St. Guthlac of Crowland
Born into the tribe of Guthlacingas and probably related to the royal
house of Mercia, St. Guthlac (c. 673- 714) served in the army of Ethelred
of Mercia for nine years before becoming a monk at Repton. When he took
his vows, he restored a third of his war spoils to his victims. His sister
Pega became an anchorite. In 701, Guthlac also became an anchorite on an
island in the marshes of Lincolnshire. Attacked by Britons and tempted by
demons, Guthlac was rescued by St. Bartholomew, to whom he had a special
devotion. The fish and the birds (except the
crows, who were the most
abundant birds in the area) loved St. Guthlac, who died in 714. A vellum
roll, called the Guthlac roll, is a pictorial biography of the saint.
The site of his hermitage became a monastery, Crowland, which was a
frequent place of pilgrimage until the Reformation.
Karen Rae Keck
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