The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation

By Bede | Go to book overview

out a bishop. During which time, the king of that nation, sustaining very great losses in his kingdom from his enemies, at length bethought himself, that as he had been before expelled from his kingdom for his infidelity, and had been restored when he received the faith of Christ, his kingdom being destitute of a bishop, was justly deprived of the Divine protection. He, therefore, sent messengers into France to Agilbert, humbly entreating him to return to the bishopric of his nation. But he excused himself, and affirmed that he could not go, because he was tied to the bishopric of his own city; however, that he might not seem to refuse him assistance, he sent in his stead thither the priest Leutherius, his nephew, who, if he thought fit, might be ordained his bishop, saying, "He thought him worthy of a bishopric." The king and the people received him honourably, and entreated Theodorus, then archbishop of Canterbury, to consecrate him their bishop. He was accordingly consecrated in the same city, and many years zealously governed the whole bishopric of the West Saxons by synodical authority.


CHAPTER VIII.
HOW EARCONBERT, KING OF KENT, ORDERED THE IDOLS TO BE
DESTROYED; AND OF HIS DAUGHTER EARCONGOTA, AND HIS
KINSWOMAN ETHILBERGA, VIRGINS CONSECRATED TO GOD.

In the year of our Lord 640, Eadbald, king of Kent, departed this life, and left his kingdom to his son Earconbert, which he most nobly governed twenty-four years and some months. He was the first of the English kings that of his supreme authority commanded the idols, throughout his whole kingdom, to be forsaken and destroyed, and the fast of forty days before Easter to be observed; and that

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