Thomas de Cottingham

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Church of St. Mary in Cottingham, Thomas's birthplace Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Cottingham - geograph.org.uk - 747884.jpg
Church of St. Mary in Cottingham, Thomas's birthplace

Thomas de Cottingham (c. 1300 – 1370) was an English-born cleric and judge who held the office of Master of the Rolls in Ireland.

The Master of the Rolls in Ireland was a senior judicial office in the Irish Chancery under English and British rule, equivalent to the Master of the Rolls in the English Chancery. Originally called the Keeper of the Rolls, he was responsible for the safekeeping of the Chancery records such as close rolls and patent rolls. The office was created by letters patent in 1333, the first holder of the Mastership being Edmund de Grimsby. As the Irish bureaucracy expanded, the duties of the Master of the Rolls came to be performed by subordinates and the position became a sinecure which was awarded to political allies of the Dublin Castle administration. In the nineteenth century it became a senior judicial appointment, ranking second within the Chancery behind the Lord Chancellor of Ireland. The post was abolished by the Courts of Justice Act 1924, passed by the Irish Free State established in 1922.

He took his name from his birthplace, Cottingham, in the East Riding of Yorkshire. [1] He served as a clerk in the English Chancery for more than 30 years, and was Keeper of the Great Seal in 1349. [1] He held the livings of several parishes, of which the names of three are known for certain: these are St. Mary the Great, Cambridge, St. Andrew, Holborn (1343), [2] and Ashby St Mary, Norfolk. [3]

Cottingham, East Riding of Yorkshire village and civil parish in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England

Cottingham is a large village and civil parish in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England with average affluence. It lies just north-west of the city of Kingston upon Hull, and 3.5 miles (5.6 km) from the city centre, and is part of the Hull urban area. Cottingham lies on the eastern edge of the Yorkshire Wolds with a parish population of over 17,000 in 2011. Cottingham is one of the villages claiming to be the largest village in England.

East Riding of Yorkshire County of England

The East Riding of Yorkshire, or simply East Riding or East Yorkshire, is an area in Northern England and can refer either to the administrative county of the East Riding of Yorkshire which is a unitary authority, to the ceremonial county (Lieutenancy) of the East Riding of Yorkshire or to the easternmost of the three subdivisions (ridings) of the traditional county of Yorkshire.

Court of Chancery court of equity in England and Wales

The Court of Chancery was a court of equity in England and Wales that followed a set of loose rules to avoid the slow pace of change and possible harshness of the common law. The Chancery had jurisdiction over all matters of equity, including trusts, land law, the estates of lunatics and the guardianship of infants. Its initial role was somewhat different: as an extension of the Lord Chancellor's role as Keeper of the King's Conscience, the Court was an administrative body primarily concerned with conscientious law. Thus the Court of Chancery had a far greater remit than the common law courts, whose decisions it had the jurisdiction to overrule for much of its existence, and was far more flexible. Until the 19th century, the Court of Chancery could apply a far wider range of remedies than common law courts, such as specific performance and injunctions, and had some power to grant damages in special circumstances. With the shift of the Exchequer of Pleas towards a common law court and loss of its equitable jurisdiction by the Administration of Justice Act 1841, the Chancery became the only national equitable body in the English legal system.

In 1356 he became Master of the Rolls in Ireland. He was clearly expected by his superiors to find it a thankless task, since he was promised preferment both for his past services and "the labours which he would have to endure". [1] He was promoted to the rank of clerk of the first degree in Chancery, and subsequently became a Master in Chancery, but it does not seem that he ever received any substantial reward for his services in Ireland.

He did not lack friends in the Dublin Government, and in 1356, during a period of confusion about clerical promotions, he was appointed joint prebendary of Kilmolran and Desart, in the Diocese of Lismore. However his opponents objected to the appointment as irregular and in 1357 King Edward III cancelled it. [4]

A prebendary is a member of the Anglican or Roman Catholic clergy, a form of canon with a role in the administration of a cathedral or collegiate church. When attending services, prebendaries sit in particular seats, usually at the back of the choir stalls, known as prebendal stalls.

The Bishop of Lismore was a separate episcopal title which took its name after the town of Lismore in County Waterford, Republic of Ireland.

He was at Westminster, in attendance on the King, in February 1369: the Gascon Rolls note briefly that he "received the attorneys" [5] He died in 1370. [1]

Westminster Area of central London, within the City of Westminster

Westminster is a government district and former capital of the Kingdom of England in Central London within the City of Westminster, part of the West End, on the north bank of the River Thames. Westminster's concentration of visitor attractions and historic landmarks, one of the highest in London, includes the Palace of Westminster, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral.

St Mary, Ashby St Mary, of which Thomas became rector in 1349. St Mary, Ashby St Mary, Norfolk - geograph.org.uk - 1280962.jpg
St Mary, Ashby St Mary, of which Thomas became rector in 1349.

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Ball 1926, p. 82.
  2. Thornbury, Walter (1878), Old and New London, 2, p. 496
  3. Blomfeld, Francis and Parkin, Charles Topographical History of the County of Norfolk London 1810 Vol. XI p.147
  4. Calendar of the Patent Rolls, Edward III (1354–1358), p. 569
  5. Gascon Rolls 6 February 1369

Sources