Vol. 79: Saint Richard of Chichester


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Editor: David Jones
Volume: Volume 79
Published 1995
ISBN: 978 085445 040 4

St. Richard is one of the most attractive English saints-and it is surprising that the early sources that tell his story have been inaccessible for so long. In this volume David Jones brings them together: the first English translation of the Life written by Richard’s friend and disciple, Ralph Bocking; the original Latin text (which has not appeared in print since 1675); the first publication of Cardinal Odo of Chateauroux’s sermon, which is based on the lost canonisation archive; the first translation of the Statutes by which Richard governed his diocese; and his will. In addition, a picture of Richard’s official acts and journeys has been compiled-from a bewildering range of obscure sources – providing a valuable conspectus of the life and activity of a mediaeval English bishop. The introduction weaves all these threads together to provide the rounded portrait.

A fascinating and attractive personality emerges. We see a major religious leader, who was fully prepared to clash head on with his King, and who set out to reform the moral and spiritual life of his diocese. We see a charismatic figure, a man of great personal holiness, whose personal affection for his followers also demanded the highest moral standards from them. We see a masterly administrator, who undertook major work on Chichester Cathedral-and who knew exactly how to extract the funds to do it.

This volume will be indispensible for anyone with an interest in, or affection for, St. Richard-and essential for students of English mediaeval and religious history and history of the county of Sussex.

David Jones is the leading authority on St. Richard and the author of a doctoral thesis and several articles on different aspects of his life.