On Melvyn Bragg’s Radio 4 programme, In Our Time, last week (broadcast on 5th April), the subject was St. Hild, a seventh century saint. Contributors were Emeritus Professor in Archaeology at Durham University, Rosemary Cramp, John Blair, Fellow in History at The Queen’s College, Oxford and Sarah Foot, Professor of Early Medieval History at Sheffield University.
She was baptised alongside the king of Northumbria and with her royal connections, she was a formidable character. Bede writes: “Her prudence was so great that not only indifferent persons but even kings and princes asked and received her advice”. Hild and her Abbey at Whitby hosted the Synod which decided when Easter would be celebrated, following a dispute between different traditions. Her achievements are all the more impressive when we consider that Christianity was still in its infancy in Northumbria.
Radio 4: In Our Time (There is a Listen Again facility)