Cuthburh of Wessex
Facts and Events
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Saint Cuthburh or Cuthburg (died c. 718) was the first abbess of Wimborne Minster. She was the sister of Ine, King of Wessex and was married to the Northumbrian king Aldfrith.
King Osred was Cuthburh's son; whether King Osric, and the Offa killed in Eadberht's reign, were also her sons is less certain.
According to a report by "Florence of Worcester", writing long afterwards, at some time before Aldfrith's death in 705 he and Cuthburh "renounced connubial intercourse for the love of God."
Following this, Cuthburh entered Abbess Hildelith's nunnery at Barking Abbey. The dedication of Aldhelm's treatise De virginitate includes Cuthburh, who was then at Barking; it is thought that she was in some way related to Aldhelm.
After Aldfrith's death, Cuthburh and Cwenburh established a double-monastery in her brother's kingdom of Wessex, at Wimborne in Dorset.
She is described as austere, and she communicated with prelates through a little hatch in the nunnery at Wimborne. Among Saint Boniface's surviving letters is an anonymous account of a vision of Abbess Cuthburh in hell. The feast day associated with her is August 31.
No early hagiography is known, that which survives was composed after the Norman Conquest.
- ↑ Cuthburh, in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. (Online: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.).
- ↑ Cuthburg 3 (Female), in The Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England.
- Earle, John (ed.), and Charles (ed.) Plummer. Two of the Saxon Chronicles Parallel. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1892), pp. 42-43.
MS A s.a. 718: "Her Ingild forþferde Ines broþur, & hiera swostur wærun Cuenburg & Cuþburh, & sio Cuþburg þæ liif æt Winburnan arærde, & hio wæs forgifen Norþanhymbra cyninge Aldferþe, & hie be him lifgendum hie gedældun:"
- ↑ Liebermann, F. Die Heilige Englands. (Hannover: Hahn'sche Buchhandlung, 1889), II (45); pp. 19-20.