by Charles W. Whistler
Hereford Cathedral bears the name of Ethelbert of East Anglia, king and martyr, round whose death, at the hands of the men of Offa of Mercia, this story of his comrade centres, and dates its foundation from Offa’s remorse for the deed which at least he had not prevented. In the sanctuary itself stands an ancient battered statue—somewhat hard to find—of the saint, and in the pavement hard by a modern stone bears a representation of his murder. The date of the martyrdom is usually given as May 20, 792 A.D.
A brief mention of the occurrence is given under that date in the “Anglo-Saxon Chronicle,” and full details are recorded by later historians, Matthew of Westminster and Roger of Wendover being the most precise and full. The ancient Hereford Breviary preserves further details also, for which I am indebted to my friend the Rev. H. Housman, B.D., of Bradley.