Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Bettelin, Hermit and Confessor


Ingulphus, in his history of Croyland, mentions four disciples of Saint Guthlac who led penitential lives in separate cells not far from that of their director; viz. 1. Cissa, a young nobleman lately converted to the faith; 2. Bettelin who served Saint Guthlac, and was of all others most dear to him; 3. Egbert; 4. Tatwin. After the death of Saint Guthlac they continued the same anchoretical life in their cells with the leave of abbot Kenulph, and died happily in the same manner of life. Their bodies were burnt with those of the monks and the church, in the ninth century, by the Danes, incensed at finding no treasure in the monastery.

Saint Bettelin or Beccelin, patron of the town of Stafford, in which his relics were kept with great veneration, is related by Capgrave to have lived a hermit in the practice of the most austere penance, and of continual prayer, in the forest near Stafford. But the legend given us by Capgrave, which is also found in manuscript before his time, is of no authority; it is not impossible but part of the relics of the disciple of Saint Guthlac, might have been conveyed to Stafford before the plunder and burning of Croyland by the Danes. See Capgrave, Wilson in the first edition of his English Martyrology on the 12th of August, and in the second on the 29th of September, Molanus, and others on the ninth of September. Suysken the Bollandist on this day, p. 446.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Bettelin, Hermit and Confessor”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 27 August 2014. Web. 20 January 2019. <>