Richard Courtenay

Last updated
Richard Courtenay
Bishop of Norwich
AppointedJune 1413
Term endedSeptember 1415
Predecessor Alexander Tottington
Successor John Wakering
Other post(s) Dean of St Asaph
Dean of Wells
Consecration17 September 1413
Personal details
Died c. 15 September 1415
Harfleur, France
Buried Westminster Abbey
Denomination Roman Catholic
Parents Sir Philip Courtenay of Powderham Castle
Alma mater Exeter College, Oxford

Richard Courtenay (died 15 September 1415) was an English prelate and university chancellor, [1] who served as Bishop of Norwich 1413-15.



Courtenay was a son of Sir Philip Courtenay of Powderham Castle near Exeter, and a grandson of Hugh de Courtenay, 10th Earl of Devon (died 1377). He was a nephew of William Courtenay, archbishop of Canterbury, and a descendant of King Edward I of England. [2] From an early age he was renowned for his intellect and personal beauty. He was nicknamed "the flower of Devon". [3]

Educated at Exeter College, Oxford, Courtenay entered the church, where his advance was rapid. He held several prebends, was Dean of St Asaph and then Dean of Wells,[ citation needed ] and became Bishop of Norwich in June 1413, [2] being consecrated on 17 September 1413. [4]

As Chancellor of the University of Oxford, [5] an office to which Courtenay was elected more than once, Courtenay asserted the independence of the University against Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1411; but the Archbishop, supported by King Henry IV and Antipope John XXIII, eventually triumphed. [2]

Courtenay was a close friend of King Henry V both before and after he came to the throne; and in 1413, immediately after Henry's accession, he was made treasurer of the royal household. On two occasions he went on diplomatic errands to France, and he was also employed by Henry on public business at home. Having accompanied the king to Harfleur in August 1415, Courtenay succumbed to dysentery [ citation needed ] and died about 15 September 1415. [4] The closeness of the attachment has led to speculation that Courtenay may have played a critical role in mentoring Henry to become a respected monarch, and that his relationship with Henry may have been more than a friendship. [3]


Another member of this family was Peter Courtenay (died 1492), a grandnephew of Richard. He also attained high position in the English Church. [2]


  1. Wood, Anthony (1790). "Fasti Oxonienses". The History and Antiquities of the Colleges and Halls in the University of Oxford. pp. 37, 39–40.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Chisholm 1911.
  3. 1 2 Was my ancestor King Henry V's lover?, Daily Telegraph, 7 April 2017;
  4. 1 2 Fryde, et al. Handbook of British Chronology p. 262
  5. Hibbert, Christopher, ed. (1988). "Appendix 5: Chancellors of the University". The Encyclopaedia of Oxford. Macmillan. pp. 521–522. ISBN   0-333-39917-X.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Henry Beaufort</span> English bishop (1375 – 1447)

Cardinal Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, was an English prelate and statesman who held the offices of Bishop of Lincoln (1398) then Bishop of Winchester (1404) and was from 1426 a Cardinal of the Church of Rome. He served three times as Lord Chancellor and played an important role in English politics.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter</span> English military commander

Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter was an English military commander during the Hundred Years' War, and briefly Chancellor of England. He was the third of the four children born to John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and his mistress Katherine Swynford. To overcome their problematic parentage, his parents were married in 1396, and he and his siblings were legitimated in 1390 and again in 1397. He married the daughter of Sir Thomas Neville of Hornby, Margaret Neville, who bore him one son, Henry Beaufort. However, the child died young.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thomas Bourchier (cardinal)</span> 15th-century Archbishop of Canterbury, Chancellor of England, and cardinal

Thomas Bourchier was a medieval English cardinal, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Lord Chancellor of England.

William Whittlesey was a Bishop of Rochester, then Bishop of Worcester, then finally Archbishop of Canterbury. He also served as Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge.

Simon de Langham was an English clergyman who was Archbishop of Canterbury and a cardinal.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Kemp</span> 15th-century Archbishop of Canterbury, Chancellor of England, and cardinal

John Kemp was a medieval English cardinal, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Lord Chancellor of England.

William Courtenay was Archbishop of Canterbury (1381–1396), having previously been Bishop of Hereford and Bishop of London.

Thomas Langton was chaplain to King Edward IV, before becoming successively Bishop of St David's, Bishop of Salisbury, Bishop of Winchester, and Archbishop-elect of Canterbury.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Robert Hallam</span> 15th-century Archbishop of York-elect

Robert Hallam was an English churchman, Bishop of Salisbury and English representative at the Council of Constance. He was Chancellor of the University of Oxford from 1403 to 1405.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Richard Foxe</span> 15th and 16th-century Bishop of Bath and Wells, Exeter, Durham, and Winchester

Richard Foxe was an English churchman, the founder of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He was successively Bishop of Exeter, Bath and Wells, Durham, and Winchester, and became also Lord Privy Seal.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Stafford (bishop)</span> 15th-century English archbishop and statesman

John Stafford was a medieval English prelate and statesman who served as Lord Chancellor (1432–1450) and as Archbishop of Canterbury (1443–1452).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">William Giffard</span> 11th and 12th-century Bishop of Winchester and Chancellor of England

William Giffard, was the Lord Chancellor of England of William II and Henry I, from 1093 to 1101, and Bishop of Winchester (1100–1129).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Henry Burghersh</span> 14th-century Bishop of Lincoln, Treasurer of England, and Chancellor of England

Henry Burghersh, was Bishop of Lincoln (1320-1340) and served as Lord Chancellor of England (1328–1330). He was a younger son of Robert de Burghersh, 1st Baron Burghersh, and a nephew of Bartholomew de Badlesmere, 1st Baron Badlesmere. He was educated in France.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thomas de Brantingham</span> 14th-century Bishop of Exeter and Treasurer of England

Thomas de Brantingham was an English clergyman who served as Lord Treasurer to Edward III and on two occasions to Richard II, and as bishop of Exeter from 1370 until his death. De Brantingham was a member of the Brantingham family of North East England.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Peter Courtenay</span> 15th-century Bishop of Exeter and Bishop of Winchester

Peter Courtenay was Bishop of Exeter (1478–87) and Bishop of Winchester (1487-92), and also had a successful political career during the tumultuous years of the Wars of the Roses.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Simon of Apulia</span> 13th-century Bishop of Exeter

Simon of Apulia was an Italian-born canon lawyer who served as Bishop of Exeter in Devon, England, from 1214 until his death in 1223.

John Russell was an English Bishop of Rochester and bishop of Lincoln and Lord Chancellor.

Louis of Luxembourg;. Bishop of Therouanne 1415–1436, Archbishop of Rouen, 1436, Bishop of Ely 1437, Cardinal.

Henry Marshal was a medieval Bishop of Exeter.


Academic offices
Preceded by Chancellor of the University of Oxford
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chancellor of the University of Oxford
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chancellor of the University of Oxford
Succeeded by
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Bishop of Norwich
Succeeded by