Ethelburga, Abbess of Barking

11 October -- Commemoration
If celebrated as a Lesser Festival, Common of Religious, page 494

Ethelburga was sister of Erkenwald, Bishop of London, and was probably of royal blood. As Bede describes her, it seems she may well have owned, as well as been made Abbess of, the joint monastery at Barking. There was a tradition developing of monks and nuns sharing monasteries, often with a woman superior, for example Hilda at Whitby and Cuthburga at Wimborne. Though they lived quite separate lives, often divided by high walls, they would occasionally celebrate the Daily Office or the Mass together. There was also probably an element of safety involved with the ever-present thread of marauding Danes. Bede relates many miracles occurring around Ethelburga but little else is known of her life. She died on this day in the year 675.