Everdon, Silvester de (DNB01)

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EVERDON, SILVESTER de (d. 1254), bishop of Carlisle, was possibly the Silvester who was one of the king's chaplains in 1206, and received in succession the livings of Bulwell, Fremesfield, and Tatham. The bishop is rarely called anything else than Silvester simply. In 1219 he was incumbent of Potterspury in Northamptonshire, and before 1224 he held the living of Everdon in the same county, whence he probably derived his name (Bridges, Northamptonshire, i. 59, 62, 317, 531). He was at this time a king's clerk, probably in chancery, in the rules of which he was said to be particularly skilled (Matt. Paris, iv. 569). In 1242 he appears to have had the custody of the great seal during Henry III's absence in Gascony, and two years later he is said to have been appointed chancellor or keeper; Matthew Paris, however, only speaks of him as 'vices agens cancellarii,' though the 'Annales Monastici' (iii. 337) style him 'cancellarius.' He seems to have had charge of the great seal until his appointment to the bishopric of Carlisle. He was archdeacon of Chester in February 1244-5, and about the feast of St. Giles (1 Sept. 1246) he was elected bishop of Carlisle in succession to Walter Mauclerk [q. v.]; at first he refused the honour, either, says Matthew Paris, because the revenues were too small or because he feared the burden. He accepted it, however, soon afterwards, and on 9 Nov. received the royal assent; he was consecrated on 5 Feb. 1246-7. As bishop of Carlisle Silvester attended the parliament of 1248, and in 1251 and 1252 he was acting as justice itinerant in the counties of York, Nottingham, Derby, Warwick, and Leicester. In April 1253 he was one of the bishops deputed to request Henry III to observe the liberties of the church, whereupon the king overwhelmed him with reproaches and abuse. In the same month he joined with other bishops in ex-communicating all who violated the provisions of Magna Carta. On 13 March 1254 (Matt. Paris, v. 431, says 13 May, and so Foss, but cf. Annales Mon. i. 317, iv. 104) he was thrown from his horse, and he died of his injuries four days later.

Two later Everdons, John de Everdon (d. 1336) and William de Everdon (d. 1340?), were judges under Edward I and Edward II, but they are not known to have been related to Silvester.

[Matthew Paris, Annales Monastici, and Letters of Henry III (Rolls Ser.); Cal. Rot. Pat. and Cal. Rot. Claus. (Record Publ.); Bridges's Northamptonshire; Hutchinson's Cumberland, ii. 622; Nicolson and Burn's Cumberland, ii. 256-7; Foss's Lives of the Judges; R. S. Ferguson's Diocese of Carlisle, 1889. p. 75.]

A. F. P.