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St Osmund

St Osmund (1).jpg

Osmund was part of the 1066 invasion force, Lord Chancellor (c. 1070–1078), Count of Sées (Orne, Normandy), second Bishop of Salisbury (succeeding Bishop Herman in 1078), one of the Chief Commissioners for the Domesday book and present at Sarum in 1086 when it was presented to William. He completed and consecrated Sarum Cathedral in 1092. He is credited with the introduction of the Sarum form of worship, with the Sarum Rite and Chant. He died in the night of 3 December 1099 and his commemoration day is December 4th. His remains were moved from his (Old) Sarum to (the third and current) Salisbury Cathedral in 1226 and again within the Cathedral in 1457 when he was canonised. His shrine was a victim of the Reformation then moved in 1759 and last moved as recently as 2000. Documents from his time in the 11th century were also moved to and are still held at Salisbury Cathedral.

Statements were taken from twenty nine witnesses of several cited miracles at or near Bishop Osmund’s tomb and were kept in the cathedral's archives and used in an application for canonization to Pope Gregory IX in 1228, considered without a conclusion in 1230.  Further applications were made in the 14th century and 15th centuries. It was granted on the 13th of December 1456 by Pope Calistus III with effect from the 1st of January 1457 although it was the 15th of January before the devout of the new cathedral and new City of Sarum knew about it. His canonization was the last in England until that of Thomas More in 1935.


Malden, Arthur Russell. 1901. The Canonization of Saint Osmund from the manuscript records in the muniment room of Salisbury Cathedral.

Stroud, Daphne. 1986. The Site of the Borough at Old Sarum 1066 to 1226: An Examination of Some Documentary Evidence. Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine vol 80 (1986) pp 120-126

Kerry O'Connor

August 2020

Further reading:

On this website - mentioned in the article William the Conqueror 

A Word document written by Kerry O'Connor containing the information about St Osmund above with an additional account of 'The Miracle of Symon' has been made available by the Local History Group and can be read by clicking here.          

Contact details for the Local History Group are here.


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