Albinus, a scholarly English monk, pupil of Archbishop Theodore, and of Abbot Adrian of St. Peter’s, Canterbury, contemporary of Saint Bede (673-735). He succeeded Adrian in the abbatial office, and was buried beside him in 732. His chief title to fame lies in the fact that we owe to him the composition by Saint Bede of his “Ecclesiastical History of the English”. The latter gratefully records the fact in the letter which he sent to Albinus with a copy of the work, and at greater length in his letter to King Ceolwulf, both of which serve as a preface to the narrative. He calls Albinus a most learned man in all the sciences (Hist. Ecc. Angl., v, 20), and says that to his instigation and help the abovementioned work was chiefly owing (auctor ante omnes atque adjutor opusculi hujus). Bede learned from him what had happened in Kent since the arrival of St. Augustine, both ecclesiastical and civil matters. Nothelm, a priest of London, served as their intermediary, and when the former returned from Rome with additional documents from the pontifical archives, Albinus was again called on to help in fitting them into their proper places. He seems to have been endowed with a fine historical sense, for the Father of English ecclesiastical history delights in confessing his earnestness, diligence, and erudition in all that pertained to the apostolic period of England’s conversion.
THOMAS J. SHAHAN