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one of the fevr learned Englishmen of the eighth century, was born

, one of the fevr learned Englishmen of the eighth century, was born in the north of England, and educated at York, under the direction of archbishop Egbert, as we learn from his own letters, in which he frequently calls that great prelate his beloved master, and the clergy of York the companions of his youthful studies. As he survived the venerable Bede about seventy years, it is hardly possible that he could have received any part of his education under him, as some writers have asserted; nor does he ever call that great man his master, though he speaks of him with the highest veneration. It is not well known to what preferments he had attained in the church before he left England, although some say he was deacon of the church of York, and abhot of Canterbury. The occasion of his leaving his native country was, his being sent on an embassy by Offa, king of Mercia, to the emperor Charlemagne, who contracted so great an esteem and friendship for him, that he earnestly solicited, and at length prevailed upon him, to settle in his court, and become his preceptor in the sciences. Alcuinus accordingly instructed that great prince in rhetoric, logic, mathematics, and divinity; which rendered him one of his greatest favourites. He was treated with so much kindness and familiarity by the emperor, that the courtiers called him, by way of eminence, “the emperor’s delight.