The Holy Bert forest (also: Birhtwald, Brihtwald, Beorhtweald, Berthwald, Beorhtwald or Beretuald; † 731 ) was from 693 to his death Archbishop of Canterbury.


Bert Forest was born around 650 and was of royal descent. Through its exact origin, however, is little known.

Abbot of Glastonbury and Reculver

From Cenwalh, king of Wessex, he became 667 for the first Anglo-Saxon abbot of Glastonbury, which was four years later equipped the King with extensive land holdings in the area of Meare. To 676 was Bert forest abbot of Reculver in Kent (north of Canterbury ). In the year 679 King Hlothhere of Kent gave lands at Westanae (Isle of Thanet ) and in Sturry ( at Canterbury ) to the Abbot Bert forest and monastery Reculver.

Archbishop of Canterbury

In the year 690 he was elected for the ninth Archbishop of Canterbury as a successor to the late Theodore of Tarsus and went into the Frankish Empire, where he was 693, consecrated by Godwin, the Archbishop of Lyon. Bert forest built new bishoprics and promoted the Christianization of Sussex, the last pagan kingdom of the Anglo-Saxons.

The new Archbishop of Canterbury Forest Bert demanded by Wilfrid, Archbishop of York, to confirm the division of the diocese. Wilfrid refused and was sent into exile; he found refuge with Æthelred of Mercia.

By Archbishop Bert Forest influence Wihtred King of Kent led 695 by legislative reform. In Berghamstyde, the new laws at a meeting of many important men ( Gybmund, Bishop of Rochester, Archbishop of Canterbury Bert forest, etc.) have been adopted. Well unlawful marriages, pagan rites and disregard for the religious holidays were punished: The churches were exempt from taxes, oaths of the bishops and the King were fully valid.

702 he headed the Council of Easter Field, was deposed and excommunicated on the Wilfrid. Wilfrid was 703 by Pope John VI. after 70 sessions fully rehabilitated. Bert forest reconciled in the year 706 with Wilfrid at a synod. Despite the decision of the Pope Wilfrid renounced the bishopric of York in favor of John of Beverley and accepted the newly created Diocese of Hexham, where he also got back his monastery in Ripon.

Bert Forest died on 13 January 731 in Canterbury, his successor was Tatwin.

As death year was 729, 731 and 732 to me, but is now generally held to be right 731.


  • Venerable Bede, Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum
  • Symeon of Durham, Historia regum Anglorum et Dacorum
  • The Anglo - Saxon Chronicle in Project Gutenberg (English)