Biography of Bishop Thomas Blunville -1236

On 20 Dec 1226 Bishop Thomas Blunville was consecrated Bishop of Norwich.

Chronica Majora. Aug 1236. In the same year, a quarrel arose between the clergy and the citizens of Oxford, and it was with difficulty, and after a long time, that the strife was lulled to rest by the interference of the king and nobles, the bishops, and other men of rank and authority, and the university restored to its former state. In the month of August of the same year, the bishops, John of Worcester [Note. This is probably a mistake for ], and Thomas of Norwich, departed this life; and about the same time died Henry, abbat of CroyJand, a man of illustrious family, and renowned for his piety, after having governed his church, almost the whole of which, together with the buildings, he had rebuilt, for nearly fifty years.

On 16 Aug 1236 Bishop Thomas Blunville died.

Chronica Majora. Sep 1236. The pope, on hearing such profound reasonings, in order that he might not seem opposed to such incontrovertible arguments, pretended to give his consent; and that he might cross the mountains and enter Italy according to his purpose, his holiness promised, without fail, as far as he was able, to afford him his paternal assistance in every necessity. The emperor, encouraged by this, having by an imperial edict collected all the forces he could muster, entered Italy, followed by a large body of troops. The Milanese, not without reason, fearing his terrible anger, sent to the pope, asking advice and effectual assistance from him; and he, after receiving a large sum of money, with a promise of more, sent them much relief and assistance, to the injury of the emperor, and this seemed incredible and contrary to every one's opinion, that in siicli case of necessity the father would be converted into a stepfather. The citizens then sallied forth from the city in great force, to the number of about fifty thousand armed men, and proceeded with their standard (which they called "carruca," or "carrochium,") to meet the emperor, sending, word that they were ready to fight him. About this time, a certain knight named Baldwin de Yere, had come from England as a messenger from the English king to the emperor, to arrange some secret business concerning the said king and the emperor; and on all these matters he afterwards gave his hearers full information. When the emperor heard that the Milanese had broken out into such audacity as to kick against him, he at once prognosticated that they liad conceived this boldness, depending on the support of others than themselves; and after the matter had been carefully weighed in council with his nobles, it was agreed by acclamation that all who were present on the side of the emperor, from the highest to the lowest, should, without delay, fly to arms and attack this Milanese rabble, which dared, like mice coming from their holes, to provoke their lord to battle and to try their strength with the imperial forces. When this determination was made known to the Milanese, they halted for a little, and one of the elder citizens, on whose judgment the opinion of all depended, arranged the others in a circle around him and spoke a^ follows: "Hear me, noble citizens. The emperor is at hand in great power and vnih a large army, and he, as is known to the whole world, is our lord. If this lamentable struggle should take place, irreparable harm will arise from it; for if we are victorious in it, we shall obtain a reproachful and bloody victory over our lord, but if we are conquered, he will destroy our name, and that of our people and our city for ever, and we shall be a disgrace to every nation. Since, therefore, in every event it is dishonourable and dangerous to proceed further in a hostile manner, I consider it a wise plan to return to our city, where, if he chooses to attack us, it will be lawful for us to repel force by force; and whether he allows us to make peace with him, or compels us to drive liim from our territory by force, our city will be preserved and our good name will remain unimpaired." All the rest acquiescing in this plan, they acted upon it, which was a pleasant sight to the emperor; however, that no fear or alarm might be shown on his part, he pmvsuecl them and prepared for a siege. Whilst all these events were passing, either by the instrumentality of the Roman church, or the enemies of the emperor, an internal discord was stirred up in the German provinces, by the duke of Austria, to quell which, letters and messengers were sent with all haste, explaining the great urgency of the case, and to summon him to return immediately. The emperor therefore raised the siege, for which he had made preparations, and returned into Germany, and the Milanese, on hearing this, seized by force on some castles, which the emperor had taken, and their garrisons, and put all the knights and soldiers of the emperor to death. When the emperor heard of this, he was much enraged, and not without good reason, and poured forth all his just indignation against the author of this evil; and punished the duke of Austria, by depriving him of his honours, lands, castles, and cities, scarcely granting him hislife; so that vengeance for the crime perpetrated by him against King Kichard, on his return from the Holy Land seemed even at this time unsatisfied, as the prophet says, "Although late, God severely punishes wickedness," and "visits the sins of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation."

In this year, about Michaelmas-day, Baldwin de Vere, a discreet, faithful, and eloquent man, returned to England and brought the emperors reply to the king, and gave a full account of all those matters to all who chose to listen to him.

About the same time, too, Peter, bishop of Winchester, returned from the continent, deprived of his bodily strength by disease. Near about the same time, too, namely on the Monday following that feast, deluges of rain fell in the northern parts of England, to such a degree that the rivers and lakes, overflowing their usual bounds, caused great damage by destroying bridges, mills, and other property near the banks.

In the same year, on the 16th of August, died Thomas de Blundeville, bishop of Norwich. And about the same time died William of Blois, bishop of Worcester, and Henry de SANFORD, bishop of Rochester. Thomas, abbat of Evesham, also died in this year, and was succeeded by Richard, prior of Hurle.