Event: Accusation, Advice/counsel, Arrest, Assistance, Campaigning, Capture, Confiscation, Conversion, Council-meeting, ecclesiastical, Deposition of bishop, Expulsion, Flight, Freeing captives, Friendship-making, Healing, Hostility, Illness/demonic seizure/madness, Imprisonment, Journey, Judicial decision/review, Killing/murder, Miracle, Monastic life, converting to/joining/oblation, Papal advice/audience/decision/privilege, Relics-collecting/depositing/granting, Restoration to bishopricWilfrid 2-Ecgfrith 4.conflict

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Description So long as the blessed Æthelthryth 2 shared Ecgfrith 4's bed, she strove to keep Wilfrid 2 on good terms with her husband. But Ecgfrith 4's new wife, Eormenburg 1, stirred up hostility to the bishop on the grounds of his great wealth and influence. On hearing that, Archbishop Theodore 1 took measures against Wilfrid 2. Wilfrid 2 went to the Continent to appeal to the pope. In his absence Æthelred 2, king of the Mercians and Wulfhere 1's brother, began a campaign against the Northumbrians to avenge the injuries done to his brother. He put Ecgfrith 4 to flight, slaying his brother Ælfwine 4. Æthelred 2 then banished Bishop Wynnfrith 1, successor of Chad 1 at Lichfield, because he had favoured Ecgfrith 4. Wynnfrith 1, driven by chance on to the coast of the Gaul, came upon King Theoderic 2 and Ebroin 1 duke of the Franks. They had received instructions from Britain to seize and despoil Bishop Wilfrid 2. Mistaken by the name, they killed Wynnfrith 1's company, Anonymi 337 and took away his property, though they let him get away. Meanwhile, Wilfrid 2 befriended Aldgisl 1 and converted him to Christianity; then he moved to Dagobert 3. Dagobert 3 offered Wilfrid 2 the see of Strasbourg, but the latter put off an answer till he should come back from Rome, and Dagobert 3 sent him freely on his way in the company of bishop Deodatus 1. On their way they encountered Perctarit 1, who first wanted to harm Wilfrid 2, but when he heard the true story he helped Wilfrid 2 to crown his business with success. Finally, he arrived to Rome. There had arrived earlier from Theodore 1 a monk of impeccable devoutness, one Cenwald 1, with written accusations against the bishop. Disturbed by this, Pope Agatho 2 summoned a council of fifty bishops and abbots. Andrew 1 and John 10 were present; John 12 kept the records. The council decided that Wilfrid 2's bishopric should be restored to him. Wilfrid 2 then returned to Britain, obtained audience of Ecgfrith 4 and gave him the papal decree. The king, however, showed no respect for the see of Rome, robbed the bishop of his property and handed him over to a certain reeve Osfrith 2, a man notorious for his cruelty. The court itched to do Wilfrid 2 some injury, and Eormenburg 1 went as far as to seize the bishop’s reliquary from him by force and carried it around, relics and all, on her neck or in her carriage. Osfrith 2 put the bishop into a dark prison, but through its darkness a light burst to shine on Wilfrid 2. The reeve was in fear when he heard about it, but he was even more afraid of Ecgfrith 4. Meanwhile his wife [Æbbe 1] grew very ill, first foaming at the mouth and then becoming paralyzed; Osfrith 2 threw himself at the bishop’s feet, and his wife’s health was restored; he then begged the king not to impose on him the guilt of punishing the innocent bishop. Ecgfrith 4 then passed Wilfrid 2 on to a more cruel man called Tydlin 1, who ordered the bishop to be chained – but the chains kept slipping off Wilfrid 2’s hands. The king and his wife continued to ignore these signs and treated the bishop with scorn and hostility, keeping him under arrest. But one night, on a visit from Ecgfrith 4’s aunt, Abbess Æbbe 2, Eormenburg 1 was seized with the Devil. The abbess understood what had happened and prevailed upon her nephew to restore the blessed man’s reliquary. To restore his spouse’s health, the king had to allow Wilfrid 2 to go free. The queen made a good recovery; later, after her husband’s death, she took the habit and was a religious repented of what she had done.
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