Ælfric of Canterbury, the grammarian, was of noble birth, supposed to be the son of the earl of Kent. He was a scholar of Athelwold, at Abingdon, about 960. When Athelwold was made bishop of Winchester, he took Ælfric with him and made him a priest of his cathedral. Ælfric left Winchester about 988 for Cerne in Dorsetshire, where an abbey was established by Æthelmær. Ic Ælfríc, munuc and mæssepreóst... wearþ asend, on Æðelrédes dæge cyninges, fram Ælfeáge biscope, Aðelwoldes æftergengan, to sumum mynstre, ðe is Cernel gehaten, þurh Æðelmæres bene ðæs þegenes I Ælfric, monk and mass-priest... was sent, in king Æthelred's day, from bishop Ælfeah, Æthelwold's successor, to a minster, which is called Cerne, at the prayer of Æthelmær the thane, Homl. Th. i. 2, 1-5. He is said to have been bishop of Wilton, and he was elected archbishop of Canterbury. A. D. 995, Hér Siric arcebisceop forþférde, and Ælfríc, Wiltunscíre bisceop wearþ gecoren on Easterdæi on Ambresbyri, fram Æðelréde cinge, and fram eallan his witan in this year, A. D. 995, archbishop Sigeric died, and Ælfric, bishop of Wiltshire, was chosen on Easter-day at Amesbury, by king Æthelred, and all his witan, Chr. 995; Th. 243, 36, col. 2 — 245, 3, col. 2. This Ælfric was a very wise man, so that there was no more sagacious man in England. Then went Ælfric to his archiepiscopal see, and when he came thither, he was received by those men in orders, who of all were most distasteful to him, that was, by clerks, Chr. 995; Th. ii. 106, 20-24. Ælfric speaks strongly against the transubstantiation in the Eucharist, which gave his Homilies so great an importance in the eyes of the English reformers: v. húsel. He died A. D. 1006, Hér forþférde Ælfríc arcebisceop in this year, archbishop Ælfric died. Chr. 1006; Th. 255, 35, col. 2. The preceding is the most probable biography of Ælfric, archbishop of Canterbury. Others have been written in Pref. to Homl. Th. i. pp. v-x: Lchdm. iii. pref. pp. xiv-xxix, etc. A list of his numerous books is given in Wright's Biographia Britannia Literaria, A. Sax. Period, pp. 485-494, and in Homl. Th. i. pp. vii-ix.
Ælfric Bata was the pupil of the preceding Ælfric, the grammarian. In the title of the MS. in St. John's College, Oxford, we read, — 'Hanc sententiam Latini sermonis olim Ælfricus abbas composuit, qui meus fuit magister, sed tamen ego Ælfric Bata multas postea huic addidi appendices,' Wanl. Catal. p. 105, 4-7. It appears that in the time of Lanfranc, when the newest Romish doctrines relating to transubstantiation etc. were imposed upon the English Church by the Norman prelates, Ælfric Bata was regarded as an opponent of that doctrine, Wrt. Biog. Brit. A. Sax. p. 497.
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- Ælfríc, n.