Sheppey, John de (DNB00)

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SHEPPEY, JOHN de (d. 1360), bishop of Rochester, was a native of Kent, and, being educated under the patronage of Haymo Heath, bishop of Rochester, became a Benedictine monk at that city, and was sent to complete his education at Oxford. At the university Sheppey acquired a great reputation, and graduated as doctor of divinity. In 1333 the convent of Christ Church, Canterbury, applied for his interest on behalf of one of their monks studying at Oxford (Litteræ Cantuarienses, ii. 27). In March 1333 Sheppey was elected prior of Rochester (Wharton, Anglia Sacra, i. 371). In 1345 he went on a mission to Spain to negotiate a marriage between the Prince of Wales and a daughter of the king of Castile (Fœdera, iii. 27, 46). In 1349 Bishop Heath's health was clearly failing, and Sheppey, relying on the good offices of the Comte d'Eu and a recommendation from the king, hoped to obtain the bishopric; but the pope refused to accept Heath's resignation. However, in 1352 Heath died, and Sheppey was papally provided to the vacant see on 22 Oct. He was consecrated on 10 March 1353 at St. Mary Overy, Southwark, by William Edendon, bishop of Winchester. Sheppey was a trier of petitions in the parliament of April 1354 (Rot. Parl. ii. 254), and treasurer of England 1356–8. He died on 19 Oct. 1360 at his manor of La Place, near Lambeth. He was buried at Rochester Cathedral, where he had endowed a chantry. His effigy was discovered at Rochester in 1825.

Sheppey was a man of learning who had studied at Paris as well as at Oxford, and apparently had a great repute as a preacher. He wrote: 1. ‘Sermons,’ in 3 vols. In the New College MS. 92 there are a number of his sermons, preached at Rochester and elsewhere between 1336 and 1353. 2. ‘Fabulæ.’ These form the third volume of his sermons, and are for the most part abridged from those of Odo of Cheriton [q. v.] They have been printed from Merton College MS. 248 by M. Hervieux in his ‘Fabulistes Latins,’ iv. 417–50. Sheppey is also credited by Tanner with two short legal tracts, ‘De Ordine Cognitionum’ and ‘De Judiciis;’ but these may more probably be ascribed to another John de Sheppey, who was dean of Lincoln 1388 to 1412 (Wood, Hist. and Antiq. i. 534; Le Neve, Fasti, ii. 33).

[Wharton's Anglia Sacra, i. 45, 366, 371, 376, 378; Walsingham's Historia Anglicana, i. 286; Le Neve's Fasti Eccl. Angl. ii. 563; Tanner's Bibl. Brit.-Hib. p. 666; Archæologia, xxv. 122–6; Hervieux's Les Fabulistes Latins, iv. 160–70.]

C. L. K.