Bromfield, Edmund de (DNB00)

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BROMFIELD, EDMUND de (d. 1393), bishop of Llandaff, was a monk of the Benedictine monastery of Bury St. Edmunds. Gaining the reputation of being the most learned member of this community, he at the same time aroused the jealousy of the other monks, who, calling him factious and a disturber of the peace, determined to get rid of him by some means. This was done by getting Bromfield to proceed to Rome as public procurator not only for the establishment at Bury St. Edmunds, but for the whole Benedictine order, a promise being at the same time extorted from him that he would seek no preferment in his own community. His reputation for learning followed him to Rome, where he was appointed to lecture on divinity. On the death of the abbot of Bury St. Edmunds he sought and obtained the appointment from the pope in spite of his oath. The monks, however, with the sanction of King Richard II, chose John Timworth for abbot, and on Bromfield's arrival in England to claim his appointment he was seized and imprisoned on a charge of violating the statute of Provisors, a precursor of the statute of Præmunire. The pope did not interfere, but after an imprisonment of nearly ten years Bromfield was released, and, with the king's concurrence, appointed bishop of Llandaff in 1389 on the translation of William Bottesham to Rochester. In the royal brief confirming to him the temporalities of the see Bromfield is designated abbot of the Benedictine monastery of Silva Major in the diocese of Bordeaux, and 'Scholarum Palatii Apostolici in sacra theologia magister.' Bromfield died in 1393, and was buried in Llandaff Cathedral. He is said to have been the author of several works, but not even the titles of any of them are now extant.

[Godwin, De Præsulibus (1743), p. 608; Willis's Survey of Cathedral Church of Llandaff, p. 55; Ziegelbauer's Historia rei lit. Ord. S. Benedicti, pt. ii. p. 89; Pits's Rel. Hist. de rebus Anglicis, p. 834; Leland's Comm. de Scriptoribus Britannicis, p. 378.]

A. M.