Swithin, St

Swithin, St.

an English ecclesiastic of the 9th century, was chaplain to king Egbelt, and tutor to his son Ethhewolf, by whom he was made chancellor. He had the charge of the education of king Alfred, whom he accompanied to Rome. In 852 he was consecrated bishop of Winchester. William of Malmesbury records of him that he was "a rich treasure of all virtues, and those in which he took most delight were humility and charity to the poor." The origin of the tribute called "Peter's pence" (q.v.) has often been assigned to Swithin, and he is said to have procured an act of the Witenagemote enforcing, for the first time, the universal obligation of paying tithes. Swithin died July 2, 862. See Mrs. Jameson, Legends of the Monastic Orders, p. 89.

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