William Whittlesey

William Whittlesey
Archbishop of Canterbury
Appointed11 October 1368
Term ended5 June 1374
PredecessorSimon Langham
SuccessorSimon Sudbury
Other postsBishop of Rochester
Bishop of Worcester
Consecration6 February 1362
Personal details
Died5 June 1374

William Whittlesey (or Whittlesea) (died 5 June 1374) was a Bishop of Rochester, then Bishop of Worcester, then finally Archbishop of Canterbury. He also served as Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge.


Whittlesey was probably born in the Cambridgeshire village of Whittlesey, England.

Whittlesey was educated at Oxford, and owing principally to the fact that he was a nephew of Simon Islip, archbishop of Canterbury, he received numerous ecclesiastical preferments; he held prebends at Lichfield, Chichester and Lincoln, and livings at Ivychurch, Croydon and Cliffe.

Whittlesey was briefly appointed Master of Peterhouse on 10 September 1349 and resigned from that post in 1351.[1] Later he was appointed vicar-general, and then dean of the court of arches by Islip. On 23 October 1360 he became Bishop of Rochester and was consecrated on 6 February 1362.[2] Two years after his consecration he was transferred to the bishopric of Worcester on 6 March 1364.[3] On 11 October 1368 Whittlesey was transferred to the archbishopric of Canterbury in succession to Simon Langham, but his term of office was very uneventful, a circumstance due partly, but not wholly, to his feeble health. He died at Lambeth on the 5th or 6 June 1374.[4]


  1. ^ Roach (editor) "The colleges and halls: Peterhouse" History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely
  2. ^ Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 267
  3. ^ Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 279
  4. ^ Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 233


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
John Sheppey
Bishop of Rochester
Succeeded by
Thomas Trilleck
Preceded by
John Barnet
Bishop of Worcester
Succeeded by
William Lenn
Preceded by
Simon Langham
Archbishop of Canterbury
Succeeded by
Simon Sudbury
Academic offices
Preceded by
Ralph de Holbeche
Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge
Succeeded by
Richard de Wisbeche