Bendings, William (DNB00)

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BENDINGS, WILLIAM (fl. 1180), judge, was, according to Giraldus Cambrensis, sent to Ireland by Henry II in 1176 as one of four envoys, of whom two were to remain with the viceroy, Richard FitzGilbert, earl of Striguil, and two were to return, bringing with them Reimund Fitzgerald, whose nulitary exploits had aroused the king's jealousy. Reimund did not at once comply with the royal mandate, being compelled by the threatening attitude of Donnell to march to the relief of Limerick, a town which he had only lately taken. It is probable, however, that on the evacuation of Limerick, which took place the same year, soon after the death of the Earl of Striguil, Reimund returned to England, as he is not again heard of in Ireland until 1182, and that Bendings was one of those who accompanied him. In 1179, on the resignation of the chief justice, Richard deLucy, a redistribution of the circuits was carried into effect. In place of the six circuits then existing the country was divided into four, to each of which, except the northern circuit, five judges were assigned, three or four of the number being laymen. To the northern circuit six judges were assigned, of whom Bendings was one, having for one of his colleagues the celebrated Ranulf Glanvill, who was made chief justice the following year. In 1183-4 we find him acting as sheriff of Dorset and Somerset, the two counties being united under his single jurisdiction. There seems to be no reason to suppose, with Foss, that the expression, 'sex justitiæ in curia regis constituti ad audiendum clamores populi,' applied to the six judges of the northern circuit, imports any jurisdiction peculiar to them. The date of Bending's death is uncertain; but that he was living in 1189-90 is proved by the fact that he is entered the pipe roll of that year as rendering certain accounts to the exchequer.

[Giraldus Cambrensis, Expng. Hibern. ii. 11, 20; Dugdale's Chron. Ser. 3; Madox's Exc. i. 94, 138, 285; Hoveden, ed. Stubbs, ii. 19 Pipe Roll 1, Ric. I (Hunter), 147 ; Foss's Judg. of England.]

J. M. R.