St. Ethelburga of Barking
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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