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Thurstan

Thurstan (d. 1140). Archbishop of York. Born in Bayeux, Thurstan was secretary to Henry I. As part of the unending dispute between Canterbury and York he refused consecration in 1114 by the archbishop of Canterbury and was eventually consecrated at Rheims (1119), receiving the pallium from Pope Calixtus II. With his fiery personality he vigorously championed the independence of York from Canterbury; the pope decided in York's favour (1126), though Canterbury with legatine authority could still claim obedience. He organized and inspired Yorkshire forces against David I of Scotland's invasion and defeated him at the battle of the Standard (1138). An intimate friend of St Bernard, Thurstan strongly supported the growth of Cistercianism. Rievaulx and Fountains were founded with his assistance. In his last years he wanted to resign his see to become a Cistercian himself, but was refused. He became a Cluniac before dying at Pontefract abbey.

Revd Dr William M. Marshall

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