Living (d.1020) (DNB00)

LIVING, LYFING, ELFSTAN, or ETHELSTAN (d. 1020), archbishop of Canterbury, was consecrated to the see of Wells in 999, and was appointed by Ethelred the Unready [q. v.] to Canterbury, in succession to Ælfheah [q. v.] or Alphege. He is said to have received the pall from Benedict VIII (Gervase). Godwin states that he was kept in prison by the Danes for seven months. This statement is evidently founded on a misunderstanding of a passage in the ‘Gesta Pontificum,’ which refers to his predecessor. Dean Hook says that it is an historical fact that he fled from England, but there seems to be no authority for this assertion. He must have taken a large part in framing the laws published with his approval in the witenagemot of 1014; they are mainly ecclesiastical. He crowned Edmund Ironside [q. v.] in 1016, and Canute [q. v.] in January 1017. He is said to have been an active prelate and a wise and religious man, and to have enriched his church with noble ornaments. Living died on 12 June 1020, and was buried in his cathedral church.

[Godwin, De Præsulibus, p. 54; Hook's Archbishops of Canterbury, i. 471; Kemble's Codex Dipl. Nos. 703, 727, 730 (Engl. Hist. Soc.); A.-S. Chron. ann. 1013, 1020 (Rolls Ser.); Gervase of Canterbury, i. 14, 24, ii. 55, 361 (Rolls Ser.); Will. of Malmesbury's Gesta Pontiff. pp. 33, 34 (Rolls Ser.)]

W. H.