Geoffrey of Wells

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Geoffrey of Wells (Galfridius Fontibus)[note 1] was a mid-12th-century English hagiographer and a canon of Wells Cathedral, whose De Infantia Sancti Edmundi ("The infancy of Saint Edmund"),[1] part of the burgeoning library of 12th-century legendaries concerning Saint Edmund,[2] accounted the royal saint's childhood to have been full of adventure.[note 2] He dedicated his "largely spurious account"[3] to Ording, eighth abbot of Bury St. Edmunds,[4] and spoke of the encouragement of another well-placed Anglo-Saxon, Prior Sihtric. The manuscript of Geoffrey's pious embroidery was among the manuscripts collected by the early 17th-century antiquary Robert Bruce Cotton, now conserved in the British Library in London.[5]


  1. ^ Geoffrey of Wells, Liber de infantia Sancti Eadmundi, R.M. Thomson, editor, Analecta Bollandiana 95 (1977:34-42).
  2. ^ Gábor Klaniczay, (Eva Pálmai, translator), Holy Rulers and Blessed Princesses: Dynastic Cults in Medieval Central Europe (Cambridge University Press) 2002:162; "The history of the legend of Saint Edmund" Archived June 2, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Hugh M. Thomas, The English and the Normans: Ethnic Hostility, Assimilation, and Identity (Oxford University Press) 2000:132.
  4. ^ Abbots of Bury St. Edmunds
  5. ^ British Library, Cotton Titus A. viii, part II, BL2393


  1. ^ Another Galfridus Fontibus was Geoffrey of Fontaines-les-Blanches: see Giles Constable, "Religious communities, 1024-1215", in David Luscombe (ed.), The New Cambridge Medieval History (Cambridge University Press) 2004:364.
  2. ^ For parallel apocryphal literature, see Infancy gospels.

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