Boniface was one of the monks who came from Britain in the early Middle Ages to Christianise the north of Europe. Since the 14th century it is assumed he was born in Crediton (Devonshire) in the period 672-675 from allegedly rich parents. He was named Winfrid, which means Happiness and Peace. At the age of seven he went to the monastery of Benedict at Exeter, and after that to the monastery in Nursling. When Winfrid reached the prearranged age of thirty, he became a priest but stayed in the monastery to teach. There he wrote a Latin grammar scheme, which would be used in lots of places in Europe.
In the spring of 716 he went with some others to London and from there to Dorestad (now known as Wijk bij Duurstede in The Netherlands) which was one of the centres of Frisian overseas trade. There had been some efforts to Christianise the Frisian people since 690. These failed, as did Winfrid's.
In 718, he went to Rome. From Pope Gregory II he got a written order for mission-work on May 15, 719. By tradition he was named thereafter by the name of the saint whose name day was celebrated the day before: St. Boniface. Via Pavia he then went to Bavaria. There, and even more in Thüringen, he became aware of the superficiality of Christianity. Even the priests weren't honest or straight.
In 721 he went to Hessen where he probably did one of the things which made an enormous impression on the people. He axed a 'holy' oak in honor of Donar, near Geismar. He founded three mission-monasteries and a lot of churches.
To safeguard the christianised territory, Pope Gregory III made Boniface archbishop for the 'German' part of Europe. He consecrated lots of bishops with the purpose of consolidating an organization that was very young and totally dependent on Boniface himself. In these years he founded a monastery at Fulda. This became his most favourite place to be.
At old age, Boniface planned a last trip to Friesland where he wanted to finish the work he started in his youth. It was probably pride that made him decide to do it. First he made appearances around the Zuiderzee (now IJsselmeer) and when the winter came he returned to Utrecht. In the spring he made a trip to Dokkum, where he stood with tents on the shore. On the morning of June 5th a group of Frisians came, armed with swords and axes and killed him, although Boniface tried to defend himself with a book he had with him.
A few weeks later the remnants of Boniface and his companions were gathered and brought back via Utrecht and Mainz to Fulda where they still are today in the cathedral.