Geoffrey de Turville

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Geoffrey de Turville (died 1250) was an English-born judge and cleric in thirteenth century Ireland , who held office as Bishop of Ossory and Lord Chancellor of Ireland.

He was probably a native of Turville in Buckinghamshire: an earlier Geoffrey de Turville (c.1122-1177) was Lord of the Manor of Weston Turville. He is first heard of in Ireland in 1218 in the entourage of Henry de Loundres, Archbishop of Dublin. He was Archdeacon of Dublin before becoming Bishop of Ossory in 1244. He is described as a man who was "in high favour with the English Crown".[1]

As Bishop of Ossory in 1245 he was granted the right to hold an annual fair and weekly market in Kilkenny; he was also granted the right to hold another annual fair at Durrow, County Laois, together with the right to hold a market there every Thursday, and he was granted similar privileges at Freshford, County Kilkenny. [2] He was granted the right to a conduit of water to the friars of the Black Abbey, Kilkenny.[3] He also held a number of administrative posts: most notably he was Treasurer of Ireland from 1235-50, and he was also Lord Chancellor of Ireland in about 1237.

Elrington Ball praises Geoffrey as a highly trained and able lawyer. Otway-Ruthven[4] credits him as being the first Lord Chancellor of Ireland to develop the Irish Chancery as a Government Department in its own right which was fully independent of the English Chancery, with its own staff and Great Seal.

He died in London in October 1250.[5]


  1. ^ Carrigan, William The History and Antiquities of the Diocese of Ossory Dublin Seary Byers and Walker 1905 Vol. 1 p37
  2. ^ Carrigan p.37
  3. ^ Carrigan p.37
  4. ^ Otway-Ruthven, A.J. History of Medieval Ireland Reprinted Barnes and Noble 1993 p.154
  5. ^ Ball, F. Elrington The Judges in Ireland 1221-1921 John Murray London 1926