Source: Textual EditionBede.VitCuthbertiPr

Show associated factoids Hide associated events Show associated persons


Prose Life of Saint Cuthbert

Source Information
Author Bede
Source Title The Life of St Cuthbert by Bede
Date of composition 710x720
Language Latin


*The date of composition is that suggested in C. Stancliffe, 'Cuthbert and the polarity between pastor and solitary', in St Cuthbert, his Cult and his Community to AD 1200, eds. Bonner, Rollason and Stancliffe (Woodbridge, 1989), pp. 21-44, at p. 24.
* According to Colgrave (ed.), p. 16, the date of composition is c.721.


Editor Article or Book Title Journal or Pub.Loc. Date pp.
Go to 
Two Lives of Saint Cuthbert. A Life by an Anonymous Monk of Lindisfarne and Bede's Prose Life Colgrave, Bertram Bede's Life of St Cuthbert Cambridge 1940 142-306


Editor Article or Book Title Journal or Pub.Loc. Date pp.
Colgrave, Bertram Bede's Life of St Cuthbert Cambridge 1940 143-307

Event/Transaction List

Factoid Type Source Reference Short Description
1 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  Prologue In his prologue addressed to Bishop Eadfrith 3 and the community of Lindisfarne (Anonymi 224), Bede 1 describes the rigorous investigation which preceded the writing itself.
2 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  Prologue Bede 1 asked Bishop Eadfrith 3 for his name to be inserted among those of the Lindisfarne community, so that they could pray for him after his death as if he was one of them.
3 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  1 While Cuthbert 1 was playing with other children, and they were as usual twisting their limbs into various unnatural contortions, a little boy (Anonymous 29) ran up to Cuthbert 1 and exhorted him not to indulge in idle games. When Cuthbert 1 scorned him, the child began to cry and subsequently told Cuthbert 1 he was going to become a priest and a bishop.
4 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  2 While afflicted by a swelling in the knee, one day Cuthbert 1 was lying in the open air. He suddenly saw a horseman coming from afar and dressed in white robes. When he approached he asked Cuthbert 1 whether he was willing to minister to a stranger. Cuthbert 1 told him about his trouble and the man advised him to boil some wheaten flour in milk and spread the poultice while hot upon the swelling.
5 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  3 Some monks (Anonymi 227) were bringing from afar in rafts wood for their monastery. A sudden storm of wind dragged their rafts away. Cuthbert 1, who was on the other side of the river with a crowd of common people, started to pray, changed the winds by prayer and brought the rafts safe to land.
6 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  4 While Cuthbert 1 was looking after the flocks committed to his care, he had a vision of a soul of exceeding brightness being carried to heaven.
7 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  4 Aidan 1 entered the Kingdom of heaven. On the same night and at the same time when Cuthbert 1 had a vision of a soul being carried to heaven.
8 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  5 During his journey Cuthbert 1 first stopped at the house of a certain religious housewife (Anonymous 46), who wanted to give him some food. He refused because he was fasting until the ninth hour on Fridays. As he went on with his journey he realised he could not find any place where he could stop for some food. But when his horse dragged some straw from the roof of a hut, he found half a loaf still warm and some meat.
9 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  6 Upon his arrival at Melrose Cuthbert 1 was welcome by Boisil 1
10 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  6 A few days after Cuthbert 1's arrival at Melrose, Eata 2 arrived. Boisil 1 told him about Cuthbert 1's intentions and obtained permission from him for Cuthbert 1 to receive the tonsure and to join the fellowship of the brethren.
11 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  7 Eata 2 took with him some of the brethren of Melrose (including Cuthbert 1) and founded a monastery at Ripon, instituting there the same rules of discipline as were observed at Melrose.
12 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  7 One morning Cuthbert 1 found a youth sitting within the guests' chamber. After ministering to him, he asked him to stay until the third hour so that he could be given some food. When he brought some food, he asked the youth to wait until he got some bread. When he came back, he could not find the youth, but some fresh bread had been left in the store-house. Cuthbert then recognised that the youth was an angel.
13 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  8 The site of Ripon was given to other monks (Anonymi 231) and Eata 2, Cuthbert 1 and other brethren (Anonymi 230) were driven home.
14 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  8 Cuthbert 1 was stricken down with a plague. But after the brethren (Anonymi 232) had spent a whole night praying for him, on the following morning, when he heard about that, he immediately arose and began to try to walk. As his strength grew from day to day, he recovered his health.
15 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  8 Boisil 1 predicted that Cuthbert 1 would not die from the pestilence, whereas he himself would in seven days. He had also predicted the pestilence to his abbot Eata 2 three years before it appeared, but he declared that the abbot himself would not die of this but rather of dysentery.
16 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  8 Boisil 1 died seven days after his prophecy, as he had predicted.
17 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  8 Eata 2 died of dysentery as Boisil 1 had predicted
18 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  8, 22 Boisil 1 suggested to Cuthbert 1 that he would be made bishop.
19 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  8 When Anonymi 233 went to visit Cuthbert 1, the latter complained he could not consider himself to be free from the snares of a deceptive world.
20 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  10 Æbbe 2 invited Cuthbert 1 to Coldingham. He went and stayed for some days.
21 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  10 At night Cuthbert 1 would go out to pray. One night a brother of the monastery (Anonymous 48) followed him to the sea-shore. He saw Cuthbert go down to the sea and into deep water. At daybreak he went up on to the land and began to pray once more. At that point two otters came out from the sea and began to warm his feet with their breath and dry them with their fur.
22 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  11 Cuthbert 1, with two brethren (Tydi 2 and Anonymous 35), went by boat to the land of the Picts called Niduari. They did not take much food with them in view of an early return.
23 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  11 After having reached the land of the Niduari, a fierce tempest arose, which prevented their return. As Cuthbert 1 and the two brothers (Tydi 2 and Anonymous 35) did not have food with them, they languished for some days amid the dangers of hunger and of cold. When the day of Epiphany was at hand, Cuthbert 1 encouraged his two companions to pray the Lord for food. They went down to the shore and found three pieces of dolphin flesh.
24 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  11 After finding the dolphin's flesh, Cuthbert 1 prophesied that the sea would get calm in three days.
25 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  12 While Cuthbert 1 was travelling with a youth (Anonymous 51), they started wondering where they should get some food. Seeing an eagle fly, Cuthbert 1 told the boy that it was possible that God would refresh them even by the ministration of that eagle.
26 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  13 While Cuthbert 1 was preaching to a crowd he foresaw that the devil would be present to hinder the work of salvation. Slightly later a phantom fire set light to a house nearby. Almost the whole crowd tried to go to extinguish it, until the phantom fire vanished, thanks to Cuthbert 1's prayer.
27 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  14 While Cuthbert 1 was visiting his nurse (Censwith 1) in a village, a house in the eastern quarter of the village caught fire. Then the woman asked Cuthbert 1 to help by his prayer.
28 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  15 Hildmer 1 went to call Cuthbert 1 and asked him to send a priest for his wife who was seriously ill. She was actually possessed by a demon, but Hildmer 1 was ashamed to tell Cuthbert 1 about that. As the latter was looking for a priest to send, he realized the nature of her illness and decided to go himself.
29 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  15 When Cuthbert 1 and Hildmer 1 were on their way to the latter's wife's, Hildmer 1 started to weep as he was afraid that Cuthbert 1 would find out the nature of his wife's illness. Cuthbert 1 consoled him and prophesied her healing in detail.
30 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  15, 31 When Cuthbert 1 and Hildmer 1 arrived at the latter's house, his wife (Anonymous 29) ran to greet Cuthbert 1 and she took his horse by the bridle as Cuthbert 1 had prophesied.
31 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  16 Eata 2 sent Cuthbert 1 from Melrose to Lindisfarne, in order that there also he might both teach the rule of monastic perfection by his authority as prior and illustrate it by the example of his virtue.
32 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  16 Gregory 1 sent Augustine 1 as first bishop of the English people.
33 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  17 After driving out the demons from Farne Island Cuthbert 1 made himself a dwelling place.
34 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  18 When some brethren (Anonymi 233) were visiting, they prayed God for water as Cuthbert 1's dwelling-place was lacking in it. They dug in the midst of his dwelling a pit, and on the next day they found it full of water which came from within.
35 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  19 After trying unsuccessfully to grow wheat, Cuthbert 1 asked the brethren (Anonymi 233) who visited him to take some barley, to see if that may produce a crop. It brought forth a very abundant crop, but when it began to ripen some birds came and eagerly set about consuming it. He approached them and asked them to leave. They departed immediately.
36 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  20 Cuthbert 1 reproached some ravens which were taking the straw from his roof for their nests. After three days one of them came back asking for his pardon.
37 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  21 When his visitors (Anonymi 233) forgot about the timber Cuthbert 1 had asked them for, the night tide carried up some timber of the required length and placed it over the very spot whereon it was to be set for the building.
38 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  23 When Ælfflæd 2 was ill, she wished she had something belonging to Cuthbert 1 in order to be speedily healed. Not long afterwards there came one (Anonymous 54) who brought her a linen girdle which he had sent. She girded herself with it and in the morning she was able to stand erect and on the third day she was entirely restored to health.
39 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  23 When Anonymous 55 was suffering from an intolerable pain in the head, Ælfflæd 2 went to visit her and gave her the linen girdle she had received from Cuthbert 1. Anonymous 55 had it bound around her head and on the same day the pain departed.
40 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  24 Ælfflæd 2 sent for Cuthbert 1 and asked him to meet her on Coquet Island.
41 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  24 Ælfflæd 2 asked Cuthbert 1 who would be Ecgfrith 4's heir. He replied that the heir would come from one of the islands.
42 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  24 Ælfflæd 2 asked Cuthbert 1 whether he would accept the bishopric that he was going to be offered. He replied that he could not escape anywhere from the decree of the Ruler of Heaven. He also added that after no more than two years in the episcopate he would be sent back to his solitude.
43 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  24 Cuthbert 1 was elected bishop of Lindisfarne in a council presided by Theodore 1 and in the presence of Ecgfrith 4.
44 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  24 Since Cuthbert 1 could by no means be dragged from his place, Ecgfrith 4 and Trumwine 1 (together with many other religious and powerful men) sailed to his island and at last they drew him from his retirement.
45 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  24 Ecgfrith 4 was slain by the swords of the Picts and was succeeded by his bastard brother.
46 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  25 Eata 2 summoned Cuthbert 1, bidding him come to Melrose to have converse there.
47 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  25 Sibba 1 asked Cuthbert 1 to go and visit his household. There a servant of his (Anonymous 58) was ill. Cuthbert 1 healed him.
48 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  27 Ecgfrith 4 took an army against the Picts and devastated their kingdoms with cruel and savage ferocity.
49 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  27 Cuthbert 1 went to Carlisle to speak to the queen (Eormenburg 1).
50 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  27 Cuthbert 1 went to dedicate a church in a monastery near Carlisle. When his sermon seemed to be over, he started again, encouraging the monks (Anonymi 235) to stand fast in the faith, so that if any tribulation came upon them, it might find them prepared.
51 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  27 Ecgfrith 4 died on the very day and at the very hour when it was revealed to Cuthbert 1
52 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  28 Cuthbert 1 went to order some priests there and to confer upon the queen herself the garb of the consecrated life.
53 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  28 When Cuthbert 1 told Hereberht 3 that they would not meet again in the secular world, Hereberht 3 said he wanted to leave the world with Cuthbert 1. After Cuthbert 1 had prayed for a while, he told him their request had been granted and they would die on the same day.
54 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  28 It occurred exactly at the same time when Hereberht 3 also died.
55 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  28 It occurred exactly at the same time when Cuthbert 1 also died, as the latter had prophesied.
56 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  29 Cuthbert 1 came to the house of Hemma 1, whose wife was very ill.
57 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  30 Cuthbert 1 came to a village where there were some nuns to whom he had given a place of abode. One of them (Anonymous 65) was very ill. He had pity on her and anointed her with holy oil.
58 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  31 Hildmer 1 was very ill and many of his friends (Anonymi 237) came to visit him. One of them (Anonymous 66) suddenly remembered he had some bread with him that Cuthbert 1 had recently blessed and given to him. They filled a cup with water and put some bread in it.
59 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  32 Cuthbert 1 came to some mountainous regions where there were no churches. They built some tents for him. When he had been preaching there for two days, some women (Anonymi 211) took to him upon a pallet a youth (Anonymous 41) who was seriously ill.
60 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  33 Coming to one village Cuthbert 1 asked Tydi 2 whether there was anyone else he could help. His priest pointed at a woman (Anonymous 69) whose son (Anonymous 70) was very ill.
61 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  34 While Cuthbert 1 was having his meal, he suddenly stopped eating. When he was asked what he was contemplating, he finally replied that he had seen the soul of a holy man being carried by the angels.
62 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  34 When Cuthbert 1 had the vision of a man being carried by angels, Hadwald 1 fell down while he was climbing a tree too incautiously.
63 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  35 After his midday rest, Cuthbert 1 asked for something to drink. They tried to offer him wine or beer, but he wanted water. After he had drank some of it a servant noticed that the water had started tasting like wine.
64 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  36 After some brothers (Anonymi 239) had visited him, Cuthbert 1 told them to eat a certain goose hanging on the wall. But they did not obey him and for seven days they had to remain on the island because of the raging sea.
65 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  37 While Cuthbert 1 was going back to his dwelling-place he told the brethren in Lindisfarne that they would see him again when they brought his body back there.
66 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  37-40 Cuthbert 1 was attacked by a sudden illness and died.
67 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  37 Herefrith 1 and some brethren (Anonymi 240) went to visit Cuthbert 1.
68 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  37 After five days of tempest, Herefrith 1 went to see Cuthbert 1 again.
69 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  37 Herefrith 1 and some other brethren convinced Cuthbert 1 to be buried in Lindisfarne.
70 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  38 While ministering to Cuthbert 1, Wealhstod 1 was healed from his diarrhoea by simply touching the bishop.
71 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  40 After his death, Cuthbert 1's body was placed on the ship, and taken to Lindisfarne. It was received by a great company who came to meet it. They placed it in a stone sarcophagus in the church of the blessed apostle Peter on the right side of the altar.
72 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  41 A demoniac boy (Anonymous 24), who could not be healed by a priest (Tydi 2) sent form Lindisfarne, was taken to the monastery by his father (Anonymous 25). There the holy martyrs of God would not grant him any cure. Then, another priest (Cynemund 3) took a small particle of earth on which water had been poured when Cuthbert 1's dead body had been washed. He put the earth in water, brought it to the patient and poured it into his mouth.
73 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  42 Cuthbert 1 put into the hearts of his brethren to take his bones and to put them in a light chest in the same place, but above the floor. Eadberht 3 agreed and told them to do that on the anniversary of his burial. When they opened the grave, they found his body to be intact and whole.
74 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  43 After he was attacked by a fell disease, he died.
75 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  44 A cleric (Anonymous 82) who had come from overseas fell grievously ill. He asked his servant (Anonymous 83) to be taken to Cuthbert 1's sepulchre.
76 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  45 A paralytic youth (Anonymous 84) was sent to Lindisfarne from a monastery not far away. He received the help of the skilled physicians of Lindisfarne, who however could do nothing to heal him. When he asked his servant (Anonymous 85) for some of Cuthbert 1's relics, he was given the shoes which had been in the sepulchre. When he wore them, he fell asleep and was subsequently healed.
77 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  46 Æthelwald 8 died on the island.
78 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  46 Eadfrith 3 decided to restore the oratory, which had been used by Cuthbert 1 and Æthelwald 8, from its foundations, since it was falling to pieces through age.
79 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  46 Felgild 1 put in water part of the skin used by Æthelwald 8 to repair the oratory. Then, he washed his face with it and immediately all the swelling departed.
80 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  46 Æthelwald 8 used the skin of a calf to repair the oratory that Cuthbert 1 had been using before him. He fixed it with nails in a corner to keep out the violence of the storms.
81 Event Bede.VitCuthbertiPr  16 Augustine 1 asked in his letters how bishops ought to live with their clergy. In his reply, Gregory 1 recommended the monastic life.