Newport, Richard de (DNB00)

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NEWPORT, RICHARD de (d. 1318), bishop of London, was perhaps a member of a Hertfordshire family. His name first occurs in Bishop Richard de Gravesend's will, dated 12 Sept. 1302, where he is described as archdeacon of Colchester and the bishop's official. At the time of Gravesend's death (9 Dec. 1303) Newport had become archdeacon of Middlesex. He was one of Gravesend's executors, and had custody of the spiritualities during the vacancy of the see. In 1304 Newport is mentioned as holding the prebend of Islington. Next year he was the bishop's commissary for the purgation of one John Heron, and on 5 June 1306 was one of those who excommunicated at St. Paul's Robert Bruce and the murderers of Comyn. He became dean of St. Paul's in 1314, and on the death of Gilbert de Segrave was elected bishop of London on 27 Jan. 1317. The royal assent was given on 11 Feb., the election was confirmed on 26 March, and on 15 May Newport was consecrated by Walter Reynolds [q. v.] at Canterbury. Newport died suddenly at Ilford on 24 Aug. 1318, and was buried in St. Paul's four days later. His tomb was defaced at the Reformation. He made provision for two priests to pray for his soul, and left 40s. annually for the keeping of his obit (Dugdale, St. Paul's, p. 20); an abstract of his will is given in Sharpe's ‘Calendar of Wills in the Court of Husting,’ i. 281). In the ‘Flores Historiarum’ (iii. 177) Newport is described as ‘Doctor in Decretis.’ Bishop Gravesend bequeathed him a copy of ‘Decretals,’ worth 6l. 13s. 4d. There are a few unimportant references to Newport in the ‘Close Rolls of Edward II.’ He may be the Richard de Newport, a lawyer, whose name occurs in 1302–3 (Cal. Documents relating to Ireland, 1302–7, p. 149).

[Chronicles of Edward I and Edward II in Rolls Ser.; Wharton, De Episcopis Londiniensibus, pp. 118–19; Le Neve's Fasti Eccl. Angl. ii. 290, 311, 326, 339, 400; Accounts of executors of R. de Gravesend and T. de Burton, Camd. Soc.; Documents illustrating the History of St. Paul's, Camd. Soc.]

C. L. K.