Archdeacons of Norwich diocese

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Institute of Historical Research

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Diana E. Greenway

Year published

1971

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61-62

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'Archdeacons of Norwich diocese', Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066-1300: volume 2: Monastic cathedrals (northern and southern provinces) (1971), pp. 61-62. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=33868 Date accessed: 24 October 2014.


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ARCHDEACONS OF NORWICH DIOCESE

Since the first four archdeacons of the diocese occur without territorial title, they cannot be assigned to particular archdeaconries and are listed together in chronological order. The development of the territorial archdeaconries is obscure, but it is clear that the episcopate of Everard of Calne (1121-45) was of importance. Everard is said to have created the archdeaconry of Sudbury by dividing the Suffolk archdeaconry into two. (fn. 9) From his time territorial titles began to be used, and the archdeacons are listed below under their respective archdeaconries-Norwich, Norfolk, Suffolk and Sudbury. However, the use of territorial titles did not become normal until the end of the twelfth century, and several archdeacons never occur with territorial title. Below they are placed in square brackets under their conjectured archdeaconries.

A useful list of the archdeacons of the Norwich diocese before 1214 was compiled by L. Landon, 'The early archdeacons of Norwich diocese', Proc. Suff. Institute of Archaeology and Natural Hist. xx (1930) 11-35 (cited below as Landon, Archdcns.). In general Landon's sequences are correct, although his dating of charters cannot always be supported. Landon took Herman, the author of the 'Miracula Sancti Edmundi', to be the first archdeacon of Norwich, but he was apparently unaware of Liebermann's convincing argument that Herman was not a diocesan archdeacon but an official of the abbey of Bury St. Edmunds. (fn. 1)

Geoffrey

Occ. as tenant of bp. in Norf., 1086 (Domesday Book (1783) 11 fo. 193a) and together with Alfred at or shortly after foundation of Thetford (Norf.) [1107, before 15 Sept.] (Regesta 11 no. 834). (fn. 2)

Alfred

First occ., together with Geoffrey, over whom he has precedence, at or shortly after foundation of Thetford [1107, before 15 Sept.] (Regesta 11 no. 834). Also occ., together with Walter archdcn. and Richard [de Bello Fago] archdcn. of Suffolk, who have precedence over him, [c. 1110 × 1119] (Misc. D. M. Stenton p. 160). Last occ. as sole archdcn. at foundation of Great Bricett (Suff.), [1114 × 19] (Mon. Ang. vi(1) 174). (fn. 3)

Osbern

First occ., as tenant in Lakenham (Norf.), called archdcn. of Arminghall (Norf.), Sept. 1101 (First Reg. Norw. p. 34). Last occ., together with Walter archdcn. and Richard de Bello Fago, archdcn. of Suffolk [c. 1115 × 1119] (Reg. Holme 1 no. 120). (fn. 4)

Walter

First occ. [prob. 1111, before 8 Aug.] (Regesta 11 no. 987), but occ. perhaps earlier, [?c. Apr. 1109] (Life, Letters etc. of Herbert de Losinga, ed. E. M. Goulburn and H. Symonds (Oxford, 1878) 1 227; for the date see ibid. p. 228 n. 1 and Landon, Archdcns. p. 16). Last occ., together with Osbern archdcn. and Richard de Bello Fago archdcn. of Suffolk, [c. 1115 × 1119] (Reg. Holme 1 no. 120). (fn. 5) Occ. together with Alfred archdcn. and Richard [de Bello Fago] archdcn. of Suffolk, [c. 1110 × 1119] (Misc. D. M. Stenton p. 160). Called bp.'s archdcn. by bp. Herbert Losinga (Life, Letters etc. 1 227).

Footnotes

9 Flor. Hist. 11 68, and cf. below p. 69.
1 U.G.Q. pp. 226-7.
2 He appears as 'Humphrey' in a corrupt version of the charter, T. Martin, Hist. Thetford (1779) app. p. 37.
3 For the date, see J. C. Dickinson, Origins of the Austin Canons (1950) p. 121 and n. 3.
4 Text better in D. C. Douglas, Social Structure of Medieval East Anglia (Oxford, 1927) pp. 244-5.
5 Text better ibid


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