Skip to main content
Select Source:

Oswald, St

Oswald, St (c.604–42), king of Northumbria (634–42). Son of Æthelfryth and Acha, Oswald spent Edwin's reign in exile amongst the Irish, becoming a Christian. Defeating Cadwallon of Gwynedd, at Heavenfield (634), brought him Bernicia and Deira. With Aidan (from Iona) he restored Northumbrian Christianity. Oswald established an overlordship over Wessex (under Cynegils) and perhaps other English kingdoms, and probably the southern Picts and Scottish Dalriada, and is one of the so-called bretwaldas. Bede's portrait, influenced by the Old Testament, presents Oswald as an exemplar for kings, demonstrating that piety would strengthen power. Killed in a campaign against the pagan Penda of Mercia, at Maserfield, his cult was promoted by his niece Osthryth, queen of Mercia, who moved his remains to Bardney (where Offa was to adorn his tomb), and by Wilfrid, and taken by pilgrim-exiles and missionaries, including Willibrord, to Ireland and Germany. In 909 Æthelfleda of Mercia transferred his remains to Gloucester. His skull came to be preserved in the coffin of St Cuthbert. His hands and arms stayed in Bamburgh.

A. E. Redgate

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Oswald, St." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Oswald, St." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/oswald-st

"Oswald, St." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved December 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/oswald-st

Oswald

Oswald male forename, name of two saints.
St Oswald (d. 642), king of Northumbria and martyr, killed in battle against the pagan king Penda of Mercia; his body was mutilated as a sacrifice to Odin, and his relics were subsequently dispersed. His head was buried at Lindisfarne, and was taken with the body of Cuthbert when the monks evacuated the island in 875.

Oswald was venerated as a warrior king who combined traditional Anglo Saxon heroism with Christian fortitude and sacrifice; his feast day was celebrated from the late 7th century. He is a patron saint of soldiers, and his emblems are a head and a raven. His feast day is 5 August.
St Oswald of York (d. 992), English prelate and Benedictine monk. As Archbishop of York, he founded several monasteries and, with St Dunstan, revived the Church and learning in 10th-century England. His feast day is 28 February.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Oswald." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Oswald." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/oswald

"Oswald." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved December 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/oswald

Oswald, St

Oswald, St (d. 992). Archbishop of York. One of the three great monastic bishops of the 10th-cent. reformation, Oswald came from an East Anglian family of Danish origin who specialized in careers in the church. Archbishop Oda of Canterbury was his uncle and another kinsman Oscytel was Oswald's predecessor at York. Oswald was first a priest at Winchester and then lived for a time in the reformed Benedictine monastery of Fleury-sur-Loire, before joining the household of Archbishop Oscytel. In 961 he was created bishop of Worcester and continued to hold that see after he was appointed to York in 971. Oswald introduced monks into the Worcester chapter, and founded or refounded monasteries at Westbury-on-Trym, Winchcombe, and Pershore, as well as at Ramsey in his native East Anglia. He was buried at Worcester.

Barbara Yorke

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Oswald, St." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Oswald, St." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/oswald-st-0

"Oswald, St." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved December 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/oswald-st-0

Oswald, Saint

Saint Oswald, d. 641, king of Northumbria (633–41), son of Æthelfrith. In exile during the reign of Edwin, Oswald and his brother Oswy became Christians. After Edwin's death Oswald defeated (633) Cadwallon, king of North Wales, and recovered his father's kingdom. He brought from Iona a group of Scottish monks, led by St. Aidan, who established their base at Lindisfarne (see Holy Island) and introduced Celtic Christianity to Northumbria. Oswald was for a time the strongest ruler in England, being acknowledged overlord of Wessex and other southern kingdoms. Killed in battle by Penda of Mercia, he came to be revered as a Christian martyr. Feast: Aug. 5 in the Roman martyrology; Aug. 9 in Britain.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Oswald, Saint." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Oswald, Saint." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/oswald-saint

"Oswald, Saint." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved December 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/oswald-saint

Oswald, Saint

Oswald, Saint (605–42) King of Northumbria (633–42). He became a Christian and converted his people with the help of St Aidan. Oswald became King of Northumbria in 633 and was eventually killed in battle. His feast day is August 5.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Oswald, Saint." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Oswald, Saint." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/oswald-saint

"Oswald, Saint." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved December 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/oswald-saint

Oswald

Oswald •Roald • unlabelled (US unlabeled) •ribald • untroubled • unruffled •newfangled • unwrinkled •bespectacled •untrammelled (US untrammeled) •Arnold • Reginald •Donald, Macdonald, Ronald •unexampled • unprincipled •uncrumpled • Harold •Fitzgerald, Gerald, herald •emerald • embattled • unmetalled •untitled • disgruntled •untravelled (US untraveled) •unrivalled (US unrivaled) • Tynwald •Ostwald • Oswald • sozzled • world •dreamworld • underworld •afterworld • netherworld

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Oswald." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Oswald." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/oswald-0

"Oswald." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved December 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/oswald-0