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date: 17 November 2019

William the Englishman locked

(fl 1178–86).
  • Peter Draper


(fl 1178–86).

English architect. In the account by the monk Gervase he is recorded as directing the works at Canterbury Cathedral (see Canterbury §III 1., (i)) from 1178 to 1184 and is succinctly characterized as ‘William by name, English by nation, small in body, but in workmanship of many kinds acute and honest’. This is all that is known of him, unless he is to be identified with a William the Englishman, a chaplain, who built a church at St Jean d’Acre (now ‛Akko) in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1192, or with the William ‘Anglicanus’ who was a carpenter in the service of King John (reg 1199–1216) in 1214. Gervase gives no indication that William had previously worked at Canterbury under his predecessor, William of Sens, but the continuity of building makes it difficult to disentangle their respective contributions to the design of the east end of the ...

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J. Harvey: English Mediaeval Architects: A Biographical Dictionary down to 1550 (London, 1954, rev. and enlarged 2/1984)