Murder by fellow Christians for secular motives may seem to us an improbable qualification for sanctity. To the Anglo-Saxons, however, the matter evidently appeared differently, for several members of pre-Conquest royal families seem to have been regarded as saints chiefly because of their violent ends at the hands of Christian assassins. The lives and cults of some of these murdered royal saints are well attested in pre-Conquest sources. Others, however, are known chiefly from post-Conquest texts which are mainly hagiographical in character and which were written considerably later than the events which they describe. For these reasons these latter texts have not generally been taken seriously as historical sources and the saints who figure in them have been largely neglected by historians. The hagiographical character of these texts, however, should not exclude them from historical consideration. They may preserve details of the saints’ careers which can be accepted as fact, and the accounts of miracles and wonders which they contain, although not to be treated as factual narratives, provide evidence bearing on the veneration of these saints. As for the date of composition, there is always a possibility that late medieval hagiographical texts represent stylistic and literary modifications of much more ancient versions, the former existence of which may in some cases be revealed by close analysis of the extant texts. The evidence relating to the whole group of murdered royal saints said to have been venerated in pre-Conquest England must therefore be evaluated before conclusions about the significance of this type of sanctity can be drawn. In what follows the saints in question will be considered in order of the apparent validity of the evidence pertaining to them, so that those whose existence and veneration are less certain can be examined in comparison with more firmly documented examples.