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AEDUINI EDWIN

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Originally appearing in Volume V09, Page 7 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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AEDUINI

EDWIN  Or EDWINE (585-633), king of Northumbria, was the son of Ella of
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Deira . On the seizure of Deira by 'Ethel-frith of
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Bernicia (probably 6o5), Edwin was expelled and is said to have taken
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refuge with Cadfan, king of Gwynedd . After the
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battle of Chester, in which
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IEthelfrith defeated the Welsh, Edwin fled to Rcedwald, the powerful king of East Anglia, who after some wavering espoused his cause and defeated and slew IEthelfrith at the
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river Idle in 617 . Edwin thereupon succeeded to the Northumbrian
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throne, driving out the sons of IEthelfrith . There is little evidence of
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external activity on the
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part of Edwin before 625 . It is probable that the
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conquest of the
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Celtic
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kingdom of Elmet, a
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district in the neighbourhood of the
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modern Leeds, ruled over by a king named Cerdic (Ceredig) is to be referred to this period, and this may have led to the later
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quarrel with Cadwallon, king of Gwynedd . Edwin seems also to have annexed Lindsey to his kingdom by 625 . In this
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year he entered upon negotiations with Eadbald of Kent for a
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marriage with his
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sister 'Ethelberg . It was made a condition that
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Christianity should be tolerated in Northumbria, and accordingly Paulinus was consecrated bishop by Justus in 625, and was sent to Northumbria with 'Ethelberg . According to Bede, Edwin was favourably disposed towards Christianity owing to a vision he had seen at the court of Rcedwald, and in 626 he allowed Eanfled, his daughter by IEthelberg, to be baptized . On the day of the birth of his daughter, the king's
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life had been attempted by Eomer, an emissary of Cwichelm, king of Wessex . Preserved by the devotion of his thegn Lilla,Edwin vowed to become a Christian if victorious over his treacherous enemy .

He was successful in the ensuing

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campaign, and abstained from the worship of the gods of his
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race . A letter of Pope Boniface helped to decide him, and after consulting his friends and counsellors, of whom the priest Coifi afterwards took a prominent part in destroying the temple at Goodmanham, he was baptized with his
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people and nobles at York, at
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Easter 627 . In this
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town he granted Paulinus a see, built a wooden church and began one of stone . Besides York, Yeavering and Maelmin in Bernicia, and Catterick in Deira, were the chief scenes of the
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work of Paulinus . It was the influence of Edwin which led to the conversion of Eorpwald of East Anglia . Bede notices the peaceful state of Britain at this time, and relates that Edwin was preceded on his progresses by a kind of standard like that borne before the
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Roman emperors . In 633 Cadwallon of North Wales and
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Penda of
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Mercia rose against Edwin and slew him at
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Hatfield near
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Doncaster . His kinsman Osric succeeded in Deira, and Eanfrith the son of IEthelfrith in Bernicia . Bede tells us that Edwin had subdued the islands of Anglesey and Man, and the Annales Cambriae record that he besieged Cadwallon (perhaps in 632) in the island of Glannauc (
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Puffin Island) . He was definitely recognized as overlord by all the other Anglo-Saxon kings of his day except Eadbald of Kent . See Bede, Hist . Eccl .

(ed . Plummer,

Oxford, 1896), ii . 5, 9, II, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20; Nennius (ed .
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San Marte, 1844), § 63; Vita S . Oswaldi, ix . Simeon of Durham (ed . Arnold,
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London, 1882-1885, vol. i . R.S.) . (F . G . M .

End of Article: AEDUINI EDWIN
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