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as divinity professor at Gresham College. This post he resigned in the following year; but in 161 2, when desirous of returning to the college as rhetoric professor, he was unsuccessful in obtaining the post. In 1616 he became rector of Parndon Magna in Essex, and of East Hanningfield in the same county. Both livings he retained until about December 1643, when he was deprived, and his benefices were sequestered by the House of Commons. He died early in 1645. A Robert Osbalston, supposed to be his son, was rector of Parndon Magna from 1662 to 1679.

[Ward's Gresham Professors, 1740, p. 52; Walker's Sufferings, pt. ii. p. 322 ; Newcourt s Repertorium, ii. 307» 462; Welch's Alumni Westmon. 1852, pp. 66, 139; Clark's Reg. of Univ. of Oxford (Oxf. Hist. Soc.); Foster's Alumni Oxon. iii. 1093; Gray's Inn Adm. Reg. p. 154.]

C. W. S.

OSBERHT, OSBRITH, or OSBYRHT (d. 867), under-king of Northumbria, was of the ancient royal house of that kingdom, and was reigning before 854 (Monumenta Historica Britannica, p. 675, note c). According to the story in the ‘English Chronicle,’ his subjects deposed him in 866, and took as their king Ælla (d. 867) [q. v.] During the dissensions the Danish host crossed the Humber from East Anglia, and the rivals then united to resist them. They attacked the Danes at York, and in the issue the Northumbrians were defeated and both the kings slain. Asser relates that when Osberht and Ælla approached York, the Danes took refuge within the city. The Christians forced their way in; and the Danes, turning on them in despair, defeated them and slew both the kings. This account is reproduced by other writers, as Ethelwerd, Florence, Henry of Huntingdon, and Simeon of Durham, without substantial variation. Gaimar, however, first relates that Osberht had seduced by violence the wife of Beorn the Bute carl or merchant of York, and that his subjects consequently rebelled against him; while Beorn went to Denmark and called in the Danes to revenge him. There are several variations of this legend: one story makes Beorn bring in the sons of Ragnar Lodbrog, and another, Guthrum; while, according to one version, it was not Osberht but Ælla who seduced Beorn's wife.

[The chief authorities are contained in the Monumenta Historica Britannica, see especially pp. 795–8; Green's Conquest of England, p. 92; Freeman's Old English History, pp. 108–9.]

C. L. K.

OSBERN (fl. 1090), hagiographer, was a monk of Christchurch, Canterbury, where, as he tells us himself, he was brought up from boyhood during the rule of Godric, who was dean from about 1058 to 1080; he would seem to have been there before the burning of the cathedral in 1067 (Vita Dunstani, p. 137–8, 142). He was a witness of, and helper in, Lanfranc's monastic reforms, and ‘by his industry in the musical and literary labours of the convent’ rose to be sub-prior and precentor. He had visited Dunstan's cell at Glastonbury; as a boy had some share in one of the miracles worked at the saint's tomb; had learnt of another miracle from a knight he met in Thanet; and himself had seen St. Dunstan in a vision (ib. pp. 84, 138, 156, 158–9). The date of his death is unknown, but in a Christchurch obituary he is commemorated on 28 Nov. He wrote under Lanfranc's direction, and during the archbishop's lifetime; apparently he survived Scotland, abbot of St. Augustine's, Canterbury, who died in 1087, as well as the election in 1088 of Urban II to the papacy, for he refers to Albert the Cardinal, who was appointed by Urban II (ib. pp. 148, 151, 155, 157). On the other hand, it does not seem likely that he can have lived till the appointment of Anselm in 1093, and Eadmer, in his life of St. Anselm, refers to him as ‘Osbernus jocundæ memoriæ.’ William of Malmesbury praises the ‘Roman elegance’ of Osbern's style, ‘for which he was second to none of our time; whilst for music he was beyond controversy first of all’ (Gesta Regum, pp. 166, 389).

Osbern wrote: 1. ‘Vita Sancti Dunstani,’ to which is appended a ‘Liber miraculorum Sancti Dunstani.’ Both the life and miracles are printed in Mabillon's ‘Acta Sanctorum Ordinis S. Benedicti,’ sæc. v. 644–84, in the Bollandists' ‘Acta Sanctorum’ May, iv. 359–384, in Migne's ‘Patrologia,’ cxxxvii. 414–474, and in Stubbs's ‘Memorials of St. Dunstan,’ pp. 69–161; the ‘Life’ alone is given in Wharton's ‘Anglia Sacra,’ 88–121. Osbern had used the two earlier lives by an author known as ‘B.’ and by Adelard respectively. He also had access to some English writings, and some of the miracles are related from his own knowledge. The story of Dunstan seizing the devil by the nose and other incidents occur for the first time in Osbern's ‘Life.’ Both Eadmer and William of Malmesbury found fault with Osbern's treatment of his material, and wrote their lives of the saint in correction. The numerous manuscripts of Osbern's ‘Life’ fall into two classes, which possibly represent two editions issued by the author; but more probably the second was due to the corrections of a later hand after Eadmer's adverse criticism (Stubbs, Introduction, pp. xxxiii, xliii–xlviii). There is