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John de Stratford
Archbishop of Canterbury
Enthroned unknown
Reign ended 23 August 1348
Predecessor Simon Mepeham
Successor John de Ufford
Consecration provided 26 November 1333
Personal details
Died 23 August 1348
Mayfield, Sussex

John de Stratford (died 1348) was Archbishop of Canterbury and Treasurer and Chancellor of England.

Life

John was born at Stratford-on-Avon and educated at Merton College, Oxford, afterwards entering the service of Edward II.

He served as archdeacon of Lincoln, canon of York and dean of the court of arches before 20 June 1323, when he became bishop of Winchester,[1] an appointment which was made during his visit to Pope John XXII at Avignon and which was very much disliked by Edward II. In 1327 the bishop joined Queen Isabella's partisans; he drew up the six articles against Edward II, and was one of those who visited the captive king at Kenilworth to urge him to abdicate in favour of his son. On 26 November 1326 he was appointed Lord Treasurer of England, a post he held until 28 January 1327.[2]

Under Edward III he became a member of the royal council, but his high political importance dates from the autumn of 1330, the time when Roger Mortimer lost his power. In November of that year Stratford became chancellor, and for the next ten years he was actively engaged in public business, being the king's most prominent adviser and being politically, says Stubbs, the "head of the Lancastrian or constitutional party."

On 3 November 1333 he was appointed archbishop of Canterbury[3] and he resigned the chancellorship in the following year; however, he held this office again from 1335 to 1337 and for about two months in 1340.[4] In November of 1340 Edward III, humiliated, impecunious and angry, returned suddenly to England from Flanders and vented his wrath upon the archbishop's brother, the chancellor, Robert de Stratford. Fearing arrest John de Stratford fled to Canterbury, and entered upon a violent war of words with the king, and by his firm conduct led to the establishment of the principle that peers were only to be tried in full parliament before their own order (en pleyn parlement et devant les piers). But good relations were soon restored between the two, and the archbishop acted as president of the council during Edward's absence from England in 1345 and 1346, although he never regained his former position of influence.[5] His concluding years were mainly spent in the discharge of his spiritual duties, and he died at Mayfield, Sussex on 23 August 1348.[3]

Robert de Stratford and Ralph de Stratford, bishop of London from 1340 until his death at Stepney on 7 April 1354, were members of the same family. All three prelates were benefactors to Stratford-on-Avon.

Notes

  1. ^ Fryde Handbook of British Chronology p. 277
  2. ^ Fryde Handbook of British Chronology p. 105
  3. ^ a b Fryde Handbook of British Chronology p. 233
  4. ^ Fryde Handbook of British Chronology p. 86
  5. ^ Powell The House of Lords in the Middle Ages p. 335-43

References

  • Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1996). Handbook of British Chronology (Third Edition, revised ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X.  
  • Powell, J. Enoch and Keith Wallis The House of Lords in the Middle Ages: A History of the English House of Lords to 1540 London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson 1968
Political offices
Preceded by
William Melton
Lord High Treasurer
1326–1327
Succeeded by
Adam Orleton
Preceded by
Henry Burghersh
Lord Chancellor
1330–1334
Succeeded by
Richard Bury
Preceded by
Richard Bury
Lord Chancellor
1335–1337
Succeeded by
Robert de Stratford
Preceded by
Richard Bintworth
Lord Chancellor
1340
Succeeded by
Robert Bourchier
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Rigaud of Assier
Bishop of Winchester
1323–1333
Succeeded by
Adam Orleton
Preceded by
Simon Mepeham
Archbishop of Canterbury
1333–1348
Succeeded by
John de Ufford
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