William of Drogheda (DNB00)

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WILLIAM of Drogheda (d. 1245?), canonist, was an eminent lecturer on canon law at Oxford during the first half of the thirteenth century. Between 1241 and 1245 he was principal advocate for William of Montpellier in the litigation about his election to the see of Coventry and Lichfield; and such weight was attached to his advocacy that the bishop-elect, hearing in 1245 of William's death, gave up his claim (Matt. Paris, Chron. Maj. iv. 423). According to Mr. Rashdall, however, the canonist in 1250 gave his hall or house at Oxford to the prior and convent of Sherborne, who in 1255 sold it to the university; it is now No. 33 High Street, and is still called ‘Drawda Hall.’ William also appears to have been rector of Stratton Audley, Oxfordshire (Cal. Pap. Reg. i. 214).

About 1239 William wrote, for the use of his pupils, his ‘Summa Aurea,’ an elaborate treatise on canon law, which was still quoted as an authority, even at Bologna, some centuries later (Bethmann-Hollweg, Der Civil-process des gemeinen Rechts, vi. 123, 124; Albericus Gentilis, Laudes Acad. 1605, p. 54). Two manuscripts are extant at Caius College, Cambridge ({sc|Wunderlich}}, Zeitschrift, xi. 79), and others are at Luxemburg (Stadtbibliothek, No. 105), at Tours (Dorange, Cat. MSS. p. 310), and in the Vatican (Stevenson, Codd. Lat. Bibl. Vat. p. 283). None of these manuscripts appear to be perfect; extracts from the Caius manuscripts are printed in the ‘English Historical Review’ (xii. 645), and a full description of the work is given in Professor F. W. Maitland's ‘Roman Canon Law’ (1898, pp. 107 sqq.).

[Authorities cited; Rashdall's Universities of Europe, ii. 374, 470.]

A. F. P.