Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Eadbert (d.698)

EADBERT or EADBERHT, Saint (d. 698), bishop of Lindisfarne, was a monk of Lindisfarne when, in 688, he succeeded St. Cuthberht [q. v.] in the bishopric. He was well versed in the holy scriptures and was exceedingly charitable, giving a tithe not only of animals but also of fruits and even clothes to the poor (Bæda). He took off the roof of wood and reeds with which Finan had covered the church of the monastery, and had the whole roofed with sheets of lead, which seem to have been turned down over the walls. It was his custom to retire to a hermitage on an island during the period of Lent and for forty days before Christmas. While he was thus absent from the monastery in the Lent of 698, the monks, with his consent, translated the body of St. Cuthberht; they found the body of the saint undecayed, and carried the news to the bishop. Eadberht bade them lay the body in the tomb that had been prepared for it, and declared that the grave from which it had been taken would not long remain empty. He used to pray most earnestly that he might not die suddenly, and now fell sick and lingered until 6 May, when he died, after much suffering. In obedience to his orders the brethren laid his body in the ground which had held the body of St. Cuthberht, beneath the new tomb of the saint. His bones were preserved by the congregation of Lindisfarne and carried by them in their wanderings along with St. Cuthberht's body, and were finally placed with it in the saint's shrine at Durham.

[Bædæ Hist. Eccles. iii. c. 24, 25, iv. 29, Vita S. Cudbercti, pp. 37, 125, 131 (Engl. Hist. Soc.); Reginaldi Libellus, p. 82 (Surtees Soc.); Symeon of Durham's Hist. Dunelm. i. 36, 38, 252 (Rolls Ser.); Dict. of Christian Biog. ii. 2.]

W. H.