Edmund the Martyr, King of East Anglia, St.
EDMUND THE MARTYR, KING OF EAST ANGLIA, ST.
Reigned 855 to 870; b. c. 841; d. November 20, 870. According to abbo of fleury, his first biographer (c. 987), Edmund was a virtuous king, who was defeated by the Danes. He delivered himself into captivity to save his people. He refused to forswear his faith and was shot with arrows and beheaded at or near Hoxne in Suffolk. Within 40 years he was considered a saint and martyr. In the reign of Athelstan his body was translated to the later bury-st.-edmunds. St. Edmund was one of the most widely venerated native saints in Anglo-Saxon England. More than 60 churches were dedicated to him. He is usually represented with crown and arrows and considered a patron against the plague.
The English Benedictines and the Dioceses of Birmingham, Northampton, and Westminster observe his feast on November 20.
Bibliography: Sources. aelfric, Lives of three English saints, ed. g. i. needham (London 1966). Memorials of St. Edmund's Abbey, ed. t. arnold (Rerum Brittanicarum medii aevi scriptores ) 96.1:3–50, 93–103. t. d. hardy, Descriptive Catalogue of Materials Relating to the History of Great Britain and Ireland (Rerum Brittanicarum medii aevi scriptores ) 26.1.2:526–538. Bibliotheca hagiographica latina antiquae ct mediae aetatis (Brussels 1898–1901), 1:2392–2403. jocelin de brakelond, Chronicle of the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds, tr. of Chronica, tr. d. greenway and j. sayers (Oxford 1998). h. kjelleman, La Vie Seint Edmund le Rei (Göteborg 1935). m. e. porter and j. h. baltzell, "The Old French Lives of Saint Edmund King of East Anglia," Romanic Review 45 (1954) 81–88. a. bell, "Notes on Two Anglo-Norman Saints' Lives," Philological Quarterly 35 (1956) 48–59. Literature. La Passiun de Seint Edmund, ed. j grant (London 1978). e. bordier, Des reliques de saint Edmond, roi et martyr (Paris 1971). r. stanton, A Menology of England and Wales (London 1887) 185–186, 559–561. f. hervey, ed., The History of King Edmund the Martyr (London 1929). w. bonser, An Anglo-Saxon and Celtic Bibliography, 450–1087, 2 v. (Berkeley 1957) v.1, nos. 1174, 3627, 4326–35, 4411. b. houghton, Saint Edmund: King and Martyr (Levenham 1970). l. rÉau, Iconographie de l'art chrétien (Paris 1955–1959) 3.1:410–411.
[b. w. scholz]