The Victoria History of the County of Oxford, England (Volume 2)
The Editor wishes to express his indebtedness to Mr. I. Chalkley Gould, F.S.A., for notes and additions to the article on Ancient Earthworks, and to the Rev. H. E. Salter, M.A., for the use of photographs of some of the seals reproduced on the plates of seals given in this volume.
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The ecclesiastical history of Oxfordshire begins at the year 634, the date of the coming of Birinus. The account of him that is given us in Bede is that, on his journey from Italy, Wessex was the first part of Britain that he reached; that, finding it to be most pagan, he preached the gospel there, and Cynegils, the king, became a catechumen. When the time came for his baptism, Oswald, king of Northumbria, who happened to be in Wessex at the time and was shortly to be his son-in-law, stood to him as godfather; and the two kings joined in giving Birinus, who was already a bishop, the 'city' called Dorcic as his episcopal seat. There, after building churches and converting much people, he died and was buried, but many years later his bones were translated to Winchester by Bishop Haeddi. To this the Anglo-Saxon chronicle adds, that it was at Dorchester that Cynegils was baptized, that in the following year (636) Cwichelm his son was baptized there, dying soon after, and that Cuthred, son of Cwichelm, was baptized at the same place in 639.