About Ordulf, Ealdorman of Devon
Ordulf, son of Ordgar, sometimes called Edulph.
ORDGAR (-971, bur Exeter). Ealdorman of Devon. "Ordgar dux" subscribed charters of King Edgar dated between 964 and 970, one charter dated 966 specifying that he was "Ordgarus dux Domnoniæ". Simeon of Durham records the death in 971 of "Ordgar duke of Devonshire the father-in-law of King Eadgar" and his burial at Exeter. His death in 971 is recorded by Roger of Hoveden.
m ---. The name of Ordgar's wife is not known.
Ordgar & his wife had two children:
a) ORDULF (-after 1004). A document which narrates the foundation of Tavistock Monastery names “Ordulphus…filius…Ordgari”. "Ordulf comes" subscribed a charter of King Æthelred II dated 1004.
THE PRIORY OF HORTON
(Cell to the abbey of Sherborne)
The foundation of the Benedictine abbey, afterwards priory, of Horton is generally attributed to Ordgar or Orgar, earl of Devon, the founder of Tavistock, who flourished in the reign of King Edgar and died in the year 971. (fn. 1) The account, however, of William of Malmesbury, from which all subsequent accounts are drawn, (fn. 2) seems rather to imply that the abbey was the work of Ordulph or Edulph, son of Ordgar, and should consequently be dated a little later; possibly the two accounts may be reconciled by supposing that it was begun by the elder man and carried on to completion by the younger in deference to his father's wishes. Horton, dedicated to St. Wolfrida, the mother of Edith abbess of Wilton, was situated, like Little Malvern and other foundations of that age, in the midst of forest; (fn. 3) centuries later Leland writes of the abbey as four miles distant from Wimborne 'much by woody ground.' (fn. 4)
The earlier chronicler relates some of the stories that have been handed down anent the enormous strength and prowess of the younger founder, the giant Edulph, (fn. 5) but adds 'spite of this matchless physical strength death carried him off in the flower of his age, and he ordered that he should be buried at Horton.' Abbot Sihtric of Tavistock, however, foreseeing the advantage that would thence accrue to the smaller foundation, stepped in and 'by violence' caused the body to be transferred to his own church where Earl Ordgar already lay buried.
In all probability Horton shared the fate of Tavistock, which was destroyed in the Danish raid of 997. (fn. 6) To return to the account of William of Malmesbury, Abbot Sihtric added to his crime in robbing Horton of the body of Edulph by turning pirate in the reign of William the Conqueror, whereby he 'polluted religion' and 'defamed the church.' (fn. 7)
At the time of the Domesday Survey the abbey was in possession of the manor of Horton, which was taxed at 7 hides and valued at £4, 'the king holds two of the best hides in the forest of Wimborne.' (fn. 8) The church would go with the possession of the manor as was then the custom and the monks held at the same time a little church or chapel (ecclesiola) in Wimborne and land with two houses, the church of Holy Trinity, Wareham, and five houses paying a rent of 65d., and a house in Dorchester (fn. 9) besides estates in Devonshire.