1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Courtenay, Richard

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
18671891911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 7 — Courtenay, Richard

COURTENAY, RICHARD (d. 1415), English prelate, was a son of Sir Philip Courtenay of Powderham Castle, near Exeter, and a grandson of Hugh Courtenay, earl of Devon (d. 1377). He was a nephew of William Courtenay, archbishop of Canterbury, and a descendant of Edward I. Educated at Exeter College, Oxford, he entered the church, where his advance was rapid. He held several prebends, was dean of St Asaph and then dean of Wells, and became bishop of Norwich in 1413. As chancellor of the university of Oxford, an office to which he was elected in 1407 and again in 1410, Courtenay asserted the independence of the university against Thomas Arundel, archbishop of Canterbury, in 1411; but the archbishop, supported by Henry IV. and Pope John XXIII, eventually triumphed. Courtenay was a personal friend of Henry V. both before and after he came to the throne; and in 1413, immediately after Henry’s accession, he was made treasurer of the royal household. On two occasions he went on diplomatic errands to France, and he was also employed by Henry on public business at home. Having accompanied the king to Harfleur in August 1415, Courtenay was attacked by dysentery and died on the 15th of September 1415, his body being buried in Westminster Abbey.

Another member of this family, Peter Courtenay (d. 1492), a grandnephew of Richard, also attained high position in the English Church. Educated at Exeter College, Oxford, Peter became dean of Windsor, then dean of Exeter; in 1478 bishop of Exeter; and in 1487 bishop of Winchester in succession to William of Waynflete. With Henry Stafford, duke of Buckingham, and others he attempted to raise a rebellion against Richard III. in 1483, and fled to Brittany when this enterprise failed. Courtenay was restored to his dignities and estates in 1485 by Henry VII., whom he had accompanied to England, and he died on the 23rd of September 1492.

See J. H. Wylie, History of England under Henry IV. (London, 1884–1898).