Biography of Sæbbi King of Essex 626-695

Paternal Family Tree: Essex

In 616 [his grandfather] King Sæberht of Essex died. His son [his father] Sexred King of Essex succeeded King Essex. His son [his uncle] Sæward King of Essex succeeded King Essex. They ruled jointly with another unamed brother.

Before 626 Sæbbi King of Essex was born to Sexred King of Essex.

In 626 [his father] Sexred King of Essex died.

In 664 Sæbbi King of Essex (age 38) was appointed King Essex. He ruled jointly with his cousin Sighere King of Essex until 688 when Sighere King of Essex died after which he ruled solely.

In 664 Swithhelm King of Essex died. Sighere King of Essex succeeded King Essex. Sæbbi King of Essex (age 38) succeeded King Essex. They ruled jointly.

Bede. 674. He then also appointed Earconwald bishop of the East Saxons, in the city of London, over whom at that time presided Sebbe (age 48) and Sighere, of whom mention has been made above. This Earconwald's life and conversation, as well when he was bishop as before his advancement to that dignity, is reported to have been most holy, as is even at this time testified by heavenly miracles; for to this day, his horse-litter, in which he was wont to be carried when sick, is kept by his disciples, and continues to cure many of agues and other distempers; and not only sick persons who are laid in that litter, or close by it, are cured; but the very chips of it, when carried to the sick, are wont immediately to restore them to health.

Bede. 694. At that time, as the same little book informs us, Sebbi (age 68), a devout man, of whom mention has been made above, governed the kingdom of the East Saxons. He was much addicted to religious actions, almsgivings, and frequent prayer; preferring a private and monastic life to all the wealth and honours of his kingdom, which sort of life he would also long before have undertaken, had not his wife positively refused to be divorced from him; for which reason many were of opinion, and often said so, that a person of such a disposition ought rather to have been a bishop than a king. When he had been thirty years a king, and a soldier of the heavenly kingdom, he fell into a violent sickness, of which he died, and admonished his wife, that they should then at least jointly devote themselves to the service of God, since they could no longer enjoy, or rather serve, the world. Having with much difficulty obtained this of her, he repaired to Waldhere, bishop of London, who had succeeded Earconwald, and with his blessing received the religious habit, which he had long desired. He also carried to him a considerable sum of money, to be given to the poor, reserving nothing for himself, but rather coveting to remain poor in spirit for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.

In 695 Sæbbi King of Essex (age 69) died. His son [his son] Sigeheard King of Essex succeeded King Essex. His son [his son] Swæfred King of Essex succeeded King Essex. They ruled jointly.

Bede. 695. When the aforesaid distemper increased upon him, and he perceived the day of his death to be drawing near, being a man of a royal disposition, he began to apprehend lest, when under pain, and at the approach of death, he might be guilty of anything unworthy of his person, either in words, or any motion of his limbs. Wherefore, calling to him the aforesaid bishop of London, in which city he then was, he entreated him that none might be present at his death, besides the bishop himself, and two of his attendants. The bishop having promised that he would most willingly perform the same, not long after the man of God composed himself to sleep, and saw a comforting vision, which took from him all anxiety for the aforesaid uneasiness; and, moreover, showed him on what day he was to depart this life. For, as he afterwards related, he saw three men in bright garments come to him; one of whom sat down before his bed, whilst his companions stood and inquired about the state of the sick man they came to see: he who was sitting in front of the bed said, that his soul should depart his body without any pain, and with a great splendour of light; and declared that he should die the third day after; both which particulars happened, as he had been informed by the vision; for on the third day after, he suddenly fell, as it were, into a slumber, and breathed out his soul without any sense or pain.

Bede. 695. A stone coffin having been provided for burying his body (age 69), when they came to lay it in the same, they found his body a span longer than the coffin. Hereupon they hewed away the stone, and made the coffin about two fingers longer; but neither would it then contain the body. Under this difficulty of entombing him, they had thoughts either to get another coffin, or else to shorten the body, by bending it at the knees, if they could. But a wonderful event, caused by Providence, prevented the execution of either of those designs; for on a sudden, in the presence of the bishop, and [his son] Sighard, the son of the king who had turned monk, and who reigned after him jointly with his brother [his son] Suefred, and of a considerable number of men, that same coffin was found to answer the length of the body, insomuch that a pillow might also be put in at the head; and at the feet the coffin was four fingers longer than the body. He was buried in the church of the blessed Apostle of the Gentiles [Map], by whose instructions he had learned to hope for heavenly things.

[his son] Swæfred King of Essex was born to Sæbbi King of Essex.

[his son] Sigeheard King of Essex was born to Sæbbi King of Essex.


Royal Descendants of Sæbbi King of Essex 626-695

Swæfred King of Essex x 1

Sigeheard King of Essex x 1

Ancestors of Sæbbi King of Essex 626-695

Great x 1 Grandfather: Sledd King of Essex

GrandFather: King Sæberht of Essex

Great x 1 Grandmother: Ricula of Kent

Father: Sexred King of Essex

Sæbbi King of Essex