HIBERNIAN MISSIONS TO 737 CE/AD

I

THE MISSION TO ALBA

 

Irish interest in evangelizing Alba begins early, in the mid-5th Century, following Palladius's mission and starting with Saint Monenna in 450.  It is mostly on the west coast, in the Hebrides and Orkneys, though stretches across the country to the area of Aberdeen. Irish missions are carried out while British missions also work in the Alban mainland. Iona’s establishment is the most important achievement as it creates a focus for veneration in Alba and leads to the evangelisation of the English.

 

450 - Saint Monenna comes to Whithorn with eight maidens and a widow, then settles in Dundevenel in Ayrshire. 

 

C 490 - Saint Kessog b C 460 d 520, Irish missionary in the Lennox area and southern Perthshire, son of the King of Cashel, bishop in Scotland at Loch Lomond. Martyred at Bandry.

 

522 – Saint Modan founds Dryburgh, and is later missionary to the Dumbarton and Stirling areas.

 

C 545 – Saint Barnitus / Barvirtus, inspiration / companion to Saint Brendan on his voyages, venerated at Dreghorn, Ayrshire.

 

549 - Saint Oran d at his foundation on Iona. 

 

562 - Saint Moluag C 530 – 592 founds Lismore on the island of the Lyn of Lorn in Argyll, then evangelises among the Picts. Moluag was initially accompanied by Saint Comgall, who presented him to Brude mac Maelcon, King of the Northern Picts, r 553/556 – 584, the first Christian King of a re-united Pictland, with a capital at Craig Phadraig on the Moray Firth.  Moluag went on to found two other centres in Alba at Rosemarkie in Ross and Mortlach, Aberdeen. His foundations were to become the seats of the Roman Catholic Sees of the Isles, Ross and Aberdeen.  He is arguably the most important Irish evangelist to Alba. 

 

563-583 - Saint Cormac Ua Liathain explores the North Atlantic from a base in the Western Isles, and becomes the first abbot of Saint Columba’s foundation at Durrow. Adomnan in his vita of Colmcille describes Cormac’s four voyages to find an island hermitage, one with guarantees from King Brude to the sub-ruler of Orkney; Cormac had gone to Brude accompanied by Saints Columba, Brendan of Clonfert and Cainnech.

 

565 - Saint Columba crosses to Argyll from Hibernia and takes over the monastery of Iona, earlier established by Oran. He leads 12 disciples, including Baithene mac Brenainn and his brother, his own uncle Ernan and Diarmait. The land is / had been granted by King Conall mac Comgall of Dal Riata, r 560 – C 574. 

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Saint Comgall of Bangor visits Alba and founds Tiree, sustaining a raid by the Picts. 

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Saint Macarius, companion of Saint Columba on his voyage to Iona, made Bishop of Mull.

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Saint Cainnech of Aghaboe joins Saint Columba in Iona and builds a church at Saint Andrews, monastic cells on the islands of Ibdon and Eninis, an oratory called Lagan-Kenny on the shores of Loch Laggan and a monastery in Fife on the banks of the Eden. 

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Saint Drostan [Wikipedia has d early C 7], the founder and abbot of the monastery of Old Deer in Aberdeenshire.  One of the twelve companions who sailed with Saint Columba, the 'Brethren of St Columba'. He accompanied Columba to visit Aberdour in Buchan, about 45 miles from Aberdeen. Founds a monastery at Deer.  On the death of the Abbot of Holywood, Drostan was chosen to succeed him. Afterwards, he became a hermit at Glenesk. 

 

C 573 - Saint Finan of Aberdeen builds several churches between the Dee and Don Rivers; a pupil of Saint Columba.

 

573/574 - King Duncan of Dal Riata d. Saint Columba at first supports Eoganan for the throne but changes sides and blesses / consecrates Aedan as King of Dal Riata.

 

590 - Death of Saint Blaan of Kingarth, Bute, nephew and pupil of Saint Cathan [JM has d 710], founder of Dunblane, Perthshire. There was a church of Saint Blane in Dumfries and another at Kilblane. 

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Saint Cathan, C 6, saint in the Hebrides. He appears in the Aberdeen Breviary, Walter Bower's Scotichronicon, and the Acta Sanctorum. He is said to have been one of the first Irish missionaries to come to the Isle of Bute, then part of the Irish kingdom of Dál Riata. Uncle of Saint Blane, who was born on Bute and later proselytized among the Picts. Both saints were associated with Kingarth monastery.

 

? 590s – Saint Berachus of Kilbarry, Roscommon, acquires Kilbarry from a magus and the case is given by King Aedan mac Gabrain of Dal Riata to Aed Dubh of Brefni and Aedh of Tehba to adjudicate in his favour.  Aedan grants him a monastery in a strategic fort at Aberfoyle.

 

C 595 – Saint Mirin / Mirren of Benchor / Bangor / Merinus / Merryn / Meadhrán  b C 565 d 620. The patron saint of Paisley.Disciple of Saint Comgall, prior of Bangor, County Down, before missionary to Alba.

 

C 596 - Saint Lasrian / Molassus of Leighlin, nephew of Saint Blaan, born 566 in Ireland, founder of Holy Island, Arran, d C 650.

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[JM] Saint Mo-Chua of Timahoe, Leix, 566-656, founder of Timahoe, built in Hibernia and Alba then built founded Derenish on Loch Cavan. Possibly Bishop Caranus in Aberdeen. 

 

597 - Saint Columba d on Iona succeeded by Baithéne mac Brenainn as second Abbot. 

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Baithéne accompanied Saint Columba to Iona. Born in 536 [JM has 537-601], Baithéne was first cousin of Columba. Both he and Columba were great-grandchildren of King Niall of the Nine Hostages of the Northern Uí Néill.  His brother Cobthach was also a companion of Columba.  Baithéne was appointed Abbot of Tiree, a monastery founded by Saint Comgall of Bangor and administered its daughter house, Hinba. Saint Adomnán, in recording the death of Columba, tells us that the saint’s dying words, as he was transcribing Psalm 53, were: "I must stop here, let Baithéne write what follows". He wrote a life of his master and some Irish poems, and d 600 [JEF has 598].

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Hibernian Monk Fergna of Hinba crosses to Hinba when hears of Saint Columba’s death.

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Hibernian Saint Fintán / Munnu /Mun of Taghmon, County Wexford, Leinster, d 635. In 597, Munnu, resolved to go to Hy / Iona to join the monastery there under Saint Columba but Columba died, having told Baithen not to accept Munnu, as he was destined to be an abbot. Mun lived on the Island on Loch Leven, before making his way to Kilmun in Bute, where he founded a monastic community before returning to Ireland to found Teach-munnu / House of Munnu. 

 

C 6 / C 7 – Saint Ultan mac Maelsnechta at ? Sanda Island, Mull of Kintyre. 

 

600 - Baithéne mac Brenainn, second Abbot of Iona, d succeeded by Laisren mac Feradaig (abbot 600-605). 

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Laisren, d 605, was 3rd Abbot of Iona 600-605, having administered the monastery of Durrow, Westmeath before moving to Iona. He was a kinsman of Columba and appears in Adomnán's Life of St Columba as one of Columba's close companions as he travelled through Ardnamurchan in Argyll, perhaps in 572. 

 

605 – Laisren, 3rd Abbot of Iona d, succeeded by Fergno Britt mac Faílbi as Abbot and Bishop. 

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Fergno Britt mac Faílbi, 4th Abbot of Iona, was not from the Cenél Conaill, the kin-group to which Saint Columba belonged, but the Cenel Enna Bogaine of the northern Ui Neill. His nephew Colman was one of Adomnán’s informants.  He d 623. [JEF] The first abbot of Iona after Columba venerated in northeast Scotland.

 

Post 609 – Saint Flannan of Killaloe takes over monastery at Killaloe founded by Saint Molua and ? evangelises in Alba. 

 

613 - [JEF] death of Neman, Abbot of Lismore in Lorn.

 

616–620 - Nechtan King of the Picts and Alt Clut founds Abernethy with Irish nuns. 

 

617 - Slaughter of Abbot Saint Donnan the Great and fellow monks on Eigg by pirates / the Northern Picts at monastery he had founded.

 

622/623/624 - [IA] Finnia, Abbot of Ner d [JEF has 625 death of Uineus, Abbot of Ner].  Ner was a monastery associated with Fetternear southwest of Inverurie on the Don in Aberdeenshire. 

 

623 - Fergno Britt mac Faílbi, 4th Abbot of Iona d, succeeded by Ségéne mac Fiachnaí. 

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[CP] Ségéne, 5th Abbot of Iona [WSK has abbot 623-652; JM has 624-652; JEF has Ségéne, succeeds 625, was the same kindred as Columba, and nephew of Abbot Laisren. Ségéne defended the British dating of Easter, put his name to a letter written by the Gaelic clergy to Pope Severinus in 638 and was an addressee of its reply by Pope-elect John IV in 640.  Ségéne established the first Irish missionaries amongst the English, sending Corman and then Áedan to King Oswald of Northumbria (who himself had spent time in exile at Iona) and to establish a daughter house and bishopric at Lindisfarne. 

 

C 630 – death of Saint Conval / Conwall, Irish-born missionary in Scotland, a follower of Kentigern. He was active in East Renfrewshire. He is associated with Inchinnan.

 

632-633 – [CP] 2nd Southern Hibernian Synod; southern Hibernians go over to Roman Easter.  Abbot Cummian of Durrow writes [JM has C 633] unsuccessfully to Abbot Ségéne of Iona and to his brother, anchorite Becan of Rum, to persuade them to adopt Roman Easter [CP, WSK and Chadwick have 632-633] after Synod of Mag-Lena in Offaly; JM has after receipt of a letter from Pope Honorius. 

 

633 - [WSK] Irish cleric Ernene mac Crasen visits Iona and meets Failbe mac Pipan, later 8th abbot. 

 

637 – [JEF] death of Eochaid, Abbot of Lismore in Lorn.

 

640 – Abbot Ségéne of Iona writes to Pope Severinus to explain his adherence to Celtic Easter.   Pope John IV replies to the Northern Irish. 

 

 C 642/643 – [JEF] Cumméne Find writes De virtutibus sancti Columbae.

 

652 – Ségéne, 5th Abbot of Iona d succeeded by Suibne moccu Fir Thrí I. 

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Suibne I, 6th Abbot of Iona 652–657. He was not from the same kindred as Saint Columba. His abbacy saw a continuation of the evangelization of England, with Diuma becoming the first Bishop of Mercia in 656. 

 

657 - Suibne I, 6th Abbot of Iona d, succeded by Cumméne Find. 

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Cumméne Find, 7th Abbot of Iona 657–669 [JEF has 656-668/669]. It was during his abbacy that the Synod of Whitby decided against the Celtic rite, resulting in the loss of control of Lindisfarne and its daughter churches in Britain and Colman, Abbot Bishop of Lindisfarne, returning to Iona. Cumméne visited Ireland in 663, staying at Rathlin, perhaps on a tour of daughter houses. He is known to have written a now largely lost Vita of Columba, the Liber de virtutibus sancti Columbae.

 

659 / 660 – [JEF] death of Daniel, Bishop of Kingarth in the Firth of Clyde, in Cowal.

 

C 660 – [Bede] Saint Ronan of Iona, one of the protagonists of the Roman rite, has a controversy on the subject with Saint Finan, Bishop of Lindisfarne.

 

668 / 669 – [JEF & IA] death of Saint Ethernan apud Pictores.

 

669 - Cumméne Find, 7th Abbot of Iona d, succeeded by Fáilbe mac Pípáin.

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Fáilbe mac Pípáin, 8th Abbot of Iona (669-679; JM has 669-678; WSK has Failbe 8th Abbot of Iona to 679), of the same kindred as Columba, at Iona when King Oswald of Northumbria visited sometime in the 630s.

 

671 - Saint Máel Ruba, 642–722, leaves Hibernia to proselytise in Pictish lands with a group of monks.  For two years he travels, chiefly in Argyll, perhaps founding some of the many churches still dedicated to him, before settling at Aporcrosan / Applecross in 673, in Pictish territory in the west of Ross opposite the islands of Skye and Raasay. Thence he set out on missionary journeys: westward to the islands of Skye and Lewis, eastward to Forres and Keith, and northward to Loch Shin, Durness, and Farr. 

 

673 - [WSK] Abbot Fáilbe of Iona visits his Irish paruchia.

 

678 – [JEF] death of Nechtan of Ner. 

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Death of Saint Nathalan / Nachlan bishop of Tullich, Aberdeenshire.

 

679 - Fáilbe mac Pípáin, 8th Abbot of Iona d, succeeded by Saint Adomnán mac Rónáin.

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Adomnán C 624 [JM 628]–704, Abbot of Iona 679–704, hagiographer, statesman, canon jurist, and saint. He was the author of the most important book on the life of Saint Columba and the promulgator of the lex innocentium / the Law of Innocents / the Law of Adomnán. Joined the Columban familia C 640. Prior to becoming Abbot of Iona, was Abbot of Skreen, County Sligo. Friend of King Aldfrith of Northumbria, who stayed on Iona 684. In 686, Adomnán was in the Kingdom of Northumbria on the request of King Fínsnechta Fledach of Brega in order to gain the freedom of sixty Irish who had been captured in a Northumbrian raid two years before.  He made several more trips to the lands of the English during his abbacy, including one in 687.  Decided to adopt the Roman dating of Easter; Bede implies that this led to a schism at Iona, whereby Adomnán became alienated from the Iona brethren and went to Ireland to convince the Scotti of the Roman dating. 

 

679-686 - Saint Adomnán writes de Locis Sanctis / The Holy Places.

 

688 – [JEF] death of Iolan, Bishop of Kingarth in the Firth of Clyde, in Cowal.

 

688–692 - Saint Adomnán writes Vita sancti Columba / Life of Saint Columba [Chadwick has 696; WSK has 688-692; JM has C 690, and maybe a Commentary on Virgil; JEF has C 700].

 

C 690 - Saint Curetán / Boniface, Bishop and Abbot of Ross maic Bairend / Rosemarkie in Ross, Scotland (fl to C710).

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[JEF] Kingarth reforms ? Easter calculation.

 

691-692 – [CP] Second voyage of Saint Adomnán to Hibernia.

 

C 695-704 - Saint Adomnán tries to persuade Picts to adopt Roman rite.

 

696-697 – [CP] Third voyage of Saint Adomnán to Hibernia.

 

Pre 700 - Saint Modwenna, Scotti Abbess of Faughart, Louth, friend of King Aldfrith of Northumbria.  Founder of Burton-on-Trent, Polesworth, Warwickshire, and churches in Scotland. 

 

C 700 - Cu-Chuimne the Wise, monk and canonist at Iona (d C 747). Along with Ruben of Dairinis, responsible for the compendium Collectio canonum Hibernensis (Irish Collection of Canon Law).  

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Saint Comgan of Lochalsh (fl to C730).  Abbot and founder of Lochaise, near Skye. 

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[JEF] second phase of Iona Chronicle compiled.

 

700 / 701 – [JEF] death of Iarnleigh, Abbot of Lismore in Lorn.

 

C 8 – Taranan ab Bendchair, Abbot of Banchory in Aberdeen, venerated in Iona.

 

704 - Saint Adomnán, 9th Abbot of Iona d, succeeded by Conamail mac Faílbi [AC has Dormitatio adomnan; WSK has 704; CP has 703/704].

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Conamail mac Faílbi, 10th Abbot of Iona (704–707). D 710, but his successor Dunchad was made abbot in 707. This may be evidence of a split in the Iona community over the Easter controversy, a mistake in the sources, or an otherwise unexplained resignation. 

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[JEF] death Colman son of Findbarr, Abbot of Lismore in Lorn.

 

707 - Conamail mac Failbi, 10th Abbot of Iona, succeeded by Dúnchad mac Cinn Fáelad.

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Dúnchad, 11th Abbot of Iona (707–717). Of the ruling line, grandson of one High King of Ireland and the nephew of two others, Cellach and Conall. Abbot of Killochuir on the coast of southeastern Ulster. The Annals of Ulster have him Abbot of Iona in 706; it is possible that Dunchad served as a coadjutor / principatum tenuit. He himself may have been elected in opposition to Abbot Conamail, while Dorbbéne in 713 and Fáelchú in 716 may have been elected to oppose Dúnchad.  It has also been suggested that he may have been elected in a power-struggle between factions of monks at Iona at the time who disagreed about the dating of Easter and the use of the tonsure. It has also been suggested that at least some of these people may have coadjutors, priors, or possibly even bishops at Iona at the time. 

 

713 - Dúnchad mac Cinn Fáelad, 11th Abbot of Iona, ? deposed for Dorbbéne mac Altaíni, then restored.

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[JEF] Dorbbéne, 12th Abbot of Iona, probable scribe of Scaffhausen Vita Columbae which included parts of Abbot Cummene Find’s earlier Liber de virtutibus sancti Columbae, d in the year he is made abbot.

 

716 - Nechtan IV King of the Picts of Angus, advised by Saint Ceolfrith, Abbot of Monkwearmouth and Jarrow, adopts Roman practices in his kingdom.  

Dúnchad mac Cinn Fáelad, 11th Abbot of Iona, deposed for second time and succeeded by Fáelchú mac Dorbbéni / ?Saint Voloc, 13th Abbot [JEF has 717 headship of Iona re-united].

 

717 - King Nechtan IV mac Derile of the Picts of Angus expels Celtic clergy and monks [WSK has 717 ‘across the Spine of Britain’]. 

 

718 – [JEF] death of Cronan ua Eoain, Abbot of Lismore in Lorn.

 

721 – [JM and JEF] Bishop Fergus the Picts Fergustus episcopus Scotiae Pictus and Irish Bishop Sedulius [JM] of Alt Clut attend a council in Rome.

 

722 - Fáelchú mac Dorbbéni, 13th Abbot of Iona retires or is deposed, succeeded by Fedelmid, 14th Abbot, who is deposed and succeeded by Cilléne Fota, 15th Abbot. Fedelmid d 757.

 

726 - Cilléne Fota, 15th Abbot of Iona d, succeeded by Cilléne Droichtech.

 

727 - Cilléne Droichtech Abbot of Iona tours the Hibernian satellite houses carrying relics of Iona; he returns 730. He acts as peacemaker in 727 between two Scotti clans; d 752.

 

729 - [CP] Bishop Saint Ecgberht of Northumbria d at Iona [Annals of Ulster has 728].  

 

C 730 - Bishop Saint Fergus of Strageath, evangelizer of Caithness and Buchan, d. Contemporary of Saint Drostan and Saint Donevaldus. The name is of Pictish origin and he is recorded as Fergus, a Pictish Bishop. In the Aberdeen Breviary he is called Fergustian.  Bishop for many years in Hibernia when he went on a mission to Alba with some chosen priests and other clerics. He settled first near Strageath, in Upper Strathearn, in Upper Perth, and erected three churches in that district: the churches of Strageath, Blackford, and Dolpatrick dedicated to Saint Patrick. He next evangelized Caithness and established there the churches of Wick and Halkirk.  He may have been the Fergustus Pictus who went to Rome in 721.

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Saint Donevaldus and his nine daughters / the Nine Maidens, saint in the Glen of Ogilvie, Forfarshire, C 8.

 

733 - Death of anchoress Saint Kentigerna of Loch Lamond. 

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St. Fillan, Abbot of a monastery in Fife before retiring to Glen Dochart and Strathfillan near Tyndrum, Perthshire.

 

737 - Death of Saint Ronan of Kingarth, Bute [Wikipedia commemorated in many places in the Hebrides].

 

 

The Irish missions to Alba were most important on the peripheries of Pictland, the Western Isles and the Orkneys.  Only a few missionaries traversed the mainland.

 

Iona overtook Whithorn as the most venerated religious site of the northwest and for a time had a paruchia covering most of England, much of Alba and houses in Hibernia.

 

Iona’s mission to Pictland was to an already partially converted country. Kings of the Picts had been Christian since C 5.

 

There were few missionaries of royal lines involved, only 3, and all of those in Iona.

 

Royal patronage is mentioned often, but the only king founding a monastery himself is Nechtan, King of the Picts in 616 at Abernethy. There are no king saints or prelate princes in Alba, whether in Dal Riada or Pictland.

 

 

 

THE MISSIONS TO BRITANNIA

 

The Irish Church retained its links with the British Church and evangelised to a small degree in Cornubia.  The conversion of King Oswald and his family while in exile in Dal Riada brought the Irish Church to Lindisfarne, and enabled Irish clerics to convert Northumbria, then the kingdoms in its influence, including Mercia, East Anglia, Essex and Sussex. By Whitby, only Kent and Wessex were operating according to the Roman rite and only the former had allegiance to Canterbury. Oswy determined to switch to a continental allegiance, and the arrival of Theodore signals the primacy of Rome and Canterbury.

 

C 480 – Saint Piran d. Cornish abbot and saint, supposedly of Irish origin, patron saint of tin-miners; generally regarded as the patron saint of Cornwall. Saint Piran's Flag, a white cross on a black background, is used as a symbol of Cornwall. The C 14 Life of Saint Piran, probably written at Exeter Cathedral, is a complete copy of an earlier Irish Life of Saint Ciarán of Saighir.

 

C 5 - [other has C 6] Saint Buriana comes to Cornubia with Saint Piran and settles at Land’s End. Hermit in St Buryan, near Penzance, perhaps the Hibernian Saint Bruinsech. One legend tells how she cured the paralysed son of King Geraint of Dumnonia [r C 480-508]. 

 

Post 490 - Saint Tathyw, Scotti founder of monastery at Llantathan and monastic school at Venta Silurum, d.

 

C 6 – [JM] Scotti Saint Winninus of Kilwinning, Cunningham, Ayrshire, the only Scotti saint known to have preached in Alt Clut.  

 

C 520/530 - Saint Ciarán of Saigir, C 5 – C 530 [JM has ? C 440-C 520] ? d in Cornubia.

 

Post 540  - [other has C 510-520]. [JM] Theodoric / Tewdr Mawr, prince of Brittany campaigns in Cornubia against and kills Saint Gwinear / Fingar (son of Clito, a king in Ireland), King Germochus / ? Cermait and 770 Irishmen who have invaded / evangelized Cornubia.  Saint Breaca and others of the party escape [Tewdr Mawr, King of Brittany / Vannes and Cornuaille, exiled to, and ruler of, Penwith C 540-577]. 

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Saint Gwinear went to Brittany, returned to Ireland found parents dead, went to Cornwall with sister Piala. The Life of Saint Fingar or Guigner written by monk Anselm early C 14].

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Saint Breaca with a company of seven other Irish saints, Germoe, Senanus, Mawnan, Elwen, Crowan, Helena and Tecla, travels to Cornubia to found churches.  Scotti nun who founded Breage in Cornubia. Trained at an oratory founded by Saint Brigid of Kildare at Campus Breace, County Meath. [Other has C 460] she travelled to Cornubia with a company of seven other Scotti saints and settled at Revyer on the River Hayle, but some were killed by Tewdwr Mawr of Penwith. Breaca then established a church at Trenewith or Chynoweth. 

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Saint Crown / Crewenna has a parish in west Cornwall south of Camelford [JM has is possibly Croine of Kilcrony, Wicklow].  

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Saint Elwen has a chapel in Sithney parish and dedications in Brittany [PCB has saint of Porthleven, Cornwall].

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Saint Germoe was an Irish king and a village near Penzance in Cornwall is named after him, its church a chapel within Breage parish [PCB has Germochus Episcopus is fictional and is represented as a king].

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Saint Helena; there are unattributable parishes dedicated to Saint Helena in Cornwall [PCB has Saint Helena / Elenn / Elent has chapels in west Cornwall].  

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Saint Mawnan (sometimes said to be a Breton) has a parish in south Cornwall near Falmouth.  

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Saint Sennen [PCB] Sennen may have been Irish but was probably a woman Senane [other has C 520 Saint Senan founds church at Sennen Cove].

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Saint Sithney has a parish near Porthleven in west Cornwall and dedications in Brittany [PCB Sithney / Sidnius / Siduinus / Sydyny / Sidnini / Sidenini / Sithnini / Senseus / Sinninus could be Breton Saint Sezni]. 

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Saint Tecla; accounts of Breaca's journey give Saint Tecla the additional name Etha. She has a parish in north Cornwall [PCB says Tecla is fictitious]. 

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Saint Ia, Saint Erc’s sister, martyred at the River Hoyle in Cornwall with Saints Gwinear and Piala at the hands of Tewdr Mawr of Penwith [PCB has Ia patron saint of St Ives].

 

Post 544 - Saint Erc crosses from Ireland to Cornwall, where a church and the village of St Erth are dedicated under his patronage. 

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Saint Euny of Uny-Lelant and Redruth in west Cornwall, brother of Saints Erc and Ia.

 

630-631 - Bishop Saint Felix of Burgundy / Felix of Dunwich, who had been baptised in exile by Columbanus, called by King Sigeberht of the East Angles to Soham then is translated to Dunwich.  Sigeberht had become a devout Christian before returning from exile in Francia to become king.  He invites Fursa / Fursey of Loch Corrib, Hibernia, with Foillan, Ultan, Gobban and Diciul and gives them lands at Burgh Castle. 

 

633/634 – Saint Fursey C 597-650 grew up in a British founded monastery and founded Claran, Headford, Co. Galway.  Abbot of Louth. He leaves Inisquin and brings the relics of the founding Saint Bishops Medlan and Beoan with him and a party including his brothers Bishop Saint Foillan and Goban to East Anglia. It is clear that Sigeberht turned not to Canterbury but to Ireland to appoint Fursey.  Fursey grew up in a British founded monastery and brought the relics of the founding Saints with him.  

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Saint Foelan of Fosses, Namur, d C 655, successor to Saint Fursey at Cnobheresburh / Burgh Castle, given Fosses by Ita, widow of Pepin the elder, killed by bandits. 

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Saint Goban of Laon was from Fursey’s district of Dal Araide and went with him to Burgh Castle, staying there with Dicuil when Fursey left. Clothaire III later gave him Mons Eremi, Laon, where he was killed by invaders.

 

635 - King Oswald of Northumbria requests Ségéne mac Fiachnaí 4th? Abbot of Iona for a bishop and he sends Corman, who returns a failure. Saint Aidan mac Lughar sent from Iona/I-Shona as first Bishop of Ynys Metcaut / Lindisfarne and Bishop of Northumbria. Aidan chooses 12 disciples, including Saint Aebbe, half-sister of Oswald, Oswald’s daughter Elfleda and Saint Hilda. 

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Saint Aebbe, daughter of King Æthelfrith of Bernicia and Princess Acha of Deira [sister of King Edwin], sister of King Oswald, becomes Abbess of Coldingham [other has 634].  Saint Æbbe the Elder C 615 – 683 founded monasteries at Ebchester and Urbs Coludi / St Abb's Head near Coldingham in Scotland.  In 616 she, her mother and brothers fled north to exile in the court of King Eochaid Buide of Dál Riata r 605/608-620. It was during this time of exile in western Scotland that she and her brothers were converted to Christianity. The conversion of the Bernician royal family by Iona and Dal Riada starts the Hibernian mission proper, although it follows Saints Felix and Fursey in East Anglia by four or so years.

 

643 – Saint Fursey resigns Abbacy of Burgh Castle to brother Foillan and joins brother Ultan as a hermit.

 

645 – Saint Fursey and Ultan leave East Anglia for Gaul, founding Lagny [CP has 640-644; JM has Ultan precedes Fursey to be Abbot of Peronne. Fursey is received by Mayor Erconwald].  

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Diciul misson to the South Saxons at Bosham, where he converts King Aethelwalh.  [Other has 660 Aedelwealh becomes King of the South Saxons and the first South Saxon King to convert. He marries Eafe, princess of the Hwicce, daughter of Christian King Eanfrith of the Hwicce].

 

Pre 647 – [CP] Heruten / Hartlepool monastery founded.

 

647 – [CP] Saint Hilda takes the veil [CP has post 647; WSK has as Abbess of Hartlepool].  At the age of 33, Hilda answered the call of Bishop Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne and returned to Northumbria to live as a nun.  Hilda's original convent is not known except that it was on the north bank of the River Wear. After a year Aidan appointed Hilda as the second Abbess of Hartlepool Abbey.  In 657 Hilda became the founding abbess of Whitby Abbey / Streoneshalh.  

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Hereswith, sister of Saint Hilda, wife of Aethelric, brother of King Anna of the East Angles and Queen Mother of King Ealdwulf of East Anglia, enters a nunnery at Chelles in Gaul.  

 

647-648 – [CP] Saint Felix Bishop of Dunwich and the East Angles d at Dunwich, succeeded by Deacon then Bishop Thomas [other has 646; WSK has 647 at his foundation of Soham].

 

648 – [CP] Northumbrian noble Saint Wilfrid enters Lindisfarne [other has 647 Saint Wilfrid; WSK sent to Lindisfarne by Queen Eanflaed, daughter of King Edwin, 2nd wife of King Oswiu].

 

649-650 – [ASC & CP] Neustrian noble Bishop Saint Agilbert arrives, replacing Saint Birinus, as Bishop of Dorcic / Dorchester [WSK and Bede have 650 from Hibernia, where he had studied the scriptures].

 

650 – Saint Fursey d of disease at Mézerolles en route to visit Burgh Castle [CP and other have 649; WSK has 649-650].  Saints Foillan and Ultan go to Gaul.

 

651 - Saint Aidan Bishop of Lindisfarne d, succeeded by Saint Finan.  Originally from Hibernia, Finan built on Lindisfarne a cathedral "in the Irish fashion", employing hewn oak with a thatched roof, dedicated to St. Peter. He also founded St. Mary's at the mouth of the River Tyne. 

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King Penda of Mercia ravages East Anglia including the monastery of Burgh Castle. 

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Abbot Foillan ransoms / removes relics and monks and leaves Burgh for Gaul, reaching Péronne in Neustria, but is expelled by Erchioald, Mayor of the Palace to King Clovis II.  

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[CP] Saint Cuthbert enters Melrose Abbey [WSK has C 651 & 651] and is taught by sacerdos Boisil.  Saint Cuthbert C 634 – 687 was a Northumbrian noble. 

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One of Cuthbert’s disciples was Saint Iwig of Lindisfarne, a British Northumbrian monk, said to have d in Brittany. 

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Saint Wilfrid leaves Lindisfarne for Kent. 

 

652-653 – [CP] Bishop Thomas of the East Angles d, succeeded by Beorhtgils / Boniface, d 669 or 670.  Consecrated by Archbishop Honorius of Canterbury.

 

Pre 653 - Saint Cedd a priest.  Cedd Northumbrian or British, C 620-664.  Brought up on the island of Lindisfarne by Saint Aidan. He had three brothers: Chad / Ceadda, Cynibil and Caelin. He is portrayed by Bede as very close to Aidan's successor, Finan. 

 

653 - Saint Cedd, with priests Adda, Betti and Diuma, sent by Saint Finan and King Oswiu of Northumbria to convert the Middle Angles. King Peada is baptised by Saint Finan of Lindisfarne. 

Reconversion of the East Saxons by King Sigbert Sanctus / the Holy / Bonus/ the Good, friend/client of King Oswy of Northumbria, baptised by Saint Finan.

 

C 653 – [CP] Ad Caprae Caput / Gateshead, Ythanceaster and Tilbury monasteries founded; Tilbury is founded by Saint Cedd.

 

654 - [CP] Saint Botulf commences his monastery at Ikanho, Suffolk, to commemorate King Anna [WSK has 654]. The Life of St Ceolfrith mentions an abbot named Botolphus.

 

655 - King Peada of Mercia founds Medehamstede / Peterborough Abbey with Sexwulf as Abbot.

 

655-658 - King Oswiu sends Saint Cedd to the East Saxons at the request of King Sigeberht.  Saint Cedd is consecrated in Northumbria by Finan as Bishop of the East Saxons. 

 

656 - Diocese of Mercia and Middle Anglia founded by King Oswy of Northumbria at Repton with first bishop the Irish Bishop Diuma from Northumbria, consecrated by Saint Finan; he dies almost immediately and is succeeded by the Irish Bishop Ceollach. 

 

657 – Abbess Saint Hilda of Hartlepool moves to found Whitby.

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Birth of Saint Wilbrord, who is given to Ripon [CP has 657-658].

 

C 658 - Bishop Ceollach/Cellach of Mercia and the Middle Angles resigns.  Abbot Trumhere of Ingethling is consecrated Bishop of Mercia and Middle Anglia at Repton. 

 

659/660 – Saint Ceolfrith enters Tunberht’s monastery at Gilling.

 

660 - Saint Sigeberht the Good King of East Saxons is assassinated due to his favour for Christianity by Swithelm, who, with his brother Swithfrith, succeeds him [WSK has C 653]. 

C 660 - King Merewalh of the Magonsaete is converted by Eadfrith, a Northumbrian priest, and founds Leominster. 

 

661 - Saint Finan mac Rimid, Bishop of Northumbria / Lindisfarne d, succeeded by Saint Colman. Colman is the 3rd bishop and 3rd Irishman. 

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Saint Colmán of Lindisfarne C 605 – 675, Bishop of Lindisfarne 661 - 664. Native of the west of Ireland, received his education on Iona. He resigned the Bishopric of Lindisfarne after the Synod of Whitby called by King Oswiu of Northumbria decided to calculate Easter using the method of the First Ecumenical Council instead of his preferred Celtic method.  Later tradition states that between the years 665 and 667 Colman founded several churches in Scotland before returning to Iona, From Iona he settled at Inishbofin in 668 where he founded a monastery. When Colman came to Mayo he brought with him half the relics of Lindisfarne, including bones of Saint Aidan.  He took with him Saint Gerald of Mayo.  [JEF] Colman d 675. 

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Expulsion of Saints Cuthbert and founder Saint Eata from Ripon, which is given to Saint Wilfrid as Abbot [CP has ? 661).  

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Saint Eata d 686, Bishop of Lindisfarne 678/681-685, and of Hexham from then until his death. He was the first native of Northumbria to take the bishopric of Lindisfarne. Eata was originally taken to Lindisfarne as a boy under Aidan and trained as a monk. He was chosen as one of the 12 monks selected from Lindisfarne to found the new daughter monastery at Melrose. In 651 he was elected Abbot of Melrose. Around 658 he left Melrose and founded a new monastery at Ripon in Yorkshire, taking with him the young Saint Cuthbert, who was his guest-master. In 661 King Alchfrith of Deira expelled Eata from Ripon, because he had appointed Wilfrid as the new abbot. Eata returned to Melrose. In 664 the abbacy of Lindisfarne was divided from the bishopric and Eata moved from Melrose to become Abbot of Lindisfarne. He appointed Cuthbert as prior at Lindisfarne.  In 678, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Theodore split the diocese of Northumbria into two new bishoprics and Eata became bishop of Bernicia. Bernicia had two episcopal sees, one at Hexham and the other at Lindisfarne. Eata was the bishop of the whole of Bernicia for three years, after which the see of Hexham was assigned to Trumbert, and Lindisfarne to Eata. After the death of Trumbert in 684, Cuthbert was elected Bishop of Hexham. Eata and Cuthbert exchanged sees shortly thereafter, and for the last two years of his life Eata occupied Hexham. He died of dysentery 686.

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Saint Ceolfrith goes to Ripon.  

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[CP] Death of Saint Boisil, prior of Melrose [others have 659 and 660]. Prior under Abbot Saint Eata, both of whom seem to have been trained in monastic discipline by Saint Aidan. It was Boisil's evident sanctity, which drew the young Saint Cuthbert to Melrose Abbey, rather than the more famous Lindisfarne, in 651. By chance, the prior was standing by the abbey gate when Cuthbert arrived. The latter entered the church to pray and, Bede documents that "Boisil had an intuition of the high degree of holiness to which the boy would rise”, and said just this single phrase to the monks with whom he was standing: "Behold the servant of the Lord". Abbot Eata soon gave permission for Cuthbert to enter the community.  Boisil succeeded Eata as abbot 659. 

 

661 - King Wulfhere of Mercia raids as far as Ashdown and Wight, where he organises Eoppa’s mission to convert and which he gives to Aethelwald King of the South Saxons, his godson. When Wulfhere leaves, Wight reverts to paganism.   There is no detail of Eoppa, which is an English name. He would at the time have followed the Celtic rite, which thereby reached the furthest south, bypassing Wessex’s Frankish Roman rite.

 

660s - Benedictine monastery founded as Mailduff’s Burgh / Meildulfesburh / Maidulfsbury / Maelduib-byrig by the Irish scholar monk Abbot Saint Maelduib / Maildubh / Moeldubh / Mailduff / Mailduf / Maidulph.  Saint Aldhelm is a pupil. Under Mercian influence there is evangelization by the Irish on the borders of Wessex.

 

662 - Bishop Trumhere of Mercia and the Middle Angles d at Repton, succeeded by Jaruman as 4th Bishop of Mercia, another Lindisfarne appointment.

 

664 - Synod of Whitby.  Saint Colman Bishop of Lindisfarne returns to Ireland, succeeded by Saint Tuda.

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Saint Tuda d 664 after less than a year in office. Although raised and consecrated in Ireland, he was a staunch supporter of Roman practices, being tonsured in the Roman manner and celebrating Easter according to the Roman Computus. He is succeeded as Bishop of Northumbria with a see at York by Saint Wilfrid, who goes to Gaul for his consecration as Deusdedit of Canterbury d of plague in 664.  

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[CP] Saint Cuthbert becomes Prior / Provost of Lindisfarne. 

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Saint Ecgberht travels from Northumbria to study at the monastery of Rathelmigisi in Connaught. Ecgberht was an Anglo-Saxon nobleman, probably from Northumbria [JM has born C 640].  His Northumbrian traveling companions, including Æthelhun, d of the plague, and he contracted it as well.  Ecgberht vowed that if he recovered, he would become a peregrinus on perpetual pilgrimage from his homeland of Britain and would lead a life of penitential prayer and fasting. He was twenty-five, and when he recovered he kept his vow until his death on Iona at age 90 in 729. According to Henry Mayr-Harting, Ecgberht was one of the most famous ‘pilgrims’ of the early Middle Ages, and occupied a prominent position in a political and religious culture that spanned northern Britain and the Irish Sea. 

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[CP] Bishop Saint Cedd of London and the East Saxons, Abbot of his foundation Lastingham, d of the plague, succeeded at Lastingham by Saint Chad, his brother, who has been in Ireland with Saint Ecgberht.

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[PCB] Saint Chad is the British Siatt o Redfynfre / Ceadd of Farndon, Cheshire, ap Cadfan Llwytgoed / Lichfield; Cadfan / Caedmon. Chad was brother Saint Cedd's junior, arriving on the political scene about ten years after Cedd. Chad was a priest by 653, when he was sent to work among the Middle Angles, aafter which he was in Hibernia. In 664 he takes over from his brother Cedd. His brothers Cynibil and Caelin were ordained priests by the late 650s, when they participated with Cedd in the founding of Lastingham. Chad was almost certainly the youngest of the four, probably by a considerable margin. 

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King Swithelm of Essex d, succeeded by Joint Kings Sighere and Sebbi, who, prompted by plague, revert to paganism, but Bishop Jaruman is sent by King Wulfhere of Mercia and succeeds in reconverting them. 

 

665 - Bishop Wini at Winchester the only consecrated Bishop in England at the time, with two British bishops, consecrates Saint Chad as Bishop of the Northumbrians at York as King Oswiu has despaired of Saint Wilfrid who is in Gaul. 

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Eadhæd Bishop of Lindsey, companion of Chad of Mercia. He was consecrated in 678, was expelled from Lindsey and made Bishop of Ripon around 679. This was part of the process whereby Bishop Wilfrid of York's large diocese was broken into three parts, with new bishoprics established at York, Hexham and Ripon. Along with Eadhæd, Bosa was appointed to York and Eata was appointed to Hexham. It appears that the see of Ripon was especially created to find a place for Eadhæd after his expulsion from Lindsey, for bishops were not usually appointed to that see.

 

665-667 – Saint Benedict Biscop at Lerins. Benedict Biscop / Biscop Baducing, C 628–690 [JM has ? 627-689/690], Anglo-Saxon Abbot and founder of Monkwearmouth-Jarrow Priory, of a noble Northumbrian family, thegn of King Oswiu. At the age of 25, C 653 Benedict made the first of five trips to Rome, accompanying Saint Wilfrid. When Wilfrid was detained in Lyon, Benedict completed the journey on his own.  He made a second journey to Rome twelve years later, C 665, this time accompanied by Alchfrith of Deira, a son of King Oswiu. On this trip he met Saints Acca and Wilfrid. On his return journey to England Benedict stopped at Lérins. During his two-year stay there, from 665-667, he underwent a course of instruction, taking monastic vows and the name of "Benedict".  Following the two years in Lérins Benedict made his third trip to Rome C 667. At this time he was commissioned by the pope to accompany Archbishop Theodore of Tarsus back to Canterbury in 669. On their return Benedict was appointed Abbot of SS. Peter and Paul's, Canterbury, by Archbishop Theodore, a role he held for two years. 

 

667 – [CP] Bishop Jaruman of Mercia and the Middle Angles d at Repton [Wikipedia has 669]. 

 

669 - Saint Theodore reaches Canterbury. 

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Saint Chad removed as Bishop of the Northumbrians at York by Archbishop Theodore and Saint Wilfrid restored. Chad is retired to Lastingham, then appointed Bishop of Mercia, Middle Anglia and the Lindsey people, moving see to Lichfield, where he builds a monastery, replacing Dimn, an Irish bishop. 

 

669-670 - Bishop Beorhtgils of the East Angles d, succeeded by Bifus / Bisi. Beorhtgils had been appointed 652/653 so had been of the Celtic rite, although consecrated by Honorius. Bifus resigned the see in 672, the last bishop of the East Angles.

 

670-684 – [CP] Saint Cuthbert resides on Farne. Most of the monks are killed by plague.

 

 680 – [JM] Irish abbot Dicuil with 5 or 6 monks still at Bosham when Saint Wilfred arrives.

 

685 - King Ecgfrith of Northumbria is buried on Iona. 

 

686 - First visit of Saint Adomnan to the court of Aldfrith King of Northumbria, who sends back the prisoners in exchange for Saint Adomnan’s De Locis Sanctis.

 

688 - [CP] Saint Adomnan’s second visit to court of King Aldfrith of Northumbria.  He visits Ceolfrith at Wearmouth.

 

696 – [JM] death of Saint Mo Ling Luachra, founder of Tech Moling, Carlow. There is a tradition that Mo Ling is Saint Myllin, who travelled to Wales, baptised people at the holy well in Llanfyllin, Powys, and founded the church there.

 

C 708 – [JM] Irish monk Indract of Shapwick murdered at Glastonbury by a thief, Hona; may be Abbot Indrechtach, Abbot of Iona, martyred by Saxons on way to Rome.

 

720-730 - Dagan Abbot of Llancarfan. He appears as Danoc in one of the ‘Llancarfan Charters’ appended to the Life of St.Cadog, witness with Abbot Sulien and King Morgan ab Athrwys King of Gwent C 715. He appears as Abbot of Llancarfan in five charters in the Book of Llandaf, where he is called Danoc abbas Carbani Uallis and Dagan(us) abbas Carbani Uallis, contemporary with Bishop Berthwyn and Ithel ap Morgan, King of Gwent, Glywyssing and Ergyng.  He succeeded Sulien as Abbot and was succeeded by Paul. 

 

Three types of Irish mission are evident:

 

Individuals travelling, visiting, settling and evangelizing in Britain from the earliest days of Christian evangelism in Ireland, when Britain was viewed as the source of religious authority, to C 6 and C 7 when Hibernia had become a source of religious education itself.

 

Groups travelling to Cornubia to evangelise (or, in some views, to conquer and settle) in C 5.  

 

The highly successful linkage of Iona with the Kingdom of Northumbria in C 7, which saw all but Kent and Wessex become, for a time, part of the Hiberno-British church. 

 

The Irish missionary church in Britain was very much the creation of the kings of Northumbria.  Its influence spread to Lindsey, Middle Anglia, Mercia, the Hwicce, East Anglia, Essex and the South Saxons. This came to a sudden end with Theodore’s imposition of Roman and Canterbury authority, which may have been welcome to Kings no longer content to be Northumbrian clients. 

 

The traditional story of the Synod of Whitby does not seem to explain events.  Saints Agilbert and the rather junior Wilfrid are unlikely to have had the influence to sway the matter.  Despite having spread Celtic Christianity throughout the lands he governed and over which he had power, King Oswiu seems to have decided to adopt Roman practices. With Benedict Biscop’s and others’ visits to Rome he had been drawing closer to the papacy. His vision of his bretwaldaship, or simply of himself as the most powerful man in Britain, would have influenced him to see his power in a wider, European setting, and that implied going over to Rome.  Power, wealth, sophistication, his royal equals and the modern world all lay across the Channel.  As were his co-equals in Europe, he was directly involved in Church matters and used the Church as part of his exercise of power.  Managing synods and appointing bishops was a royal prerogative. At the very least he would have needed to be content to see the changes agreed at Whitby enacted. At the most, the Synod can be seen as his implementing or accomplishing a policy upon which he had made a prior decision. 

 

 

 

MISSIONS TO EUROPE

 

 

Links with Gaul were maintained by missions to Francia and Italia.  Saint Columbanus at Bobbio is an isolated individual Hibernian saint in already Christianised areas and cannot be counted as part of any organized mission.  The conflicts in which he is involved (Celtic rites; the date of Easter; episcopal control of monasteries) mirror those that arose in the British Isles just after his time. Later, more important missions were sent to convert the Frisians and Germania.  

 

461 – British / Irish Bishop Mansuetus signs the Council of Tours; possibly Bishop of Touls. Also connected with Meaux, Senlis and Trier.

 

C 540 – death of Saint Fridolin founder of Säckingen Abbey, Baden.  An Irish missionary, the first to work among the Alamanns on the Upper Rhine.

 

588 – death of Saint Fridianus / Frediano / Frigidanus / Frigianu / Frigidian, Bishop of Lucca 556-588.  Scotti prince, son of ? King Ultach / Ultonius of Ulster, hermit on Mount Pisano, near Lucca, after going on pilgrimage to Rome. During his episcopate, Lucca was attacked by the Lombards. The cathedral was burnt down and Fridianus rebuilt it. He may also have founded a group of eremitical canon priests.

 

590 - Saint Columban / Columbanus / Columbán (543-615) leaves Bangor for Gaul, where he founds Luxeuil.

 

C 590 – 615 - writings of Saint Columbanus.

 

C 597 - Saint Wendelin / Vendelinus of Trier C 554 - C 617 founds Tholey in the Saarland. 

 

610 - Columbanus is expelled from Burgundy to Bobbio due to the controversy over his support for the Celtic Easter and tonsure.  Columbanus disputed the authority of the Frankish bishops over religious communities. In 602, the bishops assembled to judge him, but he did not appear before them and appealed directly to Pope Gregory I, who answered none of his letters. Columbanus then sent a letter to Gregory's successor, Pope Boniface IV, asking him to confirm his traditions. Before Boniface could respond, Columbanus moved outside the jurisdiction of the Frankish bishops and arrived in Milan in 612, where he wrote a treatise against Arianism.   King Agilulf gave Columbanus a tract of land Bobbio between Milan and Genoa. Episcopal control over the monasteries and thus the Celtic church was at the nub of the controversy, as it would be in part at Whitby in 664. 615 Saint Columbanus d at Bobbio.  

 

C 630 – Scotti Saint Psalmodius / Psalmet / Sauman / Saumay accompanies Saint Brendan to Aquitaine and is placed with Saint Leontius, bishop of Saintes. Psalmodius became a hermit in a small cell in the forest of Grigeas / Grie, in the Limousin near Eymoutiers. 

 

C7 –martyrdom of Saint Dympna / Dymphna, Scotti princess evangelist of Brabant, and of her confessor Father Gerebernus at Geel, killed by her father, sub-King of Oriel / Airgíalla.

 

Post 637, pre 670 – Hibernian Killian of Aubigny encouraged to settle there by Bishop Faro of Meaux.

 

640 – Saint Disibod and his colleagues cross from Hibernia to Francia.

 

646/650 – death of Saint Gall / Gallus, Scotti / Alsacian, b C 550, member of Saint Columbanus’s 12 disciples, with brother Saint Deicolus.  Gall and his companions established themselves with Columbanus first at Luxeuil. In 610, he fled with Columbanus to Bregenz and remained in Alemannia, where, with several companions, he led the life of a hermit in the forests southwest of Lake Constance, near the source of the river Steinach. 

 

648 - Saint Fursey arrives in Francia. He builds a monastery at Latiniacum / Lagny, close to Chelles and about six miles from Paris.  He d C 650 at Mézerolles while on a journey. 

 

652 - East Anglian Saint Foillan founds Nivelles and Fosse-la-Ville monasteries in Namur. Saint Foillan is killed by bandits 655.

 

 670 – death of Saint Fiachra / Fiacre of Breuil-en-Brie, son of Scotti ? King Eogan, settled in Meaux, brother of Syra, Abbess of Chalons.  Fiacre lived in a hermitage in County Kilkenny. At Breuil, in the region of Brie, Fiacre built an oratory in honour of the Virgin Mary, a hospice in which he received strangers, and a cell in which he himself lived apart. 

 

674/675 - Saint Disibod [other has 619-700], Hibernian bishop founder of Dissenberg / Disibodenberg, southwest of Bad Kreuznach and south of Bingen, resigns abbacy.  Came to the Frankish Empire 640, accompanied by his disciples Giswald, Clemens and Sallust. They were active in the Vosges and Ardennes, until, guided by a dream, Disibod built a cell at the confluence of the rivers Nahe and Glan, the location of the later monastery of Disibodenberg.

 

C 685 - Death of Saint Catald / Cataldus, Hibernian patron saint of Tarentum, earlier rector of Lismore.

 

686 - Saint Kilian / Killian / Cillian, b C 640, with eleven companions, travels through Gaul to Rome to receive missionary faculties from the Pope, arriving in late autumn and meeting with Pope Conon. From Rome, they travelled to Würzburg, where Thuringian Duke Gozbert, was still pagan. Kilian with two companions, the priest Colmán / Colonan / Kolonat and the deacon Totnan made this town as the base of their activity, which extended over an ever-increasing area in East Franconia and Thuringia, and converted Duke Gozbert with a large part of his subjects to Christianity.  Kilian told the Duke that he was in violation of sacred scripture by being married to his brother's widow, Geilana. When Geilana, whom Kilian had failed to convert to Christianity, heard of Kilian's words against her marriage, she was so angry that, in the absence of the duke, she had her soldiers sent to the main square of Würzburg, where Kilian and his colleagues were preaching, and had him beheaded, along with two of his companions, Colmán and Totnan 689.  

 

Pre 690 - An abortive attempt by Saint Egbert to evangelise Germania from Ireland, by dispatching Saint Wigbert / Wihtberht, another Englishman living at Rath Melsigi, to Frisia. 

 

 C 741 – death of Hibernian Saint Wiro / Wera / ? Vira [other has of Northumbria d C 700] of Roermond, Limburg / Utrecht, patronized by Pippin.  ? Associated with Saint Willibrord, appointed the second bishop of Utrecht C 739–741. He was also a missionary and preached in the region of the Maas and the Rhine, where his legend associates him with the priest Plechelm and the deacon Otger, with whom he later founded St. Peter's Abbey on land given him by Pippin II in the present Sint Odilienberg near Roermond in the Netherlands, where he is also buried.

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Wilfrid and Boniface continued their campaign against the British rites on the continent, but Wilibrord seems to have worked with Scotti clergy in Utrecht.

 

The missions to the continent do not seem to have been politically or royally driven in the way that earlier missions were. For once, the missions were initiated and maintained by the Church, which by then had the resources to do so.

© 2014 Nigel Collett All Rights Reserved