Osbern FitzOsbern

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Osbern FitzOsbern
Bishop of Exeter
Appointed 1072
Predecessor Leofric
Successor William Warelwast
Other posts royal chaplain
Consecration 27 May 1072
by Lanfranc
Personal details
Died 1103
Denomination Catholic

Osbern fitzOsbern (c. 1032–1103) was an Anglo-Norman churchman.


Osbern was a relative of King Edward the Confessor as well as being a royal chaplain.[1] During Edward's reign he received the church at Bosham, near Chichester.[2] He was one of those present at the consecration of Westminster Abbey at Christmas 1065.[3] He was a steward for King William I of England during his reign, as well as being a friend of the king.[4] The story that he became William's chancellor is based entirely on a charter that modern historians have declared mostly spurious.[3] He became Bishop of Exeter in 1072,[5] and was consecrated at St. Paul's in London on 27 May 1072 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lanfranc.[3]

Osbern was present at the church councils held in 1072 and 1075.[3] Osbern was present at the first Christmas court held by King William II of England after his accession.[6] Osbern did not attend the church council held by Anselm, the new Archbishop of Canterbury in 1102, as he was ill.[7] He became embroiled in a dispute with the monks of Battle Abbey, who had established a priory in Exeter. The cathedral chapter of Exeter objected to the priory establishing a graveyard or ringing their bells, and both sides appealed to Anselm, who ruled in Battle's favor on the bell issue. The dispute over the graveyard was still ongoing in 1102, when Pope Paschal II wrote to Osbern ordering the him to allow the priory to establish a graveyard for their benefactors.[8]

Osbern FitzOsbern died in 1103,[5] having gone blind before his death.[9] William fitz Osbern, Earl of Hereford was his brother. Their father was Osbern de Crépon, a guardian and seneschal to the young Duke William.[2] Frank Barlow, a medieval historian, described Osbern as "unsociable".[10]


  1. Barlow Edward the Confessor p. 164
  2. 2.0 2.1 Douglas William the Conqueror pp. 166–167
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Kinsford "Osbern" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  4. Barlow William Rufus pp. 178–179
  5. 5.0 5.1 Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 246
  6. Barlow William Rufus p. 66
  7. Vaughn Anselm of Bec pp. 246–247 and footnote 165
  8. Brett English Church pp. 93–94
  9. Barlow English Church p. 80
  10. Barlow William Rufus p. 326


  • Barlow, Frank (1970). Edward the Confessor. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-01671-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Barlow, Frank (1979). The English Church 1066–1154: A History of the Anglo-Norman Church. New York: Longman. ISBN 0-582-50236-5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Barlow, Frank (1983). William Rufus. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-04936-5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Brett, M. (1975). The English Church under Henry I. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-821861-3.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Douglas, David C. (1964). William the Conqueror: The Norman Impact Upon England. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. OCLC 399137.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1996). Handbook of British Chronology (Third revised ed.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Kingsford, C. L. (2004). "Osbern (d. 1103)" ((subscription or UK public library membership required)). In Costambeys, Marios (ed.). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/20866. Retrieved 8 April 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Vaughn, Sally N. (1987). Anselm of Bec and Robert of Meulan: The Innocence of the Dove and the Wisdom of the Serpent. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-05674-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Bishop of Exeter
Succeeded by
William Warelwast