Dunstan archbishop of Canterbury, monk and statesman, was born at Glastonbury AD 924. He early entered into holy orders, and by means of his relative, archbishop Athelm, was introduced at court where he acquired great influence over the kings Athelstan and Edmund. He was afterwards; however persecuted on account of his independent spirit, an austerity which had excited the anger of king Edwin and of Ethelred. He was exiled for some time in Flanders, but was, on his return, made bishop of London, and finally archbishop of Canterbury in 961. He died May 19, 988. He was canonized as a saint, and is commemorated on the 19th of May. He was well versed in the arts and sciences. The Congregation of Benedictines of St. Dunstan, which he founded, spread rapidly after 957. Writers differ greatly in their estimates of Dunstan's character. It is clear, however that he was "a man of extraordinary talents, of grem energy, stern self-will, and unscrupulous purpose; and that he exerted all his talents, energy, and unscrupulousness to advance the ecclesiastical power, and subject all to papal supremacy. The grand design of his life, viz. the complete subjugation and conformity of the Anglo-Saxon Church to that of Rome, and the extension and multiplication of ecclesiastical interests, are not such as excite the admiration of modern times, and all discerning people will regret the success that attended the unpatriotic labors of the saint. That he was successful there can be no manner of doubt. Though personally out of favor at court in the latter years of his life, his efforts to spread his official influence were unceasing. At an early period in his career he had introduced a new order of monks into the land, the Benedictines, whose strict discipline had changed the character and condition of ecclesiastical affairs, and in spite of the confusion and even opposition thus caused, he persevered to the end. Monasteries continued to be founded or endowed in every part of the kingdom; and such were the multitudes who devoted themselves to the cloister, that the foreboding of the wise Bede was at length accomplished above a third of the property of the land was in possession of the Church, and exempted from taxes and military service" (Chambers, Encyclop. s.v.). See Acta Sanctorum (May 19); Hume, Hist. of England (10th cent.); Churton, Early English Church; Southey, Book of the Church, page 67 sq.; Smith, Relig. of Ancient Britain, page 436 sq.; Turner, Hist. Anglo-Saxons, volume 2; Wright, Biographia Literaria, Anglo-Saxon Period, page 443 sq.; Wharton, Anglia Sacra, tom. 2.

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