Saint Edmund (died 869) was an English king of East Anglia who was martyred by the Vikings. He is one of the most popular saints in England and is the patron saint of the town of Bury St Edmunds.
Edmund was born in 841, the son of King Æthelweard of East Anglia. He was educated at the court of his father and learned to speak Latin and Greek. In 855, Edmund became king of East Anglia after his father’s death.
Edmund was a devout Christian and a just ruler. He built churches and monasteries and promoted education. He also defended his kingdom against the Vikings, who were raiding East Anglia at the time.
In 869, Edmund was captured by the Vikings and refused to renounce his Christianity. He was executed by beheading on 20 November.
Edmund’s body was taken to Bury St Edmunds, where it was buried in a monastery. The monastery became a major pilgrimage site and Edmund became a popular saint.
Edmund is remembered as a brave and devout king who was martyred for his faith. He is the patron saint of East Anglia and the town of Bury St Edmunds.
Here are some additional facts about Saint Edmund:
Edmund – Our King and Saint
Edmund – We believe that the rightful patron saint of England is King Edmund or Edmund the Martyr, King of East Anglia, and we should be celebrating our patrons day on 20th November here in Bury St Edmunds.
Edmund was removed as the patron saint of England by Edward III in 1350, possibly to curry favour with the Crusaders in Europe.
Saint George replaced Edmund, and although he was a staunch Christian, who died for his faith, so was Edmund, however, George had never actually even been to England.
Who was King Edmund?
Edmund had been born on Christmas day 841AD and became King of East Anglia from 856AD.
On Sunday 23rd April 2017 we saw some parades on the Angel Hill to celebrate St Georges Day. But where were the flags around the town? I personally cannot recall seeing any.
I have seen the video of parades for St Georges Day from Stowmarket, parading through the High street. Why is this not happening in Bury St Edmunds?
I have seen photographs of Brandon, with St Georges Day flags lining the High Street. These smaller towns know how to get on board and to bring it together.
So why is Bury St Edmunds, lagging behind with its OWN special day?
What is St Edmunds Day?
St Edmunds Day is 20th November. This falls on a Monday this year, but that is no reason for us not to go for this in a big way over that weekend, and show the town, the county, and what’s more, the country that we are proud to live here. We are proud to be named after the country’s first and dare I say, true, Patron Saint.
So, I implore you, don’t let the town fall behind again. Share this post, with as many people as you can.
We want the businesses of the town to display the Flag of St Edmund, Get the bunting out, get every flag pole raising the flag of St Edmund. Let’s have some parades, but do it properly, and parade through the town.
Let’s make a big noise and get the Bury St Edmunds Town Council on board. Talk to your councillors, you put them there, they are there to do a job for you, so tell them what you want!
And while we are about it, let’s get St Edmundsbury Borough Council on board.
Let’s Get Mark Murphy on board from Radio Suffolk to shout about this.
Let’s get the guys from the Bury Mercury on board. Have you seen in their newspaper? They support St Edmund on EVERY edition…
Together we can make this big, we can make it VERY big, and do you know what? It’s nothing less than we deserve.
Never should we hear that someone from Bury St Edmunds does NOT know what the 20th November is again.
This post reached an amazing 9,922 people on Facebook (James Sheen)
Restore King Edmund as Patron Saint
Our resident historian Dr Francis Young, has written this for “We Love Bury St Edmunds!”
“He was the first patron saint of the English people.
His memory united warring Anglo-Saxons, Danes and Normans into one people.
His shrine was the largest church in Christendom for five centuries.
St Edmund died for his people’s freedom on East Anglian soil. He was the last of an illustrious line of East Anglian kings. Defeated in battle by the Vikings at Thetford in 869, he chose to sacrifice his own life by drawing the Vikings away from the battle to find him. For refusing to rule as a puppet king under the Viking leaders, Edmund was tied to a tree, shot with arrows and beheaded. But in death Edmund became the ultimate symbol of resistance, inspiring the English to defeat the Vikings and, eventually, to recapture East Anglia and forge a new nation: England. Edmund was the first patron saint of the new nation, the embodiment of Englishness and the protector of English liberties.
Thanks to St Edmund’s shrine, Bury St Edmunds was turned from a tiny Anglo-Saxon village into one of the great centres of medieval Christendom, hosting kings, parliaments and major events in national politics and diplomacy. The presence of St Edmund brought pilgrims and wealth to the town, turning it into a great commercial centre for merchants from as far afield as France, the Netherlands and the Baltic. Bury became one of the wealthiest towns in England, and even after St Edmund’s body was lost at the Reformation, the economic foundations laid when Bury was a centre of pilgrimage allowed the town to reinvent itself as East Anglia’s greatest market town. Bury St Edmunds does not just owe its name to St Edmund: he is the source and origin of everything that makes Bury special today.”
We have been written about when we had our press launch in August, in the East Anglian Daily Times and The Bury Free Press