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Adam of Orleton


Master of arts; doctor of canon law, Oxford (1310); bishop of Hereford (1317), Worcester (1327), Winchester (1333); d. Farnham Castle, Hampshire, July 18, 1345. He sided with the Mortimers against Edward II and engineered the escape of Roger Mortimer of Wigmore from the Tower (1323). When charged with treason, Orleton refused to plead before a civil court and was condemned in absence (1324). Protected meanwhile by the other bishops, he joined Queen Isabella's forces (1326) and played a leading part in securing Edward's abdication (1327). He served on Edward III's regency council as treasurer, and he represented Edward in dealings with john xxii and with France, retaining the king's favor even after Mortimer's fall (1330). His conviction was annulled (1329). He quarreled with Archbishop john stratford (1341) and may have written the king's answer to Stratford's criticisms of the government. Modern writers tend to accept the view of the chronicles of Geoffrey le Baker (ed. E. M. Thompson, Oxford 1889) that Orleton was able, but opportunist and unscrupulous.

Bibliography: Registrum Ade de Orleton, Episcopi Herefordensis, A.D. MCCCXVIIMCCCXXVII, ed. a. t. bannister (Canterbury and York Society; London 1908). h. r. luard, The Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900 1:7981. j. c. davies, Baronial Opposition to Edward II (Cambridge, Eng. 1918). e. l. g. stones, "The Date of Roger Mortimer's Escape from the Tower of London," English Historical Review 66 (1951) 9798. a. b. emden, A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to a.d. 1500 2:140204. m. mckisack, The Fourteenth Century, 130799 (Oxford 1959).

[r. w. hays]

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