Bede, Beda, or Baeda, known as "The Venerable Bede," was born about 673 near Monkwearmouth in the county of Durham. According to his own account he took deacon's orders at the age of nineteen, having been educated by the Abbot of Wearmouth and Jarrow, and in those twin monasteries he devoted his life to his priestly duties, to the work of teaching, and to the vast literary labours that have made him famous. Of nearly fifty treatises which he left, half consist of commentaries on Scripture, several deal with the science and philosophy of his day, others are lives of saints and martyrs, or of the abbots of the foundation. But the most valuable of all is his Ecclesiastical History, which gives the fullest and most authentic account we possess of the period ending four years before his death, which occurred in 735. Bede wrote chiefly in Latin, and King Alfred translated parts of his works into Anglo-Saxon. How he acquired the title of "Venerable" is unknown, but it is inscribed on the only fragment of his shrine that is left in Durham cathedral.