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Hedda, St.


Bishop of Wessex; d. July 9, 705. His early life is unknown, but he was a Benedictine monk and abbot before 676, whether at glastonbury rather than whitby is not at all certain. He is often confused with Hedda of Lichfield (d. 721) or with Aetla of Whitby. He became the fifth bishop of Wessex in 676 and moved the see from Dorchester to winchester c. 686, at the same time translating the relics of St. birinus, the first bishop of Wessex. The diocese remained undivided until Hedda died, although elsewhere theodore, archbishop of Canterbury, sought to subdivide earlier kingdom-centered dioceses. After 705 aldhelm ruled Sherborne, and Daniel (d. 745) succeeded to Winchester. Hedda worked closely with Theodore and also with King ine, who was often guided by his counsels. After his death many miracles were reported at his tomb, and pilgrims carried so much dust from the grave that a deep ditch developed. His relics may have been translated to Glastonbury and buried under the famous "Glastonbury pyramids."

Feast: July 7.

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum July 2:482483. bede, Ecclesiastical History 3.7; 4.12, 23; 5.18; Loeb Classical Library (London-New York-Cambridge, MA. 1912), ed., tr. j. e. king, 2 v.(1930) 2:66, 126, 292. w. hunt, The Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900, 63 v. (London 18851900) 9:361362; 20:483. a. m. zimmermann, Kalendarium Benedictinum: Die Heiligen und Seligen des Benediktinerorderns und seiner Zweige, 4 v. (Metten 193338) 2:412414.

[h. e. aikins]

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