Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Eadburga (d.751)

EADBURGA, EADBURH, BUGGA, or BUGGE, Saint (d. 751), abbess of Minster in the Isle of Thanet, was a daughter of Centwine [q. v.], king of the West-Saxons (see a poem ascribed to Ealdhelm, and with less probability to Alcuin, on the church she built), and a certain abbess named Eangyth (S. Bonif. Epistt. 30), and was brought up by her mother, who speaks of her in a letter to Boniface or Wynfrith (ib.) She took the veil and became abbess of the house founded in the isle of Thanet by the mother of St. Mildred, whom she succeeded. Finding the buildings of the monastery insufficient for the nuns, she raised a new church, which was dedicated by Archbishop Cuthberht, and therefore in or after 740, to SS. Peter and Paul, and translated thither the incorrupt body of her predecessor, St. Mildred, and also built a new house not far from the old one (Elmham). Some time after the death of Radbod, king of the Frisians (719), she wrote to Boniface, sending him forty shillings and an altar-cloth, saying that it was not in her power to give more (ep. 3). She also gave him many presents of books and raiment at other times (epp. 18, 32). In after days, when she was old, Boniface wrote to her to comfort her under her afflictions (ep. 31). She made a pilgrimage to Rome (ep. 32), and appears to have met Boniface there. It is evident that she was a learned lady, and Leobgyth (Lioba) speaks of having learnt the art of poetry from her. She is said to have died in 751 (Elmham), and Archbishop Bregwin, writing to Lullus, archbishop of Mentz, between 759 and 765, informs him that the English church kept the day of her death on 27 Dec. (Eccl. Documents, iii. 398). A spurious charter of Æthelbald, king of the Mercians, purports to be a grant to the Abbess Eadburh.

[S. Aldhelmi Opera, ed. Giles; S. Bonifacii Epistolæ, ed. Giles; Elmham's Historia S. Augustini Cantuar. p. 117 (Rolls Ser.); Thorn, col. 1907, Twysden; Dugdale's Monasticon, i. 447 sq.; Haddan and Stubbs's Councils and Eccl. Docs. iii. 398; Kemble's Codex Dipl. 98; Dict. of Christian Biog. art. ‘Bugga,’ by Bishop Stubbs.]

W. H.