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William Giffard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

William Giffard
Bishop of Winchester
Victorian-era reconstruction of the coat of arms of William Giffard, from the Winchester Great Hall
Appointed3 August 1100
Term endedbefore 25 January 1129
SuccessorHenry of Blois
Consecration11 August 1107
Personal details
Died23 January 1129
Lord Chancellor
In office
MonarchWilliam II of England, Henry I of England
Preceded byRobert Bloet
Succeeded byRoger of Salisbury

William Giffard (died 23 January 1129),[1] was the Lord Chancellor of England of William II and Henry I, from 1093 to 1101,[2] and Bishop of Winchester (1100–1129).

Giffard was the son of Walter Giffard, Lord of Longueville and Ermengarde, daughter of Gerard Flaitel.[3] He also held the office of Dean of Rouen prior to his election as bishop.[4] On 3 August 1100 he became bishop of Winchester[5] by nomination of Henry I. Henry nominated him probably in an attempt to win the support of the clergy in Henry's bid to claim the throne directly after the death of William Rufus.[6] He was one of the bishops elect whom Archbishop Anselm of Canterbury refused to consecrate in 1101 as having been nominated and invested by the lay power.[7]

During the investitures dispute Giffard was on friendly terms with Anselm, and drew upon himself a sentence of banishment through declining to accept consecration from Gerard Archbishop of York in 1103. He was, however, one of the bishops who pressed Anselm, in 1106, to give way to the king. He was finally consecrated after the settlement of 1107 on 11 August[5] and became a close friend of Archbishop Anselm.[7] As bishop, William aided the first Cistercians to settle in England, when in 1128 he brought monks from L'Aumône Abbey in France to settle at Waverley Abbey.[8] He also restored Winchester Cathedral with great magnificence.[7]

Among Giffard's actions as bishop was the refounding of a religious house at Taunton and the staffing of it with Austin canons. The canons were drawn from Merton Priory.[9] He was known for the close and good relations that he had with the monks of his cathedral chapter, sharing their meals and sleeping with them instead of in his own room.[10]

Giffard died shortly before 25 January 1129, the date he was buried.[11]


  1. ^ Franklin "Giffard, William" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  2. ^ Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 83
  3. ^ Keats-Rohan Domesday People p. 456
  4. ^ Spear "Norman Empire" Journal of British Studies p. 7
  5. ^ a b Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 276
  6. ^ Teunis "Coronation Charter of 1100" Journal of Medieval History p. 138
  7. ^ a b c Chisholm 1911.
  8. ^ Burton Monastic and Religious Orders p. 69
  9. ^ Burton Monastic and Religious Orders p. 47
  10. ^ Bethell "English Black Monks" English Historical Review p. 682
  11. ^ British History Online Bishops of Winchester accessed on 2 November 2007


  • Bethell, D. L. (1969). "English Black Monks and Episcopal Elections in the 1120s". The English Historical Review. 84 (333): 673–694. doi:10.1093/ehr/LXXXIV.CCCXXXIII.673.
  • Burton, Janet (1994). Monastic and Religious Orders in Britain: 1000–1300. Cambridge Medieval Textbooks. Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-37797-8.
  • British History Online Bishops of Winchester accessed on 2 November 2007
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Giffard, William". Encyclopædia Britannica. 12 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 4.
  • Franklin, M. J. (2004). "Giffard, William (d. 1129)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press.
  • Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1996). Handbook of British Chronology (Third revised ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X.
  • Keats-Rohan, K.S.B. (1999). Domesday People, A Prosopography of Persons Occurring in English Documents 1066-1166. Woodbridge, UK: The Boydell Press. ISBN 0-85115-722-X.
  • Spear, David S. (1982). "The Norman Empire and the Secular Clergy, 1066–1204". Journal of British Studies (fee required) |format= requires |url= (help). XXI (2): 1–10. doi:10.1086/385787. JSTOR 175531.
  • Teunis, Henry B. (1978). "The Coronation Charter of 1100: A Postponement of Decision. What did not Happen in Henry I's reign". Journal of Medieval History. 4 (2): 135–144. doi:10.1016/0304-4181(78)90003-9.
Political offices
Preceded by
Robert Bloet
Lord Chancellor
Succeeded by
Roger of Salisbury
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Bishop of Winchester
Succeeded by
Henry of Blois

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