New translation of the seventh-century law code
The twelfth-century scribe has written a heading, in red ink: 'These are the judgments which Hlothere and Eadric, kings of the Kentish people, set down.' The large purple 'h' [Hlothere'] marks the beginning of the text proper. Textus Roffensis (Rochester Priory, c. 1123), folio 3v. Courtesy of the Dean and Chapter, Rochester Cathedral.
The other Monk of this website has been busy with the manuscript known as Textus Roffensis, that is, the Rochester Book.
The law codes that make up the first part of this early twelfth-century manuscript have recently been added to the UNESCO Memory of the World UK Register, which you can read about here.
Dr Monk has been working on and off with the custodians of the manuscript, Rochester Cathedral, during the last eight years or so. Presently, there's a new push to get the whole of the manuscript transcribed and translated, including the charters and records of the second part. This will all be accessible through the cathedral website. There's already quite a lot of stuff on the Textus Roffensis pages, so do check it out.
The latest set of laws that has been published by the cathedral is that of Holthere and Eadric, uncle and nephew, who consecutively ruled the kingdom of Kent at the end of the seventh century.
These laws only survive as a copy in Textus Roffensis. They are so important for helping modern historians understand this early period in English history. Of course, being an eleventh-century monk, I myself am closer to the action, to borrow one of your idioms, but does anyone ever ask me about all this stuff? They do not.
Be that as it may, I must not yield to the temptation to grumble, so please enjoy the latest instalment of Dr Monk's Textus Roffensis translations: