Lederede, Richard de (DNB00)

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LEDEREDE or LEDRED, RICHARD de (fl. 1360), bishop of Ossory, an English member of the order of St. Francis, was appointed to the see of Ossory in Ireland in 316 by Pone John XXII. By the pope's order he received consecration from Nicholas, bishop of Ostia. Soon after his installation at Kilkenny Lederede convened a synod of the diocese, the acts of which are extant in the manuscript styled 'The Red Book of Ossory,' and by order of Edward II he caused a valuation of his diocese to be made for purposes of taxation. Lederede, about 1324, engaged in proceedings against Alice Kyteler [see Kettle, or Kyteler, Dame Alice], whom he accused of heresy and sorcery. He also instigated a prosecution on similar charges against Arnold le Poer, seneschal of Kilkenny, and became involved in intentions with the chief administrators of the English government in Ireland. He was publicly excommunicated by his metropolitan, Alexander de Bicknor, archbishop of Dublin, who brought many charges against him. Lederede retorted with accusations against De Bicknor, appealed to the pope, and absented himself nom Ireland for some years, in contravention of the king's orders. He eventually obtained pardon from the king and absolution from the pope (cf. J. T. Gilbert, History of the Viceroys of Ireland).

Lederede after his return to Kilkenny had again recourse to violent measures. A petition was addressed from his diocese to Edward III for his removal on the ground that he was an insatiable extortioner and affected by disease and insanity. He died at Kilkenny in 1360, nearly one hundred years old, and was buried in his cathedral, in decorating which he is said to have expended considerable sums.

Latin verses ascribed to Lederede are extant in the 'Red Book of Ossory.' A memorandum states that they were composed by the bishop for the clergy of the cathedral, and that they were to be sung on great festivals and other occasions instead of secular songs. The pieces are sixty in number, and devoted mainly to the nativity, sufferings, and resurrection of Christ, and the virtues and afflictions of his mother. The author, in some verses, prays for temporal as well as spiritual favours, and in others descants on the wickedness of the age and the transitory character of worldly grandeur. These verses were published for the first time by the author of the present notice, in the tenth report of the Historical Manuscripts Commission, App. v. (1885). A reproduction of the initial page of the verses in the 'Red Book of Ossory' is given in the 'Facsimiles of National MSS. of Ireland,' 1884, pt. iv. p. 2, Appendix, plate xxiii.

[Red Book of Ossory, manuscript; Ware's Scriptores, 1635; Wadding's Script. Ord. Min. 1650; Hist, of Bishops of Ireland, 1739; Proceedings against Kyteler (Camd. Soc.), 1843; Theiner's Vet. Monumenta, 1864; Clyn's Annals, 1848; Hist of St. Canice's Cathedral 1857; J.T. Gilbert's Viceroys of Ireland, 1865; Chartularies of St. Mary's, Dublin (Rolls Series), 1884]

J. T. G.