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Wulfhilda (also known as Wulfhild and Wulfreda among several other names) was an Anglo-Saxon abbess and a saint in the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.



Wulfhilda was born in 940.[1] The daughter of a Wessex nobleman named Wulfhelm, she was raised and educated by Benedictine nuns and joined their community when she became of age.[1] Around 970, she was appointed as abbess of Barking Abbey by Edgar the Peaceful.[1] Under Wulfhilda's leadership, the monastery flourished and was greatly expanded.[1]

According to Goscelin of Saint-Bertin, the nuns at Barking laid complaints against their abbess Wulfhilda, and the English queen Ælfthryth deposed her, only to reinstate her twenty years later. The demotion might have been the result of jealousy as Ælfthryth's husband Edgar may have had romantic interest in Wulfhilda.[2]

She died around 1000 and was buried at the abbey.[1] She was buried with two other saints, Hildelith and Ethelberga.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e Butler, Alban (December 1, 1956). Lives of the Saints (New Full ed.). St John's Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota: Christian Classics. p. 179. ISBN 0-8146-2385-9.
  2. ^ a b Guidance for Women in Twelfth-Century Convents. DS Brewer. 2012. ISBN 9781843842958.

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