Barker, Nicholas Andrew (2003) 'If the king had asked for an ass, he would have received his wish, this time: a study of the career of Thomas de Hatfield, bishop of Durham (1345-1381), as a royal servant, 1336-1357. Masters thesis, Durham University.
This was the reported reply of Pope Clement VI to his cardinals, after they had expressed reservations regarding Thomas de Hatfield's provision to the see of Durham in 1345. Whilst the authenticity of such a comment is clearly doubtfial, it does provide a useful starting point from which to study Thomas de Hatfield's rise to Edward III's episcopate, and then assess his achievements up until 1357. Through a career in royal administration, Hatfield followed the typical path to the English episcopate, and by the time of his provision he was Edward's keeper of the privy seal. However, Clement's comment has indicated to historians that Hatfield's personal relationship with Edward and Anglo-Papal relations in the mid-1340s, were the dominant factors in the clerk’s acquisition of Durham. Therefore, there is temptation to take this as a measure of Hatfield’s unsuitability for the office. However, in this dissertation I hope to illustrate that this was not the case. Hatfield did establish a close relationship with the king, and this did subsequently play an integral role in his ascent to Durham's episcopal throne. Yet this was precisely because, as a royal servant, Hatfield showed himself entirely worthy of royal trust. His promotion was no unwarranted rewarding of an unworthy favourite and from 1345, until the end of this survey, the bishop continued to serve his king with zeal. Hatfield was a warrior bishop, the bishop Odo of his time, and hence, much of this thesis focuses on the part he played in Edward Ill's achieving, by 1357, of a dominant position in northern Europe, and how this was linked to his role as bishop of Durham.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Award:||Master of Arts|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||01 Aug 2012 11:35|