[St. Pachomius Library]

St. Ethelburga of Barking

VII Century
The first abbess of Barking, St. Ethelburgha (Ædilburh) was the sister of its founder, Erconwald, bishop of London. According to legend, she became a nun to escape an arranged marriage, and according to Bede, she behaved in a manner worthy of her brother. Tradition says that Hildelith was named prioress to instruct the abbess (who had no previous administrative experience) in the ways of running a monastery, and Bede records miracles associated with Ethelburgha's life and death.

Karen Rae Keck


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