Ivo of Ramsey

Saint Ivo of Ramsey
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Major shrine Ramsey Abbey
Feast 24 April
Patronage St Ives

Saint Ivo (also known as Ives) was a Cornish bishop and hermit, and became the eponymous saint of St Ives, Huntingdonshire. He appears in the historical sources in 1001/2 when a peasant allegedly found his coffin while ploughing at Slepe (later renamed St. Ives).[1] The Abbot of Ramsey, Eadnoth the Younger, founded a monastery there as a daughter-house of Ramsey Abbey, providing Slepe as well as part of Elsworth and Knapworth as endowment.[2] On 24 April 1002, Abbot Eadnoth translated Ivo's body, along with two of his companions, to the mother house at Ramsey.[3]

Ivo was a Cornish saint.[4] Rumours of a Persian link came about when Withman, Abbot of Ramsey, heard in the Holy Land of a Persian bishop named Ivo; subsequently the link to the Fenland Ivo was written down by Goscelin of St Bertin.[5] The tradition is completely spurious.[6] It is possible that Saint Ivo is a male double of Saint Neot, a suggestion made by historian Cyril Hart on the basis of the strangeness of two Cornish saints so close together far away in eastern England.[4] Saint Neot turned up in Huntingdonshire around 1000 as well.[7]


  1. Blair, "Handlist", p. 541
  2. Hart, "Eadnoth I", pp. 617–18
  3. Lapidge (ed.), Byrhtferth, pp. 180–81, n. 144
  4. 1 2 Hart, "Eadnoth I", p. 622
  5. Hart, "Eadnoth I", p. 62122
  6. Hart, "Eadnoth I", p. 621
  7. Blair, "Handlist", p. 541


  • Blair, John (2002), "A Handlist of Anglo-Saxon Saints", in Thacker, Alan; Sharpe, Richard, Local Saints and Local Churches in the Early Medieval West, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 495–565, ISBN 0-19-820394-2 
  • Hart, Cyril (1992) [1964], "Eadnoth I of Ramsey and Dorchester", in Hart, Cyril, The Danelaw, London: Hambledon Press, pp. 613–23, ISBN 1-85285-044-2 , originally published in Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society: 56–675, 1964  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • Lapidge, Michael, ed. (2009), Byrhtferth of Ramsey: The Lives of St Oswald and St Ecgwine, Oxford Medieval Texts, Oxford: Clarendon Press, ISBN 978-0-19-955078-4 

Further reading

  • Hart, Cyril R. (2003). Learning and Culture in Late Anglo-Saxon England and the Influence of Ramsey Abbey on the Major English Schools (3 volumes). Vol. 1. Lewiston, NY. 
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