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King Oswald's Arm
Bamburgh, Northumberland


It was Easter-Tide, and King Oswald of Northumbria sat in the banqueting-hall of Bamburgh Castle. The tables were laid for the feast, but no sooner had the blessing been pronounced than news came of the arrival of a group of starving beggars. The King lifted from his table the large silver dish heaped high with venison and wild boar's flesh, and gave it to the famished me. Bishop Aidan, impressed by this unselfish act, prayed that the arm which performed the deed might never decay. Oswald later met his death in battle at Maserfield, but the arm, placed in a magnificent shrine, remained uncorrupted for nine centuries.

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