|Archbishop of Canterbury|
Tomb of Mepeham in Canterbury Cathedral
|Elected||11 December 1327|
|Installed||22 January 1329|
|Term ended||12 October 1333|
|Successor||John de Stratford|
|Ordination||21 September 1297|
|Consecration||5 June 1328|
|Died||12 October 1333|
Simon Mepeham (or Meopham or Mepham; died 1333) was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1328 to 1333.
Mepeham was educated at Oxford between the years 1290 and 1296 at Merton College where he devoted himself to the study of theology. He was ordained priest on 21 September 1297 in Canterbury Cathedral by Archbishop Robert Winchelsey, who gave Simon the rectory of Tunstall in Kent.
Archbishop of Canterbury
Mepeham was the candidate of the Earl of Lancaster against the candidate supported by Queen Isabella and Roger Mortimer. Elected to the Archbishopric of Canterbury on 11 December 1327, Simon Mepeham was consecrated on 5 June 1328, and received the temporalities of the see of Canterbury on 19 September 1328. That winter, he supported a rebellion against the rule of Roger Mortimer that was led by the Earl of Lancaster and supported by the Earl of Norfolk, Earl of Kent and others.
Archbishop Mepeham's register is lost and as a result what we know of his governance of his see is gleaned from the chroniclers William Thorne and William Dene. Mepeham was considered to be a "man of no great ability and with scanty knowledge of ecclesiastical tradition and propriety, and the maintenance of the rights of his See caused disputes on every side."
Dispute and excommunication
Mepeham became involved in a dispute about the juridical rights of churches that had been appropriated by St Augustine's Abbey. The monks made an appeal against the Archbishop, and a Papal nuncio and canon of Salisbury, Icherius de Concareto, was appointed to mediate. Mepeham was cited to give evidence before him, but refused to attend. The suffragans of Canterbury were in support of Mepeham, but his refusal to submit to the judicial process of the Church led to his excommunication by Pope John XXII in 1333. Concoreto had issued an order suspending Mepham from presiding at Divine Services on 22 January 1333 with the condition that should the Archbishop continue to refuse to resist the will of the Pope and court he was to be excommunicated 30 Days later.
Mepeham's excommunication was posthumously rescinded allowing him to be buried in Canterbury Cathedral.
Death and afterward
- Chronicles of Wingham accessed April 2010
- Weir Queen Isabella p. 306
- Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 233
- Powell House of Lords in the Middle Ages p. 302
- Haines "An Innocent Abroad" English Historical Review pp. 555–596
- Carpenter Cantuar pp. 89–90
- Haines Archbishop Simon Mepham 1328-1333: A Boy Among Men[page needed]
- Carpenter, E.; Hastings, A. (1997). Cantaur: The Archbishops in their Office (3rd ed.). London: Mowbray. ISBN 0264674499.
- Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1996). Handbook of British Chronology (Third revised ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X.
- Haines, Roy (June 1997). "An Innocent Abroad: The Career of Simon Mepham, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1328–33". The English Historical Review. CXII (447): 555–596. doi:10.1093/ehr/CXII.447.555.
- Haines, Roy (2012). Archbishop Simon Mepham 1328-1333: A Boy Amongst Men. Xlibris Corp. ISBN 978-1465302380.
- Powell, J. Enoch and Keith Wallis The House of Lords in the Middle Ages: A History of the English House of Lords to 1540 London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson 1968
- Weir, Alison Queen Isabella: Treachery, Adultery and Murder in Medieval England New York: Ballantine 2005 ISBN 0-345-45319-0
|Catholic Church titles|
|Archbishop of Canterbury
John de Stratford