Background and early life
O'Flanagan, writing in 1870, complained that the biographer of Cantock was faced with an almost complete lack of information about him. A good deal more is known about him today: in particular, a petition he addressed to the King in 1305, asking to be forgiven his debts, throws some light on his official duties, and illustrates the disturbed political conditions which had afflicted Ireland over the previous decade.
He was English by birth, and was probably a son of Roger de Cantock or de Quantock, a prominent merchant of Bristol. A petition of Roger to the Crown, concerning property in Bristol dated 1275-6, survives. A younger Roger de Cantock, who visited Ireland during Thomas's tenure as Lord Chancellor, possibly to solicit a favour from him, was evidently his brother; he had four brothers in all. Another brother, Master John Cantock, witnessed a royal writ in Ireland in 1303, concerning the marriage contract between Robert Dardyz and Matilda Rochfort.  John became Rector of Carrickfergus. Thomas was often known by the title "Master Thomas": according to the usage of the time, this meant that he had a university degree, most likely from the University of Oxford. His brother John was also styled Master. Thomas began his career as a clerk in the royal service; he was sent by King Edward I on a mission to Scotland in 1288.
Discover more about Background and early life related topics
Lord Chancellor of Ireland
He was known to be a man "learned in the law", who had some unspecified appointment at the Royal Courts in Westminster, and acted as deputy to John Langton, the English Master of the Rolls, in 1290. He received his first clerical benefice in 1291.
No doubt his legal expertise was the reason why he was appointed Lord Chancellor of Ireland. He served as Chancellor from 1292–1294, and he held the office again from 1306–1308. An order in the Close Rolls of 1298 survives for payment to him of £20, being half the salary due to him for his first term as Chancellor.He visited England regularly on official business connected with Ireland, and on a number of occasions addressed the English Parliament on questions of Irish law. He was Canon of Emly, and prebendary of Mollagymon, Cashel, County Tipperary. He was also parish priest of Hardwick, Lincolnshire.
He was elected Bishop of Emly in 1306, and was installed as bishop in a ceremony at Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin, which was followed by a banquet at which he feasted first the nobility, and then the citizenry of Dublin, with a magnificence "unheard of in those times". In 1307 he was granted a third part of the manor of Ballyfermot by William Fitzwilliam and his wife Avice, who were members of the family which in time would come to own most of Dublin city south of the River Liffey. He is also known to have acquired lands at Chapelizod, then a village near Dublin city.
O'Flanagan states that from the little that is known of him he seems to have been popular and hospitable. According to Smyth, during his tenure as Lord Chancellor a serious fire destroyed all the Irish Chancery records; this is almost certainly a reference to the Great Fire of Dublin of 1304, which destroyed much of the medieval city, as well as numerous official records.
Discover more about Lord Chancellor of Ireland related topics
His petition of 1305
Our most intimate glimpse of him comes in a petition which he addressed to King Edward I of England in 1305 asking to be forgiven his debts to the English Crown. He asked the King to have regard to the great costs he had incurred "in the time of trouble" when John FitzGerald, 1st Earl of Kildare captured Richard de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster. As the office of Justiciar of Ireland was vacant, Cantock set as many of his own men as he could to the task of guarding the country, and when his funds turned out to be insufficient he borrowed £5 from one Richard de Cardiff. As a separate plea, he asked the King to remember that he had also borrowed £45 (a very substantial sum at the time) for arranging the marriages of two royal wards, Jordan Dardiz (or Dardyz) and Albert de Kenley.
The earlier part of the petition refers to the period of four months in 1294-5 when the Earl of Kildare captured and imprisoned the Earl of Ulster in Lea Castle "to the disturbance of the whole country", until the Irish Parliament secured Ulster's release.
The petition seems to have been successful, as the endorsement on the Close Roll states that Cantock should be repaid the amounts claimed by him in instalments. The Crown no doubt remembered that in the late 1290s his salary had been seriously in arrears.
Discover more about His petition of 1305 related topics
- Ball, F. Elrington The Judges in Ireland 1221–1921 John Murray London 1926 p.57
- O'Flanagan, J. Roderick Lives of the Lord Chancellors and Keepers of the Great Seal of Ireland 2 Volumes London 1870
- Otway-Ruthven, A.J. A History of Medieval Ireland Barnes and Noble Reprint New York 1993 p.211
- Brand, Paul "Quantock (Cantok), Thomas" Dictionary of Irish Biography 2009
- National Archives SC8/218/10880
- Patent Roll 31 Edward I 23 June 1303
- Close Roll 26 Edward I 28 May 1298
- Warburton, John; Whitelaw, James; Walsh, Robert History of Dublin from the earliest accounts to the present time Vol 1. London 1818
- Dublin City Council "Environmental Impact Study for the proposed civic amenity at Labre Park, Ballyfermot, Dublin 12"
- Ball, F. Elrington History of Dublin Vol. IV Alexander Thom and Co. 1906
- O'Flanagan Lives of the Lord Chancellors
- Smyth, Constantine Joseph Chronicle of the Irish Law Officers Dublin (1839)
- National Archives SC 8/100/4960
- 1309 deaths
- 14th-century Roman Catholic bishops in Ireland
- All Wikipedia articles written in Hiberno-English
- Articles with faulty DIB identifiers
- Articles with short description
- Bishops of Emly
- Clergy from Bristol
- Lord Chancellors of Ireland
- Short description is different from Wikidata
- Use Hiberno-English from September 2021
- Use dmy dates from September 2021
- Year of birth missing
The content of this page is based on the Wikipedia article written by contributors..
The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Licence & the media files are available under their respective licenses; additional terms may apply.
Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization & is not affiliated to WikiZ.com.