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Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 07.djvu/343

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Burghersh
Burghersh
337

the queen's party after Edward’s capture and imprisonment at Kenilworth. He also accompanied Orlton to that fortress in January 1327, alter the deposition of Edward by the parliament, being sent in advance of the other commissioners to procure his resignation of the crown in favour of his son. In February 1328 he was commissioned by the parliament at York, in conjunction with the queen’s tool, Ayreminne, bishop of Norwich, to conclude peace with the Scots, and to negotiate the marri of the king’s young sister Joan with David, the son an heir of Robert Bruce, which was carried into effect the next year, In the following March he succeeded his fellow-conspirator Orlton as treasurer, on the latter going to the papal court at Avignon, where he obtained for himself a papal provision to the see of Worcester, and in May 1328 he received the great seal as chancellor on the resignation of John Hotham, bishop of Ely; thus at the early age of thirty-seven attaining the highest office in the state. Two months after the murder of the king, Reynolds, archbishop of Canterbury, died, and an unsuccessful attempt was made by the queen’s party to secure the primacy for Burghersh, to which Simon Mephum was appointed. When Edward proceeded to France to do homage for his continental possessions, Burghersh, the confidential friend of Isabella and of Mortimer, accompanied him as his guardian, and, according to Knighton (Twysden, Decem Script. col. 2555), by a timely retreat rescued the yaung king from the treacherous designs of Philip, who was purposing to make him his prisoner.

Edward’s first child, the future Black Prince, was born at Woodstock 15 June 1330, and Burghersh, the bishop of the diocese, which then included the county of Oxford, baptised him. The following autumn saw the gall of Isabella and Mortimer. Burghersh was too completely identified with them to escape altogether. He was actually with Mortimer and the queen at Nottingham when the former was apprehended, and was sent to the Tower on St. Luke’s day, 18 Oct. 1330. He was deprived on 28 Nov. of his office as chancellor in which he was succeeded by Stratford, bishop of Winchester, afterwards primate, who as archdeecon of Lincoln had proved one of his most unremitting opponents, and had been employed by Edward III to convey the charges against him to the papal curia and to prosecute the cause. Burghersh, however, speedily regained a considerable amount of power and influence, and played a conspicuous part in the early years of the reign of Edward III as the spokesman of the court party (Stubbs, Const. Hitt. ii. 867, 384). In 1333 he supported the Oxford authorities in suppressing the attempt on the art of the northern students at Oxford, who he had been defeated in an affray with the southern students, to establish a new rival university at Stamford (Oxf. Hist. Soc. Collectanea, i. 9). Having been out of office four years, he once more became treasurer in 1334, but was again dismissed in 1337. In the January of the preceding year he had formed one of a commission, with the archbishop of Canterbury and the bishops of Durham and Carlisle, for negotiating the short peace with Scotland, speedily nullified by the massacre by the Scots of the English governors appointed by Edward (Gest. Edw. Tert. Rolls Series, 127), Burghersh's removal from the treasurership does not appear to indicate any decided breach between him and the king, for the following year, the half of the wool of England having been granted to Edward for the expenses of the pro,]ected war with Philip of Valois, he was sent into Flanders, with Sir Walter Manny and alarge force, to protect the fleet which was conveying the wool to be sold to the Flemish clothiers at the king’s own price. A large quantity of wool, valued at 150,000l., having been discovered in the hands of the English merchants at Dordrecht, the whole was seized by the bishop and Manny and the proceeds devoted to purchasing the support of the dukes of Gueldres, Hainault, and Brabant in the contemplated French war (ib. ii. 133; Knighton ap. Twysden, 2570). Edward evidently found Burghersh an efficient and capable minister, whom he was glad to employ in any state matter calling or business like capacity unfettered by over-scrupulosity. He was in England again in the early part of 1340, and was despatched by the king to the south to hurry homeward the equipment of vessels for the fleet with which on 24 June Edward gained the great naval victory of Sluys (Walsingham, Hist. Angl. i. 226, Rolls Series). In his capacity of ‘principal adviser of the king in foreign affairs,’ the character given him by the continuator of Adam of Murimuth (p. 114), he accompanied his royal master to Flanders, where he seems to have remained till his premature death at Ghent, 4 Dec 1340. His body was brought to England, and was buried in his cathedral church, at the east end of the north aisle of the retrochoir, wherehis brother, Sir Bartholomew, had founded a chantry at the altar of St. Catherine’s. His monument, with his eiligy in episcopal habit, still remains, but much mutilated and deprived of its lofty canopy. According to a curious tale recorded by Walsingham (ib. i. 254), his unquiet spirit was doomed to walk as the ghostly keeper of