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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.[2] 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.[3]

He was English by birth, and was probably a son of Roger de Cantock or de Quantock, a prominent merchant of Bristol.[4] A petition of Roger to the Crown, concerning property in Bristol dated 1275-6, survives.[5] 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. [6] 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.[1]

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Petition

Petition

A petition is a request to do something, most commonly addressed to a government official or public entity. Petitions to a deity are a form of prayer called supplication.

Bristol

Bristol

Bristol is a city, ceremonial county and unitary authority in England. Situated on the River Avon, it is bordered by the ceremonial counties of Gloucestershire to the north and Somerset to the south. Bristol is the most populous city in South West England. The wider Bristol Built-up Area is the eleventh most populous urban area in the United Kingdom.

Writ

Writ

In common law, a writ is a formal written order issued by a body with administrative or judicial jurisdiction; in modern usage, this body is generally a court. Warrants, prerogative writs, subpoenas, and certiorari are common types of writ, but many forms exist and have existed.

Rector (ecclesiastical)

Rector (ecclesiastical)

A rector is, in an ecclesiastical sense, a cleric who functions as an administrative leader in some Christian denominations. In contrast, a vicar is also a cleric but functions as an assistant and representative of an administrative leader.

Carrickfergus

Carrickfergus

Carrickfergus is a large town in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It sits on the north shore of Belfast Lough, 11 miles (18 km) from Belfast. The town had a population of 27,998 at the 2011 Census. It is County Antrim's oldest town and one of the oldest towns in Ireland as a whole. Carrickfergus Castle, built in the late 12th century at the behest of Anglo-Norman knight John de Courcy, was the capital of the Earldom of Ulster. After the earldom's collapse, it remained the only English outpost in Ulster for the next four centuries. Carrickfergus was the administrative centre for Carrickfergus Borough Council, before this was amalgamated into the Mid and East Antrim District Council in 2015, and forms part of the Belfast Metropolitan Area. It is also a townland of 65 acres, a civil parish and a barony.

University of Oxford

University of Oxford

The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's second-oldest university in continuous operation. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge where they established what became the University of Cambridge. The two English ancient universities share many common features and are jointly referred to as Oxbridge. Both are ranked among the most prestigious universities in the world.

Scotland

Scotland

Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland has a 96-mile (154-kilometre) border with England to the southeast and is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast and east, and the Irish Sea to the south. It also contains more than 790 islands, principally in the archipelagos of the Hebrides and the Northern Isles. Most of the population, including the capital Edinburgh, is concentrated in the Central Belt—the plain between the Scottish Highlands and the Southern Uplands—in the Scottish Lowlands.

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,[4] 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.[1] 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.[7]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.[1] He was also parish priest of Hardwick, Lincolnshire.[1]

He was elected Bishop of Emly in 1306, and was installed as bishop in a ceremony at Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin,[8] 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".[1] 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.[9] He is also known to have acquired lands at Chapelizod, then a village near Dublin city.[10]

Chapelizod, Dublin, where Cantock owned lands
Chapelizod, Dublin, where Cantock owned lands

At the Parliament of Ireland held in 1305 a number of minor complaints of misconduct were made against him, but none of them seems to have stuck.[4] He died on 4 February 1309.[4]

O'Flanagan states that from the little that is known of him he seems to have been popular and hospitable.[11] According to Smyth,[12] 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.[8]

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John Langton

John Langton

John Langton was a chancellor of England and Bishop of Chichester.

Master of the Rolls

Master of the Rolls

The Keeper or Master of the Rolls and Records of the Chancery of England, known as the Master of the Rolls, is the President of the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales and Head of Civil Justice. As a judge, the Master of the Rolls is second in seniority in England and Wales only to the Lord Chief Justice. The position dates from at least 1286, although it is believed that the office probably existed earlier than that.

Benefice

Benefice

A benefice or living is a reward received in exchange for services rendered and as a retainer for future services. The Roman Empire used the Latin term beneficium as a benefit to an individual from the Empire for services rendered. Its use was adopted by the Western Church in the Carolingian Era as a benefit bestowed by the crown or church officials. A benefice specifically from a church is called a precaria, such as a stipend, and one from a monarch or nobleman is usually called a fief. A benefice is distinct from an allod, in that an allod is property owned outright, not bestowed by a higher authority.

Salary

Salary

A salary is a form of periodic payment from an employer to an employee, which may be specified in an employment contract. It is contrasted with piece wages, where each job, hour or other unit is paid separately, rather than on a periodic basis. From the point of view of running a business, salary can also be viewed as the cost of acquiring and retaining human resources for running operations, and is then termed personnel expense or salary expense. In accounting, salaries are recorded in payroll accounts.

Prebendary

Prebendary

A prebendary is a member of the Roman Catholic or Anglican clergy, a form of canon with a role in the administration of a cathedral or collegiate church. When attending services, prebendaries sit in particular seats, usually at the back of the choir stalls, known as prebendal stalls.

Cashel, County Tipperary

Cashel, County Tipperary

Cashel is a town in County Tipperary in Ireland. Its population was 4,422 in the 2016 census. The town gives its name to the ecclesiastical province of Cashel. Additionally, the cathedra of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly was originally in the town prior to the English Reformation. It is part of the parish of Cashel and Rosegreen in the same archdiocese. One of the six cathedrals of the Anglican Bishop of Cashel and Ossory, who currently resides in Kilkenny, is located in the town. It is in the civil parish of St. Patricksrock which is in the historical barony of Middle Third.

Banquet

Banquet

A banquet is a formal large meal where a number of people consume food together. Banquets are traditionally held to enhance the prestige of a host, or reinforce social bonds among joint contributors. Modern examples of these purposes include a charitable gathering, a ceremony, or a celebration. They often involve speeches in honor of the topic or guest of honour.

Ballyfermot

Ballyfermot

Ballyfermot is a suburb town nw of the city aside Dublin, Ireland. It is located, seven kilometres west of the city centre, south of Pheonix Park, it is bordered on the north by Chapelizod, on the south by Bluebell; on the east by Inchicore, on the northwest by Palmerstown and the southwest by Clondalkin and Parkwest. The River Liffey lies to the north, and the Grand Canal, now a recreational waterway, lies to the south of Ballyfermot of which lies within the postal district Dublin 10. Cherry Orchard which is also a suburb, sometimes considered to be within Ballyfermot.

Dublin

Dublin

Dublin is the capital and largest city of Ireland. On a bay at the mouth of the River Liffey, it is in the province of Leinster, bordered on the south by the Dublin Mountains, a part of the Wicklow Mountains range. At the 2016 census, it had a population of 1,173,179, while the population of County Dublin as a whole was 1,347,359, and the Greater Dublin Area was 1,904,806.

River Liffey

River Liffey

The River Liffey is a river in eastern Ireland that ultimately flows through the centre of Dublin to its mouth within Dublin Bay. Its major tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac. The river supplies much of Dublin's water and supports a range of recreational activities.

Chapelizod

Chapelizod

Chapelizod is a village preserved within the city of Dublin, Ireland. It lies in the wooded valley of the River Liffey, near the Strawberry Beds and the Phoenix Park. The village is associated with Iseult of Ireland and the location of Iseult's chapel. Chapelizod is under the administration of Dublin City Council.

Parliament of Ireland

Parliament of Ireland

The Parliament of Ireland was the legislature of the Lordship of Ireland, and later the Kingdom of Ireland, from 1297 until 1800. It was modelled on the Parliament of England and from 1537 comprised two chambers: the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The Lords were members of the Irish peerage and bishops. The Commons was directly elected, albeit on a very restricted franchise. Parliaments met at various places in Leinster and Munster, but latterly always in Dublin: in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin Castle, Chichester House (1661–1727), the Blue Coat School (1729–31), and finally a purpose-built Parliament House on College Green.

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.[13]

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.[3]

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.[13] The Crown no doubt remembered that in the late 1290s his salary had been seriously in arrears.[7]

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Edward I of England

Edward I of England

Edward I, also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England and Lord of Ireland from 1272 to 1307. Concurrently, he ruled the duchies of Aquitaine and Gascony as a vassal of the French king. Before his accession to the throne, he was commonly referred to as the Lord Edward. The eldest son of Henry III, Edward was involved from an early age in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included a rebellion by the English barons. In 1259, he briefly sided with a baronial reform movement, supporting the Provisions of Oxford. After reconciliation with his father, however, he remained loyal throughout the subsequent armed conflict, known as the Second Barons' War. After the Battle of Lewes, Edward was held hostage by the rebellious barons, but escaped after a few months and defeated the baronial leader Simon de Montfort at the Battle of Evesham in 1265. Within two years the rebellion was extinguished and, with England pacified, Edward joined the Ninth Crusade to the Holy Land. He was on his way home in 1272 when he was informed of his father's death. Making a slow return, he reached England in 1274 and was crowned at Westminster Abbey.

John FitzGerald, 1st Earl of Kildare

John FitzGerald, 1st Earl of Kildare

John FitzThomas was an Anglo-Norman in the Peerage of Ireland, as 4th Lord of Offaly from 1287 and subsequently as 1st Earl of Kildare from 1316.

Ward (law)

Ward (law)

In law, a ward is a minor or incapacitated adult placed under the protection of a legal guardian or government entity, such as a court. Such a person may be referenced as a "ward of the court".

Lea Castle

Lea Castle

Lea Castle is a ruined medieval castle near Portarlington, County Laois. A timber castle was built in the late 12th or early 13th century and replaced by a later stone castle. The remains of the castle mostly date to the 13th century and consist of a four-storey donjon and a gatehouse.

Close Roll

Close Roll

The Close Rolls are an administrative record created in medieval England, Wales, Ireland and the Channel Islands by the royal chancery, in order to preserve a central record of all letters close issued by the chancery in the name of the Crown.

Source: "Thomas Cantock", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 30th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Cantock.

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References
  1. ^ a b c d e f Ball, F. Elrington The Judges in Ireland 1221–1921 John Murray London 1926 p.57
  2. ^ O'Flanagan, J. Roderick Lives of the Lord Chancellors and Keepers of the Great Seal of Ireland 2 Volumes London 1870
  3. ^ a b Otway-Ruthven, A.J. A History of Medieval Ireland Barnes and Noble Reprint New York 1993 p.211
  4. ^ a b c d Brand, Paul "Quantock (Cantok), Thomas" Dictionary of Irish Biography 2009
  5. ^ National Archives SC8/218/10880
  6. ^ Patent Roll 31 Edward I 23 June 1303
  7. ^ a b Close Roll 26 Edward I 28 May 1298
  8. ^ a b Warburton, John; Whitelaw, James; Walsh, Robert History of Dublin from the earliest accounts to the present time Vol 1. London 1818
  9. ^ Dublin City Council "Environmental Impact Study for the proposed civic amenity at Labre Park, Ballyfermot, Dublin 12"
  10. ^ Ball, F. Elrington History of Dublin Vol. IV Alexander Thom and Co. 1906
  11. ^ O'Flanagan Lives of the Lord Chancellors
  12. ^ Smyth, Constantine Joseph Chronicle of the Irish Law Officers Dublin (1839)
  13. ^ a b National Archives SC 8/100/4960

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