OFFORD, ANDREW (d. 1368), clerk or master in chancery, was a brother of John de Offord [q. v.] He probably owed his post to his brother's influence, though he does not occur in this position till after John Offord's death. The first mention of Andrew Offord is on 24 May 1343, when he was one of the commissioners appointed to treat with the French Ambassadors before the pope (Murimuth, p. 137; Fœdera, ii. 1224); he is there described as doctor of civil law. The original commission was not despatched, but Andrew Offord was sent to the pope in September, and early in November returned with important news of the negotiations. After making his report, he was once more sent to Avignon on 3 Dec. to obtain letters of conduct for Edward III's commissioners (Murimuth, pp. 147-9, 162-3). He was still at Avignon in August 1344 (Fœdera, iii. 19), but returned to England not long after. On 30 March 1346 he received the prebends of Netherbury and Berminster, Salisbury, from the king, and when Edward went abroad in July was one of the council for Lionel, who was regent in his father's absence (ib. iii. 60). In August, however, he was sent on a mission to treat for a marriage between the king's daughter Joanna and Alfonso of Castile (ib. iii. 68); in November he was further directed to negotiate a marriage between the Prince of Wales and one of the daughters of the king of Portugal (Newcourt, i. 79). On 27 Aug. 1347 he received, with some other preferments, the prebend of South Newbold, York, and on 24 Jan. 1348 was made subdean of York; he was afterwards papally provided to the archdeaconry of Middlesex in 1349, was appointed provost of Wells on 26 Feb. 1360, and prebendary of Masham, York, on 24 May 1350; he likewise held a prebend at Beverley.
Offord was one of the persons appointed to accompany Joanna on her journey to Castile in January 1348. He was present at his brother's death on 20 May 1349, and next day delivered up the seal to the king at Woodstock. In August 1349 he was employed to treat for a truce with France, and in the autumn of 1360 and spring of 1361 was engaged in the negotiations with Louis of Flanders and the French king. On 1 Dec. 1862 he was sent to treat with William of Bavaria (Fœdera, iii. 147, 160, 163, 186, 188, 206, 207, 216, 260). In August 1353 he was for a short time in charge of the great seal, and in the parliaments of 1364 and 1366 was a trier of petitions (Rolls of Parliament, ii. 264, 264). On 8 July 1366 he was sent to treat with Peter, archbishop of Rouen, and Peter, duke of Bourbon (Fœdera, iii. 306). Andrew Offord appears to have died about the end of 1358.
[Fœdera (Record ed.); Murimuth (Rolls Ser.); Le Neve's Fasti Eccl. Angl. ii. 327, iii. 128, 201; Jones's Fasti Eccles. Salisb. p. 406; Newcourt's Repertorium, i. 79, 145; Foss's Judges of England, iii. 472-3.]
OFFORD or UFFORD, JOHN de (d. 1349), chancellor and archbishop-elect of Canterbury, has erroneously been called a son of Robert de Ufford, first earl of Suffolk; in point of fact it is extremely doubtful whether there was any relationship whatever. John de Offord's own family no doubt belonged to Offord in Huntingdonshire, where in 1276 a John de Offord held the estate of Offord Dameys. Of this estate the future chancellor had custody in 1332, till the legitimate age of the heir. It is therefore probable that he was a son or grandson of the earlier John de Offord; but the only positive fact known as to his family is that he was brother of Andrew Offord [q. v.] Offord was a doctor of civil law in 1334, and was no doubt educated at Oxford or Cambridge, probably at the latter, since he is commemorated among the benefactors of the university. He became a clerk in the royal service, and on 6 Nov. 1328 was appointed a commissioner to visit the free chapel in Hastings Castle; on 26 April 1330 he received the archdeaconry of Chester, but on 10 Dec. the appointment was revoked, as the post proved to be already filled (Cal. Pat. Rolls Edward III, i. 354, 614, ii. 26). He received the prebend of Liddington, Lincoln, in 1339 and of Tottenhall, St. Paul's, on 17 Oct. 1331; other minor preferments held by Offord were the rectory of Boughton, Kent, which he had in December 1331 (Litteræ Cantuarienses, i. 416, Rolls Ser.), a canonry at Wells before 1336 (Report on Manuscripts of Wells Cathedral, p. 103), the prebends of Masham, York, from 1340 to 1348, and of Warham and Ayleston, Hereford, on 28 Jan. 1344. In January 1333 Offord was one of the commissioners appointed by the Bishop of Lincoln to inquire into the infirmity of Abbot Richard of St. Albans (Gesta Abbatum, ii. 286-6). He was at this time dean of the court of arches, London, an office which he still held in November 1333, when he was consulted by the prior of Christchurch, Canterbury (Litt. Cant. ii. 530, and in 1336, when his assistance was asked for by the dean and chapter of Wells in a suit before the papal nuncio.
Offord was constantly employed by Edward III in negotiations with the French and papal courts, for the first time on 6 Nov. 1334, when he was one of the commissioners