Saint Rich Edmund (called by the French Saint Edme), archbishop of Canterbury, born in Abingdon, Berkshire, about 1190, died at Soissy, France, Nov. 16, 1242. He studied at Oxford, graduated in theology at the university of Paris, and lectured for some time there on Scripture. From 1.219 to 1226 he taught philosophy at Oxford, being the first there to expound the logic of Aristotle. He accepted a prebend in the cathedral of Salisbury, but gave nearly all the revenues to the poor; and on April 2, 1234, he was consecrated archbishop of Canterbury. The king permitted him to enforce discipline in spite of the opposition of his clergy, his chapter, and even his own relatives. Pope Gregory IX. sent him a bull empowering him to appoint to all vacant benefices not filled within six months after the decease of the former occupant; but the king persuaded the pope to revoke the bull, and the pope then appointed Italians to the vacancies. Edmund, deeming this an abuse of the papal power, about 1239 retired to the Cistercian abbey of Pontigny in France. On account of enfeebled health he went to Soissy in Champagne, where he died.
His remains were taken back to Pontigny. He was canonized by Innocent IV. in 1246. (See Pilgrimage, and Pontigny.) Among his works are: "Constitutions" in 36 canons, extant in, among other collections, Labbe's editions of the councils; Speculum Ecclesioe, published in vol. iii. of the Bibliotheca Patrum; and several manuscript treatises on moral subjects, preserved in the Bodleian library. A manuscript life of St. Edmund, by his brother Robert, is preserved in the Cottonian collection; another by Ber-trand, his secretary and companion in exile and afterward prior of Pontigny, was published in Martenne's Thesaurus Anecdotorum.