needed a new
bishop. By whatever means (thanks, supposedly, to the influence of the mighty
Earl Godwin), a monk from Durham by the name of Egelric landed the job. So up he came to the
North-East and began what he must have considered something of a plum job. Peterborough
Now this is all supposed to have happened towards the end of the bishop’s reign, around 1054-56. The story goes that during excavational work for the new edifice a hoard of gold was found, the workmen having stumbled upon the treasury of the old Roman garrison. Reports vary slightly as to what exactly happened next, but it would appear that Bishop Egelric exercised what you might call his ‘executive right’ and appropriated the gold for himself and did a runner back to Peterborough.
More kindly reports have him ‘retiring’ the bishopric of Durham in 1056 and assuming some prominent post at Peterborough, where, suitably endowed with a mysterious fortune, he set about rebuilding many of the roads and pathways of the Fens. The new church at
Chester-le-Street was built,
however, though presumably the money had already been put aside for this task.
According to Arthur Mee’s
(1953), the dubious cleric ended up being thrown in the Durham for his
misdeeds several years later by William the Conqueror. Tower of London
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