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Aymer de Lusignan


Bishop of Winchester, one of King Henry III's Poitevin favorites; d. Paris, Dec. 4, 1260. He was the younger son of Isabella, widow of King John, by Hugh X, Count of La Marche, and thus a half-brother of Henry III. Aymer went to England in 1247 and studied at Oxford. In 1250 henry iii secured his election to the bishopric of winchester, whose revenues he is said to have spent extravagantly. He was consecrated in Rome by Alexander IV, in May of 1260. On a few occasions he spoke in favor of ecclesiastical reform, as in 1253, when, ironically, he pressed the king to allow free episcopal elections. But Aymer, unlike Bishop walter of Cantelupe, opposed the political reform outlined in the Provisions of Oxford in 1258, and he and his brothers were forced by the barons to leave the country. The barons' document, which justified this action to the pope was notable: it maintained that the Lusignan brothers by their irresponsibility had harmed the crown and that the communitas would never tolerate their return.

Bibliography: w. hunt, The Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900, 63 v. (London 18851900) 1:758760. a. b. emden, A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to a. d. 1500, 3 v. (Oxford 195759) 2:117980. f. m. powicke, King Henry III and the Lord Edward, 2 v. (Oxford 1947). h. s. snellgrove, The Lusignans in England, 12471258 (Albuquerque 1950).

[h. mayrharting]

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