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Richard of Ilchester

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Richard of Ilchester
Bishop of Winchester
Elected1 May 1173
Term ended22 December 1188
PredecessorHenry of Blois
SuccessorGodfrey de Lucy
ConsecrationOctober 1174
Personal details
Died22 December 1188
Previous postArchdeacon of Poitiers

Richard of Ilchester[a] (died 22 December 1188) was a medieval English statesman and prelate.


Richard was born in the diocese of Bath, where he obtained preferment. Early in the reign of Henry II, however, he is found acting as a clerk in the King's court, probably under Thomas Becket, and he was one of the officials who assisted Henry in carrying out his great judicial and financial reforms.[1] Richard was the first King's Remembrancer, the oldest judicial office still in existence in England, in 1154.

In 1162, or 1163, Richard was appointed archdeacon of Poitiers,[2] but he passed most of his time in England, although in the next two or three years he visited Pope Alexander III and the Emperor Frederick I in the interests of the English king.[1] He was one of the persons whom the Constitutions of Clarendon were addressed, along with Geoffrey Ridel and Richard de Luci.[3] For promising to support Frederick against Alexander he was excommunicated by Becket in 1166.[4] Before this event, however, Richard had been appointed a baron of the exchequer.[1][5] One of Richard's duties was to oversee the making of the Pipe rolls, as well as keeping the treasurer from falling asleep. He also was responsible for an innovation in record keeping by the Exchequer, ordering a record kept of every summons made by the Exchequer. This system, however, was discontinued later.[5]

Although totally immersed in secular business Richard received several rich ecclesiastical offices including treasurer of the diocese of Poitiers, and 1 May 1173 he was elected bishop of Winchester,[2] being consecrated at Canterbury in October 1174.[6] Richard still continued to serve Henry II. In 1176 he was appointed justiciary and seneschal of Normandy, and was given full control of all the royal business in the duchy. He died on 22 December 1188,[6] and was buried in Winchester Cathedral. Richard owes his surname to the fact that Henry II granted him a mill at Ilchester.[1]

While bishop Richard gave an endowment to a hospital in Winchester, and allowed it to double the number of poor that it fed.[7]

Richard probably was the father of the brothers Richard Poore, who became Bishop of Durham, and Herbert Poore, who became Bishop of Salisbury.[8]


  1. ^ Also called Richard of Toclyve[1] or Richard of Toclive


  1. ^ a b c d e  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Richard of Ilchester". Encyclopædia Britannica. 23 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 298.
  2. ^ a b British History Online Bishops of Winchester accessed on 2 November 2007
  3. ^ Knowles, et al. "Henry II's Supplement" English Historical Review p. 759
  4. ^ Dunning, Robert (2005). A Somerset Miscellany. Tiverton: Somerset Books. pp. 28–29. ISBN 0-86183-427-5.
  5. ^ a b Clanchy From Memory to Written Record p. 63
  6. ^ a b Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 276
  7. ^ Turner "Religious Patronage" Albion p. 5
  8. ^ British History Online Bishops of Salisbury accessed on 30 October 2007


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Henry of Blois
Bishop of Winchester
Succeeded by
Godfrey de Luci

This page was last edited on 17 February 2021, at 14:18
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