Account of the Executors of Richard Bishop of London 1303, and of the Executors of Thomas Bishop of Exeter 1310

Account of the Executors of Richard Bishop of London 1303, and of the Executors of Thomas Bishop of Exeter 1310

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Account of the Executors of Richard Bishop of London 1303, and of the Executors of Thomas Bishop of Exeter 1310

Account of the Executors of Richard Bishop of London 1303, and of the Executors of Thomas Bishop of Exeter 1310

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Excerpt

This present volume, though bearing upon it the names of two bishops of English dioceses, Exeter and London, is rather secular than ecclesiastical in its character. As connected with the history of our Church and country it belongs to the first decade of the fourteenth century, 1300-1310, but it tells us little of what those prelates thought or did; it is the account rendered by the executors of their wills of the wealth which they possessed, the sources from which it was derived, and the disposition which they made of it when they died.

The two bishops are Thomas de Button, Bishop of Exeter, and Richard de Gravesend, Bishop of London. How far they were contemporary in age does not appear. The Bishop of London was the senior Bishop, having been consecrated in 1280, the Bishop of Exeter in 1292. The Bishop of London held his see twenty-three years, dying in December, 1303. The Bishop of Exeter held his see only fifteen years, dying in 1307. The executors' account of Bishop Button had been already printed when the Council of the Camden Society consented to add to it the account of the executors of Bishop Gravesend, which otherwise would have occupied the first place in the volume.

What is known of these bishops may be comprised in the following brief memoirs:--

The late Dean Milman, in his Annals of St. Paul's, has sketched the history of the time in which Richard de Gravesend lived, and drawn from his will, and the proceedings of his executors, some account of his character. Of him it may be said, as of his cotemporary Thomas de Button, that he was of a worshipful family, his brother being Sir Stephen Gravesend, and the residence of the family at Gravesend in Kent, the poor of Milton sharing with the poor of Gravesend a legacy of ten pounds. For his brother, his . . .

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