Archdeacons: Canterbury

Pages 12-15

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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The archdeaconry which served the diocese of Canterbury was established shortly after Lanfranc's appointment as archbishop. Vice-archdeacons occur in the twelfth century, and there may have been an abortive attempt in 1175 to divide the archdeaconry into three (see below). In 1202 archbishop Hubert Walter gained papal permission to add two archdeacons to his diocese to operate in the archiepiscopal peculiars, (fn. 1) but this project seems to have had no practical sequel, as in the peculiars the archidiaconal functions were performed by the deans. (fn. 2)


Said to have been appd. by abp. Lanfranc [1070 × 89] (Black Book of Archdeacons of Canterbury (deposited at Canterbury, D. & C. Libr.) fo. 33v; cf. Ang. Sac. 1 150).

Ansketil or Ansketin

Occ. at council of London, 1075 (D. Wilkins, Concilia (1737) 1 364), and 1086 or before (An Eleventh-Century Inquisition of St. Augustine's, Canterbury, ed. A. Ballard (1920) p. 28). Also occ. as preb. of St. Paul's, London (see Fasti 1066-1300 1 (1968) 47).


First certain occs. [May 1099 × Aug. 1100] (Anselm, Opp. IV ep. no. 208), (fn. 3) and perhaps earlier, [?before 1095] (ibid. V ep. no. 474). Occ. in spurious charters dated 20 Sept. 1089 (Mon. Ang. 1 175) and 1091/2 (Cheney, Eng. Bps.' Chanceries p. 151). Last occ. 30 June 1108 (Eadmer, H.N. pp. 196-7).


Prob. appd. between 27 June and 16 Sept. 1115 (Eadmer, H.N. p. 231). Archdcn. until became bp. of Rochester, el. Apr. 1125, cons. May (see below p. 76). Nephew and clk. of Ralph d'Escures, abp. of Canterbury (1114-22) (Eadmer, H.N. p. 231; Ancient Charters, Royal and Private prior to 1200, ed. J. II. Round (Pipe Roll Soc. x) no. 8).


An Augustinian can., appd. archdcn. by abp. William (1123-36) (Gerv. Cant. 1 97). First occ. [c. 1125 × 1126] (Textus Roffensis, ed. T. Hearne (Oxford, 1720) p. 203) (fn. 4) and before 1128 (ibid. p. 156; (fn. 5) cf. Reg. Roff. p. 346, for a similar witness-list, but where the date '1131' must be wrong). Last occ. Nov.-Dec. 1138 (Gerv. Cant. 1 106). Commem. as 'Herewisus archid.' 10 March (Canterbury obit. I fo. 7v), and as 'Herewysus frater noster' 10 March (obit. II fo. 19v). (fn. 6)


First occ. [1139, or a little later] (Saltman, Theobald no. 58). Archdcn. until became bp. of Rochester, el. Jan. 1148, cons. March (see below p. 76). Brother and clk. of Theobald, abp. of Canterbury (1139-61) (Gerv. Cant. 1 132; cf. Saltman, Theobald p. 164 n. 3).

Roger of Pont l'Évêque (fn. 7)

Abp.'s clk. (see Saltman, Theobald p. 164 n. 3 and cf. ibid. nos. 55, 58 etc.). Appd. after March 1148 (Gerv. Cant. 1 133). First occ. 26 Jan. 1149 (Cart. Worc. no. 73). Archdcn. until became abp. of York, cons. Oct. 1154.

Thomas Becket

Not appd. until after Oct. 1154, when still called abp.'s clk. (Saltman, Theobald no. 182). Already archdcn. when appd. royal chanc., by Jan. 1155 (Diceto 1 300; cf. L. B. Radford, Thomas of London before his Consecration (Cambridge, 1894) pp. 65-7). Also preb. of London. Abp. of Canterbury, el. May, cons. June 1162 (see above p. 4). Res. archdcnry. to king c. 25 Jan. 1163 (Diceto 1 308). (fn. 8)

Geoffrey Ridel

King's clk. Presum. appd. by king (Diceto 1 308), by [c. 8] March 1163 (Reg. Antiquissimum of Lincoln, 11 ed. C. W. Foster (Lincoln Record Soc. xxviii) p. 12; R. W. Eyton, Court, Household and Itinerary of Hen. II (1878) pp. 59-60). Archdcn. until became bp. of Ely, el. Apr. 1173, cons. Oct. 1174 (see below p. 45). (fn. 9)

[Savaric and Nicholas

Said to have been appd. by abp. Richard in 1175, within three months of Herbert Le Poer's appt. (Diceto 1 403, and cf. below). But Savaric and Nicholas do not occ. again. Perhaps Savaric, archdcn. of Northampton (Lincoln dioc.), and Nicholas, archdcn. of Coventry, are intended. Savaric was appd. archdcn. of Northampton [1173 × 79] (Papal Decretals relating to Lincoln, ed. W. Holtzmann and E. W. Kemp (Lincoln Record Soc. xlvii) nos. 7, 20). Nicholas was appd. archdcn. of Coventry by Richard Pecche, bp. of Coventry and Lichfield, before 1178/9 (Regesta Pontificum Romanorum, ed. P. Jaffé, S. Loewenfeld et al. (Leipzig, 1885-8) no. 13254).]

Herbert Le Poer (fn. 10)

Said to have been appd. by abp. Richard in 1175, presum. very shortly after Savaric and Nicholas (Diceto 1 403, and see above). First occ. 1176/7 (Cartulaire de l' Abbaye de Saint-Bertin, ed. B. E. C. Guérard (Paris, 1840) pp. 370-1), and perhaps before May 1176 (Cart. of St. Mary, Clerkenwell, ed. W. O. Hassall (Camden 3rd ser., lxxi) no. 111, for date cf. ibid. no. 10). Archdcn. until became bp. of Salisbury, el. before May 1194, cons. June. (fn. 11)

M. Philip of Poitou

Appd. by king, whose clk. he was, before March 1194 (Howden 111 221). First occ. 28 July 1194 (L. Landon, Itinerary of Ric. I (Pipe Roll Soc., new ser. xiii) no. 432). Last occ. 23 June 1195 (ibid. no. 453). Bp. of Durham, el. Nov. 1195, cons. Apr. 1197 (see below p. 30).

Henry de Castilion

Occ. without title 31 Oct. 1195 (cart. of Walsingham: B.M., Cotton MS. Nero E. vii fo. 57r). First occ. as archdcn. 3 June 1196 (Charters and Documents of Salisbury, ed. W. H. Rich Jones and W. D. Macray (Rolls ser. xcvii) p. 57; cf. cart. of see of Canterbury: Lambeth Palace Libr., MS. 1212 p. 35). Last certain occ., as H. archdcn. of Canterbury and can. of Rouen, 2 Apr. 1206 (Rot. Litt. Claus. 1 68; for his identity see obit. below). Prob. still alive 11 June 1206 (Pleas before the King or his Justices, ed. D. M. Stenton 111 (Selden Soc. lxxxiii) no. 2049; cf. Rot. Litt. Pat. p. 62b). Commem. 12 Feb. (Rouen obit.: Rec. Hist. France XXIII 359j). (fn. 12)

H- (?Henry de Castilion or M. Henry de Sandford)

Occ. 13 Jan. and 10 March 1207 and 20 Dec. 1208 (Rot. Litt. Pat. pp. 58, 69b, 78; cf. Henry who occ. Sept. 1209 in Pipe Roll 11 John (Pipe Roll Soc., new ser. xxiv) p. 12, and equivalent entries in preceding Rolls from 2 John).

M. Henry de Sandford

Occ. in royal service, without title, 20 Feb. 1208 (Rot. Litt. Claus. 1 102b), but presum. in office by 31 May 1213 (ibid. p. 134). (fn. 13) Also can. of Salisbury. Archdcn. until became bp. of Rochester, el. Dec. 1226, cons. May 1227 (see below p. 77).

M. Simon of Langton (fn. 14)

Appd. 14 May 1227 (ann. Dover fo. 27r; cf. Acta S. Langton nos. 111-13). D. 1248 (Chron. Maj. v 41). Brother of Stephen Langton, abp. of Canterbury (1207-28), and can. of Paris (see F. M. Powicke, Stephen Langton (Oxford, 1928) pp. 4-6, 135). (fn. 15)

[Richard de Sancto Johanne

Clk. of Hubert de Burgh; king's chapl. from 1232. Royal coll., sede vacante, 28 Jan. 1232 (Pat. R. 1225-32 p. 461), but evidently ineffective because occ. without title, as chapl., 18 July (C.Ch.R. 1 167), and as clk. 25 Oct. 1232 (Pat. R. 1225-32 p. 507).]

M. Stephen de Monte Luelli (fn. 16) alias of Vienne

First occ. 20 Oct. 1248 (Cal. of Kent Fines, ed. I. J. Churchill (Kent Archaeol. Soc. Records xv) p. 217). Last occ. 1 June 1268 (C.P.R. 1266-72 p. 234) and later (ibid. pp. 352, 408). Also papal chapl. and archdcn. of Vienne (Isère, France) (Reg. Innoc. IV nos. 4409, 5687). D. as archdcn. July 1269 (Gerv. Cant. (cont.) 11 249).

Hugh de Mortuo Mari

Vicar-general in dioc. and province of Canterbury (I. J. Churchill, Canterbury Administration (1933) II 1-2; cf. ibid. p. 237). Appd. archdcn. 1269, after July (Gerv. Cant. (cont.) 11 249). Also preb. of London. D. as archdcn. 9 Oct. 1275 (ibid. p. 281).

M. William de Middleton

Official of court of Canterbury (cf. Cart. of St. Mary, Clerkenwell, ed. W. O. Hassall (Camden 3rd ser., lxxi) p. 253). Appd. archdcn. by abp. Oct. 1275 (Gerv. Cant. (cont.) 11 282). Prob. also preb. of London. Archdcn. until became bp. of Norwich, el. Feb. 1278, cons. May (see below p. 58).

M. Robert of Gernemue (fn. 17)

Appd. 1278 (ann. Dover fo. 55r). Presum. still alive Dec. 1279 (Reg. Nic. III no. 617, of 23 Jan. 1280). D. 1279/80 (ann. Dover fo. 56r).

M. Richard de Feringes (fn. 18)

Appd. 1279/80 (ann. Dover fo. 56r), but presum. not until after 26 Feb. 1280, when still called official of abp.'s court (I. J. Churchill, Canterbury Administration (1933) II 81). First occ. as archdcn. 8 June 1280 (C.C.R. 1279-88 p. 21). Also can. of Lincoln. Archdcn. until became abp. of Dublin, prov. c. June 1299, cons. before 1 July (Reg. Bon. VIII no. 3151).

John de Langeton

Royal chanc. Bp.-el. of Ely 1298-99 (below p. 47). Prov. 29 June 1299, and allowed to retain treasurership of Wells and other benefices (Reg. Bon. VIII no. 3156). Abp.'s mandate enforcing prov. 23 Sept. 1299 (Reg. Winchelsey 1 360). Archdcn. until became bp. of Chichester, el. Apr. 1305, cons. Sept.


  • 1. Innocent III, Cal. Letters no. 413.
  • 2. I. J. Churchill, Canterbury Administration (1933) 1 62 ff.
  • 3. Hugh archdcn. is addressed by abp. Anselm in this letter, which also refers to William archdcn. It seems unlikely that Hugh was an archdcn. of Canterbury. The letter was written from Lyons (cf. R. W. Southern, St. Anselm and his Biographer (Cambridge, 1963) p. 161).
  • 4. Prob. very early in pontificate of John I, bp. of Rochester (below p. 76).
  • 5. Temp. Geoffrey I, prior of Canterbury (above p. 9).
  • 6. N. archdcn. occ. [1128 × 37] (Canterbury, Cart. Ant. H. 1, temp. Elmer, prior of Canterbury (above p. 9)). This is an original document and the initial is indubitably 'N', but unless it is an error for 'H[elewise]', N. must have been a vice-archdcn.
  • 7. Calvados, France.
  • 8. Gerv. Cant. 1 172 puts the king's return to England, when he was met by abp. Becket, in Dec. 1162; but this conflicts with Diceto 1 308, which seems the likelier version, that the king returned on 25 Jan. 1163 (see R. W. Eyton, Court, Household and Itinerary of Hen. II (1878) p. 58 n. 1).
  • 9. Robert, vice-archdcn., occ. 1168 and 1169 (Materials for Becket vi nos. 432, 488, 499, 500).
  • 10. He was prob. son of Richard of Ilchester, bp. of Winchester (1174-88) (below p. 85) (see C. Duggan in Trans. Royal Hist. Soc. 5th ser. xvi (1966) 3 and n. 3).
  • 11. M. Ralph, vice-archdcn., occ. several times in connection with St. Augustine's, Canterbury, between 1182/3 (Black Book of St. Augustine, Canterbury, ed. G. J. Turner and H. E. Salter (1915-24) 11 553) and [c. 1190] (ibid. pp. 502-3).
  • 12. M. Everard, vice-archdcn., occ. between 1195 and 1200 (Cheney, Eng. Bps.' Chanceries p. 143; and Epp. Cant. p. 467).
  • 13. Henry de 'Stanford', archdcn. of Canterbury, is said to occ. before 1204, prob. Oct. 1201 (Will. Thorne's chron., in Historiae Anglicanae Scriptores X, ed. R. Twysden (1652) col. 1857; cf. Innocent III, Cal. Letters nos. 590, 653-4, 659, and E. John in Bull. John Rylands Libr. xxxix (1957) 403), but in view of the evidence that Henry de Castilion was still alive and in office in 1206, it seems that Thorne confused the two Henrys.
  • 14. See above p. 6 n. 1.
  • 15. Before 1217 he had been preb. of London and York, and perhaps chanc. of abp. Stephen Langton see Acta S. Langton p. xlix).
  • 16. ?Montluel, Ain, France.
  • 17. Prob. Yarmouth, Great (Norf.) or Little (Suff.).
  • 18. ?Ferring, East or West, Sussex.