Cuthbert of Canterbury

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Archbishop of Canterbury; d. 758. Of noble parentage, he was abbot of Lyminge, Kent, until consecrated bishop of Hereford by Abp. Nothelm of Canterbury in 736. He was translated to Canterbury in 740, receiving the pallium from Pope Gregory III. In 742 he was present at the council of Clovesho when Ethelbald, king of Mercia and overlord of Kent, confirmed the privileges granted to the Kentish monasteries and churches by Wihtred, the former king. Cuthbert was a friend of St. boni face, and it was to him that Boniface wrote, warning against allowing women to go on pilgrimage to Rome because so many succumbed to the moral temptations along the way. Boniface also urged Cuthbert to warn his people against drunkenness, the besetting vice of the English, and to avoid vanity in dress. In 747 Cuthbert called a provincial synod of the English Church at Clovesho. There 30 canons were enacted concerning the duties of monks, bishops, and priests, and confirming the observance of certain feasts, especially rogation days and the feasts of Gregory the Great and St. Augustine. On hearing of Boniface's martyrdom (754), Cuthbert ordained the celebration of his feast on June 5. Cuthbert was the first archbishop of Canterbury to be buried, not in saint au gustine's abbey, but in his own cathedral church, where all succeeding archbishops have been buried.

Bibliography: a. w. haddan and w. stubbs, eds., Councils and Ecclesiastical Documents Relating to Great Britain and Ireland, 3 v. in 4 (Oxford 186978) 3:340396. Die Briefe des heiligen Bonifatius und Lullus, ed. m. tangl, Monumenta Germaniae Epistolae selectae 1 (1916) nn. 73, 78, 111; Boniface's letter to Cuthbert, in The Anglo-Saxon Missionaries in Germany, ed. and tr. c. h. talbot (New York 1954) 129134. w. hunt, The Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900, 63 v. (London 18851900; repr. with corrections, 21 v., 190809, 192122, 1938; suppl. 1901) 5:362363.

[b. colgrave]