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Nothelm

(c. 725—739) archbishop of Canterbury


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Bede (c. 673—735) monk, historian, and theologian

St Boniface (c. 675—754) archbishop of Mainz, missionary, and martyr

St Gregory I (c. 540—604)

St Augustine (d. 604) missionary and archbishop of Canterbury

 

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(d. 739), archbishop of Canterbury. A priest of the diocese of London, Nothelm was a correspondent of both Bede and Boniface. His researches in the papal chancery and in the Canterbury archives were warmly acknowledged in the preface to Bede's Ecclesiastical History. He also sent thirty questions to Bede about the Books of Kings; these were the occasion of Bede's treatise. To Boniface he sent a copy of Gregory's replies to Augustine of Canterbury. He became archbishop in 735; but little is known of his episcopate. He received the pallium from Pope Gregory III in 736, consecrated at least three bishops, and held a synod, which agreed to the division of the Mercian diocese.

Nothelm was buried in the porticus of St Gregory in the church of St Augustine, Canterbury; his cult seems to have been confined to Canterbury. In 1091 his body was translated to the new apse with those of other archbishops, grouped round the body of Augustine.

In recent years some scholars have asserted that Gregory's replies to Augustine are forgeries and that Nothelm was responsible for them. Neither accusation has been proved. Unless and until this happens, the confidence of Bede and Boniface with the cult at Canterbury seems sufficient to maintain the traditional, favourable opinion of Nothelm's character. Feast: 17 October.

From The Oxford Dictionary of Saints in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Christianity.


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