St. Trumwin, Bishop of Whitby, among the Picts

2 December

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Died c. 700. Saint Bede tells us that, in 681, Saint Trumwin was appointed bishop over the southern Picts by Saint Theodore and King Egfrid. Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury had divided the Northumbrian diocese governed by Saint Wilfrid into three, establishing the sees of Deira, Bernica, and Lindsey. Three years later, two more diocese were created for Hexham and on the Firth of Forth to govern the Pictish lands recently conquered. This last became the seat for Trumwin, who organised his see at the monastery of Abercorn and later founded a monastery at Lothian on the Firth of Forth. Trumwin also accompanied Theodore to Farne to persuade Saint Cuthbert to be consecrated bishop of Hexham. In 685, King Egfrid was killed by the Picts in the disastrous battle of Nechtansmere and Saint Trumwin and all his monks had to flee south when the English were ousted. He went to Whitby Abbey, where he was welcomed by Abbess Saint Elfleda. There he lived out his last days in "austerity to the benefit of many others beside himself" (Bede). Trumwin's relics were translated during the 12th century with those of King Oswy and Saint Elfleda (Benedictines, Coulson, Farmer).

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