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Episode 512

John de Gray
Sat, 2018-Sep-29 00:17 UTC
Length - 2:38

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Saturday, 29 September 2018 is John de Gray.

John de Gray or de Grey (died 18 October 1214) was an English prelate who served as Bishop of Norwich, and was elected but unconfirmed Archbishop of Canterbury. He was employed in the service of John Lackland even before John became king, for which he was rewarded with a number of ecclesiastical offices, culminating in his pro forma election to Norwich in 1200. De Gray continued in royal service after his elevation to the episcopate, lending the King money and undertaking diplomatic missions on his behalf. In 1205 King John attempted to further reward de Gray with a translation to the archbishopric of Canterbury, but a disputed election process led to de Gray's selection being quashed by Pope Innocent III in 1206.

Innocent consecrated Stephen Langton as archbishop against John's wishes, triggering a long dispute between the papacy and the King. The pope imposed various sanctions on England and John; at one point de Gray was one of only two bishops still legitimately holding office in England. In 1209 he became governor of Ireland for John, and spent until 1213 attempting to impose royal government on the Anglo-Norman barons and the native Irish in that country. Recalled to England to help defend against a threatened invasion by the French, de Gray then travelled to Rome to secure a papal pardon after the final settlement of John and Innocent's dispute over the bishop's abortive elevation to Canterbury. After securing his pardon de Gray was appointed Bishop of Durham, but he died on his way back to England.

De Gray built a palace in his diocese and several castles in Ireland. Although reviled by one contemporary writer as an "evil counsellor" to the King, modern historians have been more forgiving; one praised his intelligence and others stated that de Gray was one of the few men King John trusted throughout his life. De Gray's nephew, Walter de Gray, secured the office of Lord Chancellor with his uncle's help in 1205.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 00:17 UTC on Saturday, 29 September 2018.

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