He was born in Northumbria in England, and about 700AAD and he settled on the banks of the River Humber and lived as a hermit. His fame increased and he was granted royal patronage that allowed him to found an oratory and church at the mouth of the Humber.
Alcuin says he was a churl or "a non-servile peasant", and interestingly calls him a Saxon of Northumbria which was predominantly Angle at the time. St Willibrord, born c 658AD, the Apostle to Frisia and patron saint of the Netherlands and Luxembourg was his son. Alcuin also writes that Wilgils, was ‘‘paterfamilias’’ of Alciuns own family and that he (Alciun) had inherited Wilgils oratory and church by inheritance, indicating a close familial relationship. Wilgisl was also distantly related to Beornred, the abbot of Echternach and Bishop of Sens.
- Mershman, F. (1912). St. Willibrord. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved March 11, 2014 from New Advent:.
- •“Saint Wilgils” at Saints.SQPN.com. 17 July 2012. Web. 11 March 2014.
- Rev. Richard Stanton. A Menology of England and Wales, or, Brief Memorials of the Ancient British and English Saints Arranged According to the Calendar, Together with the Martyrs of the 16th and 17th Centuries. (London: Burns & Oates, 1892), pp. 42-43.
- Vita Willibrordi archiepiscopi Traiectensis, ed. W. Levison, Passiones vitaeque sanctorum aevi Merovingici. MGH Scriptores Rerum Merovingicarum 7: 81–141.
- Stowe MS 944, British Library
- Studies on Anglo-Saxon Institutions, (Cambridge, 1905),p. 77.
- Paul Dräger (ed.), Alkuin, Vita sancti Willibrordi; Das Leben des heiligen Willibrord (Trier: Kliomedia, 2008).