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Giffard, Godfrey

GIFFARD, GODFREY (c. 1235-1302), chancellor of England and bishop of Worcester, was a son of Hugh Giffard of Boyton, Wiltshire. Having entered the church he speedily obtained valuable preferments owing to the influence of his brother Walter, who became chancellor of England in 1265. In 1266 Godfrey became chancellor of the exchequer, succeeding Walter as chancellor of England when, in the same year, the latter was made archbishop of York. In 1268 he was chosen bishop of Worcester, resigning the chancellorship shortly afterwards; and both before and after 1279, when he inherited the valuable property of his brother the archbishop, he was employed on public business by Edward I. His main energies, however, were devoted to the affairs of his see. He had one long dispute with the monks of Worcester, another with the abbot of Westminster, and was vigilant in guarding his material interests. The bishop died on the 26th of January 1302, and was buried in his cathedral. Giffard, although inclined to nepotism, was a benefactor to his cathedral, and completed and fortified the episcopal castle at Hartlebury.

See W. Thomas, Survey of Worcester Cathedral; Episcopal Registers ; Register of Bishop Godfrey Giffard, edited by J. W. Willis-Bund (Oxford, 1898-1899); and the Annals of Worcester in the Annales monastics, vol. iv., edited by H. R. Luard (London, 1869).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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