Richard of Cornwall (fl.1250) (DNB00)

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RICHARD of Cornwall (fl. 1250), called also Richard Rufus, Ruys, Rosso, or Rowse, a Franciscan teacher, was a master, probably an Oxford master of arts, when he went to Paris about 1238 (Mon. Francisc. p. 550). He left Paris without taking a degree, and, after making his profession as a Franciscan at Oxford (ib. p. 39), returned to France in the same year with Haymo of Faversham [q. v.] to oppose the minister-general Elias. He went on to Rome to appeal against Elias (ib. p. 549). In 1250 he was again at Oxford, and, in spite of direction from the general of his order to go to Paris as a lecturer (ib. pp. 330, 365), was allowed to stay at Oxford, where he lectured, as bachelor of divinity, on the ‘Sentences’ (Bacon, Compend. Stud. Theol. c. 4). Soon after, the riots at Oxford decided him to go to Paris. Adam de Marisco [q. v.] wrote to the provincial, asking that he should be provided with companions and manuscripts, and early in 1253 endeavoured to find him a secretary (Mon. Francisc. p. 349). At Paris he lectured on the ‘Sentences,’ earning the title of the ‘Admirable Philosopher’ (ib. p. 39). Returning to Oxford, he became fifth lector and regent master of the friars, probably about 1255. Bacon, writing in 1292, says that Richard of Cornwall's teaching was the source of the mischievous errors that had for the past forty years held the field. His faulty teaching had been reproved by Parisian scholars, but his fame among the foolish was very great. Eccleston praises his piety, his conversation and intellectual abilities. Martin de Sancta Cruce, master of Sherbourne Hospital, bequeathed to him, by his will, November 1259, ‘unum habitum integrum’ and a copy of the canonical epistles.

Sbaralea, in his ‘Supplement’ to Wadding (Annales Minorum), ascribes to Richard of Cornwall commentaries on the Master of the Sentences, in two books, beginning ‘Secundum Hugonem de S. Victore in libri de Sacramentis par. i., duplexest opus Creatoris,’ and ending ‘quibus se non possit exuere. Explicit lib. 2,’ a work formerly at Assisi. His commentary on Bonaventure's third book of sentences is now at Assisi (No. 176), beginning ‘Deus autem qui dives est,’ and ending ‘non est iudicare sed iudicari.’ A work on Bonaventure's fourth book follows, without a separate title, beginning (f. 51) ‘Sacramenta sunt quedam medicamenta spiritualia,’ ending (f. 177) ‘nec est excommunicatus.’ Sbaralea gives as the work of Richard Rufus another manuscript, once at Assisi, beginning ‘Cupientes, etc., totalis libri premittit mihi prologum,’ and ending ‘hoc non est per executionem sed notificationem primi.’ At the beginning of the fourth book was the title ‘Ric. Rufi Angli compilatio 4 librorum S. Bonaventuræ. Altissimus creavit de terra medicinam. Verbum istud scribitur Eccles. xxxviii.’ Willott and Possevinus refer to a manuscript at Paris, written by Richard, on the ‘Sentences.’ Bale saw a commentary on the ‘Sentences’ in the monastery at Norwich, written by Richard le Ruys, in four books, beginning ‘Materia divinarum scripturarum,’ and by the same writer, ‘Questiones quoque varias,’ in one book (Script. Illustr. xii. 17).

He must be distinguished from Richard of Cornwall (fl. 1237), prebendary of Lincoln, who is commended by Adam de Marisco in a letter to Robert Grosseteste [q. v.] The latter had commented on his want of knowledge of the English idiom. He is probably the Richard of Cornwall whom Grosseteste, on the recommendation of Cardinal Giles, appointed to a Lincoln prebend about 1237. In a letter to Richard, Grosseteste compliments him on his knowledge and good manners, and refers to his sacrifice in quitting Rome to come to England. The Irishman who signed ‘Ric. Cornub.,’ in 1252, to an agreement, made at Oxford between the northerners and the Irish, was perhaps the prebendary of Lincoln.

[Little's Grey Friars in Oxford; Monumenta Franciscana; Wadding's Annales Minorum, iv. 325; Sbaralea's Supplement, pp. 633, 635; Grosseteste's Epistolæ, ed. Luard; Tanner's Bibl. Brit.; Possevino's Apparatus Sacer.]

M. B.