Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 54.djvu/99

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

12mo. 3. ‘Quotidiana Christiani Militis tessera,’ Antwerp, 1661, 4to (portions of this reappeared in ‘Selectissima moralis Christianæ præcepta harmonicis metris ac rythmis expressa,’ Antwerp, 1662, 8vo). 4. ‘Ecclesia Militans,’ Antwerp, 4to (Foley; De Backer, Biblioth. des Ecrivains S. J., 1876, iii. 880; Southwell, Bib. Soc. Jesu, 1676, p. 320).

[Arber's admirable introduction to his reprint of Stanyhurst's Translation of Virgil, 1895; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, ii. 252–8; Foley's Records, vii. 732; Simpson's Life of Campion, chap. ii.; Wright's Ussher Memoirs, 1889; information kindly supplied by the Rev. Ethelbert Taunton.]

S. L.

STAPELDON, WALTER de (1261–1326), bishop of Exeter, and virtual founder of Exeter College, Oxford, a younger son of William and Mabilla de Stapeldon, was born at Annery in the parish of Monkleigh, Devonshire, on 1 Feb. 1260–1. His eldest brother, Sir Richard, was a puisne judge of the king's bench, and resided at Stapeldon, near Holsworthy. Walter was a man of learning, and a distinguished member of the university of Oxford, where he became professor of canon law. Before 1294 he was parson of Aveton Gifford, Devonshire (Cal. Patent Rolls, 1292–1301, pp. 93, 271). He was also chaplain to Clement V and precentor of Exeter. The king's license to elect a successor to Thomas de Bytton, bishop of Exeter, was granted on 6 Oct. 1307, and Stapeldon was unanimously chosen on 13 Nov., all the canons but one being present or represented. Much delay arose through the vexatious opposition of Richard de Plympstoke, rector of Exminster and Uffculme, who in an appeal to the pope contested the right of nine of the canons to vote. The king's assent to Stapeldon's election was notified on 3 Dec. (ib. 1307–13, p. 20), but the archbishop, Robert Winchelsey [q. v.], also raised difficulties which can only be described as frivolous. The election was confirmed at last on 13 March, and three days later the temporalities were restored (cf. {{sc|Rymer}, Fœdera, iii. 36–7). Plympstoke, however, renewed his vindictive persecution of Stapeldon; the result being a further postponement of his consecration, which took place at Canterbury on 13 Oct. 1308, nearly a year after his election. The cost of these proceedings was very heavy, and the revenues of the see were appropriated by the king during the long vacancy. Stapeldon tells us in pathetic terms that he was penniless, and was even compelled to ask Walter Reynolds [q. v.], the elect of Worcester, who was consecrated with him, to pay their joint expenses. He entered, however, with undaunted spirit on his episcopal duties; and his register shows that he was indefatigable in fulfilling them. His cathedral, the rebuilding of which had been but half accomplished, became the object of his special care, and as soon as money came in he spent it lavishly on internal decorations and improvements, and on the accumulation of materials for the rebuilding of the nave, which were utilised after his death by Bishop Grandisson. The fabrick-rolls show that he contributed no less than 1,800l., an immense sum for those days, equivalent, according to the calculations of Hallam and other competent authorities, to 40,000l. of our money. He was a generous patron of learning, and in 1314, in conjunction with his brother, Sir Richard, he founded Stapeldon Hall in Oxford (now known as Exeter College) for poor scholars from his diocese, and established there four scholarships for natives of Cornwall.

Stapeldon's political career had begun in 1306 with a mission to France. He was summoned to serve against the Scots on 22 Aug. 1308, and to a council held at Westminster in the following February. From that time he was summoned to all the councils and parliaments held in Edward II's reign (Parl. Writs, Alphabetical Digest of Persons, pp. 828–31). In March 1310 Stapeldon joined the lords ordainers against Gaveston, though he protested that the ordainers' proceedings should not prejudice the royal authority (Chron. of Edw. I and Edw. II, Rolls Ser. i. 170). In February 1312–13 he was sent on a mission to the king of France with Aymer de Valence, earl of Pembroke [q. v.] (Rymer, iii. 381–2), and in May 1319 he was again sent to do homage for Aquitaine (ib. iii. 772–3). In 1314 he was accused in parliament of maintenance (Rot. Parl. i. 292 a), but in the following year he was sworn of the privy council (ib. i. 350 b) and appointed to hold a parliament in Edward's absence. On 18 Feb. 1319–20 he was appointed lord high treasurer of England (ib. i. 287), and in the following June accompanied Edward to Amiens, where he did homage to the French king for Ponthieu. In July 1321 he vainly attempted to mediate between Edward II and Thomas of Lancaster. In 1325 he was sent to aid Queen Isabella and the young Prince Edward in Gascony. But he was one of the four who were described as especially unpopular there because of their being Edward II's favourites, and he was forced to flee to England by night in disguise (ib. ii. 285–6, 307; cf. Rymer, iv. 62, 69, 77, 79, 96, 117, 161, 180–2). On 2 May 1326 he was directed to