Osgodby, Adam de (DNB00)
OSGODBY, ADAM de (d. 1316), keeper of the great seal, was a clerk in Edward I's chancery, who derived his name from and was perhaps born at one of the villages called Osgodby in Yorkshire, in which county he afterwards held lands. He first appears on the records in 1286, when he was appointed attorney of Stephen de Mauley, going to Paris for the purpose of study (Cal. Patent Rolls, 1282-92, p. 261). Between that year and 1290 he also acted as attorney for William de Aeon, Walter de Percehaye, and again in 1291 for Stephen de Mauley, now archdeacon of Clevelana, and going to the court of Rome (ib. pp. 289, 292, 335, 413). On 1 Oct. 1295 he was appointed keeper of the rolls of chancery, from which date until his death his name constantly appears in records as an active minister of the crown. He is generally described as 'king's clerk,' and is regarded by Foss as having been the chief of that order. Though never for any length of time entrusted with the permanent custody of the great seal, Adam was repeatedly commissioned to hold it temporarily, sometimes alone, more often in conjunction with others. This generally happened during the absence of the chancellor, or during the vacancy of the chancellorship. On three occasions Adam thus held the seal under Edward I. Again, at Easter 1310, he held the seal between the resignation of John Langton [q. v.], bishop of Chichester, and the appointment of Walter Reynolds [q.v.], bishop of Worcester, to succeed him as chancellor (Ann. Paulini in Stubbs's Chron. of Edw. I and Edw. II, i. 268-9). In August 1311 again, on chancellor Reynolds setting out to the general council, Osgodby received custody of the great seal, to be kept by him under the seals of two other chancery clerks, Robert of Bardelby [q. v.] and William of Ayermine (Cal. Close Rolls, 1307-1313, p. 435). On 30 Dec. in the same year Edward II formally delivered the seal to Adam and his two colleagues at York, and ordered them to go daily to the church at St. Mary outside the castle, and there execute what related to the office of chancellor, as they had been wont to do (ib. p. 448, cf. however p. 393). When the great seal was not in use it was safeguarded by the seals of the three keepers, as, for example, during Edward II's flight from Tynemouth to Scarborough, after which it was restored to the keeper at York on the Wednesday in Whitsun week, 1312 (ib. pp. 459-60). On 6 Oct. the retransierence of the seal to Walter Reynolds ended Osgodby's keepership (ib. p. 553). But even after this — as, for example, in May 1310, when Reynolds went on pilgrimage to Canterbury, and again so late as April 1314— the great seal was still secured by the seals of the same three clerks (ib. p. 581, 1313-18 p. 96). The last instances of such custody are in June and November 1315 (ib. 1313-18, pp. 233, 314). In his later career Adam was a member of the king's council (ib. p. 206).
Adam seems to have driven a considerable money-lending business, to judge by the numerous examples of deeds enrolled in chancery and in the Close Rolls. He was litigious, like his age and class, winning in 1311 a suit in the ecclesiastical courts against the abbot and convent of Selby, and using his influence at high quarters to declare the appeal of the monks to Rome informal (ib. 1307-13, p. 350). He held numerous offices. In 1304 he was parson of the church of Gargrave (Calendarium Genealogicum, ii. 672). On 7 Nov. 1307 Edward II added to his custody of the rolls the office of warden of the Domus Conversorum in Fetter Lane, an office afterwards invariably conjoined with that of the mastership of the rolls. He was a canon of York Cathedral, a prebendary of Newbiggin in the collegiate church of Lanphester in the diocese of Durham, and prebendary of Burford in Shropshire (Cal. Close Rolls, 1307-1313 pp. 98, 350, 433, 1313-18 pp. 230, 305). He acted as proctor for the canons of York in the Carlisle parliament of 1307 (Rot. Pari. i. 190). He died in August 1316, leaving sixty-eight acres of land, a house, a windmill, and rents valued at six marks and ten shillings — all in Yorkshire — to which Walter de Osgodby, his brother or nephew, succeeded (Cal. Inq. post mortem, i. 279). One of his executors was Henry de Cliffe. His niece Isabella was granted a maintenance for life at the expense of the prior and convent of Coventry, in consideration of Adam's services to the king.
[Foss's Judges of England, iii. 284-6; Biographia Juridica, p. 492; Cal. of Patent Rolls, 1272-92; Dugdale's Orig. Jud. and Chronica Series; Cals. of Close Rolls, 1307-13 and 1313-1318; Cal. Inquisitiones post mortem, i. 194, 279; Stubbs's Chron. of Edward I and Edward II.]