Stone, Gilbert (DNB00)

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STONE, GILBERT (d. 1417?), mediæval letter-writer, born at Stone in Staffordshire, whence he took his name, is said by Brian Twyne [q. v.] to have been educated at Oxford, where he devoted himself to the study of civil law, to have been made chancellor successively to Robert Wyville (d. 1375), bishop of Salisbury; Ralph Ergham (d. 1400), bishop of Bath and Wells; and to Richard Clifford, bishop of Worcester, who was translated to London in 1407. The defective registers afford no confirmation of these statements, but in 1384 Richard II confirmed Stone in possession of the prebend of Buckland Denham in Wells Cathedral, and early in the fifteenth century he held the prebend of Ynge or Eigne in Hereford Cathedral, which he resigned in 1414. On 9 March 1411–12 he was collated to the prebend of Portpoole in St. Paul's Cathedral, and he died probably in 1417, when his successor in that office was appointed (Le Neve, ed. Hardy, i. 534, ii. 427). Stone is said to have written 123 letters, some of which are extant in the collections of Sir Thomas Bodley and Richard James in the Bodleian Library (Bernard, Cat. MSS. Angliæ, p. 261). One addressed while he was chancellor of Worcester to Thomas Arundel [q. v.], archbishop of Canterbury, is extant in Cotton MS. Vitellius E. x. 121. Two others are in Harleian MS. 431, f. 25 a b.. Richard James, in his ‘Iter Lancastre’ (Chetham Soc. p. 6), says: ‘Gilbert Stone, being for ye time a trimme man of his penne, was sollicited by ye monks there [i.e. at Holywell] to write their founders or saints life; when he requested summe memories of him, they had none at all. Wherefore in a letter of his, he says “tis no matter, for he would write them notwithstanding a fine legend after ye manner of Thomas of Canterburye.”’

[Tanner's Bibl. Brit.-Hib. pp. 693–4; Twyne's Antiquitatis Acad. Oxoniensis Apologia, 1620; authorities cited.]

A. F. P.