St Æthelwold

(c. 908—984) abbot of Abingdon and bishop of Winchester

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Winchester‐born leader of the 10th‐cent. reformation, and major influence on King Edgar. Probably a noble, Æthelwold served King *Æthelstan, became a monk under Dunstan at Glastonbury, and was made, by King Edred, abbot of Abingdon (c.955) and, by Edgar, bishop of Winchester (963). He replaced the clerks of the Old and New Minsters with monks (964), and developed Winchester as a centre of art and learning. Æthelwold's Benedictional (collection of blessings), which combined two liturgical traditions, proved very influential. Heavily involved in politics, he worked closely with Edgar and Queen Ælfthryth. Æthelwold elevated royal authority, implying parallels between king and Christ.

Subjects: British History — Literature.

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