(d. c. 700)

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St Mildred (c. 700)


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(d. c.700),

abbess. She was the daughter of Ermenred, brother of Erconbert, king of Kent (640–64). She married Merewald, said by later writers to have been a son of Penda king of Mercia, and had four children: Mildred, abbess of Minster, Milburga, abbess of Wenlock, Mildgyth, nun in Northumbria, and a son, Merefin, who died young. Ermenburga's younger brothers were Ethelred and Ethelbrichtt; when they were murdered by Thunor, Egbert's counsellor, Ermenburga received the wergild and asked for this to take the form of land in Kent for the foundation of a nunnery at Minster, in the isle of Thanet, where she became first abbess (c..670). Her daughter Mildred, after being formed at Chelles, succeeded her. Although called ‘saint’, no evidence has survived of Ermenburga's early liturgical cult. Feast: 19 November, in Wilson's Martyrologe (1608), followed by Challoner and Stanton.

Fragments of biography in O. Cockayne (ed.), Leechdoms etc. (R.S.), iii. 423–31; G.R., pp. 78, 261–2, 267. Symeon of Durham, Opera (R.S.), ii. 11–13; Stanton, pp. 557–8.

Subjects: Christianity.

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