Posted by: anna | September 2, 2010

St Eadbert of York

Today (20 August) we commemorate St. Edbert (Eadbert, Eadberht) of York, king of Northumbria and monk at York (768). From Baring-Gould:
Edbert became King of Northumbria on the abdication of Ceolwulf, who, after eight years of rule, laid down his sword in disgust and withdrew to a monastery. Edbert and Egbert were sons of Eata, and Egbert became Bishop of York. It was the object now of the Northumbrian kings to detach their realm from Canterbury as much as possible, and to give to York supremacy over Northumbria. Accordingly, Ceolwulf obtained from Rome the recognition of the see of York as archiepiscopal, and his brother Egbert became the first  Archbishop in 735. In 738 the archbishop’s brother Edbert became king, and the joint character of their rule was shown in the “stycas” or copper coins issued from the mint at York, bearing on the obverse the legend of the king, and that of the primate on the reverse.
“Never had the kingdom shown greater vigour, within or without, than under these two sons of Eata. Edbert showed himself from the outset of his reign an active and successful warrior. Though attacked at the same time on his southern border by Ethelbald of Mercia, he carried on in 740 a successful war against the Picts, and ten years later recovered from the Britons of Strathclyde the district of Kyle, in Ayrshire. So great was his renown that the Frank King Pippin sent envoys to Northumbria with costly gifts and offers of friendship. … In 756 Edbert, allying himself with the Picts, made himself master of the capital [of Strathclyde], Alcluyd or Dumbarton. But at the moment when his triumph seemed complete, his army was utterly destroyed as it withdrew homewards, only a few days after the city’s surrender, and so crushing was this calamity, that two years after it, not only did Edbert withdraw to a monastery and leave the throne to his son Osulf, but the archbishop joined his brother in retirement, till both were laid side by side in the minster at York.” (For Egbert see November 19). – Green, ‘The Making of England’, ed.1897, vol. ii, p.182 ff.
Holy St Edbert, pray to God for us.

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