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Stratford, John de

Stratford, John de (d.1348). Archbishop of Canterbury and chancellor. Born in Stratford-upon-Avon and trained in law at Merton College, Oxford, he entered royal service. While at Avignon on papal business, he was appointed bishop of Winchester (1323) by the pope, much to Edward II's annoyance. Stratford later supported Edward II's deposition (1327) in Edward III's favour. As Edward III's principal counsellor and chancellor in the 1330s and archbishop of Canterbury from 1333, he negotiated with France and Scotland and accompanied him to Flanders at the outbreak of war. On Edward's return in 1340 he furiously, but unjustly, attacked Stratford for financial incompetence. Stratford stood his ground, insisting on appealing to Parliament, thus confirming the principle of peers being tried by peers in Parliament. Reconciliation followed in 1341 but in later years Stratford only advised on ecclesiastical matters.

Revd Dr William M. Marshall

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Stratford, John de

John de Stratford, d. 1348, English ecclesiastic, archbishop of Canterbury, 1333–48. A doctor of civil and canon law, he was a legal adviser to the court of Edward II and several times an emissary to France and the Vatican. He played a passive role in the overthrow (1327) of Edward, and although nominally a member of the council that ruled on behalf of the young Edward III, he did not support the dominant faction under Roger de Mortimer. When Edward seized power for himself (1330), however, Stratford became the king's chief adviser. He was chancellor for most of the following decade and was made archbishop of Canterbury (1333). He went on embassies to France both with and for Edward and headed the council in his absence. He resigned as chancellor in 1340 under charges of mismanagement of supplies for the French wars. Although he and the king were formally reconciled, Stratford exerted no further political influence.

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