Grant, Richard (DNB00)

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GRANT, RICHARD (d. 1231), archbishop of Canterbury, also called Richard of Wethershed, possibly either from the Wetheringsett in Sussex or in Suffolk, appears to have been called Le Grant or Le Grand, from his stature ('Magister Richardus Magnus,' Wykes, Annales Monast. iv. 420; Birchington, Anglia Sacra, i. 10), for he was, Matthew Paris says, wonderfully tall and of good carriage, as well as eloquent, learned, and virtuous (iii. 205; Wendover, iv. 186). He is said to have been dean of London (Le Neve, Fasti, ii. 309), but this seems unlikely; he was certainly chancellor of Lincoln from 1221 until 1227, when the election of Walter of Eynsham to the primacy having been quashed by Gregory IX, the king, Henry III, and the suffragan bishops joined in recommending Richard to the pope as likely to be of use to the Roman court as well as to the king and kingdom. Richard was accordingly appointed archbishop by the pope, being 'given rather than elected' to the office (Wendover, iv. 186); the appointment received the king's assent on 23 May, and the archbishop was consecrated at Canterbury on 10 June. On the king's return from France the archbishop and his suffragans welcomed him in Winchester Cathedral, and on 23 Nov. Richard received the pall [see under Cantelupe, Walter de], and celebrated mass in the presence of the king and the suffragan bishops. His rights of jurisdiction were impaired by the application which was made to the pope to confirm an election to the abbacy of Evesham (Ann. Tewkesbury, i. 74). When at the parliament which assembled the following January the king demanded a scutage of three marks from all holding of the crown by barony, clergy as well as laymen, the archbishop and some of the bishops vigorously opposed the grant, on the ground that it had been allowed without their consent by the lay barons when in foreign parts, and that the clergy were not to be bound by the laity. The majority, however, both of the clergy and of the lay barons, were in favour of yielding to the king's will. At this time also he had a dispute with the justiciary, Hubert de Burgh [q. v.], who had received from the king the wardship of Tunbridge Castle and the other lands of Gilbert, earl of Clare [see under Clare, Gilbert de, seventh earl], during the minority of the heir. He claimed that the custody of the castle and its appendages belonged of right to his see. On complaining to the king he was told that the earl held of the king in chief, that the wardship of the lands of barons belonged to the crown, and that the king had a right to confer them on whom he would. He forthwith excommunicated those who were in possession of the castle and lands, and all, save the king himself, who should hold any communication with them, and immediately before Easter set out for Rome to appeal to the pope on this and other matters. The monks of Christ Church sided with the king and the justiciary. Besides his anger at the king's demand on the church, and at the invasion, as he held it, of the rights of his see, he had a quarrel with the abbot of St. Augustine's at Canterbury, who refused to receive consecration from him, and was displeased at the appointment of Anselm le Gras to the see of St. David's. He was received at Rome with much honour (Wykes), and complained to the pope that the king left everything to Hubert de Burgh, and took no counsel with his other nobles; that Hubert had married a woman too near akin to him, and had violated the rights of his see; that the suffragan bishops were given up to worldly affairs, and that the beneficed clergy were pluralists, and he prayed the pope to correct these evils. The king sent proctors to represent his cause, but the pope decided in the archbishop's favour. He set out on his homeward journey on 1 Aug. 1231, and on the 3rd died at the convent of the Friars Minors at S. Gemini in Umbria, between Todi and Narni (Matt.Paris, iii. 206n.) He was buried in his pontifical robes and jewels, and an attempt is said to have been made to rifle his corpse, but the robbers, finding that they were unable to pull the ring from his finger, retired abashed. The next year Hubert de Burgh was accused, wholly without ground, of having procured his death by poison. He is said to have published constitutions, but those which are ascribed to him cannot be distinguished with any certainty from those of the earlier archbishop Richard, the successor of Thomas, and, except the first and fourteenth of the first set and the last of the second set, are probably republications of the constitutions of the first Richard (Johnson). There are also ascribed to him treatises, ' De fide et legibus,' 'De Sacramentis,' and 'De universo corporali et spirituali.' Dr. Hook's estimate of his character seems needlessly severe. He was a personal enemy of Hubert de Burgh, certainly the greatest statesman of his day, but his quarrel was by no means unprovoked. He was jealous of the rights of his order and his see, and though it is evident that he would gladly have seen a revival of papal interference in English affairs, and may possibly have helped to inspire the king's wish to again admit a legate into the kingdom, much allowance must be made for the allegiance which churchmen of the day considered was due to the pope. Matthew Paris certainly does not seem to have thought badly of him, and his resistance to the king's unconstitutional demand shows that he was a man of bold and independent spirit.

[Hook's Lives of the Archbishops, iii. 103-27; Wendover, iv. 85, 219, 220, 226 (Engl. Hist. Soc.); Matthew Paris, iii. 170, 191, 200, 205, 223 (Rolls Ser.); Annals of Tewkesbury, Dunstable. &c., and Wykes in Ann. Monast. i-iv. passim (Rolls Ser.); Anglia Sacra, i. 11, 115; Le Neve's Fasti, i. 11, ii. 91; Lynwood's Provinciale, p. 330; Johnson's Laws and Canons, ii. 126. 127 (Library of AngloCatholic Theology); Pits, De Angliæ Scriptt. p. 307; Tanner's Bibl. Brit. p. 626.]

W. H.