Feast day: August 31
Queen and first Abbess of Wimborne. Died c. 725.
St. Cuthburga was the daughter of Prince Coenred, a second-cousin of Caedwalla, King of Wessex. Her brothers were St. Ine, King of Wessex and Ingild, great-great-grandfather of Egbert, the first King of the English, and direct ancestor of Alfred the Great. Her sisters were St. Cwenburga, Edburga and Tata.
Caedwalla became a Christian, in AD 688, and went to Rome to be baptised, resigning the throne to Ine. Cuthburga married Aldfrith, King of Northumbria. He was the illegitimate son of Oswiu, King of Northumbria, and was educated among the monks of Iona. He was learned in the Scriptures and was a great friend of Ss. Adomnan and Benedict Biscop. They were the parents of Osred, King of Northumbria, and probably of St. Osana.
Aldfrith and Cuthburga eventually separated for religious motives. Cuthburga took the veil with her sister, St. Cwenburga, at Barking. This nunnery was famous for the zeal of the nuns in the study of sacred and classic literature; and together they became pupils of St. Hildelith, the second abbess. Ine, now King of Wessex, saw that his sisters had devoted themselves to the service of God and was impressed. Desiring to build a church for the good of his soul and the advantage of his people, he had a double monastery erected, between AD 700 and 705, for Cuthburga, at Wimborne in Dorset, near his own residence. Cuthburga was its first abbess. Cwenburga was a nun there with her.