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Cuthbert, Saint

CUTHBERT, SAINT (d. 687), bishop of Lindisfarne, was probably a Northumbrian by birth. According to the extant Lives he was led to take the monastic vows by a vision at the death of bishop Aidan, and the date of his entry at Melrose would be 651. At this time Eata was abbot there, and Boisel, who is mentioned as his instructor, prior, in which office Cuthbert succeeded him about 661, having previously spent some time at the monastery of Ripon with Eata. Bede gives a glowing picture of his missionary zeal at Melrose, but in 664 he was transferred to act as prior at Lindisfarne. In 676 he became an anchorite on the island of Fame, and it is said that he performed miracles there. In 684 at the council of Twyford in Northumberland, Ecgfrith, king of Northumbria, prevailed upon him to give up his solitary life and become a bishop. He was consecrated at York in the following year as bishop of Hexham, but afterwards he exchanged his see with Eata for that of Lindisfarne. In 687 he retired to Fame, and died on the island on the 20th of March 687, the same day as his friend Hereberht, the anchorite of Derwentwater. He was buried in the island of Lindisfarne, but his remains were afterwards deposited at Chester-le-Street, and then at Durham.

Another Cuthbert was bishop of Hereford from 736 to about 740, and archbishop of Canterbury from the latter date until his death in October 758.

There are several. lives of St Cuthbert, the best of which is the prose life by Bede, which is published in Bede's Opera, edited by J. Stevenson (1841). See also C. Eyre, The History of St Cuthbert (1887); and J. Raine, St Cuthbert (1828).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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