Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Sigillo, Nicholas de

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SIGILLO, NICHOLAS de (fl. 1170), judge, was a royal clerk in the exchequer, where he held the office of Clericus de Sigillo, or Magister Scriptorii, in which capacity he ranked next to the chancellor. From his office he was called ‘De Sigillo,’ like Robert de Sigillo, the bishop of London, who held the same position in the reign of Henry I. Nicholas is said to have been archdeacon of Huntingdon in 1155, and in 1156 he accounted for two hawks in Lincolnshire, probably as a fine for his archdeaconry. Between 1157 and 1159 he appears as a witness to royal charters (Eyton, pp. 27–57), and in September 1173 he was one of the persons who held an assize on the king's demesnes (ib. p. 176). It does not seem certain whether Nicholas de Sigillo is distinct from Nicholas ‘capellanus regis,’ who was sheriff of Essex and Hertfordshire from Michaelmas 1164 to Easter 1169, and dean of Tilbury in September 1169 (ib. p. 131). Mr. Eyton distinguishes them, but Foss treats them as one person. Nicholas, the king's chaplain, attended the council of Cashel, on the king's behalf, in November 1171, and was one of the witnesses to the treaty with Roderic of Connaught in October 1175 (Rog. Hov. ii. 31, 85). Nicholas ‘capellanus’ occurs as a witness to royal charters in July and October 1175 and September 1177. He was one of the itinerant justices appointed in March 1179, and about the same time was made archdeacon of Coventry (Eyton, pp. 192, 195, 219, 226). As Nicholas ‘capellanus’ he occurs as a witness to royal charters in June 1180 and in July and September 1186.

[Madox's Hist. Exchequer, i. 123, 710; Eyton's Itinerary of King Henry II; Foss's Judges of England.]

C. L. K.