St. Eata, Bishop of Hexham
St. Eata was one of twelve English youths whom St. Aidan educated at
Lindisfarne, where Eata became a monk and a priest. At the request of St.
Colman, he became the abbot. He was later abbot of Melrose and founded the
monastery at Ripon in Yorkshire, which he left rather than abandon Celtic
customs. After the Synod of Whitby, Eata, whom Bede describes as a man of
peace, adopted Roman customs, and when Theodore of Canterbury divided the
see of York into three bishoprics, he chose Eata to be the bishop of
Bernicia. Eata served in this office from 678- 681. Theodore later split
Bernicia into sees of Lindisfarne and Hexham and appointed Eata to
Lindisfarne and Cuthbert to Hexham. The two men traded sees. Eata was the
bishop of Hexham for a year before he died of dysentery in 686. He was
buried near Wilfrid's church in Hexham.
Karen Rae Keck
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