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Burghersh
Burghersh
336

undoubted rights, elected their dean, Henry of Mansfield, to the vacant sec. Mansfield, however, declined the episcopate. The second choice of the chapter fell on Antony Belt (1279-1343) [q. v.], the chancellor of this church, who was not indisposed to accept the oliice. Again the electors were baulked. Lord Badlesmere was then at the papal court at Avignon on a mission from Edward (Adam Murimuth, p. 31). He availed himself of the opportunity to plead the cause of his nephew, in whose behalf, only three days after Bishop Dalderby’s decease, and probably on the very day of its notification to him, 16 Jan. 1320, his royal master had already addressed a fourth letter to the pope, followed by a fifth letter on 6 March (Rymar, ii. i, 414 ill 814 ff.) His application was warmly supported, and the large bribes offered, ‘pecuniæ non modicæ interventionem ’ (Gesta Edw. de Carnarvon, Rolls Series, ii. 60), furnished a powerful inducement. The election of Antony Bek was shamelessly annulled, and the dean and chapter of Lincoln were informed that the pppe had reserved the appointment to himself by way of provision, and had selected Henry Burghersh, though not of canonical age, being only in his twenty-ninth year; this ‘defect of age,' in the words of the papal letter to Edward, ‘being compensated by the abundance of the young man's merits and virtues, as he was well furnished with knowledge of letters, illustrious by nobility of family, remarkable for moral an virtuous living, and adorned with other manifold gifts’ (Rymer, Fœd, ii. i. 425). The scandal of such an appointment called forth on measured reprobation from those to whom the independence of the church and realm was dear. Perhaps to avoid public offence the consecration was performed at Boulogne, 20 July, in the presence of Edward II. His consecrator was Salmon, bishop of Norwich, Adam of Orlton, bishop of Hereford, the infamous conspirator against Edward II, being one of the assistant prelates. Burghersh did not rise above the average moral standard of the English episcopate when it was almost at its lowest. Walsingham charges him with avarice beyond his fellows, and a bold contempt of the rights of others. He was, in common with the leading Lnrelates of his time, far more of a statesman than a bishop. The utmost that John of Schalby, his registrar, can say in his favour is that he bore the ‘royal persecutions' patiently, and obtained the right of sanctua for the bishop's palace and canons' houses at Lincoln, already granted to the cathedral church.

The Bishop of Lincoln’s court favour was not of long duration. His uncle, Lord Baldlesmere, joined in the attack of the barons on the Despensers, and with his old enemy, the Earl of Lancaster, and the rebel lords made war upon the king. After the battle of Boroughbridge, 16 March 1322, in which Lancaster and is allies were defeated, Badlesmere took refuge in his nephew the Bishop of Lincoln’s manor of Stow Park. Here he was captured and taken to Canterbury, where he was beheaded (Leland, Collect. ii. 465; Adam Munimuth, p. 37). The bishop’s temporalities were seized by the king, who, in a series of letters to the pope, called upon his holiness to deprive Burghersh of his see. Similar letters were addressed to the college of cardinals and to Philip of France, and able theologians were despatched to plead the king’s cause against the bishop at the papal court (Rymer, ii. i. 464, 500, 504, 510, 515). The pope at last replied that he would be ready to attend to any charges for canonical offences, but it was most unreasonable to ask him to visit unproved offences with severe penalties (u. s. p. 536). Meanwhile Edward was as usual in great want of money, and the Bishop of Lincoln, by way of reprisal, used his authority to thwart his demands for subsidies from the clergy. A convocation of the clergy of the province of Canterbury, held at Lincoln 14 Jan. 1323, to confirm the subsidy already voted at York, resolutely refused to accede to the demand. Burghersh’s name is not definitely mentioned, but there can be no doubt that the violent opposition of the clergy was actively supported by the bishop, in whose cathedral the convocation was held (W. de Dere, Anglia Sacra, i. 362), The vigorous measures taken by the king against the arch-traitor, Adam de Orlton [q. v.], bishop of Hereford, would seem to have alarmed thc Bishop of Lincoln into an outward profession of loyalty and obedience. Edward rewarded his insincere professions by taking him again into his royal favour and giving him restitution of his tem oralities. This generosity was recompensed by the basest duplicity. When Queen Isabella landed in Suffolk, 24 Sept. 1326, ‘proclaiming herself,' as Bishop Stubbs writes, ‘the avenger of Earl Thomas and the enemy of the Despensers,’ one of the earliest and most zealous of her adherents was Burghersh, He, with his brethren of Norwici and Hereford, styled in the vigorous language of a contemporary chronicler, with allusion to the ueen's name, ‘Baal sacerdotes, alumni Jesabellæ,' obtained for her supplies of money from the other bishops, who were all either avowedly hostile or coldly indifferent to their royal master. Burghersh was among the guests at the Christmas banquet held at Vallingford by the leaders of