Oswald, Saint

Oswald, Saint,

d. 641, king of Northumbria (633–41), son of ÆthelfrithÆthelfrith
, d. 616, king of Northumbria (c.593–616). He was the first great Anglo-Saxon leader among the northern English; he united Bernicia and Deira into the kingdom of Northumbria.
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. In exile during the reign of EdwinEdwin
or Eadwin
, 585?–632, king of Northumbria (616–32), The son and heir of Ælla, king of Deira, he was kept from his inheritance by Æthelfrith.
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, Oswald and his brother OswyOswy
or Oswiu
, d. 670, king of Northumbria. He succeeded (641) his brother Oswald in Bernicia only, Deira (the other part of Northumbria) having become a dependency of Mercia.
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 became Christians. After Edwin's death Oswald defeated (633) Cadwallon, king of North Wales, and recovered his father's kingdom. He brought from Iona a group of Scottish monks, led by St. Aidan, who established their base at Lindisfarne (see Holy IslandHoly Island
or Lindisfarne
, off the coast of Northumberland, NE England. At low tide the island is connected with the mainland by a stretch of sand. It is partly cultivated, and tourism and fishing are important. A church and monastery, built in 635 under St.
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) and introduced Celtic Christianity to Northumbria. Oswald was for a time the strongest ruler in England, being acknowledged overlord of Wessex and other southern kingdoms. Killed in battle by PendaPenda,
d. 654, king of Mercia (c.632–654). A noble of the Mercian royal house, he fought (629) the king of Wessex for lands along the Severn River. He then allied himself with Cadwallon of Wales, defeated (632) Edwin of Northumbria, and made himself king of Mercia.
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 of Mercia, he came to be revered as a Christian martyr. Feast: Aug. 5 in the Roman martyrology; Aug. 9 in Britain.
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