(Died AD 705)
Bishop of Wessex
Died: 7th July AD 705 at Winchester, Hants
Haedda was born in Yorkshire, supposedly at Headingley,
near Leeds, which takes his name.
He was educated at Whitby
Abbey and became a monk there and, afterwards - so tradition says - at Glastonbury
Abbey in Somerset. He must have attracted the attention of the
ecclesiastical hierarchy there, for, in AD 676, Archbishop
Theodore appointed him Bishop of Wessex.
Haedda was a holy and virtuous man, as well as a clear-headed
statesman. In AD 688, he persuaded King Caedwalla of Wessex to resign his throne
in order to go on a pilgrimage to Rome and, later, assisted King Ine in
framing his code of good and wholesome laws. Haedda is best known, however, for,
around AD 690, removing the seat of the Bishopric, from its original
foundation at Dorchester-on-Thames, to Winchester, where the new cathedral
adjoined the Royal palace. Along with his administration, apparently went the
body of St.
Birinus, founder of the see. Though this was hotly disputed in later
Haedda apparently kept up his associations with
Glastonbury. His name was recorded on one of the famous 'pyramids' or
cross-shafts which marked the supposed grave of King
Arthur in the old cemetery there. It has been suggested that it
commemorated a visit during which Haedda attempted to irradicate the last
remnants of Celticization in the Western Church. Haedda ordained St.
Guthlac, but his only known foundation is the
Church of Farnham in Surrey.
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