Thomas Minot

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Thomas Minot (died 1375) was Archbishop of Dublin from 1363 to 1375. He is chiefly remembered for his extensive restoration works to St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin; the tower he built is still sometimes called Minot's Tower.

Early career[edit]

He came from a family which had a tradition of Crown service; he was probably a cousin of Laurence Minot, the poet, although very little is known of the poet's life.[1]

He was presented to the living of Northorpe, Lincolnshire in 1349, and to that of Seaton, Rutland in 1351.[2] He was sent to Ireland in 1354 and in 1356 was appointed Baron of the Court of Exchequer (Ireland) to "supervise and hasten the interests of the King".[3] This does not necessarily mean that he had any legal training, since Irish Barons of the Exchequer at this time were often laymen, which later gave rise to complaints of their ignorance. He received several preferments including the prebendaries of Mulhuddart and Rathsallagh. He was Lord Treasurer of Ireland 1362-1364.[4]

Archbishop of Dublin[edit]

Minot was consecrated Archbishop of Dublin on Palm Sunday 1363.[5] Witihin two years the long-running controversy as to whether the Archbishop of Dublin, like his fellow bishops, must acknowledge of the Archbishop of Armagh as Primate of Ireland flared up again.[6] Minot and Milo Sweetman, Archbishop of Armagh, maintained the quarrel with such heat that the King intervened, urging them to live in friendship and suggesting that the matter be resolved by allowing each Archbishop to bear his crozier in the other's presence, as the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York did.[7] Sweetman replied at length urging the claims of Armagh to primacy and also complaining that Minot had failed to attend a meeting arranged to discuss the matter. His arguments apparently convinced the King since in October 1365 Minot was summoned by Clarence, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, to answer a charge of contempt in failing to attend the meeting with Sweetman.[8] No further action seems to have been taken, and the controversy lapsed for some decades.[9]

Building works[edit]

St. Patrick's Cathedral

Minot was more usefully engaged in restoring St. Patrick's Cathedral, which had been seriously damaged in a fire in 1362. The work, which was completed in 1370, involved rebuilding the west nave and the tower,[10] which is still sometimes called Minot's Tower. It was said that the Archbishop was so pleased with the result that he had a new episcopal seal designed showing a bishop holding a steeple.[11]

Last years[edit]

In 1373 he was asked to advise William de Windsor, the new Lieutenant, on the imposition of customs and other taxes. In the same year he was summoned to attend a Great Council in Dublin. In 1375 he was summoned to attend another Council to consider the threat from the O'Briens of Thomond, but died the same year while visiting London.[12]


  1. ^ Ball, F. Elrington The Judges in Ireland 1221-1921 John Murray London 1926 Vol.1 p.81
  2. ^ Ball p.81
  3. ^ Ball p.81
  4. ^ D'Alton, John, Memoirs of the Archbishops of Dublin Hodges and Smith Dublin 1838, p.138
  5. ^ D'Alton p.138
  6. ^ Pollard, A. F. "Milo Sweetman" Dictionary of National Biography 1885-1900 Vol.55 p.198
  7. ^ Pollard p. 198
  8. ^ Pollard p.198
  9. ^ D'Alton pp.140-141
  10. ^ Ball p.82
  11. ^ D'Alton p.141
  12. ^ D'Alton p.141