Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Osith, Virgin

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She was born at Quarendon, and was daughter of Frewald, a Mercian prince, and niece to Editha, to whom belonged the town and manor of Ailesbury, where she was brought up with her pious aunt. Osith was married young to a king of the East-Angles; but the same day obtained his consent to live always a virgin. That king confirming her in her religious purpose, bestowed on her the manor of Chick, in which she built a monastery. She had governed this house many years with great sanctity, when she was crowned with martyrdom in the inroads of Hinguar and Hubba, the barbarous Danish leaders, being beheaded for her constancy in her faith and virtue, about the year 870; for fear of the Danish pirates, her body, after some time, was removed to Ailesbury, and remained there forty-six years; after which it was brought back to Chick or Chich in Essex, near Colchester, which place was for some time called Saint Osithe’s, as Camden takes notice. A great abbey of regular canons was erected here under her invocation, which continued to the dissolution, famous for the relics, and honoured with many miracles. See Tanner’s Notitia Monastica, in folio. William of Malmesbury, l. 2. de Pontific. and principally her life by Vere, a canon of Saint Osithe’s, in Leland’s Itinerary, vol. 8. p. 41. and in Malbrancq, in manuscripts suorum, t. 1. quoted by Ericus Pantoppidanus, in the life of Saint Ositha, in his Gesta Danorum extra Daniam, Hafniæ, 1740.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Osith, Virgin”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 27 August 2014. Web. 25 September 2018. <>