Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Eanbald I

EANBALD I (d. 796), archbishop of York, was a pupil of Archbishop Ecgberht and of Æthelberht or Albert, who took charge of the school attached to the church of York for Ecgberht, and succeeded him as archbishop. When Æthelberht rebuilt the minster the superintendence of the work was committed to Eanbald conjointly with Alcuin. In 778 Æthelberht retired from active life, and appointed Eanbald to succeed him. Eanbald assisted Æthelberht to dedicate the new church in October 780, and when the old archbishop died ten days afterwards he became the sole occupant of the see. Ælfwold, the Northumbrian king, sent to Hadrian I that he might receive the pall, and in accordance with his wish Alcuin went to Rome to fetch it. In 787 he held a synod at a place called Pincahala (Symeon; Wincanhele, A.-S. Chron., perhaps Finchale, near Durham, but see Eccl. Docs. iii. 444). This may with tolerable certainty be identified with the northern synod which received the legates George and Theophylact, and adopted their decrees (ib. 447 sq.; Alcuin, Ep. 10). Eanbald lived in troublous times; Northumbria was a prey to civil discord and violence, and was subjected to the assaults of the northern pirates, who in 793 desolated Lindisfarne. He evidently contemplated retiring from the archbishopric, and would have been glad if Alcuin had consented to succeed him. On 25 June 796, assisted by three of the bishops of his province, he crowned Eardwulf king of Northumbria [q. v.] Before his death the church of York sent a priest, also named Eanbald [see under Eanbald II.], with a letter to Alcuin, evidently to consult him as to the election of a successor. Alcuin wrote in answer that the right of election lay with the clergy, and he urged them to keep free from simony. Eanbald died on 10 Aug. 796 at the monastery of Ætlæte (Elmete, Leeds?) He was buried in his church at York. Alcuin mentions his death in a letter to the Bishop of Salzburg.

[Carmen de Pontiff. Eccl. Ebor. 1. 1515 sq.; Monumenta Alcuiniana, Jaffé, Epp. 10, 35, 36; Anglo-Saxon Chron. sub ann. 780, 788, 795; Haddan and Stubbs's Councils, &c. i, 111, 443 sq.; Symeon of Durham, Hist. Regum (Rolls Ser.), ii. 58; Raine's Fasti Ebor. 106–9; Dict. of Christ. Biog. art. ‘Eanbald,’ by Canon Raine.]

W. H.