Ebbe the Younger

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According to Matthew Paris, perhaps using an older, lost source from Tynemouth, was martyred with her community at Coldingham by the Vikings in 870. The Viking invaders, with a record of massacre and rape, arrived at the monastery shortly after Ebbe had warned her community. Her method of preserving her virtue, imitated by her community, was to cut open her nose and lips with a razor. The raiders were so disgusted by the spectacle that they kept their distance, but returned soon afterwards and burnt the monastery with all its inhabitants. There is no surviving record of this Ebbe older than Matthew Paris, and no ancient cult, but there was a shrine in the 13th century and a curious feast of a dedication of the altar of St Ebbe on 22 June in a Coldingham manuscript may refer to this Ebbe or to her namesake.

Matthew Paris, Chronica Majora (ed. H. R. Luard, R.S., 1872), i. 391–2. C.S.P., N.L.A., i. 307–8. E.B.K. after 1100, i. 161–79.

Subjects: Christianity.

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