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Quenburga

(d. c. 735)


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Cuthburh (fl. c. 690—728) supposed abbess of Wimborne

Hildelith (fl. c. 690—710) abbess of Barking

Lioba (d. 782)

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

 

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(d. c.735),

nun, possibly abbess of Wimborne. Cuthburga and Quenburga were daughters of Cenred, a Wessex sub-king, and brothers of Ina, later king of Wessex (688–c.726). Cuthburga married Aldfrith, king of Northumbria (685–704), but separated from him in order to become a nun at Barking under Hildelith; later, with Quenburga, she founded Wimborne abbey, a double monastery, principally for nuns. The enclosure was so strict that not even bishops were allowed inside it. From this monastery came Lioba and Tecla, who helped Boniface in his mission in Germany. The Life of Lioba by Rudolf also mentions this double monastery with fifty nuns; but by the time a letter in the Boniface collection was written (729–44) to the abbot of Glastonbury, Coengilsus, there were apparently three monasteries at Wimborne, i.e. one of men and two of nuns, ruled by Cuthburga and Quenburga, the abbesses. Cuthburga died on 31 August, Quenburga on an unknown date; their feast was often celebrated together on 31 August or 3 September.

M. Tangl, Bonifatii et Lullae Epistolae (M.G.H., 1916), no. 55, AA.SS. Aug. VI (1743), 699–700; J. Mabillon, AA.SS.O.S.B. III, saec. III, part 1, pp. 422–3; Stanton, pp. 431–2.

Subjects: Christianity.


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