Roger (Archbishop) - Encyclopedia

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ROGER (d. 1181), archbishop of York, known as Roger of Pont l'Eveque, was a member of the household of Theobald, archbishop of Canterbury, where he quarrelled violently with another future archbishop, Thomas Becket. In 1148 he was appointed archdeacon of Canterbury, and soon afterwards chaplain to King Stephen, who sent him on an errand to Rome in 1152; then in October 1154 he was consecrated archbishop of York in Westminster Abbey. When Henry II. entered upon his great struggle with Becket over the immunity of clerks from secular jurisdiction, he managed to secure the support of Roger, and having been appointed papal legate in England; the archbishop visited Pope Alexander III. and the French king, Louis VII., in his master's interests. In June .1170 he crowned the king's son Henry, in spite of prohibitions from the pope and from Becket, and for this act he was suspended. One authority declares that Roger, who was then with Henry II. in Normandy, instigated the murder of the rival archbishop, but he swore he was innocent of this crime. He quarrelled with Richard, the new archbishop of Canterbury, about the respective rights of the two archiepiscopal sees, until 1176, when the king arranged a truce between them; and he was constantly endeavouring to assert his supremacy over the Scottish church. The archbishop died at York on the 21st of November 1181. He was always loyal to Henry II., to whom he was very useful during the great rising of 1174; but he has been accused of avarice, and he was certainly not lacking in ambition.

Another English prelate of this name was Roger, bishop of Worcester, a younger son of Robert, earl of Gloucester, and thus a grandson of the English king Henry I. In 1163 his cousin Henry II. appointed him bishop of Worcester, but almost alone of the English bishops he supported Thomas Becket and not the king during the quarrel between them in 1166. In 1167 he left England to share Becket's exile, but he soon returned to court, although he appears to have remained on friendly terms with the archbishop. He died at Tours in 1179.

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