Deans of St Paul's


Institute of Historical Research



Diana E. Greenway

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'Deans of St Paul's', Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066-1300: volume 1: St. Paul's, London (1968), pp. 4-8. URL: Date accessed: 16 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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There exist transcripts, made in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, of an ancient catalogue of deans, formerly found in a volume at St. Paul's, Liber G fo. 74 (now lost). The catalogue is discussed by C. N. L. Brooke, 'The deans of St. Paul's, c. 1090- 1499', Bull. Inst. Hist. Res. xxix (1956) 231 ff. For the twelfth century the catalogue is plainly incomplete and unreliable, and it is not therefore cited below. For the thirteenth century it is generally accurate, but the abundance of documentary evidence which confirms its general accuracy largely renders its use unnecessary, and it is cited below in the case of only one dean. (fn. 1)

Wulman (fn. 2) Preb. Totenhall

Occ. [1086 × 1107] (B.M., Harley MS. 6956 fo. 91r, from missing Liber F fo. 106). (fn. 3) Possibly the 'decanus' mentioned in or before 1103/4 (WD fo. 40/44v, pd. in Rep. p. 65a, discussed by H. G. Richardson, E.H.R. lvii (1942) 126). Commem. 2 Oct. (Obits. I fo. 14v, II fo. 109v).


'V. decanus' occ. once only, [1091 × 1107, perhaps c. 1107] (Gibbs no. 59). (fn. 4) Possibly to be identified with Wulman.

[? Ranulph Flambard Preb. Totenhall

For the possibility that Flambard was dean, see below App. I.]

William [de Mareni] Preb[s]. Chiswick [,Totenhall]

First occ. 19 July 1111 (WD 4 fos. 53/57v-54/58r, pd. in Rep. pp. 67b-68a), and 1111/12 (A/24/521, pd. in Rep. p. 26a). D. as dean 1138 (Diceto I 252). Commem. 29 Apr. (Obit. I fo. 11v), 28 Apr. (Obit. II fo. 108r). Presum. d. Apr. 1138. Nephew of Richard de Belmeis I, bp. of London (1108-27) (Diceto 1 251; cf. A/24/521, pd. in Rep. p. 26a). Preb. of Chiswick, but prob. transf. to preb. of Totenhall after 1112 or 1113, almost certainly being identical with William de Mareni (see Brooke, Composition pp. 129-30).

M. Ralph of Langford (fn. 1) Prebs. Brownswood, Totenhall

First certain occ. before Apr. 1142 (A/25/257, cal. in Rep. p. 28a), (fn. 2) but prob. occ. earlier, c. 1138 (WD 4 fo. 21/25r, pd. in Rep. p. 62a; WD 4 fo. 27/31r, pd. in Rep. pp. 62b-63a). (fn. 3) Last occ. [Sept. 1152 × c. 1154] (A/39/1367), (fn. 4) and prob. c. 1154, when described by John of Salisbury as 'old and infirm' (J.S. Epp. 1 no. 113, (fn. 5) cf. no. 71). Commem. 10 Apr. (Obit. I fo. 11v), 11 Apr. (Obits. II fo. 108r, III fo. 95r). Called Ralph the dean in all occs. in office, but called M. Ralph of Langford, dean, in Obit. II. Brother of Richard de Belmeis II, bp. of London (1152-62), and nephew of Richard de Belmeis I, bp. of London (1108-27) (Diceto 1 250-1).

Hugh de Mareni (fn. 6) Prebs. unident., Totenhall

Previously archdcn. of London. Not appd. until after March 1157, when still archdcn. Possibly no longer archdcn., and therefore perhaps dean, before Aug. 1158 (see below p. 9 n. 9). First occ. as dean before 4 May 1162 (Cart. Clerkenwell no. 74; (fn. 7) A/28/273, cal. in Rep. pp. 31b-32a (fn. 8) ), and also [1160 × 4 May 1162] (Gibbs nos. 192- 3). (fn. 9) Last occ. 2 Dec. 1178 (G.F.L. no. 410). Commem. 27 June (Obits. I fo. 12v, II fo. 108r). So presum. d. June 1179 or 1180. Called Hugh the dean in all occs. in office, but called Hugh de Mareni, dean, in Obit. I. (fn. 10) Called magister once (Hale p. 144). Possibly nephew of William [de Mareni], dean (see below p. 93).

M. Ralph de Diceto (fn. 11) Prebs. unident., Totenhall

Previously archdcn. of Middlesex. El. between Jan. 1180 and Jan. 1181 (Hale p. 109, discussed by Stubbs, Diceto I p. lvii). Occ. c. 1192 (D.S.R. I). Last occ. 23 May 1199 (Diceto II 166). Prob. d. or res. before May 1201 (see Greenway, Succession p. 94). Commem. 22 Nov. (Obits. I fo. 15r, II fo. 110r, III fo. 96v, IV pp. 72, 102).

M. Alard de Burnham (fn. 1) Prebs. Caddington Major, Totenhall [, ?Holbourn]

Previously archdcn. of London. First occ. [March 1200 × May 1201] (A/24/1062, cal. in Rep. p. 26a-b; cf. A/16/269, cal. in Rep. p. 17a; cf. also Gibbs no. 79), (fn. 2) and [Oct. 1200 × June 1203] (A/12/289, cal. in Rep. p. 14a). (fn. 3) Last occ. 1215/16 (A/39/1369). D. as dean 1216 (Ann. Dunstable, Ann. Mon. III 51). Commem. 8 Sept. (Obits. I fo. 14r, III fo. 96r), 9 Sept. (Obits. II fo. 109r, IV pp. 70, 95). (fn. 4) So presum. d. Sept. 1216. Called Alard the dean in all occs. in office, but called Alard de Burnham in cats. for preb. of Totenhall.

[M. Gervase of Howbridge (fn. 5) Prebs. unident., Hoxton

Previously chanc. El. in succession to Alard de Burnham, after Sept. 1216, but already excommunicate (Ann. Dunstable, Ann. Mon. 111 51). Occ. as dean once only, n.d. (Gibbs no. 213). El. treated as void by papal legate Guala, who depr. Gervase of office of chanc., on or before 28 Oct. 1217 (see below p. 26).]

M. Robert de Watford Preb. Sneating

First occ. 1217/18 (A/29/331), and presum. to be identified with the unnamed dean mentioned 28 Oct. 1217 (A/25/1751, pd. by Richardson, Guala p. 259 no. 2). (fn. 6) Last occ. 12 Nov. 1227 (Gibbs no. 320). Commem. 9 July (Obit. II fo. 108v). So presum. d. July 1228.

Martin of Pattishall (fn. 7) Preb. Caddington Minor

Presum. not el. until after 2 Aug. 1228, when still called archdcn. of Norf. (P.R.O., Feet of Fines, C.P. 25(1)/41-9/nos. 191-392). First occ. as dean 24 Sept. 1228 (P.R.O., Feet of Fines, C.P. 25(1)/213/nos. 2-159). D. as dean 14 Nov. 1229 (Chron. Maj. 111 190). Commem. 12 Nov. (Obit. II fo. 109v).

M. Geoffrey de Lucy Prebs. Islington, Totenhall

Previously archdcn. of London. First occ. as dean June 1231 (Gibbs no. 321), and before 15 Jan. 1232 (Gibbs nos. 191, 277-8, 281, 294, 331). (fn. 8) Last occ. 8 Nov. 1241 (A/16/161, cal. in Rep. p. 17b). D. as dean before 28 Nov. 1241 (C.C.R. 1237-42 p. 377; cf. Chron. Maj. iv 170-1). Commem. 7 Nov. (Obits. II fo. 109v, IV pp. 72, 100), ?13 Nov. (Obit. III fo. 96v).

M. William de Sancte Marie Ecclesia III Prebs. unident., Caddington Minor

El. c. Dec. 1241 (Chron. Maj. iv 171), prob. before 8 Dec. (C.P.R. 1232-47 p. 268, and see below, p. 35). D. as dean 11 March 1243 (Ann. Dunstable, Ann. Mon. 111 159). Commem. 12 March (A/33/745, a deed of before Apr. 1244; (fn. 1) also Obits. II fo. 107v, III fo. 95r, IV pp. 64, 79).

M. Henry de Cornhill Prebs. Weldland, Finsbury [,?unident.]

Previously chanc. First occ. 21 May 1243 (A/26/85). Last occ. after 28 Oct. 1253 (A/24/137). D. prob. as dean by 26 Aug. 1254 (A/42/14). Commem. 9 Apr. (Obits. II fo. 108r, IV pp. 65, 81). So presum. d. Apr. 1254.

M. Walter de Salerne alias of London (fn. 2) Preb. Rugmere

El. c. 12 Apr. 1254 (Chron. Maj. v 432). First occ. 26 Apr. 1254 (A/36/1042). Occ. 1257, erroneously called William (Chrons. Edw. I and II 1 49). Abp. of Tuam, papal prov. 29 May 1257 (Reg. Alex. IV no. 1928), cons. at Rome c. Sept. 1257 (C.P.R. 1247-58 p. 577).

M. Robert de Barton Preb. Wilsden

Previously precentor. First occ. as dean 20 Aug. 1257 (A/31/596). Last certain occ. 26 June 1261 (A/30/484; A/35/996). Apparently occ. 1 Oct. 1261 (A/37/1123) and 15 Oct. 1261 (A/38/1247-8), but prob. 2 Oct. 1260 and 15 Oct. 1260 intended. (fn. 3) Commem. 27 Sept. (Obit. II fo. 109r).

M. Peter de Neuport Preb. Hoxton

Previously archdcn. of London. Occ. as dean in cat. of deans, between Robert de Barton and Richard Talbot (see Brooke, Deans p. 238) and in Obit. II. Commem. 26 Feb. (Obits. II fo. 107v, IV pp. 63, 78).

M. Richard Talbot Prebs. Mora, [?unident.,] Finsbury

Previously treas. Only dated occ. as dean 26 Jan. 1262 (WD 19 fo. 11a), but also occ. n.d. (A/31/507; A/37/1178, cal. in Rep. p. 39a). Bp.-el. of London, el. Aug. 1262, d. Sept. 1262.

[M. John de Ebulo Preb. unident.

Prov. to deanery some time before 9 Feb. 1264, prob. 1262, but prov. ineffective because of dispute (Reg. Urbain IV no. 2454; C.P.L. 1 417; cf. below p. 93.]

M. Geoffrey de Fering Preb. Wenlocksbarn

Prob. the dean el. 11 Dec. 1262 (B.M., Harley MS. 6956, fo. 154v, from a letter of proxy formerly in St. Paul's pyx 'H', referring to an el. to the deanery due to take place on that date). First occ. 12 May 1263 (Statutes p. 189). Last occ. 5 Oct. 1267 (Reg. W. Giffard (York) p. 187).

M. John de Chishull I Preb. Chamberlainwood

Previously archdcn. of London. Not el. until after 17 Aug. 1268, when still archdcn. First occ. as dean 29 Oct. 1268 (C.P.R. 1266-72 p. 296). Bp. of London, el. Dec. 1273, cons. Apr. 1274.

Hervey of Boreham (fn. 1) Preb. unident.

Not el. until after 3 Jan. 1274, when still can. (A/25/1734). El. 1274 (Flor. Hist. III 45 n.). First occ, 10 Oct. 1274 (A/3/676, cal. in Rep. 4a; A/24/537, cal. in Rep. p. 25a, but wrongly assigned to '1264'). Last occ. 17 June 1276 (A/30/446; A/35/980). D. as dean 1276 (Gerv. Cant. (cont.) 11 285). Commem. 7 Oct. (Obits. II fo. 109v, IV pp. 71, 96). (fn. 2) So presum. d. Oct. 1276, although referred to as if still alive on 19 Nov. 1276 (Reg. T. de Cantilupo, ed. R. G. Griffiths and W. W. Capes (Canterbury and York Soc. ii) p. 111).

M. Thomas of Ingoldisthorpe (fn. 3) Preb. Newington

Previously archdcn. of Middlesex. El. 1276 (Gerv. Cant. (cont.) 11 285). First occ., said to be recently el. in succession to Hervey of Boreham, 9 March 1277 (WD 1 fo. 1r, cal. in Gibbs no. 7). Bp. of Rochester, el. between Apr. and July, cons. Sept. 1283.

Roger de La Legh Preb. Brownswood

Previously archdcn. of Essex. El. conf. by bp. 25 Oct. 1283, and instal. same day (B.M., Harley MS. 6956 fo. 88r, from missing Liber F fo. 58). D. as dean 18 Aug. 1285 (Flor. Hist. 111 64). Commem. 18 Aug. (Obits. II fo. 109r, IV pp. 69, 92).

M. William de Montfort (fn. 4) Preb[s]. Islington [, ?unident.]

El. 31 Oct. 1285 (B.M., Harley MS. 6956 fo. 89v, from missing Liber F fo. 64); accepted his el. 26 Nov. 1285, and then conf. by bp. (ibid.). (fn. 5) D. as dean 22 Sept. 1294 (Ann. Worcester, Ann. Mon. IV 517; Flor. Hist. 111 90).

M. Ralph de Baldock Prebs. Holbourn, [?Islington,] Newington

Previously archdcn. of Middlesex. El. 18 Oct. 1294 (WD 2 fo. 74/81r). Bp. of London, el. Feb. 1304, cons. by Feb. 1306.


1 M. Peter de Neuport (p. 7). For a note concerning an apparently fictitious dean included in the catalogue, Walter de Langford, see below p. 7 n. 2.
2 Called 'Ulstan' in cat. of deans, see Brooke, Deans pp. 233-4.
3 Temp. Maurice, bp. of London (above p. 1).
4 Miss Gibbs assigns the charter to [1091 × 1107], but for the possibility that it belongs to the end of bp. Maurice's life, c. 1107, see Davis, London lands p. 54, and Brooke, in Hist. St. Paul's p. 22.
1 Oxon.; name prob. derived from Ralph's preb. in Lincoln, cf. Reg. Antiq. Linc. 11 no. 346.
2 Before Ailward became archdcn. of Colchester (below p. 18).
3 Perhaps before Richard de Belmeis II became archdcn. of Middlesex (below p. 15).
4 Temp. Hugh de Mareni, archdcn. of London (below p. 9), and Ailward, archdcn. of Colchester (p. 18).
5 Dated ' ?c. 1160' by Brooke, but more likely to be c. 1154, see J.S. Epp. 1 185, and below p. 9, n. 5.
6 See also G.F. pp. 206, 271.
7 Cited by Brooke, Composition p. 129 n. 7, from an earlier ed. by J. H. Round, Archaeologia lvi(2) (1899) 227, where it is given the date c. 1160. Dated by W. O. Hassall, Cart. Clerkenwell no. 74, [7 July 1156 × 1162], which may be narrowed to [March 1157 × 4 May 1162], in view of Hugh de Mareni's occ. as archdcn. March 1157 (below p. 9) and date of d. of Richard de Belmeis II, bp. of London (above p. 2).
8 Temp. Richard de Belmeis II, bp. of London (above p. 2). Witness clause very similar to A/22/87 (cal in Rep. p. 32b), A/38/1210 (cal. in Rep. p. 39b), and Gibbs no. 245, in all three of which Hugh the dean also occ.
9 Temp. Godfrey, bp. of St. Asaph, and Richard de Belmeis II, bp. of London (above p. 2).
10 Called Hugh de Marenis, dean, in Obit. II.
11 Prob. Diss, Norf. Stubbs, in his argument against this identification, Diceto 1 pp. xi-xvii, was unaware of some forms of Ralph's name which strongly suggest Diss as his place of origin. Ralph occ. as 'de Disci' in Ancient Charters, Royal and Private prior to 1200, ed. J. H. Round (Pipe Roll Soc. x) no. 47; cf. Round's note ibid. pp. 77-8, in favour of Diss. Ralph also occ. as 'de Disci' in G.F.L. no. 427(1); as 'de Dici' in Reg. Antiq. Linc. 11 no. 322; as 'de Dizi' in cart. of Stoke by Clare: B.M., Cotton MS. App. xxi fo. 24v; and as 'de Dyci' in Saltman, Theobald no. 140.
1 Prob. Burnham, Bucks.: he was brother of Robert de Burnham, archdcn. of Buckingham (cart. of Walden: B.M., Harley MS. 3697 fo. 61r; cf. Newington Longeville Charters, ed. H. E. Salter (Oxfordshire Record Soc. iii) no. 23), and he held a moiety of church of Marlow, Bucks. (Rot. H. de Welles, ed. W. P. W. Phillimore (Canterbury and York Soc. i) 1 39).
2 For the date of these deeds, see Greenway, Succession p. 94.
3 See ibid.
4 Commem. 14 Aug., Dugdale p. 42.
5 Howbridge (Hall), Essex; see Richardson, Guala p. 252.
6 Just possibly occ. [May 1216 × May 1217], but meaning of text obscure in Statutes p. 185 and nn. 1, 2.
7 Northants; see Earliest Northants Assize Rolls, ed. D. M. Stenton (Northants Record Soc. v) pp. xviii-xix.
8 Before Alexander de Swereford became treas. (below p. 22).
1 Temp. John de Norton, archdcn. of Middlesex (below p. 17).
2 On the dorse of a charter of Walter the dean, prob. belonging to 1254, a (?) 17th-cent. hand has written 'Walter de Langford dec.' (A/17A/1307). Walter de Langford, described as 'fictitious' by Brooke, Deans p. 234, occ. in the cat. of deans, between Martin of Pattishall and Geoffrey de Lucy, ibid. p. 233.
3 If Barton did not res. before his d., and if he d. on or about 27 Sept., there is the difficulty that we cannot fit the next two deans into the list, unless the dating clauses of the charters in which Barton occ. in Oct. 1261 are corrupt, in which case we could argue that he d. in Sept. 1261. The dating clauses of the charters in question give the regnal year 45 Henry III, which extended from 28 Oct. 1260 to 27 Oct. 1261. If the transactions recorded in the charters took place in the first two weeks of Oct. 1260, and if the documents were not finally drawn up until after 28 Oct. 1260, it is possible that an error crept into the dating of the regnal year, i.e., 45 was written for 44 Henry III.
1 Essex; see A/41/1473.
2 Commem. 6 Oct., Dugdale p. 41.
3 Norf.; for his interest in Dersingham, near Ingoldisthorpe, see cart. of Binham: B.M., Cotton MS. Claud. D. xiii fo. 150r-v.
4 Son of Peter de Montfort (Reg. Nic. IV no. 4533).
5 There is a difficulty that the deanery is said to have been vacant on 16 Nov. 1285 (B.M., Harley MS. 6956 fo. 89v, from missing Liber F fo. 63: St. Edmund Rich's day). This is possibly explained by the fact that Montfort was absent at the time of his el., and was described as studying at Oxford on 17 Feb. 1286 (C.C.R. 1279-88 p. 426).

Bishops of London