The Heroic Age The Ripon Connection? Willibrord Wilfrid and the Mission… — Volkswagen 411,412

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The Ripon Connection?

Willibrord, and the Mission to Frisia


Abstract: This essay the view that Wilfrid of inspired, sent or supported mission to Frisia. The evidence of evangelization of Frisia and Willibrord’s from his youth at Ripon his consecration as Archbishop of Frisia is


The late medieval of Frisia have spun legends around the missionary giving him the title Apostle of the From the Frisian origin to legendary associations with committed to writing between and 1500, Willibrord emerges as the leader of the Frisians into the of the Christianity and the Holy Roman (Bremmer 7-19).

In the late, Old Frisian poem Thet Riim . Willibrord becomes a figure in Frisian ethnogenesis. In one of the fantastic sections, Willibrord and Frisian standard bearer Sir lead 30,000 Frisians to in a battle over the Old Saxons which Charlemagne in appreciation the Frisians their freedom. poem meets the origin requirements for ethnogenesis by giving the a common ancestral past, conversion, and victory in battle a traditional enemy (Bremmer Additionally, it has characteristics of quest in that Willibrord comes to as a knight whose goal is the of a barbarian people and when his is fulfilled, his ashes are returned to his (Bremmer 17-18).

As is typical of myth-making, actual history has to do with the new version that met the needs of the later medieval Willibrord became an important of the national myth that the Frisians to retain their within the Carolingian Empire 17).

Faced with the legend of the ‘Apostle of the Frisians’, have demurred that was merely continuing the mission of his abbot and bishop, Wilfrid of The latter’s reputed short but successful mission to Frisia was omitted from the legends of and indeed every source his own Life and Bede’s paraphrase of it.

For Wilhelm Levison[2] has held the of scholarship in English on Willibrord. In his

this casual episode in stormy career was of far-reaching By his missionary zeal he had shown an to his fellow countrymen which was not In the opinion of the next generation of he laid the foundations on which his Willibrord afterwards built the church (Levison 1946

Further on, Levison (1946 claims that Willibrord on the Continent the Northumbrian missionary which Wilfrid had created. scholars went even and constructed elaborate plans for to have returned to England and his mission from Ripon, having him leave on his mission the direction of Wilfrid[3]. Most the connection made by Levison has repeated in Rollason’s 2001 Lecture Bede and Germany a lecture dedicated to Levison.

The of this essay is to explore motivations for his mission and to challenge the that he was sent, supported, or by Wilfrid. The meager sources for of York’s missionary work in will be discussed, followed by a of the ecclesiastical opposition party Northumbria. Willibrord’s life up the time he embarked for Frisia and the of the Anglian missions to the Germanic under the direction of Egbert be reviewed. A discussion of the insular on Willibrord’s scriptorium at Echternach and the meeting of Willibrord and Wilfrid in in 704 will follow. In conclusion, will be an analysis of the differences in and attitude displayed by Willibrord and

Wilfrid of York

The sources for of York’s reputed mission to the are thin. Stephan of Ripon Wilfrid’s first trip to in three chapters of the Life of Wilfrid . written in 710-720. briefly mentions Wilfrid’s in Frisia in Book 5 Chapter 19 of his History of the English People (HE ). chapter is a paraphrase of Stephan’s and Wilfrid’s 678-9 trip to is not mentioned elsewhere in the History or his In his York poem, Alcuin Wilfrid’s missionary work in but conflates Wilfrid’s second and trip to Rome. Since is merely paraphrasing Stephan, and is adapting Bede, the Life of Wilfrid remains ultimately the source of Wilfrid’s reputed Further, there is no continental of Wilfrid’s stay in Frisia in

In 678, Bishop Wilfrid ran of Northumbrian King Ecgfrith. was humiliated, deposed from his and exiled as a result. Archbishop alliance with Northumbria Mercia’s anti-Canterbury stance that Wilfrid was not able to Theodore to help him (Pelteret Eventually, after being out of Mercia and Wessex [4]. he to rectify the situation by appealing to Rome. In his appeal to the Pope, of Archbishop Theodore and Abbess of Whitby rebutted him, but he prevailed.

Wilfrid set sail for the in the fall of the year and landed in [5]. Stephanus implies Wilfrid intended to land in by calling the trip a prosperous (Colgrave 53). There, Aldgisl, who is unknown outside of account, honorably received and he remained for several months.

implies that King of Frisia allowed Wilfrid to in Frisia because Wilfrid’s preaching, with the consent of the was effective (Colgrave 53). claims that they his teaching and with a few exceptions all the were baptized by him in the name of the as well as many thousands of people (Colgrave 53). implies, but does not directly that King Aldgisl

In the next chapter, we see the real why Aldgisl gave Wilfrid and support: They had a common in the Franks. Aldgisl refuses to Wilfrid over to the Franks, who his head — literally, and demonstrated his independence from hegemony. Wilfrid’s Frankish are likely to have been his reason for hazarding passage heathen territory rather traveling the more direct through Neustria.

Wilfrid’s with the Franks seem to around his early stay in His discipleship with ‘Bishop of Lyon [6]. who was executed on Balthild’s orders, was Wilfrid’s introduction to Frankish politics The significant amount of space to Wilfrid’s time in Lyon in his must indicate that events had a profound effect on and that he may have often the story of his near martyrdom to his Wilfrid was spared execution because he was English. It is possible he was allowed to leave on the condition he did not return to Neustria or presumably to politics. If this is so, then had clearly good reason to Neustria.

Theuderic, King of (r. 675-691), the puppet of Duke was also the son of Balthild. If Stephen is Wilfrid had aided in the return of II to Austrasia in c. 674 (VW 28, Colgrave 55), splitting the power of Theuderic, and getting partial vengeance for the of his mentors in Lyon. The group brought Dagobert II back exile in Ireland with help opposed Ebrion and may also been independent of fraction (Wood 1994 Wilfrid arrived in Gaul when Duke Ebrion was his move to dispose of King II [8] .

As the only bishop of Northumbria, would have been versed in King Ecgfrith’s with both Frisian and the Frankish courts, and would anticipated Ecgfrith’s enlistment of allies to harass his trip to King Theuderic and Duke were bribed [9] by Wilfrid’s presumably King Ecgfrith, to his journey to Etaples on the most route to Rome, where Winfrith was accosted, mistaken for (Colgrave 51). Wilfrid’s route through Frisia and foiled their initial However, the harassment reached him in Frisia. Duke Ebrion King Aldgisl a letter a bushel of gold coins in for either turning Wilfrid to him or beheading him.

the king [Aldgisl] ordered the to be read for all to hear, while we present and while the messengers feasting in the palace with his After the reading he took the in his hands, tore it up in the sight of all and it into the fire which was in front of him, saying to the of the document, Tell your what I now say: Thus let the of all things rend and destroy the and life of him who perjures himself God and does not keep the covenant he has thus may he tear him up and consume him to Then the ambassadors in confusion from the presence of a king who not consent to commit a crime, to the whence they had come. 54-55)

Here was Wilfrid’s value to the Frisian king, as an of defiance. Wilfrid’s likely that travel through was not safe is also validated. The had been and would continue to Frankish overlordship for many Sheltering anyone wanted by the king or lord was a sign of by the Frisian king.

Stephanus that Wilfrid baptized of people, including many Yet, Stephanus does not a single convert and specifically not list King Aldgisl. apparently Wilfrid does not anyone from his entourage in to minister to his new converts and never, after he returns to power in sends anyone from his family to care for his converts or the mission. Wilfrid had the opportunity to up on this supposed missionary long before Willibrord Ireland for Frisia in 690. It is likely that Wilfrid did not any significant conversions in Frisia, since later missionaries no trace of Wilfrid’s converts Berkum 430-405).

Stephanus have had a few possible motives for Wilfrid’s activity in Frisia. it simply sounds far better to a very political life missionary work. Pelteret believes Stephanus wanted to Wilfrid as being a worthy to Paulinus in an effort to show he should have been successor as archbishop of York. Pelteret believes that had to show Wilfrid as a missionary he found pagans, in Sussex and the of Wight as well as Frisia. Frisia, on the Isle of Wight leaves his own nephew Beornwine to the new lands and the priest Hiddila to and baptize (HE 4.16)[10]. Wilfrid’s to the South Saxons and the Isle of portray him more as a missionary the barbarians there than his trip through Frisia[11] .

it was in the interests of Wilfird’s surviving to portray him as a saintly missionary After Wilfrid’s death, were exposed to the feeding of Wilfrid’s enemies without the experience of the old master to fend off. The whole purpose of the of Bishop Wilfrid . written ten years of Wilfrid’s death, is to Wilfrid’s critics and combat the tension that immediately his demise. If usurping some of the of a former pupil accomplishes then so be it.

So that year [the Frisians] accepted his teaching and with a few exceptions all the were baptized by him in the name of the as well as many thousands of people. Like the Apostle he laid the foundation of faith and his son who was brought up at Ripon, Willibrord, by the Grace of God, is still on it, toiling very laboriously, and his awaits him in eternity. (VW 26, Colgrave 53, added)

Stephanus is trying to the title of Apostle of Frisia for This neatly glosses the fact that despite two trips through Frisia (in and again in 704), there is no that he supported the missions or anywhere else along the German frontier.

Bede’s is considerably different. In this way he began the work of evangelization the most reverend bishop of Willibrord, afterwards completed great devotion. (HE 5.19, Collins 271) Note Bede does not mention life at Ripon much claim that he was the spiritual son of From reading Bede we would never suspect a relationship between Wilfrid and As we shall see, Wilfrid’s two contacts with the Frisian are functions of chance and geography than active interest in the of the mission.

The Hiberno-Roman Approach

Wilfrid was en route to Rome, Theodore divided Wilfrid’s see into three and delivered it the hands of the opposition political within the Northumbrian church. abbot of Lindisfarne [12] and was made Bishop of Bernicia at Wilfrid’s monastery of Hexham Bosa of Whitby was made of York for Deira, and Eadhæd, the personal priest of King was made Bishop of Lindsey (HE The next year in 679, the defeated Ecgfrith in the battle on the Trent and recaptured Lindsey, Bishop Eadhæd back Northumbria. Deprived of his see, Theodore gave him Wilfrid’s of Ripon to serve as his seat (HE Theodore not only divided see and placed former adherents of the church over them, but ensured that Wilfrid’s two monasteries, Hexham and Ripon, under the direct control of appointed men.

Eata, and Eadhaed were three members of a political group called the ‘Third Way’ Berkum ), which favored of the essential Roman tenets but as much of the Irish lifestyle and as possible. In order to keep factions straight, this will be called more the Hiberno-Roman group or approach. Van (362) proposed that and Cuthbert led this new party of after the synod of Whitby in

The Hiberno-Roman approach was already well before the Synod of Northumbrian men studying in southern prior to 664, including Chad, Æthelhun of Lindsey former abbot of Gilling [15]. and perhaps Tuda would have already observing the Roman rites, were accepted there in the (Charles-Edwards 2000. 337). The of Englishmen in southern Ireland to be at least mostly Northumbrian, more correctly from Oswiu’s lands, was quite Bede remarks that Englishmen were killed by the of 664 in Ireland.

Significantly, the only men who in southern Ireland whose origins are known are the Deirans and Cynefrith, and the brothers Æthelhun and probably of Lindsey. They all from areas originally by Bishop Paulinus [17]. may reflect a desire by those converted under the Romanist Paulinus to study in a part of that was Romanist prior to

After the synod of Whitby, all of Aidan’s former pupils the Hiberno-Roman approach bringing the of Lindisfarne, Melrose, Whitby and plus other minor into the fold. Only houses of Hexham and Ripon a strict Benedictine rule rejected the Irish lifestyle. monasteries such as Wearmouth-Jarrow a mixed rule. Although Biscop was a Romanist he tempered his with ideas he gathered [18]. Bede, a life member of Wearmouth-Jarrow and a Romanist, was an admirer of saints Cuthbert, and Boisil and wrote well of Chad, Cedd, and Hild. the rejection of all Irish ways was to those who were closest to Wilfrid.

With Willibrord behind at Ripon when was exiled, he now passed under the of first Bishop Bosa of and the next year Bishop of Ripon. Although Ripon has used to connect Willibrord and the most significant connection at was between Willibrord and its new Hiberno-Roman after Wilfrid left in As we shall see, Willibrord be closely associated with the faction until he leaves for from Ireland under direction in 690. His time Egbert in Ireland directly his openness to this alternative. changes his role in the ecclesiastical of the day completely. He can no longer be seen as protégé.

Sources for Willibrord’s Career

are six primary sources for Willibrord’s career. An ecclesiastical calendar at Echternach provides us with a notation dating his mission, to be in his own hand. The best source for the of the mission is four chapters of History (HE 3.13, 5.9-11), and Greater Chronicle also Willibrord. The oldest source is the reference discussed above in Life of Bishop Wilfrid . only adds the location of as his educational monastery as a youth. we have Alcuin’s poem on the Kings and Saints of the Church of and his prose and verse Life of written in c. 796. Unless mentioned, all references are to the prose .

Echternach’s calendar, often Willibrord’s Calendar . is the most surviving manuscript from the years of his mission to Frisia. The hand of the text was written in c. 702 1984 ). It contains a marginal written in 728 believed to be in Willibrord’s own dating his arrival in Frisia to 690 and his to 695 (Wilson 13, 42-43). The entries in the and the style of this manuscript and a few including the Augsberg Gospels can us regarding the ecclesiastical politics and on Willibrord’s early missionary (see Echternach and its scriptorium )

source for the English missions to the peoples in 5.9-11 of his History is but may be directly or indirectly from (or one of his disciples) during his last on Iona [19]. It has been that Egbert is the author of the from King Nechtan of to Abbot Ceolfrith of Wearmouth-Jarrow to 716 and that he was Bede’s informant on and Pictish affairs (Duncan ).

narration begins with desire to convert the peoples of including a listing of these and the visions of St. Boisil of Melrose Egbert’s companion that should not to go himself. This first chapter (HE 5.9) to have St. Boisil send a message that he is to go instead to and convert them to the Roman It finishes with the details of failed mission to Frisia. The chapter refers to Egbert’s of more men including Willibrord to Frisia and the initial establishment of mission. Yet, the bulk of the is devoted to the martyrdom of the two Hewalds the Old Saxons [20] .

In the last the narration of Willibrord’s mission with his first trip to It is interrupted with the narration of consecration, his failed mission to the . and his eventual establishment of the monastery of where it records that he The chapter then returns to an equal length account of consecration and his mission.

The balance the accounts of the missions to Frisia, the Old and the Bructeri suggests a source in the entire mission to the peoples of [21] with Egbert seen as the instigator of all the these Willibrord, the Hewalds, and Swithbert go to specifically listed as among the of Germany in Egbert’s plan. Egbert (or his followers) would be interested in all three efforts. The of space given to each of the missions is nearly equal. is not particularly singled out as being gifted or dedicated, only as successful and long-lived. The problematic given to St. Boisil suggests at least some of this was filtered through Melrose (Kirby 2002. 51-53).

material had to have been after 716-8, since it to Egbert’s mission to Iona and Swithberht’s death, which is to have occurred in c. 713 [24]. It is that this material directly from Frisia it does not highlight Willibrord in detail than the other Whatever Bede’s source is, the same source he has for Egbert. means that there have been continued between Willibrord’s mission in and Egbert’s followers in Ireland or on after 713 when Swithbert’s could have been This significantly strengthens continued ties to the Hiberno-Roman in Ireland and Northumbria.

Bede Egbert’s sponsored missions to the peoples of Germany in two of his other In his Greater Chronicle (c. 725), consecration by Pope Sergius is in the year 4649 amid references to the work of Sergius. the exception of the Willibrord paragraph, the of the material on Pope Sergius from Bede’s primary the Liber Pontificalis . However, work only mentions Sergius ordained Beorhtweald as of Britain, and Clement [Willibrord] for the of the Frisians (Davis 89). The Pontificalis does not give English name or mention else about his work. also mentions Egbert’s of the Irish calculation for Easter in 716 in 4670 of the Greater Chronicle Further the two men from Willibrord’s both named Hewald, who martyred among the Old Saxons, are in Bede’s Martryology completed in c. 725 ). This suggests that gained the information on Egbert’s and the missions among the Germanic between 716/8 and 724 [26] .

to Theofrid, Abbot of Echternach the earliest Life of Willibrord was by a Scot in a rough and unpolished (Talbot 1954 :2). assumed that Alcuin this work as a source for his of Willibrord (c. 796). However, this work has been Alcuin’s reputed use of it is unverifiable. The by Theofrid to a Scot does a significant continued Irish at Echternach after the death of in 739.

The last major for Willibrord’s early career are the of Alcuin. He was one of a long line of of Willibrord who continued to be interested in monastery of Echternach after his Willibrord was succeeded at Echternach by his Abbot Aldberht, who was succeeded by kinsman Abbot Beornrad Archbishop of Sens) who commissioned the from their kinsman in c. 796 (Wood 2001 :81). St. Willehad, who came to Frisia as a in the time of King Alhred of and used Echternach as a base, to be a kinsman of Beornrad and therefore of and Alcuin (Wood 2001. In addition, Alcuin had inherited the estates of Willibrord’s father in Deira where presumably about Willibrord’s life have been kept.

earliest writing on Willibrord is his the Bishops, Kings and Saints of the of York . This poem was while Alcuin was in attendance at court. It follows Bede closely (Wood 2001 indicating that Alcuin had a of Bede’s History at hand in court. Likewise, Rollason places the Moore Bede at at about this time it became a template for multiple of the History that were throughout France. Of all Alcuin’s the York poem’s content, and scale most closely his verse Life of Willibrord xliii). Based on the style and the poem has been dated to the 790s, not long before his work on Willibrord (Godman In his diversion on the English missionaries— of interest to his local readers— he the mission to Frisia by Wilfrid ; Willibrord, Swithbert, and others in and Egbert in Ireland but in no way connects to Wilfrid (Godman 51-52,

Alcuin’s next project on comes from his later as Abbot of Tours, c. 796 (Wood 81). It is an ambitious four Life of Willibrord commissioned by Beornrad specifically to be on Willibrord’s habits, and miracles. The work is into two volumes: a prose with a separate homily on appended and a poetic life a separate poetic elegy on father Wilgils appended The prose life with its was intended for church use on Willibrord’s day. The verse life was for meditation and study by the scholars. is a critical difference when we the poetic life has fewer details than the prose Alcuin intended the poetic to be for theological study. The prose was not intended for study but rather for the use of the community at Echternach and lay patrons.

Alcuin used the Lives of as an opportunity to write a model life based on Alcuin’s of a model preacher (Wood 79-92). In Willibrord, Alcuin a model for a less aggressive policy than that by Charlemagne, of which Alcuin (Wood 1994. 319-320).

dominate what is included and from the Life . Alcuin specific information on Willibrord’s in Ireland [29]. as he did in general Irish information in his poem on [30]. He conflates Willibrord’s two to Rome into a single ignoring Swithbert’s consecration for the mission while Willibrord was on his trip to Rome. Alcuin Pippin II and Charles Martel as if were kings (Wood 317-318). The real Frankish are never mentioned in the Life . an alteration to please Charlemagne. The between Charles Martel and the of Plectrude, who granted Echternach to may go some way in explaining the lack of references in the Life (Wood :318). Further the stress on Utrecht also claimed for Willibrord there in the face of the cult of Boniface at Utrecht. he omitted the relationship between and the young Boniface mentioned in the of Boniface . This would to be a missed opportunity to give a of the relationship from Willibrord’s of view and tone down of the stronger claims made in the of Boniface . such as Willibrord’s offer to appoint Boniface an bishop for Frisia (Talbot 122-123).

Willibrord in England

Life of Willibrord implies Willibrord was born in c. 658 to a Deiran named Wilgils, who later the abbot of a monastery on the Deiran of the Humber River [31]. he reached the age of reason, probably a for the ending of infancy usually to be about age seven, he was sent to the of Ripon in Deira (Talbot 194). This places his in c. 665, significantly right the Synod of Whitby. In reality, it is that he entered in 664 before left for his consecration as bishop in or in 666 when he returned. This suggest, though not conclusively, Willibrord entered Ripon Alchfrith was deposed in 664-665. possibly a layman at the time, his son to be educated by the victor of the synod at a supported by King Alchfrith .

The most momentous events at during Willibrord’s stay must have been the of Wilfrid as Bishop of York in 670 and the of the new church of St. Peter between It was also during this that Ecgfrith’s queen, gave Wilfrid the estate of for a new monastery. This gave a major monastery in both and Deira [33]. Although the estate contained the Heavenfield where Oswald raised the before the battle of Denisesburn, does not seem to have Oswald’s cult until 705 or (Thacker ). Since Wilfrid was with his Episcopal duties and living in York, there was very little, if any, contact between Wilfrid and between 670 and 678 (Van Berkum ).

As above, in 678 Bishop Wilfrid was from the see of York and driven exile. Willibrord was left at Ripon, when it came the jurisdiction of Bishop Bosa of In 679 Bishop Eadhæd was transferred to Sometime in this period, left for Ireland.

Other the coincidence of the date 678, is no reason to believe that left Ripon in that because it is the same year Wilfrid went into unless he used Wilfrid’s as an opportunity to escape from the of Wilfrid’s monastic family. was strongly opposed to the Irish in the church. Given that his were placed under of the Hiberno-Roman group, he would been all the more opposed to his going to Ireland. It stands to that Wilfrid would preferred for his monks to stay at and Hexham and wait for his return Failing that, the southern church would seem to been preferable to Ireland. It most likely that remained at Ripon at least the winter of 678-679. Departure for is perhaps most likely Bishop Eadhaed, a Hiberno-Roman, direct control of Ripon in 679.

If Willibrord entered in 664-666 and left in 678-679, he had spent approximately 12-15 at Ripon to be followed by approximately 12 in Ireland. Thus the training in Ireland was essentially as long as at Ripon, especially when one his young age when he first to Ripon. If Alcuin’s dates are Willibrord was approximately 20-21 old when he left for Ireland and when he left for Frisia.

in Ireland

We know very about Willibrord’s time in beyond that he stayed the direction of Egbert, possibly at Máelsigi [35]. It is even a that he stayed at Ráith . This monastery is never mentioned in relation to Willibrord. It is mentioned as the site where friend Æthelhun died in the of 664. No one knows where in Egbert was residing in the late or early 680s.

Alcuin us that Willibrord went to because he had an urge to pursue a rigorous mode of life and was with a desire to travel (Talbot 1995. 195). We can imagine a young man of around wanting to get out of the monastery he had lived in his life and see the outside world. He have learned a great from Egbert and other in Ireland especially about how to and work in a foreign land.

One of the few we can surmise occurred in Ireland is ordination. Bede and Alcuin Willibrord a priest when he for his mission to Frisia. Given Alcuin claims he left as a monk, we are left to conclude he was ordained a priest in Ireland This would also that his last crucial and preparation prior to ordination occurred in Ireland.

An event in documented by Bede in HE 3.13 is a miracle credited to a relic of the that held King head carried by Willibrord. A (MS. Paris Lat. kept at Willibrord’s monastery of collaborates Willibrord’s special of Oswald by marking a special of Willibrord with Oswald’s on 5 August (Wilson 36). possession of a stake that Oswald’s head rather a sliver of the cross at Heavenfield in jurisdiction, supports Willibrord’s to the Hiberno-Roman group. The fact Lindisfarne was given Oswald’s for burial makes them the likely dispensers of relics the stake [37] .

The Missions to begin in Earnest

As far as we know was no contact between Wilfrid and or Egbert from the time left Britain in 678 until after Willibrord left for his to Frisia in 690 [38]. It is unlikely news of Wilfrid’s travels Frisia would have Egbert’s monastery by c. 688 when Egbert sent out the first another Englishman named from Ireland to Frisia.

followed the traditional method of a pagan frontier and went to the Frisian King Radbod. and his followers spent two years in Frisia and trying to win over Radbod. In 690, Wichtberht to Ireland [39] and declared his an utter failure, leaving Radbod unconverted. As we know other studies of conversions the Germanic peoples, conversion of the was of the utmost importance in the ultimate or failure of a mission (Stancliffe ; Charles-Edwards 2000. 103-108; 1995. I:7). There is no to believe Stephanus that had been any more successful Wichtberht.

The concept of the mission to Frisia was and pursued mainly by Egbert. All is known of Egbert’s early is that he was a Northumbrian noble who his studies in Ireland before In thanksgiving for surviving the plague took his friend Æthelhun, he to remain in exile from (England) for the rest of his life. As above, Bede claims Egbert wanted to undertake the to Frisia himself, but was warned off by a of St. Boisil [40] to one of his monks who had been the disciple of Boisil at In his vision, Boisil told the that Egbert was destined to Iona to the Roman cause.

In Willibrord finally set off for Frisia eleven companions at the encouragement of in Ireland. There is no reason to that Willibrord traveled England en route to Frisia Berkum 401-402). Alcuin is unhelpful on the initiation of Willibrord’s Of the eleven companions Alcuin says some of these the martyr’s crown through constancy in preaching the Gospel, were later to become (Talbot 1995. 195-6). He none of these bishops or

Deduction from Bede and sources allows us to name a few of companions: Swithberht, the two Hewalds, (who found the remains of the and probably the scribe Laurentius. To we can suspect that some of the in the original hand of the Calendar also among the twelve. The scribe Fergal (Virgilius), who the Echternach Book of Prophets and charters, must have been among the original as a youth or represent further immigration from Ireland to

Willibrord learned from failed mission and traveled to Frankia [41] where he support from Pippin II In 691-2, with the consent of Willibrord traveled to Rome to the blessing and counsel of the pope for his along with the materials and needed to work in Frisia (HE

Verbist, Wampach, and Moonen suggested that Wilfrid the way for Willibrord not only in Frisia, but among the Austrasians and in Rome Berkum 405). We have seen that the way was indeed not prepared for Willibrord in Frisia and according to Stephan, Wilfrid left Austrasia after the of Dagobert II in mortal danger the supporters of Duke Ebrion. II does not yet appear on the scene and is no reason to believe that he Wilfrid or would have sympathetic to one of Wilfrid’s former Indeed, Pippin II was the nephew of who had originally sent Dagobert II exile, and was therefore probably in the II and Wilfrid camp (Van 405). The theory that was received in Rome because he was a monk of Wilfrid is based on more than the confused that Willibrord was received in c. 692 and consecrated in 695 by Pope Sergius I who reputedly upheld Wilfrid’s in 678-679. Since these rashly assumed that visited Ripon in Northumbria en to Frisia, they also that Willibrord was given of recommendation from Wilfrid to Sergius (Van Berkum Yet, Van Berkum notes this is a chronological error. clearly states that Agatho dealt with in 679 (HE 5.19). Pope Sergius did not office until 687, after Wilfrid had regained his see therefore, there was unlikely to been any direct contact Wilfrid and Sergius prior to arrival in Rome [44]. Van Berkum (409) finds it that Willibrord would brought up the subject of Wilfrid Sergius at all since he had no contact Wilfrid since 678. Wilfrid was not a factor in Willibrord in Austrasia nor Rome.

While was in Rome, the missionary members behind elected Swithberht to be their bishop and sent him to for consecration, apparently without the of Pippin or Willibrord. Why they him to Canterbury behind the back of and Willibrord has mystified scholars. I no suggestions for their circumvention of patron and missionary leader, but the of Canterbury over Rome and the Frankish metropolitans may be related to admiration for Paulinus of Kent, who was in Canterbury. Modeling on Paulinus may explain why Willibrord sought the of the pope, since Paulinus had sent to Britain by Gregory the

Swithberht’s plans to be consecrated by Theodore, an ally of the Northumbrian and Wilfrid’s nemesis, were when he arrived and discovered Theodore had recently died and the see was Theodore’s successor, ironically, was in being consecrated [45]. In a irony, the only bishop to do the consecration was Wilfrid himself, acting as bishop for King of Mercia. Wilfrid consecrated and he returned to Frisia to a cold by Pippin and Willibrord.

Upon his Swithberht soon left the mission to begin a new mission the Bructeri . There is no evidence this mission was supported by Shortly after his arrival, the Old defeated the Bructeri and Swithberht was to abandon his efforts there. at the intercession of his wife Plectudis and did Pippin intervene to give an estate at modern Kaiserswerth (HE Swithberht appears to have at his monastery at Kaiserwerth until his in 713. Although there is to believe the relationship between and Swithberht could have antagonistic, Swithberht’s name was to the Echternach Calendar on March 1 23).

In 695, Pippin Willibrord back to Rome to be Archbishop of Frisia by Pope This was done on March 21 and was renamed Clement (Wilson The position of archbishop seems out of for the then poorly developed effort in Frisia [46]. but wanted to ensure that his man would have dominance the other bishops moving the area. Indeed it may well be consecration as bishop for Frisia made Willibrord and Pippin the position of archbishop, ensuring Swithberht now answered to Willibrord.

and Its Scriptorium

Pippin gave the city of Utrecht to be the seat of his but he is associated as much or more his monastery of Echternach [47]. was given to Willibrord as a fall position in safer Frankish by Pippin’s mother-in-law Irmina in (Netzer 1989b. 128). The already had a small monastery on the estate before it was given to Charters suggest that a was maintained on the site continually 697. Willibrord built a new there between 704 and May 13, 706. Netzer (1989b. 128) that the scriptorium probably was not until the new monastery was constructed. as we shall see, a few manuscripts can be to between 698 and 706.

Two scribes at main monastery, Echternach, are to have produced four plus several charters his lifetime [48]. Those are a Book of Prophets, the Calendar (of the Augsburg Gospels . and a version of the Martyrology . An Irish scribe Fergal (Virgilius) wrote his in the Book of Prophets . He also and signed charters granting lands in 709 and 721-722 (Netzer 205-206). Similarity in the half-uncial of the Book of Prophets . the Calendar and the Gospels suggest they all may be the of the same Irish training 1989a. 205-206; O’Croinin :28-30). Another manuscript, BN Ms. Lat 10399, kept in Echternach in the medieval period contains of material on the Pascal controversy quotes from the Pseudo-Anatolius De known only from and contains glosses in Old Irish 1989b ).

The Augsburg Gospels a poem by an Irishman named (d. 665) and are dedicated to an Echternach named Laurentius, who wrote and charters for Willibrord between 704 and and signed the Hieronymian Martyrology 1989a. 205-207). The poem by contains ninety-seven passages to John in Canon X, a number among the early twelve cannon series to the Augsberg thereby revealing that the poem must have composed for a Gospel Book a set of canon tables of the same as those in the Augsberg Gospels 1989b :130). The Augsberg and the Calendar of Willibrord appear to be in the hand (O’Croinin 1989a

Eventually four Gospel would come to be written at the Augsburg Gospels, Maeseyck Trier Gospels . and the Freiburg in this order. The production of books traces the intellectual at Echternach through the first of the eighth century. The Augsburg have been dated to c. 705 1989a. 1999). According to Netzer (1989a. 207), the Gospels are based on a faithful of a Mediterranean Gospel book in Ireland and brought to Echternach there, probably by Willibrord. The Gospels may have been to Abbess Harlindis at Aldeneyck Willibrord’s lifetime and are virtually to the Augsberg Gospel (Netzer 130)49.

The others reflect two books, one Irish and the other and illustrate scripts and decorations are known to have been at Lindisfarne (Netzer 1989a. The Lindisfarnian influences at the Echternach coincides with the use of the Echternach as a source for decoration in the Trier (Netzer 1989a. 211). changes neatly parallel the of one of Willibrord’s monks to the shrine of St. at Lindisfarne in 699-704 [50] in both Lives of Cuthbert 1989a. 212). The Trier was written by a scribe who wrote glosses in the Calendar of Willibrord 1989b. 131).

Thus, the products of the scriptorium [51] based on Irish exemplars. were supplemented by Roman probably brought back to from one of Willibrord’s two trips to in 692 and 695, and then by Northumbrian possibly brought back the visit to Lindisfarne in 699-704.

Willibrord’s Calendar is a selective of feasts, it reflects his missionary beliefs and politics. A marginal on the November folio referring to arrival in Frisia and his ordination has ownership of the Calendar to Willibrord in 728 13, 42-43).

Although primary of the Calendar is no longer assigned to the insular entries in the Calendar the author’s interests closely those of Willibrord. He may have one of Willibrord’s original twelve and was close enough to the bishop for his Calendar to come into possession by 728 and to have commemorated father. The insular-related saints in the primary hand are Cuthbert, Paulinus of York, Wilgils, and of Farne. All of these saints can be to the kingdom of Deria [52]. figures of special interest in the included are Gregory the Great, of Auxerre and Lupus of Troyes. Aidan, Chad, Hild, the Briton Gildas, and the Deiran Edwin, Oswine, and Ecgfrith are all later glosses. In addition, the saints Brigit, Patrick and are entered in the Calendar by the primary Both of Willibrord’s putative Wilfrid and Egbert, are missing.

To sum up the from the entries in Willibrord’s it shows a strong and specifically Deiran influence [54] with Irish commemorations and in an style. There is no evidence of the anti-Irish bias of Wilfrid’s Even though Willibrord’s was a mixed group reflecting Irish, and Frankish traditions the original author of the Calendar was influenced by the Irish. This is by the unusual date of the commemorations of Paulinus and Germanus of Auxerre the orthography of the entry for Gregory the [57]. and the Irish pattern of for Mary (Wilson 18-19, 39).

There is no documentary from the early Echternach for influence or aid by Bishop Wilfrid to mission. Quite to the contrary, influence is the dominant feature.

The of 703-704

During the autumn of Wilfrid was again in conflict King Aldfrith of Northumbria and to plead his case in Rome. again, he avoided passing Frankish territory by traveling Frisia and seeking hospitality Willibrord.

This visit to does not necessarily mean Wilfrid had kept in contact Willibrord’s mission or that he to visit an old pupil (Van 411-412). Wilfrid was seeking the route to Rome that Frankish territory as much as and hoped for hospitality among the missionaries, as they were to provide. The visit of one of Willibrord’s to Northumbria sometime between 699 and 704 may reminded Wilfrid, if he knew of the that the English in Frisia Wilfrid remained for the winter visiting both Utrecht and (Van Berkum 411-412).

The of St.-King Oswald gladly by Willibrord to Bishop Wilfrid and on many occasions during visit (HE 3.13) also Willibrord’s close ties Lindisfarne. As mentioned above, it is that Willibrord obtained his of Oswald’s head stake directly or indirectly from where the head was buried Thacker (109-111) suggests Hexham did not begin to promote the of St. Oswald until Wilfrid the adoptive father of Oswald’s nephew, the child king [59]. In 704, that was in the future and not even Wilfrid have predicted the Northumbrian turmoil that followed the of King Aldfrith in 705.

I it is more likely that never promoted the cult of whose family had brought him trouble. Acca, the successor of as abbot and then bishop of is the probable instigator of the active of St. Oswald and the Heavenfield site Acca did not forget Willibrord’s and may have harbored fewer with Oswald’s dynasty his bishop. He had, after been initially been by Bosa, Bishop of York, who was at Abbess Hild’s Whitby, important foundation in the Hiberno-Roman

Mysteriously again, Stephanus of omits all mention of Wilfrid’s with the Frisian mission in If Wilfrid were a supporter of mission, it is unfathomable that it not be mentioned in the Life of Bishop It is likely that Wilfrid did the hospitality of Utrecht and Echternach but no support with the Franks or in Wilfrid may have been that Willibrord would not ease his passage through but also lend support in his discussions with the pope. As far as we he received neither. The omission by and Bede’s interest only in one of the of St. Oswald related, rather the 703-704 visit itself, that neither Stephan nor believed the visit to be of any importance Berkum 413).

Willibrord and

Comparing the motivations and methods of and Wilfrid can dramatically illustrate differences. These differences that there is no reason to Willibrord’s adult activities or with Wilfrid of York.

mission appears to have aimed at Frisia specifically the beginning and, according to when Willibrord tried to his mission it was to the Danes rather Saxony. Boniface began his work on the continent by aiding in Frisia before he moved into Germania. By the end of his life Boniface felt compelled to further conversions among the even though he believed he be martyred there (Howe According to Howe (138), as his to Frisia reveals, Boniface his own life a mythic shape, it was to be a from the ecclesia of his native to the pagan frontier of his ancestral Correspondence from his contemporaries that they realized vision for evangelizing on the ancestral frontier (Howe 139).

The of Willibrord and Boniface in working the Frisians can be sharply contrasted Bishop Wilfrid. As far as we know, he no support to the Frisian mission he regained his see and only used as a convienent stop off point en to Rome that avoided his in France. There is no evidence Wilfrid (or his familia) inspired to become a foreign missionary, nor is any evidence that they foreign missionaries. Wilfrid’s models were Frankish such as ‘Dalfinus’/Aunemundus and Agilberht, and lords, who both concentrated on their own political power and (Pelteret 166, 174-5). in Bishop Aunemundus and his brother Dalfinus of Lyon, we see those two models merge in Stephan’s (Colgrave 153).

Swithbert’s consecration proves Wilfrid knew of the mission to from nearly its inception and knew of Willibrord’s involvement. there is neither mention of consecration of Swithberht nor any support to the Frisian mission in Stephan’s of Bishop Wilfrid . Likewise, omits Wilfrid’s visit to in the winter of 704-5. This if to understand if Wilfrid had given any support at all. If Stephan’s was to show Wilfrid as having the rightful heir of Paulinus and of the post of Archbishop (Pelteret ), he have included support for the mission if it had existed.

Willibrord’s from the Franks can also be contrasted with the difficulties by Wilfrid. It is unlikely that would have been by Pippin in 690 if he had stressed his relationship to (Van Berkum 406-407), like Wilfrid, Pippin was an of Ebrion. Yet, Wilfrid’s collaborators in the return of Dagobert II may been a group opposed to Ebrion and Pippin (Wood 231-234). Wilfrid’s consecration of does not seem to have Swithberht favor from II (Van Berkum 407). second and third trip to probably went through expressly to avoid contact the Franks.

Their relationships individual kings varied as Wilfrid had at best mixed with the kings, poor his own Northumbrian kings but better the kings of Mercia [61]. Sussex, and if we can believe Stephan, continental kings. Yet, Duke Ebrion and Queen also threatened Wilfrid’s and he had been driven from all the kingdoms in 678. Willibrord, on the hand, had a good working with Pippin and his son Charles [62]. Ironically, we have no how Willibrord got along with the Frankish kings, if that

Wilfrid illustrates what a difference being an exile or could make [63]. He was to challenge his own native king all the way to while he made concessions to he who gave him refuge during his of exile from Northumbria. Did challenge the Northumbrian kings he was exerting his perception of his rights as a Northumbrian landowner or simply he had been ordained for a Northumbrian The answer may be both in equal Cubitt (1989 ) suggests it was not the division of his see that he objected to but the of men from the outside of his monastic If Wilfrid had been a native of kingdom, he may have accepted the and returned to his homeland as one of his mentors Agilberht of Wessex did. support of Charles Martel Pippin’s natural son by his wife whose mother granted Echternach, shows that adapted politically when How much Willibrord’s legal as a peregrinus effected his support of Martel is unknowable. The relationship king and peregrinus or exile by both Wilfrid and Willibrord is a of all peregrini, rather than influence of Wilfrid on Willibrord .

Charles-Edwards notes three points of difference between the group and Wilfrid’s. First, group considered all the Irish and as heretics and schismatics, not just (Charles-Edwards 2000. 337). his assessment of the letter from of Malmesbury to Wilfrid’s followers is Englishmen were to be dissuaded from study in Ireland. Wilfrid’s group favored Roman practices in all aspects of life, including the adoption of the script in place of the half-uncial 2000. 337). The primary of Willibrord’s Calendar is written in half-uncial with most of the written in minuscule (Wilson

Willibrord’s activities in Frisia he was open to the tolerance preached by the Great and Aidan in approaching A penitential recently suggested to be by deals with topics as infanticide that would be on the pagan frontier. This if correctly attributed, takes a approach, with an insular of penance and a remarkably lenient towards certain types of (Wood 2001 :79). The proscribes different levels of for infanticide depending on whether or not the had tasted earthly foods as milk (Wood 2001 Gregory the Great’s instructions to may have inspired such policies (Wood 2001 but it is also akin with of Lindisfarne’s attitudes. Aidan’s counsel at the meeting on Iona is the first missionary to Bernicia did not them the milk of simpler as the apostle recommends, until by little, as they grow on the food of God’s word, were capable of receiving elaborate instruction (HE 3.5, Collins 118). These teaching methods were foreign to Wilfrid’s strict

Wilfrid would have full well that his pupil had changed sides in the ecclesiastical politics. The Calendar’s for most of Wilfrid’s enemies, Theodore, Chad, Aidan, Hild and King Ecgfrith, to Willibrord’s politics. Changing would have been to Wilfrid since he had himself his initial training at Lindisfarne becoming an arch-Romanist.

We should not ourselves that Wilfrid not have held a grudge. Wilfrid knew how to be a peregrinus he had been in exile often Wilfrid would not have Willibrord’s mission from but he would not have tried to trouble either [65]. By the they met again in 704, had to treat his now powerful former as he would a foreign ruler, Willibrord’s favor. However, is no reason to believe the visit was Wilfrid would have interested in the changes in Frisia his last visit and Willibrord have been eager for from Northumbria. Willibrord had to fear from his deposed old

The inescapable conclusion of this of Willibrord’s career is that he was sent and supported by Egbert’s party in Ireland and Northumbria. had nothing intentionally to do with mission. Further, there is no that Wilfrid’s preaching in the of 678-9 was successful. There was of Wilfrid’s reputed mission for Willibrord to build upon he began his work in the 690s.

Willibrord got the opportunity to leave he took it and joined others of the group in Ireland. This declared his religious philosophy and The fact that Egbert Willibrord as the leader of a missionary suggests that Willibrord had Egbert’s philosophies.

Such of ecclesiastical political parties was not Acca of York left the fellowship of Bishop Bosa for Benedictine family [66]. Wilfrid himself had originally trained on Lindisfarne before the Romanist group and choosing the Bishops Agilbert of Wessex and Paris, and Dalphinus/Aunemundus of Lyon as his models. Just as we should no doubt that Acca was protégé and an ardent Benedictine, is no reason to question Willibrord’s to the accommodating philosophy of the Hiberno-Roman This same accommodating was championed by no less than the Great and Aidan of Lindisfarne as the method of a missionary. Willibrord’s education at Ripon, the Ripon that has so long tied and Wilfrid together, is simply not enough to merit credit in the direction of Willibrord’s life.


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