Two saints of this name in Anglo-Saxon England.
Ebba the Elder, abbess; d. Aug. 25, 683. She was the daughter of Ethelfrid, King of Northumbria, and was forced to go into exile after her father's defeat by edwin in 616. She became a Christian and later was professed a nun at the double monastery at Coldingham by Bishop finan of lindisfarne. At Coldingham she was visited by St. cuthbert of lindisfarne, and by King Egfrid (d.684) and Queen ermenburga of northumbria with whom she interceded on behalf of Bishop wilfrid of york. At the urging of adamnan of iona, she undertook to reform her convent, which was falling away from a strict observance of the rule. Her relics were translated from Coldingham to Durham in the 11th century.
Feast: Aug. 25; Nov. 2 (translation).
Ebba the Younger, abbess and martyr; d. Coldingham, Berwick, England, 870. According to matthew paris, the sole source, the Danes martyred her with the whole community after she attempted to buy a reprieve by mutiliating her own face.
Feast: Aug. 23 and April 2.
Bibliography: Ebba the Elder. Acta Sanctorum Aug. 5:194–199. bede, Opera historica, ed. c. plummer, 2 v. (Oxford 1896) 1:264–265. Vita S. Cuthberti in Two Lives of Saint Cuthbert, ed. and tr., b. colgrave (Cambridge, Eng. 1940) 79–80, 189–190,318. eddius stephanus, Life of Bishop Wilfrid, ed. and tr. b. colgrave (New York 1927), 79. h. h. e. craster, "The Red Book of Durham," English Historical Review 40 (1925) 504–532. h. farmer, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques (Paris 1912–), 14;1268–69. a. m. zimmermann, Kalendarium Benedictinum: Die Heiligen und Seligen des Benediktinerorderns und seiner Zweige (Metten 1933–1938), 2:618–620. Ebba the Younger. matthew paris, Chronica majora, ed. h. r. luard, 7 v. (Rerum Brittanicarum medii aevi scriptores 57; 1872—83) 1:391–392. a. m.. zimmermann, Kalendarium Benedictinum: Die Heiligen und Seligen des Benediktinerorderns und seiner Zweige, 4 v. (Metten 1933–38) 2:5–7. h. farmer, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques (Paris 1912–), 14:1269–70.
[v. i. j. flint]