|Bishop of Winchester|
|Appointed||29 January 1487|
|Term ended||23 September 1492|
|Died||23 September 1492|
|Previous post|| Bishop of Exeter |
Dean of Windsor
Dean of Exeter
Peter Courtenay (c. 1432 – 23 September 1492)was Bishop of Exeter and Bishop of Winchester, and also had a successful political career during the tumultuous years of the Wars of the Roses.
Courtenay was the third son of Sir Philip Courtenay (d. 1463) of Powderham by Elizabeth Hungerford, daughter of Walter Hungerford, 1st Baron Hungerford (d. 1449), by his first wife Catherine Peverell, daughter of Sir Thomas Peverell, MP, of Parke and Hamatethy, Cornwall.He was a grandson of Sir Philip Courtenay (d. 1406) of Powderham, a younger son of Hugh Courtenay, 10th Earl of Devon (d. 1377). Courtenay was also a grand-nephew of Richard Courtenay (d. 1415), Bishop of Norwich, and a great-grand-nephew of William Courtenay (d. 1396), Archbishop of Canterbury. He came from a family of six brothers and four sisters.
According to Horrox, Courtenay was admitted bachelor of civil law at University of Oxford in 1457, and continued his legal studies at the University of Cologne, matriculating in the faculty of law there in November 1457. By April 1461 he was studying law at the University of Padua,where he was elected rector.
Courtenay enjoyed ecclesiastical preferment from 1448 on.Among other appointments he was made Archdeacon of Exeter on 8 June 1453, prebendary at Lincoln in 1483, Archdeacon of Wiltshire in 1464, Master of St. Anthony's Hospital, St Benet Fink in the City of London in 1470, Dean of Exeter from October 1476 to March 1477, and Dean of Windsor in April 1477. On 14 June 1478 Courtenay was elected Bishop of Exeter, with papal provision taking place on 9 September 1478. He received his temporalities on 3 November, and was consecrated on 8 November at St Stephen's Chapel, Westminster.
Courtenay's ecclesiastical career ran side by side with involvement in the political affairs of the day. By June 1462 he had left Padua and was back in England, where he entered the service of King Edward IV, and was sent by the King to offer the Duke of Milan the Order of the Garter. In November 1463 he acted as the King's proctor in the papal curia. However, in 1470 both he and his elder brother, Sir Philip Courtenay, had joined King Edward's brother, the Duke of Clarence, in opposition to the King. Courtenay accommodated himself to the Lancastrian regime during the readeption, serving as secretary to King Henry VI. However, in 1471 he rejoined Clarence, and by March 1472 was secretary to Edward IV, who had taken back the throne. Courtenay was still serving as King Edward's secretary in May 1474, and appears to have become a member of the King's council in 1477–8.
After the death of Edward IV on 9 April 1483, Courtenay initially supported the new King, Richard III.However, in the fall of 1483 both he and his younger brother, Walter Courtenay (d. 7 November 1506), attempted to incite a rising in Devon and Cornwall on behalf of Henry Tudor, the future King Henry VII. The rising failed, and Courtenay fled to the continent, joining Tudor in exile at Vannes, Brittany. In January 1484 he was attainted by Parliament, and his temporalities were forfeited. Courtenay accompanied Henry Tudor on his return to England, and after the victory at Bosworth and the death of Richard III, was made Keeper of the Privy Seal on 8 September 1485, and was one of the bishops who officiated at the new King's coronation. His attainder was reversed by Henry VII's first Parliament, and on 29 January 1487 he was translated to become Bishop of Winchester.
Courtenay continued to play a political role until his death, being present at the ratification of a treaty with Spain on 23 September 1490 and the creation of the King's eldest son, Arthur, as Prince of Wales on 29 November 1491. Courtenay died on 23 September 1492, and was buried in Winchester Cathedral.
Courtenay's rising against Richard III is mentioned in Act IV Scene iv of Shakespeare's Richard III, although Shakespeare erroneously refers to Sir Edward Courtenay, the Bishop's cousin, as his brother:
Mess. My gracious sovereign, now in Devonshire,
As I by friends am well advertised,
Sir Edward Courtney and the haughty prelate,
Bishop of Exeter, his elder brother,
With many moe confederates, are in arms.
Francis Lovell, 9th Baron Lovell, 6th Baron Holand, later 1st Viscount Lovell KG was an English nobleman who was an ally of King Richard III during the War of the Roses. Sir William Catesby, Sir Richard Ratcliffe and he were among Richard's closest supporters, famously called "the Cat, the Rat and Lovell our dog" in an anti-Ricardian squib. In addition to being an ally, Lovell is attributed as Richard's best friend.
Thomas Grey, 1st Marquess of Dorset, 1st Earl of Huntingdon, 7th Baron Ferrers of Groby, was an English nobleman, courtier and the eldest son of Elizabeth Woodville and her first husband Sir John Grey of Groby. Her second marriage to King Edward IV made her Queen of England, thus elevating Grey's status at court and in the realm as the stepson of the King. Through his mother's assiduous endeavours, he made two materially advantageous marriages to wealthy heiresses, the King's niece Anne Holland and Cecily Bonville, 7th Baroness Harington. By the latter he had 14 children.
Thomas Rotherham, also known as Thomas (Scot) de Rotherham, was an English cleric and statesman. He served as bishop of several dioceses, most notably as Archbishop of York and, on two occasions as Lord Chancellor. He is considered a venerable figure in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, his town of birth.
William Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings KG was an English nobleman. A loyal follower of the House of York during the Wars of the Roses, he became a close friend and one of the most important courtiers of King Edward IV, whom he served as Lord Chamberlain. At the time of Edward's death he was one of the most powerful and richest men in England. He was executed following accusations of treason by Edward's brother and ultimate successor, Richard III. The date of his death is disputed; early histories argued for a hasty execution on 13 June, while Clements R. Markham argues that he was executed one week after his arrest on 20 June 1483, and after a trial.
Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York KG, was the sixth child and second son of King Edward IV of England and Elizabeth Woodville, born in Shrewsbury. Richard and his older brother, who briefly reigned as King Edward V of England, mysteriously disappeared shortly after Richard III became king in 1483.
Sir Richard Grey was an English knight and the half-brother of King Edward V of England.
Walter Hungerford, 1st Baron Hungerford KG was an English knight and landowner, from 1400 to 1414 Member of the House of Commons, of which he became Speaker, then was an Admiral and peer.
Richard Courtenay was an English prelate and university chancellor.
Thomas Grey, 2nd Marquess of Dorset was an English peer, courtier, soldier, and landowner.
William Courtenay, 1st Earl of Devon, feudal baron of Okehampton and feudal baron of Plympton, was a member of the leading noble family of Devon. His principal seat was Tiverton Castle, Devon with further residences at Okehampton Castle and Colcombe Castle, also in that county.
Edward Hastings, 2nd Baron Hastings, KB PC was an English peer.
John Blount, 3rd Baron Mountjoy was an English peer and soldier.
Sir Richard Edgcumbe of Cotehele in the parish of Calstock in Cornwall, was an English courtier and Member of Parliament.
Sir Philip Courtenay of Powderham, Devon, was the senior member of a junior branch of the powerful Courtenay family, Earls of Devon.
Buckingham's rebellion was a failed but significant uprising, or collection of uprisings, of October 1483 in England and parts of Wales against Richard III of England.
Sir Philip Courtenay, of Powderham, Devon was the fifth son of Hugh Courtenay, 10th Earl of Devon (1303-1377). He was the founder of the cadet dynasty known as "Courtenay of Powderham", seated at the manor of Powderham, until then a former Bohun manor of little importance, whilst the line descended from his elder brother, the Earls of Devon of the mediaeval era, continued to be seated at Tiverton Castle and Okehampton.
The Manor of Molland was a medieval manor in North Devon, England. It was largely co-terminous with the existing parish of Molland, in which is situated the village of Molland. More accurately it consisted from the earliest times of two separate manors, held from separate overlords, later known as Molland-Bottreaux and Molland-Champson.
Powderham is a former manor on the coast of south Devon, England, situated within the historic hundred of Exminster, about 6 miles (9.7 km) south of the city of Exeter and adjacent to the north-east of the village of Kenton. It consists in part of flat, formerly marshy ground on the west bank of the River Exe estuary where it is joined by its tributary the River Kenn, the site of Powderham Castle, originally the fortified manor house of Powderham. On the opposite side of the Exe is the small village of Lympstone and almost opposite is Nutwell Court in the parish of Woodbury, formerly the castle or fortified manor house of the powerful mediaeval Dynham family.
The manor of Bideford in North Devon was held by the Grenville family between the 12th and 18th centuries. The full descent is as follows:
Sir William Huddesfield of Shillingford St George in Devon, was Attorney-General to Kings Edward IV (1461–1483) and Henry VII (1485–1509). He built the tower of St George's Church, Shillingford.
| Lord Privy Seal |
|Catholic Church titles|
| Dean of Exeter |
| Bishop of Exeter |
| Bishop of Winchester |