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London Metropolitan Archives

WORSLEY, William ([1435]-1499)


Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/519

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives

Title: WORSLEY, William ([1435]-1499)

Date(s): 1479?-1498

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 13 production units.

Name of creator(s): Worsley | William | [1435]-1499 | dean of St Paul's Cathedral


Administrative/Biographical history:

William Worsley was born circa 1435 in Eccles, Lancashire. He enjoyed the patronage of William Booth, bishop of Lichfield and later archbishop of York. Through him he was educated at Winchester College in 1442, going on to Oxford and Cambridge where he studied canon and civil law. He was ordained priest in 1460. In 1468 he was granted a doctorate in civil law, and was granted dispensation to hold canonries and prebends in London, Nottinghamshire and York.

In 1476 Worsley became archdeacon of Nottingham. In January 1479 he was elected dean of Saint Paul's Cathedral by the chapter in London. He was considered a good preacher. In 1494 he was arrested on charges of correspondence with the Yorkist pretender Perkin Warbeck. He was found guilty of high treason, but was saved from execution and paid a heavy fine to be pardoned. He died in August 1499 and was buried in Saint Paul's Cathedral.

Michael J. Bennett, 'Worsley, William (c 1435-1499)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [, accessed 17 June 2011].


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of William Worsley, Dean of St Paul's Cathedral. These account rolls relate to William Worsley's private and personal income and include not only the revenues of the deanery of St Paul's, but also those of his other ecclesiastical preferments and numerous other estates held privately by Worsley in London, Middlesex, Bedfordshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and Berkshire.


Language/scripts of material: Latin

System of arrangement:

Records arranged by MS number, assigned during cataloguing at the Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to this collection rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

These records were deposited with records of St Paul's Cathedral in 1980 (except Ms 25166/6A which was deposited by the Church Commissioners in 1959). The accounts were catalogued in 1992 by a member of Guildhall Library staff. The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.


Publication note:

For a published edition see H Kleineke and S Hovland The Estate and Household Accounts of William Worsley, Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, 1479-97, London Record Society 40 (2004).


Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: Records prepared May to September 2011.

Clergy | Religious groups
Deanery | Religious offices | Religious institutions
Estate management | Land management | Land economics | Agricultural economics
Estates (land) | Land use
Income | Income distribution | Income and wealth
Personal archives | Archives
Personal finance | Finance
Personal papers | Primary documents | Documents | Information sources
Revenue | Public finance | Finance

Personal names
Worsley | William | 1435?-1499 | dean of St Paul's Cathedral

Corporate names
St Paul's Cathedral | London

Bedfordshire | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
Berkshire | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
City of London | London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
Essex | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
Hertfordshire | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
Middlesex | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe