During a year’s office there he had the earl of Desmond attainted, and cruelly put to death the earl’s two infant sons. In 1470, as constable, he condemned twenty of Warwick’s adherents, and had them impaled, “for which ever afterwards the earl was greatly hated among the people, for their disordinate death that he used contrary to the law of the land” (Warkworth, 9). On the Lancastrian restoration Worcester fled into hiding, but was discovered and tried before the earl of Oxford, son of the man whom he had condemned in 1462. He was executed on Tower Hill on the iSth of October 1470.
Worcester was detested for his brutality and abuse of the law, and was called “the butcher of England” (Fabyan, 659). More than any of his contemporaries in this country he represents the combination of culture and cruelty that was distinctive of the Italians of the Renaissance. Apart from his moral character he was an accomplished scholar, and a great purchaser of books in Italy, many of which he presented to the university of Oxford. He translated Cicero’s De amicitia and Buonaccorso’s Declaration of Nobleness, which were printed by Caxton in 1481. Caxton in his epilogue eulogized Worcester as superior to all the temporal lords of the kingdom in moral virtue as well as in science. Worcester is also credited with a translation of Caesar’s Commentaries printed in 1530. His “ordinances for justes and triumphes,” made as constable in 1466, are printed in Harrington’s Nugae antiquae. Worcester was a patron of the early English humanist John Free, and his Italian friends included, besides those already mentioned, Lodovico Carbo of Ferrara, and the famous Florentine bookseller Vespasiano da Bisticci.
Authorities.—For Worcester’s English career see especially the contemporary accounts in Three Fifteenth Century Chronicles, Collections of a London Citizen (Gregory’s Chronicle), and Warkworth’s Chronicle—all three published by the Camden Society. Vespasiano da Bisticci gave an account of him in his Vite di uomini illustri, i. 322–326. ap. Opere inedite o rare nella provincia dell’ Emilia. See also Blades’ Life of Caxton, i. 79, ii. 73. ((C. L. K.))
Worcester, William (c. 1413–c. 1482), English chronicler, was a son of William of Worcester, a Bristol citizen, and is sometimes called William Botoner, his mother being a daughter of Thomas Botoner. He was educated at Oxford and became secretary to Sir John Fastolf. When the knight died in 1459, Worcester, although one of his executors, found that nothing had been bequeathed to him, and with one of his colleagues, Sir William Yelverton, he disputed the validity of the will. However, an amicable arrangement was made and Worcester obtained some lands near Norwich and in Southwark. He died about 1482. Worcester made several journeys through England, and his Itinerarium contains much information. The survey of Bristol is of the highest value to antiquaries. Portions of the work were printed by James Nasmith in 1778, and the part relating to Bristol is in James Dallaway’s Antiquities of Bristowe (Bristol, 1834).
Worcester also wrote Annates rerum Ariglicarum, a work of some value for the history of England under Henry VI. This was published by T. Hearne in 1728, and by Joseph Stevenson for the “Rolls” series with his Letters and Papers illustrative of the Wars of the English in France during the Reign of Henry VI. (1864). Stevenson also printed here collections of papers made by Worcester respecting the wars of the English in France and Normandy. Worcester’s other writings include the last Acta domini Johannis Fastolf. See the Paston Letters edited by J. Gairdner (1904); and F. A. Gasquet, An Old English Bible and other Essays (1897).
Worcester, a town of the Cape province, S. Africa, 109 m. by rail (58 in a direct line) N.E. of Cape Town, and the starting point of the railway to Mossel Bay and Port Elizabeth. Pop. (1904) 7885. It lies in the Little Karroo, about 800 ft. above the sea at the foot of the Hex River mountains. Tanning and wagon-building are among the industries, but the surrounding country is one of the largest wine and brandy producing districts in the province. At Brandvlei, 9 m. S., near the Breede river are thermal springs with a temperature of 145° F.
Worcester, an episcopal city and county of a city, municipal, parliamentary, and county borough, and county town of Worcestershire, England, on the river Severn, 120½ m. W.N.W. of London. Pop. (1901) 46,624. It is served by the Great Western railway and by the Bristol–Birmingham line of the Midland railway. Branches of the Great Western diverge to Malvern and Hereford, and to Leominster. Worcester lies mainly upon the left (E.) bank of the Severn, which is here a broad and placid river, the main part of the city lying on a ridge parallel with its banks. The city is governed by a mayor, 12 aldermen and 36 councillors. Area 3242 acres.
The cathedral church of Our Lord and the Blessed Virgin Mary is beautifully placed close to the river. The see was founded by the advice of Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury about 679 or 680, though, owing to the opposition of the bishop of Lichfield it was not finally established till 780. In its formation the tribal division was followed, and it contained the people of the Hwiccas. The bishop’s church of St Peter’s, with its secular canons, was absorbed by Bishop Oswald into the monastery of St Mary. The canons became monks, and in 983 Oswald finished the building of a new monastic cathedral. After the Norman Conquest the saintly bishop of Worcester, Wulfstan, was the only English prelate who was left in possession of his see, and it was he who first undertook the building of a great church of stone according to the Norman pattern. Of the work of Wulfstan, the outer walls of the nave, aisles, a part of the walls of the transepts, some shafts and the crypt remain. The crypt (1084) is one of the four apsidal crypts in England, the others being those in Winchester, Gloucester and Canterbury cathedrals. Wulfstan’s building seems to have extended no farther than the transepts, but the nave was continued, though much of it was destroyed by the fall of the central tower in 1175. The two W. bays of the nave date from about 1160. In 1203 Wulfstan, who had died in 1095, was canonized, and on the completion and dedication of the cathedral in 1218, his body was placed in a shrine, which became a place of pilgrimage, and thereby brought wealth to the monks. They devoted this to the building of a lady chapel at the E. end, extending the building by 50 ft.; and in 1224 was begun the rebuilding of the choir, in its present splendid Early English style. The nave was remodelled in the 14th century, and, excepting the W. bays, shows partly Decorated but principally early Perpendicular work. The building is cruciform, and is without aisles in the transepts, but has secondary choir-transepts. A Jesus chapel (an uncommon feature) opens from the N. nave aisle, from which it is separated by a very beautiful modern screen of stone, in the Perpendicular style. Without, the cathedral is severely plain, with the exception of the ornate tower, which dates from 1374, and is 196 ft. in height. The principal dimensions of the cathedral are—extreme length 425 ft. (nave 170 ft., choir 180 ft.), extreme width 145 ft. (choir 78 ft.), height of nave 68 ft. The monastic remains lie to the S. The cloisters are of Perpendicular work engrafted upon Norman walls, being entered from the S. through a fine Norman doorway. In them the effect of the warm red sandstone is particularly beautiful. An interesting Norman chapter house adjoins them on the E., its Perpendicular roof supported on a central column, while on the S. lies the Refectory, a fine Decorated room (1372) now devoted to the uses of the Cathedral School. There are also picturesque ruins of the Guesten Hall (1320). A very extensive restoration was begun in 1857, upwards of £100,000 being spent. Among the monuments in the cathedral, that of King John, in the choir, is the earliest sepulchral effigy of an English king in the country. There is an altar tomb, in a very fine late Perpendicular chantry chapel, of Arthur, Prince of Wales, son of Henry VII., who died in 1502. There are also monuments of John Gauden, the bishop who wrote Icon basilike, often attributed to Charles I., of Bishop Hough by Roubillac, and of Mrs Digby by Chantrey.
Of the eleven parish churches, St Alban’s has considerable Norman remains, St Peter’s contains portions of all Gothic styles, St Helen’s, with a fine peal of bells commemorating the victories of Marlborough, has also Gothic portions, but the majority were either rebuilt in the 18th century, or are modern. St Andrews has a beautiful spire, erected in 1751, 155 ft. 6 in. in height. Holy Trinity preserves the ancient roof of the Guesten Hall. St John’s in Bedwardine was made a parish church in 1371.