John Hotham (bishop)

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John Hotham
Bishop of Ely
Electedabout 20 June 1316
Term endedabout 14 January 1337
PredecessorJohn Ketton
SuccessorSimon Montacute
Consecration3 October 1316
Personal details
Diedabout 14 January 1337
BuriedEly Cathedral

John Hotham (died 1337) was a medieval Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord High Treasurer, Lord Chancellor and Bishop of Ely. He was also the effective Governor of Ireland for a time.

Hotham was the son of Alan and Matilda Hotham of Hotham and nephew of William Hotham, Archbishop of Dublin. His early career was spent in Ireland, where he became Chancellor of the Exchequer of Ireland until 1310. He was then appointed, on 13 December 1312, Chancellor of the Exchequer in England, a post he held until June 1316. Due to his knowledge of Irish affairs, he spent a good part of the Bruce Campaign in Ireland in that country, overseeing the Irish defences and exercising temporary powers of government. His firm action is generally credited with helping to bring about the defeat of the Scots invasion.

Hotham was elected to Ely on about 20 June 1316 and consecrated on 3 October 1316.[1] Later that year he went to meet the pope in Avignon with the earl of Pembroke, partly to plead the case for the promotion of Alexander Bicknor as Archbishop of Dublin. After returning from Avignon,[citation needed] he was appointed Lord High Treasurer of England on 27 May 1317 but left that office in June 1318.[2] when he was promoted as Lord Chancellor of England on 11 June 1318, an office he held until 26 January 1320.[3]

Although close to King Edward II, Hotham switched allegiance to Queen Isabella when she successfully invaded to depose the king in September 1326. He was consequently appointed chancellor for the second time by her on behalf of the young King Edward III on 28 January 1327. He retired from government in 1328.

Memorial to Bishop Hotham in Ely Cathedral

Hotham died about 14 January 1337[1] after two years of paralysis and was buried in Ely Cathedral.


  1. ^ a b Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 244
  2. ^ Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 104
  3. ^ Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 86


  • Buck, M.C. "Hotham, John (d. 1337), administrator and bishop of Ely". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/13851. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  • 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.
Political offices
Preceded by Lord High Treasurer
Succeeded by
Preceded by Lord Chancellor
Succeeded by
Preceded by Lord Chancellor
Succeeded by
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Bishop of Ely
Succeeded by