A twelfth-century French architect, supposed to have been born at Sens. He is referred to in September, 1174, as having been the architect who undertook the task of rebuilding the choir of Canterbury cathedral, originally erected by Conrad, the prior of the monastery, and destroyed by fire in that year. A document written by one of the monks of the monastery, describing the fire, tell us that William of Sens was asked to rebuild the choir. In 1179 or 1178 the architect, in consequence of a fall, had to abandon the work, and returned to France, being succeeded by another architect known as "William the Englishman", who completed the eastern portion of the church, and finished it in 1184. Viollet-le-Duc believed, from the close analogy between the twelfth-century part of Canterbury cathedral and that portion of Sens cathedral constructed about the same time, that the tradition associating the name of William of Sens with Canterbury cathedral was well founded, but he was not able to add very much to our knowledge beyond a statement that his death occurred within a few years after his return to France. Various histories of Canterbury cathedral refer to him, and all the available information respecting him was reproduced by Viollet-le-Duc in his work on French architecture and in a monograph on the cathedral at Sens.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online