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Roger of Worcester (c. 1118 – 9 or 10 August 1179) was Bishop of Worcester from 1163 to 1179. He had a major role in the controversy between Henry II of England, who was Roger's cousin, and Archbishop Thomas Becket.[1]


Roger's father was Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester.[2] His illegitimate half-brother Richard was Bishop of Bayeux from 1135 to 1142.[3] Roger was a younger son and he was educated with the future king, Henry II, afterwards ordained priest, and consecrated Bishop of Worcester by Thomas Becket,[citation needed] on 23 August 1163.[4] He adhered loyally to Thomas, and though one of the bishops sent to the pope to carry the king's appeal against the archbishop, he took no active part in the embassy, nor did he join the appeal made by the bishops against the archbishop in 1166, thus arousing the enmity of the king.

When Thomas desired Roger to join him in his exile, Roger went without leave in 1167, Henry having refused him permission. He boldly reproached the king when they met at Falaise in 1170, and a reconciliation followed. After the martyrdom of St. Thomas, England was threatened with an interdict, but Roger interceded with the pope and was thereafter highly esteemed in England and at Rome. Pope Alexander III, who frequently employed him as delegate in ecclesiastical causes, spoke of him and Bartholomew Iscanus Bishop of Exeter, as "the two great lights of the English Church".[5]


Roger died on 9 August 1179[4] or on 10 August. His death was commemorated on 9 August.[2]


  1. ^ Cheney Roger, Bishop of Worcester[page needed]
  2. ^ a b British History Online Bishops of Worcester accessed on 3 November 2007
  3. ^ Spear "Norman Empire and the Secular Clergy" Journal of British Studies p. 5
  4. ^ a b Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 278
  5. ^ "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Roger, Bishop of Worcester". Retrieved 28 August 2020.


  • British History Online Bishops of Worcester accessed on 3 November 2007
  • Cheney, Mary G. Roger, Bishop of Worcester 1164–1179 Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980
  • Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1996). Handbook of British Chronology (Third revised ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X.
  • Spear, David S. "The Norman Empire and the Secular Clergy, 1066–1204" The Journal of British Studies Volume XXI Number 2 Spring 1982 p. 1-10

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Missing or empty |title= (help)