Asser was possibly born with the given name John since he is often given that Christian name. It may be that his surname was Asser or that he chose, or was given that name when he became a monk. His early life was spent in Wales and it is likely that he was born in the kingdom of Dyfed.
871 (15th April)
Alfred became King of Wessex after his brother Aethelred died. Alfred was a scholarly man, very interested in knowledge and education.
Asser was a monk at St David’s. As an educated man he devoted much of his time to learning. One of his relatives was Bishop Nobis of St David’s who may have secured a place for him in the monastery.
The scholarly monk first met King Alfred the Great. Alfred was in Wales having gained the submission of a number of Welsh Kings. He was asked to leave the monastery and join a group of learned men at court.
Asser was taken ill and spent the rest of the year at Caerwent.
King Alfred’s invitation was accepted on condition that he could divide his time between Wessex and Wales. The monk set off on the journey to Wessex.
Asser was joined at King Alfred’s court by Grimbald, a Benedictine Monk from St Omer in France and John the Saxon, a scholar and abbot of Athelney.
Alfred gave the scholar monk the monasteries of Banwell and Congresbury in Somerset.
Asser began teaching King Alfred Latin.
Alfred gave Asser the monastery of Exeter.
Alfred appointed the monk Bishop of Devon and Cornwall.
The Bishop of Devon and Cornwall now became Bishop of Sherborne.
Bishop Asser wrote the ‘Life of King Alfred’ in Latin. Although Alfred lived for another 6 years no additional material was added to the manuscript.
899 (26th October)
King Alfred died. He was succeeded by his son, Edward, known as Edward The Elder.
The Bishop was present with King Edward the Elder at a meeting that took place at Bicanleag.
Asser, Bishop of Sherbourne, died.
Published Jan 27 2022 @ 11:36 am – Updated – [last-modified]
Harvard Reference for this page:
Heather Y Wheeler. (2022). Asser Bishop of Sherborne d. 909.