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Liudhard

(d. c. 603)


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(d. c.603),

bishop, chaplain of Queen Bertha. Ethelbert king of Kent (560–616) married the Frankish Christian princess Bertha some time before 597, but on condition that she should be free to practise her religion and bring her bishop with her. But the Frankish Liudhard seems to have taken little part in the conversion of Kent except the possible, but unproved role of preparing the king's mind for the acceptance of Christianity. But there are no letters of Gregory to him; that to Bertha of June 601 rather reproaches her for her failure to achieve her husband's conversion. Liudhard, however, had restored an ancient Romano-British church at Canterbury for Bertha's use and had very likely dedicated it to the Gaulish Martin. He died presumably at Canterbury, was buried in the porticus of St Martin in the abbey of SS. Peter and Paul (later called St Augustine's), Canterbury, where his feast was kept on 7 May. Goscelin wrote a short Life of him in the late 11th century. But in some 9th-century martyrologies a false identification was made with Liephard, whose feast is kept at Cambrai and who was called ‘archbishop of Canterbury and martyr’ with a feast on 4 February. Liudhard was neither a martyr nor archbishop of Canterbury.

Bede, H.E., i. 25–6; Goscelin, Vita et miracula S. Letardi in P.L., clv. 45–6; B.T.A., ii. 246; Stanton, pp. 51–2, 200–1.

Subjects: Religion


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