Dunstan, Saint

Dunstan, Saint

(dŭns`tən), c.910–88, English monk, archbishop of Canterbury (960–88), b. near Glastonbury. He lived as a monk until called (940) to court by King EdmundEdmund,
921–46, king of Wessex (939–46), half-brother and successor of Athelstan. Immediately after his accession he had to face an invasion of Irish vikings led by Olaf Guthfrithson.
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 of Wessex. He became (943) abbot of Glastonbury and initiated reforms that proved to be a turning point in English religious life. He was a royal counselor under King EdredEdred
or Eadred
, d. 955, king of the English (946–55), son of Edward the Elder. He succeeded his brother Edmund and was faced with invasions of Danish Northumbria by Norsemen from Ireland and by Eric Bloodaxe of Norway.
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, and the favorable peace with the Danes is credited to him. Unpopular with Edwy, he went to Flanders (956–58), where he witnessed the Benedictine reform then in full sway on the Continent. He was recalled by EdgarEdgar
or Eadgar
, 943?–975, king of the English (959–75), son of Edmund, king of Wessex. In 957 the Mercians and Northumbrians rebelled against Edgar's brother Edwy and chose Edgar as their king. In 959 he succeeded his brother as king of Wessex.
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 and was appointed bishop of Worcester (958), bishop of London (959), and archbishop of Canterbury. He was not in favor with Æthelred. Dunstan is regarded as one of the greatest Anglo-Saxon saints and has been called one of the makers of England. Feast: May 19.

Bibliography

See study by E. S. Duckett (1955).

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