|Archbishop of York|
|Diocese||Diocese of York|
|See||Archbishop of York|
|Reign ended||19 November 766|
|Died||19 November 766|
Ecgbert was the son of Eata, who was descended from the founder of the kingdom of Bernicia. His brother Eadberht was king of Northumbria from 737 to 758. Ecgbert went to Rome with another brother, and was ordained deacon while still in Rome. He studied under Bede, who visited him in 733 at York.
Ecgbert was named to the see of York in 732 by his cousin Ceolwulf, the king of Northumbria. Pope Gregory III gave him a pallium, the symbol of an archbishop's authority, in 735. Alcuin as a child was given to Ecgbert, and was educated at the school at York that Ecgbert founded. Liudger, later the first bishop of Munster, and Aluberht, another bishop in Germany, both studied at the school in York. Bede wrote him a letter, dealing with monastic issues as well as the problems of large dioceses. Bede urged Ecgbert to study Gregory the Great's Pastoral Care. Bede's admonition to divide up dioceses, however, fell on deaf ears, as Egbert did not break up his large diocese. The suffragans continued to be limited to the bishops of Hexham, Lindisfarne, and Whithorn.
The monastic problems came from the secular practice of families setting up monasteries that were totally under their control as a way of making the family lands book-land and free from secular service. Book-land was at first an exclusive right of ecclesiastical property. By transferring land to a family-controlled monastery, the family would retain the use of the land without having to perform any services to the king for the land. Ecgbert wrote the Dialogus ecclesiasticae institutionis, which was basically a legal law code for the clergy, setting forth the proper procedures for many clerical and eccleisastical issues including weregild for clerics, entrance to clerical orders, deposition from the clergy, criminal monks, clerics in court, and other matters. It details a code of conduct for the clergy and how the clergy was to behave in society. The historian Simon Coates saw the Dialogus as not especially exalting monks above the laity. Other works were attributed to him in the Middle Ages, but they are not regarded by modern scholars as his. These include the Excerptiones pseudo-Ecgberhti, as well as a penitential and a pontifical.
Boniface wrote to Ecgbert, asking for support against Ethelbald of Mercia. Boniface also asked the archbishop for some of Bede's books, and in return sent wine to be drunk "in a merry day with the brethern." The school he founded at York is held by the modern historian Peter Hunter Blair to have equalled or surpassed the famous monasteries at Wearmouth and Jarrow.
Ecgbert died on 19 November 766.
- Mayr-Harting "Ecgberht (d. 766)" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
- Blair World of Bede p. 305
- Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 224, which prefaces the date with a question mark; although The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle cites 734, Symeon Historia Ecclesiae Dunelmensis ii.3 gives the date as 732
- Hindley A Brief History of the Anglo-Saxons p. 85
- Stenton Anglo Saxon England p. 175
- Mayr-Harting Coming of Christianity pp. 241-243
- Cubitt "Finding the Forger" English Historical Journal p. 1222
- Mayr-Harting Coming of Christianity pp. 252-253
- Mayr-Harting Coming of Christianity pp. 251-252
- Coates "Role of Bishops" History p. 194
- Lapidge "Ecgberht" Blackwell Encyclopedia of Anglo-Saxon England
- quoted in Hindley A Brief History of the Anglo-Saxons p. 143
- Blair World of Bede p. 225
- Blair, Peter Hunter (1990). The World of Bede (1970 reprint ed.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-39819-3.
- Coates, Simon (1996). "The Role of Bishops in the Early Anglo-Saxon Church: A Reassessment". History 81 (262): 177–196. doi:10.1111/j.1468-229X.1996.tb02256.x.
- Cubitt, Catherine (1999). "Finding the Forger: An Alleged Decree of the 679 Council of Hatfield". The English Historical Review 114 (459): 1217–1248. doi:10.1093/ehr/114.459.1217. JSTOR 580246.
- 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.
- Hindley, Geoffrey (2006). A Brief History of the Anglo-Saxons: The Beginnings of the English Nation. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers. ISBN 978-0-7867-1738-5.
- Kirby, D. P. (2000). The Earliest English Kings. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-24211-8.
- Lapidge, Michael (2001). "Ecgberht". In Lapidge, Michael; Blair, John; Keynes, Simon; Scragg, Donald. The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Anglo-Saxon England. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. p. 157. ISBN 978-0-631-22492-1.
- Mayr-Harting, Henry (1991). The Coming of Christianity to Anglo-Saxon England. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press. ISBN 0-271-00769-9.
- Mayr-Harting, Henry (2004). "Ecgberht (d. 766)" ((subscription or UK public library membership required)). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/8580. Retrieved 9 November 2007.
- Stenton, F. M. (1971). Anglo-Saxon England (Third ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-280139-5.
- Prosopography of Anglo Saxon England entry on Ecgbert
- The penitential ascribed to Ecgbert (transcribed from Oxford, Bodleian Library, Bodley 718)
- The penitential ascribed to Ecgbert (transcribed from Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Pal. Lat. 554)
|Catholic Church titles|
|Bishop of York
|Office upgraded to archbishopric|
Office upgraded from bishopric
|Archbishop of York