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Tatwine of Canterbury, St.


Ninth archbishop of Canterbury, also known as Tatwin, Tatuini, Tadwinus; d. July 30, 734. He was a Mercian who was a monk in the monastery of Bredon, Worcester, when consecrated archbishop of Canterbury in 731. The contemporary preeminence of the Mercian king probably explains the election of a Mercian to the Kentish See, but bede, who was finishing his Ecclesiastical History at the time, describes Tatwine as a religious and learned man. He was consecrated by the bishops of London, Lichfield, Rochester, and Winchester, the most distinguished, by and large, of the English episcopate. A little later he received the pallium from the Pope. A letter of Pope Gregory III alleging that he went to Rome for it in person is not thought to be authentic. He was a man of some learning, and left a collection of riddles, a popular form of Anglo-Saxon intellectual exercise. His relics are enshrined in Canterbury Cathedral.

Feast: July 30.

Bibliography: bede, Ecclesiastical History 5.23. a. w. had dan and w. stubbs, eds., Councils and Ecclesiastical Documents Relating to Great Britain and Ireland, 3 v. in 4 (Oxford 186978) 311313. w. hunt, The Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900, 63 v. (London 18851900; suppl. 1901) 19:383390. m. manitius, Geschichte der lateinischen Literatur des Mittelalters, 3 v. (Munich 191131) 1:203206.

[e. john]

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