Fromund Le Brun

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Fromund le Brun (died 1283) was an English born cleric and judge in Ireland who became Lord Chancellor of Ireland, but lost a long battle to become Archbishop of Dublin, due largely to his notorious pluralism.[1]

He is said to have been illegitimate.[2] He is first heard of in Ireland in 1248 as a clerk to the Justiciar of Ireland, and apparently gained considerable judicial experience in this way; he was appointed Lord Chancellor in 1259 and held the office with (possibly) one intermission until his death in 1283. He was a noted pluralist, being appointed Archdeacon of Waterford, while he also held livings in the dioceses of Dublin, Winchester and Salisbury. He became a papal chaplain in 1259.[3]

He was the choice of the monks of Holy Trinity Priory to be Archbishop of Dublin in 1271, on the death of Fulk Basset,[4] but he was opposed by William de la Corner, who was the choice of the Chapter of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin.[5] The matter dragged on for several years, and was in due course referred to the Pope. Le Brun's record of pluralism destroyed his chances of becoming Archbishop. It was found that he was unlawfully in possession of one of his benefices, and Pope Gregory X declared his election void, but also passed over William in favour of a compromise candidate, John de Derlington.[6] William subsequently became Bishop of Salisbury.

Fromund bought Roebuck Castle, in the south of County Dublin in 1261; it is possible that the purchase caused him financial loss since he was rumoured to be heavily in debt shortly before his death.[7] Roebuck passed to Nigel le Brun, who seems to have been Fromund's nephew. The Le Brun family remained at Roebuck until the late fifteenth century, when it passed by marriage to the first Baron Trimlestown.[8] Fromund also held lands at Tankardstown in County Meath, which he later granted to Theobald Butler.[9]

He was succeeded as Lord Chancellor by Walter de Fulburn.


  1. ^ McInerney, M. H. A History of the Irish Dominicans Brown and Nolan Dublin 1916 Vol. 1 p.345
  2. ^ McInerney p.345
  3. ^ McInerney p.345
  4. ^ D'Alton, John Memoirs of the Archbishops of Dublin Hodges and Smith Dublin 1838 p.103
  5. ^ McInerney p.345
  6. ^ McInerney p.345
  7. ^ Ball, F. Elrington The Judges in Ireland 1221-1921 John Murray London 1926
  8. ^ Ball, F. Elrington History of Dublin Vol.2 1903 Alexander Thom and Co. p.77
  9. ^ National Library of Ireland D184