Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Sigfrid

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SIGFRID or SIGFRITH (d. 689), co-abbot of the monastery of St. Peter's at Wearmouth, a monk and deacon of that house, was elected abbot during the absence of Benedict Biscop [q. v.] on his fifth journey to Rome. On his departure Benedict had left the monastery under the charge of Eosterwine, who died during the pestilence [see under Bede], together with a large number of the brethren, about 686. Those who were left, and Ceolfrid [q. v.], abbot of the daughter monastery at Jarrow, elected Sigfrid in his place. Sigfrid was well versed in the scriptures, and was a monk of high character and ascetic life, but he suffered from an incurable disease of the lungs. On his return Benedict was pleased at his election and confirmed it, assigning to him the active charge of the monastery, and devoting himself to teaching and prayer. Before long Sigfrid's health became much worse, and, Benedict also falling sick, the two lay helpless in their separate cells until one day both desired to be brought together, and Sigfrid was carried into Benedict's cell, where the brethren supported the two abbots so as to enable them to give each other a farewell kiss, and Benedict, with the consent of all, appointed Ceolfrid abbot of Wearmouth as well as of Jarrow. Two months later Sigfrid died, on 22 Aug. 689. After the death of Benedict, on 12 Jan. following, the bodies of Sigfrid and Eosterwine were laid with his body in the church of Wearmouth.

[Bede's Vit. Abb., and Hist. Abb. auct. anon. ap. Bede's Opp. Min. pp. 149–53, 323–4 (Engl. Hist. Soc.); Bright's Early Engl. Ch. Hist. pp. 273, 346, 358.]

W. H.