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St Dunstan Edit Profile

clergyman

St Dunstan was an Abbot of Glastonbury Abbey, a Bishop of Worcester, a Bishop of London, and an Archbishop of Canterbury, later canonised as a saint. His work restored monastic life in England and reformed the English Church.

Background

St Dunstan was born in 909 in Baltonsborough, Somerset, England, United Kingdom, into an aristocratic family related to the royal house of Wessex.

Education

He was educated at Glastonbury by Irish scholars and lived to be the influential contemporary of seven kings.

Career

His early career owed much to family and royal patronage with special support from King Edmund, who appointed him abbot of Glastonbury c. 943, from King Edred, to whom he became a close adviser, and from his uncle Ælfheah, bishop of Winchester (934–51).

From his Glastonbury base he was largely instrumental in the introduction of reformed Benedictine observance into England and for the training and support of prominent figures within the movement, notably Æthelwold, bishop of Winchester (963–84), and Oswald, bishop of Worcester (961–92), who was also archbishop of York from 972. At a council held at Winchester in 970 or shortly afterwards, a version of the Benedictine rule, the Regularis concordia, was drawn up for English usage, placing prominence on royal support for the monks. Æthelwold was responsible for the writing of the Regularis, but Dunstan was the inspiration behind it. After Edgar's death Dunstan (possibly because of his age) seemed to fade into the background, but his reputation remained high.

Achievements

  • In 973 he established the Ordo for Edgar's coronation at Bath, which remained the basis for English coronation ritual.