adapted from a design by George Bain based on the Book of Kells home Programme Bookings Shop The Wuffings .
Wuffing Education

St Botulf, Old English Patron Saint of Travellers

St Botulf Icon from Felixstowe Orthodox Church

with Dr Sam Newton

at Tranmer House, Sutton Hoo (map)
on Saturday 13th June 2009

An attempt to trace the largely forgotten history of this famous but little known saint through the literature, art, archaeology, and landscapes associated with him and his cult.

Bede makes no mention of Botulf, yet his mentor St Ceolfrith visited “Abbot Botwulf” in East Anglia around the year 670 according to The Life of St Ceolfrith. This describes Botulf as “proclaimed on all sides to be a man of unparalleled life and learning, and full of the grace of the Holy Spirit".

We shall see that this high ecclesiastical reputation related to his fame as a pioneer of Benedictine monasticism in England, which began at his famous foundation to which the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle refers as Ican Hó. We shall weigh the evidence for its most likely location on the former island hó on which the church of St Botulf at Iken in Suffolk now stands.

We shall also consider St Botulf’s reputation as an exorcist and as a patron saint of travellers, especially those crossing water.

Provisional Programme
  10.00 Coffee on arrival  
  10.15 St Botulf and the Wuffings  
  11.15 Coffee  
  11.45 St Botulf ‘s Minster  
  12.45 Lunch break  
  14:00 St Botulf the Exorcist  
  15:00 Tea break  
  15:15 The Cult of St Botulf  
  16:15 Close  

About Dr Sam Newton

Sam Newton was awarded his Ph.D at the University of East Anglia in 1991 and published his first book, The Origins of Beowulf and the pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia, in 1993. He has lectured widely around the country as a free-lance scholar and has also contributed to many television and radio programmes. His latest book, The Reckoning of King Rædwald, was published in 2003. He is currently a Director of Wuffing Education, NADFAS lecturer, and Time Team historian.

Some suggestions for further reading
(useful but not essential)

Garmonsway, G., and J.Simpson, Beowulf and Its Analogues (Dent 1968, 1980)
Heaney, S. (tr.), Beowulf (Faber & Faber 1999)
Mayr-Harting. H., The Coming of Christianity to Anglo-Saxon England (London 1972)
Newton, S., The Origins of Beowulf and the pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia (Brewer 1993).
Orchard, A., Pride and Prodigies: Studies in the Monsters of the Beowulf Manuscript (Brewer 1995)
Plunkett, S.J.& S.E.West, A Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Material from Suffolk, East Anglian Archaeology 84 [Suffolk 1998], pp.328, 344-45.
Rackham, O., A History of the Countryside (London 1986).
Scarfe, Norman., "St Botolph, The Iken Cross, and the Coming of East Anglian Christianity", Suffolk in the Middle Ages (Boydell 1986), pp.39-51.
Shippey, T.A. (ed.), The Shadow-walkers: Jacob Grimm’s Mythology of the Monstrous, Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies, Series V, 291)
Stevenson, F.S. "St Botolph (Botwulf) and Iken", Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History, 18 (1924), pp.30-52.
Trubshaw, Bob (ed.), Explore Phantom Black Dogs (Heart of Albion 2005)
West, S.E., N.Scarfe, & R.Cramp, "Iken, St Botolph, and the Coming of East Anglian Christianity", Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History, XXXV (1984), pp.279-301.


Please phone or email to check the availability of places and then send the application form and a cheque for £38, payable to Wuffing Education to:

Wuffing Education,
4 Hilly Fields,
Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4DX
(tel : 01394 386498)

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We have learnt of the fame of the Wuffing folk-lords of long ago, of how those wolf-kings held the ancestral land of East Anglia....
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