Benet (d.1226) (DNB00)


BENET or BENEDICTUS, Magister (d. 1226), bishop of Rochester, first emerges into history in connection with the struggle between William de Longchamp, bishop of Ely, chancellor and chief justice, and regent of the kingdom during the absence of Richard I in the Holy Land, and the Earl of Moreton, afterwards King John. Upon the deposition of Longchamp from his offices in 1191, the custody of the great seal was given to Benet. The pope having authorised Longchamp to use the weapon of excommunication against his enemies, Benet was accorded a place at the end of the list of those upon whom the bishops were ordered to execute the papal mandate. The bishops, however, refused to comply, and the Earl of Moreton retaliated by confiscating the lands of the ex-chancellor. Benet was precentor of St. Paul's, and was appointed bishop of Rochester, 1214-15. He died 21 Dec. 1226.

[Hoveden, ed. Stubbs, iii. 154; Godwin, De Præsul. 528.]

J. M. R.