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They were armed with letters to the bishops and Christian princes of the countries through which they were likely to pass, and they were further instructed to provide themselves with Frankish interpreters before setting foot in Britain itself.
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Charibert of Paris gave him his daughter Bertha in marriage, stipulating, as part of the nuptial agreement, that she should be allowed the free exercise of her religion. E., I, xxv) and Luidhard, a Frankish bishop, accompanied the princess to her new home in Canterbury, where the ruined church of St.
Martin, situated a short distance beyond the walls, and dating from Roman-British times, was set apart for her use (Bede, H. The date of this marriage, so important in its results to the future fortunes of Western Christianity, is of course largely a matter of conjecture; but from the evidence furnished by one or two scattered remarks in St.
Aethelberht became King of Kent in 559 or 560, and in less than twenty years he succeeded in establishing an overlordship that extended from the boulders of the country of the West Saxons eastward to the sea and as far north as the Humber and the Trent.
The Saxons of Middlesex and of Essex, together with the men of East Anglia and of Mercia, were thus brought to acknowledge him as Bretwalda, and he acquired a political importance which began to be felt by the Frankish princes on the other side of the Channel.
It was thus amid the religious intimacies of the Benedictine Rule and in the bracing atmosphere of a recent foundation that the character of the future missionary was formed.
Chance is said to have furnished the opportunity for the enterprise which was destined to link his name for all time with that of his friend and patron, St.
The name of the port at which they took ship has not been recorded.
Boulogne was at that time a place of some mercantile importance; and it is not improbable that they directed their steps thither to find a suitable vessel in which they could complete the last and not least hazardous portion of their journey.
Tales of the uncouth islanders to whom they were going chilled their enthusiasm, and some of their number actually proposed that they should draw back.