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Ninian, St

Ninian, St, properly Nynia, first apostle of the Scots. A very obscure figure mentioned by Bede and subject of a much later life by Ailred of Rievaulx. Bede says he was a Briton and he appears to have lived around the time of the ending of Roman Britain, probably in the 5th cent. He is linked with south-western Scotland outside the Roman wall by his association with Whithorn (Dumfries and Galloway), in the territory of the Novantae. Known to Bede in Latin as Candida Casa, the white house, its Anglo-Saxon name Hwitærn means the same. Recent excavations at Whithorn have revealed an important early medieval ecclesiastical complex, perhaps going back to the postulated time of Ninian.

Alan Simon Esmonde Cleary

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Ninian, St

Ninian, St (c.360–c.432), Scottish bishop and missionary. According to Bede he founded a church at Whithorn in SW Scotland (c.400) and from there evangelized the southern Picts. His feast day is 26 August.

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