Abbot Cuthbert of Durham:
Letter to the Archbishop of Mainz Soliciting Glaziers, 758
Already in the seventh century glassmaking had been introduced into England by
Benedict Biscop, but this industry could not have been in a flourishing condition in the
eighth century. Abbot Cuthbert, therefore, wrote to the Archbishop of Mainz for a
craftsman to teach the making of glass to the men of England, so that they might glaze the
windows and lamps of the church, not to mention other vessels.
If there is any man in your diocese who knows how to make glass vessels well, when a
suitable occasion presents itself, kindly send him to me; or if by any chance there is any
one in a neighboring diocese, I ask your fraternity to persuade him to come to us, because
we are ignorant of this art, and in great need of such a person. And if it should happen
by any chance that any of the glassmakers should by reason of your diligence, and with
God's will, be permitted to come to us, I shall receive him with every kindness, and he
shall live as a teacher. It would please me also to have a zither-player who can play on
the zither, which we call "rottae," for I have a zither and do not know how to
play it. If it is not asking too much put such a man at my disposition also.
From: J. P. Migne, ed., Patrologiae Cursus Completus, (Paris, 1862), Vol. XCVI,
p. 839; reprinted in Roy C. Cave & Herbert H. Coulson, eds., A Source Book for
Medieval Economic History, (Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Co., 1936; reprint ed.,
New York: Biblo & Tannen, 1965), p.235.
Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by
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