Oswald, Saint

Oswald, Saint, d. 641, king of Northumbria (633–41), son of Æthelfrith . In exile during the reign of Edwin , Oswald and his brother Oswy 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 Island ) 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 Penda of Mercia, he came to be revered as a Christian martyr. Feast: Aug. 5 in the Roman martyrology Aug. 9 in Britain.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: British and Irish History: Biographies

Browse By Subject