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father of Ismael and Tyffei the martyr "who lies in Penalun." On the death of Aircol, Budic was invited back into Armorica, that he might take the crown. He therefore returned to Lesser Britain, and became king of that realm "which in his time extended to the Alps." There his wife bore him Oudoc, whom he sent to be educated in Glamorgan by S. Teilo. The story is told of him that he was one day thirsty, and passing some women who were washing butter, asked for a draught of water. They answered laughing that they had no vessel from which he could drink. Then he took a pat of butter, and moulded it into the shape of a cup or bell, and filled it with water and drank out of it. And this golden bell remained afterwards in the church of Llandaff, till it was melted up by the commissioners of Henry VIII.
A king was hunting one day, and the stag he was pursuing took refuge under the cloak of S. Oudoc. old age the saint retired into a hermitage by the side of the Wye, and died there.
S. SWITHUN, B. OF WINCHESTER.
[Roman Martyrology, and York Kalendar of 1418. Sarum Kalendar of 1521, the Translation on July 15th, so also Reformed Anglican Kalendar. Authorities:-A metrical life by Wolstan, monk of Winchester (cca. 990), and a life by Gotselin the monk (cca. 1110). A much altered edition of this life was published by Surius, and again by the Bollandists, but a MS. of the original text of Gotselin, written in the 12th cent., far superior to the printed text, is preserved in the Arundel Library in the British Museum. Also William of Malmesbury "Gesta Pontif."]
DURING the melancholy period of the Danish invasions, from the reign of Egbert to the time when King Alfred restored peace to the island, science and literature seem to
have been banished from our land. The name of S. Swithun stands alone conspicuous amidst the general gloom.
He appears to have been a native of Wessex; he was born in the reign of Egbert, probably at, or very soon after, the commencement of the 9th century. He was placed at an early age in the monastery of Winchester, where he was distinguished by his humility, and his application to study. He was ordained priest by Bishop Helmestan, in, or soon after, the year 830.
S. Swithun's virtue attracted the attention of King Egbert, who held him in such great regard, that he chose him as his spiritual director; and his name, as "priest of King Egbert," is found in a charter, which Witlaf, king of the Mercians, granted to the abbey of Croyland, in Lincolnshire. His reputation for learning was the cause of his being chosen instructor to Ethelwolf (or, as he was then more popularly called, Æthulf), son of Egbert. After a course of instruction, the young prince was ordained sub-deacon, and made his profession as a monk in Winchester. But on the death of his father, as he was the only son, and the royal line of the West Saxons would otherwise have failed, he obtained a dispensation from the pope, and married Osburga, the daughter of the noble cup-bearer, Oslac.
Egbert died in 836, and his son Ethelwolf was chosen king of the West Saxons. Bishop Helmestan died about the same time, and one of the first acts of Ethelwolf's reign was to accede to the petition of the monks of Winchester, and confer the vacant see on his friend and preceptor, Swithun.
S. Swithun was consecrated by Cealnoth, archbishop of Canterbury, to whom he made a profession of his faith, and vowed canonical obedience. He devoted himself
wholly to feed the flock of God committed to him; and spent much of his time in spiritual exercises, and in the care of the poor.
In 855, a synod of the clergy and nobles met at Winchester, at which the tributary princes of Mercia and East Anglia were also present. King Ethelwolf bestowed on the Church a tenth part of the produce of all the lands of his kingdom, "for the honour of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin, and all Saints." He confirmed this gift by a formal charter, which he afterwards solemnly laid on the altar of the blessed Apostles at Rome. The church lands were exempted at the same time from all secular services, exactions, and tribute. The king also confirmed the pension of Romescot, or Peter's pence, which had been first offered to the see of Rome by Ina, king of the West Saxons, in 726, and in 794 by Offa, king of the Mercians, as a tribute of gratitude for the many signal favours which England had received from the successors of S. Peter.
Ethelwolf was a remarkable example of a weak monarch, who loved peace and retirement, placed suddenly upon a throne in unusually difficult times. But his kingdom was governed with skill, by the counsels of S. Swithun of Winchester, and Bishop Alstane of Sherborne. The latter was a statesman and a soldier, and led the king's armies in person in many battles against the Danish invaders.
S. Swithun appears to have been chosen companion to the king in his more private hours, and he exerted his interest on all occasions in favour of the Church. After the great battle of Akley,1 851, had checked the incursions. of the Danes for a season, S. Swithun persuaded the king to renew the intercourse with the see of Rome, which had been interrupted by so many years of trouble. Accordingly, in 853, Ethelwolf sent his youngest and favourite son
1 Oak-lea in Surrey.
Alfred, then five years old, to Rome, with a large retinue of people of all ranks; and there are grounds for supposing that the royal child was conducted to the apostolic city by S. Swithun himself.
Two years afterwards (in 855), Ethelwolf visited Rome in person, taking with him his son Alfred. He carried with him the tribute of the English people to the pope, as already mentioned, and presented him with a massive crown of gold. He also rebuilt the English school and hospital at Rome which had been founded by Ina, but which had been burned down.
On his way through France he married Judith, the daughter of Charles the Bald. This foreign match seems to have been distasteful to the Anglo-Saxon nobles; and when Ethelwolf arrived in England, he found a considerable portion of his subjects in arms against him, led by Bishop Alstane, and his own son Ethelbald,1
Ethelwolf avoided a civil war, by quietly yielding a large part of his kingdom to his son; and he only survived the partition two years and a half, dying in January, 858.
The influence of S. Swithun appears not to have ended with the death of Ethelwolf. Ethelbald married his stepmother, Judith, as had been done before by Eadbald, king of Kent. Such a marriage seems to have been allowed by old Saxon and German heathen custom; but as it was held to be unlawful among Christians, S. Swithun expostulated with the king, and it is said, that he succeeded in prevailing on him to submit to a separation. Judith after his death returned to her father's court, and afterwards married Baldwin, count of Flanders.
S. Swithun was a great benefactor to his own diocese, and to the city of Winchester. Besides building and. repairing many churches, he erected the eastern bridge of
So in Asser, but not in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.
Winchester with strong arches of stone.
But he lived to see the city plundered, and in great part ruined, by the Danes, in 860.
S. Swithun was taken to his rest on the 2nd of July, 862, and by his own directions was buried in the churchyard. The situation of his grave was afterwards forgotten, till it was discovered in the 10th cent., in the time of Bishop Ethelwold, and in 971 the bones were translated into the cathedral church. In 1079, Walkelyn, bishop of Winchester, laid the foundation of the present church, and in 1093 the relics of S. Swithun were removed into it.
There is a popular notion, that if it rain on S. Swithun's day (the feast of the translation, July 15th), it will continue to do so for six weeks. None of the stories which are told in explanation are satisfactory; and they seem only to prove the total ignorance which prevails regarding it.
The bones of S. Swithun lie under a broad stone east of the choir in the presbytery.
S. OTTO, B. OF BAMBERG.
[Canonized by Clement III. in 1189. Roman and German Martyrologies. Authorities :-A life by an anonymous contemporary writer. Another life, by an anonymous writer of Prieflingen, before 1158. This life is made up of the two to which we are about to allude, by Ebbo and Herbord, with additions by the author, who was a younger contemporary of the bishop. A third life by Ebbo from personal acquaintance with S. Otto, written between 1147 and 1157. A fourth life by Herbord, written between 1147 and 1157, which has been lately discovered by Giesbrecht at Munich, and published in the 20th vol. of the "Monumenta Germaniæ Hist.," by Köphe. It was previously believed to exist only in extracts. A fifth life by Andrew, abbot of S. Michael, near Bamberg (1483-1502), compiled from the biographies of Ebbo, Herbord, and two others, Sifried and Tiemo, who were contemporaries and friends of S. Otto, in a Dialogue. The first life is probably a contraction from that of Sifried.]