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Oswin (d. 651), king of Deira (644–51). Bede describes Oswin as handsome, pleasantly spoken, and courteous, a good and generous lord who ruled prosperously and was much loved. Humility was his greatest virtue. Bede tells how the king gave Aidan a good horse for difficult journeys, and was offended when the bishop gave it to a beggar. When Aidan asked if he valued the horse more than a child of God, Oswin knelt before him and begged his forgiveness. Aidan, moved to tears, predicted Oswin's early death as his subjects were unworthy of such a king. Conflict arose between Oswin and Oswiu, king of Bernicia. The two Northumbrian armies gathered, but Oswin, realizing Oswiu's greater strength, sent his men home. With one companion, he took refuge in the house of a friend who betrayed his trust. Oswiu had him murdered.

Audrey MacDonald

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