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Robert Burnell
(Died 1292)

Bishop of Bath & Wells
Died: 25th October 1292


Robert Burnell was descended from the powerful Barons of Burnell, whose principal stronghold was the Castle of Acton Burnell in Shropshire. From 1275, he was Bishop of Bath & Wells as well as one of the chief ministers of King Edward I. He was treasurer and, afterwards, chancellor, and was much employed in affairs connected with Wales. For better attention of such matters, he removed, for some time, the Court of Chancery to Bristol. He is said to have amassed great wealth and to have enriched his brothers and other relatives "supra modum." The great hall of the palace at Wells (now in ruins), the largest attached to any episcopal palace in England, was built by him and he repaired, at his own expense, the castle of his family at Acton Burnell. Bishop Burnell died at Berwick in 1292, during the meeting of the Scottish and English barons at which Edward I adjudged the crown of Scotland to Balliol. His body, however, was brought to Wells and interred in the nave of his cathedral.

Edited from Richard John King's "Handbook to the Cathedrals of England: Southern Division" (1903).

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