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John Waldeby Uncovered

Posted for:  Darren Poley, Theology / Outreach Librarian

York Minster

York Minster


John Waldeby, O.S.A. was an Oxford-educated medieval English Augustinian friar well-known for his preaching. “There are many gaps in our knowledge of the career of John Waldeby” (Hackett 35), but many of his sermons were published in his own day. Father John Rotelle, O.S.A. who was the director of the Augustinian Press until his death in 2002 had a transcription made of Waldeby’s fourteenth-century collection of Sunday sermons, Novum Opus Dominicale, preserved in manuscripts of the Bodleian Library, Oxford (Bodley 687 and Laud misc. 77). This work of Waldeby has been called a reference book and is thought to have been composed in the Augustinian priory library, York, England in the 1360s. For a description of the Bodleian manuscripts see: Margaret J. Morrin, “John Waldeby, O.S.A. (ca. 1315-1372), Preacher” Analecta Augustiniana 35 (1972), 75-76. The transcription commissioned by Rotelle was bound and added to the collection of the Augustinian Historical Institute (AHI). There are several works in the AHI which describe Augustinian John Waldeby, but to have a typed transcription of some of his most important sermons is a boon, because Waldeby’s life and works have continued to be a trove for scholarship. It is for this reason that a digital copy of this transcription has been added to the Digital Library@Villanova University.


Suggested Further Reading:

Akae, Yuichi. A mendicant sermon collection from composition to reception: the Novum opus dominicale of John Waldeby, OESA. Sermo, vol. 7. Turnhout: Brepols, 2015.

Emden, A. B. “Waldeby, John de” pages 1957-1958 in A Biographical Register of the
University of Oxford to A.D. 1500, vol. III. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959.

Gwynn, Aubrey, S.J. “John Waldeby of York” pages 114-123 in The English Austin Friars
in the Time of Wyclif. London: Oxford University Press, 1940.

Hackett, Benedict, O.S.A. “John Waldeby” pages 35-48 in William Flete, O.S.A., and
Catherine of Siena: Masters of Fourteenth Century Spirituality. Edited by John E. Rotelle, O.S.A., The Augustinian Series, vol. 15. Villanova, PA: Augustinian Press, 1992.

Morrin, Margaret J. John Waldeby, O.S.A., c.1315 – c. 1372: English Augustinian Preacher
and Writer. Studia Augustiniana Historica, 2. Rome: Analecta Augustiniana, 1975.

Ossinger, Joannes Felix. “Waldebius Joannes” pages 959-960 in Bibliotheca Augustiniana:
historica, critica, et chronologica. Turin: Bottega D’Erasmo, 1963.

Roth, Francis, O.S.A. “John Waldeby” pages 400-404 in The English Austin Friars 1249
1538: I. History. Cassiciacum: Studies in St. Augustine and the Augustinian
Order, vol. VI (American Series). New York: Augustinian Historical Institute, 1966.

Wenzel, Siegfried. “John Waldeby (WA)” pages 40-44 in Latin sermon collections from
later Medieval England : orthodox preaching in the age of Wyclif. Cambridge Studies
in Medieval Literature, 53. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2005.



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Last Modified: February 2, 2016

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