Saint Bartholomew of Farne

Also known as

  • Bartholomew of Durham
  • Tostig
  • William



Descendant of Scandanavian immigrants to England. Because of the teasing he endured as a child, he changed his name from Tostig to William. A dissolute youth, he eventually left home to wander in Europe, possibly to avoid settling down in an arranged marriage. He experienced a conversion experience along with way, and emigrated for a while to his ancestral Norway where he worked as a missionary and ordained a priest.

William returned to England, and entered the Benedictine monastery at Durham, taking the name Bartholomew. He had a great devotion to Saint Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, received a vision of him, and eventually moved into Cuthbert‘s old cell on the island of Farne, spending 41 of his remaining 42 years there. The only break came when a dispute with the only other hermit in the hermitage caused him to pack up and return to Durham; his bishop eventually ordered him to act like he had good sense, and return to his cell.



Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Bartholomew of Farne“. CatholicSaints.Info. 27 June 2020. Web. 21 April 2021. <>