Dictionary of National Biography – Adam of Barking


Adam of Barking (fl. 1217?), a Benedictine monk belonging to the abbey of Sherborne in Dorset, is praised by Leland for his great erudition, and his promise as a writer both in prose and verse. According to Bale and Pits, Adam was educated at Oxford, and was a model of all the christian virtues. As old age came on he devoted himself more and more to the study of the Scriptures and the work of public preaching. For the latter task he seems to have been peculiarly fitted, and his biographers make special mention of his eloquence and zeal in lashing the vices of the people. Bale and Pits say that he flourished about the year 1217, and this date may be fairly correct, as one of his works was dedicated to John, canon of Salisbury, who is doubtless to be identified with the far-famed John of Salisbury who died in 1180. Of Adam’s writings, which embraced treatises on the Old Testament as well as the New, there were existing at Sherborne in Leland’s time: ‘De Naturâ divinâ et humanâ’ (verse), ‘De Serie Sex Ætatum’ (verse), ‘Super Quatuor Evangelia’ (prose). According to Tanner a manuscript of this author is to be found in the library of Clare College, Cambridge. The names of other works of his are enumerated by Pits.Angligena

MLA Citation

  • Thomas Andrew Archer. “Adam of Barking”. Dictionary of National Biography, 1885. CatholicSaints.Info. 6 April 2019. Web. 4 August 2021. <>