The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation

By Bede | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III.
HOW ST. AUGUSTINE MADE MELLITUS AND JUSTUS, BISHOPS;
AND OF HIS DEATH.

In the year of our Lord 604, Augustine, Archbishop of Britain, ordained two bishops, viz. Mellitus and Justus; Mellitus to preach to the province of the East Saxons, who are divided from Kent by the river Thames, and border on the East Sea. Their metropolis is the city of London, which is situated on the bank of the aforesaid river, and is the mart of many nations resorting to it by sea and land. At that time, Seberht, nephew to Ethelbert by his sister Ricula, reigned over the nation, though he was under subjection to Ethelbert, who, as has been said above, had command over all the nations of the English as far as the river Humber. But when this province also received the word of truth, by the preaching of Mellitus, King Ethelbert built the church of St. Paul, in the city of London, where he and his successors should have their espiscopal see. As for Justus, Augustine ordained him bishop in Kent, at the city which the English nation named Rofecestre, from one that was formerly the chief man of it, called Rof. It is almost twenty-four miles distant from the city of Canterbury to the westward, and contains a church dedicated to St. Andrew, the Apostle. King Ethelbert, who built it, bestowed many gifts on the bishops of both those churches, as well as on that of Canterbury, adding lands and possessions for the use of those who were with the bishops. After this, the beloved of God, Father Augustine, died, and his body was deposited without, close by the church of the apostles, Peter and Paul, Above spoken of, by reason that the same was not yet finished, nor consecrated, but as soon as it was dedicated; the body was brought in, and decently buried in the north porch thereof;

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