Descended from a Danish military family, Oswald was educated by an uncle who was the archbishop of Canterbury, in England. He was a canon at Winchester Cathedral before becoming a priest and dean there. After continuing his studies and becoming a Benedictine in France, he returned to England and was named bishop of Worcester in 961. He founded monasteries, promoted scholarship, established a great musical tradition in Worcester, replaced secular canons with monks, and also administered the Diocese of York from 972 until his death. Devoted to the poor and revered for his sanctity, Oswald died after washing and kissing the feet of 12 poor men, his annual Lenten custom.