Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Wallensis, Thomas (d.1350?)

732165Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 59 — Wallensis, Thomas (d.1350?)1899Mary Bateson

WALLENSIS or WALEYS, THOMAS (d. 1350?), Dominican, presumably a Welshman, was educated at Oxford and Paris, and took the degree of master of theology. On 4 Jan. 1333 he asserted before the cardinals at Avignon the doctrine of the saints' immediate vision of God, against which John XXII had recently pronounced. He was charged with heresy on 9 Jan. before William de Monte Rotundo, on the evidence of Walter of Chatton, both Franciscans. He was sent to the inquisitors' prison by 14 Feb., and about 22 Oct. was moved to the prison of the papal lodging, where he was confined in all about seventeen months. A long correspondence took place between the pope and Philip VI and the university of Paris on the subject of his trial. He was ultimately released through French influence, and the pope accepted the doctrine of the immediate vision. There is a full account of the trial in the University Library, Cambridge, Ii. ill. 10, which contains a copy of Thomas's sermon. In the ‘Calendar of Papal Petitions’ (ed. Bliss, i. 146) he describes himself in 1349 as old, paralysed, and destitute. His petition on behalf of his one friend, Lambert of Poulsholt, who will provide him with necessaries, for the parish church of Bishopton, Wiltshire, was granted.

The following is a list of the works written by or attributed to him:

  1. The epistle or tractate ‘De Instantibus et Momentis’ (Ii. iii. ff. 40–8) and ‘Responsiones’ to certain articles objected against him.
  2. His ‘De Modo Componendi Sermones,’ or ‘De Arte Predicandi,’ of which there are many manuscripts, is addressed to Theobald de Ursinis, or Cursinis, bishop of Palermo, 1338–50.
  3. His ‘Campus Florum,’ beginning ‘Fulcite me floribus,’ consisting of short tracts from the fathers and canonists, alphabetically arranged, was sent by him to Theobald for correction. There is a copy at Peterhouse, No. 86. Leland ascribes to him a work of the same name, an English-Latin dictionary, which he saw at the Oxford public library, beginning ‘Disciplina deditus apud Miram vallem.’ There was probably a copy of the same, called ‘Campeflour,’ at Syon monastery, and Bale knew of one at Magdalen College, Oxford, now lost. The ‘Promptorium Parvulorum’ (ed. Way) contains frequent references to this lost work.
  4. Commentaries on the Books of the Old Testament, Exodus to Ruth, with Isaiah. Leland gives the incipits of those which he saw at Wardon Abbey, Bedfordshire (Collect. iii. 12), and they are found in the Merton College MS. 196. A closely similar set of commentaries is ascribed to John Wallensis or Waleys [q. v.]
  5. Bale also ascribes to Thomas ‘De Natura Bestiarum,’ a table of beasts or book of the natures of animals, which precedes the ‘Commentaries’ in the Merton manuscript.
  6. Quétif gives reasons for assigning to Waleys a Commentary on the first thirty-eight Psalms printed at Venice, 1611, as the work of Thomas Jorz [q. v.] (a Dominican who is also called Thomas Anglicus and Thomas Wallensis); Quétif also assigns to him ‘Super duos Nocturnos Psalmos,’ which Quétif saw dated 1346 in a Belgian manuscript.
  7. The commentary on the ‘De Civitate Dei,’ printed as the joint work of Trivet and Thomas Anglicus (i.e. Jorz) at Toulouse, 1488, and elsewhere, is probably by Waleys and not by Jorz.
  8. Oudin (vol. iii. col. 687) ascribes to him ‘Adversus Iconoclastes, de formis Veterum Deorum,’ and ‘Tractatus de Figuris Deorum,’ in the Paris MS. 5224.
  9. The ‘Super Boethium de Consolatione Philosophie’ and the ‘De Conceptione Beate Virginis,’ both printed among the works of Aquinas, cannot be definitely assigned to either Waleys or Jorz.
  10. A commentary on St. Matthew, beginning ‘Tria insinuantur,’ which Leland saw at the Franciscans' Library, London (Collect. iii. 50), and ascribed to Waleys.

[Denifle's Cart. Univ. Paris. ii. 414–42, contains the papal correspondence on the subject of Waleys's heresy; Leland's Comm. de Script. Brit. pp. 307, 333; Bateson's Syon Catalogue. Quétif and Echard's Script. Ord. Predic. i. 597, attempts to distinguish the works of T. Waleys from those of the Dominican Thomas Jorz, called also Anglicus and Waleys. Oudin inclines to attribute all the Scripture commentaries found under the name of T. Waleys to Jorz.]

M. B.