Erconwald of London, St.

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Anglo-Saxon bishop of London, monastic founder; b. c. 630; d. Barking Abbey, April 30 c. 693. Erconwald (Earconwald or Erkenwald) was born in Lindsey of the royal blood of East Anglia. Attracted at an early age to the monastic life, he converted his patrimony into the foundation of two monastic establishments, the abbey at Chertsey under his direction and the abbey at barking under the direction of his sister ethelburga. His reputation for sanctity led to his appointment in 675 as bishop of London, where he was consecrated by Abp. theodore of canterbury. As diocesan he enlarged his cathedral church, augmented the revenues of the see, and secured for it papal privileges. He labored to effect the reconciliation of wilfrid of york and Theodore. After 11 years, he retired to Barking. He was buried at saint paul's cathedral, where his shrine was the object of popular pilgrimage during the Middle Ages. In art he is represented in bishop's robes, with no particular distinction.

Feast: May 13 (Dioceses of Westminster, Southwark, and Brentwood); Nov. 14 (translation of 1148); Feb. 1 (translation in 1326).

Bibliography: bede, Ecclesiastical History, 2 v., tr. j. e. king based on the version of t. stapleton (Loeb Classical Library ; New York 1930) bk. 4. Saint Erkenwald, ed. c. peterson (Philadelphia 1977). The Owl and the Nightingale, tr. b. stone (2d ed. London 1988). The Saint of London: The Life and Miracles of St. Erkenwald, ed. and tr. e. g. whatley (Binghamton, N.Y. 1989). w. stubbs, A Dictionary of Christian Biography, ed. w. smith and h. wace, (London 18771887) 2:177179.

[j. l. druse]