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YEAR 796 A.D.

Another Letter from Charles the Great to Offa


56
From Readings in English History, by Edward P. Cheyney; Ginn and Company; Boston; 1922; p. 56.
[The following letter from Charles the Great to Offa, king of Mercia, will indicate the increasing connection of England with the rest of the world, the practice of English pilgrims and traders going to Italy, and the short-lived prominence of Mercia in England in the eighth century. Haddan and Stubbs, Vol. III, pp. 496. sq.]




37. Charles
the Great to
Offa, king of
Mercia (796)
     Charles, by the grace of God king of the Franks and Lombards, patrician of the Romans, to his esteemed and dearest brother Offa, king of the Mercians, sendeth health; First, we give thanks to God Almighty for the purity of the Catholic faith, which we find laudably expressed in your letters. Concerning pilgrims, who for the love of God or for the salvation of their souls wish to visit the residence of the holy apostles, let them go peaceably without any molestation; but if persons not seeking the cause of religion but that of gain be found among them, let them pay the customary tolls in proper places. We will, too, that traders have due protection within our kingdom, according to our mandate, and if in any place they suffer wrongful oppression, let them appeal to us or our judges, and we will see full justice done. Let your grace also be apprised that we have sent some token of our regard, out of our dalmatics and palls, to each episcopal see of your kingdom and of Ethelred‚s, as an almsgiving, for the sake of our apostolical lord Adrian, The late
pope
earnestly begging that you would order him to be prayed for, not as doubting that his blessed soul is at rest, but to show our esteem and regard to our dearest friend. Moreover we have sent somewhat out of the treasures of those earthly riches which the Lord Jesus has granted to us of his unmerited bounty, for the metropolitan cities; and for yourself a belt, an Hungarian sword, and two silk cloaks.







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