Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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WALLENSIS , i.e. ‘Welshman’;

four men, all of whom are mentioned in the D.N.B. , bore this appellation, and it will be convenient to deal with them all under this one heading.

(1) JOHANNES WALLENSIS ( fl. 1215 ), a lecturer in canon law at the university of Bologna ;

his surname is the only indication of his Welsh origin.


(2) JOHANNES WALLENSIS (d. 1285? );

see under ‘ Johannes .’


(3) THOMAS WALLENSIS (d. 1255 ), a Grey Friar who became bishop of S. Davids ;

there is no doubt at all that he was Welsh , for we have his own statement to this effect. He was one of the first four Grey Friars to teach at Oxford , and both Roger Bacon and Robert Grosseteste spoke highly of him ( Little , Studies in English Franciscan History , 194-5). He was appointed bishop of S. Davids , 16 July 1247 , consecrated 26 July 1248 , and d. 11 July 1255 .


(4) THOMAS WALLENSIS (d. 1350? ), a Black Friar ,

who was educated at Oxford and Paris . In 1332 he was accused (by the Grey Friars ) of heresy, but was acquitted. He, too, was a voluminous writer , and as he wrote on the same subjects as ‘ Johannes Wallensis ’ — both of them being occupied with the instruction of preachers — it was not unnatural that the works of one Welshman should be attributed to the other (or that similar works by other authors should be attributed to one of these two) — see A. G. Little 's book referred to above, and G. R. Owst , Medieval Preaching in England (index), which give far more prominence to Thomas than to Johannes . In 1349 , Thomas describes himself as a ‘ poverty-stricken old man afflicted by palsy ,’ and it is surmised that he d. in 1350 .

Sources:

  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography , and other books mentioned above.

Author:

Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor

Published date: 1959