Folcard (DNB00)

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FOLCARD or FOULCARD (fl. 1066), hagiographer, a Fleming by race and birth, was a monk of St. Bertin's in Flanders, who is supposed to have come over to England in the reign of Edward the Confessor. He entered the monastery of the Holy Trinity or Christ Church, Canterbury, and was renowned for his learning, and especially for his knowledge of grammar and music; his manners were affable and his temper cheerful. Soon after the Conquest the king set him over the abbey of Thorney, Cambridgeshire; but he was never strictly abbot, for he did not receive the benediction. After holding the abbey about sixteen years he retired, owing to a dispute with the Bishop of Lincoln, evidently Remigius, and returned, as may be fairly inferred from Orderic, to his own land. The statement in the ‘Monasticon’ that he was deposed by Lanfranc at the council of Gloucester in 1084 seems to lack foundation. Either while he was a monk at Canterbury, or during his residence at Thorney, which seems more probable, he and his monastery were in some trouble, and were helped by Aldred [q. v.], archbishop of York, who persuaded the queen either of the Confessor or of the Conqueror to interest herself in their cause. In return Folcard wrote the ‘Life of Archbishop John of Beverley’ for Aldred. His works are: 1. ‘Vita S. Bertini,’ dedicated to Bovo, abbot of St. Bertin's from 1043 to 1065, and printed in Mabillon's ‘Acta SS. O. S. B.’ III. ii. 104, and in Migne's ‘Patrologia,’ cxlvii. 1082. 2. ‘Vita Audomari,’ in Mabillon, ii. 557, and Migne. 3. A poem ‘in honorem S. Vigoris Episcopi,’ written between 1045 and 1074, in Achery's ‘Spicilegium,’ iv. 576, and Migne. 4. ‘Vita S. Oswaldi’ in Mabillon, i. 727, the Bollandists' ‘Acta SS.,’ Capgrave, and Migne. 5. ‘Responsoria for the Festival of St. John of Beverley,’ composed before ‘Vita S. Johannis Episcopi Eboracensis,’ which was written before 1070, and is printed in the Bollandists' ‘Acta SS.’ May, ii. 165, Migne, and ‘Historians of York’ (Rolls Ser.), i. 238. 6. ‘Vita S. Botulfi,’ suggested by the fact that the relics of the saint were at Thorney, dedicated to Walkelin, bishop of Winchester, and therefore written in or after 1070, in Mabillon, III. 1, the Bollandists' ‘Acta SS.’ June iv. 324, and Migne.

[Ordericus Vitalis, Eccles. Hist. lib. xi. 835, Duchesne; Histoire Littéraire de la France, ed. 1868, viii. 132; Cave's Scriptt. Eccles. Historia, p. 531; Bale's Scriptt. cent. ii. 164; Dugdale's Monasticon, ii. 594; Wright's Biog. Lit. i. 512; Hardy's Cat. I. i. 373, 423, ii. 790; Raine's Historians of York, i., Pref. lii. (Rolls Ser.)]

W. H.