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Deusdedit, Saint

A native of Wessex, England, whose Saxon name was Frithona, and of whose early life nothing is known; d. July 14, 664

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* Published by Encyclopedia Press, 1913.


Deusdedit, Saint, a native of Wessex, England, whose Saxon name was Frithona, and of whose early life nothing is known; d. July 14, 664. He was the sixth Archbishop of Canterbury (655-664), and was the first Anglo-Saxon to hold the primacy. He was consecrated at Canterbury in 655, by Ithamar, the first Saxon Bishop of Rochester, in succession to Honorius, thus commencing the long line of English archbishops, which was broken but once, and that by his immediate successor, Theodore. Little is known of the primacy of Deusdedit. Most of the other bishops during his time were of either Celtic or French origin. Of the seven or eight consecrated during the nine years of his primacy only one received consecration from him, viz. Damian, Bishop of Rochester, consecrated in 656, and this is the sole official act of his that is known with absolute certainty. He is said to have hallowed Wulfhere's church at Medehampstede (Peter-borough) in Mercia, the charter of which, dated 657, contains his signature, but from the fact that it also contains the names of Ithamar and Tuda a difficulty arises. Haddan and Stubbs, who print the charter (Councils of Great Britain and Ireland), consider the foundation of this monastery to have been not earlier than 664. The archbishop's name is given by Simeon of Durham as the consecrator of the seventy nuns of St. Eormenburga's convent in Thanet, but the statement lacks confirmation. St. Deusdedit died on the same day as Erconbert, King of Kent, and was buried in St. Peter's porch at Canterbury.

G. CYPRIAN ALSTON


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