William Worcester

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William Worcester or William of Worcester (c. 1415– c. 1482) was an English chronicler and antiquary.


He was a son of another William of Worcester, a Bristol citizen, and is sometimes called William Botoner, his mother being a daughter of Thomas Botoner from Catalonia.[1]

He was educated at Oxford and became secretary to Sir John Fastolf. When the knight died in 1459 Worcester, found that nothing had been bequeathed to him although he was one of his executors and, with one of his colleagues Sir William Yelverton, he disputed the validity of the will. However, an amicable arrangement was made and Worcester obtained some lands near Norwich and in Southwark. He died about 1482.[1]


Worcester made several journeys through England, and his Itinerarium contains much information. The survey of Bristol is of value to antiquaries. Portions of the work were printed by James Nasmith in 1778; and the part relating to Bristol was published by James Dallaway under the title William Wyrcestre Redivivus in 1823, and reprinted in his Antiquities of Bristowe in 1834.[1] A modern scholarly edition and translation, edited by John Harvey, was published as Itineraries of William Worcestre in 1969.

Worcester also wrote Annales rerum Anglicarum, a work of some value for the history of England under Henry VI. This was published by Thomas Hearne in 1728, and by Joseph Stevenson for the Rolls series with his Letters and Papers illustrative of the Wars of the English in France during the Reign of Henry VI (1864). Stevenson also printed here collections of papers made by Worcester respecting the wars of the English in France and Normandy.[1]

Worcester's other writings include the last Acta domini Johannis Fastolf. See the Paston Letters edited by James Gairdner (1904); and F. A. Gasquet, An Old English Bible and other Essays (1897).[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Chisholm 1911, p. 821.