Celtic- St. Ermenburga of Thanet- 19 November 2016

Died c. 650-700. Saint Ermenburga was a Kentish princess of distinguished lineage. Her father was Ermenred, the brother of King Erconbert of Kent. She married Merewald, said to be the son of King Penda of Mercia, by whom she bore four children, including Saints Mildred (f.d. July 13), Milburga (f.d. February 23) – eldest of the three girls; and Mildgith (f.d. January 17; youngest daughter), and Merefin, who died in his youth. Ermenburga’s own siblings included Saints Ethelred and Ethelbert (f.d. October 17).

When they were cruelly murdered at Eastry near Sandwich by Egbert’s counsellor Thunor, their sister received the “wergild” in the form of land at Kent. In her old age Ermenburga used this land to found the convent of Minster on Thanet, where the place name Ebbsfleet still perpetuates her memory. She became its abbess about 670 and was succeeded by her daughter Mildred, who had been trained at Chelles in France. Domneva is a contraction of Domna Ebba (Lady Ebba) (Benedictines, Farmer). [read for other saints of today]

Source: Celtic and Old English Saints – 19 November

Second Life

Ermenburga or Domneva, daughter of Ermenred, King of Kent, was given in marriage to Merewald, son of Penda. She and her pious husband devoted themselves to the spread of religion in Mercia. They were the parents of S. Milburga, S. Mildred, and S. Mildgytha, and their son Merefin was “led away to heaven in his youth.” Ermenburga was called into Kent to settle the “blood-geld,” or fine to be paid for the murder of her brothers Ethelred and Ethelbert, who were killed by Egbert, King of Kent, at the instigation of his chief eorlder- man, Thanor. The murder was committed at Eastry. The facts becoming known, he was called upon to pay the blood-fine to the nearest of kin, and Ermenburga accordingly went to Kent to demand it. She claimed as much land as her tame deer could run round in a single course. The hind enclosed an area of ten thousand acres. Within this the monastery of Minster- in-Thanet was erected, and there Ermenburga assumed the name of Domneva or Domina Ebba, and became first abbess She died about 690.

Source: The_Lives_of_the_Saints_Volume_16.pdf page 309


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