ST. OSITH, V.
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 St. 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 honored with many miracles. See Tanner’s
Notitia Monastica, in folio; William of Malmesbury,1. 2, de
Pontific.; and principally her life by Vere, a canon of St. Osithe’s,
in Leland’s Itinerary, vol. 8, p. 41, and in Malbrancq, in MSS.
suorum, t. 1, quoted by Ericus Pantoppidanus, in the life of St.
Ositha, in his Gesta Danorum extra Daniam, Hafni, 1740, in 4to., t.
2, sect. 1, NAK 12, pp. 40, 41, 42. See also Alford, Annal. t. 1.