ST. BETTELIN, HERMIT. C.
INGULPHUS, in his history of Croyland, mentions
four disciples of St. Guthlau who led penitential lives in separate
cells not far from that of their director; viz. Cissa a young
nobleman lately converted to the faith; 2. Bettelin who served St.
Guthlac, and was of all others most dear to him; 3. Egbert; 4.
Tatwin. After the death of St. Guthlac they continued the same
anchoretical life in their cells with the leave of abbot Kenulph, and
died happily in the same manner of life. Their bodies were burnt with
those of the monks and the church in the ninth century, by the Danes,
incensed at finding no treasure in the monastery.
St. Bettelin or Beccelin, patron of the town of
Stafford, in which his relics were kept with great veneration, is
related by Capgrave to have lived a hermit in the practice of the
most austere penance, and of continual prayer, in the forest near
Stafford. But the legend given us by Capgrave, which is also found in
MS. before his time, is of no authority; it is not impossible but
part of the relics of the disciple of St. Guthlac might have been
conveyed to Stafford before the plunder and burning of Croyland by
the Danes. See Capgrave, Wilson in the first edition of his English
Martyrology on the 12th of August, and in the second on the 29th of
September, Molanus, and others on the 9th of September. Suysken the
Bollandist on this day, p. 446.