Landel, William (DNB00)
LANDEL, WILLIAM (d. 1385), bishop of St. Andrews, was second son of the Baron or Laird of Landel (or Lauderdale) in Berwickshire. He was laird of Laverdale, and succeeded to large family estates in Roxburghshire on the death of his elder brother, Sir John. While rector or provost of the church of Kinkell in Aberdeenshire he was named bishop of St. Andrews by Benedict XII, on the recommendation of the kings of Scotland and of France, and was consecrated by Benedict XII at Avignon on 17 March 1342. Fordun, in relating his preferment, draws attention to the terms of the papal bull, in which it is stated that the selection was made specially on the recommendation of the prior and chapter of St. Andrews. He was taken prisoner with King David at the battle of Durham in 1346. After his release he was very active in procuring that of the king. Edward III granted him, with several other Scottish nobles, a safe-conduct, dated 4 Sept. 1352, to visit King David, then a prisoner in England, to arrange as to his ransom. For this purpose he obtained from the clergy, with the consent of Innocent VI, a grant of the tenth part of all church livings in Scotland during three years. He was one of the commissioners appointed to receive the king at Berwick on his release in 1357. The bishop was fond of travelling, and was able, from his great wealth, to command a large retinue. The Scottish rolls mention twenty-one safe-conducts which were granted to him either while travelling singly or in company with others. In 1361 he visited the shrine of St. James at Compostella, and the year following that of Thomas à Becket, accompanied by William de Douglas. To avoid a pestilence prevalent in the south of Scotland he passed the Christmas of 1362 at Elgin, the king being at the same time resident at Kinloss in the same county. Part of the following year he spent with the king at his palace of Inchmurtach, when on 14 May the high steward of the kingdom and several of the nobles assembled to renew their oath of fealty to the king. Towards the end of that year he went to Rome, and in 1365 he was again abroad. In 1370 he crowned Robert II at Scone. In 1378 a great part of the cathedral of St. Andrews was burned down. Since the time of Bishop Gameline [q. v.] a dispute had existed in Scotland between the kings and the bishops regarding the latter's testamentary rights; the kings claimed that whether the bishops died testate or not their estates at their death in all cases reverted to the crown. King David having, in return, it has been alleged, for the aid towards his ransom afforded by the clergy, renounced this claim with the consent of parliament, two successive bulls were obtained from the pope confirming the renunciation. A third bull for the same purpose was issued in the time of Robert II, and while it continued in force Landel died on 15 Oct. 1385, so that he is said to have been the first bishop who was able to dispose of his estate by testament. He died in the abbey of St. Andrews, and was buried in the cathedral.
[Wyntoun's Chron.; Fordun's Scotichronicon; Spotiswood; Gordon's Scotichronicon, i. 195 sq.]