Home  »  Volume I: January  »  St. Egwin, Bishop in England, Confessor

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume I: January. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.

January 11

St. Egwin, Bishop in England, Confessor

HE was of the royal blood of the Mercian kings, devoted himself to the divine service in his youth, and succeeded Ostfor in the episcopal see of Worcester, in 692. By his zeal and severity in reproving vice, he stirred up some of his own flock to persecute him, which gave him an opportunity of performing a penitential pilgrimage to Rome. Some legends tell us, that setting out he put on his legs iron shackles, and threw the key into the river Severn, others say the Avon; but found it in the belly of a fish, some say at Rome, others in his passage from France to England. After his return, with the assistance of Coenred or Kenred, king of Mercia, he founded the famous abbey of Evesham, under the invocation of the Blessed Virgin. After this he undertook a second journey to Rome, in the company of Coenred, king of the Mercians, and of Offa, of the East Saxons, who gave up their temporal principalities to labour with greater earnestness to secure an eternal crown. St. Egwin died on the 30th of December, in 717, and was buried in the monastery of Evesham. His body was translated to a more honourable place in 1183, probably on the 11th of January, on which day many English Martyrologies mark his festival. See his life in Capgrave, the Annals of Worcester, in Wharton’s Anglia Sacra; Malmesbury, l. 4. de Pontif. Ang. Harpsfield. Sæc. 8. c. 15. 18. and Dr. Thomas in his History of the Cathedral of Worcester. Monast. Anglic. vol. 1. p. 144, and vol. 2. p. 851. Leland’s Collections, vol. 1. p. 240, and 298. vol. 3. p. 160. Dr. Brown Willis, History of Abbeys, t. l. p. 90.  1