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Ealdwulf (died 6 May 1002) was a medieval Abbot of Peterborough, Bishop of Worcester, and Archbishop of York.

Archbishop of York
Term ended6 May 1002
Other postsAbbot of Peterborough
Bishop of Worcester
Personal details
Died6 May 1002


Traditional stories state that Ealdwulf was a layman and chancellor to King Edgar of England when one night he accidentally smothered his son while sharing a bed with the child. Rather than go to Rome to seek absolution for this sin, which had been his original plan, Ealdwulf refounded the monastery at Medeshamstede, which later became known as Peterborough Abbey, on the advice of Æthelwold, bishop of Winchester. Ealdwulf then joined his new foundation as a monk[1] before becoming abbot of Peterborough from about 966 to 992.[2][3]

Ealdwulf was bishop of Worcester as well as archbishop of York from 995[4] to his death on 6 May 1002.[1] While archbishop, he held a synod at Worcester around 1000 to consider moving the relics of Saint Oswald of Worcester.[5]

Ealdwulf's reputation was one of extreme piety.[6] William of Malmesbury compared him to his successor Wulfstan as follows "Ealdwulf can be pardoned for holding the two sees contrary to canon law because of his sanctity, and because he did it not through ambition but by necessity."[7]


  1. ^ a b Hunt "Ealdwulf" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  2. ^ Knowles, et al. Heads of Religious Houses p. 59
  3. ^ Fletcher Bloodfeud p. 70
  4. ^ Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 224
  5. ^ Barlow English Church 1000–1066 p. 246
  6. ^ Brooke "York Minster" Churches and Churchmen p. 40
  7. ^ Quoted in Barlow English Church 1000–1066 p. 25


  • Barlow, Frank (1979). The English Church 1000–1066: A History of the Later Anglo-Saxon Church (Second ed.). New York: Longman. ISBN 0-582-49049-9.
  • Brooke, C. N. L. (1999). "York Minster from the Ninth to the early Thirteenth Centuries". Churches and Churchmen in Medieval Europe. London: Hambledon Press. pp. 37–68. ISBN 1-85285-183-X.
  • Fletcher, R. A. (2003). Bloodfeud: Murder and Revenge in Anglo-Saxon England. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-516136-X.
  • Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1996). Handbook of British Chronology (Third revised ed.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X.
  • Hunt, William (2004). "Ealdwulf (d. 1002)" ((subscription or UK public library membership required)). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Smith, Mary Frances, revised. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/317. Retrieved 10 November 2007.
  • Knowles, David; London, Vera C. M.; Brooke, Christopher (2001). The Heads of Religious Houses, England and Wales, 940–1216 (Second ed.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-80452-3.

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Christian titles
Preceded by
Bishop of Worcester
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Archbishop of York
Succeeded by