William Zouche

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William Zouche
Archbishop of York
Elected 2 May 1340
Installed unknown
Term ended 19 July 1352
Predecessor William Melton
Successor John of Thoresby
Other posts Dean of York
Consecration 7 July 1342
by Pope Clement VI
Personal details
Died 19 July 1352
Cawood Palace
Buried York Minster
Denomination Roman Catholic

William Zouche or William de la Zouche (died 19 July 1352) was a medieval treasury official and Archbishop of York from 1342 to 1352.

He was probably the younger son of Roger la Zouche of Lubbesthorpe in Leicestershire, who died in 1302. If this is correct, he must have been born after 1292-93, when his older brother was born.[1]

Zouche entered the treasury and was appointed Keeper of the Great Wardrobe from 1329 to 1334, controller of the (household) wardrobe from 1334 to 1335 and Lord Privy Seal from 1335 to 1337.[2]:94 In 1337 he was given the position of Lord High Treasurer, which he held until March 1338, and then once more was Treasurer from December 1338 to May 1340.[2]:104

Zouche was appointed Archdeacon of Barnstaple in 1329,[3] collated Archdeacon of Exeter on 12 July 1330[4] and made Dean of York in 1336.

Upon the death of Archbishop Melton of York, King Edward III wanted his secretary, William of Kildesby elected to the post.[5] However, the canons of York elected Zouche, their Dean, on 2 May 1340.[2]:282 The king endeavoured to set aside the election, but without effect, and, after a delay of two years, Zouche was consecrated at Avignon by Pope Clement VI on 7 July 1342.[2]:282

Zouche had been employed by Edward III before his elevation to the see, but had fallen into disfavour. He was not forgiven until the year 1346, when he was made a Warden of the Marches. In this capacity, he led one of the bodies of English troops which defeated the Scots at the Battle of Neville's Cross, close to Durham, on 18 October 1346. The King was extremely thankful and Archbishop Zouche was asked to continue his careful watch over the border.

While archbishop, the plague known as the Black Death hit England and his diocese, and Zouche had to take action in 1349 to ensure extra burial grounds were consecrated and get approval from the pope to ordain replacement clergy.[6]:401–402

Zouche died on 19 July 1352[2]:282 at Cawood Palace and was buried before the altar of St Edward in the nave of York Minster. He founded, and himself began the building of, a chantry adjoining the south wall of the choir. This appears to have been taken down when Thoresby's choir (wider than the old one) was built and no trace of it remains.


  1. ^ Bennett, Nicholas (2004). "Zouche, William (d. 1352)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/30303. Retrieved 5 November 2013.  (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  2. ^ a b c d e 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. 
  3. ^ Horn, Joyce M., ed. (1964). "Archdeacons: Barnstaple". Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1300–1541. 9, Exeter Diocese (Online ed.). London: Institute of Historical Research. pp. 19–21. Retrieved 22 February 2015 – via British History Online. 
  4. ^ Horn, Joyce M., ed. (1964). "Archdeacons: Exeter". Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1300–1541. 9, Exeter Diocese (Online ed.). London: Institute of Historical Research. pp. 12–15. Retrieved 22 February 2015 – via British History Online. 
  5. ^ Waugh, Scott L. (2004). "Kilsby, William (d. 1346)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/50146. Retrieved 22 February 2015.  (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  6. ^ Raine, James (ed) (1873). Historical Letters and Papers from the Northern Registers. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Robert Tawton
Lord Privy Seal
Succeeded by
Richard Bintworth
Preceded by
Henry Burghersh
Lord High Treasurer
Succeeded by
Robert Wodehouse
Preceded by
Robert Wodehouse
Lord High Treasurer
Succeeded by
Robert Sadington
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
William Melton
Archbishop of York
Succeeded by
John of Thoresby

 This article incorporates text from Handbook to the Cathedral's of England, Vol. 1, Part 2, by Richard John King, a publication from 1869 now in the public domain in the United States.