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Gravesend, Richard de (d.1303) (DNB00)

GRAVESEND, RICHARD de (d. 1303), bishop of London, was prebendary of Totenhall, and treasurer of St. Paul's for some years before 1278 (Le Neve, Fasti, ii. 353, 439). He was also archdeacon of Northampton from 1272 to 1280, and in 1275 was prebendary of Sutton in Lincoln Cathedral (ib. ii. 56, 216). He was elected bishop of London in 1280 (Ann. Waverley, ii. 393), and the royal assent was granted on 9 May; he was consecrated by Archbishop Peckham at Coventry on 11 Aug. in that year, and was enthroned on 1 Oct. (Wykes, iv. 284). There are twenty-three letters to Gravesend printed in Peckham's ‘Register’ (Rolls Ser.), chiefly relating to matters of administration. Among them may be mentioned two in February and March 1282, directing him to excommunicate Thomas de Cantelupe [q. v.], the bishop of Hereford (Peckham, Reg. i. 279, 315). Others relate to a grant of a subsidy to the king in 1283 (ib. ii. 486, 508, 536), and to the destruction of all Jewish synagogues in London but one (ib. i. 212, ii. 407, 410). There are also two from Gravesend to Peckham: the first, dated 14 Feb. 1282 (ib. i. 297), has reference to the negotiations for the release of Amaury de Montfort; Gravesend reports that he had had a conversation with the king, who absolutely refused; the second, dated 5 Feb. 1284, complains that Peckham had taken the case of the rector of Waterfield out of his court; the archbishop replied on 10 Feb. defending his conduct, and a few days later remonstrated with him for infringing the liberties of Canterbury (ib. ii. 669, 672, 678). Two other letters from Gravesend are given by Bartholomew Cotton (Hist. Angl. pp. 205–293, Rolls Ser.) In 1289 Peckham assigned the dean and treasurer of St. Paul's to be coadjutors to Gravesend. In 1293 Gravesend was sent on an embassy to France, with reference to the attacks made on some French ships by the sailors of the Cinque ports, but failed to appease Philip IV (Walsingham, Hist. Angl. i. 43, Rolls Ser.). In 1297 he was one of the councillors of Prince Edward during the king's absence in France (Trivet, Ann. p. 365, Engl. Hist. Soc.) He instituted the office of subdean of St. Paul's in 1290, and directed that the chancellor should read a divinity lecture in the church. He died at Fulham 9 Dec. 1303 (Ann. Lond. i. 89, in Chronicles of Edward I and II, Rolls Ser.), and in accordance with his will dated 12 Sept. 1302, was buried in St. Paul's near the tomb of Henry de Sandwich, bishop of London, whom he describes as ‘promotor meus.’ Gravesend seems to have been a munificent man; besides founding a chantry in St. Paul's, he left bequests to the poor of London, and for the maintenance of the cathedral fabric. He was also a benefactor of the university of Cambridge, and founder of a Carmelite priory at Maldon in Essex. An inventory of his effects, together with the valuation for the purpose of probate, is preserved in the archives of St. Paul's: the total amount was 3,000l.; this inventory contains a list of his books, comprising over eighty volumes, which were valued at 116l. 14s. 6d.; it is perhaps the earliest priced catalogue extant (Philobiblon Society, Miscellanies, ii. 10; paper contributed by Dean Milman). His executors' accounts, together with a copy of his will, were edited for the Camden Society in 1874. A nephew of Gravesend was Stephen de Gravesend, bishop of London [q. v.]; another nephew, Richard de Gravesend (d. 1329), was archdeacon of London in 1294, and treasurer of St. Paul's from 1310 to 1329, and also held the prebend of Chiswick (Le Neve, ii. 320, 353, 377).

[Authorities quoted; Newcourt's Repertorium, i. 15, 16; Godwin, De Præsulibus, p. 183, Richardson's edition; Accounts of Executors of R. de Gravesend and T. de Burton (Camd. Soc.); Milman's Annals of St. Paul's, pp. 66, 67.]

C. L. K.