St Hild: The Martha of the Anglo-Saxon England

An old post from the archive for St Hild’s feast day, Nov 17. Hild is the protagonist of Nichola Griffith’s new novel Hild available on Amazon and at your better booksellers.


This past weekend is the feast day of St. Hild of Whitby. According to Bede, she died on 17 November 680 and her feast is celebrated in the Episcopal Church on November 18th and in the Church of England on November 19th.

Hild’s return to Northumbria from East Anglia in 646 was one of the most important events in the development of the early Northumbrian church. She had been in East Anglia staying with her nephew King Ealdwulf waiting for a ship to take her to Gaul (France) where she could join her sister Hereswitha in the convent at Chelles. Like her sister, Hild was almost certainly a widow. She was 32 years old and for a woman of her time, she would have been expected to either marry or enter a convent long before, particularly since her closest male kinsmen were all dead.

Hild and her sister Hereswitha…

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