Oswald (Archbishop) - Encyclopedia

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OSWALD (d. 992), archbishop of York, was a nephew of Oda, archbishop of Canterbury, and at an early age became, by purchase, head of the Old Minster at Winchester. Desiring to become a monk, he went with Oda's approval to the monastery of Fleury on the Loire - at that time the great centre of reviving Benedictinism. Here he soon distinguished himself by the monastic austerity of his life. In 959 he returned to England at the request of Oda, who, however, died before his arrival. He now went to York to his kinsman the Archbishop Oskytel, who took him with him on a pilgrimage to Rome. Soon after his return he was appointed bishop of Worcester at the recommendation of Dunstan, his predecessor in the see (961). As bishop he took a prominent part in that revival of monastic discipline on Benedictine lines of which Aethelwold, bishop of Winchester, was the most ardent leader. His methods, however, were less violent than those of Aethelwold. Among other religious houses he founded that of Ramsey in conjunction with Aethelwine, Ealdorman of East Anglia. In 972 he was translated (again at Dunstan's recommendation) to the archbishopric of York, with which he continued to hold the see of Worcester. He died on the 29th of February 992 and was buried at Worcester.

See Memorials of St Dunstan, edited by W. Stubbs, Rolls series (London, 1874).

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