Monk at Melrose
Eata was the abbot of Melrose and Boisil the Provost when Cuthbert arrived
Some years later Eata was given land at Ripon by Oswy`s son Alchfrith sub-king of Deira to build a monastery. He took Cuthbert with him to be Guest master. Unfortunately Alchfrith then came under the influence of Wilfrid and gave the monastery to him. Wilfrid insisted on introducing Roman customs into the monastery, so Eata and Cuthbert returned to Melrose.
An attack of plague which was common at the time hit the community at Melrose. Cuthbert was sick but recovered, although he suffered pain in his thigh which was swollen ever after. Boisil his teacher died. Fear of the plague led many people to return to their old pagan beliefs, like wearing charms, and touching wood against evil.
Cuthbert went out into the wild places of Northumbria preaching to the people. When he arrived in a village crowds would gather to hear him. Sometimes he was away from Melrose for a month at a time
He visited the Monastery at Coldingham where Ebbe, Oswy`s half sister was abbess. At night he walked into the sea until it reached his neck and stayed there praying all night .when he left the water sea otters came out of the sea and warmed his feet. He was seen by a monk who was spying on him. Cuthbert forbade him to tell others until Cuthbert was dead. As Bede says "the man concealed the miracle during St Cuthbert’s life; but, after his death, took care to tell it to as many persons as possible."
Eata who was also abbot of Lindisfarne transferred Cuthbert there to convert those who held to the Celtic customs after the Synod of Whitby.