[MR] Wikipedia: Death of St. Aldhelm

Garth Groff and Sally Sanford mallardlodge1000 at gmail.com
Fri May 25 02:21:47 PDT 2018

Noble Friends,

On this date in 709, Aldhelm, Bishop of Sherborne and Abbot of Malmesbury,
died at Doulting in Somerset.

St. Aldhelm was a popular preacher, with a gift for making his audience
comfortable by telling jokes and clowning about before he launched into his
sermons. He was an eloquent writer in Latin, and some of his works survive.
He is also said to be the first Anglo-Saxon librarian, though patronage of
librarians is not part of his saintly portfolio (that falls to St.
Catherine of Alexandria). Aldhelm takes care of musicians and song writers.

According to legend, Aldhelm used to sit in a cold spring to meditate. This
is said to have been what is now known as St. Aldhelm's Holy Well at
Doulting, next to the church where he died. There is another holy well
dedicated to him in Malmesbury near the site of his former monastery that
is a more likely candidate, assuming this part of his *vite* is true.

More about St. Aldhelm can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldhelm
or at http://catholicsaints.info/saint-aldhelm-of-sherborne/ .

St. Aldhelm's Holy Well has its own Wikipedia page at
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Aldhelm%27s_Well . St. Aldhelm's Church,
Doulting, is a 12th century structure which replaced the wooden building
where Aldhelm died. You can see this fine building at
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_St_Aldhelm,_Doulting . St.
Aldhelm's other well in Malmesbury is at
http://people.bath.ac.uk/liskmj/wells/wilts/aldhelm.htm .

Lady Sarah and I, in the company of her old college roommate Carolyn,
visited St. Aldhelm's Holy Well, and the associated St. Aldhelm's Church in
Doulting in 2004. I had arranged with our driver guide to show us a holy
well, and St. Aldhelm's Well was near our route. When I made the
arrangements, I did not know that Aldhelm had been a librarian. Carolyn was
a school librarian, and Lady Sarah and I were both library
paraprofessionals. This was an odd coincidence given that Aldhelm was a
librarian. When it comes to saints, there probably are no coincidences.

Yours Aye,

Mungo Napier, Laird of Mallard Lodge  🦆

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