|Bishop of Durham|
|See||Diocese of Durham|
|Installed||10 August 1133|
|Term ended||6 May 1141|
|Consecration||6 August 1133|
|Died||6 May 1141|
|Buried||Durham Cathedral in the chapter house|
Rufus' parentage and upbringing is unknown. The circumstances around his acquisition of the nickname "Rufus" have not been discovered either. He was a royal clerk before being named the tenth Lord Chancellor and Lord Keeper of England, from 1123 to 1133. Geoffrey had also worked for the previous chancellor Ranulf. He may have started his career as a clerk for Roger of Salisbury, King Henry I of England's chief minister, for he first appears as a witness to a charter of Roger's in 1114. From charter evidence, it appears that Rufus was often in England, even when King Henry was in Normandy. In the Pipe Roll of 1130, he had custody of more royal land than any other official. After Geoffrey became a bishop, the king chose to keep the office of chancellor vacant until the king's death. The functions of the office were performed by the head of the scriptorium, Robert de Sigello.
Rufus was nominated to the see of Durham about 14 May 1133, and consecrated on 6 August 1133. He was enthroned on 10 August 1133. The see had been vacant since 1128. Geoffrey at first quarrelled with his cathedral chapter, but peace was restored when the bishop allowed the monks their privileges. Geoffrey also was a benefactor to Newminster Abbey. During Rufus' episcopate the chapterhouse at Durham was completed. Rufus also employed as a clerk William Cumin, who after Rufus' death conspired with King David I of Scotland to seize the see of Durham.
When King Stephen took the thone at the death of King Henry, Rufus acknowledged Stephen as king, but did not attend the royal court often. In 1136, a peace treaty between King David and King Stephen was signed at Durham, but in 1138 Rufus' castle of Norham surrendered to King David, an act that brought condemnation to the bishop for failing to defend the castle adequately. Geoffrey, however, refused David's offer to return Norham to Geoffrey in return for repudiating Stephen. In retaliation, Norham was destroyed. Geoffrey does not seem to have supported either side at the Battle of the Standard in August of 1138. At the end of Rufus' life, because of King David's invasion of northern England in support of the Empress Matilda, most of the diocese was under the control of the Scottish king.
Rufus died on 6 May 1141. Rufus was married, and had at least one daughter, who married Robert of Amundeville. His son Geoffrey seems not to have been involved in politics, although he held an estate in Dorset of 18 and a half hides. His grave was identified and excavated in the 19th century inside Durham Chapter House.
- Dalton "Geoffrey Rufus (d. 1141)" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
- British History Online Bishops of Durham
- Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 83
- Barlow English Church 1066–1154 pp. 88–89
- Green Government of England Under Henry I p. 167
- Green Government of England Under Henry I pp. 255–256
- Hollister Henry I pp. 361–363
- Green Government of England Under Henry I p. 27
- Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 241
- Huscroft Ruling England p. 134
- Mooers "Familial Clout and Financial Gain" Albion p. 280
- Carver "Early Medieval Durham" Medieval Art and Architecture at Durham Cathedral p. 13
- Barlow, Frank (1979). The English Church 1066–1154: A History of the Anglo-Norman Church. New York: Longman. ISBN 0-582-50236-5.
- British History Online Bishops of Durham accessed on 25 October 2007
- Carver, M. O. H. (1980). "Early Medieval Durham: the Archaeological Evidence". Medieval Art and Architecture at Durham Cathedral. British Archaeological Association Conference Transactions for the year 1977. Leeds, UK: British Archaeological Association. pp. 11–19. OCLC 13464190.
- Dalton, Paul (2004). "Geoffrey Rufus (d. 1141)" ((subscription or UK public library membership required)). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/24259. Retrieved 22 January 2008.
- Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1996). Handbook of British Chronology (Third revised ed.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X.
- Green, Judith A. (1986). The Government of England Under Henry I. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-37586-X.
- Huscroft, Richard (2005). Ruling England 1042–1217. London: Pearson/Longman. ISBN 0-582-84882-2.
- Mooers, Stephanie L. (1982). "Familial Clout and Financial Gain in Henry I's Later Reign". Albion 14 (3/4): 268–291. doi:10.2307/4048517. JSTOR 4048517.
- Dalton, Paul (April 1996). "Eustace Fitz John and the Politics of Anglo-Norman England: The Rise and Survival of a Twelfth-Century Royal Servant". Speculum 71 (2): 358–383. JSTOR 2865417.
- Hollister, C. W. (April 1978). "The Origins of the English Treasury". The English Historical Review 93 (367): 262–275. doi:10.1093/ehr/XCIII.CCCLXVII.262.
- Stacy, N. E. (February 1999). "Henry of Blois and the Lordship of Glastonbury". The English Historical Review 114 (455): 1–33.
- Yoshitake, Kenji (1988). "The Arrest of the Bishops in 1139 and its Consequences". Journal of Medieval History 14: 97–114. doi:10.1016/0304-4181(88)90022-X.
Ranulf, Lord Chancellor
Robert de Sigello
(Keeper of the Great Seal)
|Catholic Church titles|
|Bishop of Durham