A biographer of St. Thomas Becket , dates of birth and death unknown. He was probably born in the County of Sussex at the place from which he took his name, and he must have joined Becket's household before 1162, as, on his elevation in that year, the new archbishop immediately promoted him to a responsible position. He was to give his master advice on the performance of his duties, and to assist and even direct his studies of Scripture. Herbert remained closely attached to St. Thomas during the arduous and troubled years of his episcopacy and exile down to the very eve of the final scene in Canterbury Cathedral. Of all the archbishop's followers he was the keenest antagonist of the king and the royal "customs", quite ready on occasion to beard Henry II to his face or to undertake dangerous missions to England. After the martyrdom Herbert seems to have lived mainly on the Continent, and he complains that he was neglected by the friends and adherents of the master whom he had served so faithfully; he records, however, a friendly interview with the king himself. We know nothing of him after the year 1189. As a biographer Herbert had many advantages. He shared St. Thomas's ideals and was an eyewitness of most of the incidents of his episcopacy. He had sat by him, for instance, during the stormy scenes of the trial at Northampton. On the other hand he did not begin to write till 1184, many years after the events which he records, and Dom L'Huillier has given good reasons to doubt the accuracy of Herbert's reminiscences. The biographer certainly exaggerated his own personal influence over St. Thomas. Herbert of Bosham's work has not, therefore, the historical value of that of Fitzstephen, and it is also extremely verbose. Besides the "Life of St. Thomas", he wrote a very lengthy "Liber Melorum" in praise of the martyr. The best edition of the "Life" is that contained in vol. III of the "Materials for the History of Thomas Becket" (Rolls Series) edited by Canon Robertson; the volume also contains some extracts from the "Liber Melorum".
St Stephen Holy Card
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