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Gravesend, Richard de (d.1279) (DNB00)

GRAVESEND, RICHARD de (d. 1279), bishop of Lincoln, became dean of Lincoln in 1254, and was treasurer of Hereford previously to 1258 (Le Neve, Fasti, i. 488, ii. 31). In September 1254 he, together with the Dean of London, was appointed to carry out the pope's confirmation of the excommunication of the infractors of Magna Charta, and a letter which he addressed to the Bishop of Lichfield on this matter in May 1255 is preserved (Ann. Burt. i. 320–3). In July 1258 he was appointed to decide the rights of the abbey of Oseney to the church of St. George-in-the-Castle at Oxford (Ann. Oseney, iv. 120). He was elected bishop of Lincoln on 23 Sept. 1258 (Matt. Paris, v. 719; 21 Sept. according to Oseney, iv. 121), received the royal assent on 13 Oct. (Pat. Roll), and was consecrated by Archbishop Boniface at Canterbury 3 Nov. following (Matt. Paris, v. 721; Oseney, iv. 121). He immediately crossed over with the Earls of Leicester and Gloucester to be present at the parliament of Cambray on 6 Nov. in order to negotiate for a peace between England and France (Matt. Paris v. 720; Ann. Dunst. iii. 211). He accompanied King Henry on a similar mission in November of next year (Wykes, iv. 123). During the barons' war he sided with Simon de Montfort, and in 1263, together with the Bishops of London and Lichfield, conducted the negotiations which led to a temporary peace between the two parties (Dunst. iii. 223). He met Montfort for this purpose at Canterbury on 12 July (Cont. Gervase, ii. 223, ex Chron. Dover, in Cott. MS. Julius D.V.). He was summoned to, but did not attend, the parliament at Winchester in September 1265 (Waverley, ii. 366). In 1266, along with other bishops of his party, he was cited to appear before the legate Ottobuoni, who suspended him till he had obtained absolution from the pope (Dunst. iii. 240; Oseney, iv. 181). Apparently, however, Gravesend did not at once leave England, for, according to the ‘Annals of Oseney,’ on 22 Jan. 1267 he confirmed the election of William of Sutton as abbat of Oseney, and in the following March appointed John of Oxford abbat of Eynsham (iv. 208, 213). But a little later complaints were made of his being in exile (Rishanger, Chron. p. 55), and the ‘Oseney Annals’ (iv. 181) say that he was several years abroad, but at length obtained grace of the pope, the ‘Dunstable Annals’ (iii. 247) adding that it was by payment of a large sum of money. During his absence John de Maidenstone had charge of his diocese (ib.) Gravesend returned to England in 1269 (ib. iii. 248), and on 16 June dedicated the high altar at Oseney (Oseney, iv. 227). In November 1274 he confirmed William le Breton as prior of Dunstable (Dunst. iii. 264). In 1275, on account of his infirmities, the archbishop appointed him a coadjutor (ib. iii. 268). There are a few references to him in Peckham's ‘Register;’ on 19 July 1279 the archbishop directs him to prosecute forgers of apostolic letters (Reg. i. 26), and on 21 Sept. bids him desist from troubling the people of his diocese by extortions and sequestrations (ib. i. 70). Perhaps the latter may allude to such conduct as his citation of the monks of his diocese to prove their claim to church property in 1259 (Oseney, iv. 133), and his ejecting Dunstable priory from Sidlington Church in 1277 (Ann. Dunst. iii. 276). Two letters addressed by Adam Marsh to Gravesend have been preserved (Monumenta Franciscana, i. 185, 224, Rolls Ser.). Gravesend died 13 Dec. 1279 (Dunst. iii. 282; Wykes, iv. 282), and was buried in Lincoln Cathedral. Matthew Paris says of him ‘vir digne laudabilis nulli videbatur inutilis’ (v. 719).

[Matt. Paris; Annals of Burton, Dunstable, Waverley, and Oseney, and Wykes's Chronicle in Annales Monastici; Rishanger's Chronicle; Gervase of Canterbury; Peckham's Registrum; all these are contained in the Rolls Ser.; Le Neve's Fasti, ii. 11; Godwin, De Præsulibus (where he is wrongly called Benedictus), 292, ed. Richardson.]

C. L. K.