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William of Worcester; William of Worcestre; William Botoner , author and topographer

Born: 1415   Died: 1480x1485   

William was born in Bristol and from 1438 officiated as secretary to Sir John Falstolf which involved a considerable amount of travel.

In 1470, some years after Sir John's death in 1459, William moved from London to Cambridge, but was still engaged in the disposal of Sir John’s property. He later lived in Norwich and by 1477, when he was in his early sixties, William was free to travel for his own pleasure and embarked on a tour of the various religious houses. This was partly a pilgrimage and in part to feed his scholarly / antiquarian mind. William’s main love was architecture, but he was interested in other subjects such as history, ecology and astronomy. He has been described as the first antiquary and archaeologist.
It is not known when exactly William died but he was certainly dead by 1485.

Sites associated with this person

Tintern Abbey, Monmouthshire

Bibliographical sources

Printed sources

Harvey, J. H., William Worcester, Itineraries (Oxford, 1969)

Web links (open in new window)

Orme, Nicholas, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography online - William of Worcester (View website) (Subscription reqd.)