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Hereswitha, Saint

Wife of King Aethelhere of East Anglia

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Hereswitha (HAERESVID, HERESWYDE), Saint, daughter of Hereric and Beorhtswith and sister of St. Hilda of Whitby. She was the wife of Aethelhere, King of East Anglia, to whom she bore two sons, Aldwulf and Alfwold. By the “Liber Eliensis” she is stated to have been the wife of King Anna, the elder brother of King Aethelhere, but this is certainly a mistake. Her husband having been killed in the battle of Winwaed (655), St. Hereswitha became a nun at the Abbey of Chelles, then in the Diocese of Paris, where she remained until the end of her life. Her feast is variously assigned—by Stanton to September 3, by the second edition of the English Martyrology to September 20, by the first edition and by Ferrari to September 23. Bucelinus, however, assigns it to December 1, and the Bollandists propose to discuss her cultus on that date.



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