Oswald

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Oswald (c.604-642 A.D. ruled 634-642) was a King of Northumbria . Northumbria was a kingdom in the north east of Britain, founded by Angles in the mid to late 6th century. It was divided into two parts, Bernicia north of the River Tees and Deira to the south, these names being of Celtic origin. Oswald's father was Æthelfrith, a powerful man of the Bernician royal house. On his death the Deiran royal house took over under Edwin, and Oswald and his brothers went into exile amongst the Scots. Here, probably on Iona, they were converted to Christianity. When Penda slew Edwin around AD 632, Oswald’s brother Osric became king of Northumbria, but went apostate, and did not last a year as king. Oswald then returned to his homeland and soon had to lead an army into battle at Heavenfield near Hadrian’s Wall, defeating a larger army led by Cadwallon of Gwynedd, (Wales), who wanted to destroy the power of the Angles in the north. Oswald had erected a wooden cross over the site at the start of the battle, and because of his victory, called to Iona for monks to convert his kingdom to Christianity. Aidan (and his monks) took Lindisfarne as a base and evangelised the Northumbrians, baptising hundreds in the rivers, and became Oswald’s friend. Oswald was succeeded by his brother Oswy, who defeated Penda in AD 654.

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