Caedwalla, King of Wessex, St.
CAEDWALLA, KING OF WESSEX, ST.
Born c. 659 of the stock of Cerdic; d. Rome, c. April 20, 689. Caedwalla became king of the West Saxons c. 685–86, resigning in 688. Under his brief but fierce rule, Wessex rose to prominence and power, Sussex was subjugated, Surrey and Kent were reduced to dependency. He also conquered the Isle of Wight and extirpated its inhabitants, the last adherents of Anglo-Saxon heathenism. Probably influenced by his friend St. wilfrid, he abdicated to go to Rome, the first of several Anglo-Saxon kings to make that pilgrimage. He was baptized by Pope sergius i on Easter eve, April 10, 689; he died a few days later and was buried in St. Peter's, Rome.
Feast: April 20.
Bibliography: bede, Ecclesiastical History 4.12, 15–16; 5.7. j. earle and c. plummer, eds., Two of the Saxon Chronicles Parallel, 2 v. (Oxford 1892–99) 2:31–32. w. bright, Chapters of Early English Church History (3d ed. Oxford 1897). f. m. stenton, Anglo-Saxon England (2d ed. Oxford 1947) 68–70.
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