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Aelfryth of Crowland, St.


Anglo-Saxon virgin, recluse; d. after 833. She was the daughter of King Offa of Mercia, but unfortunately neither he nor his family found a biographer. Aelfryth (Alfreda, Elfriede, Ethelfreda, Etheldritha, etc.) is said to have been betrothed to St. Ethelbert, King of East Anglia, who was executed on her father's orders c. 790. Surviving her father (d. 796) by many years, she seems to have lived a solitary life at Crowland (Croyland), one of the great Midland monasteries. She is often confused with her sister Aelfleda, whose husband was murdered through treachery.

Feast: Aug. 2 (Crowland).

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum August 1:173175. w. dugdale, Monasticon Anglicanum, ed. j. caley et al. (London 181730) 2:109111. r. stanton, A Menology of England and Wales (London 1887) 22. a. m. zimmermann, Kalendarium Benedictinum (Metten 193338) 2:527.

[e. john]

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