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St. Alcmund



Bishop of Hexham; died 781. Though we know practically nothing of the life of St. Alcmund, or Alchmund, it is clear that he was regarded with much veneration at Hexham in Northumberland. The church founded by St. Wilfrid at Hexham became an episcopal see, and Alcmund, succeeding as bishop, in 767, led a life of remarkable piety until his death, 7 September, 781. He was buried beside St. Acca outside the church. About two centuries and a half later, after the country had been laid waste by the Danes, all memory of his tomb seemed to have perished, but the Saint is said to have appeared in a vision to a man of Hexham bidding him toll Alured, or Alfred (Alveredus), sacrist of Durham, to have his body translated. Alured obeyed and, having discovered and exhumed the Saint's remains, stole one of the bones to take back with him to Durham, but it was found that the shrine could not be moved by any strength of man until the bone was restored. In 1154, the church having again been laid waste, the building was restored, and the bones of the Hexham saints, those of Alcmund among the rest, were gathered into one shrine. The whole, however, was finally pillaged and destroyed by the Scots in a border raid, A.D. 1296.

Acta SS., 7 September, III; Stanton, English Menology (London, 1892), 438; Dict. Nat. Biog., s. v.; Dict. Christ. Biog.—Our principal information comes from Simeon of Durham, and Ælred, On the Saints of Hexham, both printed in Rolls Series, and a full account will be found in the Preface and Documents of Raine, Priory of Hexham (Surtees Society, London, 1864-65).

Herbert Thurston.








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