Robert Grosseteste

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Robert Grosseteste (ca. 1170-1253).


"The early years of Grosseteste’s life are obscure, but it would appear that he completed the first stages of his education at a cathedral school in England, perhaps Hereford. In 1192, Gerard of Wales recommended Grosseteste to the bishop of Hereford, noting that he excelled in the liberal arts, canon law and even medicine. This seems to have guaranteed Grosseteste’s first ecclesiastical appointment as he remained part of the household of bishop William de Vere, until his death in 1198. At this point Grosseteste almost disappears entirely from the historical record, although there is evidence that he acted as judge-delegate in Hereford sometime between 1213 and 1216. There is also an early thirteenth-century charter from Paris, which names a Robert Grosseteste residing at a house in Paris; however, since this charter concerns the property claims of his children, some historians have suggested that this may be another Robert Grosseteste.

"The next mention of Grosseteste is in the episcopal register of Hugh of Lincoln, when in 1225 Grosseteste was given a benefice with pastoral responsibilities in the diocese of Lincoln. In 1229, he was appointed archdeacon of Leicester and became a canon in the cathedral church of Lincoln. Three years later, Grosseteste was seriously ill. Taking this as divine warning against holding more than one benefice, he resigned all save his position of canon. During this period, Grosseteste also lectured in theology at Oxford. There has been some controversy as to when he became a master of theology, but the first documented evidence we have is his appointment to run the Fransciscan school at Oxford in 1229/30. The Franciscan chronicler, Thomas of Eccleston, wrote that Grosseteste’s teaching was of considerable benefit to the convent, and it explains his influence on Franciscan theology for the century. When Hugh of Lincoln died in 1235, the cathedral chapter elected Grosseteste as the next bishop. He was consecrated in March of that year, and remained bishop of the largest diocese in England for the next eighteen years. In October of 1253, Grosseteste died at the ripe old age of 83. "[1]



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9 1170 1205 England 1253 England