Minster, as the duties of archbishop kept Ethelbert from handling the details.[2]

Eanbald was elected Archbishop of York in 780.[3] Alcuin was sent by King Ælfwald I of Northumbria to retrieve Eanbald's pallium from Pope Adrian I in Rome.[4]

In 786 Eanbald presided over a church synod held in Northumbria with two papal legates from Adrian I and the king. Among the canons adopted were ones that debarred illigetimate children from inheriting kingdoms, that priests must not celebrate Mass while bare-legged, that bishops should not debate secular affairs at church councils, that there should be a clear difference between canons, monks, and laymen in dress and deportment, and that tithes must be given by all men to the Church.[5] He also probably presided over councils held in 782, 787, and 788.[6] Shortly before his death, he consecrated the new king, Eardwulf of Northumbria.[6]

Eanbald's time as archbishop was a time of political instability in the Northumbrian kingdom. The synod of 786 condemned regicide, probably because of the number of kings and royal kin that had been killed in the political struggles taking place in the kingdom of Northumbria.[6] His archbishorpric also witnessed the first attacks of the Danes on Northumbria. The country was so widely ravaged, that in 790, the Yorkist scholar, Alcuin, deserted the city for the Frankish Court of Charlemagne.

On 26 May 796, Eanbald consecrated Eardwulf of Northumbria as king at York.[7] Eanbald died at the monastery of Etlete or Edete on 10 August 796,[3] the monastery's exact location has not be determined.[6] He was buried in York Minster.[8]


  1. ^ Duckett Alcuin pp. 22-23
  2. ^ Duckett Alcuin p. 27
  3. ^ a b Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 224
  4. ^ Duckett Alcuin p. 33
  5. ^ Duckett Alcuin pp. 154-157
  6. ^ a b c d Rollason "Eanbald" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  7. ^ Kirby Earliest English Kings p. 131
  8. ^ Duckett Alcuin p. 205


  • Duckett, Eleanor Shipley (1951). Alcuin, Friend of Charlemagne: His World and His Work. New York: MacMillan.  
  • Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1996). Handbook of British Chronology (Third revised ed.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.  
  • Kirby, D. P. (2000). The Earliest English Kings. New York: Routledge.  

External links

  • Prosopography of Anglo Saxon England entry on Eanbald
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Archbishop of York
Succeeded by
Eanbald II
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