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1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Geoffrey, Archbishop of York

< 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica

GEOFFREY (c. 1152–1212), archbishop of York, was a bastard son of Henry II., king of England. He was distinguished from his legitimate half-brothers by his consistent attachment and fidelity to his father. He was made bishop of Lincoln at the age of twenty-one (1173); but though he enjoyed the temporalities he was never consecrated and resigned the see in 1183. He then became his father’s chancellor, holding a large number of lucrative benefices in plurality. Richard nominated him archbishop of York in 1189, but he was not consecrated till 1191, or enthroned till 1194. Geoffrey, though of high character, was a man of uneven temper; his history in chiefly one of quarrels, with the see of Canterbury, with the chancellor William Longchamp, with his half-brothers Richard and John, and especially with his canons at York. This last dispute kept him in litigation before Richard and the pope for many years. He led the clergy in their refusal to be taxed by John and was forced to fly the kingdom in 1207. He died in Normandy on the 12th of December 1212.

See Giraldus Cambrensis, Vita Galfridi; Stubbs’s prefaces to Roger de Hoveden, vols. iii. and iv. (Rolls Series).

 (H. W. C. D.)