Oswald of Northumbria was born to Aethelfrith of Bernicia (north Northumbria, Bamburgh) and Acha of Deira (south Northumbria). The two regions of Northumbria had been united when Oswalds parents married in 604. He had an older brother Eanfrith.
Oswald’s father was killed in battle with Raedwald
, King of East Anglia
. Raedwald then installed Oswald’s maternal uncle, Edwin of Deira, as King of Northumbria. Oswald, his mother and siblings fled north to Scotland.
While in exile, Oswald converted to Christianity. He also fought for the Scottish King of DalRiada (western Scotland).
633 (12th October)
Battle of Hatfield Chase
Edwin of Deira was killed during this battle between Northumbrians and a Welsh-Mercian alliance led by Cadwallon ap Cadfan of Gwynedd, Wales and Penda of Mercia
633 (13th October)
Oswald’s brother Eanfrith became King of Northumbria following the death of Edwin.
Eanfrith of Northumbria was killed by Cadwallon ap Cadfan, King of Gwynedd.
Battle of Heavenfield (near Hexham)
Oswald marched at the head of an army seeking revenge for his brother’s death. Legend states that before the fighting began, Oswald knelt before a wooden cross and prayed for God to help him to victory. The battle was a decisive victory for the Northumbrians and Cadwallon ap Cadfan was killed in the fighting.
After his victory at Heavenfield, Oswald became King of Northumbria.
Oswald asked Bishop Aidan of Iona to found a monastery at Lindisfarne on Holy Island. The Bishop was also tasked with converting the people of Northumbria to Christianity.
642 (5th August)
Battle of Maserfield (near Oswestry)
Oswald of Northumbria died fighting this battle against Penda of Mercia. The Mercians cut off Oswald’s limbs then hung them on a wooden cross.
The spot where Oswald died became the site of many miracles and Oswald was made a saint.
Published May 20, 2020 @ 1:10 pm – Updated – [last-modified]
Harvard Reference for this page:
Heather Y Wheeler. (2020). Oswald King of Northumbria 604 – 642. https://www.thetimelinegeek.com/oswald-king-of-northumbria-604 – 642. Last accessed [date]