EGBERT OF YORK: First archbishop of York; d. at York Nov. 19, 766. He was of royal family and a brother of Edbert, king of Northumbria 737-758. His childhood and youth were spent in the monastery of Hexham; then he went to Rome, where he learned the Roman usages and was ordained deacon. He was an intimate friend of Bede, who wrote him a letter (in Plummer's Bede, i. 405-423) when he was made bishop of York. He received the pallium from Pope Gregory III. in 735 and thus became independent of Canterbury. For his great learning he was called armarium omnium liberalium artium. His greatest achievement, perhaps, was the founding of a school attached to his cathedral church and the training of competent teachers for it; it became for the north of England what Canterbury was for the south and among its teachers were Egbert's successor Albert (Ethelbert), and the great pupil of the latter, Alcuin. He esteemed classical learning, promoted grammatical study, church music, and the recording of contemporary history, and collected a library highly praised by Alcuin (q.v.). The latter and Egbert's anonymous biographer speak of his admirable qualities in the warmest terms. Boniface applied to the influential and learned archbishop in two extant letters (in Haddan and Stubbs, Councils, iii. 358-360, 388-390), begging him to use his influence with Ethelbald, the powerful king of Mercia, asking for certain works of Bede's, and seeking advice in a question of conscience. Egbert's replies are, unfortunately, not preserved. He was buried in his church in York. Several works of Egbert's are preserved, but not in original form; they are (1) a dialogue on the government of the Church and church discipline (Haddan and Stubbs, iii. 403-413); (2) a penitential (Haddan and Stubbs, iii. 413-433); (3) a pontifical (ed. W. Greenwall, Surtees Society publications, xxvii., Durham, 1853); (4) a work De jure sacerdotali; (5) the De remediis peccatorum is merely a section of the larger collection.
Bibliography. Sources: Vita Alcuini in Jaffé, BRG, vi.; Alcuin, De pontificibus et sanctis ecclesiæ; Eboracensis, in MGH, Poetæ, i (1881), 169-206 transl. in J. Rains, Historians of the Church of York, i. 348-398, cf. preface, lxi.-lxv., London, 1879; Bede, Epistola ad Egbertum in MPL, xciv., and in Opera, ed. by J. Smith, pp. 207-226, London, 1841; Simeon of Durham, Hist. Dunelmensis ecclesisæ, ed. by T. Arnold, London, 1882, transl. in J. Stevenson, Church Historians of England, v., London, 1855; William of Malmesbury, De rebus gestis regum Anglorum in MGH, Script., x (1852), 449-484, transl. in J. Stevenson, as above, vol. iv., London, 1855; Boniface, Epistola in MGH, Epistolarum, iii (1891), 207 sqq. Consult also Fasti Eboracenses, ed. by W. H. Dixon, i. 94-100, London, 1863; DCB, ii (1880), 50-52; H. Hahn, Bonifaz and Lul, pp. 189 sqq., Leipsic, 1883; DNB, xvii (1889),147-148.