Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 53.djvu/225

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sification of the bible (Montfaucon, Bibl. Nova MSS. i. 46, No. 1423). Among the manuscripts of Alexandre Petau (Petavius) in the Vatican, the ‘Calendar’ is dated 1372, and the versification of the bible is ascribed, with the ‘Calendar,’ to John Semur (ib. i. 66). According to Bale, he wrote also a ‘Castigation of former Calendars collected from many sources’ (Scriptt. Brit. VII. viii.).

In the Cotton MS. Domit. A. II. is a ‘Chronica quædam brevis … de conventu Ville Briggewater’ ascribed to him. It contains only a slender chronology of early historical events, written in many hands into a calendar.

John Somer's ‘Calendars’ were used by Chaucer, who, in his ‘Treatise on the Astrolabe,’ declares his intention of making a third part that shall contain divers tables of longitudes and latitudes, and declinations of the sun after the calendars of the reverend clerks, John Somer and Nicholas of Lynne [q. v.] The third part, however, is wanting (cf. Chaucer, Works, ed. Skeat, iii. 353).

[Sbaralea's Scriptt. Ord. Min. p. 462; Little's Greyfriars in Oxford; cf. art. Nicholas of Lynne.]

M. B.


SOMERCOTE, SWINERCOTE, or SOMERTON, LAWRENCE (fl. 1254), canonist, was born in the south of England. He was brother or kinsman of Cardinal Robert Somercote [q. v.], and became, like him, subdeacon to the pope. Walter, bishop of Norwich, appointed him his official in 1240, and instituted him to the vicarage of Woolpit. He was made canon of Chichester, and was official to the bishop there, Richard de Wyche [q. v.], in 1247. On Richard's death in April 1253, he wrote a ‘Treatise on the Canonical Election of Bishops,’ which he finished in July 1254. An account of the numerous manuscripts of this work and extracts therefrom have been printed in ‘Lincoln Cathedral Statutes’ (1897, pt. ii.) On 23 July 1254 Walter, bishop of Norwich, and John, bishop of Chichester, chose Lawrence to collect tithe in Ireland. Writing from Dublin on 20 May 1256, he begged to be relieved of his employment, declaring that he would not willingly stay in Ireland for double his salary.

[Tanner's Bibliotheca; Bradshaw and Wordsworth's Lincoln Cathedral Statutes, pt. ii. pp. cxxiv sqq.; Shirley's Letters and Memorials of Henry III, ii. 117.]

M. B.


SOMERCOTE or UMMARCOTE, ROBERT (d. 1241), cardinal, was kinsman, perhaps the brother, of Lawrence Somercote [q. v.], and was related to the family of Foliot (Bliss, Cal. Papers Reg. i. 196). He received his first advancement from Stephen Langton, who gave him a rent in the church of Croydon. Afterwards, while a student at Bologna, he received also the living of Caistor, Norfolk (Bliss, Cal. Papal Reg. i. 130). He entered the service of the papal curia, was a papal subdeacon in 1236, and auditor of papal literæ contradictæ in 1238 (ib. i. 154, 168). In 1238 Gregory IX made him cardinal-deacon by the title of St. Eustachius. He adhered faithfully to the pope in all his adversities; and when the Emperor Frederick advanced on Rome in 1240, Robert was one of the few who did not abandon Gregory. At the election of the new pope in September 1241 he was one of the supporters of Godfrey of Milan, afterwards Cœlestine IV. Matthew Paris, who describes Robert as the most eminent of all the cardinals, and says that some feared he would be elected pope, repeats a rumour that he had died during the conclave, not without suspicion of poison (v. 195). But, as a matter of fact, he seems to have died after the election, during the brief pontificate of Cœlestine, on 26 Sept. He was buried in the church of St. Crisogono (Ciaconius, where his epitaph is quoted). Robert Somercote preserved a kindly feeling for his native land. He had sharply censured Simon Cantelupe, called the Norman [q. v.], for reproaching the English for bad faith before Gregory (Matt. Paris, iv. 5, 64), and it was through his intervention that Haymo of Feversham [q. v.] was able to obtain a hearing from the pope during his suit against Frater Helias in 1239 (Monumenta Franciscana, i. 46). Christofori describes him as cardinal of St. Hadrian at Foro (Storia dei Cardinali, p. 235).

[Matt. Paris (Rolls Ser.); Ciaconius, Vitæ Pontificum, ii. 87–8; Tanner's Bibl. Brit.-Hib. p. 681; Williams's English Cardinals; other authorities quoted.]

C. L. K.

SOMERLED, Lord of the Isles (d. 1164). [See Sumerled.]

SOMERS, EDMUND SIGISMUND (1759?–1824), physician, born in Dublin about 1759, was the son of William Somers, a mechanic. He entered Trinity College, Dublin, on 7 June 1779, and afterwards studied medicine at Edinburgh University, where he graduated M.D. on 12 Sept. 1783. After visiting the medical schools of Paris and Leyden he returned to Dublin, and was elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy. He was admitted a licentiate of the College of Physicians on 22 Dec. 1791, and began to practise in London. On 18 March 1795 he was appointed physician to the forces. In this capacity he proceeded to the