Archbishop William Courtenay CANTERBURY
- Born: Abt 1342, Exeter, Devonshire, England
- Died: 31 Jul 1396, Maidstone, Kent, England
Another name for William was CANTERBURY Archbishop.
Ancestral File Number: 9FNZ-Q2.
The Political History ofEngland, 1377-1485, Vol IV, C Oman, 1906, AMS Press, New York, p3:
 "The king was crowned on July 16; three days later the names of the council which was to administer the realm for him were published. Lancaster did not appear in the list...by the compromise and pacification made immediately on the death of his father it had been provided that he should be represented by several of his partisans among the twelve councillors. His private chancellor, Bishop Erghum of Salisbury, his allies, Richard Earl of Arundel and Lord Latimer, faced his foes Bishop Courtenay of London and the Earl of March. In short, the council was a sort of `coalition ministry,' in which the court party and the constitutional party were both represented. Its creation bears witness to an honest endeavour at patriotic self-restraint on either side..."
p69: "For many years there was little or nothing that could fairly be called doctrinal in Wycliffe's teaching. When he was arraigned before Bishop Courtenay in 1377 the `heretical' theses imputed to him had reference to Church endowments and Church abuses only..."
p76: "...It was not till February, 1382, that the struggle began again. The `orthodox,' angered atthe continual criticism directed against them by Wycliffe and his follower Nicholas Hereford, appealed to the new archbishop, William Courtenay, to resume the attack on the heretic. On May 17 the primate summoned the synod at Blackfriars, generally known as the `council of the earthquake,' from the fact that the third day of its proceedings was disturbed by a shock which did much damage in and about London. This assembly, attended by eleven bishops and about three dozen theologians,pronounced ten theses picked from Wycliffe's works to be `heretical' and fourteen more to be `erroneous'..."
p94: "...Nevertheless, it was rumoured throughout the kingdom that Richard had been detected in a disgraceful conspiracy to makeaway with his uncle. Archbishop Courtenay took upon himself, in the presence of many witnesses, to censure the king for framing schemes against Lancaster's life. Wildly angry at finding that the primate took for granted the reality of a plot whose existence he had denied on oath, Richard burst out into a storm of abuse, and struck the archbishop in the face. It is even said that he drew his sword upon him, and had to be dragged off by his retainers. This shocking outburst of almost insane rage did Richard as much harm as did his alleged plot against his uncle."
The Oxford History of England The Fifteenth Century 1399-1485, E F Jacob, Oxford Univ Press, p94:
"...Though Archbishop Courtenay and his bishops had been concerned and active about Lollardy since 1382 and the council had come to share their anxiety, it was not till the Twelve Conclusions of the Lollards arrixed to the doors of St Paul's in 1385 and the subsequent resolution of the convocation of Canterbury that an approach was made to Rome and Boniface IX asked to press the king for action..."
A History of the Plantagenets, Vol III, The Three Edwards, Thomas B Costain, 1958, Doubleday & Co
p445: "The Good Parliament accomplished two forward steps before it was dissolved on July 9. It demanded that the boy Richard be brought to the house and acknowledged as heir to the throne, and it appointed a council of leading men of the kingdom, all antagonistic to John of Gaunt, whowere to act with the king on matters of policy. Among the new councilors were the Earl of March, Courtenay, Bishop of London and William of Wykeham..."
p450: "Bishop Courtenay of London became incensed at these attacks on the Church. Hisfather was the Earl of Devon and be was a great-grandson of Edward I and, with such connections, he did not hesitate to place himself in opposition to the powerful duke. `He would not,' he declared, `hear himself and his order attacked in his own diocese by this unauthorized priest from Oxford!' It was not an easy matter, however, for even as aggressive a churchman as Courtenay to get his fellow bishops to agree on any line of action, particular- ly Archbishop Sudbury, who was generally assumed to belong to the duke's party. The bishops, it should be pointed out, were strongly averse to the continuous demands made by the popes on their revenues...
"Courtenay, however, was not an easy man to withstand once his mind was made up. He brushed aside the contentions of Simon of Sudbury and summoned John Wycliffe to appear before the bishops at St. Paul's..."
Political History of England 1216-1377, Vol III, T F Tout, AMS Press, 1905,
p435: "...William of Wykeham, who had been the guardian of the Earl of March during his long minority, was the most experienced and wary of the clerical opposition to the lawyers and courtiers of the Lancaster faction. He had an eager and enthusiastic backer in the young and high born Bishop of London, William Courtenay, the son of the Earl of Devon, and through his mother, Margaret Bohun, a great-grandson of Edward I. Office and descent combined to make Bishop Courtenay the custodian of the constitutional tradition, which was equally strong among the great baronial houses of ancient descent and such highly placed ecclesiastics as were zealous for the nation as well as for their order..."
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1981, Micropaedia, Vol III, p197, Courtenay William: "Born Abt 1342 near Exeter Devon, Died 31 Jul 1396 Maidstone Kent, Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the English Church and moderating influence in the political disputes of King Richard II of England. A great-grandson ofKing Edward I, he studied law at Oxford, where he became chancellor in 1367. He was subsequently consecrated Bishop of Hereford, Herefordshire, in 1370 and then of London (1375), where he led a clerical party against the ecclesiastical reformer John Wycliffe. He became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1381.
"Courtenay's leadership was vigorous. He defended the lower clergy against papal and royal taxation and held a council at Canterbury in 1382 that condemned Wycliffe, whose worksCourtenay censured. He obtained Richard's permission to imprison heretics (1382) and to seize heretical books (1388), bringing him into conflict with John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster and Wycliffe's protector. In November 1382 Courtenay assembled a convocation at Oxford, where he forced the academic Lollards (holders of certain religious tenets derived from Wycliffe's teachings) into submission. He protested the second (1390) Statute of Provisors, which disapproved of ecclesiastical offices appointed by the pope; he condemned it as a restraint upon apostolic power and liberty."
The Cambridge Historical Encyclopedia of Great Britain and Ireland, Christopher Haigh, 1985, Cambridge Univ Press, p347:
"Courtenay, William c.1342-96 Chancellor of Oxford 1367, Bishop of Hereford 1370, Bishop of London 1375, Archbishop of Canterbury 1381-1396. Opponent of Wycliff and John of Gaunt, called Blackfriars Council 1382, at which Wycliff's doctrines were condemned."
Ancestral File vER 4.10 9FNZ-Q2 Died Unmarried.