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Hilda, St

Hilda, St (614–80). Baptized in 627 with her kinsman, the Northumbrian king Edwin, at 33 Hilda became a nun, joining a community on the banks of the Wear. A year later she became abbess at Hartlepool, and in 657 founded the double monastery at Streanaeshalch (Whitby). Renowned for her high standards, no fewer than five bishops were trained under her rule. Hilda encouraged the poetic Whitby cowherd Cædmon, taking him into the monastery to ensure sound doctrine in his vernacular verses. Kings and princes sought her advice, and, representing Celtic traditions, she was an important figure at the Synod of Whitby. News of her death is said to have reached a neighbouring monastery through a vision of angels transporting her soul to heaven.

Audrey MacDonald

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Hilda, St

Hilda, St (614–80). Abbess and founder of a Christian community at Whitby, to which both women and men belonged. She became a nun in 647, and in 649 she became abbess of a convent at Hartlepool. After she founded the community at Whitby, she remained there for the rest of her life. An Anglican community of nuns (Community of the Holy Paraclete) continues at Whitby at the present day. Feast day, 17 Nov.

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Hilda, St

Hilda, St (614–80), English abbess. Related to the Anglo-Saxon kings of Northumbria, she founded a monastery for both men and women at Whitby around 658, and was one of the leaders of the Celtic Church delegation at the Synod of Whitby, but accepted the decision in favour of Roman rather than Celtic customs. Her feast day is 17 November.

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