Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Northalis, Richard
NORTHALIS, RICHARD (d. 1397), archbishop of Dublin, was perhaps the son of John Northale, alias Clerk, who was sheriff of London in 1335-6, and died in 1349 (Bale, Script.; Monumenta Franciscana, ii. 153; Sharpe, Calendar of Wills, pp. 532, 572). Richard entered the Carmelite friary in London, and is said to have been chaplain to Richard II (Filler, Worthies). He was made bishop of Ossory in November 1386 (Irish Pat. Roll, 10 Ric. II, Nos. 52, 60). From this time onwards he was continually employed in affairs of state. He was absent from Ireland in February 1387 (Irish Pat. 10 Ric. II, No. 110); abroad on business, apparently at the papal court, in July 1388 (Pat. 12 Ric. II, pt. i. m. 26); in England in February 1389, and likely to be absent from Ireland for two years (Pat. 12 Ric. II, pt. 2, m. 5). In June 1389 he obtained leave to receive all the temporalities of his see while he was absent on the king's business. In November 1390 he complained that in spite of this order two-thirds of the revenues had been kept back by the king's officers (Pat. 12 Ric. II, pt. ii. m. 2, and 14, pt, i. m. 30). During his absence serious disturbances took place in the diocese, and the bishop's representatives were commissioned to 'treat and parley' with the rebels (Irish Pat. 13 Ric. II, No. 191). At the end of 1390 Richard returned to Ireland, and was appointed one of the custodians of the temporalities of the vacant see of Dublin (Pat. 14 Ric. II, pt. i. m. 14). In February 1391 he was licensed by the king to bring or send ' corn, horses, falcons, hawks, fish, gold, and silver' from Ireland to England (Pat. 14 Ric. II, pt. ii. m. 32). A few days later he was commissioned with others to convoke in convenient places the chief persons of each part of the English colony, and to take evidence on oath concerning losses and grievances, the delinquencies of the royal officers, and the remedies to be applied; to investigate the dealings of the lord justice, Sir John Stanley [q. v.], with the native chieftains, and ascertain the state of the revenues (Pat. 14 Ric. II, pt. ii. m. 18).
In March 1391 the king, 'relying on the circumspection, prudence, and fidelity' of the bishop, summoned him 'to work on some of our affairs intimately concerning us,' and ordered that the revenue of his see should be paid to him (Pat. ib. m. 20). These affairs, which were calculated to employ him for three years, had reference to Rome, and were perhaps connected with the schism or the anti-papal legislation of the time (cf. Pat. ib. m. 47). In August 1391 Northalis was again in Ireland, acting as deputy-justice in the county of Kilkenny, and negotiating with the natives (Irish Pat. 15 Ric. II, No. 77). In the winter of 1392-3 he attended meetings of the council, was appointed lord-chancellor of Ireland in May 1393, and held office for about a year (Pat. 16 Ric. II, pt. iii. m. 9; Irish Pat. 18 Ric. II, Nos. 46-8). He performed many onerous duties, negotiating frequently with English and Irish in the absence of the lord justice, James Butler, third earl of Ormonde, and attending the latter in an expedition to Munster with an armed force (Irish Close Roll, 17 Ric. II, No. 1). At the petition of the council he received (April 1394) a reward of 20l., because the fees of the chancellorship did not cover a third of his expenses (ib.) He was summoned to attend the king at a council at Kilkenny in April 1395 (Irish Close Roll, 18 Ric. II, No. 68). He was translated by papal bull to the archbishopric of Dublin, and obtained restitution of the temporalities on 4 Feb. 1396 (Pat. 19 Ric. II, pt. ii. m. 34). On 1 April he obtained license to leave Ireland without incurring the penalties of the statute of absentees, on condition of furnishing men-at-arms for the defence of the land (Pat. ib. m. 23). He died in Dublin, 20 July 1397, and was buried in the cathedral church of St. Patrick.
He is said to have written 'Sermones' and 'Ad Ecclesiarum Parochos' (Bale). Neither is extant. The statement that he wrote a 'Hymn on St. Canute' (Bibl. Carm.) involves two mistakes : Richard Lederede or Ledred [q. v.] composed a hymn in honour of St. Cainnech, patron saint of Ossory Cathedral.
[Liber Munerum Publicorum Hiberniæ, 1824; Rotulorum Patentium et Clausorum Cancellariæ Hiberniæ Calendarium, 1828; Harris's Ware, 1764; Camden's Britannia, iii. 690; Roll of the Proceedings of the King's Council in Ireland, 1392–3, 1877; Cotton's Fasti Eccles. Hibern.; Villiers de S. Etienne's Bibliotheca Carmelitana, 1752.]