Up to the year 1283, the relics of Saint William had remained under ground in the tomb in which they had been first laid. The magnificent Anthony Bek, Bishop-elect of Durham, resolved to signalise his consecration in York Minster on the Sunday within the octave of the Epiphany that year, by the long desired translation. King Edward, though busily engaged in operations on the Welsh borders, came specially to York for the occasion, being the more moved to do so inasmuch as he had had occasion to attribute a recent escape from serious danger to the intercession of the Saint. The Queen was also present, with eleven Bishops, besides Archbishop William Wyckwane, and a multitude of clergy and laity of all degrees. On Saturday the relics, after due examination, were placed in a shrine of silver and gold. On Sunday the Matins of the new feast were sung for the first time; and after the hour of Prime, the King and prelates took the precious burden on their shoulders, but the press was so dense that all efforts to make a passage in the nave of the church were vain, and the procession could only make its way from the transept up one aisle of the choir to the honourable resting-place which had been prepared for the relics, in the rear (it would seem) of the high altar. The feast of this translation was observed in the Church of York on the Sunday in the octave of the Epiphany.
- Father Richard Stanton. “Translation of Saint William, Bishop, Confessor, 1283”. , 1887. CatholicSaints.Info. 15 April 2015. Web. 4 December 2016. <>