Geoffrey of Plantagenet (Fitz Roy), Archbishop of York (c.1152 - 1212) MP

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Birthplace: Westminster, Middlesex, , England
Death: Died in Notre Dame du Parc, Seine-Maritime, Haute-Normandie, France
Managed by: Pam Wilson
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About Geoffrey of Plantagenet (Fitz Roy), Archbishop of York

Geoffrey, Archbishop of York

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoffrey,_Archbishop_of_York

Geoffrey, Archbishop of York (c. 1152 – 12 December 1212) was an illegitimate son of Henry II, King of England who became Bishop-elect of Lincoln and Archbishop of York. The identity of his mother is unclear, for the one contemporary source that gives any information on her is hostile to Geoffrey. It is possible she was a woman named Ykenai, or possibly she was Rosamund Clifford. Geoffrey held a number of lower clerical offices before being named Bishop of Lincoln in 1173, although he was not ordained a priest until 1189. In 1173–1174 he led a campaign in the north of England to help put down a rebellion by his legitimate half-brothers, which led to the capture of the king of Scots. By 1182, Pope Lucius III ordered that Geoffrey either resign Lincoln or be consecrated, and he resigned the see, or bishopric, and became Chancellor instead. He was the one son of Henry II's present at the king's death.

Upon the ascension of King Richard I of England, Geoffrey was nominated as Archbishop of York, probably in order to force a potential rival to the throne to become a priest and thus out of contention for the throne. After a dispute about the nomination, he was consecrated archbishop in 1191, and promptly entered a dispute with William Longchamp, Richard's regent in England, when Geoffrey attempted to go to his province. When Longchamp had Geoffrey dragged from sanctuary, a council of magnates ordered Longchamp out of office, and Geoffrey was able to proceed to York. The archbishop spent much of his archiepiscopate in various disputes with his brothers, both Richard, and after Richard's death, King John of England, who succeeded Richard in 1199. Geoffrey also quarrelled with his suffragan bishops, his cathedral chapter, and other clergy in his diocese. His last quarrel with John was in 1207, when the archbishop refused to allow the collection of a tax and was driven into exile in France, where he died in 1212.

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Geoffrey Plantagenet was an illegitimate son of King Henry II. It is said that his mother was his mistress Ykenai or Rosamond Clifford, the "Fair Rosamond" of literary fame. Geoffrey, whose "tumultuous nature" is insisted upon by Fuller, inherited a full measure of the stormy Plantagenet character.

When still a child he was made Archdeacon of Lincoln and, when about fourteen, his father procured his election to the Bishopric of that see. The Pope refused to consecrate him for three years; but the Bishop elect, who was not even in priest's orders, received all the temporalities until 1181, when the Pope, Alexander III, insisted that he should either receive ordination or give up Lincoln altogether. He chose the latter, receiving in exchange from the King, many rents and offices in England and Normandy.

Alone of Henry's sons, Geoffrey was faithful to his father and was with him at his death in the Castle of Chinon (France), in 1189. On his return to England, Geoffrey was met in London by a body of the York ecclesiastics, informing him that he had been elected to that see, which had been so long vacant. At first, he declined positively, telling them that he was fonder of clogs and hawks than of books and priests. They answered that his tastes need not be altogether abandoned when he came into the north as Archbishop. Geoffrey, at last, consented to accept their nomination which was, shortly afterwards, confirmed by King Richard I. Geoffrey was then ordained priest; but it was not until the 18th August 1191 that he was consecrated Bishop in the Church of St. Maurice at Tours by the Archbishop of that see.

There had already been dissension between Geoffrey and his half-brother, King Richard. Before leaving for the Holy Land, the latter is said to have extorted a promise from both his brothers, John and Geoffrey, that they would not return to England for three years after his departure without his special permission. However this may be, Geoffrey returned at once after his consecration and, at Dover, was seized by order of the Bishop of Ely, the Grand Justiciar of the Kingdom in Richard's absence. For some days, he was imprisoned in the Castle; but the Bishop of Ely was, at length, compelled to let the Archbishop go without swearing the allegiance on which he had insisted. Geoffrey at once proceeded to York.

The canons of York seem to have discovered, at once, that their choice had been an imprudent one. Throughout Geoffrey's episcopate, he was in constant dissension either with them or with his brothers, Richard and John. The Pope, Celestine, at the instance of the canons, issued a commission of inquiry in 1195, at the head of which was the Bishop of Lincoln. The result was the suspension of Archbishop Geoffrey by the Pope; but that suspension was reversed and a sentence given altogether in Geoffrey's favour upon his personal appeal to Rome. Sometimes in great favour with King John, and sometimes deprived of all his temporalities except the manor of Ripon, Geoffrey continued to hold the see of York until 1207, when John extorted from his subjects the tax of a thirteenth, and Geoffrey set his face stoutly against it. He excommunicated all those who should attempt to collect it in his province; and then was compelled to provide for his own safety by flight. He never returned to England and died, it is said, in 1212 at Grosmont in Normandy. After Geoffrey's flight the temporalities of the archbishopric remained in the King's hands for nine years.

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Geoffrey of Plantagenet, Archbishop of York's Timeline

1152
1152
Westminster, Middlesex, , England
1212
December 18, 1212
Age 60
Notre Dame du Parc, Seine-Maritime, Haute-Normandie, France
1214
July 27, 1214
Age 60
Bouvines, Nord, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
1226
March 7, 1226
Age 60
Grosmont, Normandy, France