|Oswald of Northumbria|
A twelfth century painting of St Oswald in Durham Cathedral
|King and Martyr|
|Born||c. The Cathedral Church of Christ Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham, commonly referred to as Durham Cathedral, in the city of Durham, England 604, Deira, Northumbria|
|Died||August 5, 641/642, Oswestry in Shropshire, England|
|Major shrine||Bardney Abbey, Lincolnshire, England; relics later translated to Saint Oswald's church, Gloucester, England |
Oswald (c. Events By Place Ancient Japan Prince Shotoku issues a Seventeen-article constitution. Deira was a kingdom in Northern England during the 6th century AD Events 642 - Battle of Maserfield - Penda of Mercia defeats and kills Oswald of Bernicia. Events By Place Europe Chindaswinth deposes Tulga, and becomes king of the Visigoths. Events By Place Europe August 5 — In the Battle of Maserfield, Penda, king of Mercia defeats and Oswestry (ˈɒzwəstɹɪ is a town and Civil parish in Shropshire, England, very close to the Welsh border Shropshire (ˈʃrɒpʃɪə/ /-ʃə alternatively known as Salop or abbreviated in print only Shrops, is a county in the England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland A shrine, from the Latin scrinium (‘box’ also used as a desk like the French bureau) was originally a container usually made of precious materials used Bardney Abbey in Lincolnshire was a Benedictine Monastery founded in 697 by King Æthelred of Mercia, who was to become the first Abbot. Lincolnshire (abbreviated Lincs) is a county in the east of England. England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland A relic is an object or a personal item of religious significance carefully preserved with an air of Veneration as a tangible memorial Gloucester (ˈɡlɒstɚ) is a city, district and County town of Gloucestershire in the South West region of England. England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland The Calendar of saints is a traditional Christian method of organizing a Liturgical year on the level of days by associating each day with one or more Saints Events 642 - Battle of Maserfield - Penda of Mercia defeats and kills Oswald of Bernicia. 604–August 5, 642) was King of Northumbria from 634 until his death, and was subsequently venerated as a Christian saint. Events By Place Ancient Japan Prince Shotoku issues a Seventeen-article constitution. Events 642 - Battle of Maserfield - Penda of Mercia defeats and kills Oswald of Bernicia. Events By Place Europe August 5 — In the Battle of Maserfield, Penda, king of Mercia defeats and Northumbria, a kingdom of Angles in northern England, was initially divided into two kingdoms Bernicia and Deira. Events By Place Oswald of Northumbria defeats Cadwallon ap Cadfan of Gwynedd in the Battle of Heavenfield and A saint (from the Latin sanctus) is a human being to whom has been attributed (and who has generally demonstrated a high level of Holiness and Sanctity He was the son of Æthelfrith of Bernicia and came to rule after spending a period in exile; after defeating the British ruler Cadwallon ap Cadfan, Oswald brought the two Northumbrian kingdoms of Bernicia and Deira once again under a single ruler, and promoted the spread of Christianity in Northumbria. Æthelfrith (died c 616 was King of Bernicia from c 593 until c Exile means to be away from one's home (ie city state or country while either being explicitly refused permission to return and/or being threatened by prison or death upon return Cadwallon ap Cadfan (died 634 was the King of Gwynedd from around 625 until his death in battle Bernicia was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom established by Anglian settlers of the 6th century in what is now the South-East of Scotland and the North-East of Deira was a kingdom in Northern England during the 6th century AD Christianity ( Greek Χριστιανισμός from the word Xριστός ( Christ)is a monotheistic Religion centered on the life and teachings He was given a strongly positive assessment by the historian Bede, writing a little less than a century after Oswald's death, who regarded Oswald as a saintly king; it is also Bede who is the main source for present-day historical knowledge of Oswald. Bede (ˈbiːd (also Saint Bede, the Venerable Bede, or (from Latin Beda (beda (c After eight years of rule, in which he was the most powerful ruler in Britain, Oswald was killed in the battle of Maserfield. See also Kingdom of Great Britain Great Britain (Breatainn Mhòr Prydain Fawr Breten Veur Graet Breetain is the larger of the two main islands The Battle of Maserfield (or Maserfeld) Welsh: "Maes Cogwy", was fought on August 5, 641 or 642, between
Oswald's father Æthelfrith was a successful Bernician ruler who, after some years in power in Bernicia, also became king of Deira, and thus was the first to rule both of the kingdoms which would come to be considered the constituent kingdoms of Northumbria (Bernicia in the northern part and Deira in the southern part); it would, however, be anachronistic to refer to a "Northumbrian" people or identity at this early stage, when the Bernicians and the Deirans were still clearly distinct peoples.  Oswald's mother, Acha, was a member of the Deiran royal line who Æthelfrith apparently married as part of his acquisition of Deira or consolidation of power there.  Oswald was apparently born in or around the year 604, since Bede says that he was killed at the age of 38 in 642; Æthelfrith's acquisition of Deira is also believed to have occurred around 604. Events By Place Ancient Japan Prince Shotoku issues a Seventeen-article constitution. 
Æthelfrith, who was for years a successful war-leader, especially against the native British, was eventually killed in battle around 616 by Raedwald of East Anglia at the River Idle. Events By Place Europe Eadbald succeeds Ethelbert as king of Kent. Rædwald, son of Tytila, was King of the East Angles from c 600 AD until his death in c 624 AD The River Idle is a River in Nottinghamshire, England. Its source is the confluence of the River Maun and River Meden, near This defeat meant that an exiled member of the Deiran royal line, Edwin (Acha's brother), became king of Northumbria; Oswald and his brothers fled to the north. Saint Edwin (alternately Eadwine or Æduini) (c 586 &ndash 12 October 632/633 was the King of Deira and Bernicia - which would Oswald thus spent the remainder of his youth in the Irish kingdom of Dál Riata in northern Britain, where he was converted to Christianity. Dál Riata (also Dalriada or Dalriata) was a Gaelic overkingdom on the western seaboard of Scotland with some territory on the northern Religious conversion is the adoption of a new religious identity or a change from one religious identity to another  He may also have fought in Ireland during this period of exile. Ireland (pronounced /ˈaɾlənd/ Éire) is the third largest island in Europe, and the twentieth-largest island in the world 
After Cadwallon ap Cadfan, the king of Gwynedd, in alliance with the pagan Penda of Mercia, killed Edwin of Deira in battle at Hatfield Chase in 633 (or 632, depending on when the years used by Bede are considered to have began), Northumbria was split between its constituent kingdoms of Bernicia and Deira. Gwynedd (pr) is one of several Welsh Successor states that emerged in 5th-century post-Roman Britain. Paganism (from Latin paganus, meaning "country dweller rustic" is a word used to refer to various religions and religious beliefs from across the world Penda (died November 15 655 was a 7th-century King of Mercia, a kingdom in what is today the English Midlands. AC = "according to the Annales Cambriae " The Battle of Hatfield (O Events By Place Europe Oswald of Bernicia becomes Bretwalda. Osric becomes king of Deira. Events By Place Europe Khan Kubrat starts to rule in Great Bulgaria. Oswald's brother Eanfrith became king of Bernicia, but he was killed by Cadwallon in 634 (or 633) after attempting to negotiate peace. Eanfrith (590-634 was briefly King of Bernicia from 633 to 634 Eanfrith married a Pictish princess and had a son Talorcan, who later became a king of the Events By Place Oswald of Northumbria defeats Cadwallon ap Cadfan of Gwynedd in the Battle of Heavenfield and Subsequently, Oswald, at the head of a small army (possibly with the aid of allies from the north, the Scots and/or the Picts), met Cadwallon in battle at Heavenfield, near Hexham. The Picts were a Confederation of tribes in what was later to become eastern and northern Scotland from Roman times until the 10th century The Battle of Heavenfield was fought in 633 or 634 between a Northumbrian army under Oswald of Bernicia and a Welsh army under Hexham New South Wales|Hexham (constituency Hexham is a Market town in Northumberland, England, located south of the River Tyne. Before the battle, Oswald had a wooden cross erected; he knelt down, holding the cross in position until enough earth had been thrown in the hole to make it stand firm. The Christian cross is the best-known Religious symbol of Christianity. He then prayed and asked his army to join in. Prayer is the act of attempting to communicate with a Deity or spirit 
Adomnán in his Life of Saint Columba offers a longer account, which Abbot Ségéne had heard from Oswald himself. Saint Adomnán of Iona (627/8 &ndash 704 was Abbot of Iona (679-704 Hagiographer, statesman and clerical lawyer he was the author of the most WikipediaPersondata --> See Columba (disambiguation and St Columb for other uses Ségéne mac Fiachnaí, or Ségéne of Iona, (died 12 August, 652) was the fifth Abbot of Iona (623-652 Oswald, he says, had a vision of Columba the night before the battle, in which he was told:
Be strong and act manfully. Behold, I will be with thee.  This coming night go out from your camp into battle, for the Lord has granted me that at this time your foes shall be put to flight and Cadwallon your enemy shall be delivered into your hands and you shall return victorious after battle and reign happily.
Oswald described his vision to his council and all agreed that they would be baptised and accept Christianity after the battle.  In the battle that followed, the British were routed despite their superior numbers; Cadwallon himself was killed. 
Following the victory at Heavenfield, Oswald reunited Northumbria and re-established the Bernician supremacy which had been interrupted by Edwin. For their language see Anglo-Saxon language. Anglo-Saxon is the term usually used to describe the invading Tribes in the south Events By Place World The population of the Earth rises to about 208 million people Bede says that Oswald held imperium for the eight years of his rule (both Bede and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle say that Oswald's reign was actually considered to be nine years, the ninth year being accounted for by assigning to Oswald the year preceding his rule, "on account of the heathenism practised by those who had ruled that one year between him and Edwin"), and was the most powerful king in Britain. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is a collection of Annals in Old English chronicling the history of the Anglo-Saxons. Paganism (from Latin paganus, meaning "country dweller rustic" is a word used to refer to various religions and religious beliefs from across the world See also Kingdom of Great Britain Great Britain (Breatainn Mhòr Prydain Fawr Breten Veur Graet Breetain is the larger of the two main islands In the 9th-century Anglo-Saxon Chronicle he is referred to as a Bretwalda. Bretwalda, also Brytenwalda, Bretenanwealda, is an Anglo-Saxon term the first record of which comes from the late ninth century Anglo-Saxon Chronicle Adomnán describes Oswald as "ordained by God as Emperor of all Britain". 
He seems to have been widely recognized as overlord, although the extent of his authority is uncertain. Bede makes the claim that Oswald "brought under his dominion all the nations and provinces of Britain", which, as Bede notes, was divided by language between the English, British, Scots, and Picts; however, he seems to undermine his own claim when he mentions at another point in his history that it was Oswald's brother Oswiu who made tributary the Picts and Scots.  An Irish source, the Annals of Tigernach, records that the Anglo-Saxons banded together against Oswald early in his reign; this may indicate an attempt to put an end to Oswald's overlordship south of the Humber, which presumably failed. The Annals of Tigernach ( abbr AT) is a Chronicle probably originating in Clonmacnoise, Ireland. The Humber is a large tidal Estuary on the east coast of northern England 
The Mercians, who participated in Edwin's defeat in 633, seem to have presented an obstacle to Oswald's authority south of the Humber, although it has been generally thought that Oswald dominated Mercia to some degree after Heavenfield. Mercia (ˈmɝsiə was one of the kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy. It may have been to appease Oswald that Penda had Eadfrith, a captured son of Edwin (and thus a dynastic rival of Oswald), killed, although it is also possible that Penda had his own motives for the killing. 
Oswald apparently controlled the Kingdom of Lindsey, given the evidence of a story told by Bede regarding the moving of Oswald's bones to a monastery there; Bede says that the monks rejected the bones initially because Oswald had ruled over them as a foreign king. Lindsey or Linnuis is the name of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom that lay between the Humber and The Wash, forming its inland boundaries from the course To the north, it may have been Oswald who conquered the Gododdin. The Gododdin (goˈdoðin were a Brythonic people of north-eastern Britain (modern north-east England and south-east Scotland) in the sub-Roman Irish annals record the siege of Edinburgh, thought to have been the royal stronghold of the Gododdin, in 638, and this seems to mark the end of the kingdom; that this siege was undertaken by Oswald is suggested by the apparent control of the area by his brother Oswiu in the 650s. Edinburgh ( ˈɛdɪnb(ərə Dùn Èideann) is the Capital of Scotland and is its second largest city after Glasgow. 
Oswald seems to have been on good terms with the West Saxons: he stood as sponsor to the baptism of their king, Cynegils, and married Cynegils' daughter. West Saxon redirects here For other meanings of Wessex or West Saxon see Wessex (disambiguation. In Christianity, baptism ( Greek, "immersing" "performing Ablutions " is the ritual act with the use of water by which one is admitted Cynegils (died c 642 was an Anglo-Saxon king of the West Saxons in the early 7th century  Her name is reported by only one source, Reginald of Durham's 12th century Vita S. Reginald of Durham ( fl. 1162 &mdash 1173 was an English monk and Hagiologist. Oswaldi, which says that it was Kyneburga.  Although Oswald had one known son, Æthelwald, it is uncertain whether this was a son from his marriage to Cynegils' daughter or from an earlier relationship—since Æthelwald began ruling in Deira in 651, it has been argued that a son from this marriage would have been too young at the time to be trusted with this position, and therefore may have been older, the product of a relationship Oswald had during his exile. Œthelwald was a King of Deira (651&ndashc 655 He was the son of King Oswald of Northumbria, who was killed at the Battle of Maserfield in 642 Events Europe Clovis II, king of Neustria and Burgundy, marries the future Saint Bathilde. 
Although Edwin had previously converted to Christianity in 627, it was Oswald who did the most to spread the religion in Northumbria. Christianity ( Greek Χριστιανισμός from the word Xριστός ( Christ)is a monotheistic Religion centered on the life and teachings Events By Place Byzantine Empire December 12 — Battle of Nineveh: Emperor Heraclius defeats the Persians ending Shortly after becoming king, he asked the Irish of Dál Riata to send a bishop to facilitate the conversion of his people, and they sent Aidan for this purpose; initially, the Irish sent an "austere" bishop who was unsuccessful in his mission, and Aidan, who proposed a gentler approach, was subsequently sent instead. " Augustine was the Apostle of Kent but Aidan was the Apostle of the English Oswald gave the island of Lindisfarne to Aidan as his episcopal see, and Aidan achieved great success in spreading Christianity; Bede mentions that Oswald acted as Aidan's interpreter when the latter was preaching, since Aidan did not know English well and Oswald had learned Irish during his exile. Lindisfarne () (variant spelling Lindesfarne is a Tidal island off the north-east coast of England. An episcopal see is the ecclesiastical domain of authority of a Bishop. 
Bede puts a clear emphasis on Oswald being saintly as a king; although he could be interpreted as a martyr for his subsequent death in battle, Bede portrays Oswald as being saintly for his deeds in life and does not focus on his martyrdom as being primary to his sainthood—indeed, it has been noted that Bede never uses the word "martyr" in reference to Oswald. In this respect, as a king regarded as saintly for his life while ruling—in contrast to a king who gives up the kingship in favour of religious life, or who is venerated because of the manner of his death—Bede's portrayal of Oswald stands out as unusual.  Bede recounts Oswald's generosity to the poor and to strangers, and tells a story highlighting this characteristic: on one occasion, at Easter, Oswald was sitting at dinner with Aidan, and had "a silver dish full of dainties before him", when a servant, whom Oswald "had appointed to relieve the poor", came in and told Oswald that a crowd of the poor were in the streets begging alms from the king. Alms or almsgiving exists in a number of religions In general it involves giving materially to another as an act of religious virtue Oswald, according to Bede, then immediately had his food given to the poor and even had the dish broken up and distributed. Aidan was greatly impressed and seized Oswald's right hand, stating: "May this hand never perish. " Accordingly, Bede reports that the hand and arm remained uncorrupted after Oswald's death. Incorruptibility is the property of a body — usually a human body — that does not decompose after death 
It was a conflict with the pagan Mercians under Penda that proved to be Oswald's undoing. He was killed by the Mercians at the Battle of Maserfield, at a place generally identified with Oswestry (although other candidates for the location of the battle have been suggested) in 642, and his body was dismembered. The Battle of Maserfield (or Maserfeld) Welsh: "Maes Cogwy", was fought on August 5, 641 or 642, between Oswestry (ˈɒzwəstɹɪ is a town and Civil parish in Shropshire, England, very close to the Welsh border Bede mentions the story that Oswald "ended his life in prayer": he prayed for the souls of his soldiers when he saw that he was about to die. Oswald's head and limbs were placed on stakes. 
The traditional identification of the battle site with Oswestry, probably in the territory of Powys at the time, suggests that Penda may have had British allies in this battle, and this is also suggested by surviving Welsh poetry which has been thought to indicate the participation of the men of Powys in the battle. It has also been considered that, if the traditional identification of the site as Oswestry is correct, Oswald was on the offensive, in the territory of his enemies. This could conflict with Bede's saintly portrayal of Oswald, since an aggressive war could hardly qualify as a just war, perhaps explaining why Bede is silent on the cause of the war—he says only that Oswald died "fighting for his fatherland"—as well as his failure to mention other offensive warfare Oswald is presumed to have engaged in between Heavenfield and Maserfield. Just War theory is a Doctrine of military ethics of Roman philosophical and Catholic origin studied by moral Theologians Ethicists and international  Oswald may have had an ally in Penda's brother Eowa, who was also killed in the battle, according to the Historia Britonnum and Annales Cambriae; while the source only mentions that Eowa was killed, not the side on which he fought, it has been speculated that Eowa was subject to Oswald and fighting alongside him in the battle, in opposition to Penda. Annales Cambriae, or The Annals of Wales, is the name given to a complex of Cambro-Latin Chronicles deriving ultimately from a text compiled 
Oswald soon came to be regarded as a saint. Bede says that the spot where he died came to be associated with miracles, and people took dirt from the site, which led to a hole being dug as deep as a man's height. A miracle is an event believed to be caused by interposition of Divine intervention by a Supernatural being in the Universe by which the ordinary operation  Reginald of Durham recounts another miracle, saying that his right arm was taken by a bird (perhaps a raven) to an ash tree, which gave the tree ageless vigor; when the bird dropped the arm onto the ground, a spring emerged from the ground. Raven is the common name given to the largest species of Passerine Birds in the Genus Corvus. Both the tree and the spring were, according to Reginald, subsequently associated with healing miracles.  Aspects of the legend have been considered to have pagan overtones or influences—this may represent a fusion of his status as a traditional Germanic warrior-king with Christianity. The name of the site, Oswestry, or "Oswald's Tree", is generally thought to be derived from Oswald's death there and the legends surrounding it.  His feast day is August 5. The Calendar of saints is a traditional Christian method of organizing a Liturgical year on the level of days by associating each day with one or more Saints Events 642 - Battle of Maserfield - Penda of Mercia defeats and kills Oswald of Bernicia. The cult surrounding him even gained prominence in parts of continental Europe.
Bede mentions that Oswald's brother Oswiu, who succeeded Oswald in Bernicia, retrieved Oswald's remains in the year after his death. Oswiu (c 612&ndash 15 February 670) also known as Oswy, was King of Bernicia.  In writing of one miracle associated with Oswald, Bede gives some indication of how Oswald was regarded in conquered lands: years later, when his niece Osthryth tried to move his bones to Bardney Abbey in Lindsey, its inmates initially refused to accept them, "though they knew him to be a holy man", because "he was originally of another province, and had reigned over them as a foreign king", and thus "they retained their ancient aversion to him, even after death". Osthryth (died 697 was the daughter of Oswiu of Northumbria and the wife of King Æthelred of Mercia. Bardney Abbey in Lincolnshire was a Benedictine Monastery founded in 697 by King Æthelred of Mercia, who was to become the first Abbot. Lindsey or Linnuis is the name of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom that lay between the Humber and The Wash, forming its inland boundaries from the course It was only after Oswald's bones were the focus of an awe-inspiring miracle—in which, during the night, a pillar of light appeared over the wagon in which the bones were being carried and shone up into the sky—that they were accepted into the monastery: "in the morning, the brethren who had refused it the day before, began themselves earnestly to pray that those holy relics, so beloved by God, might be deposited among them. "
His bones resided either at Lindsey in what became Viking Northumbria, or Bamburgh. But in an exploratory five-week attack on Lindsey in 909 by the Mercian king, Oswald's remains were captured and taken away for reburial at Gloucester. Events By Place Africa The Aghlabid dynasty in North Africa is overthrown by the Fatimids. Mercia (ˈmɝsiə was one of the kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy. Gloucester (ˈɡlɒstɚ) is a city, district and County town of Gloucestershire in the South West region of England.
Oswald's head was interred in Durham Cathedral together with the remains of Cuthbert of Lindisfarne (a saint with whom Oswald became posthumously associated, although the two were not associated in life; Cuthbert became bishop of Lindisfarne more than forty years after Oswald's death) and other valuables in a quickly made coffin, where it is generally believed to remain, although there are at least four other claimed heads of Oswald in continental Europe. Bad Kleinkirchheim is a municipality in the District Spittal an der Drau in Carinthia / Austria. The Cathedral Church of Christ Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham, commonly referred to as Durham Cathedral, in the city of Durham, England For the Dungeons & Dragons deity see Saint Cuthbert (Dungeons & Dragons St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne (c  One of his arms is said to have ended up in Peterborough Abbey later in the Middle Ages. Peterborough Cathedral, or the Cathedral Church of St Peter St Paul and St Andrew, is the seat of the Bishop of Peterborough, is dedicated to Saint Peter The story is that a small group of monks from Peterborough made their way to Bamburgh where Oswald's uncorrupted arm was kept and stole it under the cover of darkness. They returned with it to Peterborough and in due time a chapel was created for the arm - Oswald's Chapel. This - minus the arm - can be seen to this day in the south transept of the cathedral. When creating this chapel the monks of Peterborough had thought of how they had acquired it and built into the chapel a narrow tower - just big enough for a monk to climb to the top by an internal stair and stand guard over Oswald's Arm 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The monk had to stand because the tower is not large enough for him to sit - sitting could lull him to sleep - and they knew what could happen when no-one was watching.
Some English place names record his reign, for example Oswaldtwistle in Lancashire, meaning the twistle of Oswald. Oswaldtwistle (pronounced 'Oswald-twistle' is a town on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in Lancashire, 3 miles east-south-east of Blackburn. Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England, bounded to the west by the Irish Sea
The Church of Saint Oswald stands on the location of the wooden cross left by Oswald at Heavenfield, the night before the battle. This was rebuilt in 1717. The site is visible from the B6318 Military Road. The Military Road is a name given locally to part of the B6318 road in Northumberland, England, which runs from Heddon-on-the-Wall in the East to Greenhead
|King of Bernicia||Succeeded by|
|King of Deira|
Edwin of Northumbria