The earliest known account of the legend of Saint Kenelm was given by a monk from Worcester named Wilfin a derivative of which was found in a manuscript from the 12th century at Winchcombe Abbey. The legend tells how Kenelm inherited the throne of the English kingdom of Mercia as a young boy and fell victim to the jealousy of his sister and was murdered by his guardian and became venerated throughout Anglo-Saxon England.
When Coenwulf, King of Mercia died in AD 819 he left behind two daughters, Quendryda and Dornemilde and a seven-year-old son, named Kenelm who was his heir. His sister, Dornemilde, loved him greatly and he loved her but Quendryda was jealous of her brother and wanted to be Queen and reign instead of him. To this end, she brewed a poison and tricked her brother into taking it but the poison proved to have no effect on him at all and he remained hale and hearty.
Frustrated by her failure but still determined to bring about her desire she hatched a plot with her brother’s guardian. She gave him money and made him her lover and told him, “Slay my brother for me, that I may reign," and he being an evil man he agreed.
That night Kenelm had a strange dream ...