EADBURG(FL. EIGHTH CENTURY). Eadburg was an eighth-century abbess of the Minster in Thanet. Much of what we know of Eadburg is revealed in the letters she received from Saint *Boniface, bishop and later archbishop at Mainz. Boniface’s letters, like those of his correspondents, reveal the interest the Anglo-Saxons took in his project—the conversion of the continental Saxons—in part via the textiles, clothing, and texts he frequently requested be sent abroad. Women played a significant part in Anglo-Saxon book production and, as a partial consequence, in education, as Boniface’s many letters requesting manuscripts from abbey scriptoria demonstrate. In fact, among the manuscripts Boniface requests from England, he asks for the most elaborate—a text of the Epistles of Peter, written in gold, which he promises to supply—from Eadburg’s scriptorium. Like other Anglo-Saxon nuns, Eadburg was highly educated (the standard for women’s education drops in the later Middle Ages); not only did her correspondence with Boniface take place in Latin, but we also learn from one surviving letter written by *Leoba, one of Eadburg’s students in the abbey, that she taught Latin using *Aldhelm of Malmesbury’s difficult treatise on the writing of Latin verse, the text from which male clerics were also taught.
Bibliography: C. Fell, Women in Anglo-Saxon England, 1984.
EADBURH (EADBURG)(FL. EIGHTH CENTURY). Eadburh was the daughter of *Offa, the powerful Anglo-Saxon king of Mercia who maintained frequent communication with *Charlemagne and received the first papal envoy to England in 200 years.
Most of what we know of Eadburh is recorded by *Asser in his biography of King *Alfred the Great; she is mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle only as the daughter of Offa and wife of Beorhtric. According to Asser, West Saxons