John de Saint-Pol
JOHN DE SAINT-POL
Archbishop of Dublin, chancellor of Ireland; b. Owston, West Riding, Yorkshire, England, c. 1295; d. Dublin, Ireland, Sept. 9, 1362. The Saint-Pol family had originally come from Guienne, France. Some time before 1330 John had received a papal dispensation from the disabilities of illegitimacy, but in 1339 the bishop of Winchester was directed by Rome to affirm his legitimacy, new evidence having come to light. John was already a clerk in the royal chancery by 1318, and in 1330 he was licensed to hold the numerous ecclesiastical benefices he acquired in various dioceses. From Jan. 13 to Feb. 17, 1334, as well as several times thereafter, he was guardian of the great seal in the absence of the chancellor of England, and on April 29, 1337, he was created master of the rolls. Imprisoned in 1341 by King edward iii on grounds of misadministration, he was released through the help of Abp. john stratford and in 1343 regained a position at the chancery. On Sept. 4, 1349, he was named archbishop of Dublin by papal provision. In 1351 the new Archbishop was ordered by Pope clement vi to proceed against certain heretics who, fleeing from the persecution of Bp. Richard Lederede of Ossory (fl. 1350), had obtained protection from Alexander Bicknor, John's predecessor as archbishop. John disputed the right of richard fitzralph, Archbishop of armagh, to use the title primate of ireland, until Edward revoked (1353) the royal letters in favor of Armagh and had the whole case removed to Rome. From 1350 to 1356 John was also chancellor of Ireland; in 1358 he was made a member of the privy council. He used his influence at Dublin in attempting to win a general amnesty for English and Irish rebels. As archbishop he enlarged Holy Trinity Cathedral (now called Christ Church), tried to secure numerous privileges for the see, and played a part in developing its liturgy. He held a provincial synod at Dublin in Lent of 1351 and a number of his decrees, issued on this occasion and later, for the regulation of diocesan affairs, are extant. He was buried in his cathedral.
Bibliography: "Provincial and Diocesan Decrees of the Diocese of Dublin …, " Archivium Hibernicum, ed. a. gwynn, 11 (1944) 34–37, 84–90. a. bellesheim, Geschichte der katholischen Kirche in Irland, 3 v. (Mainz 1890–91) 1:519–520. e. i. carlyle, The Dictionary of National Biography From the Earliest Times to 1900, 63 v. (London 1885–1900) 17:662–663. a. b. emden, A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to A.D. 1500, 3 v. (Oxford 1957–59) 3:1629–30. g. j. hand, "The Psalter of Christ Church, Dublin, " Reportorium novum, 1.2 (1956) 313; "Cambridge University Additional Manuscript 710, " ibidem 2.1 (1958) 21. w. hawkes, "The Liturgy in Dublin, 1200–1500: Manuscript Sources, " ibidem 36–37.
[b. j. comaskey]