(d. c. 700)

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(d. c.700),

queen of Mercia, abbess of Ely. She was the daughter of Erconbert, king of Kent, and of his wife Sexburga, who was sister of Etheldreda. Ermengild married Wulfhere, king of Mercia (657–74) and son of Penda. She converted her husband and bore him two children, Coenred, king of Mercia 704–9, and Werburg. After Wulfhere's death she became a nun at Minster-in-Sheppey, founded by her mother Sexburga. When the latter resigned this abbacy and went to Ely, Ermengild succeeded her at Minster; when Sexburga died at Ely twenty years later, Ermengild became Ely's third royal abbess in succession. Nothing is known of her rule there, not even the day of her death. Her daughter Werburga succeeded her as abbess of Ely. Ermengild's cult was extensive, but several pre-Conquest calendars wrongly describe her as a virgin. Feast: 13 February; Ely kept the feast of her translation on 17 October.

O. Cockayne (ed.), Leechdoms etc. (R.S.), iii. 431–3; E. O. Blake (ed.), Liber Eliensis (C.S., 1962); G.R., i. 77–8, 267; G.P., pp. 308, 323;F. Wormald, ‘The English Saints in the Litany in Arundel MS. 60’, Anal. Boll., lxiv (1946), 82; N.L.A., i. 405–6.

Subjects: Christianity.

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