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Thomas Brantingham
(died 1394)

Bishop of Exeter
Died: 3rd December 1394 at Bishop's Clyst, Devon


Thomas Brantingham was Edward Ill's Treasurer in Picardy, and more than once Lord High Treasurer of England. As Bishop of Exeter (from 1370), he continued to contest the right of the Archbishops of Canterbury to a personal visitation of his diocese, but without the success of his predecessor. During the contest, some of Bishop Brantingham's servants fell upon the Archbishop's envoy, Thomas Hill, in the town of Topsham, about six miles south of Exeter, and having ransacked his bags, found in them a writ, to which the archiepiscopal seal was attached, summoning the Bishop himself before his metropolitan, Archbishop Courtenay. After much ill-usage, Brantingham's men compelled the unhappy envoy to swallow both the writ and its waxen seal. A proceeding which, however gratifying for the moment, eventually proved anything but advantageous to the cause of the Bishop. The King withdrew his protection. Brantingham abandoned his appeal to Rome and finally made full submission to Archbishop Courtenay, whose right of visitation was henceforth dutifully recognised. The cloisters and some other parts of the cathedral, were completed by this bishop, whose chantry, which has disappeared, was on the north side of the nave.

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

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