Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

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".


More Encyclopedia

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 between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

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

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • St. Cyril of Alexandria: Saint of the Day for Monday, June 27, 2016
  • AP discovers Clinton hid details of 75 meetings with donors while ...
  • Daily Reading for Wednesday, June 29th, 2016 HD Video
  • Daily Reading for Tuesday, June 28th, 2016 HD Video
  • Your Daily Inspirational Meme: Dear God
  • 9-year-old boy burned for accepting Christ
  • Daily Readings for Monday, June 27, 2016

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Amos 2:6-10, 13-16
6 Yahweh says this: For the three crimes, the four crimes of Israel, I ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 50:16-17, 18-19, 20-21, 22-23
16 But to the wicked, God says: 'What right have you to recite my ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 8:18-22
18 When Jesus saw the crowd all about him he gave orders to leave for the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for June 27th, 2016 Image

St. Cyril of Alexandria
June 27: St. Cyril of Alexandria, Bishop and Doctor of the ... Read More