Kellawe, Richard de (DNB00)

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KELLAWE, RICHARD de (d. 1316), bishop of Durham, was a member of a family of some little consideration in Durham; his father and mother appear to have been named Thomas and Agnes. They were dead in 1312 (Reg. Pal. Dun. iii. p. cxiii). He became a monk at St. Cuthbert's, Durham, and in 1302 was chosen sub-prior (Graystanes, p. 79). On the death of Antony Bek [q. v.], Kellawe was chosen bishop of Durham by the monks, in opposition to the court candidate, on 31 March 1311; the royal assent was given at Berwick on 11 April, the temporalities were restored on 20 May, and on 31 May Kellawe was consecrated at York; he was not enthroned till 4 Sept. (ib. p. 92). He is described as a man of sufficient learning and of worthy life, whose eloquence, appearance, and stature became his position. The palatinate of Durham was at this time in a deplorable condition owing to the Scottish war, and in 1312 Kellawe was forced to purchase a truce; he had in the same year received a papal dispensation for not attending the council at Vienne in consideration of the state of his province (Fœdera, ii. 146, Record ed.). To his other troubles were added a famine, and the ravages of the freebooters called ‘Shavaldi.’ The bishop seems to have acted with vigour, and his brother, Patrick de Kellawe, whom he appointed to command his troops, defeated and slew one of the leaders of the Shavaldi at Holy Island. When Gaveston was besieged at Scarborough in 1313, refuge in the Palatinate was refused him. Edward II, angered by the opposition to his favourite, made the truce with the Scots and the action against the freebooters the ground for an accusation against Kellawe, and endeavoured to procure his translation; but Kellawe purchased peace by a levy of fifteen hundred men and a present of one thousand marks. The troubles with the Scots were renewed after Bannockburn, and the Palatinate was now so exhausted that it could not provide even for its own defence (ib. iii. 541). Kellawe died, 10 Oct. 1316, at Middleham, and was buried in the chapter-house at Durham. His tomb, which was richly adorned with brass imagery, was destroyed when the chapter-house was mutilated by Wyatt a hundred years ago. The apse, in which the tomb was situate, was removed and the space thrown into the deanery garden; some recent excavations led to the discovery of what were undoubtedly the remains of Kellawe's tomb (Reg. Pal. Dun. iii. p. cxv). Kellawe's will was dated 29 Sept. 1316 (ib. iii. p. cliv). Graystanes says that he had promised to leave his library and plate to the convent, but that his executors dealt otherwise with them. The same author hints that Kellawe unduly favoured his relations; certainly he gave them various valuable offices, but there is nothing to show they were unworthy of the preferment (ib. iii. p. cxii). Kellawe's personal character was high; apparently he never left his bishopric, except for two short visits to London in 1312 and 1314. In 1312 he issued some ‘Constitutiones Synodales’ (Wilkins, Concilia, ii. 416–19). Kellawe's register is the earliest Durham register that has survived. The volume in which it is contained also includes, besides some other matter, a portion of the register of Richard de Bury. It passed out of its proper custody in the seventeenth century, and eventually came with the Rawlinsonian collection to the Bodleian Library. It was restored in 1812 to the chapter of Durham, and is now preserved in the Record Office, together with the other documents of the Palatinate. It throws much light on the social and ecclesiastical history of the time, and has been edited for the Rolls Series in four volumes by Sir Thomas Hardy.

[Graystanes's Chronicle in Hist. Dunelm. Scriptt. Tres (Surtees Soc.); Registrum Palatinum Dunelmense, vol. iii. Preface, pp. xc–cxv; Tanner's Bibl. Brit.-Hib. p. 451; Godwin, De Præsulibus, ed. Richardson, p. 745; Surtees's Hist. of Durham, i. pp. xxxv–vii.]

C. L. K.