„Translation: It is reported, that some merchants, having just arrived at Rome on a certain day, exposed many things for sale in the marketplace, and abundance of people resorted thither to buy: Gregory himself went with the rest, and, among other things, some boys were set to sale, their bodies white, their countenances beautiful, and their hair very fine. Having viewed them, he asked, as is said, from what country or nation they were brought? and was told, from the island of Britain, whose inhabitants were of such personal appearance.“
— Bede, buch Ecclesiastical History of the English People
Book II, chapter 1
Bede's source for this story is an anonymous Life of Gregory the Great, written by a monk of Whitby Abbey.
Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum (Ecclesiastical History of the English People)
Original: (la) Dicunt quia die quadam cum, advenientibus nuper mercatoribus, multa venalia in forum fuissent conlata, multi ad emendum confluixissent, et ipsum Gregorium inter alios advenisse, ad vidisse inter alia pueros venales positos candidi corporis ac venusti vultus, capillorum quoque forma egregia. Quos cum adspiceret interrogavit, ut aiunt, de qua regione vel terra essent adlati. Dictumque est quia de Britannia insula, cuius incolae talis essent aspectus.