From the Latin name Albanus, which is of uncertain origin. It may be an ethnic name from one of the numerous places in the Roman Empire called Alba ‘white’, or it may represent a Latinized form of a British name derived from the Celtic word alp ‘rock, crag’. Christian tradition has it that St Alban was the first martyr in Roman Britain, who was executed, probably in 209, at Verulamium (now known as St Albans). A Benedictine abbey was founded there and dedicated to the saint by King Offa. Derivation from Albion, a poetic name for Britain, is also a possibility.