William Whittlesey

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William Whittlesey
Archbishop of Canterbury
Appointed 11 October 1368
Installed unknown
Term ended 5 June 1374
Predecessor Simon Langham
Successor Simon Sudbury
Other posts Bishop of Rochester
Bishop of Worcester
Consecration 6 February 1362
Personal details
Died 5 June 1374

William Whittlesey (or Whittlesea) (died 5 June 1374) was a Bishop of Rochester, then Bishop of Worcester, then finally Archbishop of Canterbury. He also served as Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge.


Whittlesey was probably born in the Cambridgeshire village of Whittlesey, England.

Whittlesey was educated at Oxford, and owing principally to the fact that he was a nephew of Simon Islip, archbishop of Canterbury, he received numerous ecclesiastical preferments; he held prebends at Lichfield, Chichester and Lincoln, and livings at Ivychurch, Croydon and Cliffe.

Whittlesey was briefly appointed Master of Peterhouse on 10 September 1349 and resigned from that post in 1351.[1] Later he was appointed vicar-general, and then dean of the court of arches by Islip. On 23 October 1360 he became Bishop of Rochester and was consecrated on 6 February 1362.[2] Two years after his consecration he was transferred to the bishopric of Worcester on 6 March 1364.[3] On 11 October 1368 Whittlesey was transferred to the archbishopric of Canterbury in succession to Simon Langham, but his term of office was very uneventful, a circumstance due partly, but not wholly, to his feeble health. He died at Lambeth on the 5th or 6 June 1374.[4]


  1. ^ Roach (editor) "The colleges and halls: Peterhouse" History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely
  2. ^ Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 267
  3. ^ Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 279
  4. ^ Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 233


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Whittlesea, William". Encyclopædia Britannica. 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 
  • Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1996). Handbook of British Chronology (Third revised ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X. 
  • Roach, J. P. C., ed. (1959). "The colleges and halls: Peterhouse". A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 3: The City and University of Cambridge. pp. 334–340. 
  •  Tait, James (1900). "Whittlesey, William". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography. 61. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  • Swanson, R. N. "Wittleseye , William (d. 1374)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/29333.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
John Sheppey
Bishop of Rochester
Succeeded by
Thomas Trilleck
Preceded by
John Barnet
Bishop of Worcester
Succeeded by
William Lenn
Preceded by
Simon Langham
Archbishop of Canterbury
Succeeded by
Simon Sudbury
Academic offices
Preceded by
Ralph de Holbeche
Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge
Succeeded by
Richard de Wisbeche

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