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c.605-642. King of Northumbria. He was the son of Ethelfrith. Fleeing to Scotland after his father's death in 616, he became a Christian through the work of the monks on Iona.* On the death of King Edwin in 633, he returned to Northumbria. After prayer, he gained a victory over the British king Cadwalla at Heavenfield, near Hexham. He was determined to establish the Christian faith in his kingdom, and sent to Iona for missionaries. The first sent was unsuccessful, but the second was Aidan,* who took up his see on Lindisfarne. Oswald worked with him and sometimes accompanied him on missionary journeys, acting as his interpreter. He was killed in a battle with the heathen king Penda of Mercia at Maserfield (now identified as Oswestry: “Oswald's Tree or Cross”). He was a fine example of a leader influencing his people, and his relationship with Aidan set a primitive pattern of church-state cooperation.

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