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Jaenbert

Archbishop of Canterbury (d. 791)

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Jaenbert (JAENBERHT, JANBRIHT, JANIBERT, JAMBERT, LAMBERT, LANBRIHT, GENGBERHT), thirteenth Archbishop of Canterbury; d. at Canterbury 11 or August 12, 791: the exact date is uncertain; Florence of Worcester and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle place it in 790; Symeon of Durham, the better authority, in 791. Nothing is known of his life till 760, when he was elected Abbot of St. Augustine’s, Canterbury, and blessed by Archbishop Bregwin. When the archbishop died he was buried at Christ Church, and Jaenbert asserted the rights of his own abbey as the traditional burying-place with such vigor that according to a late tradition the monks of Christ Church elected him archbishop to avoid his appeal to Rome. He was consecrated on February 2, 766, and received the pallium from Pope Paul I in 767. During his pontificate the struggle of Kent against the growing power of Offa of Mercia ended in the defeat of the former kingdom. Offa‘s policy for the aggrandizement of Mercia involved the creation of a separate archbishopric independent of Canterbury, and though Jaenbert opposed this vigorously, Offa obtained the pope’s consent, and the papal legates George and Theophylact held a council at Chelsea in 787 where Jaenbert was forced to surrender much of the jurisdiction of Canterbury to Higbald, the newly elected Archbishop of Lichfield. The extent of the territory transferred is not recorded. Silver coins were minted by Jaenbert, he being the earliest Archbishop of Canterbury of whose coinage specimens have been preserved.

EDWIN BURTON


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