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Modern memorial stone on the Tomb of Mellitus in St Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury

Mellitus († April 24, 624 ) was sent to England in 601 by Pope Gregory I in response to an appeal from Augustine of Canterbury for more missionaries . He had been commissioned by Gregory to convey the pallium to Augustine, that is, the appointment as archbishop , along with a book present and all things that are needed for worship and the priesthood in the church .

After King Sæberhts of Essex converted to Christianity, London became the seat of a diocese again. Mellitus was appointed Bishop of London by Augustine and St Paul's Cathedral was founded as an episcopal church.

Mellitus was expelled from London in 617 by the king's pagan sons, Sexred , Saeward, and another whose name has not been recorded, as a result of his refusal to give them communion until after they were baptized . Mellitus fled to Gaul , but was recalled by Archbishop Lawrence of Canterbury , after whose death in 619 he succeeded as Archbishop of Canterbury .

Bede describes him as of noble birth ( Hist. Eccl. , II, vii) and Pope Gregory as Abbot ( Letters , xi, 54, 59). He may have been the abbot of St. Andrew's monastery , founded by Gregory, which included Gregory before he became Pope and Augustine before he was sent to Kent .



Web links

Commons : Mellitus of Canterbury  - collection of images, videos and audio files
  • Mellitus information on the pages of the Ecumenical Lexicon of Saints


  1. Beda: HE 5.24
  2. Beda: HE 2.5
predecessor Office successor
Theonus Bishop of London
Laurentius Archbishop of Canterbury