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Æthelburh of Kent

Æthelburh of Kent (born c. 601, sometimes spelled Æthelburg, Ethelburga, Æthelburga; Old English: Æþelburh, Æðelburh, Æðilburh, also known as Tate or Tata), was an early Anglo-Saxon queen consort of Northumbria, the second wife of King Edwin. As she was a Christian from Kent, their marriage triggered the initial phase of the conversion of the pagan north of England to Christianity.

Saint Æthelburh
Queen of Northumbria,
Abbess of Lyminge
Bornc. 601
Kent, England
Diedc. 647
Lyminge, Kent, England
Venerated inRoman Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
Anglican Communion
Major shrineCollegiate Church at Canterbury, England
Feast5 April

Contents

Æthelburh was born in the early 7th century, as the daughter of King Æthelberht of Kent (sometimes spelled Aethelberht) and his queen Bertha, and sister of Eadbald. In 625, she married Edwin of Northumbria as his second wife. A condition of their marriage was Edwin's conversion to Christianity and the acceptance of Paulinus's mission to convert the Northumbrians.

Æthelburh's children with Edwin were: Eanflæd, Ethelhun, Wuscfrea and Edwen.

Her daughter Eanflæd grew up under the protection of her uncle, King Eadbald of Kent. Bede, Ecclesiastical History (2.20) states that Æthelburh did not trust her brother, or Edwin's sainted successor Oswald, with the lives of Edwin's male descendants whom she sent to the court of King Dagobert I (her mother's cousin).

Saxon church at Lyminge founded by Æthelburh in 633, excavated in 2019
Stone in Lyminge Church marking the burial site of the founder

King Edwin’s conversion was due to his marriage to Æthelburh, who brought her bishop Paulinus with her. Both Æthelburh and her mother, Bertha, received letters from popes Gregory and Boniface respectively, urging them to do their Christian duty by converting their pagan husbands. Their daughter Eanflaed was one of the first to be baptized in Northumbria. After King Edwin was wounded, Æthelburh's alarm caused an early onset of childbirth. Both the mother, as well as the infant, appeared to be in danger. The prayers of Paulinus were offered for the queen and child. After they recovered, 12 of the royal households, as well as the baby, were baptized by Edwin's permission and request.

According to the Kentish Royal Legend, after Edwin's death at the Battle of Hatfield Chase in 633, she returned to Kent. She then established one of the first Benedictine nunneries in England, at Lyminge, near Folkestone, which she led until her death in 647, and where her remains were later venerated.

Modern research has shown that the buildings at Lyminge were designed to contain a convent of monks as well as of nuns. The church is built from Roman masonry, and was possibly built out of the fragments of a villa, which was customary practice by Anglo-Saxons, or it may have been a Roman basilica.

  1. Eckenstein, Lina (1963). Woman Under Monasticism: Chapters on Saint-lore and Convent Life Between A.D. 500 and A.D. 1500. Russell & Russell. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-8462-0363-6.
  2. Stowe 944: Þonne wæs Éadbald Æðelbyrhtes sunu cyninges, & Byrhtan hátte his cwén, & Æðelburh hátte heora dohtor, óþrum naman Tate.
  3. Wilson, Stephen (1998). The Means of Naming: A Social and Cultural History of Personal Naming in Western Europe. UCL Press. p. 78. ISBN 9781857282450.
  4. Barbara Yorke (1990). Kings and kingdoms of early Anglo-Saxon England. Psychology Press. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-415-16639-3.
  5. Stowe 944: Héo wæs forgyfen Éadwine Norðhymbra cyninge tó cwene, & Sanctus Paulinus sé bisceop fór mid hyre & gefullode þone cyningc, & ealle his þéode.
  6. Larrington, Carolyne (1995). Women and Writing in Medieval Europe: A Sourcebook. Routledge. p. 158. ISBN 978-0-415-10685-6.
  7. Hodgkin, R. H. (1959). A History of the Anglo-Saxons. CUP Archive. p. 39. GGKEY:27E9TB5PQ5G.

Æthelburh of Kent
AEthelburh of Kent Language Watch Edit AEthelburh of Kent born c 601 1 sometimes spelled AEthelburg Ethelburga AEthelburga Old English AEthelburh AEdelburh AEdilburh also known as Tate or Tata 2 3 was an early Anglo Saxon queen consort of Northumbria the second wife of King Edwin As she was a Christian from Kent their marriage triggered the initial phase of the conversion of the pagan north of England to Christianity Saint AEthelburhQueen of Northumbria Abbess of LymingeBornc 601 Kent EnglandDiedc 647 Lyminge Kent EnglandVenerated inRoman Catholic Church Eastern Orthodox Church Anglican CommunionMajor shrineCollegiate Church at Canterbury EnglandFeast5 April Contents 1 Early life and marriage 2 Christianity and founding of monastery 3 References 4 External linksEarly life and marriage EditAEthelburh was born in the early 7th century as the daughter of King AEthelberht of Kent sometimes spelled Aethelberht and his queen Bertha and sister of Eadbald In 625 she married Edwin of Northumbria as his second wife A condition of their marriage was Edwin s conversion to Christianity and the acceptance of Paulinus s mission to convert the Northumbrians 4 5 AEthelburh s children with Edwin were Eanflaed Ethelhun Wuscfrea and Edwen Her daughter Eanflaed grew up under the protection of her uncle King Eadbald of Kent Bede Ecclesiastical History 2 20 states that AEthelburh did not trust her brother or Edwin s sainted successor Oswald with the lives of Edwin s male descendants whom she sent to the court of King Dagobert I her mother s cousin Christianity and founding of monastery Edit Saxon church at Lyminge founded by AEthelburh in 633 excavated in 2019 Stone in Lyminge Church marking the burial site of the founder King Edwin s conversion was due to his marriage to AEthelburh who brought her bishop Paulinus with her Both AEthelburh and her mother Bertha received letters from popes Gregory and Boniface respectively urging them to do their Christian duty by converting their pagan husbands Their daughter Eanflaed was one of the first to be baptized in Northumbria 6 After King Edwin was wounded AEthelburh s alarm caused an early onset of childbirth Both the mother as well as the infant appeared to be in danger The prayers of Paulinus were offered for the queen and child After they recovered 12 of the royal households as well as the baby were baptized by Edwin s permission and request 7 According to the Kentish Royal Legend after Edwin s death at the Battle of Hatfield Chase in 633 she returned to Kent She then established one of the first Benedictine nunneries in England at Lyminge near Folkestone which she led until her death in 647 and where her remains were later venerated 5 Modern research has shown that the buildings at Lyminge were designed to contain a convent of monks as well as of nuns The church is built from Roman masonry and was possibly built out of the fragments of a villa which was customary practice by Anglo Saxons or it may have been a Roman basilica 1 References Edit a b Eckenstein Lina 1963 Woman Under Monasticism Chapters on Saint lore and Convent Life Between A D 500 and A D 1500 Russell amp Russell p 84 ISBN 978 0 8462 0363 6 Stowe 944 THonne waes Eadbald AEdelbyrhtes sunu cyninges amp Byrhtan hatte his cwen amp AEdelburh hatte heora dohtor othrum naman Tate Wilson Stephen 1998 The Means of Naming A Social and Cultural History of Personal Naming in Western Europe UCL Press p 78 ISBN 9781857282450 Barbara Yorke 1990 Kings and kingdoms of early Anglo Saxon England Psychology Press p 36 ISBN 978 0 415 16639 3 a b Stowe 944 Heo waes forgyfen Eadwine Nordhymbra cyninge to cwene amp Sanctus Paulinus se bisceop for mid hyre amp gefullode thone cyningc amp ealle his theode Larrington Carolyne 1995 Women and Writing in Medieval Europe A Sourcebook Routledge p 158 ISBN 978 0 415 10685 6 Hodgkin R H 1959 A History of the Anglo Saxons CUP Archive p 39 GGKEY 27E9TB5PQ5G External links EditAEthelburg 1 at Prosopography of Anglo Saxon England Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title AEthelburh of Kent amp oldid 1048062320, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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