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Durham e-Theses
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The episcopate of Richard De Kellawe, Bishop of Durham 1311-16

Foss, D. B. (1966) The episcopate of Richard De Kellawe, Bishop of Durham 1311-16. Masters thesis, Durham University.



In 1311, Richard de Kellawe became Bishop of Durham, the last Benedictine monk to ascend the Episcopal throne. He emerged from a decade or more of bitter strife between the convent and Bishop Bek, the choice of the monks, to an episcopate under constant strain from the depredations of the Scots. This was the time of Robert Bruce and Bannockburn. Kellawe against Bruce seemed weak and helpless; hence his episcopate has been viewed as that of a pious and incompetent ecclesiastic, unfitted for the ways of the world. The present study, firmly based on the Bishop’s Register, attempts to show how this is untrue; how in fact Kellawe coped as well as could be expected with the Scottish depradations, and maintained a well-ordered diocese, was a capable administrator, and conducted relations with the King so that the rights and privileges of the regalian franchise of Durham were in 'no way compromised or impaired. It attempts to interpret Kellawe's position in terms of wider currents, especially in the light of recent work on the episcopate of his predecessors; his relationship to the convent in the background of his part in the struggle against Bek, his ability to become Bishop In relation to many factors, not least the character of Edward II and the distraction from a serious royal candidature for the bishopric caused by the Ordinances. It sees Kellawe as a worthy holder of the see, in spiritualia and temporalia, capable in his dealings, sincere in his wishes, realistic in his actions. It attempts to show too how his ultimate failure was not the result of his own deficiencies, but came about because the problems confronting him were too great for him to solve, and because his position was becoming increasingly incompatible with current tendencies.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1966
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:27

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