Richard de Capella

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Richard de Capella
Bishop of Hereford
Elected7 January 1121
Term ended15 August 1127
PredecessorGeoffrey de Clive
SuccessorRobert de Bethune
Consecration16 January 1121
by Ralph d'Escures, Archbishop of Canterbury
Personal details
Died15 August 1127
BuriedHereford Cathedral

Richard de Capella or Richard of the Chapel[1] (died 1127) was a medieval Bishop of Hereford.


Capella was a member of the chancery in charge of the king's seal during the reign of King Henry I of England before being elected bishop.[2] As such "he was responsible for the preparation and validation of all royal charters, including many grants for major ecclesiastics, who were quickly recognising the financial rewards to be realised from markets and fairs."[3] This was a good qualification for his future role in developing Herefordshire economically.[citation needed]

Capella was elected to the see of Hereford on 7 January[4] or just before 2 February 1121. He was consecrated on 16 January 1121 at Lambeth by Archbishop Ralph d'Escures of Canterbury.[2]

Capella attended the legatine council held by the new Archbishop of Canterbury, William de Corbeil, at London in 1127. At this council, Urban, Bishop of Llandaff brought charges against both Richard and Bernard, Bishop of St David's for intruding into the jurisdiction of Llandaff. However, nothing concrete was decided at the council and Urban appealed to the papacy.[5] The ultimate decision, after Richard's death, was in Hereford's favour.[citation needed]

Capella also attempted to improve the financial condition of the diocese and obtained from Henry I confirmation of the right to hold a fair in Hereford, an institution dating from well before the Conquest. He also co-operated with the king in building the first bridge across the Wye at Hereford, and in the re-establishment of the minster at Leominster.[3] Only a few charters exist from when he was bishop.[6] It was probably during his episcopate that towns were founded on the episcopal manors of Leominster, Ledbury, Bromyard, and Ross-on-Wye.[7]

Capella died on 15 August 1127[4] at Ledbury.[2] He was buried in Hereford Cathedral.[6]


  1. ^ Chrimes Introduction p. 25
  2. ^ a b c Barrow Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066–1300: Volume 8: Hereford: Bishops
  3. ^ a b Hillaby "Bishop Richard de Capella" Essays
  4. ^ a b Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 250
  5. ^ Brett English Church p. 81
  6. ^ a b Barrow "Richard de Capella" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  7. ^ Hillaby Ledbury[page needed]


  • Barrow, J. S. (2002). Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066–1300: Volume 8: Hereford: Bishops. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 26 October 2007.
  • Barrow, Julia (2004). "Richard de Capella (d. 1127)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/23506. Retrieved 30 June 2008. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  • Brett, M. (1975). The English Church under Henry I. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-821861-3.
  • Chrimes, S. B. (1966). An Introduction to the Administrative History of Mediaeval England (Third ed.). Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell. OCLC 270094959.
  • 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.
  • Hillaby, J. (2011). "Bishop Richard de Capella and the Foundation of Herefordshire's Market Towns". Essays in Honour of Jim and Muriel Tonkin. Hereford, UK: Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club. ISBN 9780950582344.
  • Hillaby, Joe (1997). Ledbury, A Medieval Borough. Woonton Almeley, UK: Logaston Press. ISBN 9781873827055.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Geoffrey de Clive
Bishop of Hereford
Succeeded by
Robert de Bethune