William of Rochester

(d. 1201)

'William of Rochester' can also refer to...

William of Rochester (d. 1201)

Bottlesham [Bottisham], William (d. 1400), bishop of Rochester

Wells, William (d. 1444), bishop of Rochester and diplomat

William Kelleher Storey. Science and Power in Colonial Mauritius. (Rochester Studies in African History and the Diaspora.) Rochester, N.Y.: University of Rochester Press. 1997. Pp. ix, 238

James William Johnson, A Profane Wit: The Life of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester

James William Johnson, A Profane Wit: The Life of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. Pp. x + 467. Rochester: The University of Rochester Press (distributed in the UK by Boydell and Brewer), 2004. £25.00 (ISBN 1 58046 170 0).

William Palmer. The Problem of Ireland in Tudor Foreign Policy, 1485–1603. Rochester, N.Y.: Boydell. 1994. Pp. 161. $53.00

Public Health and the Risk Factor: A History of an Uneven Medical Revolution. By William G. Rothstein. (Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2003. xiv, 466 pp. $95.00, ISBN 1- 58046-127-1.)

William Bradford Smith. Reformation and the German Territorial State: Upper Franconia, 1300–1630. (Changing Perspectives on Early Modern Europe, number 8.) Rochester, N.Y.: University of Rochester Press. 2008. Pp. xiii, 280. $85.00

Virginia Davis. William Waynflete: Bishop and Educationalist. (Studies in the History of Medieval Religion, number 6.) Rochester, N.Y.: Boydell. 1993. Pp. 193. $63.00

William M. Aird. St. Cuthbert and the Normans: The Church of Durham, 1071–1153. (Studies in the History of Medieval Religion, number 14.) Rochester, N.Y.: Boydell. 1998. Pp. xvi, 311. $75.00

Patrick Walsh The Making of the Irish Protestant Ascendancy: The Life of William Conolly, 1662–1729. (Irish Historical Monographs, number 7.) Rochester, N.Y.: Boydell Press. 2010. Pp. ix, 229. $125.00

Kirsten A. Fenton. Gender, Nation and Conquest in the Works of William of Malmesbury. (Gender in the Middle Ages, number 4.) Rochester, N.Y.: Boydell Press. 2008. Pp. xi, 163. $90.00


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(d. 1201).

A native of Perth and a fisherman by trade, he experienced a conversion as a young man and devoted himself to the care of orphans and the poor, once saving from certain death an infant left at the door of the church. In accordance with a vow, he set off on pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1201.

He took with him but one companion, a young man, who, after they reached Rochester, diverted him on a supposed short-cut and murdered him for his few possessions. His body was found by a madwoman, who garlanded it with honeysuckle and was cured of her madness through it. Other miracles were soon claimed. William was buried in Rochester cathedral, first in the crypt and then in the north-east transept, where offerings at his shrine contributed towards the rebuilding work of the cathedral.

In 1256 Laurence, bishop of Rochester, seems to have obtained some kind of papal approval of the cult. Recorded offerings at the shrine by King Edward I (1300) and Queen Philippa (1352) attest royal interest, while bequests of the 15th and 16th centuries are evidence for its continued local popularity.

St William's hospital, on the road to Maidstone, marks the place of his death. Feast: (according to C.S.P.), 22 April; other authorities give 23 May.

AA.SS. Maii V (1685), 268–9; N.L.A., ii. 457–9; W. H. St John Hope, The Cathedral Church and Monastery of St Andrew at Rochester (1900).

Subjects: Christianity.

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