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Tancred, Torthred, and Tova

Saints Tancred, Torthred, and Tova were three Anglo-Saxon siblings who were saints, hermits and martyrs of the Ninth century.[1] Their feast day was celebrated on 30 September at Thorney and Deeping.[2][3]

Saints Tancred, Torthred, & Tova
Hermits, Martyrs
Diedcirca 869 or 870
Venerated inCatholic Church
Anglican Communion
Western Orthodoxy
Major shrineThorney Abbey (destroyed)
Feast30 September
9 or 10 April
Thorney Abbey Church.


The brothers Tancred and Torthred, with their sister Tova lived at Thorney, Cambridgeshire,[4] at the time little more than a collection of hermit cells in the fens, rather than a monastic institution.[5] They, like many hermits at Thorney,[6] were killed by the Danes in 870.[7]
Nothing other than their martyrdom is known of them.


The story of their martyrdom rests on the chronicle of Pseudo-Ingulf,[8] an oft unreliable document which includes sources older than the 12th century. They were, however, venerated in Thorney Abbey by the year 1000AD, as witnessed by R.P.S.,[9] C.S.P.[10] and William of Malmesbury,[11] and were among the many saints whose bodies were translated by Ethelwold. The first record of their existence dates 973AD when they were installed in the abbey at Thorney.[12]

Torthred of ThorneyEdit

Saint Torthred of Thorney was a saint and Hermit of the ninth century in Anglo-Saxon England.[13] According to Pseudo-Ingulf he was martyred with many of his brother monks by pagan Danish raiders in 869.[14] His feast day is sometimes celebrated on 9 April[15] or 10 April,[16] and there is some conjecture that Torthred (and possibly Tova) did not die in the 869AD raids and instead lived his last years at Cerne in Dorset,[17] in a similar way to Eadwold of Cerne.


  1. ^ David Farmer, The Oxford Dictionary of Saints, Fifth Edition Revised(Oxford University Press, 2011)page 409
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Tancred, Torthred and
  5. ^ Samuel Lysons, Magna Britannia: Being a Concise Topographical Account of the Several Counties of Great Britain, Volume 2, Part 1 (Google eBook) (T. Cadell and W. Davies, 1808)page 266.
  6. ^ Michelle P. Brown, Carol A. Farr, Mercia: An Anglo-Saxon Kingdom in Europe (Continuum International Publishing Group, Limited, 2005).
  7. ^ Saint Torthred of Thorney at
  8. ^ Pseudo-Ingulf, Croyland Chronicle
  9. ^ F. Liebermann, On the Resting-Places of the Saints’, (Hanover, 1889)
  10. ^ Catalogus Sanctorum Pausantium in Anglia, Lambeth Palace MS. 99
  11. ^ William of Malmesbury, Gesta Pontificum, ed. N.E.S.A. Hamilton (R.S., 1870), pp. 327–9 G.P., pp. 327–9; E.B.K. after 1100, i. 129–44.
  12. ^ Saints Tancredi, Torthred and Tova Hermits in England.
  13. ^ Saint Torthred of Thorney at
  14. ^ Pseudo-Ingulf Croyland Chronicle
  15. ^
  16. ^ Matthew Bunson, Stephen Bunson, Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Saints (Our Sunday Visitor Publishing, 2003)page 160
  17. ^ Richard Challoner, A Memorial of Ancient British Piety: a British Martyrology.(W. Needham, 1761)page 132

External linksEdit