Walter Branscombe

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Walter Branscombe
Bishop of Exeter
See Diocese of Exeter
Elected 23 February 1258
Installed 14 April 1258
Term ended 22 July 1280
Predecessor Richard Blund
Successor Peter Quinel
Other posts Archdeacon of Surrey
Orders
Ordination 9 March 1258
Consecration 10 March 1258
by Boniface of Savoy
Personal details
Born circa (c.) 1220
Died 22 July 1280
Buried Exeter Cathedral
Denomination Catholic

Walter Branscombe (circa 1220–1280) (alias Bronscombe, Branescombe, Bronescombe, Bronescomb, etc.) was Bishop of Exeter from 1258 to 1280.

Origins[edit]

Nothing is known for certain of Branscombe's origins and education, but he is thought to have been born in Exeter in about 1220.[1] In the opinion of William George Hoskins he was a member of the family of de Branscombe seated at the manor of Edge in the parish of Branscombe in South Devon, situated about 16 miles east of Exeter.[2]

Career[edit]

Branscombe held a prebend in of St Nicholas's College at Wallingford Castle, as well as a number of other benefices.[1] He also was archdeacon of Surrey.[3] In 1250, he acted as King Henry III of England's representative at the papal curia, and was appointed the king's proctor the next year. Besides being a royal clerk, he was often named as a papal chaplain also. Before 1254 he became a canon of Exeter Cathedral.[1]

Branscombe was elected to the see of Exeter on 23 February 1258 and consecrated on 10 March 1258.[4] He was ordained a priest on 10 March 1258, with both rites being performed by Boniface of Savoy, the Archbishop of Canterbury. He was enthroned at Exeter on 14 April 1258.[1]

Maurice Powicke's opinion was that, having been trained in the royal service, Branscombe settled down to become an assiduous diocesan bishop.[5] He faced some problems at the start of his time as bishop, for right after the death of the previous bishop, Richard Blund, a number of Blund's officials and clerks had used Blund's seal to forge letters giving away benefices as well as Blund's property. This left Branscombe with debts and administrative issues.[6] He also continued to perform diplomatic missions for the king, as he was at Paris in 1258 and 1263. He attended a general council of the church held at Lyons in the summer of 1274.[1]

Branscombe's register of his diocesan administration is the earliest episcopal one surviving from Exeter. He was a founder of a number of churches in his diocese, and issued sets of instructions for his cathedral church as well as others in his diocese. His last years were occupied with a dispute with Edmund the Earl of Cornwall over the earl's infringement of ecclesiastical rights.[1]

Branscombe died on 22 July 1280[4] at Bishopsteignton. He was buried in Exeter Cathedral, where his tomb, with the bishop's effigy, still survives.[1]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Denton "Bronescombe, Walter of" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  2. ^ Hoskins Devon pp. 344-345
  3. ^ Greenway Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066–1300: volume 2: Monastic cathedrals (northern and southern provinces): Archdeacons: Surrey
  4. ^ a b Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 246
  5. ^ Powicke Thirteenth Century p. 485
  6. ^ Moorman Church Life p. 173

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Richard Blund
Bishop of Exeter
1258–1280
Succeeded by
Peter Quinel