Biography of Æthelthryth Wuffingas Queen Consort Deira and Northumbria 636-679

Paternal Family Tree: Wuffingas

654 Battle of Bulcamp

679 Battle of the Trent

685 Battle of Dun Nechtain

Around 636 [her father] King Anna of East Anglia succeeded King East Anglia.

Around 636 Æthelthryth Wuffingas Queen Consort Deira and Northumbria was born to King Anna of East Anglia.

Around 652 Æthelthryth Wuffingas Queen Consort Deira and Northumbria (age 16) received Ely [Map] as a gift from her husband as a dower.

Around 652 Tondberct Gwyre and Æthelthryth Wuffingas Queen Consort Deira and Northumbria (age 16) were married. She the daughter of King Anna of East Anglia.

Battle of Bulcamp

In 654 King Penda of Mercia defeated the East Anglian army at the Battle of Bulcamp at Bulcamp, Blythburgh. [her father] King Anna of East Anglia and his son [her brother] Jurmin Wuffingas were killed. Anna's son His uncle [her uncle] King Æthelhere of East Anglia succeeded King East Anglia.

In 655 Æthelthryth Wuffingas Queen Consort Deira and Northumbria (age 19) retired to retired after the death of her husband.

In 655 [her husband] Tondberct Gwyre died.

After 655 King Ecgfrith of Northumbria (age 10) and Æthelthryth Wuffingas Queen Consort Deira and Northumbria (age 19) were married. She the daughter of King Anna of East Anglia. He the son of King Oswiu of Northumbria (age 43) and Eanflæd Queen Consort Bernicia (age 28).

Bede. 660. [her husband] King Egfrid (age 15) took to wife, Etheldrida (age 24), the daughter of [her father] Anna, king of the East Angles, of whom mention has been often made; a man very religious, and in all respects renowned for his inward disposition and actions. She had before been given in marriage to another, viz. to Tonbert, chief of the Southern Girvii; but he died soon after he had received her, and she was given to the aforesaid king (age 15). Though she lived with him twelve years, yet she preserved the glory of perfect virginity, as I was informed by Bishop Wilfrid, of blessed memory, of whom I inquired, because some questioned the truth thereof; and he told me that he was an undoubted witness of her virginity, forasmuch as Egfrid (age 15) promised he would give many lands and much money, if he could persuade the queen to consent to pay the marriage duty, for he knew the queen loved no man so much as himself; and it is not to be doubted that the same might in one instance take place in our age, which true histories tell us happened several times in former ages, through the assistance of the same Lord who has promised to continue with us unto the end of the world; for the miraculous circumstance that her flesh, being buried, could not suffer corruption, is a token that she had not been defiled by familiarity with man.

Around 664 [her brother-in-law] Ealhfrith King Deira (age 34) died. His half brother [her husband] King Ecgfrith of Northumbria (age 19) succeeded King Deira. Æthelthryth Wuffingas Queen Consort Deira and Northumbria (age 28) by marriage Queen Consort Deira.

Bede. She had long requested the [her husband] king (age 25), that he would permit her to lay aside worldly cares, and to serve only the true King, Christ, in a monastery; and having at length with difficulty prevailed, she went as a nun into the monastery of the Abbess Ebba, who was aunt to King Egfrid (age 25), at the place called the city Coludi, having taken the veil from the hands of the aforesaid Bishop Wilfrid; but a year after she was herself made abbess in the country called Ely, where, having built a monastery [Map], she began, by works and examples of a heavenly life, to be the virgin mother of very many virgins dedicated to God. It is reported of her, that from the time of her entering into the monastery, she never wore any linen but only woollen garments, and would rarely wash in any hot bath, unless just before any of the great festivals, as Easter, Whitsuntide, and the Epiphany, and then she did it last of all, after having, with the assistance of those about her, first washed the other servants of God there present; besides, she seldom did eat above once a day, excepting on the great solemnities, or some other urgent occasion, unless some considerable distemper obliged her. From the time of matins she continued in the church at prayer till it was day; some also say, that by the spirit of prophecy, she, in the presence of all, not only foretold the pestilence of which she was to die, but also the number of those that should be then snatched away out of her monastery. She was taken to our Lord, in the midst of her flock, seven years after she had been made abbess; and, as she had ordered, was buried among them, in such manner as she had died, in a wooden coffin.

On 15 Feb 670 [her father-in-law] King Oswiu of Northumbria (age 58) died. He was buried at Whitby Abbey [Map] - see Bede. In 670 His son [her husband] King Ecgfrith of Northumbria (age 25) succeeded King Northumbria. Æthelthryth Wuffingas Queen Consort Deira and Northumbria (age 34) by marriage Queen Consort Northumbria.

In 673 Æthelthryth Wuffingas Queen Consort Deira and Northumbria (age 37) founded at Ely Abbey [Map] and was created Abbot Ely.

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 673. This year died Egbert, King of Kent; and the same year there was a synod at Hertford [Map]; and St. Etheldritha (age 37) began that monastery at Ely [Map].

Battle of the Trent

Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 679. This year [her brother-in-law] Elwin was slain, by the river Trent, on the spot where [her husband] Everth (age 34) and Ethelred fought. This year also died St. Etheldritha (age 43); and the monastery of Coldingiham was destroyed by fire from heaven.

Bede. She was succeeded in the office of abbess by her sister [her sister] Sexberga, who had been wife to Erconbert, king of Kent; who, when her sister had been buried sixteen years, thought fit to take up her bones, and putting them into a new coffin, to translate them into the church. Accordingly she ordered some of the brothers to provide a stone to make a coffin of; they accordingly went on board ship, because the country of Ely is on every side encompassed with the sea or marshes, and has no large stones, and came to a small abandoned city, not far from thence, which, in the language of the English, is called Grantchester [Map], and presently, near the city walls, they found a white marble coffin, most beautifully wrought, and neatly covered with a lid of the same sort of stone. Concluding therefore that God had prospered their journey, they returned thanks to him, and carried it to the monastery.

On 23 Jun 679 Æthelthryth Wuffingas Queen Consort Deira and Northumbria (age 43) died. She was buried at Ely Abbey [Map].

Battle of Dun Nechtain

On 20 May 685 Bridei III Picts (age 57) defeated the Northumbrian army at the Battle of Dun Nechtain.

[her former husband] King Ecgfrith of Northumbria (age 40) was killed at Dunnichen, Angus. His half brother [her former brother-in-law] Aldfrith King Northumbria succeeded King Northumbria.

Bede. As soon, therefore, as he was recovered, he sold him at London, to a Freson, but he could not be bound by him the whole way as he was led along; but though his enemies put several sorts of bonds on him, they were all loosed. The buyer, perceiving that he could in no way be bound, gave him leave to ransom himself if he could; now it was at the third hour (nine in the morning) when the masses were wont to be said, that his bonds were generally loosed. He, having taken an oath that he would either return, or send him the money for his ransom, went into Kent to King Lothaire, who was son to the [her sister] sister of Queen Etheldrida, above spoken of, for he had once been her servant. From him he obtained the price of his ransom, and as he had promised, sent it to his master.

Bede. The body of the holy virgin and spouse of Christ, when her grave was opened, being brought into sight, was found as free from corruption as if she had died and been buried on that very day; as the aforesaid Bishop Wilfrid, and many others that know it, can testify. But the physician, Cynefrid, who was present at her death, and when she was taken up out of the grave, was wont of more certain knowledge to relate, that in her sickness she had a very great swelling under her jaw. "And I was ordered," said he, "to lay open that swelling, to let out the noxious matter in it, which I did, and she seemed to be somewhat more easy for two days, so that many thought she might recover from her distemper; but the third day the former pains returning, she was soon snatched out of the world, and exchanged all pain and death for everlasting life and health. And when so many years after her bones were to be taken out of the grave, a pavilion being spread over it, all the congregation of brothers were on the one side and of sisters on the other, standing about it singing, and the abbess, with a few, being gone to take up and wash the bones, on a sudden we heard the abbess within loudly cry out, ' Glory be to the name of the Lord.' Not long after they called me in, opening the door of the pavilion, where I found the body of the holy virgin taken out of the grave and laid on a bed, as if it had been asleep; then taking off the veil from the face, they also showed the incision which I had made, healed up; so that, to my great astonishment, instead of the open gaping wound with which she had been buried, there then appeared only an extraordinarily slender scar.

Bede. He had his episcopal see in the place called Litchfield [Map], in which he also died, and was buried, and where the see of the succeeding bishops of that province still continues. He had built himself a habitation not far from the church wherein he was wont to pray and read with seven or eight of the brethren, as often as he had any spare time from the labour and ministry of the word. When he had most gloriously governed the church in that province two years and a half, the Divine Providence so ordaining, there came round a season like that of which Ecclesiastes says, "That there is a time to cast stones, and a time to gather them;" for there happened a mortality sent from heaven, which, by means of the death of the flesh, translated the stones of the church from their earthly places to the heavenly building. And when, after many of the church of that most reverend prelate had been taken out of the flesh, his hour also drew near wherein he was to pass out of this world to our Lord, it happened one day that he was in the aforesaid dwelling with only one brother, called Owini, his other companion being upon some reasonable occasion returned to the church. Now Owini was a monk of great merit, having forsaken the world with the pure intention of obtaining the heavenly reward; worthy in all respects to have the secrets of our Lord revealed to him, and worthy to have credit given by his hearers to what he said, for he came with Queen Etheldrid from the province of the East Angles, and was her prime minister, and governor of her family. As the fervour of his faith increased, resolving to renounce the world, he did not go about it slothfully, but so fully forsook the things of this world, that, quitting all he had, clad in a plain garment, and carrying an axe and hatchet in his hand, he came to the monastery of that most reverend prelate, called Lestingau; denoting, that he did not go to the monastery to live idle, as some do, but to labour, which he also confirmed by practice; for as he was less capable of meditating on the Holy Scriptures, he the more earnestly applied himself to the labour of his hands. In short, he was received by the bishop into the house aforesaid, and there entertained with the brethren, and whilst they were engaged within in reading, he was without, doing such things as were necessary.

Æthelthryth Wuffingas Queen Consort Deira and Northumbria 636-679 appears on the following Descendants Family Trees:

Wehha Wuffingas

Ancestors of Æthelthryth Wuffingas Queen Consort Deira and Northumbria 636-679

Great x 3 Grandfather: Wehha Wuffingas

Great x 2 Grandfather: Wuffa King East Anglia

Great x 1 Grandfather: Tytila King East Anglia

GrandFather: Eni Wuffingas

Father: King Anna of East Anglia

Æthelthryth Wuffingas Queen Consort Deira and Northumbria