Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Wikeford, Robert de

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WIKEFORD, ROBERT de (d. 1390), archbishop of Dublin, is said to have belonged to the family of Wickford or Wykeford of Wickford Hall, Essex (D'Alton, p. 142; cf. Morant, Essex, i. 253–4). He was a fellow of Merton College, Oxford, and a doctor of laws in 1344. He became a king's clerk, and in or before 1368 was appointed archdeacon of Winchester (Rymer, Fœdera, Record edit. iii. ii. 850, 892; Le Neve, iii. 25). He also held other preferments in the north and west of England, and was admitted by Urban IV to a prebend of York in 1370. On 18 May following he was commissioned to arrange with Wenceslaus, duke of Brabant, the pay for his army while serving under Edward III in France, and in 1371 he was again sent on an embassy to Flanders (Rymer, Fœdera, Record edit. III. ii. 892, 920, 921). On 7 March 1372–3 he was appointed constable of Bordeaux (ib. p. 972). He had resigned this post before 26 June 1375 (ib. pp. 1030, 1039). On 12 Oct. 1375 he was promoted by papal provision to the archbishopric of Dublin. On 18 July 1376 he was appointed chancellor of Ireland, and he was reappointed on 26 Sept. 1377, after the accession of Richard II (Cal. Pat. Rolls, p. 27).

In 1384 he seems to have paid a visit to England to inform the king and council of certain matters to the advantage of the king and prosecute business of importance to himself and his see (ib. p. 383), but he cannot have still held the office of chancellor during all the period of 1377–84, as he was reappointed to the office on 10 Sept. 1384 (ib. p. 455). He was relieved of the office before 27 March of the following year (ib. p. 550). He died on 28 Aug. 1390. According to Wood and the catalogues, he left to Merton College altar-cloths for the high altar; according to Astry they were for the hall.

[Cotton's Fasti Ecclesiæ Hibernicæ, ii. 15; Brodrick's Memorials of Merton (Oxf. Hist. Soc.); Cal. Pat. Rolls of Richard II; O'Flanagan's Lives of the Lord Chancellors of Ireland, i. 43–55; D'Alton's Archbishops of Dublin, pp. 142–6; Rot. Pat. in Canc. Hiberniæ (Record Publ.); Rymer's Fœdera (Record Publ.) III. ii, passim; Le Neve's Fasti Eccl. Angl.; Lascelles's Liber Munerum Hibernicorum; Ware's Bishops of Ireland, ed. Harris.]

W. E. R.