Probable step-son of Rædwald who established the first official East Anglian bishop St Felix at Dommoc [possibly Walton Castle, Felixstowe]. During his time, the wandering Irish mystic St Fursey was established at Cnobheresburgh [possibly Burgh Castle near Gt Yarmouth]. Later he abdicated in favour of his kinsman Ecgric/Æthelric so that he could become a monk in the the minster which he had founded. Afterwards, however, he was summoned out by the East Anglian army to bring them the blessings of victory against the invading army of Penda, King of Mercia. He came but refused to abandon his holy vows and take up arms; thus he died martyr’s death in the ensuing battle (HE, II, 15; III, 18 & 19).

The battle probably took place near the great dykes which guard the south-western approaches to the East Anglian kingdom.

Sigeberht might have been buried in the minster he founded at Beodricsworð [the old name for Bury St Edmunds] according the Liber Eliensis .

© Copyright Dr Sam Newton, Blotmonaþ AD 2000

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