John de Ufford

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John de Ufford
Archbishop-designate of Canterbury
John de Ufford coat.png
Term ended20 May 1349
Predecessor John de Stratford
Successor Thomas Bradwardine
Consecration(died unconsecrated)
Personal details
Died20 May 1349
Denomination Roman Catholic
Previous post Lord Privy Seal, Dean of Lincoln

John de Ufford [lower-alpha 1] (died 20 May 1349) was chancellor and head of the royal administration to Edward III as well as being appointed to the Archbishopric of Canterbury.

Edward III of England 14th-century King of England and Duke of Aquitaine

Edward III was King of England and Lord of Ireland from January 1327 until his death; he is noted for his military success and for restoring royal authority after the disastrous and unorthodox reign of his father, Edward II. Edward III transformed the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe. His long reign of 50 years was the second longest in medieval England and saw vital developments in legislation and government, in particular the evolution of the English parliament, as well as the ravages of the Black Death.


Early life

De Ufford was sent, along with Nicholas de Luna and Hugh Neville to Avignon in the summer of 1344 as envoys to a council held by Pope Clement VI to mediate peace during the Peace of Malestroit (January 1343 – September 1346), a breathing space for both sides during the Hundred Years War. The mediation came to naught. [1]

Avignon Prefecture and commune in Provence-Alpes-Côte dAzur, France

Avignon is a commune in south-eastern France in the department of Vaucluse on the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 90,194 inhabitants of the city, about 12,000 live in the ancient town centre enclosed by its medieval ramparts.

Pope Clement VI (1291–1352) fourth of the Avignon Popes, 1342–1352

Pope Clement VI, born Pierre Roger, was Pope from 7 May 1342 to his death in 1352. He was the fourth Avignon pope. Clement reigned during the first visitation of the Black Death (1348–1350), during which he granted remission of sins to all who died of the plague.

De Ufford was the chancellor to Edward III, keeper of both the great seal and the privy seal. He was entrusted with the privy seal in 1342 (thus becoming Lord Privy Seal), [2] and the great seal on 26 October 1345, which was the duty of the Lord Chancellor. [3] [4] He resigned the office of Lord Privy Seal after 29 September 1344, [2] but held the office of Chancellor until his death. [3]

Lord Privy Seal sinecure office of state in the UK

The Lord Privy Seal is the fifth of the Great Officers of State in the United Kingdom, ranking beneath the Lord President of the Council and above the Lord Great Chamberlain. Originally, its holder was responsible for the monarch's personal (privy) seal until the use of such a seal became obsolete. The office is currently one of the traditional sinecure offices of state. Today, the holder of the office is invariably given a seat in the Cabinet of the United Kingdom.

Lord Chancellor Highest-ranking regularly-appointed Great Officer of State of the United Kingdom

The Lord Chancellor, formally the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, is the highest ranking among those Great Officers of State which are appointed regularly in the United Kingdom, nominally outranking the Prime Minister. The Lord Chancellor is outranked only by the Lord High Steward, another Great Officer of State, who is appointed only for the day of coronations. The Lord Chancellor is appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister. Prior to the Union there were separate Lord Chancellors for England and Wales, for Scotland and for Ireland.

De Ufford held the position of Dean of Lincoln from 1344 to 1348. [3]

Dean of Lincoln list article

The Dean of Lincoln is the head of the Chapter of Lincoln Cathedral in the city of Lincoln, England in the Church of England Diocese of Lincoln. Christine Wilson was installed as Dean on 22 October 2016.

Archbishop of Canterbury

After the death of Archbishop John de Stratford, Edward chose de Ufford as Archbishop of Canterbury, though the canons of the chapter had elected Thomas Bradwardine, the king's trusted confessor, a great intellectual and diplomat. De Ufford was appointed to the see of Canterbury by papal bull dated 24 September 1348 and was granted the temporalities of the see on 14 December 1348. [5]

John de Stratford was Archbishop of Canterbury, Bishop of Winchester, Treasurer and Chancellor of England.

Archbishop of Canterbury Senior bishop of the Church of England

The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. The current archbishop is Justin Welby, who was enthroned at Canterbury Cathedral on 21 March 2013. Welby is the 105th in a line which goes back more than 1400 years to Augustine of Canterbury, the "Apostle to the English", sent from Rome in the year 597. Welby succeeded Rowan Williams.

Thomas Bradwardine 14th-century Archbishop of Canterbury and theologian

Thomas Bradwardine was an English cleric, scholar, mathematician, physicist, courtier and, very briefly, Archbishop of Canterbury. As a celebrated scholastic philosopher and doctor of theology, he is often called Doctor Profundus.

Death and afterward

Any developing contention between the chapter and the king was rendered a dead issue when de Ufford, already aged and infirm, was carried off by the Black Death, before being consecrated, on 20 May 1349. [3]

Black Death Pandemic in Eurasia in the 1300s

The Black Death, also known as the Great Plague or the Plague, or less commonly the Black Plague, was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people in Eurasia and peaking in Europe from 1347 to 1351. The bacterium Yersinia pestis, which results in several forms of plague, is believed to have been the cause. The Black Death was the first major European outbreak of plague, and the second plague pandemic. The plague created a number of religious, social and economic upheavals which had profound effects on the course of European history.


  1. Sometimes John de Offord or John Offord


  1. Fowler King's Lieutenant p. 49
  2. 1 2 Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 94
  3. 1 2 3 4 Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 86
  4. "Lord Chancellors and Lord Keepers: past and present". Department for Constitutional Affairs. Retrieved 10 February 2006.
  5. Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 233

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Political offices
Preceded by
William Kilsby
Lord Privy Seal
Succeeded by
Thomas Hatfield
Preceded by
Sir Robert Sadington
Lord Chancellor
Succeeded by
John Thoresby
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
William Bateman
Dean of Lincoln
Succeeded by
Thomas Bradwardine
Preceded by
John de Stratford
Archbishop-designate of Canterbury
Succeeded by
Thomas Bradwardine