ST HILDA, strictly Hild (614-680), was the daughter of Hereric, a nephew of Edwin, king of Northumbria.
In 648 or 649 Hilda was recalled to Northumbria by Aidan, and lived for a year in a small monastic community north of the Wear.
From Hartlepool Hilda moved to Whitby, where in 657 she founded the famous double monastery which in the time of the first abbess included among its members five future bishops, Bosa, 'Etta, Oftfor, John and Wilfrid II.
Hilda exercised great influence in Northumbria, and ecclesiastics from all over Christian England and from Strathclyde and Dalriada visited her monastery.
In 655 after the battle of Winwa d Oswio entrusted his daughter IElfled to Hilda, with whom she went to Whitby.
At the synod of Whitby in 664 Hilda sided with Colman and Cedd against Wilfrid.
Hilda died in 680 after a painful illness lasting for seven years.
The principal buildings are the church of St Hilda, with a picturesque old tower; the town hall in the market-place, exchange, customhouse, mercantile marine offices, public library and museum, grammar school, marine school, master-mariners' asylum and seamen's institute.
It embraced an establishment for monks and (until the Conquest) for nuns of the Benedictine order, and under Hilda, a grand-niece of Edwin, a former king of Northumbria, acquired high celebrity.
Granted to the abbot of Whitby a fair at the feast of St Hilda and the king's firm peace to all coming to the fair.
These were dedicated to St Hilda, and with some lands were given by de Brus to the abbey of St Hilda at Whitby in 1130.