Oswine of Deira

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Oswine of Deira
Saint Oswine.jpg
King, Martyr
Born Unknown
Died 20 August, 651

Gilling, Yorkshire, England
Venerated in Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Anglican Communion
Major shrine Tynemouth, England
Feast 20 August

Oswine, Oswin or Osuine (died 20 August 651) was a King of Deira in northern England.


Oswine succeeded King Oswald of Northumbria, probably around the year 644, after Oswald's death at the Battle of Maserfield. Oswine was the son of Osric. His succession, perhaps the choice of the people of Deira,[1] split the Kingdom of Northumbria. Oswiu was the successor of Bernicia to the north.

After seven years of peaceful rule, Oswiu declared war on Oswine. Oswine refused to engage in battle, instead retreating to Gilling, where he was betrayed by a friend, and murdered by Oswiu’s soldiers.


Oswine was buried at Tynemouth, but was later forgotten. It is said that his burial place was made known by an apparition to a monk named Edmund,[1] and his relics were translated to an honorable place in Tynemouth Priory in 1065. There was a cult of Saint Oswin as a Christian martyr because he had died "if not for the faith of Christ, at least for the justice of Christ".

St. Oswin's Church, Wylam[edit]

St Oswins, Wylam, Northumberland

The Anglican Parish Church of Wylam, Northumberland, England is dedicated to Saint Oswin. The church was built in 1886 and currently has a congregation of about 150. The church has a peal of 6 bells (in the tower) and has regular Sunday services with ringing.



  • Bede, Historia Ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum, ed. and tr. B. Colgrave and R.A.B. Mynors, Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People. Oxford, 1969.
  • Anonymous, Vita Oswini (twelfth century), ed. James Raine, Miscellanea Biographica. Publications of the Surtees Society 8. London, 1858. 1-59. PDF available from Internet Archive.

Further reading[edit]

  • Chase, Colin. "Beowulf, Bede, and St. Oswine: The Hero's Pride in Old English Hagiography." The Anglo-Saxons. Synthesis and Achievement, ed. J. Douglas Woods and David A.E. Pelteret. Waterloo (Ontario), 1985. 37-48. Reprinted in The Beowulf Reader, ed. Peter S. Baker. New York and London, 2000. 181-93.