Osmund of Salisbury, St.
OSMUND OF SALISBURY, ST.
Bishop, chancellor; d. Dec. 3–4, 1099. Osmund, or Osmer, was a Norman noble who went to England with his uncle, william i the Conqueror, for whom he served as chaplain and then chancellor (c. 1072–78). He was consecrated bishop of Salisbury in 1078. Prominent in civil as well as ecclesiastical affairs of the realm, he is believed to have directed a large portion of the Domesday survey. As bishop he completed the cathedral of Old Sarum (not the present cathedral of Salisbury) and established there a cathedral chapter of secular canons. Emulation of this example gradually brought the English cathedral system into conformity with Continental practice. He also organized the liturgical services for his diocese and the compilation provided the basis of the later "Sarum Use" that was widely adopted throughout the British Isles. He was canonized by Pope callistus iii, Jan. 1, 1457, the last canonization of a saint from England until that of Sir Thomas more in 1935. On July 23, 1457, his remains were translated from Old Sarum to the Lady Chapel in Salisbury.
Feast: Dec. 4.
Bibliography: william of malmesbury, Gesta pontificum Anglorum, ed. n. e. s. a. hamilton (Rerum Britannicarum medii aevi scriptores 52; 1870) 183–184, 424–431. The Register of S. Osmund, ed. w. h. r. jones, 2 v. (ibid. 78; 1883–84). The Canonization of Saint Osmund, ed. a. r. malden (Salisbury, Eng. 1901). c. l. kingsford, The Dictionary of National Biography From the Earliest Times to 1900 (London 1885–1900) 14:1207–09. w. j. torrance, The Story of Saint Osmund, Bishop of Salisbury (Salisbury, Wiltshire 1978).
[r. d. ware]