The Journal of Ecclesiastical History

Articles

Bishop Ermenfrid of Sion and the Penitential Ordinance following the Battle of Hastings

H. E. J. Cowdreya1

a1 Fellow, Chaplain and Tutor in Modern History, St. Edmund Hall, Oxford

Bishop Ermenfrid of Sion is chiefly familiar to English historians on account of his brief but important intervention in the Anglo-Norman kingdom in the year 1070. However, he occupied his see for more than thirty years during a momentous period of ecclesiastical and political history. Little evidence about him survives, and it has never been fully assembled and discussed; yet it is enough to give more than passing interest to the course of his career and to the details of his activities. This is especially true of Anglo-Norman affairs, Ermenfrid's part in which needs to be explained and subjected to a detailed examination. But, more generally, the wider evidence about him deserves to be brought into the picture, for it sheds light on some of the factors which governed men's minds and loyalties in the second half of the eleventh century.