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Ealdred (or Aldred) (died 11 September 1069) was Abbot of Tavistock, Bishop of Worcester, and Archbishop of York in Anglo-Saxon England. He was related to a number of other ecclesiastics of the period. After becoming a monk at the monastery at Winchester, he was appointed Abbot of Tavistock Abbey in around 1027. In 1046 he was named to the Bishopric of Worcester. Ealdred, besides his episcopal duties, served Edward the Confessor, the King of England, as a diplomat and as a military leader. He worked to bring one of the king's relatives, Edward the Exile, back to England from Hungary to secure an heir for the childless king.

In 1058 he undertook a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, the first bishop from England to do so.[1] As administrator of the Diocese of Hereford, he was involved in fighting against the Welsh, suffering two defeats at the hands of raiders before securing a settlement with Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, a Welsh ruler.

In 1060, Ealdred was elected to the archbishopric of York, but had difficulty in obtaining papal approval for his appointment, only managing to do so when he promised not to hold the bishoprics of York and Worcester simultaneously. He helped secure the election of Wulfstan as his successor at Worcester. During his archiepiscopate, he built and embellished churches in his diocese, and worked to improve his clergy by holding a synod which published regulations for the priesthood.

Some sources state that following King Edward's death in 1066, it was Ealdred who crowned Harold Godwinson as King of England.[2] Ealdred supported Harold as king, but when Harold was defeated at the Battle of Hastings, Ealdred backed Edgar the Ætheling and then endorsed King William the Conqueror, the Duke of Normandy and a distant relative of King Edward's. Ealdred crowned King William on Christmas Day in 1066. William never quite trusted Ealdred or the other English leaders, and Ealdred had to accompany William back to Normandy in 1067, but he had returned to York by the time of his death in 1069. Ealdred supported the churches and monasteries in his diocese with gifts and building projects.


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