Jocelyn of Furness

Jocelyn of Furness[1] (fl. 1175-1214) was an English Cistercian hagiographer, known for his Lives of Saint Waltheof, Saint Patrick, Saint Kentigern and Saint Helena.

He was a monk of Furness Abbey (now in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria), and translated or adapted Celtic hagiographical material for Anglo-Norman readers. He wrote for Jocelyn, Bishop of Glasgow, a Life of Kentigern, and for John de Courcy and Thomas (Tommaltach), Archbishop of Armagh a Life of St Patrick. His Life of Waltheof was written to promote the cult of a former abbot of Melrose. The Life of St Helena was probably commissioned by a female community in England. Another work attributed to him was a book of British bishops.[2][3][4]

It has been claimed that he was also Abbot of Rushen Abbey, and an architect,[5] but this is one of several different identifications which have been put forward.

Jocelyn's writings are the topic of a major survey by Helen Birkett.[6] and a volume of conference proceedings.[7]


  1. Jocelyne, Jocelin.
  2. Koch, John T. (2006) Celtic Culture: a historical encyclopedia; p. 1037.
  6. Helen Birkett, The Saints Lives of Jocelin of Furness: Hagiography, Patronage and Ecclesiastical Politics (Woodbridge, 2010)
  7. Clare Downham (ed.) Jocelin of Furness: Essays from the 2011 Conference (Donington, 2013)

Further reading

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