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Wulfstan I, Archbishop of York

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Title: Wulfstan I, Archbishop of York  
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Subject: York Minster, Amlaíb Cuarán, Wulfstan (died 1023), Five Boroughs of the Danelaw, Wulfrun, Anglo-Saxon charters
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Wulfstan I, Archbishop of York

For other uses, see Wulfstan (disambiguation).
Archbishop of York
Province York
Diocese Diocese of York
See Archbishop of York
Appointed 931
Term ended 26 December 956
Predecessor Hrotheweard
Successor Oscytel
Consecration 931
Personal details
Birth name Wulfstan
Died December 956
Oundle, Northamptonshire

Wulfstan (died December 956) was Archbishop of York between 931 and 952. He is often known as Wulfstan I, to separate him from Wulfstan II, Archbishop of York.


Wulfstan was consecrated in 931.[1]

In 939, King Olaf Guthfrithson of Dublin invaded Northumbria and occupied York. King Edmund of England marched north to remove Olaf from York, but in 940 Wulfstan and Archbishop Wulfhelm of Canterbury arranged a treaty that ceded the area between Watling Street and the border of Northumbria to Olaf. But Olaf died in late 940, and his rule in York was inherited by his cousin, Olaf Sitricson who became King of Jórvík.[2] Wulstan's career is characterised by frequent swapping of allegiances, both among Viking leaders from Dublin and the Wessex kings. Perhaps Wulfstan played the part of 'king-maker' in Northumbrian politics in the mid-10th century, or perhaps he was guided by self-preservation and the interests of the Church in Northumbria.[3] Later in 947 Wulfstan invited Erik Bloodaxe, the King of Orkney to become King of Jórvík. Eadred of Wessex brutally ravaged Northumbria in 948, forcing Eric to leave Northumbria. Olaf Cuaran then resumed his second reign at York. By 951, Wulfstan appears to have supported Erik's claim to the kingdom of York over Olaf as he ceased to witness charters at the English court.[3] In 952, Olaf was driven out by the Northumbrians in favor of Eric. Eadred then re-invaded and imprisoned Wulfstan.[4] The Anglo Saxon Chronicle version D says that Eadred arrested Wulfstan, but if this actually happened, the king and archbishop must have reconciled at some point before Eadred's death in 955, as Wulfstan was archbishop when Eadred died.[5] He attested some charters in 953, so he was not imprisoned then.[4]

Wulfstan died at



External links

  • Prosopography of Anglo Saxon England entry on Wulfstan
  • The History of St Peter's Church Oundle
  • St Peter's Church Oundle
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Archbishop of York
Succeeded by

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