NIGHTBRINGER | The Arthurian Encyclopedia

Oswiu of Northumbria

Oswy of Northumbria
Born: c 612 AD
Died: 670 AD

King Oswiu was a notable Anglo-Saxon king who ruled the Kingdom of Northumbria during the seventh century.

Ascension to the Throne
Oswiu was born around 612 AD, the son of King Aethelfrith of Northumbria. After the death of his father in the Battle of Maserfield in 616, Oswiu went into exile in the Irish kingdom of Dál Riata. He returned to Northumbria and ascended to the throne around 642, succeeding his brother Oswald.

Marriage to Saint Hild
Oswiu married Saint Hild, also known as Hilda, who became a prominent figure in the early English church. Hild was renowned for her role in the establishment of monastic communities, most notably the Abbey of Whitby.

Battle of Heavenfield | 634 AD
One of Oswiu’s significant early achievements was his victory in the Battle of Heavenfield against the forces of King Penda of Mercia in 634. This battle solidified Oswiu’s position as king and established Northumbrian dominance in the north.

Synod of Whitby | 664 AD
Oswiu played a key role in the Synod of Whitby, a crucial ecclesiastical event in 664. The synod aimed to resolve differences between the Roman and Celtic Christian traditions in Northumbria. Oswiu, influenced by his wife Hild, sided with the Roman tradition, and the decisions made at Whitby had a significant impact on the future of Christianity in England.

Relations with Mercia
Oswiu had complex relations with the neighboring kingdom of Mercia, ruled by King Penda. While he defeated Penda in battle, the political landscape was characterized by shifting alliances and conflicts between the two powerful kingdoms.

Death and Succession | 670 AD
Oswiu died in 670. His son Ecgfrith succeeded him as king of Northumbria. Oswiu’s descendants continued to play prominent roles in the politics of Northumbria and beyond.