Bingham (Hatcher and Benson, pp. 38–49, documents 732–5, and in Sarum Charters, pp. 295–300; Tanner, Not. Mon.; Dugdale, Mon. vi. 778).
In 1228 Poore was translated to the see of Durham by a bull dated 14 May (Hist. Dunelm. Script. app. lii.; cf. Greenwell, Feodarium Prioratus Dunelmensis, pp. 212–217). On 22 July he received the temporalities, though the king took the unprecedented step of retaining the castles of Durham and Norham (Hutchinson, Durham, i. 200). Poore wrote a letter of farewell to Sarum on 24 July, and was enthroned at Durham on 4 Sept. (Graystanes in Hist. Dun. Scr. p. 37, where 1226 is an obvious slip). At Durham he maintained good relations with the convent, and discharged a ‘debitum inæstimabile’ of more than forty thousand marks left on the see. The Early-English eastern transept of the ‘Nine Altars,’ commonly assigned to him, may have been projected, but was not commenced till 1242 (Greenwell, Durham Cathedral, p. 37). In 1232 the pope ordered him to inquire into the outrages against Roman clerics in the northern province (Matt. Paris, iii. 218). His latest appearance in public affairs is as one of the witnesses to Henry III's confirmation of Magna Charta in 1236 (Ann. Mon. i. 103).
About 1230 he had refounded at Tarrant Kainston (which has been claimed as his birthplace) a small house for three Cistercian nuns and their servants, the site of which is now included in Preston or Crawford Tarrant (Hutchins, Dorset, iii. 118–19). He made the control of it over to Henry III's sister Johanna, queen of Scotland, who was buried there in 1238 (Matt. Paris, Chron. Maj. iii. 479); it was consequently called ‘Locus Benedictus Reginæ super Tarent.’
Poore died on 15 April 1237 at Tarrant (Matt. Paris, Chron. Maj. iii. 392, Hist. Maj. ii. 396). A blundering inscription, now lost, copied by Leland (Itin. iii. 62), in the lady-chapel at Salisbury, states that his body was buried there and his heart at Tarrant. According to Tanner (quoting wrongly Wharton, Angl. Sacr.), he was interred in Durham chapter-house. But Graystanes states explicitly (l.c.) that he died and was buried at Tarrant, ‘sicut vivens præceperat.’ A coffin slab, found about 1850 under the ruins of the abbey chapel at Tarrant, and now in the church of Tarrant Crawford, is not improbably that which covered the bishop's body (cf. Rev. E. Highton, Last Resting-place of a Scottish Queen and a Great English Bishop, p. 8). An effigy in Purbeck marble in Salisbury Cathedral on the north side of the high altar, formerly said to be Poore's, is now believed to represent his successor, Bishop Bingham.
The ‘Ancren Riwle,’ a treatise in Middle English on the duties of monastic life—also found in a Latin version as ‘Regulæ Inclusarum’—is said in an early manuscript to have been addressed by Simon of Ghent, bishop of Salisbury (1297–1315), to his own sisters, who were anchoresses at Tarrant. But it is attributed by its editor, the Rev. J. Morton (Camden Soc. 1853), to Bishop Poore, on the ground that in language it belongs to the earlier part of the thirteenth century, and is likely to have been written by the founder of the religious house at Tarrant. The author quotes freely from the Latin fathers, Bernard, Anselm, and even Ovid and Horace (Morden, Introd. pp. xv, xvi). It is considered ‘one of the most perfect models of simple natural eloquent prose in our language. … As a picture of contemporary life, manners, and feeling it cannot be overestimated’ (Sweet, First Middle English Primer, pp. vi, vii).
Various letters of Poore are printed by Canon Rich Jones (Reg. S. Osmund, and Sarum Charters; see also Hatcher and Benson, Wilkins, and Hutchinson). His Salisbury seal is in Dodsworth (pl. 3), and in Bishop Wordsworth's ‘Seals of Bishops of Salisbury’ (reprinted from ‘Archæological Journal,’ vol. xlv.), p. 12. The Durham seal in Surtees (i. pl. i. 8) is clearly his. The counter-seal, representing the Virgin and Child between two well-modelled churches with spires, may indicate an intention of completing both his cathedrals by central spires, such as was actually erected at Salisbury.
The bishop was identified first by Panciroli, and lately by Sir Travers Twiss (Law Magazine and Review, No. ccxcii. May 1894), with Ricardus Anglicus, the ‘pioneer of scientific judicial procedure in the twelfth century.’ Panciroli (d. 1599) states that Ricardus Anglicus was surnamed Pauper, and that he was so poor that he and two chamber-fellows at Bologna possessed between them only one academic hood (capitium), which they wore in turns to enable them to attend the public lectures. This story is a common fable; and it is impossible to determine whether Panciroli (whose work was published in 1637) had any evidence for assigning Ricardus the name Pauper or Poor. Sarti and Fattorini (De Claris Archigymnasii Bononiensis Professoribus, ed. C. Albicini, I. ii. 386) and Savigny express an unfavourable view of the accuracy of Panciroli, and Bethman-Hollweg pronounces the whole statement ‘durchaus fabelhaft.’