Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Briton, William

BRITON or BRETON, WILLIAM (d. 1356), theologian, is described as a Franciscan by all the literary biographers (leland, Comm. de Script. Brit. p. 356, &c.); according, however, to H. O. Coxe (Catal. Codd. MSS. in Coll. Aulisque Oxon. i. 4), he was a Cistercian. No fact is known of his life, but Bale (Script. Brit. Cat. v. 89), who claims him, apparently by a guess, for a Welshman, places his death in 1356 at Grimsby. Briton's works, enumerated by Bale, are principally concerned with dialectics. His fame, however, rests upon his 'Vocabularium Bibliæ,' a treatise explanatory of obscure words in the Scriptures. The prologue and some other parts are in Latin verse. These, with additional specimens, have been printed by A. M. Bandini in his 'Catal. Codd. Latin. Biblioth. Medic. Laurent.' iv. 213 et seqq., Florence, 1777. Extracts are given by Ducange, 'Glossar. Med. et Infim. Latin.' praef., cap. xlix.

[Authorities cited above, and Fabricius, Biblioth. Lat. Med. et Inf. Æt. i. 261, ed. Florence, 1858.]

R. L. P.