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Reference list

Saints in the Oxford DNB

The cult of the Christian saints has developed over several centuries. The earliest were martyrs, an expression derived from the Greek word for witness: these first saints were so called because they were regarded as having borne witness by their deaths to the truth of the Christian faith. Later they were joined by the ‘confessors’, men and women who bore an equivalent witness to divine truth through their holy lives, and by the doctors of the church. For many centuries there was no formal process of canonization, and sainthood was usually spontaneously proclaimed, especially at places where relics were preserved. Partly for lack of formal records, the men and women commemorated in the resulting cults often passed rapidly into obscurity. The formal process of canonization as it exists today developed as a result of the growing involvement of the papacy in the recognition of saints from the early eleventh century onwards. It is impossible to say, however, exactly when a papal monopoly of the making of saints became finally established. The men and women named as saints in the Oxford DNB are usually those who came to be venerated as such either through the development of their cults before the middle of the twelfth century, or by papal process and decree after that time.

The following material, detailing subjects in the Oxford DNB, is arranged in two sets of four lists each. Catholic and Roman Catholic saints from all periods who were venerated in the British Isles are set out in the first four lists, arranged in alphabetical order under nationality. For Ireland the particular localism of cults has made it appropriate to group all but the most important saints into large articles covering the five provinces of Connacht, Leinster, Meath, Munster, and Ulster, together with another substantial entry comprising nearly all the abbots of Iona, who were also venerated as holy men. The saints in these articles are listed under appropriate subheadings.

The second series begins with saints who are principally venerated overseas. Some are very well known in the British Isles; others are more than names only in their countries of adoption. A second list details those who were informally revered as saints, sometimes very locally and for relatively short periods; several have been proposed for canonization but without success. The third contains those who have been beatified by the Roman Catholic church, their veneration having been formally licensed through a process which may, but need not, lead to canonization. Last are those who are now commemorated for their holy lives or deaths through festivals in the Church of England, but who are not recognized as saints by the Roman church.

English and early British saints (c.300–1679)

St Abbo of Fleury (945x50–1004)
St Acca (d. 740)
St Áedán (d. 651)
St Ælfflæd (654–714)
St Ælfheah (d. 1012)
St Æthelberht (779/80–794)
St Æthelburh (fl. 664)
St Æthelthryth (d. 679)
St Æthelwold (904x9–984)
St Alban (d. c.303?)
St Aldhelm (d. 709/10)
St Alexander Briant (1556–1581)
St Anne Line (d. 1601)
St Anselm (c.1033–1109)
St Augustine (d. 604)
St Bartholomew of Farne (d. 1193)
St Bede (673/4–735)
St Benedict Biscop (c.628–689)
St Berhthun (d. 733/40)
St Billfrith (d. 750x800?)
St Birinus (d. c.650)
St Bosa (d. 706)
St Botwulf (fl. 654–c.670)
St Byrnstan (d. 934)
St Ceadda (d. 672?)
St Cedd (d. 664)
St Ceolfrith (642–716)
St Ceolwulf (d. 764)
St Cuthbert (c.635–687)
St Cuthbert Mayne (bap. 1544, d. 1577)
St Cuthburh (fl. c.700–718)
St Cynehelm (supp. fl. 803x11)
St Cynesige (d. 1060)
St Cyngar (supp. fl. early 8th cent.)
St David Lewis (1617–1679)
St Dunstan (d. 988)
St Eadburh (d. 751)
St Eadburh (921x4–951x3)
St Eadwine (c.586–633)
St Ealhmund (d. 800)
St Eanflæd (b. 626, d. after 685)
St Earconwald (d. 693)
St Eata (d. 685/6)
St Ecgberht (639–729)
St Ecgwine (d. 717?)
St Edith (961x4–984x7)
St Edmund (d. 869)
St Edmund Campion (1540–1581)
St Edmund Gennings (1566–1591)
St Edmund of Abingdon (c.1174–1240)
St Edward (c.962–978)
St Edward (1003x5–1066)
St Edward Barlow (bap. 1585, d. 1641)
St Felix (d. 647/8)
St Finán (d. 661)
St Frithuswith (d. 727)
St George (d. c.303?)
St Germanus (d. c.437/48)
St Gilbert of Sempringham (1083–1189)
St Gildas (fl. 5th–6th cent.)
St Godric of Finchale (c.1070–1170)
St Grimbald (d. 901?)
St Gulval (fl. before 1000)
St Guthlac (674–715)
St Hædde (d. 705/6)
St Helena (c.248–328/9)
St Henry Walpole (bap. 1558, d. 1595)
St Hereberht (d. 687)
St Hild (614–680)
St Hildelith (fl. c.700)
St Honorius (d. 653)
St Hugh of Lincoln (1140?–1200)
St Hugh of Lincoln (c.1246–1255)
St John Boste (1544–1594)
St John of Beverley (d. 721)
St John of Bridlington (c.1320–1379)
St John Fisher (c.1469–1535)
St John Houghton (1486/7–1535)
St John Kemble (1599–1679)
St John Plessington (1636–1679)
St John Roberts (1576–1610)
St John Southworth (1592–1654)
St Justus (d. 627x31)
St Laurence (d. 619)
St Margaret Clitherow (1552/3–1586)
St Mildburg (d. in or after 716)
St Mildrith (fl. 716–c.733)
St Modwenna of Burton (fl. before 12th cent.)
St Neot (d. in or before 878)
St Nicholas Owen (d. 1606)
St Oda (d. 958)
St Osgyth (fl. late 7th cent.)
St Osmund (d. 1099)
St Oswald (603/4–642)
St Oswald (d. 992)
St Oswine (d. 651)
St Paulinus (d. 644)
St Petroc (fl. 6th cent.)
St Petrus (d. 605x11)
St Philip Howard, thirteenth earl of Arundel (1557–1595)
St Piran (supp. fl. 6th cent.)
St Ralph Sherwin (1549/50–1581)
St Richard of Chichester [see Wyche, Richard of (d. 1253)]
St Richard Reynolds (d. 1535)
St Robert (d. 1159)
St Robert Southwell (1561–1595)
St Sæbbi (d. 693/4)
St Seaxburh (b. in or before 655, d. c.700)
St Swithun (d. 863)
St Theodore of Tarsus (602–690)
St Thomas of Canterbury [see Becket, Thomas (1120?–1170)]
St Thomas Garnett (1575–1608)
St Thomas More (1478–1535)
St Thomas of Hereford [see Cantilupe, Thomas de (c.1220–1282)]
St Werburh (d. 700x07)
St Wigstan (d. 849)
St Wilfrid (c.634–709/10)
St William of Norwich (1132/3–1144)
St William of York (d. 1154)
St Wulfhild (d. after 996)
St Wulfric of Haselbury (c.1090–1154/5)
St Wulfsige (d. 1002)
St Wulfstan (c.1008–1095)
St Wulfthryth (d. c.1000)

Irish saints (5th–17th cent.)

Principal Irish saints
St Adomnán (627/8?–704)
St Barinthus (supp. fl. 6th cent.)
St Bega (supp. fl. late 7th cent.)
St Beoán (supp. fl. 1012x24)
St Brigit (439/452–524/526)
St Cellach (1080–1129)
St Colmán (d. 676)
St Columba (c.521–597)
Dallan Forgaill (fl. 597)
St Donnán (d. 617)
Fáelán (fl. 734)
St Fillan [see Fáelán Amlabar (641/–724)]
St Iarlaithe (supp. d. 481)
St Kentigerna (d. 734)
St Laurence (c.1128–1180)
St Malachy (1094/5–1148)
St Mo Ling (d. 697)
St Moninne (d. 517)
St Muirchú (fl. 697)
St Odhran (supp. d. c.563)
St Óengus (fl. c.830)
St Oliver Plunket (1625–1681)
St Patrick (fl. 5th cent.)
St Tírechán (fl. c.690)
The saints of Connacht
Athracht ingen Thaláin (fl. c.500)
Béoáed mac Ocláin (d. 520/24)
Berach mac Amargin (fl. late 6th–early 7th cent.)
Brendan of Clonfert (d. 577)
Brón mac Icni (d. 512)
Cairech Dergain (d. 577/9)
Céthech (fl. 5th cent.)
Commán mac Fáelchon (d. 747)
Cormac mac Eogain (fl. 6th cent.)
Cumméne Fota (c.591–662)
Garald (d. 732)
Grellán of Cráeb Grelláin (fl. 5th–6th cent.)
Iarlaithe [Jarlath] mac Loga (fl. 6th cent.)
Laisrén mac Decláin (fl. 6th cent.)
Lallóc (fl. 5th cent.)
Mo Chua mac Bécáin (d. 694)
Móenu (d. 572)
Mucnoe (fl. c.500)
Muiredach mac Echdach (fl. early 6th cent.)
Sachellus (fl. 5th cent.)
The saints of Leinster
Cóemgen (fl. 7th cent.)
Fintan (d. 603?)
Finten (fl. 7th cent.)
Máedóc (fl. 7th cent.)
Máel Ruain (d. 792)
The saints of Meath
Áed mac Bricc (d. 589)
Brendan mac Nemainn (d. 565/73)
Buíte mac Brónaig (d. 519/20)
Caillín mac Niataig (fl. 6th cent.?)
Cairnech (fl. 5th–early 6th cent.)
Camulacus (fl. 5th cent.?)
Cianán mac Sétnai (d. 489)
Ciarán mac int Shaír (c.515–548/9)
Coirpre Crom mac Feradaig (d. 904)
Colcu ua Duinechda (d. 796)
Colmán Elo (d. 611)
Cormac ua Liatháin (fl. late 6th cent.)
Dublitter (d. 796)
Erc mac Dega (d. 513)
Féchín moccu Cháe (d. 665)
Fínán Cam mac Móenaig (fl. late 6th–early 7th cent.)
Finnián mac Findloga (d. 549/51)
Funech (fl. late 7th cent.)
Guasacht maccu Buáin (fl. late 5th cent.)
Lommán mac Dalláin (fl. 5th–early 6th cent.)
Lonán mac Talmaig (fl. 5th–6th cent.)
Mac Cuilinn mac Cathmoga (d. 496)
Manchán mac Silláin (d. 665)
Mél (fl. 5th–early 6th cent.)
Mo Genóc (fl. 5th cent.?)
Mochtae (d. 535)
Munis (fl. 5th cent.?)
Samthann ingen Díaráin (d. 739)
Sechnall mac Restitiúit (fl. 5th cent.)
Ultán moccu Chonchobair (d. 657)
The saints of Munster
Ailbe (d. 534?)
Caimín (d. 644?)
Cainnech moccu Dálann (521/7–599/600)
Canir (fl. 6th cent.)
Carthach mac Fianáin (fl. late 6th cent.)
Ciarán mac Luaigne (fl. 450–500)
Colmán mac Léníne (530–606)
Colum mac Crimthainn (d. 549)
Comgán mac Dá Cherda (d. 645)
Cranat ingen Buicín (fl. 6th cent.)
Crónán moccu Éile (d. 665)
Déclán mac Eircc (fl. late 5th cent.)
Énda mac Conaill (fl. 6th cent.?)
Fachtna mac Mongaig (fl. 6th cent.)
Findbarr mac Amairgin (fl. 6th cent.?)
Findchú mac Finnloga (d. 655/5)
Flannán mac Toirrdelbaig (fl. 7th cent.)
Gobnait (fl. 6th cent.?)
Ibar mac Lugna (d. 500/01)
Íte ingen Chinn Fhalad (d. 570/77)
Lachtín mac Tarbín (d. 622/7)
Mac Creiche mac Pessláin (fl. late 6th cent.)
Máel Cétair mac Rónáin (fl. 6th–7th cent.?)
Mainchín mac Setnai (fl. late 6th cent.)
Mo Chóemóc mac Béoáin (d. 656)
Mo Chutu mac Fínaill (d. 637)
Mo Laga mac Duib Dligid (fl. late 6th cent.?)
Mo Lua moccu Óche (554–609)
Nessán (d. 556)
Ruadán mac Fergusa Birn (d. 584)
Senán mac Geirrcinn (fl. 6th cent.)
The saints of Ulster
Assicus (fl. c.480)
Brónach (fl. 5th–6th cent.?)
Comgall mac Sétnai (511/16–602)
Daig mac Cairill (d. 587)
Díchu mac Trichim (fl. 5th cent.)
Do Biu mac Comgaill (fl. 5th cent.?)
Éogan mac Dega (fl. late 6th cent.)
Ercnat ingen Dáire (fl. 5th–6th cent.)
Findbarr moccu Fiatach (d. 579)
Mac Caírthinn mac Cainnig (d. 506)
Mac Nisse mac Faíbrig (d. 507/8)
Mo Chóe mac Luacháin (d. 497)
Mo Laisse mac Nad Froích (d. 564)
Muru mac Feradaig (fl. c.600–c.650)
Olcán (fl. 5th cent.)
Sillán moccu Mind (d. 610)
Tigernach mac Coirpri (d. 549)
The abbots of Iona
Baíthéne mac Brénainn (d. 598)
Blaímac mac Flainn (d. 825)
Bresal mac Ségéni (d. 801)
Cellach mac Ailella (d. 865)
Cellach mac Congaile (d. 815)
Cilléne Droichtech (d. 752)
Cilléne Fota (d. 726)
Conamail mac Faílbi (d. 710)
Connachtach (d. 802)
Cumméne Albus (d. 669)
Diarmait alumnus Daigri (d. in or after 831)
Dorbéne mac Altaíni (d. 713)
Dúnchad mac Cind Fháelad (d. 717)
Fáelchú mac Dorbéni (d. 724)
Faílbe mac Pípáin (d. 679)
Feradach mac Cormaic (d. 880)
Flann mac Maíle Dúin (d. 891)
Innrechtach ua Finnachtai (d. 854)
Laisrén mac Feradaig (d. 605)
Máel Brigte mac Tornáin (d. 927)
Ségéne mac Fiachna (d. 652)
Sléibíne mac Congaile (d. 767)
Suibne (d. 772)
Suibne moccu Urthrí (d. 657)
Virgno (d. 623)

Scottish saints (1st–17th cent.)

St Æbbe (d. 683?)
St Andrew (fl. 1st cent.)
St Balthere (d. 756)
St Boisil (d. c.661)
St John Ogilvie (1578/9–1615)
St Kentigern (d. 612x14)
St Magnus (1075/6–1116?)
St Margaret (d. 1093)
St Moluag (d. 592)
St Mo Nennus (fl. 5th–early 6th cent.)
St Monan (fl. 6th–7th cent.)
St Nathalan (supp. d. 452)
St Ninian (supp. fl. 5th–6th cent.)
St Regulus (supp. fl. 8th–9th cent.)
Rögnvald Kali Kolsson (c.1103–1158)
St Ternan (fl. 6th–7th cent.)

Welsh saints (5th–17th cent.)

St Asaf (supp. fl. 6th cent.)
St Beuno (d. 653/9)
St Brynach (fl. 6th cent.)
St Cadfan (supp. fl. 6th cent.)
St Cadog (fl. 6th cent.)
St Cybi (fl. 6th cent.)
St Cynidr (fl. 6th cent.)
St David (d. 589/601)
St Decuman (fl. 6th cent.)
St Deiniol (d. 584)
St Dogfael (fl. 6th cent.)
St Dyfrig (supp. fl. c.475–c.525)
St Euddogwy (supp. fl. late 6th cent.)
St Gwenfrewi (fl. c.650)
St Gwynllyw (fl. 6th cent.)
St Illtud (fl. 5th–6th cent.)
St John Lloyd (c.1630–1679)
St Maglorius (fl. late 6th cent.)
St Mawgan (fl. 5th–6th cent.)
St Padarn (fl. 6th cent.)
St Paul (fl. 6th cent.)
St Peulan (fl. 6th cent.)
St Philip Evans (1645–1679)
St Richard Gwyn (c.1537–1584)
St Samson (fl. 561/2)
St Seiriol (fl. 6th cent.)
St Teilo (supp. fl. c.550)
St Tysilio (fl. c.600)

British and Irish saints venerated principally overseas

St Adalbert (supp. fl. early 8th cent.)
St Balthild (d. c.680)
St Boniface (672x5?–754)
St Burchard (d. 753)
St Catroe (900/01–971)
St Columbanus (d. 615)
St Deicolus (d. c.625)
St Disibod (supp. d. 674)
St Donatus (d. 876)
St Dympna (fl. late 6th–early 7th cent.)
St Erhard (d. before 784)
St Fiachra (fl. mid-7th cent.)
St Foillan (d. 653x5)
St Forannán (d. 982)
Fredericus (d. 838)
St Fursa (d. 649)
St Gall (fl. 615)
St Gudwal (supp. fl. 7th cent.)
St Henry (fl. 1156x60)
St Kilian (d. 689?)
St Lebuin (d. c.775)
St Leoba (d. 782)
St Livinus (supp. d. 633?)
St Lul (c.710–786)
St Mary MacKillop (1842–1909)
St Modestus (d. c.763)
St Plechelm (fl. 8th cent.)
St Rumold (fl. 7th–8th cent.)
St Sigfrid (fl. mid-10th–early 11th cent.)
St Simon Stock (supp. 1165–1265)
St Stephen Harding (d. 1134)
St Sualo (d. 794)
St Swithberht (d. 713)
St Ursula (fl. mid-5th cent.)
St Virgilius (d. 784)
St Walburg (c.710–779?)
St Willehad (d. 789)
St Willibald (c.700–787?)
St Willibrord (657/8–739)
St Winnebald (c.702–761)

Local cults and unsuccessful canonizations (c.1050–1471)

Adam (d. 1222)
Button, William (d. 1274)
Dalderby, John (d. 1320)
Edward II (1284–1327)
Fitzralph, Richard (b. before 1300, d. 1360)
Gilbert of Moray (d. 1243/5)
Grosseteste, Robert (c.1170–1253)
Henry VI (1421–1471)
Lacy, Edmund (c.1370–1455)
Lusignan, Aymer de (c.1228–1260)
Macarius (supp. d. in or before 1153)
March, William (d. 1302)
Montfort, Simon de, eighth earl of Leicester (c.1208–1265)
Niger, Roger (d. 1241)
Remigius (d. 1092)
Robert of Knaresborough (d. 1218?)
Rolle, Richard (1305x10–1349)
Schorne, John (d. in or before 1315)
Shrewsbury, Ralph (c.1286–1363)
Stewart, David, duke of Rothesay (1378–1402)
Suffield, Walter of (d. 1257)
Thomas of Lancaster, second earl of Lancaster, second earl of Leicester, and earl of Lincoln (c.1278–1322)
Waldef (c.1095–1159)
Waltheof, earl of Northumbria (c.1050–1076)
Wickwane, William de (d. 1285)
Winchelsey, Robert (c.1240–1313)


Alfield, Thomas (1552–1585)
Anlaby, William (c.1552–1597)
Bell, James (1523/4–1584)
Belson, Thomas (bap. 1563, d. 1589)
Carter, William (b. in or before 1549, d. 1584)
Collins, Dominic (c.1566–1602)
Cook [name in religion Faringdon], Hugh (d. 1539)
Corby, Ralph (1598–1644)
Cornelius, John (c.1557–1594)
Cottam, Thomas (1549–1582)
Dalby, Robert (d. 1589)
Davies, William (d. 1593)
Duckett, James (d. 1601)
Duckett, John (bap. 1614, d. 1644)
Duns Scotus, John (c.1265–1308)
Fenn, James (c.1540–1584)
Filbie, William (c.1555–1582)
Forde, Thomas (d. 1582)
Forest, John (c.1470–1538)
Green, Hugh (c.1585–1642)
Heath, Henry [name in religion Paul of St Magdalen] (bap. 1599, d. 1643)
Howard, William, Viscount Stafford (1612–1680)
Ireland, William (1636–1679)
Langhorne, Richard (c.1624–1679)
McAuley, Catherine Elizabeth [name in religion Mary Catherine] (1778?–1841)
Marmion, Joseph Aloysius [name in religion Columba] (1858–1923)
Marshall, Thomas (d. 1539)
Newman, John Henry (1801–1890)
O'Brien, Terence [name in religion Albert] (1600–1651)
O'Devany, Conor (c.1535–1612)
O'Healy, Patrick (d. 1579)
O'Hurley, Dermot (c.1530–1584)
Oldcorne, Edward (1561–1606)
Percy, Thomas, seventh earl of Northumberland (1528–1572)
Pickering, Thomas (1621?–1679)
Pole, Margaret, suo jure countess of Salisbury (1473–1541)
Powell, Edward (c.1478–1540)
Rice, Edmund Ignatius (1762–1844)
Savoy, Boniface of (1206/7–1270)
Story, John (1503/4?–1571)
Whitbread, Thomas (c.1618–1679)
Whiting, Richard (d. 1539)
Woodhouse, Thomas (d. 1573)
Wright, Peter (1603–1651)

Saints of the Church of England (c.740–1977)

Ailred of Rievaulx (1110–1167)
Alcuin (c.740–804)
Alfred (848/9–899)
Andrewes, Lancelot (1555–1626)
Bunyan, John (bap. 1628, d. 1688)
Butler, Josephine Elizabeth (1828–1906)
Charles I (1600–1649)
Cranmer, Thomas (1489–1556)
Hannington, James (1847–1885)
Herbert, George (1593–1633)
Hooker, Richard (1554–1600)
Julian of Norwich (1342–c.1416)
Keble, John (1792–1866)
Ken, Thomas (1637–1711)
King, Edward (1829–1910)
Law, William (1686–1761)
Luwum, Janani (1922–1977)
Martyn, Henry (1781–1812)
Patteson, John Coleridge (1827–1871)
Simeon, Charles (1759–1836)
Sumner, Mary Elizabeth (1828–1921)
Taylor, Jeremy (bap. 1613, d. 1667)
Tyndale, William (c.1494–1536)
Wesley, Charles (1707–1788)
Wesley, John (1703–1791)
Wilberforce, William (1759–1833)