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Erkenwald[a] (died 693) was Bishop of London in the Anglo-Saxon Christian church between 675 and 693.

Bishop of London
Chertsey Breviary - St. Erkenwald.jpg
Erkenwald teaching monks in a historiated initial from the Chertsey Breviary (c.1300)
Term ended693
Other postsAbbot of Chertsey
Consecrationc. 675
Personal details
Borncirca 630
Kingdom of Lindsey
Barking Abbey
BuriedOld St Paul's Cathedral, London
Feast day13 May
24 April
30 April
14 November in England
Attributesbishop in a small chariot, which he used for travelling his diocese; with Saint Ethelburga of Barking
Patronageagainst gout, London
ShrinesSt. Paul's, London


Erkenwald was born at Lindsey in Lincolnshire,[1] and was supposedly of royal ancestry.[2] Erkenwald gave up his share of family money[citation needed] to help establish two Benedictine abbeys, Chertsey Abbey in Surrey[3] in 666 for men, and Barking Abbey for women.[1][4] His sister, Æthelburg, was Abbess of Barking,[1][5] while he served as Abbot of Chertsey.[6]

In 675, Erkenwald became the Bishop of London, after Wine.[7] He was the choice of Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury.[6] While bishop, he contributed to King Ine of Wessex's law code, and is mentioned specifically in the code as a contributor.[8] He is also reputed to have converted Sebba, King of the East Saxons to Christianity in 677.[citation needed] Current historical scholarship credits Erkenwald with a large role in the evolution of Anglo-Saxon charters, and it is possible that he drafted the charter of Caedwalla to Farnham.[5] King Ine of Wessex named Erkenwald as an advisor on his laws.[9]

Erkenwald died in 693[7] and his remains were buried at Old St Paul's Cathedral. His grave was a popular place of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages, and was destroyed together with a number of other tombs in the cathedral during the Reformation.[10][page needed]

Erkenwald's feast day is 30 April, with translations being celebrated on 1 February and 13 May.[2] He is the patron saint of London.[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Also Ercenwald, Earconwald, Erkenwald, Eorcenwald or Erconwald


  1. ^ a b c Walsh A New Dictionary of Saints p. 182
  2. ^ a b Farmer Oxford Dictionary of Saints p. 175
  3. ^ Kirby Earliest English Kings p. 83
  4. ^ Yorke "Adaptation of the Anglo-Saxon Royal Courts" Cross Goes North pp. 250–251
  5. ^ a b Kirby Earliest English Kings p. 102
  6. ^ a b Kirby Earliest English Kings pp. 95–96
  7. ^ a b Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 219
  8. ^ Yorke Conversion of Britain p. 235
  9. ^ Kirby Earliest English Kings p. 103
  10. ^ Thornbury, Walter Old and New London: Volume 1, 1878.
  11. ^ Farmer Oxford Dictionary of Saints p. 494


  • Farmer, David Hugh (2004). Oxford Dictionary of Saints (Fifth ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-860949-0.
  • Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1996). Handbook of British Chronology (Third revised ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X.
  • Kirby, D. P. (2000). The Earliest English Kings. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-24211-8.
  • Walsh, Michael J. (2007). A New Dictionary of Saints: East and West. London: Burns & Oats. ISBN 0-86012-438-X.
  • Yorke, Barbara (2003). Martin Carver (ed.). The Adaptation of the Anglo-Saxon Royal Courts to Christianity. The Cross Goes North: Processes of Conversion in Northern Europe AD 300–1300. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell Press. pp. 244–257. ISBN 1-84383-125-2.
  • Yorke, Barbara (2006). The Conversion of Britain: Religion, Politics and Society in Britain c. 600–800. London: Pearson/Longman. ISBN 0-582-77292-3.

External linksEdit