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Edbert

(688—698)


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Bishop of Lindisfarne 688–98.

All that we know of him comes from Bede, who described him as a priest of great biblical learning, famous also for his generosity: he used to give to the poor each year a tenth of his livestock, grain, fruit, and clothing. While bishop of Lindisfarne he roofed with lead the wooden church built by Finan of Lindisfarne. Each year, like his predecessor Cuthbert, he retired for Lent to St Cuthbert's Isle, off Lindisfarne. During Lent in 698 some monks, whom he had authorized to inspect Cuthbert's body, reported to him there that it was incorrupt and brought him some of the clothes in which the body was wrapped. He told them to make a new shrine for Cuthbert and decided to be buried himself in the tomb just vacated. Soon after, he was struck down with a mortal illness and died on 5 May. The miracles which took place at his tomb led to his being considered a saint at Lindisfarne; after 875 his relics were carried with those of Cuthbert through Northumbria. Feast: 6 May (in Old English and Roman Martyrology), but there seems no Durham evidence for an individual feast. See Edfrith.

Bede, H.E., iii. 25; iv. 27–8; AA.SS. Maii II (1680), 107–8.

Subjects: Christianity.


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