ETHELDREDA (ÆTHELTHRYTH, AUDREY), SAINT: Abbess of Ely; b. at Exning (16 m. w. of Bury St. Edmunds), Suffolk, 630 (?), daughter of Anna, king of East Anglia; d. at Ely June 23, 679. Her father, disregarding her wish to lead the life of a nun, married her in 652 to Tondbert, chieftain of a tribe living among the fens of southern Cambridgeshire, and she received the Isle of Ely as marriage portion from her husband. After Tondbert's death (655) she lived in seclusion at Ely till 660, when for political reasons she consented to a marriage with Egfrid, eldest son of Oswy of Northumbria, at that time a boy of about fourteen. Bede, says that although twice married "she preserved the glory of perfect virginity." When Egfrid came to the throne (671), he sought the aid of Wilfrid of York (q.v.) to induce her to take her proper place as queen, but Wilfrid chose to treat the king's wish as impious and a serious quarrel resulted. About 672 Etheldreda received the veil from Wilfrid's hands at the monastery of her aunt, Ebba, at Coldingham. Her husband gave his consent, but after a year, fearing that she was not secure from him, Etheldreda fled to Ely. There, helped by her old friend Wilfrid, she founded a double monastery and spent the remainder of her life in the strictest asceticism. From her name, popularly corrupted into St. Audrey, comes the word "tawdry," used to characterize wares like those sold at St. Audrey's fair.