Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Winterbourne, Walter
WINTERBOURNE, WALTER (1225?–1305), cardinal, probably took his family name from one of the numerous villages called Winterbourne in the immediate proximity of Salisbury. He was born about 1225 at Old or New Sarum (Hoare, Wiltshire, vi. 616), and entered the order of friars preachers, or Dominicans. Fuller, drawing partly on Nicholas Trivet [q. v.] and partly on his imagination, says that Winterbourne was ‘in his youth a good poet and an orator; when a man an acute philosopher … when an old man a deep controversial divine and skilful casuist.’ Tanner's statement that he was ordained subdeacon in 1294 and priest in the following year can scarcely be correct. He seems to have graduated D.D., probably at Paris or at Oxford, and in 1290 was elected provincial of the Dominicans in England; he was succeeded in 1296 by Thomas Jorz [q. v.] As early as April 1294 he appears as a sort of remembrancer to Edward I (Cal. Patent Rolls, 1292–1301, pp. 68, 78, 80), but he is first described as the king's confessor on 8 Jan. 1298 (ib. p. 326). He made use of his influence to secure posts for his servants and benefices and pardons for his friends (cf. ib. pp. 396, 522, 1301–7 p. 63). In 1300 he accompanied Edward I to Scotland (Rymer, Fœdera, I. ii. 924).
On 21 Feb. 1304 Benedict IX, himself a Dominican, made Winterbourne cardinal of St. Sabina, in succession to William Macclesfield, Winterbourne's predecessor as provincial of the English Dominicans. When the news reached him Winterbourne was in attendance upon Edward I in Scotland, and on 4 April the king wrote from St. Andrews a letter of thanks to the pope for his confessor's preferment. He declined, however, to let Winterbourne proceed at once to Rome, requiring his presence for business that ‘could not conveniently be transacted in his absence’ (Rymer, i. ii. 964). On 9 July he granted Winterbourne's request that the Dominicans of Oxford might be licensed to dig stones in Shotover forest for the repair of their house. Benedict died in that month, and in October Winterbourne set out for Italy to participate in the election of a successor. The Spini of Florence were requested by Edward to provide a thousand marks for his expenses. On 28 Nov. he arrived at Perusium, where the conclave of cardinals had been sitting for some months (Baluze, Vitæ Paparum Avenionensium, 1693, i. 980). He took part in the election of Clement V, but on his way to join the new pope at Lyons he died at Genoa (other accounts say Geneva) on 26 Aug. or 25 Sept. 1305 (ib.; cf. Turon, Hom. Ill. Dom. 1743, i. 730; Quétif and Echard, i. 497). He was buried by Nicholas de Parato, cardinal-bishop of Ostia, in the Dominican church at Genoa; the statement that, in accordance with his wish, his remains were subsequently removed to Blackfriars Church, London, is disputed.
Winterbourne is said to have written ‘Commentarii in quatuor sententiarum libros,’ ‘Quæstiones Theologicæ,’ and ‘Sermones ad clerum et coram rege.’ Bale describes them as ‘barbarous, poor, and frigid productions,’ but no copies are known to be extant.
A later member of the family, Thomas Winterbourne (d. 1478), after holding many ecclesiastical preferments, including the archdeaconry of Canterbury, was on 25 Sept. 1471 elected dean of St. Paul's; he died on 7 Sept. or 7 Dec. 1478, being succeeded by William Worsley [q. v.] (Weever, Funerall Mon. p. 370; Dugdale, St. Paul's; Milman, St. Paul's; Le Neve, Fasti, ii. 313; Hennessy, Nov. Rep. Eccles. Londin. passim).
[Cal. Patent Rolls, 1292–1307, passim; Rymer's Fœdera (Record edit.); Walsingham's Hist. Angl. i. 105, and Rishanger's Chron. pp. 221, 227 (Rolls Ser.); Trivet's Chron. pp. 404–406 (Engl. Hist. Soc.); Leland's Collectanea; Bale, iv. 85; Pits, p. 389; Fuller's Worthies, ed. 1839; Prynne's Chron. Vindication, 1668, iii. 1046, 1115; Guido's Tractatus Magistrorum Ord. Prædicatorum; Baluze's Vitæ Paparum; Fabricius's Bibl. Med. Ævi Lat. iii. 346; Turon's Hom. Ill. Domin. 1743, i. 729–33; Tanner's Bibl. pp. 358, 781; Quétif and Echard's Scriptt. Ord. Prædicatorum, i. 496–7; Hoare's Modern Wiltshire.]