Archdeacons of Durham diocese: Durham

Pages 37-39

Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066-1300: Volume 2, Monastic Cathedrals (Northern and Southern Provinces). Originally published by Institute of Historical Research, London, 1971.

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Table of contents


For the origins of the archdeaconries and for detailed biographical information about the archdeacons of the diocese to 1174, the reader is referred to H. S. Offler, 'The early archdeacons in the diocese of Durham', Trans. Archit. and Archaeol. Soc. of Durham and Northumberland xi (1962) 189-207. The archdeacons between 1154 and 1195 are listed by G. V. Scammell in Archaeologia Aeliana 4th ser. xxxiii (1955) 62-4.

The earliest archdeacon occurs in c. 1080, and by c. 1127 there were two archdeacons within the diocese. Although territorial titles were not used in surviving charters to distinguish the two archdeacons until after 1174, Professor Offler has traced two lines of succession between c. 1127 and 1174, the senior and the junior lines, which became territorialised as the archdeaconries of Durham and Northumberland respectively.




An unnamed archdcn. is mentioned twice before d. of bp. Walcher (May 1080) (Sym. Dun. 1 114-15). Perhaps this archdcn. is to be identified with 'Leobwinus capellanus', who occ. as having a position in the dioc. before 1080 (Flor. Wig. 11 14 (cf. Sym. Dun. 11 209); Will. Malmesbury, G.P. pp. 271, 272-'Leobinus').


Occ. [May 1083 × June 1085] (Liber Vitae Dunelm., facsimile ed. A. H. Thompson (Surtees Soc. cxxxvi) fo. 48r).


Prior of Durham from 1087 to 1109 (above p. 33). Appd. archdcn. for whole dioc. summer 1093 (Sym. Dun. 1 129), appt. dated 11 Aug. 1093 (Durham, Cart. I fo. 145v). Became bp. of St. Andrews nom. 1107, cons. Aug. 1109 (see above p. 33). (fn. 1)


Occ. in spurious charter [June 1112 × ?1116] (Durham Episc. Chs. no. 10*), but might be genuine witness-list. Michael mentioned as predecessor of Robert and Wazo in Nov. 1147 (ibid. no. 36, cf. no. 36a).


Bp.'s clk. (Durham Episc. Chs. nos. 12, 19). First occ. [c. 1122 × 1128] (ibid. nos. 15, 17; cf. nos. 26e, 21, 25). Supporter of William Cumin, bp.-el. of Durham (see above p. 30). Left Durham summer 1141 (Sym. Dun. 1 144, 145), but presum. returned after Sept. 1141 (ibid. p. 145). Prob. not recognised as archdcn. by William de Sancta Barbara, bp. of Durham (el. March 1143), who entered Durham Oct. 1144 (see above p. 30). Commem. 14 or 15 Oct. as 'Rodbertus archidiaconus et monachus' (Durham obit. I fo. 34r), so perhaps became monk, prob. not simply ad succurrendum.


First occ. 14 Nov. 1147 (Durham Episc. Chs. no. 36). Perhaps had been appd. earlier, during period of opposition to William Cumin, 1141-44, because connected with Henry of Blois, bp. of Winchester (see Scammell, Puiset p. 13 and n. 1). Last occ. [c. 1155 × 1158] (G. V. Scammell in Yorks. Archaeol. Jnl. xxxix (1956) 87, 88, 89; cf. Feod. Pr. Dun. p. 100 n.; Durham, Reg. I fo. 11v).

There seems to have been a vacancy in the senior line from c. 1158 to c. 1172 (see Offler, Archdcns. pp. 204-5).


Burchard du Puiset (fn. 2)

First occ. 24 May 1172 (Cartulaire de Montiéramey in Collections des Principaux Cartulaires de Troyes, ed. C. Lalore, vii (Paris, 1890) no. 60). Also treas. of York from 1189. D. 6 Dec. 1196 (Script. Tres p. 18; cf. Howden iv 14). Occ. among Durham monks ad succurrendum (Liber Vitae Dunelm., [ed. J. Stevenson] (Surtees Soc. xiii) p. 94). ?Commem. 5 Dec. (Orleans obit.: Obituaires de la Province de Sens, ed. A. Molinier and A. Longnon, 111 (Paris, 1904) 129). Called nephew of bp. Hugh du Puiset (Gesta Hen. II 11 85; cf. Howden 111 16), and perhaps referred to as son of bp. Hugh (Will. Newburgh in Chrons. of Stephen, Hen. II and Ric. I, ed. R. Howlett (Rolls ser. lxxxii) 11 440-1). (fn. 3)


Appd. while Philip of Poitou still bp.-el., before Apr. 1197 (Script. Tres p. 18; Howden iv 14). Last occ. 18 Dec. 1217 (Rot. Litt. Claus. 1 347b), and perhaps later, after July 1217 (Durham, 2.2 Pont. 2 and Cart. Vet. fos. 148v-149r). (fn. 4) Nephew of bp. Philip of Poitou (Howden iv 14). Called Aimeric 'Theberti' in 1204 (Rot. Chart. p. 119b), and therefore brother of Peter Theobardi (Thebert, Tibert), another nephew of Philip of Poitou (see Feod. Pr. Dun. pp. 257-8; Rot. Litt. Pat. 1 27a; Durham, 1.2. Pont. 9). Also archdcn. of Carlisle, from before Apr. 1197 to after Apr. 1208 (see above p. 23). (fn. 5)

M. Simon de Ferlington

Not appd. until after July 1217, when prob. still bp.'s clk. (Durham. 2.2. Pont. 2). (fn. 6) First occ. as archdcn. 1 June 1218 (Cartularium de Rievalle, ed. J. C. Atkinson (Surtees Soc. lxxxiii) p. 223). D. before 24 Jan. 1225 (Reg. W. Gray, ed. J. Raine (Surtees Soc. lvi) pp. 150-1). Prob. related to Henry de Ferlington, constable of Norham (Northumb.) (Rot. Chart. p. 177; cf. J. Raine, Hist. and Antiquities of North Durham (1852) p. 45).

M. William of Laneham (fn. 7)

First occ. 28 Jan. 1224 (Chartularium de Novo Monasterio, ed. J. T. Fowler (Surtees Soc. lxvi) p. 214) and 5 June 1224 (Reg. W. Gray, ed. J. Raine (Surtees Soc. lvi) p. 148). Perhaps still alive 1 Aug. 1244 (Close R. 1242-47 p. 258), but possibly d. before 8 Oct. 1243 (ibid. p. 48). (fn. 8) Certainly d. before 1249 (Cartularium de Gyseburne, ed. W. Brown (Surtees Soc. lxxxvi, lxxxix) 11 no. 704). (fn. 9) Also preb. of York from before 1212. Not to be confused with William of Durham, who d. 1249 (Chron. Maj. v 91; see A. B.Emden, Biographical Reg. of University of Oxford (Oxford, 1957-9) 1 612-13).

M. Robert de Cortuna

Said to have been archdcn. of Durham and to have d. at papal court 1255 (Chron. Maj. v 534). Perhaps to be identified with unnamed archdcn. of Durham, papal chapl., professor of theology at Rome who occ. 23 Nov. 1252 (Reg. Innoc. IV no. 6102), and with M. Robert de Cotum, who occ. as papal chapl. and doctor of theology 19 Jan. 1253 (Cal. Papal Letters 1 (1893) 282; incompletely pd. in Reg. Innoc. IV no. 6215).

M. Robert de Sancta Agatha

Presum. transf. from archdcnry. of Northumberland in 1256 or 1257. First occ. 23 July 1257 (Reg. Alex. IV no. 2086) and 9 Nov. 1257 (ibid. no. 2301). Last certain occ. 14 Feb. 1272 (Durham, 1.1. Arch. Dunelm. 4), but prob. to be identified with M. R-, archdcn. of Durham, who occ. 28 Jan. 1273 (Durham Annals p. 44).

An unnamed archdcn. of Durham occ. 27 Oct. 1274 (Reg. W. Giffard, ed. W. Brown (Surtees Soc. cix) p. 295).

Antony Bek

First occ. 1275 (T. Rymer, Foedera, ed. A. Clarke (Record Comm., 1816-30) 1 ii 523). Also precentor of York, preb. of Lichfield, London and Wells. Last occ. as archdcn. 12 Nov. 1283 (Reg. G. Giffard 11 183). Bp. of Durham, el. July 1283, cons. Jan. 1284 (see above p. 32).

M. William de Luda (fn. 10)

First occ. 22 Aug. 1284 (C.P.R. 1281-92 p. 129). Also preb. of Lincoln, London, Wells and York; dean of St. Martin le Grand, London (cf. C.C.R. 1279-88 p. 230) until became bp. of Ely, el. May 1290, cons. Oct. (see below p. 47).

M. William de Sancto Botulpho

Appd. some time before 25 Aug. 1297 (Reg. Bon. VIII no. 3078, where name pd. as 'Sancto Rodulpho'). (fn. 11) Last occ. 11 March 1309 (Recs. A. Bek p. 137). Prob. d. by 20 Dec. 1309 (Reg. W. Greenfield, ed. W. Brown and A. Hamilton Thompson iv (Surtees Soc. clii) 63 n. 3). Certainly d. by 10 Oct. 1312 (Reg. R. de Kellawe, ed. T. D. Hardy (Rolls ser. lxii) 11 888).


  • 1. Henry and William Havegrim occ. as monks and archdcns. Sept. 1104 (Reginaldi Dunelmensis Libellus, [ed. J. Raine] (Surtees Soc. i) p. 84). They were prob. vice-archdcns. to Turgot (see Offler, Archdcns. pp. 194-6).
  • 2. Cf. above p. 30 n. 4.
  • 3. Scammell, Puiset pp. 312-13, thinks Burchard was a son, but Newburgh's remark, that one of Hugh's three sons gained the archdcnry. of Durham, could refer to William du Puiset, archdcn. of Northumberland (see below p. 40).
  • 4. Temp. bp. Richard de Marisco (above p. 31).
  • 5. 'H. de Dunelm.', archdcn. of Durham, occ. [1212 × 18] (Northallerton R.O., Hutton of Marske Misc. deeds, Kirkby Malzeard; temp. William [of Durham], prior of Durham, above p. 35).
  • 6. Temp. bp. Richard de Marisco (above p. 31).
  • 7. Notts.; see York Minster Fasti 11 9.
  • 8. Some men were imprisoned at York 'pro suspicione habita de eis quod in mortem Mag. W. de Lanum archid. Dunelm. domini sui fuerunt machinati'. The reference for 1 Aug. 1244 concerns a perambulation of his land.
  • 9. Temp. Walter de Kirkham, dean of York.
  • 10. Prob. Louth, Lincs.; see Fasti 1066-1300 1 (1968) 65 n. 1.
  • 11. He was bp.'s steward from before 25 Jan. 1287 (see C. M. Fraser, Hist. Antony Bek (Oxford, 1957) p. 41 n. 3).