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OSRIC (d. 729), king of Northumbria, was the son of Alchfrith, and grandson of Oswy [q. v.] Bæda, in referring to his reign, merely notes the appearance or two comets, presaging calamity to a kingdom and the deaths of Wihtred of Kent and of the monk Ecgberht at Iona. The 'English Chronicle,' is even more meagre, and the manuscripts contain contradictory statements as to the year of his death. One of the manuscripts agrees with the date given by Bæda, viz., that it took place in 729; the other repeats the fact under 731. That 729 is the right date is proved by the circumstance that Bæda mentions his death as taking place in the same year (729) with the appearance of the comets. The 'English Chronicle' further adds that he was slain ; and William of Malmesbury relates the tradition that he lost his throne and his life as a punishment for the death of the licentious king Osred (697?-716) [q. v.], in whose murder he and his predecessor on the throne, Cœnred, were concerned.

He has been sometimes identified with the Osric, king of the Hwiccii, who is mentioned by Bæda as ruling that tribe at the time of the appointment of Oftfor [q. v.] to the see of Worcester about 691. Bishop Stubbs, however, considers the identity of the two Osrics to be very doubtful (Dict. Chr. Biogr. s.v. 'Osric' [2]). The Osric of the Hwiccii granted a charter to the abbey of Bath in 676, which was attested by Theodore [q. v.] and other bishops. In 681 he founded the abbey at Gloucester (Dugdale, Mon. Angl. i. 541, 542), and he was buried in the abbey-church, afterwards Gloucester Cathedral. A shrine, with the king's effigy upon it, was erected to his memory there by Abbot Malvern in the time of Henry VIII. Leland, who, at the desire of King Henry, paid a visit to the abbey in 1540, asserted that the body of Osric 'first laye in St. Petronell's Chapel, thence it was removed into our Lady's Chapel, and thence removed of late dayes and layd under a fayre tombe of stone on the north side of the High Aultar. At the foot of the tomb is this written on a Norman pillar, "Osricus rex primus fundator hujus monasterii 681."' In 1892 Dr. Spence, dean of Gloucester, verified Leland's statement, when, on removing two panels of the stone loculus 'on the north side of the High Aultar,' he disclosed a long leaden coffin, lying exactly beneath the king's effigy. The coffin contained a few bones mingled with cement which had fallen on it, one of the ends being broken by the weight of the superincumbent effigy.

[Dict. Christian Biogr. ; Bædæ Hist. Eccl. lib. v. c. 23, 24; English Chronicle (Rolls Ser.), ii. 38,40 ; William of Malmesbury's Gesta Regum (Kings of Northumbria).]

J. M.