Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Sansetun, Benedict of

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Benedict of Sawston in the ODNB; appears to be duplicated at Benet (d.1226)

SANSETUN, BENEDICT of (d. 1226), bishop of Rochester, was the first precentor of St. Paul's after that office was endowed with the church of Shoreditch in 1203 (Newcourt, Repertorium, i. 97). He also held the prebend to which was attached the church of Neasden (Le Neve, Fasti Eccles. Angl. ii. 414, ed. Hardy). In 1212 he was head of the justices appointed for the four home counties (Rot. Claus. i. 396, 405). He was elected to the bishopric of Rochester on 13 Dec. 1214, and consecrated at Oxford by Stephen Langton on 22 Feb. 1215 (Gerv. Cant. ii. 109, Rolls Ser.; cf. also Wharton, Anglia Sacra, i. 385–6). In 1215 the barons held Rochester, but the city was besieged and taken by King John. Though the bishop had joined Pandulf in anathematising the baronial party, John plundered his church, destroying its manuscripts and carrying off money and plate, even to the crucifixes and vessels of the altar (Annal. Eccles. Roff. ap. Wharton, loc. cit. i. 347; Gerv. Cant. ii. 110). In 1224 he was transacting business in the exchequer court (ib. i. 596, ii. 8), and in October 1225 he was sent on an embassy to France. He died on 21 Dec. 1226 (Angl. Sacr. i. 801; Gerv. Cant. ii. 114), and was buried in his own cathedral (Dugdale, Monast. Angl. i. 156).

[Authorities cited in the text; Foss's Lives of the Judges.]

A. M. C.-e.