Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Hedda, Bishop and Confessor


He was an English Saxon, a monk of the monastery of Saint Hilda, and was made bishop of the West-Saxons in 676. He resided first at Dorchester, near Oxford, but afterwards removed his see to Winchester. King Ceadwal going to Rome to be baptized died there, and was buried in the church of Saint Peter in 688. His kinsman Ina succeeded him in the throne. In his wise and wholesome laws, the most ancient extant among those of our English Saxon kings, enacted by him in a great council of bishops and aldermen in 693, he declares that in drawing them up he had been assisted by the counsels of Saint Hedda and Saint Erconwald. In these laws theft is ordained to be punished with cutting off a hand or a foot; robbery on the highway, committed by a band not under seven in number, with death, unless the criminal redeem his life according to the estimation of his head. Church dues are ordered to be paid under a penalty of forty shillings; and if any master order a servant to do any work on a Sunday, the servant is made free, and the master amerced thirty shillings. Saint Hedda governed his church with great sanctity about thirty years, and departed to the Lord on the 7th of July, 705. Bede and William of Malmesbury assure us, that his tomb was illustrated by many miracles. His name is placed in the Roman Martyrology.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Hedda, Bishop and Confessor”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 3 July 2013. Web. 19 January 2019. <>