Biography of Eansvida, founder of the first convent in England

Biography of Eansvida, founder of the first convent in England

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Eansvida (Old English: Ēanswīþ; Latin: Eanswythe or Eanswide) was born in Kent in 614 and died in Folkestone in 640, she was an Anglo-Saxon princess, founder of the Benedictine priory of Folkestone, the first convent in England.

Who was Eansvida?

According to tradition, Eansvida was the daughter ofEadbaldo of Kent, who ruled his little kingdom in the southeastern part of Great Britain between 616 and 640.

The princess lived during the early stages of the Christianization of the island, and her grandfather, Ethelberto, it was the first Anglo-Saxon king to adopt the Catholic faith.

By the middle of the 7th century, the process of Christianizing the island had not yet been completed, and several rulers continued to practice their pagan faith.

In this context, the princess refused to marry a pagan king and chose to become a nun.

England's first convent

It is believed that as such he founded the Folkestonefirst women's convent of Great Britain in the year 630, of which she was abbess. However, he soon passed away, probably because of the plague.

LatercanonizedEansvida, credited with various miracles, was an important symbol of local identity.

Santa Eansvida's day is September 12 as, according to tradition, this was the date her remains were transferred to the new church in 1138.

Evidence of royal genealogy

Although it is difficult to trace the family tree of current British monarchs to the 7th century, some sources suggest that Eansvilda's father,Eadbaldo, could be the 40th great-grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II.

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