William Briwere

William Briwere

Infobox bishopbiog
name = William Briwere

religion =Catholic
See =Diocese of Exeter
Title = Bishop of Exeter
Period = 1223–1244
Predecessor = Simon de Apulia
Successor =Richard Blund
ordination =
bishops =
post =
date of birth =
place of birth =
date of death =October 24 1244
place of death =

William Briwere or William Brewer or William de Briwere was a medieval Bishop of Exeter.

Early life

He was the nephew of William Brewer, a baron and political leader during King Henry III of England's minority.Vincent "Peter des Roches" p. 213] Nothing else is known of the younger Briwere's family or where he was educated. He owed the office of precentor at Exeter Cathedral to his uncle's influence, receiving that office about 1208.Barlow "Brewer, William (d. 1244)" "Oxford Dictionary of National Biography"]

He was nominated about November 25 1223 and consecrated on April 21 1224. His elevation had been supported by Hubert de Burgh as a means of drawing Briwere's uncle over to the side of de Burgh.Vincent "Peter des Roches" p. 230-232]

Crusading bishop

Briwere went on crusade as a proxy for his uncle, who died before he was able to fulfill his crusading vows. The elder Briwere had taken the cross in 1189, but was excused temporarily because of his administrative duties. The nephew had released to for his use 4000 marks that had been deposited with the Templars in the Holy Land by his uncle. Briwere went on crusade with Peter des Roches, who was Bishop of Winchester. An army of other crusaders accompanied them to the East, although whether they were English or mercenaries recruited on the Contintent is unclear. The contingent left from Brindisi in August 1227.Tyerman "God's War" p. 744-745]

Both bishops were influential advisors to Frederick II the Holy Roman Emperor. Pope Gregory IX had ordered that no one collaborate with Frederick, who was at the time excommunicate, but both bishops ignored the papal orders and worked closely with Frederick's agents and Frederick himself. The financial resources both bishops brought were especially appreciated by the crusaders.Tyerman "England and the Crusades" p. 99-101]

Both bishops witnessed the treaty on February 18 1229 with the Sultan of Cairo that restored Jerusalem to the Christians, the Treaty of Jaffa. Briwere visited Jerusalem after this. How quickly Briwere returned to England is uncertain. Some historians have it that he was back in England by 1229. Others, however point out that he is not attested as being in England until April 1231, and maintain that he traveled with des Roches, who dawdled in Italy for a time.

Time in England

While bishop, he introduced the Dominican Order into his diocese.Vincent "Peter des Roches" p. 234] He also set up the offices of dean and chancellor of the Exeter cathedral chapter, allowing the chapter to elect those officers. He also issued a set of statutes for the diocese, based on those recently issued for the diocese of Salisbury.

Briwere was also employed by the king on diplomatic missions, going twice to France and also escorting Henry's sister Isabella to her marriage to the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II in 1235.

He died on October 24 1244.Fryde "Handbook of British Chronology" p. 246] He had sought permission from the pope to resign before his death, but Pope Innocent IV only granted the permission after Briwere's death.




External links

* [http://www.dsnell.zynet.co.uk/Oliver/10.html Oliver's Lives of the Bishops of Exeter entry for William]

NAME= Briwere, William
DATE OF DEATH=October 24, 1244

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