Bilfrith (DNB00)

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BILFRITH (fl. 750), anchorite of Lindisfarne, is referred to by Simeon of Durham as skilled in goldsmith's work, and as having, on that account, been employed by Æthelwold, bishop of Lindisfarne (724–40), to adorn with gold and gems the famous manuscript of the Gospels known as the 'Durham Book,' now in the Cottonian Library (Nero D. iv.) The entry made in the manuscript itself by the glossator Aldred in the tenth century, and recording the names of those who worked m its production, mentions Bilfith the anchorite as the one who 'wrought the smith's work the ornaments that are on the outside, and adorned it with gold and gems,' &c. Bilfriths name also appears among the 'nomina anchoritarum' in the 'Liber Vitæ' of the church of Durham (Cotton MS. Domitian A. vii.) His bones were removed to Durham, together with those of other saints, in the eleventh century.

[Simeon of Durham's Hist. Dunelm. Eccl., ed. Arnold (Rolls Series), vol. i. 1882, pp. 68, 88; Liber Vitæ Dunelm. (Surtees Soc.), 1841, p. 6, col. 2; Skeat, Gospel acc. to St. John in A.-Saxon and Northumbrian versions, 1878, p. viii; Cat. of Anct. MSS. in the Br. Museum, pt. ii. 1884, pp. 16, 82.]

E. M. T.