Walter de Gray (Grey)

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Chancellor of England and archbishop of york; b. probably Rotherfield in Oxfordshire, date unknown; d. Fulham, May 1, 1255. He was the son of John and Hawisia Gray and the nephew of Bp. john de grey. He studied at Oxford and heard edmund of abingdon lecture. He was chancellor from 1205 to 1213 and again in 1214. He was twice elected bishop of coventry and Lichfield, but unconfirmed; in 1214 successfully elected bishop of Worcester; and in 1215 elected archbishop of York through the influence of King john and innocent iii. He was translated to York in 1216. Much involved in royal business, he was present at the granting of magna carta in 1215. After John's death he supported the legate against the French. In later life he acted once as royal regent and often presided at occasions of high ceremony. He was an active diocesan at York (where he was bored and longed for news of the court). He was a builder; he translated the relics of St. wilfrid of york. He made Bishopthorpe an archiepiscopal manor, and he bought York Place in London. Fresh from King John's recordkeeping government, he kept the rolls that are the first registers at York.

Bibliography: The Register, or Rolls, of Walter Gray, Archbishop of York, ed. j. raine (Durham 1872). w. h. dixon, Fasti eboracenses. Lives of the Archbishops of York, ed. j. raine (London 1863). c. a. f. meekings, "Six Letters Concerning the Eyres of 122628," English Historical Review 65 (1950) 492504. a. b. emden, A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to A.D. 1500 2: 807808.

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