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Jocelyn of Furness

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Title: Jocelyn of Furness  
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Subject: Kingdom of Strathclyde, Saint Mungo, Govan, Lailoken, O'Donnell dynasty, Yvain, the Knight of the Lion, Bibliography of King Arthur, Saint Fiacc, Saint Asaph, Teneu
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Jocelyn of Furness

Jocelyn of Furness[1] (fl. 1175-1214) was an English Cistercian hagiographer, known for his Lives of Saint Waltheof, Saint Patrick, Saint Kentigern and Saint Helena.

He was a monk of Furness Abbey (now in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria), and translated or adapted Celtic hagiographical material for Anglo-Norman readers. He wrote for Jocelyn, Bishop of Glasgow, a Life of Kentigern, and for John de Courcy and Thomas (Tommaltach), Archbishop of Armagh a Life of St Patrick. His Life of Waltheof was written to promote the cult of a former abbot of Melrose. The Life of St Helena was probably commissioned by a female community in England. Another work attributed to him was a book of British bishops.[2][3][4]

It has been claimed that he was also Abbot of Rushen Abbey, and an architect,[5] but this is one of several different identifications which have been put forward.

Jocelyn's writings are the topic of a major survey by Helen Birkett.[6] A two year AHRC funded project about this author began in summer 2010 co-directed by Clare Downham (University of Liverpool) and Fiona Edmonds (University of Cambridge) which will result in new editions and translations of two of Jocelyn's Lives.[7]


Further reading

  • Helen Birkett, The Saints Lives of Jocelin of Furness: Hagiography, Patronage and Ecclesiastical Politics (Woodbridge, 2010)
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