HAVPCD193 – Evensong For St Etheldreda Music by Basil Harwood, Arthur Wills, Sebastian Forbes
Etheldreda, a Saxon princess, was born c.630 at Exning near Newmarket. She was married twice: in 652 to Tonbert, a local prince, who gave her the Isle of Ely as a dowry, and in 665 to Egfrid, Prince (and later King) of Northumbria; despite these marriages Etheldreda retained her virginity. In 672 she left her husband to become a nun in the Monastery at Coldingham, near Berwick. On hearing that Egfrid was coming to take her back, Etheldreda fled to the Isle of Ely, where she took refuge. In 673 she founded there a double monastery (for both men and women) and was installed as first Abbess by Wilfrid, Archbishop of York.