10 things you didn't know about St Edmund

Ever wondered who St Edmund really was? To mark St Edmund's Day, Here are a few unknown facts about the former Patron Saint of England...

Ever wondered who St Edmund really was? Here are a few unknown facts about the former Patron Saint of England...

1. St Edmund is the subject of the song Barbarian by The Darkness on the album Last of Our Kind.

2. Churches dedicated to his memory are to be found all over England, including St Edmund the King and Martyr's Church in London, designed by Sir Christopher Wren during the 1670s.

3. St Edmund is the patron of Kings, pandemics, the Roman Catholic diocese of East Anglia, Douai Abbey, wolves, torture victims, protection from the plague.

4. Arrows, for his martyrdom, and a wolf, said to have guarded the saint's head after his death, are the emblems of St Edmund.

5. Edmund appears as a fictional character in Bernard Cornwell's novel The Last Kingdom.

6. Edmund's martyrdom features on several medieval wall-paintings to be found in churches across England.

7. A beautifully illustrated copy of Abbo of Fleury's Passio Sancti Eadmundi, made at Bury St Edmunds in around 1130 is now kept at the Morgan Library in New York City.

8. The poet John Lydgate (1370–1451), who lived all his life in Bury St Edmunds, presented his twelve-year-old King Henry VI of England with a long poem (now known as Metrical Lives of Saints Edmund and Fremund) when Henry came to the town in 1433 and stayed at the Abbey for four months. The book is now kept by the British Library in London.

9. There have been several attempts over the years to have St Edmund to replace St George and regain his title of the Patron Saint of England.

10. The influence of St Edmund on Bury St Edmunds can be seen everywhere from statues of the king to wolves, carvings, paintings and artwork.

Click here to read more about the legend of St Edmund