John Kirkby (bishop of Ely)
|Bishop of Ely|
|See||Diocese of Ely|
|Elected||26 July 1286|
|Installed||24 December 1286|
|Predecessor||Hugh de Balsham|
|Successor||William of Louth|
|Other posts||Archdeacon of Coventry|
|Ordination||22 September 1286|
|Consecration||22 September 1286
by John Peckham
|Died||26 March 1290
John Kirkby (died 26 March 1290) was an English ecclesiastic and statesman.
Kirkby first appears in the historical record in the chancery during the reign of King Henry III of England. When Henry's son Edward I came to the throne, Kirkby was given the title vice-chancellor, because he often had custody of the Great Seal when the Chancellor, Robert Burnell, was absent from England. Often considered Burnell's protégé, Edward used Kirkby in 1282 as a collector of moneys for the king's Welsh campaigns. Edward rewarded him with a number of benefices, although Kirkby had not yet been ordained a priest. One such benefice was Archdeacon of Coventry.
Kirkby was Lord Treasurer from January 1284 to his death. Kirkby was probably behind the reforms that took place in the treasury and exchequer. Book-keeping methods were updated, information on sources of income improved, and efforts to collect debts to the crown intensified. Kirkby's Quest is the name given to a survey of various English counties which was made under Kirkby's direction in 1285 as part of this effort. The inquest investigated debts owed to the king, the status of vills, and the holding of knight's fees. Also in 1285, Edward I appointed Kirkby to oversee a judicial commission investigating disorder in London. Kirkby summoned the lord mayor and the aldermen of London to the Tower of London to appear before the commission. When the lord mayor of London resigned in protest at Kirkby's summons, Kirkby occupied the city and no lord mayor took office until 1298.
In 1283 Kirkby was elected Bishop of Rochester, but the Archbishop of Canterbury, John Peckham, opposed the appointment and Kirkby did not become bishop there. Pecham objected to his being bishop of Rochester because Kirkby was a pluralist. On 26 July 1286 he was elected Bishop of Ely, and was ordained as a priest and then consecrated on 22 September 1286 by Peckham, who did not object on pluralism grounds this time. He was enthroned at Ely Cathedral on 24 December 1286.
Kirkby died at Ely on 26 March 1290, after a botched attempt to bleed him. He was buried in Ely Cathedral. When he died, he left a brother William as his heir and four married sisters. Kirkby was a benefactor to his see, to which he left some property in London, including Ely Place. A marble tomb slab, now located in the north choir aisle, may possibly be from his tomb.
- Prestwich "Kirkby, John (d. 1290)" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
- Prestwich Edward I p. 234
- Prestwich Edward I p. 238
- Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 104
- Prestwich Edward I pp. 241–242
- Prestwich Edward I pp. 236–237
- Prestwich Edward I p. 265
- British History Online Bishops of Rochester
- Prestwich Edward I pp. 234–235
- British History Online Bishops of Ely
- Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 244
- Prestwich Edward I p. 343
- Sayers "Once 'Proud Prelate'" Journal of the British Archaeological Association p. 80-84
- British History Online Bishops of Ely accessed on 25 October 2007
- British History Online Bishops of Rochester accessed on 25 October 2007
- 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.
- Prestwich, Michael (1997). Edward I. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-07157-4.
- Prestwich, Michael (2004). "Kirkby, John (d. 1290)" ((subscription or UK public library membership required)). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (January 2008 revised ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/15655. Retrieved 4 April 2008.
- Sayers, Jane (2009). "A Once Proud Prelate: An Unidentified Episcopal Monument in Ely Cathedral". Journal of the British Archaeological Association 162: 67–87. doi:10.1179/006812809x12448232842376.
William of March
|Catholic Church titles|
|Bishop of Rochester
Hugh de Balsham
|Bishop of Ely
William of Louth