Eata of Hexham
Our father among the saints Eata of Hexham, also Eata of Lindisfrane, was bishop of Bernicia from 678 to 681, bishop of Lindisfrane from 681 to 684, and bishop of Hexham from 684 to 686. His feast day is October 26.
Eata was a native of Northumbria who was raised from an early age to be trained to be an abbot. His date of birth is not known. Initially entering the monastery at Lindisfarne under St. Aidan, Eata's training as an abbot was initially under St. Tuda and after the bishopric of Lindisfarne became vacant, continued under St. Wilfrid of York. In 651, Eata was elected abbot of Melrose. Later, in 651, he founded the monastery at Ripon in Yorkshire. However, in 661, he was expelled from Ripon by king Alchfrith, the under king of Deira, over a religious disagreement.
In 678, Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, split the large diocese of Northumbria into two smaller dioceses, Bernicia and Lindisfarne, of which Eata was made bishop of Bernicia. The diocese of Bernicia in turn had two episcopal sees, Hexham and Lindisfarne. After leading the whole of the diocese of Bernicia for three years, Eata was assigned the see at Lindisfarne while Trumbert, a former monk at Ripon, was assigned bishop of Hexham. Later, Bp. Trumbert died in 684 and was replaced by St. Cuthbert.
Shortly after Cuthbert was installed as bishop of Hexham, he and Bp. Eata traded sees. Bp. Eata occupied the see of Hexham for two years before he died of dysentery on October 26, 686. St. Eata was buried in Hexham Abbey.
Eata of Hexham
|Bishop of Bernicia
|Bishop of Lindisfarne
|Bishop of Hexham