Deans of Wells

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Institute of Historical Research

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Diana E. Greenway

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2001

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8-12

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'Deans of Wells', Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066-1300: volume 7: Bath and Wells (2001), pp. 8-12. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=34343 Date accessed: 24 July 2014.


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LIST 3 DEANS OF WELLS

DEANERY

Preb. of Wedmore Prima annexed to deanery by bp. Robert (EEA X no. 46, for which see below, app. 1). See list 57.

Jurisdiction of city and suburbs, settlement 2 May 1237 (Cal. I 49-50). Jurisdiction churches listed in 1291 (Taxatio pp. 199b, 202b): [Westbury, p. 199b only] Binegar, Chilcompton, Nether Stowey, St Cuthbert [Wells], Pilton, Sutton, Wiveliscombe, Henstridge, Huish, Cheddar, Westbury (vicar), [Chew p. 199b only]. See also Inquisitions and Assessments relating to Feudal Aids (6 vols., 1899-1920) IV 414-15, for jurisdiction and income in 1428.

Meadows of Blackford held of abbot of Glastonbury (Longleat House Muniment 10589 p. 84).

Stock in deanery listed 1220s, Cal. I 36.

Valuations 1291 £113 13s 4d. (Taxatio p. 199b; cf. ibid. p. 202b, giving £55 18s); 1299 50m (Cal. I 256).

DEANS

Ivo

An unnamed dean occ. June/July 1141 × c. 1142 (EEA X no. 21). Ivo first occ. as dean c. 1143 × 1147 (ibid. no. 10, for which see below, app. 1) and 1146/7 (EEA X no. 24). Occ. several times (cf. ibid. XVIII no. 155, Dean Cosyn pp. 87- 8 (nos. 112-13). Last certain occ. 4 Nov. 1159 (EEA X no. 50) and [June or July 1163] (Cal. Ch. Rolls III 270; cf. R. W. Eyton, Court, Household and Itinerary of King Henry II (1878) p. 63; faulty abstract in Cart. Bruton no. 124 (ii)). (fn. 29)

Richard (fn. 30)

First occ., as R. dean of Wells, 1164 or early 1165 (Dean Cosyn pp. 88-9, cf. 1 Fasti IV 9), and as Richard dean of Wells, 14 March 1165 (Cal. I 39) and before 31 Aug. 1166 (EEA X no. 51). Occ. several times. Last certain occ., at Taunton, 8 Nov. 1186 (ibid. no. 98), and as R. dean, papal judge-delegate 21 Aug. 1186 or 1187 (Cal. I 40). Helped Adam, abbot of Evesham, in building cloister and nave at Evesham, so perhaps a native of the Evesham area, and acquired rents in churches of Ombersley (Worcs.) and Badby (Northants) to build abbot's hall and light high altar at Evesham (Chron. Abbatiae de Evesham, ed. W. D. Macray (RS xxix, 1863) pp. 101, 102). (fn. 31)

M. Alexander Medicus (fn. 32)

Can. of Salisbury from before Nov. 1184 (1 Fasti IV 118); can. (preb. Henstridge, list 41) and subdean of Wells from before 29 Sept. 1188 (list 7). First occ. as dean prob. late 1189 (EEA X nos. 114, 120, 122-30, 132). Occ. frequently. Possibly prec. of abortive secular chapter at Coventry, Dec. 1190 × 18 Jan. 1198 (ibid. XVII p. xxxvi, no. 6). Occ. at el. of bp. Jocelin, early 1206 (below, app. 2 no. 1). Last occ. 3 June 1209 (Cal. I 66), 17 July 1209 (Som. Fines I 26), and 28 May 1206 × Dec. 1209 (Cal. II 553 (no. 37)). Called M. Alexander of Bath, author of 'Moralia super evangelia' (Sharpe, Handlist no. 95). His nephew Roger de Sanford held unident. preb. (list 67).

M. Ralph of Lechlade (fn. 33)

Can. (unident. preb.), archdcn. [of Taunton], prec. of Wells (lists 67, 12, 4). Appd. dean by bp. Jocelin after pronouncement of papal Interdict (March 1208) and before bp. went into exile at end of 1209 (Book of Fees I 82; Cal. I 491-2). Present with bp. Jocelin during his exile 1209 × 13 (Cal. I 58). (fn. 34) Deanery in kg.'s hands 1212 (Book of Fees I 82).

M. Leonius (fn. 35)

Described as dean when sent to England by pope Innocent III to preach Crusade Sept. 1213 (Ann. Dunstable p. 40), following papal letter of c. 19 Apr. in which his two companions, but not M. Leonius, are named (Letters of Innocent III no. 918 and note, cf. ibid. no. 917). Occ. as L. dean 30 Sept. and 2 Oct. 1213 (Cal. I 53, 490) and c. Oct. 1213 (Chart. Glastonbury I 21). Occ. several times (cf. Cal. I 40, temp. bp. Jocelin of Bath and Glastonbury). Last occ., as M. Leonius dean, 14 Jan. 1215 × 27 May 1216 (Cart. Bruton no. 107) (fn. 36) and as L. dean, 11 July 1215 (Cal. I 67).

Peter of Chichester

Can. from before Dec. 1209 (unident. preb., list 67). Prob. successively treas. by 2 Oct. 1213, last occ. 16 July 1217 (list 6), and archdcn. of Taunton, occ. 2 Dec. 1217 and 28 May 1217 × 27 May 1218 (list 12). First occ. as Peter dean of Wells Apr. 1220 (Cal. I 52). Occ. several times. Occ. with full name several times (e.g. ibid. II 553 (no. 35), I 49) and after d. (ibid. I 402). Last occ. 12 and 13 Jan. 1236 (ibid. II 552 (nos. 32-3), 559 (no. 62)). D. before 19 Sept. 1236 (ibid. I 49). (fn. 37) Commem. in Lady Day Term (ibid. II 12). His chantry at altar of St Calixtus (ibid. pp. 150, 307, 378-9, 402, 483). Prob. related to Thomas of Chichester, can., from whom he inherited land in Wells (ibid. p. 402; unident. preb., list 67).

M. William de Merton

Archdcn. of Berks. (Salisbury dioc.) by 1224, last occ. 17 Feb. 1236 (1 Fasti IV 30). Occ. as dean eight times: with full name 19 Sept. 1236, receiving gr. of house formerly held by Peter of Chichester late dean (Cal. I 49), and after 5 Oct. 1234 (ibid. p. 35); (fn. 38) as M. William dean 1 Dec. 1236 (Chart. Glastonbury I 62- 3); as William dean n.d. (Cal. I 28), after 19 Sept. 1236 (ibid. p. 492), before 24 Feb. 1238 (Salisbury Cath. Libr. IV/C6/5), and 1237/8 (Sarum Chs. p. 243); as W. dean 2 May 1237 (Cal. I 49-50).

John Saracenus (fn. 39)

Papal subdcn. and chapl., can. of Wells (unident. preb., list 67). Prob. papal prov. to deanery (Cal. I 65, letter of Gregory IX n.d., not in Reg. Grég. IX). Not yet dean when pres. to Cressingham (Norf.) 28 July 1237 (CPR 1232-47 p. 199). First occ. as dean 28 Jan. 1238 (ibid. p. 208, cf. ibid. p. 230). Captured 1238, freed within the year (Ann. Dunstable p. 148). Occ. frequently. Proctor for chapter of Wells at papal Curia on several occasions between 1242 and 1251. Occ. 9 Aug. 1251, having papal indulgence to study at schools for 3 years, proposing to farm deanery (Cal. I 127). Last occ. 27 March 1252 (Cal. of Liberate Rolls IV (1959) 35). D., presum. at papal Curia, before 31 Oct. 1252 when pope made prov. of his preb. in Exeter (CPL I 280 = Reg. Innoc. IV no. 6057). His executors mentioned 10 July 1253 (Cal. I 6). His brother Henry (from London) occ. 10 Jan. 1246 (ibid. p. 129).

M. Giles of Bridport (fn. 40)

Archdcn. of Berks. (Salisbury dioc.) by 26 Dec. 1237 (1 Fasti IV 30). Can. of Wells by 27 May 1241 (unident. preb., list 67). Sought to retain archdcnry. and other benefices after el. as dean of Wells, n.d., appealing to pope and abp. (Cal. I 135). First occ. as dean of Wells 20 Aug. 1253 (Cart. St Nicholas Salisbury, ed. C. Wordsworth (Salisbury, 1902) p. 56) and 28 June 1254 (Reg. Pontissara I 3). Occ. as dean several times. Also still archdcn. of Berks., occ. 28 Dec. 1255 (1 Fasti IV 30). Last occ. as dean 26 March and 19 Apr. 1256 (Cal. I 137) and c. 29 July 1256 (Som. Fines I 167), and occ. as kg.'s envoy to papal Curia 10 June 1256 (Cal. of Liberate Rolls IV (1959) 301). Bp. of Salisbury, el. 13 Feb. × 15 Apr. 1256, temps. 17 Aug. 1256, cons. 11 March 1257, d. c. 13 Dec. 1262 (1 Fasti IV 5).

M. Edward de la Cnoll (fn. 41)

Can. by 13 July 1254 (preb. Henstridge, list 41). Free el. of dean suspended by M. Berard de Nympha, papal chapl.; appeal by chapter to pope, proctors appd. 18 May 1256 (Cal. I 137). El. of M. Edward de la Cnoll to succeed M. Giles of Bridport as dean by 19 Sept. 1256, when chapter notified bp. (ibid. p. 138). First occ. as dean 28 Sept. 1256 (ibid.). Occ. frequently. Papal disp. for illegitimacy 20 July 1260, so that he may be el. a bp. (CPL I 374 = Reg. Alex. IV no. 3179). Also preb. of Bosham from Nov. 1268 (Reg. Bronescombe II no. 700). Kg.'s clerk, envoy to kg. of France, 18 Nov. 1264 (CPR 1258-66 pp. 388, 474). D. as dean 16 Sept. 1284 (Cal. I 34). Cf. M. Alexander de la Cnoll (unident. preb., list 67), and Thomas de la Cnoll (preb. Easton in Gordano, list 39).

M. Thomas of Bitton (fn. 42)

Prec., archdcn. of Wells (lists 4, 11). Lic. to el. requested 21 Sept. 1284, gr. 1 Oct. (Cal. I 34). El. of dean summoned for 15 Nov. 1284 (Cal. I 34, cf. ibid. p. 403 and Salisbury Cath. Libr. Liber Evidentiarum C. 531). First certain occ. as dean c. 1 July 1285 (Cal. I 2 = Som. Fines I 264). Bp. of Exeter, el. 8 Oct. × 30 Nov. 1291, temps. 2 Dec. 1291, cons. 16 March 1292, d. 21 Sept. 1307 (2 Fasti IX 1). Brother of bp. William of Bitton II (1267-74) (Cal. I 110-11, 164-5, 393, etc.; list 1) and therefore nephew of bp. William of Bitton I (1248-64) (list 1). His chantry at altar of St Nicholas in the chapel of the Virgin in the cloister (Cal. I 164-5; cf. ibid. pp. 380, 393, and Dean Cosyn p. 17). Not to be identified with Thomas of Bitton clerk who occ. 17 Feb. 1251 (CPL I 267 = Reg. Innoc. IV no. 5078).

M. William Burnel (fn. 43)

Already a pluralist, under 25 years of age, not a pr., papal disp. 20 Nov. 1289 (CPL I 506 = Reg. Nic. IV no. 1720, where his benefices are named). Can. by 11 Oct. 1284 (preb. Wiveliscombe, list 64), provost by 20 Nov. 1289 (list 69). First occ. as dean 30 Apr. 1293 (CCR 1288-96 p. 315). (fn. 44) Occ. as archdcn. of Taunton 28 Sept. 1294 (list 12). Not called dean when occ. as parson of Downton 18 Oct. 1294 (CPR 1292-1301 p. 122). Also preb. of Exeter, Lichfield, Llandaff, St Davids, St Omer, Salisbury and York (1 Fasti IV 46, 78, VI 53-4). Last occ. as dean 10 Aug. 1295 (CCR 1288-96 p. 446). Certainly res. deanery by 13 Feb. 1297, 'on learning that the el. and conf. to deanery were contrary to the constitution of pope Gregory X' (CPL I 570, 609 = Reg. Bon. VIII nos. 1769, 5216), possibly by 12 Dec. 1295 (Cal. I 148-9, which is otherwise inexplicable), or earlier: not called dean 21 Nov. 1295 (CCR 1288-96 p. 500) or 11 Dec. 1295, when occ. as provost (CPR 1292- 1301 p. 214). D. between 16 June 1304 and 6 Nov. 1304 (list 64). Nephew of bp. Robert Burnel (1275-92), being son of Robert's brother William Burnel (see Oxford Deeds of Balliol College, ed. H. E. Salter (Oxford Hist. Soc. lxiv, 1913) pp. 91- 137), and one of Robert Burnel's executors (e.g. CCR 1288-96 pp. 264, 315, 500).

M. Walter de Haselshawe (fn. 45)

Can. by 8 June 1283 (unident. preb., list 67); archdcn. of Wells by 2 Sept. 1286, last occ. 27 July 1295 (list 11). First occ. as Walter dean 1295/6 and 17 Feb. 1296 (Cal. I 161, 162). Occ. frequently, with full name and title (e.g. ibid. p. 220). Bp. of Bath and Wells, el. 7 Aug. 1302, temps. 12 Sept., cons. 4 Nov., d. 11 Dec. 1308 (2 Fasti VIII 1).

Footnotes

29 Cf. Robinson, SHE p. 61, and EEA II no. 2 note.
30 Le Neve/Hardy I 149 calls him 'de Spakeston', but Richard rural dean of Spaxton was another individual, EEA X no. 169, Cal. I 432, II 562 (no. 77).
31 A new edition of this text is being prepared for OMT by Jane Sayers and Leslie Watkiss.
32 See Talbot and Hammond, Medical Practitioners (as above, list 1 n. 2) pp. 12-13; Robinson, SHE pp. 67-72; E. J. Dobson, Moralities on the Gospels (Oxford, 1975) esp. pp. 86-122. He appears as 'medicus' 1192 × 95, EEA X no. 194; see also Vita Wulfstani, ed. R. R. Darlington (Camden 3rd ser. xl, 1928) p. 144 ('precipuus erat in medicis').
33 Glos.: see Rot. Curiae Regis II 103, 188.
34 C. R. Cheney suggested that he was prob. abroad in March 1213 ('King John and the papal Interdict', Bull. John Rylands Libr. xxxi (1948) 295-317 at p. 305 n. 3), citing Rot. Litt. Claus. I 128b, a mandate to restore prebs. and revenues of resident cans. and clks. to chapter of Wells, 17 March 1213, which does not however refer to the dean.
35 He is possibly to be identified with M. Leon' who witnessed a Bardney ch. c. 1200 (Reg. Antiq. Linc. X no. 2711), with M. Leo who was pres. by abbot and convent of Bardney to church of Boultham (Lincs.) (Rot. Welles I 86), and with M. Leonius who occ. c. 1190 × 1210 as vicar of Burton Fleming (Yorks., E.R.), on the fee of the Flemish family of Gant, i.e. Ghent, and another Bardney living (Early Yorks. Chs. II, ed. W. Farrer (Edinburgh, 1915) nos. 1169, 1198). For a possible Flemish origin for M. Leonius, see also The Later Letters of Peter of Blois, ed. E. Revell (British Academy 1993) no. 60 and p. 271 n. 2.
36 Temp. W[illiam of Bardney] archdcn. [of Wells], list 11, and before the end of bp. Jocelin's 10th year, Cart. Bruton no. 108.
37 There are copies of an inspeximus dated 14 Jan. 1240 of a ch. by Peter the dean and the chapter to Robert Giffard chapl., dated 1 Apr. 1239, in Wells Liber Albus I (R. I) fos. 101v, 104r, Liber Albus II (R. III) fo. 147r, cal. in Cal. I 135. But Peter was certainly dead by 19 Sept. 1236 (see M. William de Merton, below), and another witness, Lambert subdean, had been succeeded by 25 Apr. 1233 (list 7). The date 1 Apr. 1239 must therefore be erroneous, and the ch. could have been given in any year between 1219 (temp. M. Richard of Kenilworth treas., list 6) and 1233.
38 Temp. Richard of Kenilworth chanc., list 5.
39 Son of Peter Saracenus the Roman, an agent in Anglo-papal diplomacy 1214-43. For Peter's career and those of his sons, including John dean of Wells, see Letters of Guala pp. lxviii, 65-7. Peter's son Peter was pres. by kg. to church of Congresbury 1243 (CPR 1232-47 p. 398; Close Rolls 1242-7 pp. 35-6; Cal. I 73, 77, 134, 453, II 556 (no. 42)).
40 For his career, see Biog. Ox. 1 264; also 1 Fasti IV 5 and n.; DNB.
41 There several places called Knowle in Som.
42 Son of Sir Adam of Bitton, Glos.; for his career, see Biog. Ox. III 2152.
43 For his career, see ibid. 1 316-17, and cf. History of the University of Oxford I, ed. J. I. Catto (Oxford, 1984) 229 and n., 276, 278, 293, 505.
44 His occ. in CCR 1288-96 p. 264 does not belong to 7 May 1292, but is a later note added to material dated 7 May 1292.
45 ? Hazelshaw, Yorks. W.R. For his career, see Biog. Ox. III 2181. A clerk of the same name occ. as proctor of dean and chapter of Wells 6 May 1313, Cal. 1 247.


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