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Abbot Edwin

Edwin was Abbot of Westminster from 1049-1071 and was a friend and adviser to King Edward the Confessor. He was present at the consecration of the Confessor's Abbey on 28th December 1065, at his burial in January 1066 and at William I's coronation on 25th December 1066. He was buried originally in the Norman cloister of the Confessor's church but when Henry III rebuilt this, from 1245, his bones (together with those of Hugolin, Sulcard and Ethelgoda, wife of King Sebert) were transferred to a marble tomb in the new Chapter House, near the entrance on the south side. This no longer remains. John Flete (died 1465), a monk who wrote a history of the Abbey, calls him English by birth and an eminently praiseworthy man. He records verses on a lead tablet below the tomb and the section concerning Edwin can be translated:

May the memory of this celebrated Father, St Edwin, remain alive though all eternity; it was because of his counsels of wisdom and in recognition of his holiness that St Edward, Confessor Christ and renowned King of the English, endowed this his own place with so many and so great gifts, exalted it with privileges, and furnished it with possessions, and indeed, what is more, he commanded that the most precious treasure of his own uncorrupted body should be placed within this holy monastery; where continually it blooms with new miracles, to the praise of Our Lord Jesus Christ, whose reign shall have no end Amen.

Further reading

John Flete, The history of Westminster Abbey edited by J. Armitage Robinson, 1909

Abbot Edwin
May God grant cross

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2018 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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