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Aldhun of Durham (died 1018 or 1019), also known as Ealdhun, was the last Bishop of Lindisfarne (based at Chester-le-Street)[1] and the first Bishop of Durham.[2] He was of "noble descent".[3]

Bishop of Durham
Term ended1018 or 1019
PredecessorElfdig (as Bishop of Lindisfarne)
SuccessorEdmund (as Bishop of Durham)
Personal details
Died1018 or 1019
Previous post(s)Bishop of Lindisfarne (990–995)

Since the late 9th century the see of Lindisfarne was based at Chester-le-Street because of constant attacks from invading Danes. However, in 994 King Æthelred II of England had paid a Danegeld (protection money) to King Sweyn I of Denmark and King Olaf I of Norway in return for peace. The pay-off worked and there followed a period of freedom from Viking raids. This encouraged Aldhun to return the remains of Cuthbert of Lindisfarne to their original resting place at Lindisfarne, and to reinstate the diocese there.[citation needed]

En route to their destination however Aldhun claimed to have received a vision from Cuthbert saying that the saint's remains should be laid to rest at Durham. The monks detoured then to Durham, and the title Bishop of Lindisfarne was transferred to Bishop of Durham.[4] The removal of the see from Chester-le-Street to Durham took place in 995.[5] Symeon of Durham is the main source for the moving of the see, and he states that Uhtred the Bold helped the monks clear the site of the new cathedral, which was consecrated in 998.[6]

Aldhun was a bishop for 24 years, which puts his death in 1018 or 1019.[5] He was said to have died of heartbreak because of the defeat of the Northumbrians by the Scots at the battle of Carham.[4]

Aldhun's daughter Ecgfrida married first Uhtred the Bold who was Earl of Northumbria from 1006 to 1016. Their son Ealdred was the grandfather of Waltheof, Earl of Northumbria.[7] After he repudiated her, she married a northern thegn Kilvert.[6] The marriage probably took place close to the time when Uhtred helped her father move the see to Durham.


  1. ^ Fryde et al. 1996, Handbook of British Chronology p. 214
  2. ^ Fryde et al. 1996, Handbook of British Chronology p. 216
  3. ^ Fletcher 2003, Bloodfeud p. 70
  4. ^ a b Rollason 2004, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  5. ^ a b Stenton 1971, Anglo-Saxon England p. 418 footnote 2
  6. ^ a b Williams 2003, Æthelred the Unready pp. 72–73
  7. ^ Fletcher 2003, Bloodfeud pp. 75-76


  • Fletcher, R. A. (2003). Bloodfeud: Murder and Revenge in Anglo-Saxon England. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-516136-X.
  • Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I., eds. (1996). Handbook of British Chronology (Third revised ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X.
  • Rollason, David (2004). "Aldhun (d. 1018)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/309. Retrieved 16 January 2008.(subscription or UK public library membership required)
  • Stenton, F. M. (1971). Anglo-Saxon England (Third ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-280139-5.
  • Williams, Ann (2003). Æthelred the Unready: The Ill-Counselled King. London: Hambledon & London. ISBN 1-85285-382-4.

External linksEdit

Christian titles
Preceded by Bishop of Lindisfarne
990 to 995
See transferred to Durham
New title Bishop of Durham
995 to 1018 or 1019
Succeeded by