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Jarrow, Abbey of


Former English Benedictine monastery in Northumbria, England, on the Tyne River, in the present town of

Jarrow, six miles east of Newcastle upon Tyne. Dedicated to St. Paul, Jarrow was settled by ceolfrid in 681 with 22 monks, almost eight years after its founder, Abbot benedict biscop, had founded its sister abbey of wearmouth (dedicated to St. Peter), about six miles to the southeast. Following customs based on the benedic tine rule, the two monasteries, both established on land presented by King Egfrid of Northumbria, comprised a joint foundation. These two abbeys were usually ruled by the same abbot; Ceolfrid eventually succeeded Benedict Biscop as the second abbot. It was at Jarrow that Venerable bede spent his life. Many of the community died of the plague in 686, and the abbey was sacked by the Norse (794), by the Danes (867870), and by King William I the Conqueror (1069). Walcher, bishop of Durham, restored Jarrow in 1072. In 1083 both Jarrow and Wear-mouth were reduced to the status of cells of durham; both were dissolved in 1536 under King henry viii. Jarrow was an important center of civilization and learning. Its scriptorium may have produced the Codex Amiatinus of the Vulgate; its library seems also to have had the Itala version of the Bible.

Bibliography: "Historia abbatum auctore Baeda" and "Historia abbatum auctore anonymo" (used by Bede), ed. c. plummer, in Baedae opera historica, 2 v. (Oxford 1896) 1:364404. w. dugdale, Monasticon Anglicanum (London 165573) 1:501503. h. leclercq, Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie (Paris 190753) 7:216364. d. knowles and r. n. hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses: England and Wales (New York 1953). j. godfrey, The Church in Anglo-Saxon England (Cambridge, Eng.1962).

[c. mcgrath]

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