Wulphilda, St.

views updated


English Benedictine abbess; d. 980. Wulphilda (Wulfhilda, Wilfrida, Vulfride, Wolfhilda, etc.) was apparently the daughter of one Wulfhelmi, count of the West Saxons. She founded the Abbey of Horton in Dorestshire and was also the abbess of barking in Exeter. She seems to have ruled both houses at the same time. Possibly because of the awkward spelling of her name, contemporary chroniclers and later scholars have often confused her with another holy woman of that era named Wulfhilda, who was the wife of the Saxon king, edgar the Peaceful, and mother of St. Edith. This woman apparently retired to a convent in her later years and died at wilton c. 987. This confused information resulted in the tale of King Edgar's stealing Wulphilda from her monastery, violating her, and then reinstating her in the convent.

Feast: Sept. 9.

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum (Paris 1863) 3:454460. a.m. zimmermann, Kalendarium Benedictinum: Die Heiligen und Seligen des Benediktinerorderns und seiner Zweige (Metten 193338) 3:3337.

[e. j. kealey]