Sexburga (d. around 699)

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Sexburga (d. around 699)

Queen of Kent, second abbess of Ely, and saint. Name variations: Saint Sexburga; Sexburga of East Anglia. Born in East Anglia; died around 699; daughter of Saewara and Anna, king of East Anglia (r. 635–654); sister of Elthelthrith (630–679) and Withburga ;half-sister of Ethelburga (d. 665); married Earconbert also known as Ercombert, king of Kent (r. 640–664), around 640; children: Egbert, king of Kent (r. 664–673); Hlothere, king of Kent (r. 673–685); Earcongota; Ermenilda (who married Wulfhere, king of Mercia).

Saint Sexburga was born in East Anglia, the daughter of Saewara and Anna, king of East Anglia (r. 635–654). Around 640, she married Earconbert, of Kent, who is said by the Venerable Bede to have been the first English king to order the destruction of idols throughout his realm. He also ordered everyone to observe Lenten fasts. Sexburga founded a monastery for nuns in Isle of Sheppey and became its abbess. Around 679, on the death of her sister Elthelthrith , the first abbess of Ely, Sexburga succeeded her. Her tenure ran for around 20 years, until her own death around 699. Sexburga's feast day is July 6.

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