Bridport, Giles of (DNB00)
BRIDPORT or BRIDLESFORD, Giles of (d. 1262), bishop of Salisbury, was a native of the town from which he took his name. As dean of Wells, an office to which he was elected in 1253, he arbitrated in a dispute between the abbot and monks of Abingdon. In 1255 he was archdeacon of Berkshire. He was elected bishop of Salisbury in 1256, and was, as bishop-elect, sent that year on an embassy by Henry III to Alexander IV with reference to the money claimed by the pope for the gift of the Sicilian crown. The object of this embassy is described as 'against the clergy and people of England,' who were taxed to satisfy the pope's demands (Ann. Dunst. iii. 199). Bridport escaped, though not without danger, from the snares of the French, and on his return to England was employed to make an agreement with the clergy as to the payment of the tenth required of them. He was consecrated 11 March 1257, and was allowed by the pope to retain his former ecclesiastical revenues, along with his bishopric. When he entered on his see the cathedral was nearly finished, and he covered the roof with lead. The church was consecrated on 30 Sept. 1258 by Archbishop Boniface, in the presence of the king and many bishops, who were gathered by Bridport's exertions (Matt. Paris, v. 719). On 24 Aug. 1258 he was appointed one of the twenty-four commissioners of the aid chosen in accordance with the arrangements of the parliament of Oxford, and on 21 Nov. 1261 was nominated by the king as one of the arbitrators between himself and the barons. In 1260 he founded the college of Vaux or De Valle Scholarum at Salisbury. This interesting foundation is a strong proof of the bishop's munificence and love of learning. In 1262 he attempted to exercise visitatorial rights over his chapter, but withdrew his claim. He died 13 Dec. 1262, and was buried on the south side of the choir of his church.
[Matt. Paris, Chron. Maj. v. ed. Luard, Rolls Ser.; Annales, Burton, Oseney, Wikes, ap. Ann. Monast. Rolls Ser.; Godwin, De Præsulibus; Leland's Itin. iii. 94; Cassan's Lives of the Bishops of Salisbury; Hutchins's Modern Wiltshire, vi. 734; Jones's Annals of the Church of Salisbury, 110; Tanner's Notitia Monastica, 608.]
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