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Cuthman


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(d. 8th century),

Anglo-Saxon hermit saint, associated with Steyning (West Sussex), where he died and was buried. His name appears in a few early calendars, and in R.P.S., which clearly indicate a pre-Conquest cult. However, Edward the Confessor gave Steyning church to Fécamp, which monastery established a cell of monks on the site of his old wooden church. After the Conquest a stone church was built by them, but Cuthman's relics were transferred to Fécamp. The Lives preserved there may contain some genuine material. They say he was born c.681 probably at Chidham, near Bosham, which was the centre of early missionary work. After his father's death he looked after his paralysed mother, for whom he made a wheelbarrow couch; with the help of a rope over his shoulders he used to wheel her wherever he went, travelling as a mendicant hermit. He finally settled at Steyning, where he built a hut for his mother and himself and later a church. Feast: 8 February.

AA.SS. Feb. II (1658), 197–9;R.P.S.;C.S.P.;G. R. Stephens and W. D. Stephens, ‘Cuthman; a neglected saint’, Speculum, xii (1938), 448–53;F. W. Cox, ‘St Cuthman; what is known of him’, Sussex Notes and Queries, iv (1933), 204–7:P. Grosjean, ‘Codicis Gothani appendix’, Anal. Boll., lviii (1940), 197–9.

Subjects: Christianity.


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